How to create a one pager for Sales (and everyone else)
If an elevator pitch is the essential distillation of a 20 or 45 minute presentation, a one-pager is the same but for your library of product marketing materials. If you haven’t producted any one pagers yet, you are missing a basic tool from your sales toolkit. If your expanding on your existing resources, there’s always an opportunity to build one-sheet that’s just a little bit better.
A one-pager is a bit of a paradox - seemingly simple, but ultimately it’s the product of careful choices and thorough editing. That is exactly what makes it such an effective tool for achieving your sales objectives.
A good one-pager:
- Gives potential clients a sharp reminder of two or three pain points.
- Presents a few compelling features of your business that directly address those pain points.
- Gives readers a quick, straightforward call to action.
Simplicity and focus are the keys to an effective one-pager, but they can’t be achieved without a disciplined content strategy. People are absolutely bombarded by an unprecedented amount of info in our increasingly content-saturated world, and you need your one-pager to cut through that noise with clarity to maximize conversions and expand your reach. No one has time – or is going to make the time – to make sense of a detailed product spec sheet or to read through tables of data for every business that crosses their path.
That’s why a one-pager is an invitation to learn more, not an attempt to cover every possible angle. It may take time to sort out exactly what will be most engaging to your prospects and customers, but it is worth doing it right 👍.
Spending time and energy in producing a great one-pager is a long-term investment in evergreen content, as it can both generate interest and effectively drive traffic to your website and be a key deliverable that sales uses to kickoff an opportunity. Just as that short pitch you and your team have developed can work for different audiences and settings, a one-pager with a direct, engaging style can be used in outreach emails, social media, as a download or link from business association pages, as a follow up from an initial conversation, and more. That means it’s going to be used by marketing team members, AEs, SDRs, and even customer success managers across the entire buyer’s journey – from initial awareness building to customer expansion efforts.
Your business will require a unique strategy fit to your objectives, products, and services, but the essential one-pager elements are the same for all successful businesses. To make sure you have all the information you’ll need to create a great one-sheet asset, we have a super simple checklist:
Let’s break that down.
One pager checklist
Before you start testing out fonts and dreaming up graphics for your one-pager, make sure you have the content nailed down:
- Persona / buyer profile - Identify your ideal customer. Do you know who your audience for this one pager really is? ✓
- Value proposition - Are you describing solving a problem? Are you addressing a fear or frustration? Describe the before-state and what happens if no action is taken (to drive urgency and next steps). ✓
- Simplify - If you have multiple products/services, then produce one page per product / service and develop separate one-pagers for categories (verticals, industries, solutions) as overviews. ✓
- Short background - Make sure to have a brief background on your company and business. But be brief! ✓
- Be better - Describe how you do what you do. Describe how you do it better. ✓
- Proof - Get and include customer / client validation quotes. Social proof to back up your claims. ✓
- Next steps - Did you include a CTA (call to action)? Don’t forget to repeat your primary CTA. But also include slow and medium speed conversion options. Not sure what we’re talking about? We wrote up more on conversions and content strategy here. ✓
- Write it down - Build a content brief with everything you’re capturing here. Easy to share with the team. Easy to iterate on the one-pager in production. ✓
- Great design - Get an awesome designer. Don’t skip making it look great! ✓
Now that you’ve prepped for an awesome one sheet asset, let’s put that checklist to work.
Plan and deliver your one pager
So, once you have checked off the list above, you are on the path to creating a great one-pager for sales. The path doesn’t need to be too straight, though - think creatively about how to present the crucial information and capture some of the spirit of what makes your business unique. Be sure that whatever choices you make are backed up by solid insights into what drives conversions among your potential clients.
Then, dig in:
One pager means one-page!
Your content absolutely MUST fit on one page. This will likely require some sacrifices in terms of the number of pain points you list or the depth of detail you give, but remember that this is an invitation to learn more - you want it to be appealing, engaging, and drive potential customers to take the next step.
Have outstanding design
You have fractions of a second to capture a person’s attention. You need great visual design to do that. Think about organizing your design around a Z pattern - viewers will naturally scan the top of the page, then move diagonally across the page before scanning back across the bottom. Orient your most important, attention-getting information along this path, and use unique, on-brand visual elements to keep viewers looking. Position your call-to-action in the lower right. Allow plenty of white space so it stands out and creates a natural pause.
Remember that a perfect design is the one that sells your product. A modern, appealing visual is important, and interactive design elements are terrific, but your focus should be on converting attention into action. Use that Z pattern to drive your prospects towards that next step.
Deliver a clear value proposition and have a goal of your own
So what should you be putting on your one-pager?
