The Complete Mail Order Business

Getting Started

A lot of people are going to tell you that there are "no more secrets" to making the big profits in mail order. These same people will laugh at you and call you a "fool" for wasting your time chasing rainbows that don't exist.

But, don't you believe them, or even listen to them! The opportunities for wealth beyond your wildest dreams - via the direct mail sales of a product or service - have never been greater!

If you have an idea - a product or service - now is the time to capitalize on it via mail order selling. You can definitely start "on your kitchen table" and parlay it into millions of dollars. Others have done it, are doing it, and now, it's your turn for a piece of the pie.

As with any other profitable business, the procedure of making "profits" by mail has its own set of rules. Learn these rules, adhere to them, adjust them to your own circumstances - draw up a "battle plan" and work your plan. Persevere, be aware of other people's marketing methods, continue upgrading your own product or service, and with determination, you can become a millionaire in our own right. And then, you can look over your shoulder at those who were laughing at you, and perhaps help them in some small way.

Knowledge, and the ability to use that knowledge, are the basic keys to success. You must know what heights you want to attain, understand what it takes to attain those heights, and then dedicate yourself to getting there.

The rules to achievement of success in direct mail

  1. Market Research
  2. The use of the "right" mailing lists
  3. Customer Follow-Up.

If you can understand the "hows and whys" of these rules, then there's virtually no way you help but succeed in the field of mail order, even starting from scratch.

Market Research has to do the selection of the proper product, identifying your "most-likely" buyers, and getting your product-offer to these people.

Product selection is very basic, and thus the most important first step. Stop and think - look around yourself - and listen to what the "people" are clamoring most for.

In this day and age, much of the noise in the air has to do with: How can I find a job? How can I put together a resume that will get me a job when I spot an opening? Where are the jobs? With these thoughts in mind, the person who writes, publishes, and gets an instructional manual or even a newsletter relative to these questions, to the people, will sell as many as he can produce.

So, step one is to "listen" to what the people are wanting, and then to satisfy those wants. You do this by spending some time researching the subject. Visit your local public library, interview a number of people involved who have succeeded in satisfying their wants, conduct a few "dry runs" for personal experience and then write your manual.

The "secret" to ultimate wealth is the capability of producing a product that can be duplicated an unlimited number of times for pennies, and sold for dollars. A great many people get "bogged down" within this "rule" because they don't under stand "time and motion" requirements.

As an example, if you were to stage seminars for the unemployed in your area, to help them to find and land jobs, you would undoubtedly make a fortune very quickly. But, you would be committed to a certain expenditure of time every time you prepared for, and staged a seminar. Thus, you would be making a lot of money for yourself, but at the same time, you'd sustain a loss of time to enjoy your wealth doing the things you always wanted to do, once you became rich. The only way around this would be to train and hire other people to prepare for, and stage the seminars which would mean you would then be dividing your profits.

At the bottom-line then, the "only way" is to write something, which can be duplicated as often as necessary, and sold virtually forever. Look at it this way, you spend a full month organizing your material and writing a manual that costs you $1 per copy to produce in quantity. You sell it for $20 a copy, and over a period of three years, you sell three million copies - in essence, that amounts to $60,000,000 for one month's work!!!

So, writing something "the people want," is the only way to go. But, be careful. Make sure you've done your homework and what you write about is what the majority of the people "will stand in line to buy." Listen to what the people want, and then give it to them. This is the product selection part of your market research.

By listening to the cries for help, and catering to them, you will not only have "discovered" the proper product; you will have also "identified" your buyers. Do not try to interest the people in something that does not specifically fulfill one of their wants. Don't mistake a casual interest or complaint as "the voice" of the masses. Spend some time "listening," and then write to satisfy what "the people" want.

Once you've got your product ready for customers to buy, you should spend some time creating the proper sales letter and/or circular you'll use in presenting it to your potential customers. Above all else, your sales materials must radiate an image of professionalism and sell - sell - sell.

Use quality paper and printing in presenting your sales message. Present what you have to say, not in manner that tells the prospect who you are, how well qualified you are to write on the subject, or how much work you put into the project; but from a stand point of how the customer is going to benefit from buying a copy of your manual.

As an example - General Motors doesn't advertise cars by telling you how they were designed and engineered - built by college graduates or union workers - nor have you ever heard of someone walking up to a car in a dealer's showroom, kicking the tire and exclaiming, "Boy, this sure looks like a safe one." In fact, new cars are sold by the smell and the image of the prospective owner sitting in the driver's seat and showing off by driving through his neighborhood - just climb in there behind the wheel and see how she feels to you - go ahead and take it for a test drive - drive it home and see what your neighbors think.

