How to Choose a Print & Mail Dealer
A direct-mail campaign is EXPENSIVE! There are many ways to cut the cost of your mailings. Bulk mail, SASE's, and many other ways. One of the best ways to lower your mailing costs, though, is by using a PRINT & MAIL DEALER.
Print & mail dealers do exactly what their name describes. They can take your ads, usually 8 1/2 x 11 flyers, print them and mail them to names drawn from a mailing list. Their services are quite inexpensive, sometimes costing close to what your local printer would charge for printing alone. How is this?
A print & mail business runs something like this. When the dealer receives an order from a customer, for example, 1000 8 1/2 x 11 flyers, printed & mailed, he will print the flyers on one side of the paper, with HIS flyer on the back.
Thus, anyone who receives the customer's flyer will also get the dealer's flyer. This cuts his advertising costs. Then, he will assemble a group of different orders together into one mailing. This could as little as two pages, to as large as 50 pages. These are bulk mailed to names drawn from a mailing list, usually of opportunity seekers or mail order enthusiasts. They could also be mailed out to those who have responded to ads the print & mail dealer has placed.
How can you be sure a print & mail dealer will do a good job for you? There are four things you should do when dealing with a print & mail dealer for the first time. The first two should be done when shopping for a dealer, the other two are done after your first order is placed.
First, send the dealer a request to be added to his mailing list. You should then receive his next mailing. If you don't want to wait for a bulk mail, send a few first-class stamps, and you'll probably receive it quicker.
Look through the mailing and observe the printing quality. Is it smudgy, smeary and hard to read, or is it crisp and clear? If the printing straight, or crooked?
Keep in mind, the quality of the mailing you receive will probably be the quality of YOUR flyer if you use this dealer. Do this for a number of dealers and you will quickly be able to determine which will give you the best print quality.
Second, find out what type of names the dealer is mailing to, and where they come from. For best results, make sure the dealers name are fresh. The best mailing lists in mail order are made up of people who have bought within the past 30 days. Anything over 90 days old shouldn't be used. Reputable print & mail dealers shouldn't have a problem with providing this information.
Third, when you place your printing order, request a checking copy. This is a copy of the bulk mailing, sent to you. You can then see exactly how your printing came out, the other offers surrounding yours, and your position in the mailing.
Finally, you should also request proof of mailing. When you mail a bulk mailing at the post office, they will provide you with a receipt listing the date and the number mailed. Request that a photocopy of this be mailed to you with your checking copy. Not all dealers will do this, but the reputable ones should have no problem with it.
If everything looks good, and you sent a good offer to be distributed, you should get favorable results. This report is not meant to say that a lot of print & mail dealers are disreputable. Most use high quality lists and produce top notch printing. Otherwise, they'd never get return customers. Just be sure that you "look before you leap."
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
The opportunities for getting free advertising for your product or services are limited only by your own imagination and energies.
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.
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.