Avoid These Four Mistakes When Writing Copy for Your Brochure or Sales Letter

By Ted Janusz

Do you need to write copy for a brochure or sales letter?

Brochures and sales letters can play an important role in boosting your business and making a statement to clients and potential clients.

The idea is to effectively communicate the value of your business and what it does with your customer base.

However, putting one together can be easier said than done. I teach a copywriting workshop, so just for fun, I signed on to edit and write brochures and sales letters as a freelancer on Fiverr.com (handle tjanusz), and it has been a blast! I have had the enjoyable opportunity to work with fun individuals all over the world, from a health and wellness practitioner in Ireland to a tour operator in Russia.

These professionals know their business, as I am sure that you do, too. But, contrary to how it sounds, that might actually be a detriment when trying to explain to others what you do.

When composing a brochure or sales letter to describe your organization, avoid these four mistakes:

1. Being “you” focused rather than “they” focused. Of course you understand your business and are anxious to tell others everything about what you do. But, guess what? They don’t care! (At least, not yet.) The first thing you need to do is to write text that relates to them. (Notice how I did that from the first sentence in this article.)

2. Providing too much detail. With a brochure, provide just enough information so that the future customer will want to contact you to get more details. One of the best ways to do this is to start with a story. And make the story be about them, such as structuring the brochure or sales letter with: Is this happening to you? If so, here is the solution.

3. The Curse of Knowledge. You can be too close to your operation, meaning that you cannot unlearn what you already know. In some cases, the only way you can explain what you do is through the use of intimidating jargon. However, what you need to do is use simple language instead. Adults do not like to admit when they do not understand something, and a confused mind will never buy.

4. Not “chunking” the information. When they go to the Internet, about 79 percent of your prospects and customers do not read: they scan instead. So for a brochure or sales letter, it is important not to write lengthy prose. Use short paragraphs, bullet points and lots of white space.

One of the exercises in my workshop, is to write a random nine-digit number. Then I ask the class members if they could remember that number a week from now. Most of them say they could not. But then I ask them to insert a hyphen after the third and the fifth digit. Now, rather than a nine-digit number, they have a Social Security number, which only has three “chunks” of information, making it far easier to remember. The same theory applies to sales copy.

If you avoid these four mistakes when composing your brochure or sales letter, you have much better odds of achieving the results you desire.

About The Author

Ted Janusz, MBA, facilitates workshops, and has presented more than 5,000 hours on relevant business-related topics internationally. Janusz can be reached at [email protected]