The benefits your prospective buyer is going to receive, that's the starting point from which all "winning" sales letters are written, circulars designed, and the "secret" of getting people to spend money on a product or service.

Students from the advertising classes at your local college, free-lance advertising agency personnel, and - believe it or not - automobile dealership advertising managers, are the people to turn to for ideas and help.

Follow Up Piece

Next, is your follow-up piece. Ideally, this is a simple one page listing of other "related" materials for your customers. So, assuming you've sold him a manual on how to land a job - your follow-up piece might list manuals on how to dress to project a winning image, how to breeze through job interviews, and/or what to do after the interview, perhaps an opportunity for your buyer to subscribe to a quarterly newsletter listing job availability's.

It's important that you have your follow-up piece put together, and ready before you make your primary offer available to the public. Then, when you start receiving orders, along with the manual the customer has ordered, simply also enclose your follow-up listing of other materials available.

Thus, you make one sale and as a result of he first sale, you make further sales of related materials - the kind of "back end" sales that will keep you in business, and your profits multiplying. Don't neglect the follow-up piece.

Mailing Lists

Getting your offer to your most likely buyers is going to cost you money, and here's where most direct mail beginners drop the ball. Do not try to save money, and send your offer out to just any old list of names. Contact a reputable mailing list broker - visit your public library and ask the librarian for a copy of the Standard Rate & Data Services directory pertaining to mailing list brokers - tell the mailing list broker about your offer and ask for his help in choosing a mailing list that will be profitable for you.

You'll probably have to rent a minimum of 5,000 names at a cost ranging between $35 and $95 per thousand, but in the end - you'll save a lot of time and money because with a good offer and a good mailing list you count on a tremendous response.

For instance, the one time rental of a good mailing list may cost you $475 at $95 per thousand... But then, a 20% response from such a list on a $20 manual, would mean $20,000 in your pocket.

To spend your time compiling names and addresses from incoming mail order offers, or to rent and use a mailing list from any source other than a reputable broker is not only foolish but also a shortcut to the poorhouse! Identify your most-likely buyers, contact a reputable mailing list broker, match your "buyer profile" to his most responsive list, and you'll make money - lots of money - every time. Anything less is just an exercise in futility!

There you have it - short & sweet - cut & dried - and, the "easy way" to the big profits in mail order starting from scratch... These are the basics - the secrets to how others have done it, and how you can do it too. Organize yourself, follow these guidelines and it'll be next to impossible for you not to succeed.

Remember though, your best product will be "how-to" information. Something the people "want" to learn. Something you can research, write about, and produce for pennies and then sell for dollars.

And don't forget, once you're ready to start taking orders, make sure that you get your offer to the most likely buyers. Get out of the "mail order circle" and to the people who want and will spend money for your product.

It's easy - it's simple - and it can be very rewarding! Understand the requirements, position yourself to succeed and do it! This time next year, you could be a millionaire!!!

You can advertise your services in flyers that get mailed with other circulars and ad sheets in your big mails, which are ordered by customers whose names and addresses get added to your rental mailing list, which is ordered by other dealers who find out about your other services.

Customers who aren't in the mail order business can still gain useful information from your products, use your print brokering services to get the best prices on their other printing needs, and can purchase return address rubber stamps from you.

Important Tips

It all goes together in a cycle that will make money for you. All you need to do is be persistent (VERY) and remember the following tips:

ADVERTISE! People can't and won't order from you if they don't know who you are and what you sell. Get those ads out there! You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on full-page ads. Put those one-inch ads in the ad sheets you get in the mail. They're cheap, and they WORK.

REINVEST! Don't expect to build a full-time business by putting a few ads in ad sheets, then never advertising again. If you want to succeed, you MUST put at least 50% of your profits back into advertising. Expand the amount of advertising you do until you saturate the market. That's the way to be a success. Start your business part-time, and keep your full-time job, so you don't NEED to dip into your profits for spending money. If you pour your profits into advertising at the beginning, it will take less time for your part-time business to become self-supporting and full-time.

STAY ALERT! Read and save all the mail order related mail you get. Your files will prove to be a valuable source of information and ideas for future products, ads and services.

WORK WITH OTHER MAIL-ORDER DEALERS! You will find that the competition in this business can also be your friend. When co-publishing and mailing other dealers' circulars, you will be helping them. They will help you in return. Be honest, trustworthy, and deliver on all your promises, and the other dealers you work with will do the same.

