marketing techniques for mail order dealers & home-based business start-ups.
Successful Marketing Techniques for the Home Based Mail Order Dealer By A R Carroll Print Advertising: Many of our successful Mail Order dealers advertise in national business opportunity and home-based business magazines. Most mail order dealers start out by running small classified ads and/or 1″, 2″ or 3″ display ads.
Media Kit: When contacting publications, you should always request a free “media kit”, which consists of a free sample copy of their magazine, rate card, advertising deadlines, publication dates, circulation numbers, etc. Many publications offer an “introductory rate”, and other special discounts to mail order dealers and publishers who ask for a discount. You can usually save from 10% – 35% or more off their “rate card”. Many magazines offer “run a classified in two issues and get the same ad in the third issue for free”. Some publications will give you a free editorial paragraph to describe your business or products just for running a small 1″ display ad. Run a 1/3 page ad or larger in some magazines and they will offer you a 1/2 page of free editorial space where you can tell readers about yourself, your company and your products.
Classified Advertising Techniques: Utilize the revolutionary “two-step process” when running classified and small display ads. This attention grabbing and inquiry producing strategy is implemented by writing your advertising copy with short eye-catching phrases, and by using words that prompt the reader to take instant action. The “two-step process” involves placing an ad that offers “FREE Details”, “Send for our FREE Brochure”, “Write or Call for Free Information”, “Send SASE”, “FREE Booklet”, “FREE Report”, “FREE Color Catalog”, “Full Details”, “Call Now 1-800-555-5555”, and then after the reader responds to your ad you follow-up by sending the prospective buyer a sales letter, product brochure, flyer, catalog, circular, or sample. It is much easier to make a sale from professional produced flyer, brochure, sales letter, etc. than from asking for money up-front in the ad itself. Because classified ads or small display ads usually contain only 30 – 50 words compared with 300 – 500 words of more in a large display ad or flyer. A good rule-of-thumb is you can usually ask for $1 – $5 directly in the ad itself, but when the product or service cost $6 or more it is probably better to use the “two-step process”. Examples: “Rush $1.00 for Full Report”, “Sample Newsletter $3.00”, “Delicious Cake Recipes 12 for $3.00!”, “Send $1.00 for 40 page Vitamin Catalog”, “60 page Seed Catalog $1 (refundable)”, “Red-Hot Mailing Lists 100 FREE Names $4 (S&H)”, “FREE Software CD-Rom only $4.95 s/h”, “FREE 1943 Steel Penny $1 s/h”. Successful Kitchen Table Tycoons’ also “piggy-back” their offers. Example: You run a classified ad or small 1″ display ad: “Erase Debts Forever! “The Magic of Credit”, you follow-up with your Magic of Credit book flyer and include 3 or 4 more different flyers, circulars or other offers! This way you make that 34¢ stamp go a long way and you might get 2 or 3 purchases from this one potential buyer!
Making Money With Classifieds: National Book Sales Company sells a very informative book called “Making Money With Classifieds” item #4400, a 240 page book written by the multi-millionaire mail order legend Melvin Powers. A must-have for every Kitchen Table Entrepreneur.
Important Question: “What Happens When You Don’t Advertise? Answer: Nothing!”
Remember: “Advertising Doesn’t Cost, It Pays!
Editor & Publisher International Year Book: This reference book contains 500,000 facts about newspapers including: dailies, weeklies, alternative, ethnic, military, religious, college newspapers, etc. You can find a copy at your local library. It lists contact information, circulation numbers, news services, advertising rates, and lots more! You can also visit a newspaper stand, magazine store, large bookstore such as Borders or Barnes and Noble, or local library to find more publications to advertise in. Also, newspapers such as USA Today, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, etc. can sometimes also be good places to advertise in.
Articles, Product Reviews, Success Stories, Book Reviews, Business Tips: Successful Kitchen Table Entrepreneurs have found that when they shared their expertise with others via national published articles they could at the same time promote their products or services! Many business opportunity magazines cheerfully accept articles, product reviews, success stories, book reviews, etc. from freelance writers. It is a good idea to call, write, or email these publications to see what some of their “editorial guidelines” are. Example: How long the article should be, would they rather have you submit the articles by mail, fax, or email, certain topics or themes their looking for, etc. When a publication prints one of your articles in their magazine it is usually customary for them to let you include a paragraph at the end of the article describing your business, and products or services you offer, as well as your contact information: address, phone/fax numbers, email address, website url, etc. Remeber, editorial copy seems to produce more inquiries and orders than even the most well written advertising copy and best of all it’s free! .
