The Look That Sells

Graphics and design are a vital part of any sales letter. But before you let your graphic designer take over, make sure you keep this in mind:

  • Always, always, always ask your designer to read the copy. I’m blown away by how many don’t. And it shows. Boy, does it show.
  • The general rule is that good design can’t make bad copy work, but bad design can destroy the performance of good copy.
  • Fancy design isn’t always good design. Your first aim is readability. Your second is to make sure the copy isn’t obscured by the design. Good design makes the copy look and feel easy to read.
  • If you throw your finished sales piece onto a table with other finished sales pieces… and it disappears into the pile… you’ve got a problem.
  • No screened images behind text. No screened images behind text. Did I mention? Please avoid screened images behind text.
  • When in doubt, cut graphics before cutting copy. Really. By the time the designer gets a piece, the copy should be airtight. Or close to it. Graphics are less important than the written message. That’s just the way it goes.
  • Designers need to understand the motivations of their target market just as much as marketers and copywriters do. There’s no way to be a good designer when you’re working in a vacuum.

Follow these guidelines, and the design of your sales pieces will always enhance – not detract from – your sales message.

[Ed. Note: Your new business can be profitable much faster with the mentorship of an experienced business builder. Experts like copywriter John Forde give you everything you need to make a business grow and prosper. All you have to do is put their secrets into action.

And for more marketing strategies, sign up for John’s free e-letter, The Copywriter’s Roundtable.]

John Forde's 15-year career as a top copywriter started as an understudy of Bill Bonner and Michael Masterson. Since then, John has written countless winning controls, has generated well over $30 million in sales, and has successfully launched dozens of products. He's also worked three years as a financial journalist and has written books on wealth building and health, as well as more than 250 articles on copywriting for his popular ezine, The Copywriter's Roundtable. John has taught copywriting in private seminars and conferences in Paris, London, Bonn, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Baltimore, and Warsaw. He currently lives and works from Paris, France.