a short - friendly - informal & easy-to-remember company name.
Your personal name is acceptable, but add Co., Gifts, etc.
Home address or post-office box makes no appreciable difference.
printed letterheads and envelopes.
A typewriter-or the availability of one is a must.
Parcel post shipping labels.
Avoid purchasing expensive office equipment or supplies until
purchase above starting supplies.
To pay for two or three publication ads to test your offer.
Or, to pay rental for a minimum of 1,000 names for a direct mail
program, plus postage costs.
To pay for preparation and layout of a display ad.
To pay for art work and type-setting of circular.
To pay for additional or continuing pro-motions if initial results
Costs to cover promotion expenses if further testing is required.
Extra capital to allow for unforeseen and unexpected expenses.
new, unusual and, if possible, exclusively yours.
Is of good quality and fairly priced.
Fills a definite need for a wide and ready market.
Offers strong appeal to the prospect.
Is not commonly sold in retail stores.
Cannot be bought elsewhere or only from limited sources.
You can control it's production or distribution.
Is not expensive to make or produce - can be sold year round.
Interests a large percentage of the market.
Is not seasonable (except Xmas) can be sold year round.
Lightweight - not fragile - safe and inexpensive to ship.
Will be used up or consumed and must be reordered periodically.
A SUITABLE MAIL ORDER ITEM
through mail order magazines check the products successful mail
order dealers offer.
Inquire of local manufacturers and Chamber of Commerce.
Attend trade shows with gift - jewellery - household themes - etc.
Contact appropriate manufacturers listed at Public Libraries.
Watch for new product listings in trade journals and magazines.
Check out close-outs, surplus and overstock offers.
Contact mail order supply sources.
Design - develop - manufacture or publish your own products.
or acquire other items to tie in with your main product.
Present follow-up offers to customers and prospects.
Promote succession or products appealing to the same trade.
Sell personalisation - consultation - etc, if such services are
adaptable to your line.
- Use attention-getting, bold
headline copy in ads.
- Illustrate the product if space
permits; explain how it is used.
- Write copy in a brief, bouncy
- Avoid any overly-clever, tricky
phrases or expressions.
- Be sincere - donít
- Describe the product clearly
- Stress the YOU approach; tell
how the offer will benefit them.
- Avoid over talking about
yourself or your company.
- Strive for conviction and
- Instil confidence; make the
prospect feel you are honest.
- Stir him into action to order
- Give specific directions for
- Provide a guarantee of
satisfaction or money back.
- Tailor the ad / literature to
fit the prospect you want to reach.
- If capital permits - test more
than one magazine.
- Test more than one ad, each in
a different publication.
- Try split runs if the magazine
offers regional or sectional issues.
- Continue a successful ad
without change until its pull drops to a break-even point.
- Donít rush to
change, the size of ad-copy-new headline another
illustration-new price - etc.
- Use short testimonials if space
- Offer a bonus, something free
or at a reduced price.
- Key each ad or mailing to
determine where the results were derived.
- Keep accurate records of
returns from each promotion.
- Usually consists of sales
letter, descriptive circular or folder, order form, return
(Some offers may be effectively sold by only a sales letter)
- Effective sales letter must
create ATTENTION - INTEREST - DESIRE - ACTION (AIDA)
- The circular should fully
illustrate or describe the product.
- It must provide more detailed
information about the product-its uses - benefits - advantages
and other special appeals.
- Return envelope is an essential
part of sales literature to make it convenient for the customer
to mail the order.
- Mailing sales offers by
first-class mail vs third-class mail usually shows no
appreciable difference in results.
- Mailing envelope can feature an
attractive design or teaser message to induce the recipient to
open and read the offer.
- Develop or produce your own
mail order item, if possible.
- Try to arrange exclusive
mail-order rights with the supplier.
- Establish supply sources close
to home to save delivery time and shipping cost.
- Seek lowest price if item is
offered by two or more suppliers.
- Order larger quantities, if you
can afford such purchases, to get lower or greater discounts.
- Assure that supplier is
reliable and will provide the merchandise you plan to promote -
that he will ship orders promptly.
