AOH :: HOWTO231.TXT|
How to start a pen-pal club
HOW TO START A PEN PAL CLUB
Pen Pal Clubs are very easy to start, and can provide a very
comfortable "by mail" income for the sharp operators.
The best way to operate is via a monthly newsletter, and listing of
new members. We've found that a simple one page, typewritten sheet
is all you need to get started. This should be, or should include a
quick run down on what your members are up to - i.e.: Janice C. is
planning to vacation at Tahoe next month; Debbie 0. is going to take
her vacation in Hawaii; Lisa S. is attending night classes for a
real estate license; John R. is thinking of changing jobs - he wants
something more involved in advertising sales; Bob L. is setting up
his own Carpet Cleaning Service; Dave A. is wanting to move to
This kind of reader-membership involvement will get your
"newsletter" off to a running start, and keep your members loyal to
you because of the "gossip" you pass along in each issue.
You follow your "gossip story" with either a question and answer
session or letters from the readers a-la Ann Landers or Dear Abby.
Complete the newsletter with a short story on how to meet men or
women, what to say and how to develop a friendship. The back page,
or extra page, is then a listing of men and women - including a
short description of each, and their addresses - wanting to
correspond with or meet other people with similar tastes.
You'll need a typewriter (or computer), paper, and names of people
interested in writing and receiving Pen Pal letters. You can
quickly secure a start with names answering ads (classifieds) placed
in your local papers, and several out-of-town papers you are
familiar with, and by checking your newsstand for the magazines that
carry such ads - it won't take long to get a basic "100" to begin
You should have letterhead and imprinted mailing envelopes and
return reply envelopes - about 1000 of each for about $100.
Next, make up a sample copy of your newsletter, and an application
sales letter that will explain your membership fee of about $10 per
year for the newsletter, plus $1 per month each time you carry a
member's name & address in your "correspondents wanted" section. Be
sure to ask for reports on what members are doing, and encourage
them to bring up to date from time to time -this keeps the "personal
touch" gossip supplied.
Now, you send out your newsletter samples, with your sales
letter/membership application, to the list of names we've supplied
you with, or you may have purchased from other sources.
At the same time, you should run an advertisement in as many of the
small mail order publications and ad sheets as you can afford. For
a complete listing of publications, with names and addresses of
publishers, order HOW TO REPORT #409 for $4. Your ad could read
something like this:
Pen Pal Listings! Nationwide circulation! $1 to:
Your name, address & zip code.
Tom's Pen Pal Letter Monthly club news and membership
listings! $1 to: Your name, address and zip code.
Of course, you'll want to keep records on all your members, and
continue to update the listings you carry, but basically that's all
there is to getting started. You could even run ads of this kind in
your local newspapers and expect a good response. We definitely
recommend that you send for sample copies of other Pen Pal Club
bulletins to see how they operate and what ideas of theirs you can
adapt for use in your newsletter. By all means, become a "browser"
and look through all the magazines related to pen pals and mail
order introductions every time you pass a magazine display rack.
Be sure to get your newsletters out regularly, and don't stop
advertising. Keep up your efforts to sell as many issues of each
publication as you can, expand your membership list, and get as many
new listings for each issue as you possibly can.
Something you might want to consider - 3 back issues of your
publication for 3 dollars, or as a free bonus to all new
subscribers. You could carry this idea as a free bonus in your
advertising, and as a special offer in your newsletter.
You might also want to expand your income potential by offering
booklets, books, tapes, motivational and informational.
By keeping good records of all the mail you receive, you can also
sell or rent name lists of people who have responded to your
offerings to other mail order dealers. Real opportunities exist for
sales mentioned in the paragraph above - the opportunities limited
only by your imagination.
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