9 Ways to Improve the Order Card
2. Use These Reminders
Reminding prospects why they should respond is fundamental to an effective order card. "Discount. No obligation. Guarantee. Free shipping. Limited time deadline," lists Friesen, who also says that order cards should carry phone numbers and URLs, especially if this is how most people respond.
According to Friesen, in classic solo mailings, the order card/reply is often the ONE piece of the mailing that is kept for later response. "If you don't remind the person of why she/he kept it, you limit your opportunity to response success," she describes.
3. Create Economic Attraction
You also need to describe what prospects get in exchange for their replies. Sheldon refers to order cards that display grids with both percentage and price savings, highlighted cost-effective options and mini-benefit summaries.
"Savings must be highlighted. I'm a big proponent of involvement devices, respond-by dates and the effective use of credit," agrees Elaine Tyson, copywriter and president of Tyson Associates in Brookfield, Conn. She also recommends the use of the power word "free," and if you use a premium, make sure it appears to have value and is a part of the order form.
4. Make It Simple for the Prospect
Of course, one tendency that needs to be avoided is littering the order card with too much copy and too many ways to respond. Friesen says mailers should be testing and monitoring how the majority of their responses come in, then include the top two or three ways to respond. "Don't give too many options or you'll confuse people by forcing them to make a decision," she asserts.
Tyson concurs, "Simple, easy-to-use order cards always work best, except for sweeps where the more, the merrier."
5. Make It Stand Out
Too many order cards look like, yes, another vanilla order card. Blah. If they're so important - they are - then make them stand out. "Include something visual to draw the eye to the card ... a photo of the free kit they'll receive, a picture of the product in someone's hand. Remember, people are drawn to images of people, hands, eyes and other human elements," describes Friesen, who also recommends using clever design techniques - certificate borders, colored paper stock, background tints - to make the card look both valuable and interesting.