- Consider only products which
allow an adequate profit margin
(at least a 3 to 1 profit mark up on lower-priced items).
- Consider a supplier who is
willing to drop-ship your orders directly to your customers-seek
at least a 50% discount.
- Price merchandise fairly; give
customers their moneyís worth.
- Include postage or shipping
costs in selling price.
- Use round number ($3.00, $5.00,
etc) for lower-priced items to make it convenient for customers
to remit payment.
- Allow for all costs in marking
up prices-postage, overhead, packing, allowances for non
deliveries, refunds, bad checks.
- Be certain to allow yourself an
adequate mark-up to assure profit.
- Test different prices to
determine which selling price brings in the greatest amount of
- Donít attempt to start unless
you can afford at least 2 - 3 ads; or a direct mailing to at
least 1,000 names.
- Plan to advertise consistently.
- Use ad space relative to sale
price, small-size ads for low priced items/larger ads more
- Items priced over $3.00 usually
do not sell as profitable through classified ads.
- In space ads, offer products in
the $3.00 to $10.00 price range.
- It is usually better to
advertise for inquiries if an item sells for $10.00 or more.
- Two small ads will generally
produce more business than one ad twice as large.
- Keep repeating your ads as long
as they continue to be profitable.
- Donít waste unnecessary space
- advertising is expensive.
- Donít expect to make a
killing from one ad or mailing.
- Consistent advertising is the
key to mail order success.
- Newspapers with mail-order
sections bring quick returns and are acceptable for initial
- Results are not usually as good
as from magazine ads for long range pull.
- Use only publications with
readership who will react favourably to your type of product or
- Unsold inquirers should be
followed up with special inducements or with new offers.
- Rent names only from reliable
brokers or mail order sources.
- Use only lists of people who
are logical prospects for your offer.
- Compile mailing list from your
own inquirers and customers.
- Offer your names to list
brokers; this is a good source for extra income.
- Advertise in publications which
feature large mail order sections - place ads in the same issues
or sections that your competitors advertise.
- Select an advertising agency
experienced in mail order.
- Check their credentials -
current account - successful promotions.
- Donít use agencies which
represent direct competitors.
- Expect to pay in advance for ad
placements and other services until credit terms are
- Advertising agencies are not
infallible, forgive an honest mistake give them a second chance.
- Expect to pay for preparation
of display ads, copy layout, and other services authorised.
- Classified ad copy will be
prepared without any cost to you.
- Extend full cooperation, go
along with their recommendations.
- If your advertising
budget is substantial, consider setting up your own advertising
agency, there by saving 15%
commission, plus a 2% discount in many instances.
- Fill and ship orders promptly.
Mail order buyers get edgy with delays.
- Use plain but sturdy packing to
- Ship via parcel post or U.P.S.
which ever is cheaper.
- Use neatly printed shipping
- Address labels with a
typewriter - not by hand unless indelible ink is used and print
- Specify Return Guaranteed on
labels or package.
- Accept personal checks - very
- Avoid C.O.Dís unless you
receive sufficient down package to assure you have collected
enough to cover the costs of the return, plus costs of handling
and repackaging the merchandise.
- Donít offer to sell on credit
or time payments unless the item is high-priced, and you can
afford to carry credit accounts.
- Consider the customer your
- Handle complaints promptly;
write a courteous explanation.
- Offer a replacement if the
product is broken or damaged.
- Issue immediate refunds; adjust
- Promote new / other products to
your client list. No other prospect will be as responsive.
Work your customer list until it no longer proves profitable.
- You - mainly control the
destiny of your mail order business.
- Be energetic, devote as much
time as you can spare to advance your business.
- Be determined to make your mail
order business a huge success.
- Learn as much as you can about
mail order techniques.
- Be original - exclusive.
- Donít copy anyone, copy only
successful methods and techniques.
- Always strive to improve.
- Keep searching diligently for
new - exclusive products.
- Donít become disappointed by
a slow start or discouraged by a failure or two.
- Always perform professionally -
an amateur does not get paid for his services.
- Build your own financial
pyramid - reinvest profits into productive programs that may
steadily mushroom your profits.
- Avoid being an easy mark for
get-rich-quick schemes - start and operate your business on