Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
While one-pagers (aka sales sheets) can be a useful tool for awareness and sales for all types of businesses, like many tools, they can either be effective or a waste of effort and space.
Drawing on my experience designing documents for clients and my own business, I’ve put together this information that will help you know how to make and use marketing one-pagers.
Table of contents
- What are marketing sales sheets?
- How long should a marketing one-pager be?
- What information belongs on a marketing one-sheet?
- What information belongs on a sales sheet for a service or product?
- What information belongs on a sales sheet for a business?
- Are marketing one-pager documents for digital or print?
- What should you do with your marketing one-pager?
- What should you use to design your marketing one-pager?
- Design tips for your marketing one-pager
What are marketing sales sheets?
One-pagers or sales sheets are brief documents that distill vital information about what you do/sell, who you’re selling to, and how they can get in touch with you. They’re a great way to present your company in an easily digestible format that feels personal when shared with a prospect.
One-pagers can be used for both B2B and B2C organizations. They’re especially useful for explaining the benefits of your product or service to new customers, who may not be familiar with what you do (the awareness part of your marketing funnel).
How long should a marketing one-pager be?
While one-pagers are often actually two-pagers, they shouldn’t be any longer than a front-and-back document. Once they hit 3 pages, they’re no longer one-pagers—they’re brochures.
Keep it stupidly simple. One of the things I most commonly come up against while working with businesses on their marketing documents, landing pages, or digital ads is the need to continually encourage them to SAY LESS.
It’s tempting to try to cram waaaaaay too many words in these kinds of communications. I know you’re working hard to get in front of their eyeballs and while you have them, you want to tell them as much as you possibly can.
Think about it this way: these documents are like an elevator pitch. Don’t corner them in the elevator to tell them your life story. It’s overwhelming and insecure like you’re assuming you’ll never get another chance to talk to them ever again. Another way to think about it is like a first date. Don’t overshare and make it awkward.
What information belongs on a marketing one-sheet?
A one-sheet can be about your business on the whole—like a very short capabilities document. Or they can be about one particular product or service you offer.
In either of these cases, this is a great opportunity to share the why how what about your business or product along with the at-a-glance info they need to take the next step.
What information belongs on a sales sheet for a service or product?
In a one-sheet that I redesigned for a PPE company’s nitrile gloves product, I made sure to communicate two categories of information:
The front page included an eye-catching visual with high-level USPs and claims about the product.
The back page contained the technical information that a customer or prospect may want to know if the front page intrigues them.
What information belongs on a sales sheet for a business?
If your one-sheet is an at-a-glance look at your business on the whole, it might look something like this one I designed for a digital services B2B company.
This one-pager communicated:
- How they’re different
- Impacts you can expect from working with them
- Overview of products or services provided
While this was designed for distribution in print at an industry symposium, one-pagers don’t always need to be printed.
Are marketing one-pager documents for digital or print?
Both. While sales sheets might be available at your booth at an industry trade show, it can also be effective as a digital PDF.
What should you do with your marketing one-pager?
This may be an assumption I formed because of the types of sell sheets I’ve been hired to design, but I think the most natural thing to think about when distributing a sales sheet is at trade shows or physically putting them in a prospect’s hand.
They are equally effective in digital form as PDFs. The way I’ve seen these used in the past are:
Attachments to cold emails
Posted to business Linkedin pages utilizing their document upload feature.
Attachments in email replies to a request for more information
While it’s tempting to just send a prospect to a page on your website, there’s something more personal about attaching a PDF to an email. It feels less like saying “go over there” and more like saying “here you go!”
You know when you ask someone at a grocery store what aisle something is on and they either wave their hand and say “over there” or they personally walk you there and show you the answer to your need? That’s the difference between sending a prospect to your website and attaching a short, consumable document to your email.
What should you use to design your marketing one-pager?
There are so many ways you can design your document.
A design option for non-designers
If you have experience making slide decks, you can design your document in Keynote, Powerpoint or Google Slides. Set your page setup to whatever size you need it to be for print or screen. This article has some good tips for using slide deck software to design for print.
Options for designers
As a designer, the most common option is Adobe software. Personally, I’m obsessed with Figma and simply cannot wait for it to have CMYK capabilities. In the meantime, you can definitely design documents in Figma if you don’t mind the RGB thing. I wouldn’t use it for something high stakes like packaging, but if your brand colors don’t need to print in very specific tones, you can use Figma because it’s so damn easy and collaborative if you have stakeholders or collaborators to work with on the document.
Personally, I design these documents in Adobe Illustrator if there’s any chance they will be printed.
Design tips for your marketing one-pager
These are a few learnings of my own when it comes to designing your marketing sales sheet.
Start with a blank page and write the content first. Design is a way to organize your content. It’s not where the process begins.
Keep it simple
It’s easy to vomit a shit-ton of words on a page. It’s hard to distill it down. Resist the urge to over-communicate. You may want to hand the first draft over to someone less attached to the project to trim the fat.
Make it easy to take the next step
While all one-sheets include contact info, I think this is a great space for a QR code that takes them straight to their email or SMS app. The easier you make it, the more likely they are to get in touch.
Wishing you the best of luck on your marketing one-pager and please get in touch if you’d like me to help!