Booklets, Flyers, Circulars, Catalogs: You can reproduce them & distribute them individually or as a group. They can be displayed on bulletin boards at colleges, supermarkets, malls, etc.
Co-op Advertising: Co-op advertising is where two or more parties share in the cost of the advertising. It is done effectively by businesses both large and small. Used properly it is a great way for the Kitchen Table Tycoon to increase sales & profits and at the same time reduce printing, advertising & shipping costs! One example of co-op advertising is when a mattress retailer runs a newspaper display ad or Yellow Page ad they usually get several mattress manufacturers to place their logos in the ad, and pay partially toward the price of the ad. A good co-op marketing strategy used by astute Kitchen Table Entrepreneurs’ is to print their flyers or circulars on both sides, one side with their advertisement and another company’s non-competing ad on the other. Many mail order printers offer reduced rates for co-op printing. The front of the flyer might be an ad for a pizzeria, and on the back is an ad for a printer. Or on the front is an ad for a landscaper and on the back is an ad for a local ice-cream parlor
Discount Mail Order Printing: High quality offset printing at wholesale prices! Why pay 5¢ or more for photocopies when you can get the premium look of offset printing for less than 4¢ per copy postpaid!
Postcards: Using postcards is a good marketing strategy for the Kitchen Table Tycoon, because you can mail them at the First Class Rate for only 21¢ each compared to 37¢ for a standard letter. It is a perfect way to contact magazine publishers when you wish for them to send you a free media-kit. You can print them four-up on a 8½ x 11 page with your personal laser-jet or ink-jet printer. You can use color ink for greater “impact”. Many Kitchen Table Entrepreneurs print a money-saving coupon onto them, such as “Save 10% Off!” and mail it to their customers and prospective buyers. Also, they can be used as a quick and inexpensive way of communicating with a particular buyer, when the product or products they may have ordered happens to be temporarily out-of-stock, or might take more than a week or so to arrive at their destination. Example: A postcard might be used to alert the buyer, “Hello Mrs. Smith, the blouse you ordered in navy blue is currently out of stock, we expect to get another shipment of them within next few days, at that time we will immediately ship your order to you.” Example 2: “Dear Mr. Franklin, the large order of seeds and bulbs you ordered have been shipped via USPS Parcel Post, they should arrive to you within the next 5 to 7 days.”
Keep your customers well informed and you’ll always keep your customers!
Free First Class Postage Stamps for the Rest of Your Life: Here is a simple yet very effective mail order marketing technique to flood your mailbox continuously with hundreds of FREE unused First Class stamps: You can run a small 1″ display ad in one national mail order publications for about 40¢ per day or in five publications for only $1.30 per day, your ad could say something like this “Delicious Black Forest Cheese Cake, send 10 First Class Stamps to: “, or you can try something like this “300+ Publications, The Best Publishers! Send 5 First Class Stamps & SASE to: “, etc. Basically you are sending the purchaser a photocopied report, recipe or some other very inexpensive item and you’re going to receive 5 or 10 First Class Stamps as payment. The stamps are something of value to you because you can use them to mail out other direct mail pieces, flyers, circulars, catalogs, reports, etc! Run the right ad and your mailbox with be filled with envelopes containing free First Class Stamps! Don’t forget when you mail out that recipe, report, or whatever, you should enclose several other flyers or circulars in the outgoing envelope! This technique works! You might never have to buy another stamp again! Special Note: SASE means self-address stamped envelope, when you request a SASE the person responding to your ad will send you an envelope with a stamp on it and it will be addressed to the purchaser, thus you’ll save on stamps, envelopes and time!
Dealerships, Distributorships, Commission Programs: There are hundreds of dealership programs, distributorship programs, and commision based programs available to the mail order or Internet entrepreneur.
Even the United States Government agrees with us how wonderful a mail order book business can be! Please read the following exerpts from a United States Government publication called “Establishing and Operating A Mail Order Business”. Here is what the U.S. Government said about mail order book sales: “The book business lends itself nicely to mail selling. Books even get a “special” mailing rate not extended to any other product. No need to worry about breakage or spoilage. Thousands of mail order booksellers working out of their homes, make between $50,000 and $100,000 yearly! Also, the number of women entering and succeeding in the mail order business has skyrocketed over 2000% in the last 5 years”!
About the Author
A. R. Carroll, Writer/Successful Business Owner Please visit his Websites: www.NationalBookSales.com and www.ZeoliteDepot.com