DON'T GIVE UP! If you think you can get rich overnight in mail order, you need to rethink things. Sure, some people have gotten lucky, but the majority of mail order businesses start slow and build slowly. You can't give up after the first month. Be like the little engine that could, and keep pushing along. It will take time, but the time you take will be worth it.

BE SKEPTICAL! If you see an offer in the mail that is far too good to be true, it probably IS too good to be true. Don't fall for the get rich quick junk, and don't try to sell the stuff, either. Your customers won't be very loyal after you burn them.

GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE... Customer service is of the utmost importance in mail order. Give a good guarantee on your products. If they are good and deliver on your advertised promises, you won't have to worry about many customer returns. If a customer has a complaint, make sure you answer them quickly and kindly. Sometimes, the best return customers are the ones who have had problems that you've corrected. They see that you have their interests in mind, and respect you for that.

STUFF THAT ENVELOPE FULL! Return business is the key to making money in mail order. That first order covers your costs; the return business is profit. Always give your customers a lot of products and services to choose from. If you follow these rules and use the information provided in this report set, you should find yourself on the way to an exciting part-time or full-time mail order business that you can operate out of your own home!

Additional Information

There is a lot of excellent material being written and sold for beginners to the mail order field. It seems everyone is ready, willing and able to offer their "words of wisdom" to the new business owner and this is GREAT! This action on the part of almost every stable mail order dealer only goes to further prove my point in this report.

Mail order is loaded with the best people in the world! Walk into any corporate-owned establishment and be introduced to "greed" first-hand. Please don't get me wrong, there are some very well run organizations, but any time you hire employees, the dedication to your product or service begins to deteriorate.

In the early 1800's most of the businesses were owned by one person or one family. They took pride in their product and took the time to provide their customers with high quality. The other day one of my customers called to thank me for a publishing job I had completed for them. They said they couldn't find my company's type of quality at any price locally. They explained that the majority of people don't take "pride" in their wares.

But what is mail order filled with? Small, one-person-owned businesses. We have built them from the ground up and we are PROUD to be able to service our customers. And when we have a customer complaint, we normally do every-thing and anything under our power (even if we lose money) just to make that customer satisfied! This is PRIDE! And I'd like to believe that most of us all have it!

Multi-level companies also sell excellent quality products. The shampoo and conditioner I use, the cream I put on my face every night, the mail order printing company I utilize as well as the many other products and services I order through the mail are products I could NEVER purchase locally. So don't forget to let the beginners know who we really are! Beginners are like children (so-to-speak.) They come into this industry with the willingness to learn from experienced professionals. They do not know when they are told to hand address their envelopes in red ink that this is ridiculous!

If you take a 2-year-old child and tell them that people in Russia all have green skin they will believe you without question. They will never doubt your word until someone else comes along and convinces them otherwise. Beginners to mail order are the same way. We have a duty to train them correctly and give them honest and sound advice.

The problem is that some people are greedy and don't want to train them properly. They are afraid if they teach them what they know that the beginner will be better than they are; make more money than they will; outshine them and be more successful.

Unfortunately this is greed talking. Any beginner you help to become successful will take you right along with them. They'll never forget you taking time and educating them on exactly how to make money. The more money they make the more money you will make. But even besides this they will benefit the mail order industry as a whole. You won't live forever. The mail order industry will continue thriving long after you are dead and buried. Shouldn't it be our concern to teach people to carry on what we started?

Sure, there are some beginners that are only looking for a fast buck and a way to make some easy cash. These people don't need your time and dedication, but they don't need you lying to them either and robbing them. Instead, steer away from these types and concentrate your energies on people who really want to succeed. The beginner who has pride in their business is the same beginner that will grow up and remain dear to you.

Treat beginners of today like they are big companies of tomorrow. When I first started in mail order, I didn't know that SASE meant a self-addressed stamped envelope. I saw an advertisement from TOD House, IL that I answered and I didn't enclose a SASE as requested since I didn't know what it was.

TOD House wrote back a dirty note that said: "Your business tactics are typical of women and we have more bad customers that we know what to do with. We don't need another bum like you."

These words hurt me deeply. But guess what? Now 7 years later, I can tell other people about this incident and educate them. Where did all this get TOD House? No where! And to think all this started over a simple first-class stamp? Come on folks! Don't you think it's time to start helping instead of hurting? Don't you think it's time to contribute to our industry?

Customer Service Tips

Can we be too good to our customers? No way! Our customers are the backbone of our business! They're right no matter what!

