The Mail Order Trap

Of sending your mailings to non-productive names

Note: The following report is based on the authors opinions. But, it is an educated opinion in that the author has been involved in various aspects of mailorder over the years. When the term "mailorder" is used, it refers to the Big Mail, Adsheets, Opportunities type of mailorder and not the mass merchandising market type of mailorder which is a completely different animal.

OK, you've made your first move by placing your first ads and your literature is, you're ready for a serious try at the mailorder "game". But, lets put first things first and pause to consider who your customers are and which are the best ones to mail to.

Most new dealers mail indiscriminately just to everyone and anyone that happens to attract their attention in the various mailorder publications...They also mail to people in the Big Mail Wanted listings. This is what I call the "Mail Order Trap" of Unproductive Names. Mailing to these names is unproductive as per the comments in the following two paragraphs.

Mailing To People That Place Ads: Unless you have scanned the ads over a period of time, you have no way of knowing who the new dealers or the established dealers are. Frankly, unless you offer is NEW and DIFFERENT, the established dealers could care less about your offer. WHY? Simply because the neos (new dealers) mail the established dealers the same old literature on a daily basis. It's common for the author of the same old literature on a daily basis. It's common for the author of this report to receive 5 or 6 of whichever offer that's currently "hot" in the same day. Since 100 or more of the same offer has already been received by each established dealer...well, lets face it, if any desire to purchase the said plan was ever there, it was purchased long ago.

Mailing To People Listed In Big Mails Wanted Columns: Lets face it, do the people that have their names listed in these columns really want to buy your offers? Or do they just want their mailboxes kept full at your postage expense? again, the author has a company name listed in several of these publications...the ones that pull bring again a torrent of the same old offers again and again from each new and inexperienced dealer. Unless you're FIRST with the offer, I consider it wanted postage.

The question now should be..."if these mailings don't pull, what kind of mailings do?' First off, some assumptions have to be made...that is, that your offer is of the kind that will pull with the mailorder crowd. Maybe you don't know this as yet, but the following statement is the true secret of mailorder. The only things that mailorder people will buy in any quantity are 1) Offers that they can resell to other dealers or 2) Supplies, etc. that will help them run their business (including information): ALL ELSE won't make it no matter how hard you try.

Here goes...

The best people to mail to are people that mail offers...especially neos that are selling the same old tried plans. If you are not getting your share of mailorder offers, a good way to start is to place your name in various Big Mails wanted columns. The better pullers in my opinion are the ones in the tabloids or the sheets with a good number of names that appear to get around.. Be wary of listings with just a few names oe ones that you haven't seen before. Another way to get names is to advertise in various'll get a lot more mailings than orders... sift them through and send your offers to people you feel are new to mailorder.

If you aren't getting your share of mail as yet (I get maybe 40 - 50 pieces on better days) I strongly suggest you start reading the adsheets on a regular basis. Get to know the "regulars" who advertise everywhere. Established dealers are ALWAYS LOOKING FOR new and DIFFERENT offers. If your offer is new and different, send it to these established dealers... if it's not... pass them by. In any case, send your offers to the obvious new dealers that are advertising the same old things that have been around for 20 years. The ones with the crudely done ads, etc. are good prospects in my book.

The above should be enough to get started towards sending your mailings to a more productive type of name. Certainly fresher than any purchased mailing list... you know they're active since they just mailed their material to you.

Let's get into the "and more" I promised you in my ad...

What's the highest profit item in mailorder? Information! You can take a report that costs you a dime to have printed and sell for several dollars.

The best things to write about are things from your own experience. With the mailorder dealers, articles about making more money or saving money while conducting their business would be the most in demand.. You don't have to be a college professor to write an article. Just state the facts in an easy to follow form of your choosing. Whatever you do, do not borrow a report from another dealer and call your own without permission. Serious problems could occur.

If you're looking for an interesting series of newsletter about mailorder, why not send: P.F. Skeberis, Box 27, Fremont, MI 49412 $1.00 for a sample newsletter. It might be just what you've been looking for and the information contained should be worth $1.00 too.

When running a small 1" ad, never ask for more than a couple dollars (some say $5). A sure sign of an inexperienced dealer is asking $10 or $20 for a vaguely described item in a small ad. Selling a large ticket item may be done through a small ad by asking for inquiries. You "qualify" inquiries by asking for a stamp or other token cost. Then you follow up with well written sales literature to make the sale. If they don't order with your prospectus, you "follow up." Some say 3 or 4 times. Others say up to 5 times.

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