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Inside Secrets For More Effective Direct Marketing & Mailing List Selection

Make Your Printed Material Stand Out!

Make Your Offers Irresistible

To Stuff, Or Not To Stuff?

Inside Secrets For More Effective Direct Marketing & Mailing List Selection

A special report by Terry Thomas, President of TJT Marketing Associates

©2000, All Rights Reserved


                Everyone in the mail-order business can benefit greatly from Direct Mail Marketing.  It seems so easy, doesn't it?  You simply get something to sell, put together a sales letter and brochure, rent a mailing list, place your sales material in an envelope, apply the label and mail it.   Then, you simply wait for the great response and cash in the profits.

                It is so simple; anyone can do it, right?  Right, anyone can do it.  And anyone can play baseball too, but not everyone can play as well as Babe Ruth.  The point is, people try to make Direct Mail Selling sound so easy, and foolproof.  Especially the people that are trying to get YOU to sell THEIR products by Direct Mail.  They tell you how successful you will be, all you have to do is send for their programs and mail them out.  They give you examples of how you can make a ton of money by getting a 5-10% response, which they call "conservative".  Stop right there!  First of all, nobody can guarantee that your Direct Selling approach will be successful.  There are simply too many factors involved.  Your mailing list, your sales letters and brochures, the way you insert the pieces, the month you mail, the method of mailing, etc., etc.  ALL play a major part in how successful your Direct Mail program will be.  Furthermore, a 5-10% response, while possible, is not necessarily realistic.  The best programs rarely get more than a 3-5% response.

                 So, should you forget about Direct Mail?  Absolutely not!  Direct Mail can be very rewarding, if it is done right.  First and foremost, you MUST HAVE A GOOD MAILING LIST!  There is an axiom in Direct Mail that says "if you mail the right offer to the right list you will make money"!  Not if or can, but you will make money. You could mail a sloppy sales package for a bad offer to a good list and make money.  On the other hand, you could mail the best, most convincing offer to the wrong list and you won't make a cent!

                So, how do you get a good list? Frankly, it is a crapshoot.  But, you can maximize your chances for success by contacting a good list broker.  List brokers sell several different lists, and a good one can get you almost any list you can think of.  For example, if you want a list of female buyers of moneymaking opportunity offers within the last 30 days, they can get it for you.  They can narrow down the list as much as you want.  But, the more specific the list, the higher the cost.  Most list brokers require a minimum rental of 5,000 names and will charge anywhere from 8¢ to 15¢ per name, depending on how specific a list you want.

                To locate a list broker, you can look in the Yellow Pages of a big city directory under the heading of Direct Mail or Mailing Lists.  But, a better way is to go to your local library and ask to see a copy of the book Standard Rate and DATA Direct Mail Guide.  This is a catalog of mailing lists and the brokers who rent them.  You will be able to find a wealth of information about the lists available by using this book.

                An even better place to rent a list is from a company that is selling products similar to yours. You want to rent their “In-House” list. This is a list of customers that they have compiled through their own advertising or other methods. Preferably, you want their in-house BUYERS list. These are people that have actually sent MONEY to purchase a product or receive information. These lists are usually fresh and are much more responsive than “cold” lists you rent from many mailing list sellers. Be sure you are renting from the “Prime Source” – the company that s actually compiling and using the names.

                Of course, there are cheaper lists available.  You see these advertised all the time.  Most of these lists are not as good as a list from a list broker.  Sometimes, depending on your offer, you may get lucky and get a great list for very little money.  But, most of these companies sell you names that are overused, old, or not interested in what you are selling.   

                Watch out for the companies that sell lists and offer you a 10 to 1 guarantee for undeliverables, or some other such deal.  In other words, they will replace each undeliverable name, or "nixie" as they are called, with 10 new names.  BIG DEAL, they are using you to clean their lists!  You will be better off getting a cash reimbursement for undeliverables, usually 50¢ per nixie.

