AOH :: HOWTO107.TXT|
How to start a "Big Mail" Service
HOW TO START A BIG MAIL SERVICE
A BIG MAIL SHOULD CONTAIN AT LEAST 3 OR 4:
* Mail order Magazines
* Circulars containing offers of interest (to new mail order dealers)
* Circulars about other offers the Big Mail Dealer has
Do you enjoy reading the small Mail Dealer magazines? Do you enjoy
ordering and receiving "Big Mails?" Do you enjoy working with new
mail order dealers and opportunity seekers? If your answer is "YES"
to all of these questions, then it would probably be profitable and
pleasurable for you to start a "Big Mail" service.
In the pages that follow I will show you how to set up a Big Mail
Service. I'll show you how to advertise your service and I'll also
show you how to use the Big Mails that you receive in your own mail
to your own advantage. I'll show you how to use commission
circulars (and how to get a lot of them free!) And I'll also show
you how to keep track of them.
We'll talk about co-publishing and we'll discuss circular mailing
(you'll learn how to get people to pay you cash to mail their
circulars for them!). I'll show you a simple trick that will get
you a lot of free advertising and I'll show you where to get a free
mailing list that will create a lot of new customers for you, if you
are willing to put in a little work to get them.
But...before we get into all this... I would like to give you a
word of caution. Big Mail selling looks easy and it sounds easy...
but IT IS NOT! Selling Big Mails is a lot of work, HARD WORK. And
it is NOT a way to get rich quick!
You will probably not make any money at all for at least a few
months. In fact, you will have to invest more than you take in. If
you are willing to invest a little of your money, and a lot of your
time, then you can gain invaluable experience selling Big Mails, and
then you will make money. You will gain experience that you could
gain nowhere else in the whole world. And if you are alert,
creative, and AMBITIOUS, you can eventually turn your mailorder
business into a very lucrative enterprise.
If you are still interested... and I hope you are... please read
The first thing you should do is sit down with the latest issue of
MAIL SALE ADVERTISER or POPULAR ADVERTISER and order at least twelve
Big Mails. After that, get into the habit of ordering at least one
Big Mail EVERY DAY!
Then devote a portion of EACH DAY to STUDYING them. And I do mean
Feed your mind and your imagination with all kinds of ideas.
The Mailorder Business is a very creative and imaginative one. The
more you feed your imagination, the more it will do for you! Set up
a personal notebook. I would suggest you divide it into four
* Commission Circular Sources
* Sources of low-cost printing
* Prospective Mailing Customers (Save the circulars that
other dealers have been paid to mail. I'll show you why
* Good ideas
You can set your personal notebook up any way you like. But I use a
loose-leaf notebook and scotch-tape the ads, circulars, etc.
Read and re-read every circular and mail order magazine that you can
get your hands on. SAVE ANY IDEA THAT APPEALS TO YOU! Start
ordering SMALL supplies of "commission circulars" that APPEAL to
you. (Never try to sell anything merely because it pays a BIG
When you are satisfied that you really want to start selling Big
Mails, there are two very practical things you must do.
1. Order a name and address rubber stamp. Be sure it is
SMALL enough to use on commission circulars.
2. Open a PERSONAL CHECKING ACCOUNT. Open it in YOUR OWN
NAME. When you start to advertise, use your own name. If
you do that, there will be no problem when you go to the
bank to deposit checks that your customers will send you.
Your next step is to place an ad in at least SIX mailorder magazines
or ad-sheets. In the beginning you will have to use publications
that will accept handwritten or typewritten copy, since you do not
yet have "camera ready" ads. Your ad should read something like
BIG MAIL - $.25
Commission circulars mailed
(Your name, address)
A simple ad like this will pull better than one with a lot of words
You probably already know which magazines or ad-sheets you want to
advertise in. That is fine! But I would like to suggest you start
off by advertising in at least one or two of the following:
* Mail Sale Advertiser * Popular Advertiser
* Mail Order Bulletin * Timely Tips
All of these are letterpress publications, which means they will set
your ad up for you. They appear regularly EVERY MONTH ON TIME, and
almost everyone interested in mail order reads them!
Because these publications are CO-PUBLISHABLE, the publishers of
each publication will send you 50-100 copies to include in your Big
Mails. Your name will appear on your copies as the CO-PUBLISHER.
You will get to keep around 50% as your commission on any ads or
subscriptions you sell. If you are faithful in mailing your copies,
you can often make enough profit on ads and subscriptions to pay for
all your ads! This way your ads actually cost you nothing.
Each advertiser is also mailing his copies to his customers or
mailing list, and every last copy mailed has YOUR ad in it. The
printer is also mailing a copy to every person on his subscription
list... so, usually within about ten days after your ad appears in
print, you will start receiving letters with quarters in them asking
for your Big Mail. Some advertisers, for one reason or another, are
quite slow in mailing their copies, but this can work to your
advantage. You will often get orders two or three months after your
Long before you start receiving orders for your Big Mail, you should
have acquired a starting supply of "commission circulars." You will
want to include them in every one of your Big Mails.