But I'm sorry to disagree with you. As small, honest and legitimate businesses we have a tendency to place our product quality above money. While this is the "right" way of building a strong, solid business; there are customers that will try to take advantage of you. You have to learn how to notice this possibility coming and "bow out gracefully" without losing the customer.

Remember that most newcomers to the world of mail order think that they are ordering from BIG companies just because we have a company name! They cannot conceive how poor and struggling a lot of us really are. They think we can absorb costs and because they are poor themselves, will often try and take advantage of people like us. (If they only knew the many times I have personally had to hold an order up for mailing because I couldn't afford the 52c to mail it back, or the guy who bounced a $2 check and caused a close friend of mine to go "in the hole" $15 in bad check charges.)

But because we are honest people who place our product ABOVE money we sometimes let people walk all over us. In fact a mail order buddy of mine (who distributes shareware computer disks) is normally so happy when she gets an order that she gives the customer almost 10 times more than what they pay for. She is so excited about keeping a customer that she goes overboard to make them happy.

Unfortunately, a lot of people will take advantage of this situation. They think, "Hey, if I can get this much for hardly nothing, I'll see how much more they'll give me. Look at all the "freebies" I could get and all the money I could save." They'll lose respect for you. However, this line of thinking is only short term. Sure, as a customer, you might get some more free stuff with the next order, but pretty soon the business owner will realize what's going on. Then you'll lose that business contact forever! I can still recall the people who ripped me off before and I would NEVER do business with them again! This is a sad situation!

As a dealer, you can learn to give your customers what they pay for. Go that extra mile on special requests, but never over-extend yourself if it means lost profits to your business. This line of thinking will cause you to set yourself up to be taken advantage of and then you'll become resentful toward your customers; which is bad.

Another friend of mine was so stunned by landing an on-going, monthly publication that she promised the customer "the moon" without even having to do so. When she lived up to all her promises she ended up paying $215 out of her own pocket to publish each issue. Of course, she had to cancel her contract forever, which is "bad business."

In mail order we all have the ability to make ourselves look "richer" than we really are. We can work co-op deals with other people to barter and trade for things we don't have and could never pay for. Then, when orders are filled professionally, the customer suddenly thinks the mail order dealer has a lot of money to spread around and can afford to lose a few dollars on them.

If a customer does not send the correct amount for you to fill his or her order simply write them a nice letter explaining that they did not enclose the proper amount. Send them an invoice showing the amount they still owe and bill them before filling the order.

If someone calls you up on the phone and talks a "good" sales pitch (with the intention of getting you to fill their order before they pay you) kindly explain that your company policy is to receive payment first since they are a new customer. No other explanation is necessary.

However, don't go overboard and get crazy. If a new customer forgets to enclose a stamp, go ahead and send them information. It's silly to buy another stamp yourself just to tell them to send a stamp. And not filling the order is also crazy. If the customer cared enough to write in the first place, you at least owe them a response. Besides, it might bring a big order. Don't get hung-up over a stamp!

Some dealers refuse to take personal checks because they are afraid they will bounce. Again this is not good customer service since it's a lot of trouble to buy a money order when most people have checking accounts. This line of thinking will cost you lots of lost orders. However, you can hold the check for clearance before you fill the order if the amount is over $25. Use common sense and you'll make it!

The Beginner's Opportunity Guide

The Mail Order business is not a business in and of itself, but it is another way of doing business. Mail Order is neither more nor less than selling a product or service via advertising and the offers you send out by mail.

Therefore, to start and succeed in a mail order business of your own, you need just as much, and in some cases, more business acumen than you would need in any other mode of business.

Remember too, there are good guys in mail order, and there are bad guys, just like in any other business. So, your best bet for a proper start with the greatest chance for success is after a thorough investigation of the products being offered and being sold; an analysis of the costs involved to get a fledgling mail order operation off the ground; and a good sixth sense of what your potential customers will buy. You'll need a great deal of patience, and persistence as well.

Mail order is over saturated with plans, directories, sales materials and products that have been around for ten, fifteen, twenty years and longer. Many of these materials were not that good in the beginning, and yet they're still being sold as quick secrets to wealth and fame. This is part of the reason for the junk mail reputation of mail order.

Just a little investigation on your part will show that the most successful people doing business by mail are always on the alert for new products and they quickly add these products to their own sales inventories as they become available. This is a must for success rule, regardless of whether you do or don't produce your own products.

