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Your order form is the most important part of your sales presentation…in direct mail advertising…in space advertising…and on the web!
Your order form can be tremendously successful for you…or it can flop disastrously, depending on how you design it! Here are rules to follow for printed order forms (in the last issue I covered online order forms).
Design your order form carefully by
following these tested and proven
How do you create an order form to be as successful and productive as it possibly can be? Although it is a very important part of your direct mail package, your order form MUST be able to stand on its own and complete your sale all by itself.
A poorly designed order form is the one single component of your mailing package that can kill your sales immediately. So it’s vitally important that it be designed properly!
Your order form MUST make it AS EASY AS POSSIBLE for your prospects to act once they have been motivated to reply to your direct mail package. Your response device can do little to change a person’s mind in eliciting a favorable reply, but it can stop an order COLD!
Before starting to create a successful order form for your company, please carefully consider these “habit pattern” facts about your prospects…
Many of your prospects will read your letter first. Still others will read the order form first to learn quickly what you want them to do before they decide whether or not to read the rest of your direct mail package. Others will skim your letter quickly…then read the order form, where they should find a concise description of your offer.
Your prospects’ final decision about whether or not to buy from you or to send you a lead is usually made at the order form. It has to be designed properly to get your prospects to act the way you want them to!
Order form sizes usually vary from 3¾" x 8½"…to 8½" x 3½" (fits into a standard business reply envelope without folding) 6" x 9"…to 8½" x 14", depending upon the size of your outer “carrier” envelope and product or service.
It is highly desirable to make your order form as large as possible so it stands out among all the other items in your direct mail package. Your order form must be designed to look as valuable as possible. Prospects must believe that its message and contents are far too valuable for them to toss into the trash.
The order form projects its value from layout, from graphics, from premiums offered, and from the offer itself. A valuable-looking coupon communicates value immediately.
Increase the value of your orders and leads tremendously by following these important rules…for GREAT RESULTS every time!
Make sure your order form is EASY for your prospects to read, use and understand
Your order form MUST be easy to understand and simple to complete. Allow plenty of space for buyers to fill in their credit card information, color choices, item numbers and any other information necessary to complete the order.
Only use direct response graphics—avoid making the order piece a corporate brochure
Graphics must help direct your prospects’ eye flow toward the copy points you want to make. The order form’s copy and graphics must be very easy to understand so all your prospects will know exactly what you are saying and what you want them to do.
Prospects simply do not have the time or the inclination to struggle through and try to understand information that may not be clear. Whenever possible, preaddress your order form so customers aren’t bothered with filling in their address. Always confirm that spelling and the address are correct.
This saves the prospect time and you the hassle of reading their handwriting. If possible, your order form should fit into the reply envelope easily without folding. We have actually seen companies design order forms that are much too large to fit inside their reply envelopes. If it is too big, tell the prospect how to fold the form. Your order form must speak in the voice of the reader, not the seller.
Your order form MUST restate a summary of all the important information from your sales letter…
Your order form should stand on its own so anyone can order your product or service directly from the order form—without needing to look through any more of your sales literature
For an order form that’s two panels or more, I recommend you put the headline and benefits at the top. The mailing label area and positive acceptance statement should always be at the bottom.
Following this rule, you’re sure to increase your sales and get the greatest possible number of leads! This arrangement may cause some problems with some lettershops, but most of them can handle it. The arrangement is critical because it follows the natural flow of the eye.
Use photos, not illustrations, to establish the greatest possible credibility
Just as with ads, inserts, commercials and other types of direct response advertising, photography always creates greater credibility than illustrations. If anything looks suspicious, low-quality or phony, you risk losing tons of orders!
Always use a value (certificate) border on your order form—it pays off in extra sales every time!
Many graphic designers want to be fancy. Because they are creative people, they want their art work to have an unusual and distinctive appearance. And they strive to create something entirely different from what has been used in the past.
However, dotted lines and value (certificate) borders always produce better results than anything else. So you must ask yourself, “Why risk decreasing my results by not making my order form look more valuable?”
Keep your offer simple and never offer too many options—it always depresses results
For example, it’s been proven time and time again in subscription marketing that every time an option is added, there is a 10% to 15% decrease in response. The same for B2B lead generation.
Never sell more than one product at a time; it decreases results…dramatically!
When offered several products at a time, many people tend to get confused, indecisive and totally unable to make decisions about buying anything. So… KEEP YOUR ORDER FORM SIMPLE! Offer only one product at a time and you’ll sell a lot more and make a lot more money!
CLICK HERE to see Part 2 for rules 9–16