Every business must use advertising. Customers can't buy from you if they don't know you exist. But you must advertise smartly. You must keep track of which publications draw the most responses, as well as which ad copy is best. This can be done by KEYING your ads.
A key is the identification code you use in your ad. It shows you which publication, date, and ad copy brought in the response. Keying your ads is simple to do, and can be done in a few different ways.
The easiest and most common way to key your ads is to attach the key code to your address. For example, if your address is 123 Main St., your keyed address might look like " 123-PSSB Main St." The PSSB is the key, and could signify Popular Science, May issue, ad copy B. This method is used primarily by mail order dealers.
The addition of the key to your address should not pose problems for the post office, but it's still a good idea to contact your postmaster. Show him or her the keys you intend to use and get their opinion. They will know which formats will be disruptive to delivery.
If you use the phone for responses, you can put a "Department Number'' in your ad, and instruct the customer to ask for the department when calling. You or your phone operators would then take note of the code and use it to tally your responses.
Finally, a good way to check which of your mailings or flyers are succeeding is to use different colors of paper. For example, if you are testing three different mailing lists, use three different colored papers, one to each list. You can then instantly tell when you receive order blanks which list the response came from.
Be sure to keep a list of your key codes and what they correspond to. By doing this, you can tell which publications are worth continuing your ads in, which should be cancelled, and which ad copy should be used. This will allow you to pour your ad funds into the most worthwhile places, and reap the benefits!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Successful mail order dealers realize there are two distinct groups of publications in which to place advertising for maximum results.
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:
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.