Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Want to Up Mail Response? Don't Neglect the Order Form

We're surprised to see some direct mailers neglecting a key response device: the order form. Although a growing percentage of customers are being driven online to complete response, the old-fashioned printed order form is still important. Cutting corners, all the way to form elimination, to reduce print and postage costs can backfire in terms of revenue and ROI. Statistics show that 10%-12% of mail response can be attributed to the order form, for example. In fact, after the envelope, the order form is often the first piece of a direct mail package that the recipient reviews because it is a quick way to assess offer and pricing. That's why a good order form will repeat the sales pitch simply and powerfully--with a killer headline, briefly restated offer and visual impact. Visually, symbols/icons are especially effective with today's audiences because people are so accustomed to shorthand graphics online and in digital calls to action. It's a given that personalization is vital to direct mail response today, and that power extends to the order form, with pre-filled name and address information for example. (Here's another reason to make sure your mailing list data is clean and accurate!) A good form not only makes it clear how to order and makes it easy to order, it also adds a sense of urgency to close the deal. An order form set aside "for later" may be a response lost forever. For some great examples from real-life mailers, check out order form improvement tips from DirectMarketingIQ, which draws on the mail monitoring resources of Who's Mailing What!:

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