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Response Form Design: More Important Than You Think?

I’m currently preparing my first direct mail appeal and I’ve been making some tweaks to various elements, including the response form.

Response forms are often overlooked or are an afterthought, but they are absolutely vital.  They need to embody the marketing concept of your appeal, as often it might be the first thing a donor looks at.  A badly designed one could seriously harm your results.

I’ve been trawling the net for advice on putting together a response form and most of the advice seemed to come from a guy called Alan Sharpe.  Alan seems to be a bit of an expert on them! You can read his free advice or check out his e-book on the subject.

I also had a question about number of prompt boxes.  We’ve always used five boxes and a ‘choose your own amount’ space and I wasn't sure if this was too many choices or if we could improve this.  I asked the question on Twitter and got the following great advice - thanks everyone:

Response form-Twitter

Following on from that I decided to change the headline we use on our response form, turn it into more of a narrative, laser in some different (and slightly higher) donation amounts into the body of the appeal and remove the prompt boxes completely.

I’ll let you know how I get on - fingers crossed it has the positive impact on average gifts that I hope.

*UPDATE* I completely forgot that I'd commented on this post over at Queer Ideas last year.  I should've just posted that, as it contains loads of useful tips and advice - including my own comments.  Luckily I've followed my own advice and included a comments box!