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How to improve your software brochure

Tips to make your software brochures more appealing to potential customers

Last year I reviewed a vast number of intelligence software platforms, which meant I had the opportunity to read through a wide variety of software brochures. Some of them were great, some were not so great.

Based on that experience, I’ve written a mini-guide to brochures from the point of view of a potential customer to help anyone currently producing one. I’m sure there’s loads of points I’ve missed off here, so feel free to add any others in the comments, or tell me these tips are shite and you disagree. Either way its engagement I guess. Anyway, without further ado:

1.      Do not justify the text. Yes, it looks much neater from a distance, but it makes actually reading the thing much harder as it feels like you’re looking at a wall of text.

It’s much easier to find the next line in a paragraph if the lines are of uneven length, and the large, uneven gaps between words that appear when a short sentence is stretched across an entire line look unprofessional.

This article by @Meetchopz on medium.com has loads more typography tips that will help you make your text more appealing.

2.      Include screenshots if possible. It’s a cliché but a picture really does paint a thousand words. If you tell me that your product can “Leverage modular alignment using a third-generation indexing functionality to reimagine your compatible management flexibility”, I will assume that the rest of your content will also be way above my station and skim read it at best.

However, if you show me what your product does using screenshots, I’m much more likely to understand it and think about how it could benefit my work.

3.      Even better than screenshots, include a customer journey – a series of pictures that show how a user of your platform would carry out a certain task, so I can see how much easier that process is than the one I currently have to do.

4.      It is really tempting to describe every last feature and functionality of your platform. Of course it is, you’ve slaved away at it and spent hours getting it perfect. However, to get your message across to potential customers quickly (and you really do only have a short amount of time to grab their attention), concentrate on its main features.

If I had just invented Microsoft Word and was creating a brochure for it, I would probably focus on its word processing capabilities rather than highlighting things like the possibility to insert WordArt (as tempting as that may be).

5.      Add hyperlinks. I was lazy enough as it was even before the purgatorial hell that is lockdown, so expecting me to copy and paste a URL can be pushing it a bit now. Give me a link to click and I’m much more likely to visit your site for further information. Add these hyperlinks in the main body of the text where appropriate and in the footer of each page so they are always visible to me.

6.      Tell me who else is using your platform (if confidentiality clauses allow). If I know them or have a contact in their organisation, I’ll get in touch with them and find out what they think of it. Another unbiased industry-professional telling me your platform adds value will do more to promote your product to me than any sales pitch could.

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