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8 Secrets of a High-Response Order Form

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A good ORDER FORM for a fundraising or a direct sales letter must have the following 8 MINIMUM components:

1) A set of CHECK BOXES for alternative positive responses, followed by text that SUMMARIZES one more time the BENEFITS (both psychic and material) the donors/customers would be getting.

If you are thinking “but I’ve already detailed all those features and benefits within the body of my fundraising letter (or direct sales copy). Why should I repeat it again?” let me remind you an uncomfortable fact of direct mail business:

Most people will not read your copy beyond the main headline and perhaps the first few lines of the Front Page text.

But they’ll certainly read the Post Script (P.S.) note at the end of the letter.

And then they’ll read the ORDER FORM.

So make sure to use that precious form as yet another last-minute opportunity to “close the sale.”

Here is a BAD example of a check box on an ORDER FORM:

” ___ $10″

Here is a GOOD example of a check box:

“___ $10 YES! Caroline, here is my Ten Dollars to help you send 60 more disadvantaged kids this summer to Camp Lake Three Pines, all expenses paid. Please send my FREE Bonus 1 (40 minute DVD of …..) and FREE Bonus 2 (45-page booklet …..) right away to my below address TODAY!”

I guarantee you the second check box will beat the first one each and every time.

2) Provide as many PAYMENT ALTERNATIVES as possible for your donors. Spell out such options as an easy to read list with CHECK BOXES.

Here is a suggested list:

a) Calling a phone number (toll-free, if possible) to provide credit card information.

b) Mailing the Order Form to an address with credit card information.

c) Mailing the Order Form to an address with a check or money order.

d) Faxing the Order Form to a phone number (toll-free, if possible) with credit card information.

e) Paying through a PayPal account.

f) Visiting the business office and paying in person.

g) Visiting a web page and paying online.

All these options should again have a CHECK BOX right before them for the customers to confirm their choice.

3) If you are selling products, make sure there is a PRODUCT LIST with CHECK BOXES for all the products the customer can order, followed with their prices, and a TOTAL line at the bottom for them to calculate the total cost.

4) Print as a list with CHECK BOXES all the SHIPPING OPTIONS available (if applicable), together with their respective costs.

5) Provide AMPLE SPACE on the Order Form for the donors/customers to fill in their Name, Last Name, Street Address, City, State, Zip, Phone Number, Fax Number (optional), e-mail address (optional), Credit Card Information.

6) Pay special attention to CREDIT CARD INFORMATION block.

Start with a CHECK BOX that reads “Please charge my credit card.”

Follow it with CHECK BOXES for each Credit Card you accept (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover, Diners, etc.)

Then you should have “Credit Card No.” followed by 16 small squares for the customers to write in their card number.

This should be followed by Expiration Date (enough space for the MONTH and YEAR of expiration).

Optional: you can also ask for the three-digit Control Number that most credit cards have printed in the BACK.

The last entry should be a blank space for that all important SIGNATURE of the customer or donor, authorizing you for the billing.

7) Print your own Business Name, Address, Phone & Fax Numbers, web site URL, and e-mail address VERY CLEARLY on your Order Form.

8) If there is a FREE SHIPMENT offer (conditional or unconditional) or any other FREE offer(s) for those donating money or placing an order, make sure it is printed very prominently on the order form. Make that FREE offer jump right out of the form at first look.

If you pay attention to the above 8 points, your Order Form will become a potent tool in increasing your sales and/or donations instead of just another piece of paper heading straight for the thrash bin.

Ugur Akinci, Ph.D. is a Creative Copywriter, Editor, an experienced and award-winning Technical Communicator specializing in fundraising packages, direct sales copy, web content, press releases. movie reviews and hi-tech documentation.

He has worked as a Technical Writer for Fortune 100 companies for the last 7 years.

You can reach him at [email protected] for a FREE consultation on all your copywriting needs or visit his official web site


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  • Posted On December 25, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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