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The Illusion of Print Mail Services

By DeAnna Spencer
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005

If ever there was a lazy way to easy profits in mail order it has to be the concept of letting someone else do all the work for you.

In theory, it works like this:

You send a camera-ready circular or ad to someone who advertises a print/mail service and they will print and mail it (along with many others) to 1,000 to 25,000 names on their own list. You simply pay a one-time charge while they do all the work. Now, multiply this by 5, 10 or more such services and you could (still theoretically speaking, of course) have several thousand of your offers in the hands of prospective buyers within a few weeks.

The problem, is that it doesn't work that easily, at least not to the point of making it profitable for the dealer who expects to become delunged with orders. Even the very best mailers in the business can produce only a small percentage of return for their clients, so you would have to have a very high markup on your offer and reach millions of people if you hope to make it profitable. If you already have a test-proven offer that produces about 3% return when you mail the offer by itself, you will be lucky to get one-half of 1% when mailed by a mailer along with hundreds of others.

Yes, some offers can produce a profit, even with such a small percentage of return, but they are extremely few and far between. First of all, you would most likely have to be the high markup that is required. If the offer calls for $10 and you can produce it for $1 reality is: That's 5 orders per thousand...50 orders per 10,000. Some offers might be able to survive on this, others cannot. You will have to do some figuring to determine whether it's worth trying.

On the down side of this practice, there has been quite a bit of speculation about such print/mail services as to their honesty and quality of their services. Many of them offer poor printing, often smudgy or in various shades of gray instead of crisp black and white; some of the lists they use are so overworked, they have become virtually worthless. Even the best mailers use primarily "Opportunity" lists, so merchandise offers would hardly be appropriate. Another flaw in this idea that some crooked mailers are out there who simply don't mail the quantity they claim. It seems they print and mail only hundred or so, but claim to mail in the thousands. This is very difficult for anyone to prove or disapprove, so the entire idea of using a print/mail service is precarious at best.

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.