Pass-Along Order Forms- Double-Dipping for Customers
As mailers look to squeeze more profitability out of every mailing, it might be a good time to consider testing the inclusion of a pass-along order form, at least to your best customers.
A pass-along order form is simply an extra order form with some sales copy inserted into a solo direct mail campaign, in the hopes that the primary recipient will share the offer with a friend, family member or co-worker.
According to Robert Lerose, a freelance copywriter in Uniondale, NJ, pass-along order forms tend to work best with your current customers who already have a relationship with you. Prospects may be new to both your company and your product offer, so it's in your interest to focus on getting that first sale before attempting to build advocacy.
Susan K. Jones, a freelance copywriter in East Grand Rapids, says the key to getting pass-along response is the audience. If you serve a market that shares a common obsession, like teddy bears, or a set of specific experiences, like veterans, then you can more easily ask a customer to tell others about your offer. When they do, it then imbues your offer with the credibility of the person sharing the information.
The basic idea with the pass-along order form is to boil down the full-dress direct mail package to just the essence of the sales pitch. The piece should provide all the details the secondary prospect needs to respond to the offer, and be compact enough that the primary prospect can simply hand it off.
Lerose has used a double postcard as a pass-along order form with one client, and likes the amount of space the format offers. Besides being able to run two lettersfor different voiceshis client can also test this effort against other mailings.
In this instance, the client received such good response that it added the double postcard pass-along order form to all its other mailings for its product line.
Make sure you offer the same deal to both the primary and secondary prospect. Jones adds that a strong premium can often be the primary driver behind the original recipient letting a friend in on the offer, so don't forget those response incentives.
It's also important to make the pass-along order form stand out from the other elements in the mailing so it gets attention. You can do this with shape and color, but it's wise to spell it out for recipients with a line of copy, either in a burst or a corner slash, that tells them the piece is an order form to share with others, says Lerose.
Once you've taken the extra effort to create a modified version of your main package, don't drop the ball by forgetting to track response.
One of the advantages of a separate order form that can sell on its own is the ability to print a key code on it for tracking against the primary mailing and the lists used.
Jones recommends tracking pass-along order forms by the lists you mail to identify those audiences that feel strong enough about your products and offers to advocate for you. You can then look for more lists like the ones that produced this kind of favorable reaction.
* Double postcard.
* Large postcard with a perforated business reply card.
* Bangtail business reply envelope, with large back flap for sales copy.
Markets with Potential
Y Craft/Hobby Enthusiasts
Key Elements of a Pass-Along Order Form
1. All terms of the offer, including response instructions., price and premiums.
2. Top benefits of product.
3. Picture of the product, if applicable.
4. Contact information.
5. The guarantee.