by Terry Smeigel
Aside from advertising, the biggest expense involved in mail order business is postage. This means that virtually everyone involved in mail order is on the look-out for ways to save money getting their sales offers out to prospects. The answer is co-op mailings.
Here's how a typical co-op mailing service works: A person with something to sell via mail sees an advertisement inviting him or her to send their circulars or brochures to co-op mailing service. The co-op mailing service receives these circulars or brochures and hires housewives or handicapped people to fold and stuff them into envelopes and then mails them. For this service, they charge anywhere from $10 to $100 per thousand-- and it's a good deal to the mailer.
Now, quite naturally the co-op mailer can do this and make any money unless he's got a number of circulars or brochures from several customers in each envelope he sends out. And that's precisely how he makes his money--by including 10 to 16 such circulars in each envelope. Look at it from a mathematical point of view; Say he charges 12 people $50 per thousand to fold and stuff their circulars in his own outgoing mail. Twelve times 50 dollars comes out to 600 dollars--he uses his own mailing lists, so there's no big expense involved there--but he does have to pay for people to fold and stuff envelopes unless he's got it organized where he and his family do this...The going rate of people to fold and stuff circulars is about $20 per thousand...And to bulk rate 1,000 envelopes is going to cost $110...Add to that about $12 1,000 envelopes and you've got a total overhead of $142...Subtract that amount from $600 he took in, and you have him realizing a profit of $458...Not bad for mailing...
The best thing of all about starting and operating a co-op mailing service is that you can include your own circulars or brochures with each envelope you send out. You stuff circulars or brochures from 12 different paying customers, and at the same time, include at least two of your own.
So how do you get started in such an easy and highly profitable business...
The simplest way is to have and advertising coupon-- 3 1/2 by 6 inches--made up and include one with everything you mail out.
Another sure-fire method of pulling in orders is to turn a simple classified ad in as many of the national coverage mail order publications as you can afford. Such an ad look like this:
CO-OP MAILING! Best customers in the country. Just $50 per thousand- you supply the circulars--we mail! Excello Mailing Services, Po 99 Washington, DC 20001
A couple of things you should do in order to handle the orders you'll be getting...Be sure to have a number of people lined up/available to do the folding and stuffing of envelopes for you--and also, be sure to get yourself a bulk rate postage permit.
With those details out of the way, all you really have to do when the orders come in is drop off the circulars to be folded and stuffed into envelopes, with the envelopes, your return address can be rubber stamped on the envelopes as they are applying the mailing address labels as well as your bulk rate mail permit indicia, and you're on your way.
By including a co-op mail advertising coupon with each piece of mail that you send out, plus regular advertising in most of the mail order publication, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how fast your profits will grow. Once you get organized and have all the bugs worked out of your system, you might also want to expand your business to include your local area.
To do this, you either call on your local area businesses and professional people, or else hire commission sales people to do the selling for you. Most small businesses are interested in sending out regular sale flyers or catalogs, so you or your sales people simply call upon these people and offer to do the job for the.
Contact with a good printer in your area will also be to your benefit. You can offer to have the circulars printed--you collect a commission from the printer, and make a bundle of profits with your mailing services.
If you sign just 5 different stores in 5 different shopping centers, you could really be rolling in money within just a very short period of time. $50 per thousand--times 5 stores-- you have $250. And when you multiply that times 5 different shopping centers, you're talking about $1,250. Then if you get all of these people to go with your services on a regular basis--say once a month, you've got yourself a very respectable monthly income that will certainly keep you from the Poor House...
Whenever you send out mail, you should always include your co-op mail advertising coupon, plus at least two advertising circulars of your own. By doing this, you'll continue to pull in more business for your mailing services, and at the same time make money from whatever you're selling on your advertising circulars.
Finally, as with any business you might be thinking of starting, the business should be primarily something to keep you busy and pay your bills. Any business that your start should be "vehicle" to eventually make you rich. Thus, you'll have to know about the business, but just as soon as you can afford it, you should hire other people to do the work. In other words, with this particular business Don't involve yourself and commit your time to the folding and stuffing. Hire other people to do this work for you while you work on the expansion of the business by calling on local people that can use your services. At the same time, it would be wise to hire a number of commission sales people--the more people you have calling on prospects, the more money you're going to make and the faster your business will grow. Actually, and dependent on your energies, there's no reason why a co-op mailing business can't bring in $100,000 a year or more. The opportunity is available in almost every city and hamlet in the country. We've told you how it can be done, and the rest is up to you!
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