A sell sheet is a concise, one-page description of a product and its applications, features, and benefits. Though it’s small, it can be mighty—it's a relatively inexpensive marketing collateral and can make a big impact that can result in sales. That's why it's called a sell sheet.
Matt Carter of MGX Mindshare likens sell sheets to leaving your resume with a prospective employer after a job interview: "you've left a physical reminder of your capabilities that doesn't require the Internet to find. Many customers still prefer something tangible—something they can hold in their hands and, in turn, pass along to others."
While a sell sheet can be sent in an email or direct mail package, typically it's a "leave-behind" to present to potential customers after a sales presentation or product launch. It serves several key purposes:
- Reinforcing your marketing message
- Summarizing key product attributes and competitive differentiators
- Stimulating interest in the product and why you'd want to use it
- Providing sales contact and ordering information
Sell Sheets in Media Kits
Another use of sell sheets is as part of a media kit. They provide details to potential reviewers and press contacts to ensure accurate reporting. Similarly, sell sheets are useful additions to a marketing kit. For salespeople, they provide quick talking points. For distributors, they provide quick details to help them decide whether to carry a product.
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What You Should Include
An effective sell sheet contains:
- Full-color, high-resolution product pictures that literally show the product in its best light.
- A one-paragraph product description that provides selling points, including what makes it unique, and how it's going to save money, improve efficiency, and make people happier
- Bullet points of benefits: the problem(s) solved by the product, service or business
- Bullet points of key features (keep it short)
- The product's SKU, UPC, and/or other item number
- The price, including an range of prices, pricing formulas, or pricing options (you might not want to specify a price if it is subject to negotiation)
- Contact information for wholesalers, distributors, sales representatives, agents, or other intermediaries who represent your business
- Product dimensions, options, colors, and any special usage requirements
- Your website, email, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media information, along with physical mailing address and contact info
- A "call to action" about how to order or get more information, for example, special offers, bulk discounts, or other promotions likely to trigger a response
Sell sheets are all about providing this information in an easy-to-read format. They should reflect a graphic look that is consistent with your brand identity. Sell sheets make it as easy as possible for potential customers to do business with you, and for existing customers to refer new business to you.