It's almost impossible to gain much success with a single product report, booklet, book or manual. The best way is to search around for a number of related products, then, after arranging drop-shipping deals with the suppliers of the products you want to include in your listing, along with your own self-produced product, make up a catalog listing. It is best if this is a single 8 x 11 sheet of paper, printed on both sides, listing the titles of the reports and/or books you have available, including your own, with a tear off order coupon at the bottom.

One of the best programs available in mail order today is offered by Premier Publishers. This company offers you a variety of circulars, with an order coupon on the bottom of each circular. At present, they can provide six different circulars, listing over 100 different low-cost reports and manuals, such as the report you are reading now. The circulars are grouped according to price range and subject matter of the reports described in the circular. There is an open space on the order coupon for you to insert your own name and address. After inserting your name, you can take or send the circular to the printer of your choice, and have copies printed in the quantity you need. The next step is to insert these circulars, along with one of your own product circulars, in all your mailings. Premier Publishers allows you a full 50% commission on each sale of items on their circulars. They will dropship for you, keeping your customers names confidential, and in no way encroaching upon them. In addition, discounts up to 80% off the retail price are available to you when you are ready to carry your own stock, and buy reports or books in quantity.

This is what you need for a money-making start in this business: a full page circular advertising your own product, plus another full page circular listing products or titles related to your primary offering. Premier Publishers advises you to send two full page circulars: one advertising your own product (if you don't have a primary product of your own, they'll furnish you with single book circulars to feature), and another advertising a list of related products or titles available to your customer.

Materials and Supplies

Once you start receiving orders from this mailing, you must immediately acknowledge receipt of the orders and follow up with other offers. The follow-up offer is where most beginners fail. Either they don't have follow-up materials to send or they just don't send out these follow-up offers. Here again, Premier Publishers can provide the material for the follow-up. They can supply you with a 24-page Unique Books catalog, which lists over 400 titles for your customer to choose from. These catalogs can be ordered in small quantities, and you may rubber stamp your name and address on each one before mailing. These catalogs are also available, for larger quantities, with your name and return address already imprinted. To follow-up after receiving orders from your customers, simply write a short note, thanking your customer for his patronage, and advising him when to expect to receive his order, and then include a follow-up offer, such as the book catalog, in that mailing. And that's how you will build your business, and attain success in mail order.

But, let's get back to the beginning and help you to learn what it takes to succeed in mail order. Don't believe those ads that tell you it doesn't take any money. First off, you are going to need envelopes: #10 mailing envelopes with your name and return address imprinted in the upper left corner. You'll also need a return reply envelope with your name and return address on the face of the envelope with each #10 envelope you send out. These can be either #6 or #9 return envelopes. Ask your printer or office supply store to let you inspect samples.

To realize profits of any consequence, you'll need to send out at least a thousand, preferably five thousand letters per mailing. And to back this up, you'll need a supply of envelopes for your acknowledgment and follow-up offers. You can purchase imprinted mailing and return reply envelopes from your local quick print shop; but for better prices, and with the thought in mind of keeping your costs in line, it's best to shop around for the best prices. Generally speaking, you'll find the lowest prices offered by those printers who do business by mail. Look for "printing by mail" advertisements in all the mail order publications you come across. Write to them for a price list and a sampling of their work.

As you can see, the mail order business is very closely tied in with the printing business. Unless you have your own printing plant, always shop around for the best prices and keep your production costs in line.

Once you've gotten your envelopes ready, and your circulars made up, you'll need a potential customer list. Again, don't believe the advertisements and free advice which states that all you have to do is send your materials out to a fresh opportunity seekers list. We have found that the best prospects are those people who have purchased similar or related items.

Here again, Premier Publishers can help out. They generally receive 2,000 new names each month. These names come from Premier's national advertising...people who are interested in new ways of making money...easier ways of building a mail order business.

Certainly Premier responds to all these inquiries, but they do not offer the same items the various dealers and distributors are offering. Premier offers their mailing lists for rental. Write for current description of names which are available.

When selecting a supplier to work with in the mail order business, always be sure they are quick to fill your orders. Customer complaints are the last thing you want, and poor service leads to dissatisfied and lost customers. Always be sure your supplier protects your customer list, and always make sure he goes that extra mile to work with you, and not just for his own profits. This is the kind of service you want from your supplier.

Finally, you'll need to consider advertising the different offerings you have for sale. We suggest that you start small with a few experimental ads in your local paper or shopping news. Then you can move on to the bigger publications such as GRIT, CAPPERS WEEKLY, BUDGET ADS, FAMILY TRAVEL LOG, INSIDERS, AMERICAN BUSINESS, SPARE TIME, MONEYSWORTH, etc.

