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Mail Design Part 3: Your Booklet

Dec 31, 2010

When you have a more to say than one page will accommodate, a booklet is the perfectly packaged way to send your message. Booklets are an incredibly professional way to give detailed information to your recipients. When mailed in an envelope, they're a great way to convey sensitive and/or personal information. They offer plenty of space for your content and attention-grabbing graphics, and - best of all - they're easy to keep around, which means you stay top-of-mind with your customers and prospects.

There are a number of good ways to use a booklet; some of the most common uses we see are mini catalogs, newsletters, long brochures, reports, and other multi-page documents. Indeed, a booklet offers a number of possibilities; you can use it to convey information about your products or services, to educate your readers, or to keep your customers engaged with your company (as through a newsletter).

Your first job is to decide what goal(s) you want to accomplish with your booklet. That will help you determine which booklet is right for you. Our folded booklet self-mailer, with a maximum of 8 pages, for example, is ideal for product catalogs, newsletters and brochures. For longer product catalogs or annual reports, our booklet in a flat envelope accommodates up to 56 pages and protects sensitive information.

For some innovative, winning ideas on booklet design, we turned to master designer Chuck Green at Ideabook.com. Chuck offers some great ideas for making the most of your booklet, whatever you're using it for.

Create a compelling cover. You want your targets to open your booklet and read it. Grab their attention at the mailbox with stand-out headlines and bold color. Chuck says, "Use your space wisely...a booklet needs an intriguing title, a benefits-oriented subtitle and an interesting illustration."

Make your layout, design, and content, work for you. Once inside your booklet, the reader needs to know where to go. Think about how your recipients will experience the booklet: How will their eyes travel across the page? Use subheadings and images to break up text and visual cues to help focus the reader. Icons such as clocks and scissors can prompt a reader's action: particular attention to a time-sensitive issue, or a place to cut out a coupon, for example.

Build on a theme. Whether you're using your booklet as a catalog, newsletter, brochure, report, or something else, you have a point to get across. A theme can help do that more successfully. Decide on your theme and then carry it through the booklet in headlines and subheads as well as in the graphics. (If, for example, your booklet focused on ways you help your customers make 2011 a great year, use "New Year" or "New Beginnings" or "New Opportunities" as themes to run throughout your booklet.)

Use artwork effectively. Because booklets are more expansive than single-page flyers, they offer more room for images, adding interest to your pages. Be consistent with your illustration styles using either black and white or color images to give a cohesive look to your booklet. "Show the benefit or the result of using your product or service in a photograph," Chuck says. Even if they're stock photos, images of people like your customers and prospects will help them relate to you. Chuck even recommends the manipulation of clip art to create new and cost effective logos and images for your company.

Be valuable. Glossaries of trade terms and collections of frequently asked questions make your booklet a resource worth holding on to. According to Chuck, adding a place for notes along with important phone numbers and e-mail addresses helps your booklet stay relevant - and out of the trash.

Make it personal. Maximize the power of your booklet by making it personal. With Click2Mail's Online Publisher, you can integrate information like customer's names, account numbers, balance due and appointment date, making your booklet a truly personal experience (one that dramatically increases its value, meaning that recipients are more likely to keep your booklet around - which keeps you top of mind).

Include all the important details. The back cover offers space for your name, your organization's name and location, an e-mail address and phone number. Also make certain your booklet contains all the necessary fine print - disclaimers, trademark credits, copyrights and a bibliography, if necessary.

So you've got the booklet design ideas, now it's time to put them to work. Get started today with Click2Mail's easy-to-use booklet templates (or upload your completed design), upload your mailing list, and click to mail!