Print Marketing 101: 6 Types of Marketing Collateral and When to


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Melisa Rana
Melisa Rana


Print Marketing 101: 6 Types of Marketing Collateral and When to Use Them

 March 5, 2024 |  Business Tips, Marketing |  small business, business growth, money management, networking, entrepreneur

By Melisa Rana, NPI, Inc.'s Graphic Designer

Across industries, experienced marketers know how important it is to practice omni-channel marketing to find success and grow consistently. This means finding your audience wherever they are and delivering your message to them in many different ways. Businesses that rely only on digital marketing will begin to feel impersonal and distant, while marketers who focus solely on in-person interactions spread themselves too thin and miss out on opportunities to stay top of mind.

The most effective marketing plans employ multiple campaigns and various diverse strategies to foster business, ongoing referrals, and loyalty with their key customers. Because of this, no business should expect to reach their long-term goals consistently without a selection of well-designed, attention-grabbing marketing collateral.

From posters to brochures, flyers, and door hangers, it can sometimes feel like there is an endless list of potential physical marketing materials to invest in. But to achieve the best possible return on investment, it’s important to understand how each material differs and in which situations they excel. With all that said, let’s discuss some of the most popular and effective print marketing materials, and when to use them!

Brochures Pack a Big Punch in a Small Package
One of the most recognizable and well-regarded types of print collateral, brochures and ubiquitous in the marketing world—and there are good reasons why that’s the case! Brochures are very likely the most versatile type of print marketing material because they can be used for so many different subjects, and they can be distributed to potential customers in so many different ways.

The most classic version of a brochure is the trifold—a single sheet printed with images and copy on both sides, folded into thirds to allow for a natural break-up of content. Brochures really shine when it comes to conveying a large amount of information on a particular service or product in situations where you may not have enough time to explain it yourself. With brochures, interested consumers can delve deeper into the specifics of a service when they have time, and it frees marketers or business owners to build relationships at networking events.

If there is any slight weakness for brochures, it’s that they might not be the best “first touch” marketing material that a customer comes across. Brochures perform best when the customer is already familiar with the product or service, and they need that extra bit of detail to make their purchasing decision.

Brochures are great for: leaving at displays, handing out at networking meetings, or sending through a direct mail campaign.

Flyers Catch Your Eye Quickly
The other most recognizable form of print marketing has to be the flyer. Designed to grab attention and be easy to digest at a glance, flyers separate themselves from brochures in that their focus is much more on an artistic layout meant to hook in an audience. With flyers, the challenge for graphic designers and copywriters is to keep information brief and leave their audience wanting more, while providing enough to make them interested.

Common features that can contribute to an impactful flyer include a bold title, a surprising fact, or an appealing graphic. Flyers are a great cost-effective option for first contact marketing and can make great use of QR codes for anyone looking to learn more.

Flyers are great for: introducing a new service, educating an audience, or making a special announcement.

Booklets Explore the Business In-Depth
Where flyers might be described as brochures with less detail, booklets sit firmly on the opposite end of the spectrum, describing and expanding upon a business’ history, service customization options, and full product catalogs. Most print marketing materials are fairly cost effective, especially when printed at larger quantities, but booklets tend to be a larger investment in anticipation for a larger return.

Booklets shouldn’t be designed for campaigns that are expected to come and go. Rather, they are ideal for long-term clients and referral sources, particularly in businesses with a long list of products and services, or special products or services that ask for a larger investment.

Booklets are great for: long-term clients, referral sources, businesses with a long list of products and services, and special products or services that ask for a larger investment.

Business Cards are a Classic Essential
If there is only one print marketing material that can be called “essential” for entrepreneurs, that item has to be the business card. Business cards are extremely compact, designed to be easily dispersed and stowed in a pocket or wallet in hopes for future conversations. With limited space, business cards need to stick to the basics while maintaining a clean, professional, and hopefully still memorable look.

A name, title, phone number, email, logo, and headshot are usually plenty of information that easily fills a business card, with some extra room to include things like company mottos, QR codes, or a basic list of services. A business owner with a sharp business card in hand gives off an impression of professionalism, credibility, organization, and preparation that can all be otherwise lost without one. Seriously, being caught in the wrong situation without a business card can mean losing out on an opportunity to take your business to the next level!

Business cards are great for: every situation, but particularly at open houses, conferences, trade shows, and random encounters.

Getting Your Message Right to Their Doorstep with Door Hangers
Services or products that cater to a specific area or demographic can leverage the unique power of door hangers. While not as versatile as some other options, door hangers are hard to miss and incredibly effective when the offer resonates with the homeowner.

Door hangers can advertise new local business services or products with special promotions, include attached business cards, and even utilize QR codes to capture leads. To maximize return on investment, marketers should target untapped audiences most receptive to this strategy.

Door hangers are ideal for: targeting a specific area, pairing with a direct mail campaign.

Postcards Leave a Memorable Impact
For business owners with a concise message, postcards offer a highly cost-effective option. Slightly larger than business cards but with smaller than most marketing materials, postcards demand a clear and compelling design to effectively convey their message.

A popular choice for economical product or service introductions in direct mail campaigns, postcards are also fantastic for personalized, handwritten notes and thank you cards. The USPS reports that a surprising 62% of millennials make purchases based on received mail each month, even surpassing Gen Xers. The combination of targeted mail and a handwritten touch can significantly strengthen customer or client bonds with a business owner.

Postcards are great for: personal notes, direct mail campaigns, soliciting referrals and feedback, event reminders.

Print marketing materials are a fantastic opportunity for marketers and business owners to express their creativity. Although this article outlines many of the broader categories of collaterial, don’t feel limited by only these options! Every industry and market is different, and unique, innovative concepts can pay off in dividends. As with most aspects of running an ambitious, growing business, it’s important to experiment and take advantage of new opportunities when they came along.

Learn more about integrating cost effective marketing strategies into your marketing plan, and reach out to the NPI marketing team to collaborate on your next campaign today! Want to know more about how franchisees benefit from a full team of marketing specialists? Request a free info packet and speak with our recruitment team for more.


About the Author
Melisa Rana, Graphic Designer
Melisa graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a B.F.A. in graphic design in 2022. As the team’s dedicated in-house graphic designer, she creates digital and print marketing collateral for NPI and GPI inspectors on a daily basis. With a background in layout design, brand identity, and photography, Melisa also creates visual content for our organization’s three blogs, email marketing campaigns, and social media accounts. She enjoys crafting professionally branded materials so our inspectors can always make a great first impression and stand out from their competition.

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