Any business' best resource is the customer who's already done business with them. This customer will be the one who provides return business, and refers new business. How can you insure that you get those referrals, though? As anyone knows, people will be more inclined to pass on information about bad experiences than good experiences. So, you have to give them an incentive. The best way to do this is to run a REFERRAL CONTEST.
Give each one of your customers a supply of cards they can give out to their friends. A good idea is to use your business card, and get a rubber stamp designed to stamp this message on the back:
Send a friend! You will get a one coupon good for a XX% discount for each new customer who brings this card in! Good through XX-XX-XX. Add the new customer's name.
Insert the discount you want to give the person making the referral, and the expiration date. Two good ideas are to either offer a prize to the person who sends in the most referrals, or put all the cards that are brought in into a box and hold a drawing at the end of the promotion, with both the person making the referral and the new customer getting a prize.
It's important that you publicize this contest. A contest is no good if nobody knows about it. So, put a big sign about it in your store. Put an ad in the free weekly paper in your area and in any freebie advertiser tabloids. Print up some flyers and put them up in places where people will see them.
Referral contests work especially well for service businesses, like hair salons, auto mechanics & body shops, dry cleaners, video stores, caterers & photographers. Any business that relies on expanding it's clientele can successfully grow from a referral contest.
If you've been in mail order for more than a month...chances are you've been ripped off by one or more ad sheet printers. This report won't make you a mail-order genius but might keep you from loosing your shirt prematurely.
Have you placed your display ad in a national magazine with over 20 million readers, then waited for the orders to pour in? But the days go by and there is little or no responses?
When you have accumulated sufficient knowledge from preparing your own circulars and from co-publishing magazines and ad sheets of others, you may want to become a publisher.
The opportunities for getting free advertising for your product or services are limited only by your own imagination and energies.
There have been entire volumes written on mail order selling. For printed information, the best way to learn HOW & WHERE to advertise is to go to your newsstand and check through all the magazines carrying large numbers of classified and space ads.
Regardless of what you're trying to sell, you really can't sell it without "talking" with your prospective buyer. An in attempting to sell anything by mail, the sales letter you send out is when and how you talk to your prospect.
What is a Big Mail? If you are a total beginner to the mail order world, you will have no idea what the term means. Before I knew better, I used to think a Big Mail was just a big envelope containing some type of free samples.
This method of getting free printing is currently being used by several different mail dealers. It works! Here's the plan: Run an ad similar to this in any mail order magazine:
Most business beginners think Direct Mail means purchasing a mailing list and mailing an advertising flyer to a bunch of folks they know absolutely nothing about. This IS NOT what Direct Mail marketing is.
Here are some interesting results of a study conducted on readerships of magazine ads. Most of the stats are from Starch INRA Hopper, Inc and other studies.