                If you really want a successful mailing, do not sacrifice on your mailing lists.  On a 5,000 piece mailing, the cost difference between a list costing 5¢ a name and one costing 9¢ a name is only $200!  But, your response rate will be much higher, enabling you to make more money! 

                     Whatever you do, ALWAYS TEST YOUR LIST FIRST!   Since nobody can guarantee a list will be successful, always test it first.  Send out to about 10-20% of the names and monitor the response.  If the response is too low to make you any money, DO NOT MAIL ANY MORE!  The list is not a good one, and you will just waste your money by sending out to the remaining names on the list.  Cut your losses, and try a new list. 

                Once you have your mailing list secured, you are ready to send out your offer.  If you are doing a small mailing, you can order the names on peel and stick labels and do the inserting, labeling, and stamping yourself.  If you are doing a large mailing, you can have the work done by a professional mailing house.  In this case, you would need to order the labels in a format compatible with their equipment.

                For our purposes, we will deal with small mailings, since this article is geared toward mail-order beginners.

                If you are selling by Direct Mail, one rule of thumb is that you should be able to break even on a response rate of 2%.  If you cannot break even on a 2% return, you must lower your mailing costs or raise the price of your product, or, abandon the offer.

                      Remember though, the big profits are in repeat sales to your customers.  That is why it is OK to break even on a mailing, because you can make profits by selling follow up offers to your customers.  And, as you get more and more customers, you can build your own mailing list, and make money by renting it.

                The second most important factor in Direct Mail, after your mailing list, is the quality of your sales literature.  Prepare a good, clean sales letter and brochure.  You can offer a few testimonials, but keep them brief and to the point.  Use good quality paper, and be sure that the printing is of high quality.  If you cannot prepare high quality printed material, have it done for you.  Remember, your printer can only print or copy from the original you give him.  If the original is not of high quality, the copies will not be either. 

                Next, do not stuff too many offers in one envelope, unless you are doing a "Big Mail".  You will only confuse the potential buyer!  Always include your name and address on your sales material so people can contact you for more information.  If appropriate, provide a telephone number.

                Mail your offer by First Class, using a stamp if possible.  You may use bulk rate if it makes sense, but a First Class letter will get the best response!  Always include a return address on the envelopes.

                While it is impossible to predict the success of a Direct Mail program, it is possible to maximize your chance for success.  By using a good mailing list, and offering a needed product, you can achieve success utilizing Direct Mail.


                I’m amazed at the different letters I get from our mailing list customers. “Your mailing list is the best!” … “You ripped me off, your list stinks.” … “Thanks for your excellent list, I’ve received a fantastic response.” … “I mailed my flyer to 500 names and did not get one response, I know people are making money with this program, so it must be your list.” … “Enclosed is my order for another 5,000 names – keep those great names coming!”

                These are actual letters we’ve received from some of our customers. They all purchased names from the same list – so what gives? I can tell you one thing, the above comments show the difference between experienced direct mailer and the novices looking for get-rich-quick riches. How do I know this? From experience for one. The other thing is that I KNOW where our names come from. Our Prime Choice names are from people that are actually answering our ads in various publications and sending money in response. You simply cannot find fresher or more qualified names than those responding to ads placed by the prime source of the names. That is why you need to be careful when buying names from “list companies”. These people make money one way – by selling names. They will continue to sell a name as long as it is deliverable.

                More importantly, don’t buy ANY list – from us or anyone else – until you learn a little about direct mail. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without knowing how to operate a parachute, would you? Then why in the world would you kiss away hundreds or thousands of dollars on a direct mail campaign without LEARNING about how and why people buy? Learn about the response rates – forget about those 10% rates some claim. Learn HOW to prepare a direct mail piece, how to write copy, the brochure, the envelope – all the components of a direct mail package.

                Finally, make sure that you are selling something of value. Don’t try to promote the latest chain letter or pyramid that everyone and their brother is trying to sell and then complain the list was no good. Like I say, most likely the list was too good for your offer. The better name lists contain people that are looking for legitimate opportunities – not the latest “program”.   So prepare before you invest!


