A Guide to Direct Mail



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(1) Is DM for you?

(2) Choosing your list

(3) The Offer

(4) Call to Action

(5) The Package

Introduction
The Outer Envelope
The Letter
The Brochure
>>The Order Form<<
The Return Envelope
The Self-mailer
Your Printer

(6) The Copy

(7) Testing

(8) Tracking

History of DM
Links


Contents
The Psychology of the Order Form
How to make a good order form


Let's talk a bit about order forms.

The Psychology of the Order Form
People tend to view the order form as a contract and they look for "Gotchas" on it. It is the closest read piece of the mailer. As such, it is critical that you keep them simple and straightforward. The order form never makes the sale, but they sure can stop it.

When the prospect deicdes to order, they whip out the order form, and if there is something unclear, the entire order process comes to a screeching halt and you have just lost the sale that the rest of the mailer worked hard ot get.

How to make a good order form
The time-tested method of having a sentence that the prospect reads and then agrees to is a good one. The sentence does 3 things:

(1) Restates the offer as clearly as possible.
(2) Explains exacly what you will do when you get the order.
(3) Gets the prospect to commit.

All of that sounds like a lot, but it is usually done in a single sentence. For instnance, there might be check box with the words "YES! Rush me a copy of "How to Live to be 100 for the low price of $19.95, and include my free copy of "Cooking for good health, a $6.95 value, absolutely free."

The "YES" is the commmitment. It gives the prospect something to check to cross over that mental threshold of committing to the order.

Next, be sure you leave plenty of room for people to fill out required information. Also, dress up your order form with a snazzy title. Don't just call it an order form, but a "Limited Time Savings Certificate" or better yet, make it a plain old coupon. If you make your order form a money saving coupon - maybe put "$10 off" in the 4 corners of it like a $10 bill, it turns it into something that is a benefit to the consumer, a coupon.

Other headings you can use on your order form include Discount Certificalte and Free Gift Certificate.

Be sure to put any expiration date on the order form that may apply, and by all means, remember the mailing address, fax number, and phone number. Sometimes people decide to order something and only save out the order form.

Oh, and avoid legal sounding lagauge, it makes people suspicious By all means, emphazie your guarantee. Use strong language and print it with a a seal or some other method to draw attention to it. A person on the fence looking at an order form decideing whether to order is often tipped into buying with a stong guarantee. Another technique that has worked on order forms is including a serial number printed in a different color ink on the form, giving a feeling of exclucivitiy to the offer.

Five-piece mailer:
The Outer Envelope
The Letter
The Brochure
The Order Form
The Return Envelope

The self-mailer:
The Self-mailer