How to create a business booklet to build you brand, boost your outreach, and make more sales
Booklets — the word just means ‘little book’ — are powerful tools for marketing and promotion in business. Whatever your industry, brand, product, service, or niche, your business can probably benefit from designing and printing a range of booklets. But before we go deeper into the ways you can use business booklets to build your brand, boost your outreach, and — importantly — increase sales, let’s answer a few of the fundamental questions you may have.
What is a booklet?
As we said, the word means little book, but that doesn’t tell us much. In practical terms, a booklet is a printed document with anything between a handful and a few dozen pages which contains printed text and photos or illustrations. Its aim is to be attractive to the eye, easy to read and scan, lightweight and portable, and to communicate important information clearly and succinctly.
What are booklets used for?
Booklets are used in a variety of ways. They’re usually specific and limited to one topic. They don’t go into a lot of detail, but give the essential information and then include contact details or suggestions for finding out more.
For example, if you’ve ever been to visit your doctor in their surgery or spent any time in a hospital waiting room, you’ve most likely picked up and browsed through a booklet. Maybe it was an introduction to the clinic and the services and treatments it offered; perhaps details about an illness, advice about how to eat better and exercise, or public health information of some other kind.
Another kind of booklet could be one you’ve picked up in the foyer of a hotel that has conferences facilities. It might describe those facilities, perhaps explain the kinds of events the hotel can host, the catering and accommodation options, meeting rooms, available technology for presentations, and how to get in touch for more information or to make a booking.
One more example you’ve probably come across could be a booklet picked up in a store — or delivered direct to your home through the mail — highlighting a seasonal sale or product line. It probably had photos and product descriptions, maybe pricing, and a discount offer inside. And of course, the address, website, email and phone number of the store along with a map showing you how to get there.
How can you use booklets in your business?
The answer to this question is open-ended. It’s down to your business needs and your marketing team’s imagination. But along with the examples above, ways that you could use a booklet to promote your business might include the following.
Business booklet content ideas
- As a direct mail out to your target customers to alert them to new products or services in which they may be interested
- To hand out at trade fairs, conferences, and networking events to build awareness of your business among colleagues and others in your sector
- As mini-catalogs for short-term promotions or special offers
- As summary business reports to encourage new investors
- To introduce your customers to the team, with head shots of staff members and short biographies
- To distribute price lists
- As mission statements or to promote your company’s environmental policies or social and charitable work
- To offer potential customers discount coupons and other special offers to encourage them to engage with your business and try your products
- For on-boarding new staff, introducing them to the management, the layout of the building, the corporate principles, and who to contact for specific inquiries
- To describe and explain the health and safety regulations and procedures in your business premises
Those are 10 ideas for how to use booklets in your business just to get you started. There are many more. The key, as you’ll have noticed, is that each booklet has a specific purpose and is targeted toward a unique reader: customers, potential customers, business colleagues, new staff members, investors, and others.
What are the advantages of printed booklets?
In the age of the Internet, email, and instant messaging, you may wonder if there’s still room for printed materials like booklets in the modern business world and marketplace. The answer is a resounding yes. We print lots of booklets and other marketing and informational materials for businesses large and small, and the feedback — not to mention repeat orders — that we get proves beyond doubt that they work. So long as your business booklet is targeted, on-message, well-designed, and professionally printed, it will give you a good return on investment.
Several marketing studies have shown that consumers prefer printed marketing materials to those they find online. They spend more time reading and absorbing messages on the printed page than on the screen, and demonstrate better recall of the products and marketing messages they’ve seen. It’s one reason why in situations in which getting the message across is vitally important — such as in hospitals and schools — verbal and online messaging is always reinforced with printed material.
People also prefer something they can pick up, hold, flick through, pop in a handbag or pocket, come back to later, and perhaps pass on to a friend or colleague. Booklets stick around in the real world, move from one person to another, and can spread the information and offers you want to communicate to more potential customers or clients than just the first person to pick them up.
Are business booklets a good investment?
Business booklets are inexpensive, low-risk investments with potentially high returns. The reason they’re still so popular today is because they haven’t stopped working! If you pause to think about it, you can probably recall several occasions just this week when you’ve seen or read a booklet of one kind or another.
Unlike a full-scale catalog, a magazine, or an in-depth, glossy brochure, booklets cost little to design and produce and because of their light weight and small size, they’re easy to mail or hand out. They also look great in stands or displays in the foyer of your office building, placed in stores at the point-of-sale, or on your stand at trade fairs and other events.
