Fold it Up?
What should you make of this? First of all, I strongly feel that all catalogs should include some type of printed order form. It should be ink-jet imaged with the contact’s name, address and source code if possible. Eliminating the order form altogether shouldn’t be an option regardless of how much business is going through the Web.
The first thing people say to me when they’re thinking about eliminating the bind-in order form is how many “mail orders” they receive in the envelope. Typically less than 5 percent of orders are received by mail today, but this shouldn’t be what drives the decision to eliminate the bind-in order form/envelope.
Before you eliminate the bind-in order form, set up an A/B split test; it’s fairly inexpensive. You’ll see results similar to those in the chart below. The catalog in the chart has a high average order size and lower response rate. But there’s no statistical difference between the two groups to either the housefile or prospects.
The Case for Elimination
There are at least three reasons to eliminate the bind-in order form with envelope.
1. Cost savings. Prices range from $12 to $20 (or more) per thousand depending on size, quantity and use of color. They add weight to the catalog, which can increase postage.
2. Page count expansion. Elim-inating the bind-in order form can help you expand page count while remaining at the postal piece rate. The maximum weight for a piece-rate catalog is 3.306 ounces.
For example, a catalog measuring 8 inches by 101⁄8 inches without a bind-in order form/envelope can grow to 68 pages, 64 pages of which are printed on 34-lb paper and a four-page cover on 60-lb paper for mailing at the piece rate. The catalog in this example weighs 3.3 oz.