While filing material I picked up at a trade show the other day, I had the opportunity to scan many sell sheets back to back. Only a couple really sold, for a whole variety of reasons. Here are a few pointers to make sure yours do some heavy lifting:
1. Emphasize Benefits Over Specs. Divide your content into benefits, proof elements and specifications. (See our blog post on the difference among these.) Benefits and proof elements sell; specifications may be necessary, but they’re not a reason to buy. Make sure your headline focuses on your most important benefit, rather than simply stating the product name.
2. Include Two Types of Benefits. Most sell sheets need to emphasize two types of benefits: those for the immediate buyer (such as why the garden center can expect strong sell-through), and those for the end user (such as why the product will make the consumer a better gardener).
3. Illustrate the Product Well. Favor a hero shot of the product over multiple equal-sized shots. Show the product in use. Use smaller supporting shots to illustrate packaging, retail displays and/or easy assembly.
4. Make Copy Easy to Read. Stay away from long paragraphs of copy. Break up key points with short bullets. Pay attention to photo captions, which are always highly read.
5. Include a Call to Action. Don’t make people search for your contact information. Include a prominent phone number and/or URL with an “Order today.” When appropriate, include an offer with a cutoff date.
Incorporate these few elements, and you’ll make your sell sheets more effective than 95% of the competition.