Commission circulars are usually 3X6", 6X9" or 8X11" circulars
offering such things as:
Rubber Stamps Name-address Labels
FoliosParcel Post Labels
Magazine SamplesMailing Lists
Envelopes Printed Stationary
Business Directories Catalogue Samples
Drop-ship SamplesPrinted Circulars
Mail Order Plans Magazine Subscriptions
Name Listing Services Pen Pal Clubs, etc., etc.
Wholesale firms supply commission circulars to mailorder dealers,
usually at cost. The dealer stamps his name in the blank space under
"order From" and mails them to prospective customers. When he
receives orders (and he will if he mails them regularly), he keeps
his commission, which is usually about 50%. He then sends the
balance, along with his shipping label, to the wholesaler, who
drop-ships the order directly to the customer under the dealer's
Commission circulars can be profitable for you, as a Big Mail
Dealer, if you are very careful to select only those circulars which
appeal to MAIL ORDER BEGINNERS. You will soon learn that gift items
and general merchandise rarely appeal to people who are ordering Big
Mails, unless you are offering them on a wholesale basis. (Safari
boots, transistor radios, hunting knives, automatic can openers,
$15.95 necklaces are nice, and they can be sold by mail...but not to
mail order beginners!)
If you work at it, you can make a lot of extra money by including
good commission circulars in your mails. Test a few hundred copies
of each commission circular. If it evokes no interest, discontinue
it. But if it produces an order or two, then include one in every
piece of mail you send. When you have found a circular that
"pulls," try to have them printed with your name and address on
them. (Printed circulars will often pull FIVE times better than
Don't mail poorly printed circulars. They tend to make your entire
mailing look sloppy. You will also find that 6X9" and 8Xll"
circulars pull better than 3X6's, although some 3X6's pull
Once your ad appears (stating COMMISSION CIRCULARS MAILED FREE) you
will start receiving free commission circulars. Test every circular
that is given to you. Push the winners... discontinue the duds.
Eventually you will develop a list of real money-makers to include
in your Big Mails.
Most of the suppliers of commission circulars are honest people.
They offer items of real worth. But occasionally you will find
circulars that you should not mail. They will get YOU in trouble!
* Adult Offers (pornography). Even if you do not object to
this, some of your customers will, and some of your
customers may be minors.
* "Stuff and Address Envelopes at Home. Send $1.00 for
your Starting Kit," etc. These offers are illegal.
People have been convicted in court for selling them.
Besides, the plans are worthless.
* Chain Letters - These are also illegal. Beware of any
circular that says you will receive $20,000 in sixty
days if you will mail a dollar and "follow instructions,
There is one other thing I would like to caution you about. There
are about 40-50 standard folios that have been around the Mailorder
Business for the last twenty years. They are EXCELLENT folios,
well-written, well-printed, and the advice in them is absolutely
valid. But it is a waste of time trying to sell them to mailorder
beginners. Most of them already know where to get them at wholesale
prices! If you receive FREE commission circulars offering these
folios, by all means, mail them. You may get an order or two. But
if you are going to buy expensive circulars, be sure you are
offering something NEW, something which EVERY mailorder dealer has
not already seen at least one hundred times!
FACTS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS!
As a Big Mail Dealer, you will be selling many things. So that you
can fill each order accurately and promptly, I suggest that you
start another looseleaf notebook. Divide it into three sections;
1. Commission Circular Information
2. Co-Publishing Information
3. Advertising Schedule
1. Commission Circular Information - Every time you receive
a new supply of commission circulars, sit down and
examine them. (Sometimes you will receive two or three
varieties in one envelope.) Tape one sample of each
circular in your notebook. Underneath it write:
* Name and Address of the Drop-shipper
* Amount to forward to the Drop-shipper
* How to obtain additional circulars. (Are
they available with your name and address
imprinted on them?)
2. Co-Publishing Information - Most publishers of mailorder
magazines will send you a "Fact Sheet," If they do, simply
scotch-tape the sheet in your notebook. If not, record
these facts yourself:
* Name and address of the printer
* How much to forward on new advertising,
3. Advertising Schedule - To keep your ads running
CONTINUOUSLY, you will have to keep track of "closing dates"
(the last date on which a publisher will accept advertising
for his next issue.) Here is a very simple method for you
Take a page of common notebook paper. At the top of the page, write
the name of the month. Then number down the page from 1 to 31.
(Use one line for each day of the month.)
The closing date for Mail Sale Advertiser is the 15th of the month,
but you will want to mail your ad on the 5th of the month (always
mail your ads in TEN DAYS EARLY). So next to number 5, write down
the code letters "MSA." If you will check this sheet religiously
every day, you will never forget a closing date.
