Regardless of the term changing depending on the industry, it is one of the most important documents for customers and companies. Yes, I’m talking about data sheets. Some refer to it as a Technical Data sheet (TDS), while some term it as a Product Data sheet (PDS).These documents introduce your product briefly and purchasers (or customers) expect to get technical product information from them.F. Raymond Dewey puts it simply: “To a potential customer, the data sheet is the company…” Data sheets are the first most-consumed content by customers who are considering a technological purchase, according to Eccolo Media’s 2014 B2B Technology Content Survey Report, Vol. 2. Well then, what do you think about the key questions? How do they affect the readers (customers) and what is the significance level of the data sheets in the sales & marketing actions? Can we make an effective and comprehensible TDS?
Indeed, data sheets can be extremely effective when it comes to lead generation, particularly in the technology industry. According to research, data sheets are the first most-valued content source during the purchase stage by business buyers and specifiers and the second most-valued content in the evaluation stage. We can therefore say that data sheets have a considerable effect on sales & marketing.
We believe there are 3 key factors for effective and professional data sheets: Understandable - Concise - Informative.
Understandable: This the main factor for effective data sheets. Readers will glance at them to pick up the main points, and, if they find what they are looking for in the product, they’ll read the other content in depth. So, you should write content that gets to the point quickly and use a very readable layout. I recommend that you use short sentences with well-known technical terms; if possible highlight the most important features with bullet lists. Keep away from grammatical or technical errors, which have negative influence on your branding. The words that define the product’s differences to others or the key properties should not get lost in the text or long paragraphs. This trick will help readers to find what they are looking for in the product’s specific features and benefits.
Concise: Most liked and consumed TDSs or PDSs are concise with 1 or 2 pages. First, you should decide on titles and content, then design your data sheet template. By the way, don’t forget to consider visual materials and branding standards. You can take advantage of TDSmaker’s design tool developed for data sheet templates.
With regards to technical specifics, the most distinct features must be written in the data sheet. However, avoid the overdone marketing statements and content not directly associated with the product features and information like cases, comparisons with competitors or pricing. The data sheet is not advertisement material; in fact, it is an informative technical document somewhere between a brochure and white paper.
Informative: The data sheet should include all of the information needed by the customer to use your product into their process or the users to consume your product. Before starting to choose titles and writing your data sheet, investigating the data sheets of the top players in the market can help you to decide on your content layout. If you want to take a glance at data sheet examples in your sector, you can try the free TDSmaker template library to view data sheet examples in different sectors.
I recommend you use sectorial terminology while producing the content of your data sheet and go for clear, understandable, short sentences (mentioned above). A product description or general definition is essential information for almost all data sheets, but keep this title and statement short and briefly explain your product. As you guessed, specifications are perfect information for the data sheet. The data sheet should provide sufficient technical information to provide the reader with fundamental issues for their process or use case. These technical specs should include details that differ them from other products. Another important title must be features or benefits, which explain your product’s advantages and properties that solve the problems of users or meet their requirements. Information like application or usage will enrich your data sheets and help readers to find your data sheet easily while searching with keywords. Finally, don’t forget to share your contact information like a website, E-mail, or your company telephone number.