Order forms are a key component of any direct mail piece and we could easily fill an afternoon on them, both online and offline. Frankly, most marketers don’t spend nearly enough time on them. Don’t think this only applies to an exchange of money. If you’re doing lead generation marketing where no money is exchanging hands, the techniques and strategies are identical.
So why are order forms so important? Because they’re often one of the first pieces read. We know that a lot of people will go directly to the order form, even search out one in the direct mail package if they believe they’re being sold something. Why do they do this? Simply, we’ve been programmed to go there to look for the price!
I’ve included a great example of a direct mail order from right here. It comes from Joe Polish for his“I Love Marketing” live event. I suggest you go read it, and then come back here for further analysis.
First, you never want to call it an order form, at least in the literature that you send your clients, it has negative connotations. You’ll notice Joe calls it a “No-Risk Enrollment.” You could also call it, “Risk FREE Action Form,” “I Love Marketing Acceptance Form,” or even “100% Risk Free Activation Form.”
Next, you want to think of the order form as a selling device itself, where the recipient never read the sales letter. You want to restate the major benefits, restate the offer, restate the bonus(es) and premiums, and restate the GUARANTEE (This is a BIGGIE!). You’ll notice Joe does this in his form by restating his “Better than risk free guarantee,” right on the enrollment, drawing attention to it with bolds and italics.
You want to write it in the customers own, excited voice and state ordering in a positive way. Joe does an excellent job of this. He uses, “YES, Joe and Dean! Sign me up! I’m excited to come to your new “I love marketing event so I can…” I’ve also used, “Yes, Travis! I’d be absolutely crazy no to…” The best performing order forms use some form of this language.
Joe also gives clear and easy to understand payment instructions under the sub-head, “There are two easy ways to sign up now.” He further gives a small discount for faxing in the enrollment. This is obviously the behavior he wants to reinforce, so he rewards it. Typically you want to give multiple ways to respond, but my guess is Joe has tested this extensively and has found that his two best options are fax (which he obviously prefers) or by phone. Notice there’s no website, I’m sure this is not by accident.
I’ve also seen marketers give incentives such as free shipping, or added bonuses for using a preferred payment method, like credit cards. When American Express was the ‘gold standard’ for credit cards, you’d often seen marketers add further discounts or bonuses for using their Am Ex (why’s that? No credit limits, the order was virtually guaranteed to go through).
There’s incentive to respond right away, with an expiration date tied to a price increase. You’ll often see marketers take away premiums or bonuses the later you respond (not done here). He also gives payment option (almost always a good idea), and an immediately upsell to bring a guest for $297.
The immediate and one-time upsell is often overlooked as well. I’ve seen direct mailers upsell a product for as much as $3,000, with no mention of the product even in the sales letter, by simply adding it to the enrollment or response form!
Lastly, this particular enrollment is a standard 8.5” x 11.” I’ve often used (and prefer to use) 8.5” x 14.” This gives me ample room to get every piece of pertinent information on my form, and still give the prospect or client plenty of room to complete the written portion of the form. Don’t overlook this! If they start to fill it out and cannot get all their information written, they likely will STOP. Buyers can extremely fickle, and will abandon a purchase at the drop of a hat.
Marketing Tip Readers Only Special
I’m always on the lookout for the best and latest in direct mail. I recently came across new express envelopes that are killing it in direct mail right now. And you can get 15% these new designs. You’ll want to add the express envelopes to your cart then select “view cart.” You can then add the promo code express15. You can also call 888-250-1834 to order.
But that’s not all; we have three other all new styles that virtually guarantee your client or prospect opens and read your letter. Below are two more images of our newest editions and you will want to check them out here. The version comes in a 6 x 9 style and a 9 x 12 version:
Guarantee your client or prospect reads your letter with our “faux” Express Envelopes! I absolutely LOVE using the fake express envelopes.
What’s great about these envelopes is the postage rate is the same as regular first class mail. The 6 x 9 version is the same as a “regular” envelope, just $0.49 under 1 oz. for first class postage.
The 9 x 12 is the same postage rate as any other large envelope weighing between 1 and 2 oz., which is $1.20 for first class postage. Get any of our Express Envelopes for 15% off when you use Promo Code express15.
You’ll want to add the express envelopes to your cart then select “view cart.” You can then add the promo code express15. Use this link to see our entire line of express envelopes.
You can call to order as well, 888-250-1834. We’ll be able to answer any questions you have and take your order quickly, right over the phone. We’re open 8 AM to 5 PM PST, Monday through Friday.