                One of the concerns of purchasing a mailing list is making sure the names are fresh. People are so concerned about getting a lot of undeliverable pieces of mail (known as “nixies”) that they concentrate all their efforts on making sure the list is deliverable. Of course you want the list to be deliverable, but don’t get so hung up on deliverability that you fail to concentrate on what’s REALLY important – the response rate and whether the list is right for your offer!

                Deliverability isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – not anymore at least. You see, with the technology available today one could purchase a CD with millions of addresses compiled from phone books. Then, they could obtain a CD from the US Postal Service that checks addresses. They simply check the addresses from the millions they have on the CD against the Post Office’s addresses and VOILA! - They have a list that will be nearly 100% deliverable. However, the people are not qualified in any way shape or form – and most likely are NOT interested in your offer.

                When renting a list, spend your efforts matching the source of the list to YOUR particular offer. You want a cash refund for any nixies. Reputable list companies have no problems giving cash refunds. Nixies happen, even with the best lists, due to data entry errors or other reasons.

                If you want to judge the “freshness” of your list, look at the reasons for the nixies. “Insufficient addresses“, “no such address” or “moved, left no forwarding address” returns do NOT necessarily mean the list is old or useless. However, “Forwarding Order Expired” returns DO mean the list is old.

                More importantly, look at whether or not the list pulled responses for you. I once rented a list that had a 20% nixie rate – TERRIBLE! However, it pulled a 6% response! Now that nixie rate didn’t seem so bad after all. Concentrate on results!

You're Direct Mailing Campaign Just Bombed! Now What?

                So, you just finished a direct mail campaign and anxiously started counting your riches, just waiting for all that money to come pouring in from your latest efforts. You waited, and waited, and – nothing! Oh, maybe a few orders here and there, but not even enough to come close to breaking even. Congratulations, your direct mailing campaign just BOMBED! Why do I say “congratulations”? I am not being sarcastic or cruel. You see, this is where you get to LEARN and correct things so that you can make money in the future. This is where you are either going to find out if you are just looking for a “get-rich-quick” scheme, or if you really want to operate a legitimate business of your own. You must experience failure before you can achieve success. Rarely do people make money on their first direct mail campaign. Heck, I’ve bombed on many of my direct mailings. However, through years of learning and trial and error, I’ve learned to minimize my chances of failing.

It Must Be The List, Right?

            Invariably, the first thing most people do when their direct mailing bombs is claim that they got a lousy list. It’s true, the list is extremely important. However, the list must be a good fit to the OFFER you are mailing or you’re doomed for failure. For example, if you’re selling a book on how to maintain and clean fireplaces you would not only want a list of homeowners, but you’d want to be sure they had fireplaces as well.

                The same theory holds true when selling any “how to” information or money making opportunity. It’s quite possible that the list you are using is too good for your offer! That’s right, it’s too good because the list contains names of people that are too knowledgeable for your offer. For example, let’s say you purchase a list of “Opportunity Buyers” that have actually paid money for a business opportunity within the last 30 days or so. These people are looking for legitimate opportunities. If you send them some pyramid, bogus MLM or chainletter scheme do you really think you’ll be successful? Of course not. These folks have already been bombarded by similar offers and are too smart to buy into such nonsense. You will get a very poor return, but it is not the fault of the list! On the other hand, if you offered these people a workable, realistic opportunity to earn money you might realize a very good return indeed.

Where Do You Find The Right List To Match Your Offer?

            This is the million dollar question! If the answer were easy there would be many more successful direct mail companies! First of all, stay away from “Cheap” lists. This is a mistake that many make when purchasing lists. They buy the cheapest lists available, without investigating if they are any good. Look at the big picture here. If you pay $50 more for a list of 1,000 names this is only 5¢ more per name. If you are selling something that nets you a $10 profit, you only need 5 more orders for the more expensive list to pay off. This is only a .005 percent increase in response. A better list can easily net you a 2% or 3% higher response, so it pays to buy the better list. Beware of the “Opportunity Seeker” lists. Many of these are names compiled from generic ads such as “EARN $1,000 A WEEK NOW! FREE REPORT, CALL 1-800-XXX-XXXX!” This ad may generate a lot of leads, but they are not “qualified” (willing to spend money for your particular type of offer). These names are worthless.

