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    Free Essay
    8.7 of 10 on the basis of 3987 Review.
     

     

     

     

     

     

         
     
    3725

     

    HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR CAMERA Several millions homes nowadays have some kind of photography equipment. Some operators are strictly amateurs but others do a professional job shooting for fun, even with very inexpensive equipment. If you own a camera and can take some reasonably good pictures, you definitely can make money with your hobby by selling pictures. The market for pictures is tremendous. It has been estimated that magazines and newspapers buy over 60 millions photos a year, although most of the pictures are taken by professional photographers, there is a good deal of non professional hobbyists making a good extra income selling their pictures to specialized markets, little known by the majority of people. This information is intended to help you find a market for your pictures, assuming you already take pictures good enough to be sold. If you feel that your work could be improved, there are a number of courses available, and you can also develop professional touch and technical know-how by simply subscribing to specialized magazines. There is an incredible amount of markets for selling your pictures, and the number is growing every day. The beginners should avoid markets already overcrowded by professional competitors, like very well known magazines, which obviously deal only with professionals. The best markets for a non professionals are * Trade journals, * Special interest magazines, * Real Estate, * Small local papers. By consuming a great amount of pictures, maintaining a constant demand for new ones, and paying less than well known magazines, they avoid the competition of professional and industrial photographers, and buy mostly from non professionals like yourself. Special interest magazines attract very special groups of readers. For example, magazines on hobbies, sports, gardening, etc...They are bought by subscriptions or on newstands. Trade journals are directed at very special professional and Trades. They generally sold only by subscription. To begin with, it would be advisable for you to get a book on professional photography from your local library. This step will enable you to get acquainted with copyright laws and special tips for selling your pictures. The starting photographer should concentrate on subject he is familiar with, for example a special hobby and what he enjoys shooting the most, whether it is sceneries, children, animals, etc... By finding out what is your speciality, you will be able to select your market and determine what magazines could be interested in your work. The following guide is just a sample of companies in the market for photos. It is difficult to keep such a directory current as companies constantly change their policies, addresses, editors and so forth. It is up to you to develop your own markets by submitting photos you believe to be appropriate to editor's needs. After the addresses are listed the rates paid more for extraordinary subjects depending of the news value and the quality for the accepted photo. GENERAL NEWS AND FEATURE INTEREST PICTURES SYNDICATES: * Service, Box 2801, Washington, DC 20013 $10 to $40. * Newsweek International Service, 444 Madison Ave., NY 10022 $20 and up.* Transworld News * Stock Photos Unlimited, 29 W 38th St NY, NY 10018 $10 to $40. MAGAZINES INTERESTED IN FEATURE PICTURES: * New Times Magazine, 1 Park Ave NY, NY. 10016 $50 and up * Popular Photography, 1 Park Ave, NY, NY. 10016 $30 and up. * National Enquirer, Lantana, FL 33464 $35 to $150. SPORTS MAGAZINES * Fishing World, 51 Atlantic Ave., Floral Pk, NY 11001 $30 and up * Tennis Illustrated, 4222 Campus Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660. * Golf Digest, 495 Westport Ave., Norwalk CT 06856 $15 and up. TRADE MAGAZINES: * Amtrak, 400 Capital St., N. W Washington, DC 20001 $35 and up. * Track Talk, 2205 W Fairview Ave., Montgomery, AL 36092 FAMILY LIFE AND NATURE MAGAZINES: * National Wild Life, 225 E Michigan, Milwaukee, WI 53201 $50 and up. * Cats Magazine, Box 557 Washington, PA 15301 $10 to $30. * Good Housekeeping, 959 8Th Ave., NY, NY. 10019 FARM LIFE MAGAZINES: * Mother Earth News, Box 70 Hendersonville, NC. 28739 $50 and up. * Vegetarian Times, Box 3104, Chicago, IL 60690 $20 and up. HOBBIES AND CRAFTS MAGAZINES: * Science Digest, 224 W 57th St New York, NY 10019 $25 to $60. * Popular Electronics, 1 Park Ave, NY, NY. 10016. GREETINGS CARDS SYNDICATES: * American Greetings, 10500 American Rd., Cleveland, OH 44144. $30 and up. * Graphic Adventures, 9801 Harwin, Bldg O, Houston, TX. 77036. &60 and up. A simple equipment should produce pictures good enough to sell, but of course, if you own special accessories, use them! After you have selected the field you want to specialize in and found several magazines related to your speciality, study what kind of pictures the editors are buying. A general description of picture requirements is often listed in the magazines. You can also find out by looking at the pictures used in previous issues. Submit only the pictures you consider as good or better than the ones being used. Send your pictures to the Picture Editor of the magazine by finding the address in the publication itself or in the Directory of Trade Journals at your local library, if the publication is not sold on newstands. If you are a beginner, start offering standard black and white prints, which are easier to sell because they actually are the ones having the greatest market. Here is how your prints should be prepared in order to sell them: * Glossy paper is preferred. Single weight paper via cheaper and require less postage when mailed. Pictures must be flat. * Most publication (But not all of them) Prefer 8"x10". Check the specific requirements of the publication before you prepare your photos for sell. * Number each negative, so each print you make will have a number. * Order a rubber stamp with your name, address, telephone number and an extra line for the number of the picture and stamp these informations on the back of the print you want to offer. * Always use stiff cardboard between the prints you are mailing to protect them, and make a neat package. * Use kraft envelopes and always write "please don't bend" with a red felt on the envelope to avoid any improper handling of your pictures. * As you cannot expect to sell all the pictures you submit, include a self-addressed return envelope with enough postage, so the ones rejected can be mailed back to you. * It is not necessary to send a letter with the pictures as it will not help to sell the pictures. * Make sure to obtain written consent from anyone whose picture you have taken and intend to sell. You can obtain the standard forms called "Model Release" in many photo shops, and when you send your picture to the editor, enclose a copy of the release with them. Do not offer the same picture to more than one publication at the same time, but if your pictures are rejected by one magazine send them to other publications. Many amateurs are making money in this little known field. You will be able to do the same by following the simple advices outlined in this report.