Starting Your Own Mail Order Publication

If you are an old hand at mail order, or a newcomer to the business, sooner or later you are going to want to try your lick at having your own publication.

There are some pro's and con's to running your own publication.

The good points:

Some of the con's:

So, if the scale of interest tips toward your desire to give it a try, be prepared to put some time and dollars into getting it off the ground.

Your best format, and the cheapest, is to use 8 ½ x 11 standard letter size sheet. Fold it in half, making a folder of 5 ½ x 8 ½ size. You now have what is termed as a 4-pager publication. An 8-pager would be using a second sheet, folded to the 5 ½ x 8 ½ size and placed inside of the first sheet.

Then after you have your publication launched, you will make things easier by having some layout sheets printed in non-reproducing blue ink. The layout sheets are divided into two columns per page, and column inches. There are sixteen 1-inch spaces per page (eight per column). This is the starting point in determining the cost and selling price per column inch for ads.

Take a layout to your local quickie printer, and get a price for 1,000 copies of your 8 ½ x 11 sheet, printed two sides.

For an example, let's assume your printer wants $20.00 for 1,000.

On a four-page publication, you reserve the front page for your masthead (name of the publication) and three pages for advertising.

You have 16 one-inch spaces per page times three pages, so you have 48 spaces available to sell. If you sell each space at $5.00 net to you, you will generate 48 x $5.00 or $240.00 in revenue for one sheet folded into a four pager.

Remember, if you use an eight pager, you are generating $80.00 per page from advertising, so every ad of your own (or articles that use up ad space) reduces your income. An eight pager, less the front page, generate 7 pages of advertising revenue, or $560.00. Your cost for an eight pager for printing would be approximately $40.00 for 1,000 quantity, leaving you a profit of $520.00

Start by putting together a layout - a four pager. Select a name that tells it all, in one or two words if possible, i.e. "The Mail Box". Decide how often you are going to publish - once a month - bi-monthly - quarterly. Write your editorial copy for the front pate; a typewriter is all you need. Type your copy on separate sheets in two columns and paste it up.

Tell all about your publication...what, where, when, who, etc., and be sure to tell the circulation you will have 1,000, 2,000, etc. The more circulation you have, the more you can ask per inch.

When you are first starting out, with only 1,000 circulation, you may not be able to get $5.00 per column inch. It may be necessary to charge only $2.50 per inch to get advertisers to buy your space.

Your next step is to post up some ads. If you have products that you sell by mail order, use them to fill the pages. You may also write to some who are advertising in other publications and offer them an introductory ad at a reduced rate for the first issue. The back page should be reserved for your advertising order blank, calling attention to the special price, and inviting potential advertisers to complete it and mail it in with payment.

When pasting up ads, make sure to keep them in a neat column width. And if someone submits an ad on colored paper, dip it in household bleach and place it on a paper towel to dry. The bleach will take out the color background so that your printer can handle the reproduction.


Most publications in mail order are co-publishing publications. This means that is you are the prime publisher, you insert a box on the front page with "Co-Publisher" printed above it. Co-publishers are your advertisers. Each may run an ad in your publication one time, paying the full rate, and agreeing to mail 25, 50, or more copies with his name stamped in the Co-publisher box. The Co-publisher mails out his copies, and since it is a Co-publisher publication, the prime publisher does not solicit ads directly, but refers all ads through a Co-publisher. The Co-publisher sells ads by mailing out copies. If you establish a rate of $6.00 per 1-inch ad, your Co-publisher keeps 50% and sends the ad to be run, along with your 50% to you.

This is a method of distributing your publication without having to mail it yourself. However, experience has proven that only about 40% actually mail their copies, so your publication may not get distributed and results would be very discouraging to you and the advertiser, (even though they did not do what they agreed to do).

The best idea is to get your hands on as many other publications as possible. Type up labels with all advertisers, and prepare your own mailing list; you may wish to supplement this with a list of mail order buyers that can be purchased from list houses for $30 per 1,000.

Inquire at your local post office for information/instruction on bulk mailing. Current ruling is a minimum of 500 pieces, and if you get up to 2,000, you should really consider bulk mailings. You will find that a permit is necessary, which involved a fee, but bulk will cut your cost tremendously. You do have to sort and tie your mail by zip codes, but will generally save money.