                If you want a list of names to match your particular offer, a good place to start is with a reputable list broker. Brokers work with several different lists and can custom tailor one for you. I’m not talking about someone calling themselves a “broker” that just sells one type of list. I’m talking about REAL list brokers here. You’ll find them in  phone books, trade publications, or in the Standard Rate and Data (SRDS) reference directory at your library. They will take a look at your offer and work with you to obtain a list of buyers interested in what you are selling. The more detailed you get, the more expensive the list. You will also be required to purchase a minimum of 5,000 names.

                The BEST place to purchase names is directly from a prime source. This is somebody that is actually compiling “qualified” leads for their own offers, which compliment what you are selling. For example, if you are selling a book on how to lose weight, you may rent a list from a company selling diet related nutritional products. These are complimentary products. If the prime source has a large enough database, they may have an outside list management company handling their list rentals. The most important thing for you to do is find out as much as you can about the names. Ask how they are compiled, how much they spent on average, how old they are, how many times they have been rented, etc.

What About Your Offer?

            Quite honestly, most of the offers I see are garbage. Do you really think that people are going to believe you’re making a fortune when you send out some flyer that looks like it was photocopied at the local drug store? Or maybe you’ve got a professionally printed sales package but you’re promoting an illegal pyramid or chain. People are getting hit with these offers everyday and it doesn’t take long before they discount all of them as garbage. The most important thing to remember here is that you MUST have a product or service that people want or need. In other words, it answers an unfulfilled want or desire. The market must also be large enough that there are enough people that will order your product or service. The price must be such that you will make a profit from a reasonable return. I always shoot to break even on a 1% return. If I can’t do that, I don’t bother with the campaign.

Test, Test and Test Again!

            Before you go blowing a bunch of money on any offer or list, do a reasonable test. Since there are SO MANY variables involved in any direct mail campaign, you must first test the list. Mail out to about 10% of the names and gauge the response. If it is not favorable, do NOT mail to the rest of the names. Try changing your offer slightly (maybe a different sales letter, circular, etc) and test again. Test ONE variable at a time so you know what it is that works.

                Direct mail can be a long, tedious process.  You must offer a product that is desired and has enough margin to sell via direct mail. It is a learning process, like anything else that is worthwhile. Don’t try to take steps that are too big. Take little steps, adjusting and tweaking your offer and strategy each step of the way until you find something that works. 

ake Your Printed Material Stand Out!

 By: Terry Thomas

               In mail order, the most important part of your sales effort, aside from your customer list, is the quality of your sales literature.  Since it is the only vehicle you have to attract customers, it should be of top quality!  Nothing will turn off a potential customer faster than poorly written, or poorly printed literature.

                I cannot believe some of the pieces we receive in the mail.  Many times, the flyer or brochure is so badly printed that it is almost illegible.  Other times, it is quite clear that the flyer or brochure has been photocopied many times over, with poor quality printing or paper.  Why do people waste their money with these poor sales materials? Well, take a look at what the poorly printed or written flyers are selling.  Usually it is some chain letter, envelope stuffing, or bogus MLM scheme.  These are not legitimate mail order dealers, and they are lazy!  They are after the quick bucks, and do not take any time or effort to create a sales piece that will attract buyers!  Usually, these people try one program, photocopy a couple hundred or so flyers, and mail them out, expecting to rake in huge profits!  Well, those of us that have been around awhile know that this does not happen, so these people have just wasted their money!  It is just as well, because it is one more bogus dealer that the legitimate mail order dealers have to deal with.