         
    3726

     

    HOW TO ACQUIRE PROPERTY WITHOUT RISK There are a number of ways to acquire property without risk. We list a number of the most important: * Restrict the size of the investment and the amount of indebtedness. * Sell at a profit a part of what you have purchased. * Buy only such property as you are willing and able to hold for an indefinite period. * Make an estimate of gain or loss probabilities before you buy. * Withstand all pressure of people who try to induce you to sell at a loss. * Increase desirability of the property before you sell. * Observe the effects of local improvements, movements and activity. Develop ability to buy Real Estate with the greatest potential for the future. The successful buyers of Real Estate have a good knowledge of facts and laws, learned under a great variety of circumstances. They realize the importance of making investigations. They know economics and business conditions locally and nationally. They study trends, growth areas and property utilization. They have a correct idea of their own personal finance limitations. They have a high degree of interest, judgement and imagination. * Adaptability, fortitude and a high degree of resourcefulness are other attributes to successful Real Estate investing. Desire for ownership and not being adverse to going into debt are very important. * If a property appears to be greatly under priced never quibble over price. List all the significant advantages and disadvantages of each property. There should be some reasonably outstanding features that will generate enthusiasm. Decide to buy on the merits of the property, not because someone is suggestive. If you lose a good deal, a better one will come along. Resist speculation fervor. * If you are buying a property to hold for a long time, compute the taxes, interest, insurance, etc. You will have to pay while it is in your possession. * Realize that when the market is good and the price is rising you can always buy, but when the market is going down it is difficult to sell. Don't sell too quickly and do not over-extend yourself. * Realize that increasing value of improved (homes buildings, etc) result mainly from increasing population. * if you are interested in making money investing in REal Estate foreclosures, the best way to succeed is to develop a financial plan based on your tax bracket so that you will know when to sell off which properties and when to keep them for future increase in value. You will need to recognize when there is "concealed" equity in a property which is not visible to other investors. Look for homes from 5 to 20 years old with potential net profits of no less than $4,000 when you convert them. * Know the laws in your state pertaining to the foreclosure process. Look over all the small print in contracts. Most of them favor the seller. If you are the buyer, have the contract changed to fit your requirements. * Be careful at auctions so that you don't get carried away with the bidding; determine in advance the top you will go and stay with it. * Strive to locate and purchasee distressed property before foreclosure proceedings start and you can generally assume conventional loans under the same circumstances as presently exist. * When you have purchased the property in a slow Real Estate market, it is easier to sell since you have probably acquired it at several thousands below the current market value. * It can be good policy some of your property and keep some. For example, if you can sell one-half of the property and get mos of your money back, you will be able to retain the balance for future enhancement and use the proceeds of that portion sold to speculate in other properties. * Speculation is not all profit. As time goes by taxes and assessments increase; some properties may have to be sold to pay for such increases. * The greatest deterrent to a person buying Real Estate is the fear of making a mistake. Of course a person can't afford to make many mistakes in Real Estate speculation just as in any other kind of business. * During a period of inflation, land is the best investment. During a recession or depression, land is the worst investment. If a recession appears imminent sell, even if on a contract for a reasonable dow payment and monthly payment on the balance. You will have an income and also have the property as collateral. You can be sure that as long as general economic conditions are good, the value of well selected Real Estate will increase. * Populations increase by birth rate and by influx. Check to determine the past circumstances of the local economy, the demand for public services and the future growth potential. The fact that a city has increased in population is not significant in itself. Perhaps there has been an annexation of adjacent areas. Yes! By comparing, learning and using good common sense you can profit in Real Estate regardless of recession, depression, interest rates, or inflation!...And without excessive risk!

