Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005
The "Mail Order" business is not a business of itself, but isanother way of DOING business. Mail Order is nothing more or lessthan selling a product or service via advertising and the offersyou send out by mail. Therefore, to start and succeed in a mail order business of your own, you need just as much, and in some cases, more business than you would need in any other mode of business.
Remember too there are "good guys" in mail order, and there are"bad guys", just like in any other business. So, your best betfor a "proper start" with the greatest chance for success isafter a thorough investigation of the products being offered andbeing sold; an analysis of the costs involved to get a fledgingmail order operation off the ground; and a good "sixth sense" ofwhat your potential customers will buy. You'll need a great dealof practice, and persistence as well.
Mail Order is over saturated with plans, directories, salesmaterial and products that have been around for ten, fifteen,twenty years and longer. Many of these materials were not thatgood in the beginning, and yet they're still being sold as "quicksecrets to wealth and fame". This is part of the reason for the"junk mail" reputation of mail order.
Just a little investigation on your part will show that mostsuccessful people doing business by mail are always on the alertfor "new products" and they quickly add these products to theirown sales inventories as they become available. This is a "mustfor success" rule, regardless of whether you do or don't produceyour own products.
It's almost impossible to gain much success with a singleproduct...report, booklet, book or manual. The best way is tosearch around for a number of related products, then, afterarranging "drop shipping" deals with the suppliers of theproducts you want to include in your listing along with your ownself-produced product, make up a "catalog listing". It is best ifthis is a single 8x11 sheet of paper, printed on both sides,listing the titles of the reports and/or books you haveavailable, including your own, with a "tear off" order coupon atthe bottom.
One of the best programs available in mail order today is offeredby Premier Publishers. This company offers you a variety ofcirculars, with an order coupon on the bottom of each circular.At present, they can provide six different circulars, listingover 100 different low-cost reports and manuals, such as thereport you are reading now. The circulars are grouped accordingto price range and subject matter of the reports described in thecircular. There is an open space on the order coupon for you toinsert your name and address. After inserting your name, you cantake or send the circular to the printer of your choice, and havecopies printed in the quantity you need. The next step is toinsert these circulars, along with one of your own productcirculars, in all your mailings. Premier Publishers allows you afull 50% commission on each sale of items on their circulars.They will dropship you, keeping your customer's nameconfidential, and in no way encroaching upon them. In addition,discounts up to 80% off the retail price are available to youwhen you are ready to carry your own stock, and buy reports orbooks in quantity.
This is what you need for a "money-making" start in thisbusiness: a full page circular advertising your own product, plusanother full page circular listing products or titles related toyour primary offering. Premier Publishers advise you to send twofull page circulars; one advertising your own product (if youdon't have a primary product of your own, they'll furnish you asingle book circulars to feature), and another advertising a listof related products ot titles available to your customer.
Once you start receiving orders form this mailing, you mustimmediately acknowledge receipt of the orders and follow up withother offers. The "follow-up" offer is where most beginners fail.Either they don't have follow-up materials to send or they justdon't send out these follow-up offers. Here again, PremierPublishers can provide the material for the follow-up. They cansupply you with a 24 page Unique Books catalog, which list 400titles for your customer to choose from. These catalogs can beordered in small quantities, with your name and return addressalready imprinted. To follow-up after receiving orders from yourcustomers, simply write a short note, thanking your customer forhis patronage, and advising him when to expect to receive hisorder, and then include a follow-up offer, such as the bookcatalog, in the mailing. And that's how you will build yourbusiness, and attain success in mail order.
But, let's get back to the beginning and help you to learn whatit takes to succeed in mail order. Don't believe those ads thattell you it doesn't take any money. First off, you are going toneed envelopes: #10 mailing envelopes with your name and returnaddress imprinted in the upper left corner. You'll also need areturn reply envelope with your name and address on the face ofthe envelope with each #10 envelope you send out. These can beeither #6 or #9 return envelopes. Ask your printer or officesupply store to let you inspect samples.
To realize profits of any consequence, you'll need to send out atleast a thousand, preferably five thousand letters per mailing.And back this up, you'll need a supply of envelopes for youracknowledgement and follow-up offers. you can purchase imprintedmailing and return reply envelopes form your local quick printshop; but for better prices, and with the thought in mind ofkeeping costs in line, it is best to shop around for the bestprices. Generally speaking, you'll find the lowest prices offeredby those printer who do business by mail. Look for "printing bymail" advertisements in all the mail order publications you comeacross. Write them for a price list and a sampling of their work.For envelopes, we suggest you contact any of the firms listed onthe next page for their current prices.
The mail order business is very closely tied inwith the printing business. Unless you have your own printingplant, always shop around for the best prices and keep your"production costs" in line.
Once you've gotten your envelopes ready, and your circulars madeup, you'll need a potential customer list. Again, don't believethe advertisements and "free" advice that states that all youhave to do is send your materials out to a "fresh opportunityseekers" list. We have found that the best prospects are thosepeople who have purchased similar or related items.
When selecting a supplier to work with in the mail orderbusiness, always be sure they are quick to fill orders. Customercomplaints are the last thing you want, and poor service leads toa dissatisfied and lost customers. Always be sure your supplier"protects" your customer list, and always make sure he goes that"extra mile" to work with you, and not just for his own profits.This is the kind of service you want from your supplier.
Finally, you'll need to consider advertising the differentofferings you have for sale. We suggest that you start small witha few experimental ads in your local paper or shopping news. Then
you can move on to the bigger publications.
Copyright 2004 by DeAnna Spencer
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About the Author
DeAnna is the publisher of the ezine, Prospecting and Presents. Subscribers get one free ad per week. Subscribe today by visiting (http://www.pnewsletter.com) To thank the publishers/webmasters that use my article, I offer one free solo ad. Simply fill out the contact form on my contact page listing the url it was used on or sending me a copy of the ezine it was used in. Once I confirm the location of the article, then we can make arrangements for the solo ad.