9 Ways to Improve the Order Card
The role of the order card in the direct mail piece has always been important. "The main purpose is to state (or restate) the offer clearly and simply, so it's easy and effortless for the recipient to say, 'Yes.' The sole purpose of the order card is to get the order!" states Heidi Wells, a freelance copywriter based in Chicago.
Now, in this current cramped economic climate, the order card's role is heightened. For a mailing to garner solid response rates amid a prospect base that's increasingly choosy with its money, it needs to perform brilliantly. "Because packages are getting leaner every time we take a breath, OCs are forced to do some selling as well," adds Ruth Sheldon, a New York City-based copywriter and president of Ruth K. Sheldon & Associates.
In the standard order card, prospects should be guided through the ordering process in a strategic and organized manner, comments Todd Lerner, copywriter/designer and owner of Todd Lerner Advertising in Farmington Hills, Mich. "But just because past order cards for a product functioned a certain way doesn't mean things can't be taken to another level. We are always searching for opportunity to make responding easier," he relates.
In other words, push the prospect toward the mail-in, phone or Web site response. Here are nine ways to do exactly that.
1. Keep Them in the Package!
First of all, in this age of cutting the package down, some direct mail campaigns aiming for Web or phone responses take the dangerous step of removing the order card. Don't do it. "I've heard of tests where mailings WITH order cards/reply cards outperformed those without ... even if most responses came in by phone," says Pat Friesen, a copywriter based in Leawood, Kan.
Just as important, Friesen reminds that the order card is also your "offer card." It's the one place where the entire offer is summarized (in very few words) as a reminder of why people should respond and what they get when they do so.