                Getting high quality written literature involves much more than just finding a good printer.  First of all, you must take a good look at the content of the flyer itself.  Is it well written?  Is it to the point?  Does it clearly indicate exactly what it is you are selling, the pricing, and all pertinent information?  Be sure that all spelling, punctuation, and grammar are correct BEFORE YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT GETTING IT PRINTED!  If you are making your own flyer, be sure you have the skills to make it a good one.  If not, and you truly believe in the product you are selling, then spend some money to have a professional create a powerful flyer for you.

                OK, so you have your flyer, and are confident it is a good one.  You have read, reread, and reread it to be sure there are no spelling, punctuation or grammar errors.  Now, you are ready to prepare the piece for printing.  First of all, remember that YOU MUST START WITH A GOOD, CLEAN ORIGINAL.  Everything is based on the original that you present for printing.  When you get it printed, whether it be on a copy machine or printing press, the final result is dependent upon the original you present for duplication.  If your original is dirty or contaminated in any way it will only be magnified when it is printed.  The camera truly sees everything, so provide crisp, clean originals or you will not be happy!!

                In order to supply good originals, always use a good quality paper stock ( 24# is best) and be sure it is white, no matter what the final color of the product will be.  Always give your printer an original document, not a photocopy.   If you use a computer to produce your original, be sure to use a Laser printer with a resolution of at least 300 DPI.  600 DPI or higher is much better and preferable.  Stay away from dot matrix printers who produce ragged text and graphics.  If you really want high quality, have your original produced on an ultra-high resolution printer found at many local printing service outlets.  These resolutions start at 1,200 DPI and are especially good for documents that contain graphics or photographs.  If you do use photographs, make sure to have them "screened" first.

                Do not use typewriters.  If you cannot do quality work yourself, pay to have it done right!  Also, do not use paper clips, staples, tape, or fold your originals.  All of these will leave telltale signs that will be picked up during duplication.

                Next you need to find the "RIGHT" printer.  Most quick print shops do OK work, and are good for smaller quantities.  But, if you are going to have more than a thousand copies made, you are better off using a printer that can do Offset Printing.  SHOP AROUND!!  Printers vary greatly in price, service, and quality.  The most expensive is not always the best!  If you can wait, mail order printers can be very inexpensive.  Just be sure to use a reputable one, which guarantees its work!!

                Paper color is also important.  Color paper is much cheaper than using colored ink and can be just as effective.  Be sure to use a good quality paper (20# Bond is best), and avoid harsh color combinations, like red ink on dark blue paper.  You want the flyer to look good, and invite reading!

                     Remember, no matter how good the printed product looks, it is of no value if it never gets read.  Never try to squeeze your work into too small an area.  Use as much space as necessary, and avoid overusing fonts or graphics.  While these can be very effective, too much of them is a turn off. 

                One other note, if you are using a camera-ready original which you are just adding your name and address, have it typeset!  A rubber stamp imprint is not nearly as effective and looks sloppy and amateurish.  Never, ever hand write your name and address on a circular!  The point is, you want to create a good impression, and come across as a professional mail order operator.  By using high quality materials, and clear, crisp printing, you can make a good impression.  And remember, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression!






Make Your Offers Irresistible
By: Terry Thomas 

Have you ever ordered something by mail that you really were not that excited about, but the bonus offered to buy was so good that you just could not pass it up?  Millions of people order products and services every day simply because of the bonus offered.  Great bonuses increase the perceived value of an offer, and result in a greater number of sales!

                Think about your own offers.  What can you offer as a bonus to your product or service that will entice people to act upon your offer?   What will increase its value in the minds of the customer?  One of the greatest things to offer as a bonus is something that costs very little yet has a high perceived value.  Information is a great bonus to almost any product.  When described properly, information has great value.  People will order your product just to receive the bonus! 

                A great example of this is the bonuses used by major magazines to solicit new subscribers.  They offer free videos, books, clock radios, or other products that seem to have high value.  They tell you that you can “keep the bonus” even if you are not happy with the subscription.  This is great marketing!  Does it work?  You bet it does.  Magazine publishers sell millions of subscriptions just because people want the bonus, not because they necessarily want the magazine.  See, if people wanted a subscription, they would have ordered one long ago.  But, the bonus made the offer so valuable and interesting that they were moved to action and ordered!  This is the key.  The bonus offer should be so good, that it makes it hard to say no. 