Think about that invitation - what is it about this particular opportunity that is unique? Your potential customers are busy people. What will they gain from accepting this invitation? Articulate pain points plainly and offer easy-to-grasp solutions as the answer to those pain points.
Another way to think about it - what will you gain if they accept the invitation? What are your goals for the outcome of this one-pager? Knowing the answer will help you narrow down your content and keep it concise and compelling!
We cover more about working backwards from your conversion events in How to Build a Sales Content Strategy.
Create persuasive copy
Design is what will get potential clients to look at your one-pager, but copy is where you create urgency towards the sale. Remember that we are all overwhelmed by information and text. Keep your copy brief, on-brand, and high-energy.
One key to doing that?
Every single word should be doing a job. If there’s a word not pulling its weight, get rid of it! Your grammar should be flawless, your voice active (get rid of those ‘be’ verbs!), and your nouns and verbs powerful enough to skip the adjectives and adverbs.
Never forget the call-to-action
So, you’ve put all this time and energy into creating a terrific resource. Now, make sure you give your prospects a way to act! Go back to that goal you set - do you want them to watch a demo video? Schedule a meeting? Come to an event?
Think about where and how your audience will be viewing this one-pager and how you can build the action directly into the page. Can they open the video right there? Click a link to book an appointment? Open a form to order a sample? If they’ll be seeing a hard copy, can you provide a QR code to direct them to your website? Make it as easy as possible for people to take action so that you achieve your goal.
Go the next step and repeat your primary call to action and include a [slow, medium, and fast conversion]() option if you can. Prospects engage in different ways and different speeds!
Consult Your Team - feedback makes it better
Too many cooks may spoil the soup, but the purpose of a one-pager is to be versatile and maximally effective – not to be a solo work of art. So, think of it more like rehearsing a presentation - you want feedback from as many stakeholders as you can get.
Involving your teammates - and possibly even current customers - in the design and editing process will help you refine your sell sheet to be as effective as it can be. Others will highlight how they get value out of your product and/or services and surfacing insights you might have otherwise skipped.
And, good writers know editing is never really done, so while you will still need to meet your deadlines and get this piece in front of potential clients, your final product will be much stronger if you allow time to brainstorm, get feedback, revise, and repeat. That’s actually why keeping your latest revision live in a solution like Content Camel makes the most sense. You’ll be able to tag, track, and leverage team feedback on next steps for evolving your content.
Use Consistent Branding and Themes
Not every business has a style guide, but every business has a style. Know what yours is - colors, fonts, logos, graphics, etc. If you don’t know, find someone who does - get your team involved!
Your goal with a datasheet is to distill everything essential about your business into one page. You want prospects interactions with your business to feel valuable and seamless. Consistent styles and branding capture the essence of who you are as a company.
Make sure your work feels like a natural extension of your company’s existing visual presence and persona.
Track Your Progress
Once you’ve put your beautiful one pager out there, you will want to know how effective it is. That means focusing on improving your conversion rates. The sales tools available through Content Camel will help you track the impact of your content as your team activates on the new datasheet assets. Beyond organizing all your marketing and sales content (like one pagers!), you will get engagement analytics for all your content, plus suggestions to improve for maximum impact.
A marketing one pager example
Before we wrap up here, let’s take a quick look at a great example of a marketing one pager (or datasheet, sellsheet, fact sheet - whatever you call it internally) from Zendesk.
In the example one-pager, we see that it hits on a lot of the points we’ve covered, but there’s still opportunities for improvement (always!):
- Great datasheet page design ✓
- Strong one-sentence description as a high level intro ✓
- Doesn’t hit on pain points or frustrations to create urgency 𝘅
- Includes a high level overview of capabilities ✓
- Compelling facts as proof points appeal to the logical buyer ✓
- Oops! This asset is missing a strong CTA as an invitation to learn more ☹️
- Customer testimonial is a strong proof point and follows the z-pattern for scanning the content ✓
One more interesting point.
This one pager asset example is actually two pages! But you can bend the “rules” when you have a whole product family or suite of products.
Download the original one page example PDF here.
Before you build that winning one pager:
Mark Twain allegedly once wrote to a friend, “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead.” A solid one-pager can be a very effective way to drive sales and to help create brand impressions for your business, but getting there takes a bit of time.
The best one pagers (sell sheets, datasheets, fact sheets) are the fruit of the collective efforts of marketing and sales departments. You will need to go through multiple iterations and monitor their impact to get the most effective version. The process can be resource intensive and time-consuming, but in a marketplace where quality is rarer than quantity, the value of that process is clear.