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The Little Things Count
8 Things to Remember When Designing a Direct Sales Piece

By: Keller Flynn

Keller Flynn offers the full spectrum of tools, ideas and action steps needed to create and run a successful affiliate program. Reach him at or 801-328-9006. Get his Extra Money Newsletter at to learn more about how you can profit from the affiliate boom.

When it comes to designing a direct sales piece, whether it be a brochure or a sales letter, the little things really do count. Focus as much on presentation as you do on the message.

Keep these 8 essential tips in mind when designing your direct sales piece, and your results will go through the roof:

  1. Bullet Points - The human eye is drawn to text that is preceded by a bullet point. Bullet points shout to the reader, "Pay special attention to me! I am important!"

    Write up a laundry list of benefits. Make them easy to read so prospects can skim through them quickly and get the gist of what you can do for them. And always keep your laundry list of benefits bulleted so the reader can't miss it.

  2. Cliff-hangers - Continue the last sentence of your paragraph on the next page of your direct sales piece. Try to ask a question or give a solution. This technique is called a cliff-hanger. If your reader wants to find out what will happen, he/she will have to turn the page. Because so many people fail to make it to the second page of a direct sales piece, it is essential to use cliff-hangers to hook your readers.

  3. Simple Layout - Don't confuse your reader with tricky layout. Keep your indents, underlining, centering and subheadings consistent. And don't justify your right margins.

  4. Mini-headlines - You can use paragraph headings like mini-headlines to help your message stand out and keep the reader's eye flowing down the page. Keep these headings the same color as your letterhead to give them that extra oomph.

  5. Font - It's always tempting to experiment with the myriad of font choices your computer offers, but don't get carried away. Some of those fonts are impossible to read. My advice is to stick with courier because it is the easiest to read.

  6. Stationary - Keep your direct sales piece looking classy with color stationary and good paper stock. Don't go for the flimsy stuff just because it's cheaper. Your results will speak for themselves.

  7. Envelope Size - Size really does matter when it comes to direct sales. Mail your letter in a 9 X 12 envelope and people will think they are getting something important.

  8. Personal Touches - Address the envelope by hand. It makes the recipient of the sales piece feel special and important because you took the time to add that personal touch. Sales pitches come addressed by a computer, but a letter from a friend comes hand-addressed. Your prospects will be more likely to open a friendly letter than one they know contains a sales pitch.

    It also helps to use a real stamp instead of a postage meter. Again, people will think you took the time out to personally lick each stamp and place it on their envelope. It adds that personal touch that most sales pieces lack.

© Copyright 2002, Keller Flynn.

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