                Sure the bonus costs a little bit, but not nearly as much as its “perceived” value.  And, since the hardest thing to do is to secure NEW customers, it is well worth the extra expense.  Once you have the customer, you can sell them again and again!

                Think about your own offers.  Can you offer something, information, a product, cassette, or something else?  The bonus should compliment your product or service, and increase its value.  If possible, guarantee that the customer can keep the bonus, even if they return your product.  This gives the customer confidence in ordering.  Really think about your offers.  You want to take the risk of making the buy decision away from your customer, and make the offer so good that it is hard to say no.

                This method of selling works!  It works because people feel they are getting something for nothing.  They feel comfortable because they are not at risk.  They want to know that they can get their money back, and even get a bonus, just for giving your product a try.  Sure, some people will take advantage of your free offer and return your product.  But, the percentage that do this is very small.  Like I always say, you should NEVER sell anything that you would not be comfortable buying for yourself.  So, if your product is good, you will not have to worry about too many people returning it just to keep the bonus.  So, go that extra step and offer something of value as a bonus!

                Another way to make your offers more appealing is by offering special payment terms.  If you have a product that costs $100, offer it for three payments of $33.  Since most people are used to buying items on monthly payments, this will increase your sales. By making the product easier to purchase and pay for, you will have an advantage over your competitors.

                 If you accept phone orders, you may want to get an 800 number.  An 800 number can be set up these days for very little money, and will result in increased sales.  It is especially helpful if you have a merchant credit card account, and can accept major credit cards.  The 800 number, combined with the convenience of credit card payments, will substantially increase your sales!

                If you are selling by direct mail, you can increase your sales by including an order form and pre-addressed reply envelope. This eliminates some work for the customer.  The more work you eliminate, the more likely they are to order.

                Finally, make sure that you put some type of urgency in your offer.  You need to give the customer a reason to order - right now!  Without urgency in your ad, your customer will be left hanging.  Give them a reason to act right away.  For example, you might put a time limit on the offer.  Or, you might tie it in with your bonus offer and say, “the first 100 people to respond will receive this bonus FREE”.  Whatever you decide, give them some motivation to act now.  Otherwise, the customer will forget about your offer.

              Direct marketing is not easy, by any means.  People are bombarded with offers everyday for all types of products and services.  You want to make yours stand out above the rest.  By offering a bonus, making it as easy as possible for the customer to respond, and creating some type of urgency you will maximize the chances that your offer will be a great success!  Just always remember, you must offer a good product or service as well.   Since customers are so hard to obtain, the last thing you want to do is lose them because your product was no good!   The key to success is REPEAT business.  So, you must be sure that your customers are satisfied once you obtain them, or you will kill any chance of selling them additional products or services in the future.

To Stuff, Or Not To Stuff?

By Terry Thomas


That is the question. OK, so it’s not as prophetic as “To be or not to be”, but we’re talking mail order here, not Hamlet. Specifically, we are talking about whether or not to stuff multiple offers in one mailing. There are two schools of thought on this issue. Some think that you should maximize postage and stuff as many offers as you can in one envelope. The thinking is that if someone does not like one of the offers, they may choose one of the other ones. Others think that it is better to concentrate on one offer in an envelope so as not to confuse the potential buyer. The truth is that there are times to stuff and times not to stuff, and knowing the difference can improve your sales dramatically.

                Humans have a tendency to think that if a little of something is good, then a lot must be better. We all know that this is not necessarily so. If you have a headache and take a couple aspirin, that is good. However, take the whole bottle and you are going to be in some serious trouble! The same concept is true when dealing with direct mail. A lot is not necessarily better, and in most cases is detrimental to your response rate.

