How to design your print marketing material

With print advertising, it is important to grab a reader’s attention immediately and then create interest so that they want to continue reading and take action to get in contact with you.

This is summarised in the acronym AIDA which we will cover further on.

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

But first and foremost …..

Choose your target market

Before you start any marketing, you need to really consider who it is you are marketing to.  You need to be creating a message that will resonate with your target market rather than trying to appeal to the masses that will then get lost.

What problem are you solving?

Now think about the problem your target market has and what solution you are bringing to them.

For your line of business, this could be something such as wanting to increase their brand awareness and keeping their name fresh in customer’s eyes so you help them with by creating personalised products.

Keep in mind the benefits to the customer of using personalised print such as:

  • Improved product attraction
  • Increased usability
  • Displays products each customer is most likely to buy
  • Increased enquiries, orders and ROI

Once you have this information, you can start to plan your print campaign taking into consideration the following steps:

Create a budget

It is very easy to get carried away once you start your print campaign so plan ahead and set yourself a budget and stick to it!

Attract attention

To attract immediate attention of your target market you need to have an attention-grabbing headline.  This will make the difference between whether readers continue to read on or drop your marketing material in the nearest bin.

To get ideas for your own headline have a look at those of the top players in your industry.  You don’t want to directly copy these but it can help spark ideas.  Have a look at the front covers of magazines on the supermarket rack.  These magazines spend thousands of pounds each week to come up with attention-grabbing headlines so take inspiration from them and adapt to your business.

When writing the headline keep the benefit to your target market in mind.  Therefore a headline might be on the lines of ‘A simple way to increase enquiries, order and ROI’ or ‘How to make your products irresistible to your customers’.


Now you have their attention you need to retain their interest.  You don’t want to put all the effort into writing your headline only for your target audience to come then stop reading.

Use the right font, keep it consistent and ensure it is easy to read.  Too many changes in font styles, colours and sizes may cause confusion and stop the reader from reading more.

Use images.  As we all know, a picture can paint a thousand words so use them

Quotes and testimonials.  An inspirational quote or client testimonial can help to keep the reader engaged.

Check your grammar.  One thing that can easily stop readers from continuing to read is poor grammar and punctuation so double check and triple check before sending out.

Create desire

Now you have the reader engaged, you need to create a desire for them to take action.  Remember the problem they are having and how you are going to solve it.  Get this across in your message so they want to do business with you.

Consider using a short summary to remind them of the benefits they will be getting and to confirm the main content of your message.

Take action

Now you have them hooked you need to make it easy for them to know what to do next.  If you want them to phone you, tell them exactly that with a ‘phone now’ along with your telephone number.  If you want them to email or visit your website give them the details to do so.  It is amazing how many businesses miss out this vital information.


Pay attention to the colours you use on your printed material.  You want to keep it consistent with your business brand so you start to become recognised and don’t cause confusion.

Size and shape

AlloydDon’t overlook this and automatically go for the standard A5 print size.  How about something a little different that will stand out from the crowd and be more eye-catching.

Alloyd is a great example of this where they created their sales print brochure to replicate a blister pack which is the product that they provide to their customers.



Another acronym for you and this time stands for Keep It Simple Stupid.  Don’t try to cram so much information into your print marketing that it becomes overly busy and distracting.  Get the key message across and leave the reader wanting more so they need to get in touch with you for more information.

Don’t suffer overwhelm!

The beauty of marketing today is that there are so many options to help you come up with a great design.  Look online for inspiration from templates on sites such as InstaPrint and VistaPrint.  They have so many layouts that they have spent many years perfecting.  Canva is also a great source of inspiration.


When you have your design ready you need to go test a segment of the market.  Don’t fall into the trap of ordering thousands of printed leaflets and send out in one go.  You want to test a small area of the market and see what response you get.  If you send out to 100 companies and only get 1% response, maybe you need to look at tweaking your message before sending out a lot more.

The same principle above can be applied to other forms of print materials such as business cards and letters and for more information on these have a read of the article ‘Types of print advertising and how to make them effective’.


A final note ….

Get creative

Don’t confine yourself to using traditional paper for printing your marketing message.  Consider using alternatives such as a taxi firm advertising on beer mats to be put on the bar in a pub, or a jeweller branding some cleaning cloths and giving away as freebies.