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Take the Test Part II: Do Your Marketing Materials Really Grab Attention?

by Nancy J. Wagner

Today’s constant bombardment of marketing messages means your materials must grab your prospects attention in the first few seconds, or your efforts are wasted.

 How do you know if your marketing materials will prompt your prospect to keep reading?  Take this simple test:  hold each of your marketing pieces at arm’s length and answer the following questions:

1.  Got white space? If your materials look crowded, add white space by increasing the sides, top or bottom margins. Try adding extra blank spaces between each section so the information is more readable.  You should also add headlines to break up the text.  Consider editing your copy and eliminating wasteful graphics to gain even more space.

Too much white space pushes prospects away just as much as when there is too little.  To make sure prospects give your piece more than a glance, add meaningful content or graphics to keep prospects reading.

2. Do the graphics really pertain to what you’re selling?  Include graphics with meaning and get rid of the rest.  Effective graphics should either further the prospect’s understanding of your products and services or provide additional information necessary to the buying decision.  They should not push the prospect away from the selling process by acting as fillers without meaning. Consider adding illustrations, diagrams, or happy customer photos to keep things meaningful.

3. Are the headlines readable? Reading sales literature is just like reading the newspaper – most readers scan the headlines to determine if they’ll continue reading the rest of the article.  If you cannot clearly see your piece’s headlines at arm’s length, you need to make the font bigger.  Typically, marketing materials use at least a 14 point bold Arial or Helvetica font for headlines and an 11 or 12 point Times or Times New Roman font for the content that follows.

4. Where’s your contact info?  If you can’t find your contact info within 1-2 seconds, prospects won’t find it either.  Whether you want prospects to call, email, or write you, provide your contact information on every single side of your marketing materials, and make sure it stands out from the rest of the content.

Incorporate these ideas into your materials, add meaningful, benefit, sales-oriented copy, and prospects will use your materials for their true purpose – to express interest in what you’re selling.