This blog is two of three in a follow up series to a marketing workshop we taught on September 14th. In this series, we are answering three of the audience questions that were posed that day. Enjoy!

While working with a local group of business professionals to help define, affirm and share their “why,” we were asked the following question:

How much information should I put in print handouts?

Our answer: Less is more.

You may have heard that the human attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. While this is debated amongst academics, we can all agree that receiving a text-heavy brochure can easily make our eyes glaze over and our brains shut down. When planning your next print handout, operate with the golden rule in mind: do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Do you want a text heavy, brand-absent, piece of literature from your vendors? Not likely, unless you’re looking for kindling for your next campfire. Rather, we imagine you would like something that is a reasonable size, with a reasonable amount of text that answers basic questions like:

  • What do they do?
  • Why do they do it?
  • How do I obtain even more information?

Thinking of who, what, when, where and howIt is okay for print handouts to leave the recipient asking a few thoughtful questions as they process the material. If they are asking follow-up questions, it means they understood and read your material enough to really think through the information.

We suggest overcoming the eyes-glazed-over phenomenon by beginning with the end in mind. What are the 3-5 bottom line bits of information you want the recipient to know after reading through your print handout? Using bullet points and writing succinct statements will help with this.

Another way to foster engagement with print materials is to use icons, graphics and images as a means of helping inform the recipient. A compelling image will speak volumes and grab the recipient’s attention.

Final words of wisdom: honor the visual branding guidelines on all your print materials. Your recipient should look at the print handout and be confident it is associated with your company. The font suite, logo and color selections should be consistent with all other marketing materials.

To summarize: keep it simple, empathize with the recipient, begin with the end in mind and honor your visual brand guidelines.

How to Create Print Handouts
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The Blue Mobius Writing Team is a group of people that share a love for cleverly crafted words and all things marketing. We also really like alliteration, coffee mugs with witty sayings, and colorful pens.

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