To improve your professional touches, learn more about graphics by purchasing books on graphics, layouts and techniques available from many sources - or go to your public library. You will learn about reproducing photos, reducing, enlarging, and using press-on type for headlines. These are elements you will learn quickly when you put out your own publication. If you have a local printer, you might be surprised to find he is willing to help your own publication. If you have a local printer, you might be surprised to find he is willing to help you be sharing information and shortcut tips. Also, study other publications for style and format, and make notes as to how you could improve them.

When you have progressed to a circulation of 5,000 or more, you should look into a changeover to tabloid format (newspaper style) which is printed on Webb press - the savings are tremendous. But for starters, stay with the 5 ½ x 8 ½ format.

Practical Plans for Mail Order Beginners

Below are six simple, practical plans that will enable you to start and build your own money making mail order business. These plans have made money for others, and they will make money for you - If you will REALLY work at them!

Plan #1 - Sell Big Mails

The easiest way to start selling by mail is to advertise and sell "Big Mails". To get started, co-publish at least three Mail Order Magazines and several ad sheets. Use an ad like this:

BIG MAIL - $1.00 - Commission Mailed Free!
(Your Name and Address)

When someone sends you $1.00, send him one copy of each magazine, one copy of each ad sheet, and one copy of every commission circular that you have in stock. If you advertise regularly, and fill each order by return mail, you will soon by selling ads and subscriptions, as well as merchandise offered on the commission circulars. You can expand by regularly adding to your list of magazines and ad sheets. There are some dealers who advertise in more than 100 Mail Order Magazines every issue. If you are willing to work, you can do the same thing!

Plan #2 - Sell Directly from Ads

If you are selling merchandise which is used by Mail dealers and Opportunity seekers, such as rubber stamps, information directories, envelopes, labels, mail order manuals, sample copies of opportunity magazines, etc., you can make money selling them directly from ads in the Mail Order Magazines. If you buy the merchandise in quantity, you can ship orders directly to your customers yourself. Otherwise, you can use the drop-ship method.

To be successful, you must schedule REGULAR FOLLOW-UP MAILINGS to your customers offering more of the same merchandise or items that are closely related to it. Do this consistently, month after month, and you will be amazed at the number of checks you will have to deposit in your bank account!

Plan #3 - Make Sales through Circular Mailers

If you have a good offer - one which really appeals to opportunity seekers - have your printer set up an attractive 3 x 6 circular and then pay circular mailers to mail them for you. Your circular will only pull if it offers some thing that mail dealers and opportunity seekers want and need.

Ideally, 3 x 6 circulars distributed by circular mailers should offer "leader items", items which are appealing, useful and priced right (never more than a dollar or two; even less if possible). The purpose of the circular is to attract new, steady customers for your mailing list.

You should plan to make regular mailings to each person who purchases your leader item. It is the REPEAT business that makes Mail Order Profitable.

If you send 200 circulars to mailers every day for thirty days, you will have 6,000 circulars in the mail at the end of the month. If you send 500 a day, you will have 15,000 circulars in the mail at the end of the month! There are mail dealers who rely entirely on circular mailers to find new customers for them. Some of them distribute as many as 100,000 circulars every month!

Plan #4 - Selling through Commission Mailers

This plan is similar to Plan #3 except that you do not pay mailers to mail your circulars. Instead, you print a good commission ad on the backs of your circulars, leaving a blank space for the commission mailer to rubber stamp his name and address.

The mailer stamps his name on them and includes them in his mailings. When he receives an order for them, he keeps about half of the money as his commission and sends you the other half to drop-ship his order for him. You will probably make a small profit from his sales, but your real profits come from the circulars that he is mailing at no cost to you.

This method is a little more complicated than Plan #3, since you have to stock merchandise and fill drop-ship orders - but in the long run, it is cheaper than paying mailers to mail your circulars.

You can give your circulars away free, you can ask mailers to pay their postage for them, or you can run ads in the Mail Order Magazines.

Commission Circulars
100 - $1; 500 - $3
We drop-ship for half.

There are literally hundreds of people looking for good commission circulars. This can be a very effective way of building up a very prosperous Mail Order Business - if you have the stamina to work at it!

Plan #5 - Get Paid for Mailing Circulars

Start by studying the mailing rates of other mailers in the Mail Order Magazines and then create a similar ad for yourself. Start small - advertise in lots of 100 and 250. Later, as you gain experience, advertise for circulars in 500 and 1000 lots.

Besides your mailing ad, you should also run an ad like this!

Postage Appreciated.

Soon after your mailing ad appears, you will start receiving small packages of circulars to mail - each with money in them! (Be sure to send a sample mailing to the mailing customer. It is the only way you will get more circulars to mail!) You will also get letters with stamps in them. Use the stamps to mail the circulars that you have been paid to mail.

