How to Start & Operate a Successful Co-Op Mailing Service

Aside from advertising, the biggest expense involved in a mail order business is postage. This means that virtually everyone involved in mail order is on the lookout for ways to save money getting their sales offers out to prospects. The answer is in co-op mailings.

Here's how a typical co-op mailing service works: A person with something to sell via mail sees an advertisement inviting him or her to send their circulars or brochures to a co-op mailing service. The co-op mailing service receives these circulars or brochures and hires housewives or handicapped people to fold and stuff them into envelopes and then mails them. For this service, they charge anywhere from $10 to $100 per thou sand - and it's a good deal for the mailer.

The mailer doesn't have the bother of folding and stuffing envelopes, nor the expense of renting a mailing list to send his offers to, and he doesn't have to worry about either a bulk rate mail permit or the costs of postage. All of this is included in the fee he pays the co-op mailing service.

Now, quite naturally the co-op mailer can not do this and make any money unless he's got a number of circulars or brochures from several customers in each envelope he sends out. And that's precisely how he makes his money - by including 10 t o 16 such circulars in each envelope. Look at it from a mathematical point of view: Say he's charging 12 people $50 per thousand to fold and stuff their circulars in with his own outgoing mail. Twelve times 50 dollars comes out to 600 dollars - he uses his own mailing lists, so there's no big expense involved there - but he does have to pay people to fold & stuff envelopes unless he's got it organized where he and his family do this... The going rate of pay for people to fold & stuff circular s is about $20 per thousand... And to bulk rate mail 1,000 envelopes is going to cost $110... Add to that about $12 1,000 envelopes and you've got a total overhead of $142... Subtract that amount from the $600 he took in, and you have him realizing a profit of $458... Not bad for one mailing...

The best thing of all about starting and operating a co-op mailing service is that you can include your own circulars or brochures with each envelope you send out. You stuff circulars or brochures from 12 different paying customers, and at the same time, include at least two of your own.

So how do you get started in such an easy and highly profitable business... The simplest way is to have an advertising coupon - 3 by 6 inches - made up and include one with everything you mail out.

Another sure-fire method of pulling in orders is to run a simple classified ad in as many of the national coverage mail order publications as you can afford. Such an ad might look like this:

Co-Op Mailing! Best customers in the country. Just $50 per thousand - you supply the circulars - we mail! Excello Mailing Services, PO Box 99 Washington, DC 20001

A couple of things you should do in order to handle the orders you'll be getting... Be sure to have a number of people lined up/available to do the folding and stuffing of envelopes for you - and also, be sure to get yourself a bulk rate post age permit.

With those details out of the way, all you really have to do when the orders come in is drop off the circulars to be folded and stuffed into envelopes, with the envelopes, your return address can be rubber-stamped on the envelopes as they are applying the mailing address labels as well as your bulk mail permit indicia, and you're on your way.

By including a co-op mail advertising coupon with each piece of mail that you send out, plus regular advertising in most of the mail order publications, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how fast your profits will grow. Once you get organized and have all the bugs worked out of your system, you might also want to expand your business to include your local area.

To do this, you either call on your local area businesses and professional people, or else hire commission sales people to do the selling for you. Most small businesses are interested in sending out regular sale flyers or catalogs, so you or your sales people simply call upon these people and offer to do the job for them.

Contact with a good printer in your area will also be to your benefit. You can offer to have the circulars printed - you collect a commission from the printer, and make a bundle of profits with your mailing services.

If you sign just 5 different stores in 5 different shopping centers, you could really be rolling in money within just a very short period of time. At $50 per thousand - times 5 stores - you would have $250. And when you multiply that times 5 different shopping centers, you're talking about $1,250... Then if you get all of these people to go with your services on a regular basis - say once a month, you've got yourself a very respectable monthly income that will certainly keep you fro m the Poor House...

Whenever you send out mail, you should always include your co-op mail advertising coupon, plus at least two advertising circulars of your own. By doing this, you'll continue to pull more business for your mailing services, and at the same time make money from whatever you're selling on your advertising circulars.

Finally, as with any business you might be thinking of starting, the business should not be primarily something to keep you busy and pay your bills. Any business that you start should be a "vehicle" to eventually make you rich. Thus, you'll have to know all about the business, but just as soon as you can afford it, you should hire other people to do the work. In other words, with this particular business, don't involve yourself and commit your time to the folding and stuffing. Hire other people to do this work for you while you work on the expansion of the business by calling on local people that can use your services. At the same time, it would be wise to hire a number of commission sales people - the more people you have calling on prospects, the more money you're going to make and the faster your business will grow. Actually, and dependent on your own energies, there's no reason why a co-op mailing business can't bring in $100.000 a year or more. The opportunity is available in almost every city and hamlet in the country. We've told you how it can be done, and the rest is up to you!

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