Sunday, August 17, 2008

Print Marketing Materials Musts: Identify Your Goal, Audience & Desired Outcome

Don't write...don't design...and definitely don't print your marketing materials until you carefully consider who you want to reach, what message you want to deliver and what action you want the recipient to take. Do this work upfront -- even if it takes extra time -- and you will have taken the first steps toward ensuring your printed piece's success.

Know Your Audience and Set a Goal
Whether you’re introducing a new product, promoting an idea or simply creating awareness of your organization, start with a thorough understanding of your target audience, and a clear picture of what you want that audience to do.

For example, do you want recipients to:

  • Visit your store?
  • Order a promotional item?
  • Sign up for your mailing list?
  • Refer your company to a friend?

Ask Your Readers to Take Action
Be sure that your message is clear and that it is written with your readers’ interests and needs in mind. When appropriate, include a clear “call to action.” This is a simple statement that tells readers exactly what you’d like them to do, and how they will benefit from performing the desired action.

For example:

  • “Call now and get a free....”
  • “Attend the conference to learn strategies for....”
  • "Order now and become eligible to win...”

Use Good Design to Promote Readability & Reinforce Your Message
Once you’ve developed a strong message, one with a benefit and a call to action, use well-thought-out graphic design to help set the tone for your message, and make it easy to understand.

Professional design strikes a delicate balance between text, artwork and white space. Without that balance, you can confuse your reader and turn out a marketing piece that fails to do its job. Whether you design your marketing collateral yourself, or hire someone to do it for you, keep in mind these simple guidelines:

  • The typography you select helps set the tone for your piece, and its size and color create an information hierarchy that lets the reader know what's most and least important.
  • Imagery, whether it's photos or illustrations, should do more than decorate; it should pull the reader into the piece and convey information that supports your copy.
  • White space is a good thing; use it generously. Let your printed materials breathe, so as to not suffocate the recipient with information overload.
  • Never compromise on photo quality. A picture is only worth 1,000 words if it’s a good one. Quality, commercial printing helps your photos look great and lets you stay true to that premise. For more about images and resolution, see PRP's Design Tips.

To learn more about how to create successful print marketing materials, or to get instant quotes on commercial, offset printing, check out