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The Direct Response Specialist

Galen Stilson
Direct Response Copywriter/Consultant


Response/Profit Ideas:
The Response Device

What techniques can you use on your response device (order card) that have potential to boost response and profit?  Here are a few ...

Make it easy to respond. 

Unless you’re seeking high quality leads, it’s usually best to make the response device as easy to respond to as possible. That means putting the prospect’s name and address on the card ... and limiting the number of order choices and options the prospect has to make a decision about.

Number the card. 

A number or code tends to add a feeling of exclusivity ... which never hurts. You might call it a Priority Number or a Personal Response Identification or any other number of possibilities. You can make these numbers functional (as a source code) or simply print the same number on every card.

If you list different pricing options, list the highest price first.

By nature, people are more likely to select the first on a list. Take advantage of that tendency.

Stamping, Credit Approved on the card will often boost response.

It makes some people feel special. And that’s good. Of course, I'm assuming that you allow some form of bill-me.

Avoid legal terminology that might make the prospect feel “locked in.”

Rather than calling it an order form, call it the order card or response card or something like, Your Ticket To Stress-Free Living (or whatever benefit your product/service provides). Rather than asking the prospect for his or her signature, or to “sign here” ... you might say write your name here or something similar.  

Look over your response device to see if it reads like a legal document.  If it does, make some changes.

If you have a solid guarantee, be sure that you highlight it on the response device.

Reassure the prospect that by returning this response card, they are still not obligated. A solid guarantee virtually makes every order a “trial.” And people like to be able to try before they buy.

If you are offering a special deal, print something like, This offer is good only for the addressee. NOT TRANSFERABLE.

Again, it makes the prospect feel special and adds the perception of exclusivity.

Print the time limit.

If you are offering a special deal, a time limit for responding will almost always boost response ... if the time limit is within 2-3 weeks of when the prospect receives the offer. So, be sure to print the time limit on the response card. This Offer Good Only Until {date}. This also holds true for any “limits” ... limited quantity available, limited order quantity, etc.

Highlight any bonuses on the response device.

Don’t let the prospect forget the free goodies he’ll get with his order. Remind him one last time on the response device.

Give the respondent the option to mail, fax, call in, or e-mail (if possible) the order.

Be sure to highlight the fax and phone ordering options as having a quicker response time. One caution: Never, Never, Never list a phone number using letters instead of numbers. If you do use letters, be sure to include the associated numbers.

Although this in not an exhaustive list, it should give you a good feel and a positive start towards improving your response device.

Here’s wishing you better response.

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Copyright 2001 by Galen Stilson. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.