24 tips to make your order forms work hard so your customers don’t have to
Direct marketing guru Bob Stone once observed that order forms are the “moment of truth.” While your letter, brochure and other inserts spur people to action, the physical act of response comes down to filling out and returning the order form. The job of an order form is not to persuade but to make response easy and quick: It’s a facilitator meant to keep the action going and not get in the way.
Here are some ideas to consider implementing to make your order forms work harder, so responding is easier on your customers:
Get your order form noticed. Everything in a direct mail package should lead to the order form. You can coordinate the form with the other pieces, but if it looks too similar it could get lost. Try a different color or size, an eye-catching graphic, a certificate border, a headline that indicates it’s the order piece, or anything else to make it stand out in the package.
Include a statement of acceptance. This is a line written from the customer’s point of view as if the customer is restating his or her understanding of the deal. It should include an affirmation, a benefit statement, a request for the item, a summary of the offer, sweeteners and a guarantee. Example: “Yes! I want to cut my taxes in half. Please send my copy of ‘How to Instantly Cut Your Income Tax’ for just $29.95. And if I respond by January 12, I’ll also get the TaxSlash computer program FREE (a $39.00 value). I understand that if I’m not completely satisfied, I can return the book for a full refund—but I’ll keep the computer program as my gift.”
Highlight the complete offer. This includes total price, applicable sales tax, shipping and handling charges, minimum orders, international charges, guarantee, premiums, expiration date, etc. All of this information won’t necessarily fit into the acceptance statement, but it needs to be somewhere on the order form for clarity.