As soon as you get more requests for Big Mails than you have circulars; increase the number of your circular mailing ads. If you get more circulars to mail than requests for Big Mails, increase the number of your Big Mail ads.

If you stick to your mailing copies of magazines in which you are advertising in your Big Mails, you will sell enough ads to pay for your own advertising. And if you include commission circulars in the Big Mails, your sales from them will be "pure gravy". Circular Mailers soon learn that there are dozens of ways to make money in this business - if they keep their eyes and their ears open!

Plan #6 - Become a "Commission Mailer"

The first thing you should do is sit down and order SMALL quantities of commission circulars from about twenty or thirty different dealers. Most will charge you about $1.00 per hundred. A few will supply them for just the postage. Once you have done this, order at least one new batch of commission circulars EVERY DAY! (You will find them advertised in the Mail Order magazines or you can buy lists of commission circular suppliers from most dealers.)

Also order 100 names of opportunity seekers from two or three different dealers.

It will take two or three weeks for your circulars to start arriving, due to present day third class mail service. As soon as you have about fifteen different circulars, start mailing them. Set a daily quota and stick to it. Five letters a day is 150 letters a month, 33 letters a day is 1,000 a month!

When orders come in, forward the order to the drop-shipper IMMEDIATELY! Then acknowledge the order and let your customer know that his order is being shipped to him direct from the supplier VIA THIRD CLASS MAIL. With your acknowledgment - INCLUDE SOME MORE CIRCULARS! I cannot over stress the importance of this. Your customer likes you and your offers - give him the opportunity to buy something else from you. He is your best source for more business.

Orders will be slow - very slow - in the beginning, but don't get discouraged. Initially this is a slow business, and the only ones who succeed in it are those who have the patience to persevere.

When you find a customer, send him a new mailing every month for at least three months. (That is why you should be ordering NEW circulars every day!)

Once you find a circular that "pulls" - order more of them. If possible, order them with your names and address PRINTED on them. (They will almost always pull more than rubber stamped circulars.) Eliminate circulars that do not produce orders, but keep mailing the ones that do. Eventually, you will develop a mail order "package" that will be irresistible to your prospective customers.

As your customer list grows, you will soon discover that your mailings will become productive (providing that you mail to your customer regularly). A "customer list" will always pull more than a cold list. Making the first sale is certainly the hardest.

Commission mailing is difficult in the beginning. Most beginners do not stick with it log enough to give it a fair chance. If you will stick with it - you can make money mailing commission circulars. It takes determination and a willingness to really work at it!

Related Articles

Dictionary of Mail Order Terms

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: A short note acknowledging receipt of an order. Used especially when a check is sent as payment, and shipment will be delayed until the check clears.

How to Set Up Your Own Mail Order Distributorship for General Merchandise and Books

When you have developed, or found, mail-order products over which you have exclusive ownership or control, you may want to consider selling through agents, wholesalers or dealers.

Commission Circulars: How to Make $5,000 for Every Page You Copy

Everyone that starts out learning the mail order business is normally introduced to Commission Circulars very early in the game. You have probably seen ads claiming "how you can make money - sometimes as much as $5,000 - for every page you copy".

How to Select Mail Order Products that Sell

Almost anything that people want or need is today being successfully sold by mail. In fact, some propositions could not be handled in any other way. The problem is to figure out the product or service and then find and develop a market.

The Secret Mail Order Product that Can Make You Rich

Everyday more and more people are jumping on the "mail order" bandwagon - starting their own, or getting involved in some kind of mail order selling endeavor - and hoping to get rich.

The Mail-Five-Letters-a-Day Plan

The purpose of this report is to outline a simple, step-by-step program that will enable you to start making "sales by mail" immediately!

What It Takes to Make Your Fortune in Mail Order

You can make a million dollars or more in mail order, but it's going to require a complete understanding of the business as well as a little bit of know-how on your part.

How to Capitalize on the Hidden Profits in Junk Mail

Don't just glance at your junk mail and throw it away! Save it - it can put extra money in your pockets! As a matter of fact, you can make some "easy" extra money with all your incoming mail...

How to Start Your Own Mail Order Publication

If you are an old hand at mail order, or a newcomer to the business, sooner or later you are going to want to try your lick at having your own publication.

How to Start and Operate Your Own Profitable Mail Order Business at Home

How much money do you want to make? Do you need a steady second income? Do you want to have your own business, be your own boss, and make your own decisions?