This article is actually about creating an effective sales sheet. I just wanted to clarify that for any Google bots reading this, in case they take my title the wrong way. They aren’t quite as sophisticated as humans yet, although they are getting scarily close.
OK, and on to the humans reading this…Let’s start with the most obvious point: A sales sheet is trying to sell something. Why do I start with such an obvious point? Because it should be echoed in each decision as you move through the concept, creation, and content. (nice alliteration there, don’t you think?)
When trying to sell your product, be specific in your purpose. Don’t just determine you want to sell your business. Have a specific product or target in mind. Keep this at the forefront of your intentions.
Let’s face it though. People are stubborn and when they know you are trying to sell them something, their first instinct is to resist. Your job is to break through this front. The problem comes when you hand them a sales sheet with lines and lines of boring copy. Most people will skim it and move on. You need to craft yours in a way that delivers pertinent information to even those skimmers, and make them unable to resist reading more.
Some appropriate adjectives that come to mind are: effective, attention-getting, bold, and bright. Here are a few ways to make that happen.
Headlines: Use headlines and subheads to establish sections and set text apart, which will deliver the information in more digestible pieces. Of course, make sure to include in the headlines, the information you most want readers to see, in case this is all they read. Then work on the other 5 steps listed here to make them want to read more.
Photos: Photos are important for a number of reasons. They also help to break up sections of text. They draw the client’s eyes. They are worth 1000 words. (1000 words is a lot for just one point on a sales sheet, why not use a photo to express this point instead?) Make sure to use high resolution photos to make them look their best in print.
Don’t forget captions: Captions tend to be an afterthought, or can be forgotten altogether, but the truth is that they actually play an important factor. When skimming a sales sheet, people are drawn to headlines, subheads, and yes, photo captions. This makes them one of possibly only three parts that will actually be read on a sales sheet. Make sure yours do their job well by including important product or marketing information.
Use color: Black and white says “boring” on a sales sheet. Color makes it more inviting. Be careful what color scheme you use though. You want to make sure you are sending the right message.
Shapes: Use bold colored shapes to make your points stand out. This is a good way to highlight headlines or specific product facts or testimonials. It will also make these pieces more likely to make it on the skimmer’s radar.
Graphs: Is there any data you’d like to include? A graph or two can really help make a bunch of numbers more palatable for clients. Again, color will make the data more inviting.