Generating Leads through "Free Ads"
Do you want leads or do you want to get actual orders right away? Again, be explicit when communicating your objective to your reader. Do you simply want them to fill out a coupon in order to receive more information, or do you want them to enclose a check or money order for a specific amount? Regardless of what you want them to do, the choice is yours.
Some products are better sold on a two-step basis, or what is generally called "lead generation" campaigns. Here are the two steps that take place.
First Step: The ad explains brief information about the product and asks the reader to write or call for additional information.
Second Step: Readers who respond receive sales literature which encourages them to place an order for the product.
Some products are better sold using the two-step method. On the other hand, this method may prove extremely expensive for products that sell for under $100.
Your business name is a window by which customers (try to) judge what you're made of, what your size is, what your aspirations are, and how sincere you can be. Many new businesses fall into the trap of creating such big names that they begin to sound bogus. Here's a short checklist of do's and don'ts about choosing a name.
Remember that your business name need not be your advertising name. Example, if your business name is Ross & Johnson Communications Services International Enterprises, you can use R&J Enterprises, or R&J Services, or R&J International. (Of course, a separate DBA filing is required.)
Avoid long names that will be too difficult for customers to memorize or spell. Using the above example, the full business name will be too long to fit on the payee line of a check.
Avoid names that are too difficult to spell. Also avoid foreign sounding names or surnames that may sound classy to you may actually be a turnoff to your customers.
Using the Right Mailing Address
Post office boxes are OK. But private mail boxes with a street address are even better. If you live (or have your office) in a city with a name that is difficult to spell or remember, get an address in the next city. For example, if your business is located in a city named Lauderdale Hills you may want to get a P.O. Box just a few miles away in Miami. Not only is the latter (Miami) more recognizable, it is also shorter and easier for the customer to spell.
Canada & Other Foreign Orders
In most cases, foreign orders, particularly those from Canada, may represent 3% of the total orders you receive. If you gross $1 million a year, this means $30,000 of that comes from outside the United States. Of course international orders are a little bit more tedious to handle. To start with, their different ZIP/Postal Code system makes data entry a little more challenging. Keep in mind also that shipments to some foreign countries can cost $20 or more! This is one reason why international orders are usually penalized with a higher shipping & handling charge. Always require your international customers to pay you in U.S. Funds only. Make sure you specify this in your ad. Failing to do so will bring you unpleasant surprises.
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.