         
    3727

     

    YOU CAN WIN OIL LEASES FORM THE GOVERNMENT The public faces a barrage of newspapers, telephone and direct mail advertisements promising quick wealth and fortune through "too good to be true" opportunities. Perhaps you have been among those invited to take advantage of such opportunity by entering a drawing for oil gas leases on federal lands. The ad says: write for details or send a check to cover the cost of filing fee and other services, and have your name entered in the drawing. It is really possible to strike it rich? How slim are the odds and what are the risks? The purpose of this report is to acquaint you with the relit and procedures involved regarding oil and gas leasing form the Government. TYPES OF LEASES Lands that are not within any known geologic structure of a producing oil and gas field, commonly known as "wildcat" lands, are subject to leasing to the first qualified person making application for a lease. Such lease is termed non competitive since the applicant is entitled to the lease without competiting bidding. LOCATION OF TRACTS Many tracts offered for non competitive leasing are in the Western States where most of the public land is located. These are the states of Alaska, California, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Occasionally, a few tracts in Washington and Oregon are offered. Tracts in the Midwest and East are also put up for non competitive leasing. The tracts are primary in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Ohio. HOW THE DRAWINGS WORK Each State Office of the Bureau of Land Management prepares and posts a list of lands within its jurisdiction that are available for releasing. These tracts range in size form 40 acres up to a maximum of 10,240 acres. These list a may be viewed in the State Offices or obtained from the State Offices by mail for a small charge, usually $5 to $10 per list. If any lands are available for releasing, the Bureau of Land Management State Office posts its list on the first day of business for the months of February, April, June, August, October, and December. Applications are accepted until the close of business on the 15th working day after the list is posted. If more than one application is received for a given tract, a drawing is held to decide who will get the lease. All application for simultaneous oil and gas leases must be submitted to the Wyoming State Office, which maintains a central computerized system. QUALIFICATIONS AND LIMITATIONS Federal oil and gas leases may be obtained and held by any citizen of the United States; however, no lease may be acquired by a minor, but it may be issued to a legal guardian or trustee in behalf of the minor. Associations of citizens and corporations under the laws of the United States or of the State also qualify. Aliens amy not hold any interest in leases. They may, however, own or control stock in a corporation holding leases, if the laws of their country do not deny similar privileges to citizens of the United States. No person, association, or corporation may hold, own or control oil and gas leases for than 246,080 acres in any one State. HOW TO FILE Applications may be filed on any of the parcels shown on the list posted in the BLM State Office. The parcel applied for must be identified by the number shown on the list. Each offer to lease must be submitted on a official Automated Simultaneous Oil and Gas Lease Application (forms 3112-6), The applications must be fully completed and personally signed in ink by the applicant, or anyone authorized to sign on behalf of the applicant, during the filing period. Each part B application form must be accompanied by a non refundable $75 filing fee for each parcel, and the first year's rental of $1 per acre or fraction thereof. Each applicant must contain the actual business or residential address of the applicant. Addresses of third parties filing on behalf of the applicant are not permitted. An applicant may file, or have an interest in, only one application for any one parcel; however, an applicant may file, or have an interest in, one application each for as many different parcels as he or she wishes. THE DRAWING After the close of the filing period on the 25th working day after the list is posted, a computer-generated random selection is conducted at the Wyoming State Office. Because of the heavy volume of applicants that must be processed, selection does not occur until the following month. One applicant is randomly selected for each numbered parcel. If the applicant selected is unacceptable or rejected, a reselection will be made by computer