Before you mail your ad, turn to the page for the following month
and make notation of that month's closing date. If you will use
this system (or your own variation), you will remember every
deadline, whether you are advertising in five magazines or five
Once your Big Mail ads are appearing regularly, you will start to
receive orders for them regularly. As soon as you are averaging
five a day, you can advertise yourself as a CIRCULAR MAILER. It's
easy to get started. Each time you renew your Big Mail Ad, send in
another ad like this. (As a co-publisher, your ads cost you half
the advertised price!
100 250 500
3X6 .50 1.25 2.00
6X9 .60 1.50 2.50
9x12 1.00 2.00 4.00
These prices are given only as EXAMPLES. Postal rates and other
costs change and you should check the ads of currently running
Circular Mailers and charge about the same rates. Cut-rate prices
will NOT get you more orders.
A circular mailing ad will almost ALWAYS pay for itself immediately.
(Incidentally, many dealers have tried to run combination Big Mail
and Circular Mailing ads. They do not work half as well as TWO
As soon as you receive a circular mailing order, send your customer
a sample mailing. Be sure it is neat and be sure it includes the
LATEST issues of several mailorder magazines. Then include ONE of
his circulars in every Big Mail until you have finished mailing
them. If you have not received any more circulars to mail, send him
a friendly thank you note and let him know that you have finished
mailing his circulars. Tell him you hope he receives some orders
from your mailing. Include some new circulars from new advertisers
and a NEW magazine. If he has any more circulars to mail, he will
very likely send them to YOU!
Remember, circular mailing depends on REPEAT customers. Never
exaggerate your mailing capacity (either in personal letters or in
ads.) If you really try to get orders for your customers, they will
be back for more!
HOW TO GET FREE ADS
There are many editors of mailorder magazines and ad sheets who will
print your ads free if you will mail 100 to 200 copies of their
publication. Here is a very effective way to get them to run YOUR
Take a sheet of white typing paper. Type the following words on it.
PRINTERS, PUBLISHERS: If you will print any of these
ads in your publication, I will mail 100 copies for you
FREE! (With co-publishing rights, I'll mail 200 copies!)
Note that all of these ads are camera-ready for your convenience.
Then use rubber cement to paste copies of all your different ads on
the sheet! (If your ads have been printed on colored poster paper,
bleach them before you paste them up. Pour a little clorox over
them, until the color disappears. Rinse them in water, and dry them
on a piece of flat cardboard.)
Once your circular is pasted up (camera-ready), take it to your
local instant photo-offset printer and have 500 or 1000 copies
printed on WHITE paper. (Be sure its on white paper.) Enclose one
of these circulars in every mailing. You'll be amazed at the
WHERE TO GET GOOD MAILING LISTS FREE!
If you advertise regularly, you will get a lot of response to your
ads. But if you will do a little specialized direct mailing, you
can double your business almost immediately. Here's how:
Imagine that you have just received your mailing copies of TIMELY
TIPS from the printer. If you look at your shelf, you discover that
you still have 14 copies of last month's issue left to mail. Sit
down and make up 14 SPECIALIZED mailings. In each mailing,
1. One copy of last month's TIMELY TIPS.
2. One copy of each circular you have been paid to mail.
3. One copy of your new FREE MAILING FOR FREE ADVERTISING circular.
To whom do you mail them? COMPILE YOUR MAILING LIST FROM THOSE BIG
MAILS YOU HAVE BEEN ORDERING EVERY DAY! Mail them to:
* CIRCULAR MAILING PROSPECTS - Each time you receive a Big
Mail, examine all the circulars. Who has paid the
dealer to mail circulars for them? If they have paid
him, THEY WILL ALSO PAY YOU... if you will take time to
send them a sample mailing!
* NEW AD-SHEETS AND MAILORDER MAGAZINES - Whenever you see
the announcement of a new publication, send a sample
mailing and be sure to enclose your Free Mailing for
Free Advertising circular. You'll get many, many free
ads, if you work at it!
* NEW MAILORDER ADVERTISERS - Save the names of new
advertisers in the mailorder magazines or ad-sheets.
You'll be amazed at how responsive they will be to your
Every time you receive new mailing copies, mail out the remaining
copies of last month's issues to the categories listed above and
your mailorder business will grow faster than you ever dreamed it
could. You'll be surprised at the new business you will be able to
generate using this method.
WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE?
I honestly can't answer that question! Only you have the answer.
If you are ambitious - if you are willing to develop your
imagination - if you are willing to experiment with new ideas... the
sky is the limit!
Don't let anyone tell you that Big Mail Selling and Circular Mailing
is only for beginners. There are SUCCESSFUL mailorder dealers who
have been selling Big Mails and mailing circulars for twenty-five
years! If you really love it, don't ever give it up!
What direction your mail order business takes is entirely up to you.
I hope you will keep your ads running, and I hope you will expand
your business by constantly adding new publications to your
Keep your eyes and your ears open. Saturate yourself with fresh,
new, and imaginative ideas. I hope you'll keep excited about the
Mail Order business... I hope that ten years from now, you'll love
it and be even more involved than you are today.
Mail Order is far more than just a money-making business for me.
It's a way of life! And I hope it is your way of life, too!
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