Marketing Secrets to Making It Big with Recipes by Mail

Just about anyone can offer recipes for sale, and make a few extra dollars. Believe it or not, almost anyone who sells recipes through all the "chain letter" recipe clubs, National Inquirer and similar efforts, makes money.

Not many of them make the proverbial "bushel basketful" of money, but the majority of them make enough money to at least break even for the money they spend in promoting their offers. That's a lot more than a lot of people involved in most other types of mail order selling can say for themselves.

Here's how a recipe club is usually started: An enterprising homemaker or man with visions of super wealth dancing before his eyes, thumbs through one of his mother's or grandmother's old recipe books... He notices an unusual or interesting recipe for say, chicken 'n dumplings... He says to himself, I'll bet not too many of today's housewives are aware of how well most men like chicken 'n dumplings - so what if I run an ad along with these lines: Delight your man! Win the pride of your kids, and the praise of your friends! Serve then chicken 'n dumplings from my old world recipe. Yours for just $1 plus SASE...

He runs that ad in the National Inquirer or one of the other national publications that cater to people interested in cooking - his cost: about $100 - and in response, he receives six or seven hundred one dollar bills in the mail. Like wow! And he never thought it could be so easy!

So he writes up a little letter stating to the effect that "we're starting an "old world" recipe club - send us $10 per year for membership dues, plus one of your favorite 'old world' recipes, and we'll set up a program not only for a monthly newsletter in which we talk about ways to ease the grocery bill while feeding our families wholesome meals, we'll also kick off a program that will allow each member to pick up a bit of pin money on the side.

If he mails these "membership solicitation" letters to all the people who responded to his recipe ad, and to all the other people he sees interested in recipes in the homemaker-type publications, he'll have his recipe club.

So what he does is file all the incoming recipes - uses the incoming cash for operating expenses - and copies one of the better incoming recipe club chain letters to fit his own program. He types his own name in the number one position, and the names of three or four of his members and one of their recipes in the numbers two, three, and four positions. Generally, his instructions will advise the recipient to send $10 to the name of the recipe club, and it's post office box address for a lifetime membership which gives member a free copy of the club newsletter once every so often - and then to send $1 to each of the names listed in the pyramid - positions 1-2-3-4... When the club gets his membership fee, 100 copies of the solicitation letter will be "printed" up with the new member's name in number four position - these will be mailed to the new member - and he or she will be able to send them out to his or her friends and collect $1 for their recipe, which of course can be reproduced for about $3 or $4 per hundred...

What actually happens with the initial mailings is that the "club president" is dealing from a stacked deck. The club gets $10 from each new member - costs about $3 or $4 to print up a hundred copies of the membership solicitation letter - and the "club president" as the club, pockets at least $5 profit from each new member. Then, his or her name is always in number one position for each new member, so if everything goes in reality as it's designed on paper, he makes another $1 from everyone participating. So far so good, but wait, he's enlisted the help of his relatives, neighbors and friends to "catch" and save for him, any and all recipe club mail that comes to their addresses. So, positions number two, three and four are taken up on this initial mailing by people who turn the money received, over to him.

Think of it! If 5,000 letters were sent out and only 1,500 people joined up and sent $1 to each of the names/addresses listed on his letter, he'll come out about $6,000 ahead before he even begins counting the income from new memberships.

Okay! The next time around, he "lops off" his number 4 name and inserts a new member's name - but he's still got $3 from each participating member coming in to him on each mailing; and then it's $2, and eventually only $1 - but he still gets that $10 from each new member... You can believe without a doubt he's getting rich fast, and you will too as you progress up the ladder from the number 4 position, but you'll never make as much money as he does - simply because he's in the "control" position.

As for "publishing" the newsletter, there's really nothing to that - he simply checks out a book on "helpful household hints" from the public library and copies them from the book onto the pages of his newsletter, attributing these hints to "made up" names of fictitious club members. You'll notice that he always "tag-lines" his household hint or bit of club news with something along these lines: Remember, if your local group or organization is doing something newsworthy, if you have a special recipe you'd like to share with all the club members - or if you have a helpful household hint, be sure to send it in to us and we'll try to include it in our next issue. At the bottom line, everybody is meeting new friends ,discovering old recipes their grandmothers used to use, and everybody involved is helping to make the "club president" rich!

What I'm saying is simply this: Here's how some of them do work, and how you can put it together to serve your own purposes with you as "club president". When you're dealing with recipes, the postal services generally do not bother you - so long as you "maintain" that you're just exchanging recipes amongst your club members, and no one really involved with a primary motive of getting rich.

Believe it! It works almost every time, and it's so simple that most people never stop to worry about who's helping whom.

Sooner or later the names of the new members will reach the number one position - a lot of them will circumvent the $10 membership fee and have their own "chain letter membership solicitation letters" printed up with their own names and mail drops in every position - and when that happens, you either make them "chapter presidents" of their own members and exact fees from them for the membership/newsletter program, or you wait a few months and start all over again from scratch with a stacked deck again.

The basic problem is that too many people see and understand exactly how the program works, and they use your materials as well as ideas to launch their own recipe club. If you can't get your well-planned, and theoretically good for everyone program running full-speed ahead from your first mailing, just bow out and relax for awhile. Let things settle down for a couple of months or so and then try it again.

Almost all profitable recipe clubs have a newsletter - a gossip sheet in reality - but it's that newsletter that carries the ball in bringing in the dough for the "club president." Remember, your "pyramid participation" letter should emphasize the benefits of becoming a member of your recipe club, complete with club newsletter - and, the opportunity to make a little extra money by helping to recruit new members.

As explained earlier, in response to each person sending in a $10 membership fee, you agree to put them on the mailing list for your newsletter - and to send them 100 copies of the "pyramid participation" letter which is thinly disguised as a sales letter recruiting new members in your program.

Reread this whole thing over - make sure you understand each step - and then, if you want to really make it big with recipes - line your pockets with gold instead of somebody else's - initiate the steps to become "club president" of your own recipe club!

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