But they have a huge potential to promote your business. Not only through brand recognition — branding is a vital aspect of good booklet design — but also by direct promotion of your products to people interested in buying them. You can also add discount offers and other incentives. QR codes are a great addition to a booklet as they can lead customers to your website, online catalog, or e-commerce store, too.
How to design a good business booklet?
So, now you’ve seen the possibilities that the simple business booklet can offer, let’s look at how to design a business booklet that works hard for you and your brand. It’s not rocket science, but there are still certain core design principles that go into creating an attractive, powerful business booklet that does everything you want it to.
Do market and competitor research
The first step in good business booklet design is always market and competitor research. At back of this is knowing what you want to say and to whom you want to say it. Is the booklet targeted to existing customers, potential customers, colleagues, investors, or suppliers? Once you know who you’re talking to, you’ll know what kind of messaging, language, and imagery will be most appropriate and effective.
Then you should look to see what your closest competitors are doing with their booklets. Try to gauge their effectiveness. What are they doing well? What doesn’t seem to be working? Incorporate this analysis of your data into your design with a view to making a better booklet to put your business ahead of the game.
Calculate your budget
It’s a vital step to calculate your budget as that will inform the size of your booklet, the number of pages, the paper stock, finish, and binding. All of these design factors have implications for cost. Your budget calculations will help you decide how many booklets to print in a single print run — always bearing in mind that with offset printing, the more copies you print in a single run, the lower the cost-per-unit.
Create the content for your business booklet
Your booklet content will include text and graphics. Graphics could include photos, illustrations, or diagrams. You may have the skills and technology in-house to create your own content. If not, then you’ll need to outsource to freelance content writers, photographers, illustrators, and graphic designers.
Remember to brand all your content for your booklet. So, your company colors, logo, and motto or slogan should play a prominent part. Be careful not to crowd your core message out with too much graphic material, however. A booklet should be simple and clear. When creating your content, think about using white space, headlines and subheadings, bullet points, and summary boxes to make it easy for the reader to scan and pick out the information they need.
Don’t forget that your content starts on the cover. Take time to devise an attractive, informative title so that the cover catches the eye and informs the potential reader of what they can expect to find inside. In other words, the value proposition should be right there on the front.
For the main content of a business booklet, we recommend that you use the AIDA marketing principle to guide the structure of both your cover and the booklet as a whole. AIDA suggests capturing attention, sparking interest, inspiring desire, and prompting action.
Your call-to-action (CTA) needs to be clear, and in many cases, you might be steering readers to a product or service. Contact details will need to be accessibly located, with an irresistible offer that motivates action.
Design the layout of your business booklet
Once all your copy is ready, it’s time to think about putting it all together: the layout and formatting of your business booklet. Even if you plan to use your own designer or creative agency, you should still plan to have full involvement at this stage to make sure that your booklet remains on-message. If you choose to print with us, we have our own designers in-house who will be happy to collaborate with you to make sure that you get the best possible design within your budget.
Good layout, font choices, and formatting are vital to creating an attractive, eye-catching, but easy-to-read booklet. Decisions about where to break up the content with logical headings and subheadings, splitting blocks of text into smaller units, and placing line and paragraph breaks are all important aspects of design and layout.
Likewise, a good designer will make sure that the graphic elements contribute to and complement the text, rather than distract the reader or confuse the layout. When you’re creating your design brief, you can explore visual themes on a mood board so you’ve got material to show your designer. If you are an established company with a logo and brand guidelines in place, these will inform many aspects of the appearance of your booklet. A new business should take this opportunity to develop consistent colors and motifs that will establish a strong brand identity.
Make a mock-up of your booklet
Once you’re happy with the booklet content and design in digital format, you might want to test out the effectiveness of your design elements and make some changes. An effective way forward at this stage is to print a mock-up of your finished booklet. A dummy mock-up of your booklet doesn’t have to look exactly like the final product, but you’ll still want to print to scale and print in color.
Get your files ‘print ready’
The final stage is to prepare your files for printing. If you’ve used a professional agency or one of our in-house designers, they will do that for you. But if you’re doing it yourself, talk to us and we’ll be happy to guide you through the process. To find out a bit more about preparing files for a print run, read this post: How to Prepare a File for Print Production.
Ready to create an eye-catching business booklet?
Talk to us. We have decades of experience helping businesses just like yours to design and print beautiful and effective business booklets. You can’t get your printer involved too soon, as we can offer you lots of expert advice and guidance at every step of the process, from thinking though your idea, to designing the layout, preparing the files, choosing the best paper, inks, and finishes, and, of course, printing the final product. Get in touch today for an informal chat or a no-obligation quote. We’ll be happy to help.