AOH :: HOWTO112.TXT|
How To Rent Profitable Mailing Lists
HOW TO RENT PROFITABLE MAILING LISTS
As an entrepreneur involved in the selling and/or promotion of
something by Direct Mail, you should already know that the most
important aspects of your mailing have to do with the sales letter
or circular you send out, and the mailing list you use. With these
thoughts in mind, and assuming you've got what should be an
order-pulling sales letter or circular, let's focus our attention
specifically on the problem of finding mailing lists that produce
Common sense should tell you that without a good mailing list, the
time and money you spend for market research, advertising layout and
knowledge relating to the "rules of direct mail," will just be
wasted effort. In other words, unless you get your offer to the
buyers, you might as well save your time and money.
In order to reach your most likely buyer, you must first determine
who your most-likely buyers are. This is not so hard as it might
appear. Actually, it's just a matter of recognizing that automotive
items will appeal to car owners, while household gadgets will sell
best to the homemakers.
Regardless of how easy it is, this is the most often overlooked part
of the beginning entrepreneur's planning. Suffice it to say that if
you don't know who you're going to sell a product or service to,
your product or service is going to be pretty hard for you to sell.
The next thing to really look into, is the competition your product
or service faces. If it has a limited market - not too many people
would stand in line to buy it - and you are competing with virtually
the same product as supplied by other companies - then you're going
to have to either come up with a strong "hidden angle" or else face
defeat before you even begin...
These are the "keys" to success in selling anything via direct mail
- pin-pointing exactly who your buyers are, presenting your offer to
them with an angle not being used by your competition, and
concentrating all your sales efforts only on your most-likely
Assuming you "know" who your most likely buyers are; that you've got
a "winning" sales letter or circular - and, a product or service
these people "will stand in line to buy," then your only problem is
to get the message to these people.
Do not think you'll "save some money" by renting or buying
inexpensive mailing lists from the advertisers in all those ad
sheets and "mail order" type publications that seem to flood your
mailbox. You'll waste a lot of time, and spend money chasing the
wind with these lists.
These lists offered by "mail order" dealers are compiled from ad
sheets, mail order publications, and/or incoming offers received by
the list-seller... These people also compile "rental mailing lists"
from the no-response/no-sale lists they use... A lot of them
compile their rental lists directly from the telephone/city,
directories... And not a few of them work the "envelope stuffing"
scheme to compile their rental lists - They offer commissions to
people who pay to join their envelope stuffing program, and then
sell or rent the names of the people who join their program... The
people who join the program are advised to compile lists from any
number of sources, send out a commission circular, and receive a
commission or each incoming order. The names of the buyers are then
compiled onto another list, and sold by the promoters of this scheme
to some of the larger list-brokers as bona fide mail order buyers...
Anytime you rent a list of 5,000 or more names from a mail order ty
pe operator, you can almost certainly count on a list that's l) Five
or more years old... 2) Filled with names of people who have
moved... 3) Going to be dominated with the names of other mail
Before renting or buying a mailing list from someone, use the same
kind of common sense you use in deciding upon a doctor, lawyer or
auto mechanic. Something else to keep in mind - whenever you rent
or buy mailing lists from someone who has or is advertising for
dealers or mailing list brokers, you are going to end up with a list
of names used by many mail order dealers, generally with the
majority of them offering the same products or services.
The best thing to do is to take a note pad and pencil to your public
library... Ask the librarian to let you look at the Standard Rate &
Data Service Directory pertaining to mailing lists. Within this
voluminous directory, you'll find the names, addresses, and
telephone numbers of virtually all the reputable mailing list
brokers in the country. These brokers explain within this directory
the different lists they have available for rent, what kind of
buyers the lists are made up of, and the date the list was last
cleaned - that is, the last time all the names on the list were
verified relative to the correctness of addresses.
Select a half dozen or so of the list brokers handling the kinds of
lists that are made up of buyers of products or services similar to
yours... Jot those names and addresses down on your note pad...
then go home & call them on the phone... Tell the list broker about
yourself, what you're trying to sell, how much you're asking for it,
and your long-range plans. Almost all of them will want to see a
sample of your mailing piece, and more often than not, a sample of
your product as well. Don't be afraid to talk with these people -
they're in business to help you, and if they "steer you onto" a list
that doesn't make money for you, they figure you'll not buy from
them again, so it's to their benefit to see that you get the "right"
list for your mailing piece and offer. Most of them will even
critique your mailing piece and offer, making suggestions for
improvements when appropriate, and in general, act as a consultant
to see that you realize a profit through their services.
Once you and the list broker have decided upon the mailing list best
suited to your offer, he'll generally require you to rent a minimum
of 5,000 names. The going prices will range from $35 to $95 per
thousand names. Expensive, maybe... But if you pay $475 for 5,000
prospective buyers, and end up with 1,500 buyers of a $20 "how-to"
manual that you've written and had printed at a cost of 50 cents per
manual - that would mean a gross of $30,000... minus $750 for 1,500
manuals, plus another 69 cents each to send each manual out via 4th
class mail which would amount to $1,035. Add these figures together
for a total of $1,785 and subtract this total from $30,000 and you
stand a very good chance of netting $28,000 or more...
So you see, the important thing is to get your offer to your most
likely buyers. The only way to do this - the fastest, and least
expensive way - is to work with a reputable mailing list broker and
forget about all that "wheel-spinning" within the circle of
mail-order-type people. Really, so long as you deal with
"mail-order-type" people - small-time dealers and advertisers -
you'll never achieve anything beyond a busy-busy, hand-to-mouth
existence in this business.
The bottom-line reason for most of the entrepreneurial failures in
the mail order business is simply that the beginner tries to cut
corners by using less than the most productive mailing lists
available. Indeed, the years are littered with people from all
walks of life who have had good product and/or service ideas, but
failed to "get their ideas off the ground." Generally, these people
were trying to "save money" by compiling their own mailing lists,
advertising in "all-seller" type mail order publications, and/or
sending their offers out to "mail-order-type" people found in the ad
sheets or to lists purchased from advertisers in these publications.
In almost every case, the entrepreneurs efforts along these lines,
and based upon a "saving money" philosophy, have always ended in
heartbreak and great financial loss for the entrepreneur...
YOU CAN SUCCEED, STARTING FROM SCRATCH! But, before you attempt it
- before you "jump in and reach for your own mail order fortune," be
sure you arrange all the odds in your own favor... Anything less
than the "rules" stated within this report will surely be a waste of
time, and result in failure...
Remember: Your product has to be something you can buy or produce
in finished form for pennies, and sell for dollars. There has to be
an "eager" market for your product or service. You must project the
most professional of all images of yourself as the "company" or
supplier in all your sales letters, circulars, advertising and/or
dealings with your prospective buyers. And you must "know" who your
buyers are, and then concentrate your efforts to reach only those
people with your offers...
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