Dissecting a Simple Winning Order Card
Glancing at the National Review order card shown at right, you might wonder: "How can this guy write a whole article about such a straightforward reply device?" But consider Apple's simple-looking iPod, which works well and does not at first reveal all the care that went into its making.
Let's look at the thinking behind this reply card—from a package we recently did that handily won National Review its new control.
1. Free Color on the Outer Envelope
The old control, against which this tested, had a two-color card with no picture. For a new business pitch, however, we like to show the product. But four-color printing costs more, and representing the magazine in black and white looks shoddy. So we stretched and came up with a solution.
We printed the magazine cover image in full color on the order card, then let the package leverage that color. First, we amortized the cost by assigning the picture double duty: There's a big second window on the outer envelope through which the color photo shows.
With color on the reply card and outer envelope, the package could now get away with cutting color everywhere else. The old control had two-color printing on the outer envelope, insert and letter, but this package saved money by using one color. Furthermore, where the old control had a two-panel insert and a four-page letter, this package cut costs by using a one-panel insert and a one-page letter. After all, we're giving away a free issue of the magazine, so why unnecessarily drone on and on with a long-winded communication?
The end result is a package with an upscale, full-color feel, adding perceived value to the brand with no increase in printing expenses.
2. Boring, Uncreative Headline
An order card is the last place to demonstrate a flair for clever headline writing-especially if something is being given away free. The old control headline lamented, "YES, send me some SANITY free!" ... whereas this card gets right to the point and leads with: "Free Courtesy Issue." Trust us with another soft-offer (free product) assignment and we'll most likely come up with a similar headline. Call us uncreative.