Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Super Cheap, Super Green Marketing Technique

We live in the information age.  Information is currency.  Information is value.  Information demonstrates importance.  Create informational one-sheets in PDF format.  Have them easily accessible from your website.  Send them as e-mail attachments.  Print them and hand them out to people you meet.  Next time small business is investing $3000, $5,000, or $10,000 in brochure printing, ask yourself how many pages of high-quality information that marketing money could produce, and how you could distribute that information.

What is a One-Sheet?

Put simply it's a single sheet of information printed one side on 8.5 x 11 paper.  The goal is a One-Sheet is to promote one product or one idea.  It can be a list, "Top 10 Ways to...".  It can be persuasive, "25 Reasons You Should...".  It can even be directly promoting a product, "Frequently Asked Questions about XYZ-Company.com."

The benefits of a One-Sheet:
Super cheap!  Run them off on your inkjet printer.  Get color photocopies printed on heavier or colored paper.  Even four color printing on high gloss paper is inexpensive in this format.

Super focused!  Because it's so inexpensive to do small runs, you can create custom one sheets for tiny audiences.  You can even produce a custom One-Sheet for an individual customer.

Super green!  A One-Sheet doesn't have to be a sheet at all.  Create it as a PDF file and distribute it via e-mail, on your website, or tweet it over Twitter.

Super freebie!  One-Sheets can be terrific giveaways and list building items.  If your information is unique and has value to your audience, they will desire it enough to trade it for their contact information.
The pitfall of a One-Sheet:

Even very well done One-Sheets can look cheap.  It isn't ideal for all products and services.  It's a terrific supplement to your other marketing materials when it comes to high-end products.  It's a great way to highlight extremely specialized products with small audiences.  It's a great way to provide value to your customers at a low cost.  With this said, don't make the mistake of swapping out your high-quality marketing pieces with a One-Sheet.  Your customers recognize the time and energy and money you invest in marketing.  They recognize that that investment is an investment in them.

Recently I did a little bit of window shopping at a Porsche dealership.  I called just to learn about pricing and using my telephone to kick the tires.  Even though I wasn't a hot prospect, the salesperson sent me three high-quality color books describing minutia every detail of three models of Porsche.  I didn't buy, but had I had the money and needed a sports car I would have certainly looked into the automobiles further.

The point is that had the dealer sent me three sheets of paper, even on high-quality glossy stock, they would not have represented well the automobile I was considering.  One sheets would not have sold me a Porsche.

Had I purchased a Porsche and needed a roof rack for my surfboard (okay, this story is getting ridiculous) a One-Sheet definitely could have described the roof rack in plenty of detail to encourage me to buy.

One sheets can be a valuable asset to your marketing mix if used appropriately.
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