Back in the beginning days of my business, I didn't have the money to pay for advertising. Although I would read and absorb the words on every page of every single mail order publication I could get my hands on -- I only dreamed of advertising in them. My only income was a $156 per week unemployment check. The most I might have been able to afford was $5 or $10 a week -- if that.
But I knew if I didn't advertise, I wouldn't make any money and my business would fail. Besides, how could anyone place an order for anything I sold if I didn't tell them it was for sale? There simply was no two ways about it -- I had to advertise or give up my business and go back to working for someone else. Those were my only two choices.
So I would sit and think about ways that I could advertise WITHOUT spending money. And here are some I tried and put into action:
Since no one knew me, I wrote to publishers and offered to typeset free ads for them if they would run my advertisement free. Some declined this offer but many accepted. I would send samples of my typesetting style with my letter of request and not only did I get free advertising, but I also gained new, repeat customers in the process because they liked my work.
Also, I would create and design new products and services, write a press release about it and send it to the publishers who already knew me. Most of them would run the press release and generate orders for my company.
Then, I began suggesting to some of my customers to start an ad sheet. I worked out a deal with them where I would design their ad sheet masthead totally free of charge if they provided me with free advertising space in every issue. This concept helped to give my company continuous monthly ad exposure totally free of cost.
I want to stop and explain this for a moment. Do you see how invaluable cash and money are by applying this concept? Compare $25 or $50 or even $100 for typesetting the original masthead to the amount of free advertising space I received every month. The payment of money to do the job is far less than the free advertising.
After writing press releases, I moved to the field of writing articles. This again provided me with free advertising because I included a "resource box" at the top of every article I submitted to a publisher. A "resource box" is actually a free ad space that publishers print with your article to compensate you as a writer. Some writers take advantage of this space and submit a resource box that's longer than the article itself. A word of advice to writers: keep your "resource box" no more than 1/10th the size of the article you write.
As you become more well known in business and become popular and respected, many people will see your advertisement in a publication, cut it out and run it free for you in their publication. Beginning publishers do this to add creditability to their ad sheet or publication. They feel that if someone notices that a well known company is advertising with them, the customer will be influenced to advertise with them also. There are literally 100s of beginning publishers who do this for Graphico and we are sincerely grateful that they consider us popular and respected. Thank you!
So you see -- you can really get free advertising. It just takes a little time and patience. But in the meantime, contact some of the publishers and offer to do them a free service in exchange for some ad space. And don't expect them to give you an 8-1/2" x 11" space right of the bat. Instead, be humble and satisfied with a 1" or 2" space. This doesn't hurt the publisher to provide and you'll get more positive reactions to your trade.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.