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14 Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing One Sheets

by Jennifer Beever on January 16, 2012

Over the years I’ve assembled a book of sample one sheets that I use to review with clients. With these 1-sheet samples I’ve been able to point out some of the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of creating marketing one-pagers. The sample book has been a hit at the 1-sheet workshops that I help teach for ProVisors. Below are the one sheet do’s and don’ts:

one sheets pomegranates

One Sheet Do’s

Do be strategic. A one sheet or one pager isn’t just about copy, design and printing. What are you selling? How is it positioned against the competition? What is unique about it?

Do have a great headline. People buy based on emotions. Your one sheet headline can be an immediate emotional grabber to get their attention and get them to read more.

Do have some personality. Boring colors, conservative design, staid business copywriting, boring details about your product or service. SNORE! What’s your story? What makes me want to read this one sheet?

Do include testimonials. You can say whatever you want about your product or services. What really matters is what others say about it.

Do design with the Z in mind. (See my previous blog post about this, Do You Zee What I Zee?) People read ads and one sheets in a Z format, so have a great headline at the top, a scanable, easy-to-digest mid-section , and your call to action in the lower right corner.

Do use a professional designer. Look at samples from the designer. Talk to references. Make sure they are not churning out the same or similar designs every time – you want to stand out, not fade out along with everyone else.

Do include a call to action. If your one sheet just says what you do or simply describes a product with no call to action, ho-hum! What do you want the reader to do? Scan a QR code and view a custom landing page on their smart phone? Pick up the phone and call you? Go to your site to get the free whitepaper about a product or service? Ask them to do something and make it worth their while.

One Sheet Don’ts

Don’t use up all the space on the one-page. A little white space is a good thing. Too much text, graphics, bullets, and other stuff will turn off the reader.

Don’t use clip art for your one sheet images. I didn’t think you would. But don’t!

Don’t be text-heavy. People don’t read much anymore. They are inundated with information. You have seconds to get their attention and engage them with your message.

Don’t pose artificially for your photo. A nice haircut, nice clothes, a confident smile are good. Posing with your chin on your hands or your head tilted in a weird angle is not good.

Don’t use ubiquitous business photos for your 1-pager. The photo of the handshake (with no people attached). The photo of the courtroom columns. The photo of the gavel. What else – hourglasses, ostrich with head in sand, eyeglasses or pen on top of financial report. Been there done that!

Don’t try to say it all. Don’t include your past, present and future including who you were, who you want to be, your product or company’s entire history, every product detail or specification, where you got your degrees, what awards you’ve received, what associations you belong to, where you were born, etc. Focus on three things: 1.) what message will get people’s attention, 2.) what will get them interested in you, and 3.) what will get them to act on your call to action. By the way, your call to action may be for them to go to your website to get all those details you wanted to include on the one sheet!

Don’t leave your marketing one sheet on the shelf. Insert the one sheet in mailers. Take it to trade shows, conferences, and presentations. Include it with proposals and invoices. Make it a downloadable PDF from your website.

For more information on one-sheets and to see some sample one sheets at the end of the post, go to my previous blog entry, 5 Secrets of Creating Successful One Sheets. For help on your one sheet or more information about New Incite’s One Sheet production services, please contact us via our website form or call us at 1-818-347-4248.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Beever February 15, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Amy, thank you for the link. Here’s to more great one sheets!

Toby Beresford September 19, 2013 at 2:03 am

Great advice Jennifer, do you have any advice on how to create the online version of the product sheet? This is an example of one of mine for a sales performance leaderboard…. http://www.leaderboarded.com/home/genie/sales-performance/ We’re a startup so happy to get constructive criticism! Thanks

Jennifer Beever September 20, 2013 at 11:53 am

Hi Toby,

If you’re asking how to create a compelling product page on your website, I think that the best thing you could add to the example you provided is a video of a customer telling us what benefit they’ve gotten from the Sales Performance Leaderboard. And, I don’t see a call-to-action. What do you want me to do when I look at this page? Is there something that doesn’t have non-sales pressure that I can do, like download a whitepaper on why leaderboards incite salespeople to perform better or get a free trial?

Unlike print ads and one sheets where people scan the content in a “Z”, on web pages they typically scan in an “F” – across the top, across the middle, down the left side. Obviously you don’t want to have important information like a call to action in the lower right of the page, so that visitors have to scroll. A compelling graphic showing people using the product would probably help also. I hope this helps.

Jennifer Beever June 2, 2014 at 10:44 am

Ruth, thanks for mentioning my post on one sheets!

Heather October 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Hi – What do you recommend calling a one sheet when it is posted on your website? “Overview” “One Sheet”….?

Jennifer Beever October 21, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Hi Heather, I think Overview or Brochure are clear names. If the one sheet is about a product it can be called Product Sheet or Product Details. Depending on your business style or culture, you can get more creative and name the document “Facts about _____” or “Fun Facts about ______,” or possibly “Things You Must Know about _____.”

star May 28, 2015 at 5:32 pm

Hi there,

I would love help developing a one sheet for our products!

Jennifer Beever August 28, 2015 at 7:43 am

Hi Star,

We sent you a private email reply back in May. Let us know how your one sheet is going.

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