                Like anything else in direct marketing, there is never a 100% right way to do something. There are simply too many variables when dealing with mail order to determine what will and will not work for all situations. However, there are some things that are known to decrease response rates, based on years and years of testing. There is a scientific angle to mail order that all successful dealers adhere to. After all, why try to reinvent the wheel when others have already done it? In other words, there are many areas that can be improved. But some are done a certain way for a reason - they work!

                So, with that said, let’s address the question of “To stuff or not to stuff”?  First of all, it has been proven over and over again that you DO NOT increase your chance of making a sale by stuffing a bunch of unrelated offers in one mailing. In fact, the opposite is true. You severely reduce your chance of getting any response because the potential customer is either confused or too busy to look at a bunch of different offers. If you have targeted your market, identified an unfulfilled need, and found a product to fit that need, there is no reason to fill an envelope with a bunch of hoopla! No, you should concentrate on selling your customers ONE item and put together a dynamic sales package which includes a cover letter, brochure or flyer and a reply envelope. How fancy you get depends on your budget and ambition, but these basic essentials should be included. I would much rather put the effort into an excellent sales letter and brochure for one GOOD product then four or five offers for mediocre products.   It seems much more professional to a prospective customer, and your credibility is enhanced.

However, many beginners do not yet have that one super product and are feeling their way around and getting their feet wet in mail order. They find it difficult to resist the “more is better” theory and listen to those that believe it is better to stuff more than one offer in an envelope.  The truth is, in some instances, this theory is correct. In my experience, if you have inexpensive offers  (less than $15.00) or RELATED offers (such as typesetting and advertising services) then it is acceptable to include more than one offer in an envelope. However, there are some things that you MUST do if you want to draw responses. First of all, include a cover letter! So many people skip this step and it is essential that you do not! Tell the prospective buyer what the heck it is that you are trying to sell them, and how it will be of benefit to them. If you have more than one offer, briefly explain each one. Never, ever just stuff a bunch of flyers in an envelope and send it out. You will only waste your money. I am NOT referring to so called “Big Mails”, which contain numerous unrelated offers. These are different because of the way they are presented. I am talking about you, as a mail order operator, trying to sell something to a prospective customer.  Remember, you have just a few seconds to get the readers attention (providing he or she even OPENS the envelope, but that is another topic all together) and you have to not only grab their attention, but hold it long enough for them to read your entire offer. If you have a bunch of sales flyers thrown in an envelope, haphazardly folded, you will not grab the attention of anything except the trash can! So many times I get mail like that and feel sorry for the people making the offers because I know they just wasted their money. Or how about the MLM programs that are abundant today, with the free calling cards? Just a card sent in the mail, with a brief brochure. No cover letter, no return address, no introduction, no explanation of what they are trying to sell you! This is a waste of money to the mailer! Take some time to explain why you are offering somebody something, and why they need it!

If you do send more than one offer, be sure to fold them together, not individually. It is a pain in the neck to unfold each flyer individually, and your response rate will suffer. Fold them the same way, neatly, with the headline of the flyer or brochure facing the reader. People usually open the envelope from the top, with the back facing them.  You want them to see your headline or first line of your cover letter as they open the envelope.

                Once you have a customer order something from you, by all means include a few offers when you send them an invoice. In this situation it is beneficial to include more than one offer because the customer already knows who you are, and obviously trusted you enough to place an order for something. They will take the time to look over your other offers now.

                In my experience, I have always achieved better results by including one offer on a blind mailing. I include a killer cover letter, an informative and motivating brochure, and a reply envelope to make it easier for the customer to order. Once I get an order I send an invoice with two or three (never more than that) back end offers. I also send them a catalog.  Whatever you decide to do, always test your campaigns. If you are going to send out more than one offer, make sure they are related and always include a cover letter. Mail your offer to yourself and see what it looks like when YOU open it.  If you are not impressed, your customer will definitely not be either. Remember, people have short attention spans, and they get confused if there are too many offers that they do not understand or care to understand!  I suggest you concentrate on your best offer and mail only that one offer. Use the others as back end sales.

















































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