The Order Card: It’s Your Cash Register

The order card is your close, your ring of the cash register. Your design should maximize revenue and/or response potential. Order cards need to be simple, clear and single-mindedly focused. And in print, especially, give people enough space to fill it out. We’ve all had that form that required us to write in a microscopic space.

My previous post discussed how many people often do not put enough time or creativity into their order cards and landing pages.  I hear too often “it’s just the order card.” It’s a shame. This is a critical component — think of it as your cash register, where the sale is closed. You can easily lose a sale if the order device is difficult to figure out, hard to complete, and unclear what to do next.

The order card is your close, your ring of the cash register. Your design should maximize revenue and/or response potential. Order cards need to be simple, clear and single-mindedly focused. And in print, especially, give people enough space to fill it out. We’ve all had that form that required us to write in a microscopic space.

13 Design Considerations to Optimize Your Order Cards
Some of this will sound familiar as they are similar to what I suggested you do on a landing page — but paper is not a screen and requires even more effort to get it right and make it easy.

1. Roadmap the page: The layout is even more critical in print. Create a clear path for your customers to follow. This could mean numbering your steps (probably the easiest way) to lead a person through the process. It should be obvious where to go and what you want them to do step by step.

2. Give them enough space to write: This is one of my pet peeves. One of the fastest ways to stop a sale: don’t give enough room to write. If you need to squeeze an order card, your first thought should be why. If it’s because of the format you are using, seriously consider changing it.

Are you asking for unneeded information? Remember, giving enough space will also help you to process the order as you’ll be able to more easily read what they write.

Planner Pad Order Card3. Clear headline/label: Have a headline that makes it clear it’s the order form. This could be as simple as calling it the “Order Form” or “Reservation Certificate.” It’s also a great area to test. Trying different headlines or labels could help lift your response rate.

4. Auto-complete/personalize forms: I’m always surprised that this is not a standard. If you have to give up personalization on a piece in your package, lose it on your letter. Use your order form as the addressing vehicle and personalize the order form. The less work recipients have to do, the sooner they’ll have their order in the mail.

5. Use check boxes: Make it easy to make selections. Check boxes or circles indicate prospects might need to make a choice and helps people through the form. I go out of my way to find a way to do this. On a complicated order form, this can be a great way to make it feel simple.

6. Use contrasting colors: Color can be a powerful tool to help roadmap your form and make it clear where they need to pay attention. It can also be used to help with choice selection, highlight upsells and emphasize bonus areas — all of which can dramatically improve responses and order size.

12 Design Considerations for Optimized Landing Pages

“It’s just the order card.” I hear this all the time from young creatives and marketers alike. This can be one of the most overlooked parts for a campaign, direct mail package and/or landing page. Yet it shouldn’t be.

“It’s just the order card.” I hear this all the time from young creatives and marketers alike. This can be one of the most overlooked parts for a campaign, direct mail package and/or landing page. Yet it shouldn’t be. That’s your cash register — where you can lose a sale if the messaging is difficult to figure out, hard to complete, and unclear what to do next.

Let’s dive into digital order forms and explore some best practices for how you can design landing pages that will help close the sale instead of frustrating your page visitors.

12 Design Considerations to Optimize Your Landing Pages
1. Roadmap the page:
The layout is critical. Create a clear path for your customers to follow. It should be obvious where to go and what you want them to do step by step.

2. Hit them in the face with a frying pan: Don’t be clever or cute. Be obvious. You have only a few seconds before they get confused, frustrated, lost or simply change their mind.

3. Deliver a clear page headline: Have a headline that clearly spells out the purpose of the page. Place it at the top as the start of your page roadmap.

4. Use visual cues: People “read” pictures faster than words. So be sure to include your logo, a picture of your product, your call to action (CTA) button, color blocks and containers.

Critical Mention Landing Page5. Remove the clutter: Ask yourself “Does it really need to be there?” Is it helping the customer or simply confusing them? Is it visual clutter? It’s either a yes or a no. “Maybe” is always a no.

6. Use contrasting colors: Color can be a powerful tool. It can help you roadmap your page and make it clear where users need to pay attention. This is most important when it comes to your information collection and your CTA.

7. Remove navigation: Don’t give them an out, or a chance to navigate elsewhere. You want them to focus on your landing page.

8. Add sharing: Add your social media links and/or a share button. This can definitely increase your traffic and results. Be obvious, but subtle. You don’t want these icons to overpower your call to action.

9. Use credibility and trust symbols: If you have TV or media endorsements, use their logos on your page — but remember to keep them small and subdued. They are valuable as credibility and support, but are not the point of your landing page. Same with a testimonial from a credible client. Use them sparingly and as a support element.

Smart Sheet Landing Page10. Use normal conventions: Do not reinvent the wheel. Visitors understand normal conventions and look for them. It will help them move quickly through your forms and get to your CTA.

11. Remember mobile is taking over: Your landing page must be easy to view and complete on a smart phone and tablet.

12. Test. Test. Test. These are just guidelines. You need to continuously A/B test the elements of your design for maximum results. As they say, your mileage my vary.

Remember the key to effective landing pages is simplicity and clarity. The design of your landing pages must lead the visitor through the page, culminating on them hitting the CTA button.