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How to Plan Your Collateral Ad Campaign

Collateral advertising materials are the brochures, mailers, flyers, and newsletters you produce for your business. Although many businesses use collateral materials to introduce a business or product, you can also use it later in the sales cycle to support your salesperson.

You need to plan your collateral advertising campaign carefully. Don’t just toss together a bunch of words, prices, pictures, and a “Hurry on down” or “Contact us now,” and hope for the best. It doesn’t work that way.

  1. Define the purpose for the ad.

    Are you trying to reach new customers or to inform existing customers?

  2. Determine what you can do within your budget constraints.

    Rough out a design and get estimates from printers so you can figure out what you can afford.

  3. Organize your message and crystallize your design.

    Don’t expect much involvement from your readers. Make your design and copy clear, informative, and, above all, brief.

  4. Write and rewrite your headline and copy until it’s as concise as it can be.

    Pull any extraneous words from your headline. Brevity is the soul of wit, and it's also good in ad copy.

  5. Toss out any superfluous elements from your ad that only distract from your message.

    Be as objective as possible when tightening your design and copy. Include only those elements that are absolutely necessary for getting your message across.

  6. Do sketches and rearrange the elements until the design is as good as it can be.

    Don’t just toss various elements together helter-skelter. Be thoughtful in your design. Make it attractive and easy to grasp.

  7. Make sure your copy and content flow in a logical sequence.

    Don’t be pompous, ponderous, or boring with too much copy or irrelevant information. Your target audience doesn’t have time for it.

  8. Be objective.

    Is the piece reader-friendly? Does it quickly communicate a benefit? Would you read it if you found it in your mailbox?

If you write and design your brochure sequentially, and if you take it one step at a time and make sure you complete each step with precision, then your finished piece stands a good chance of success.

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