from the remaining applications. Each applicant is notified of the results of his application in the random selection. The advance rental will be refunded to nonwinners. CHOOSING A PARCEL It should be remembered that these lands have been leased previously and are not known to contain deposits of oil or gas. Neither the Bureau of Land Management nor any other Federal agency can make any recommendation concerning the potential value of any parcel offered for non competitive leasing. Most applicants use a "Filing Service" to select parcels. Some service charge a fee to evaluate parcels on the basis of geological and marketing data; others offer maps and information about the activities of oil companies operating in the area where the various parcels are located. A third type of filing service charges a fee for selecting a parcel from the list posted by the Bureau and assisting the applicant in filing application. Neither BLM, nor any other Federal agency, endorses any filing service. None are in any way with the Federal Government. Be wary of filing services that paint an overly optimistic picture of your chances of winning and making money. Consider these firms may file for hundreds and even thousands of clients on a limited number of parcels, and the more interest these firms can generate in drawings, the more applications will be filed on each parcel, and the less chance each individual will have of obtaining a lease. The names of firms or individuals that specialize as filing services may be located through business or professional associations, through oil and gas trade publications or chambers of commerce. They sometimes are listed under the heading "Federal Leasing Services" in the yellow pages of telephone directories. Anyone considering the use of a filing services should carefully examine what services are offered and how big a premium is being charged beyond the required $75 filing fee and the advance rental that must be paid to BLM for each filing. Possible source of information on a filing service are the Better Business Bureau in the area where the firm is located and the State, county or local consumer protection agency. LEASE TERM AND CONDITIONS The lease grants the lessee the right to explore and drill for, extract, remove and dispose of oil and gas deposits, except helium, that may be found in leased lands. Such leases are issued for a period of 10 years and so long thereafter as oil and gas are produced in paying quantities. The lessee cannot build a house on the land, cultivate the land, or remove any minerals other than oil and gas from the leased land. Before any drilling operation can commence, the lessee or his operator must fournish a bond to assure compliance with all the lease terms, including protection of the environment. WHAT IS THE LEASE WORTH The value of oil and gas leases varies greatly. None of the tracts offered has known potential for oil and gas production. In certain cases, non competitive leases have brought substantial profit to the winners. Generally, however, these leases average only a few dollars per acre if resold. SELLING OR ASSIGNING A LEASE Many people who acquire an oil and gas lease through the leasing system do not intend to drill for oil or gas. Often the motive for entering the drawing is to sell the lease to an oil company for a profit. If the lease is located in an area which may be attractive to industry, interested buyers may make an offer. A willing buyer may offer a lump sum for a lease. In some cases, the original lessee can negotiate to retain a royalty interest in any future production from the lease. CAUTION Any person who considers entering the oil and has drawing should keep certain facts in mind: * The land offered for leasing was formerly included in oil and gas leases that expired, terminated, or were relinquished or canceled. * The land involved is not recognized as being within a know geological structure of a producing oil or gas field. * Your offer to lease is strictly a gamble. Since a very large percentage of the tracts won are never drilled on, your parcel may not have any potential for oil and gas even if you win the drawing. * the more desirable parcels may attract hundreds, even thousands of applications. WHAT TO DO NEXT TO PARTICIPATE After carefully reading this report, if you wish to participate in the drawings of your own, here is how to proceed: Select the geographical area that interest Locate the BLM State Office that is responsible for the area you have selected. Write that state for information. The State Office will send you application forms and tell you how much it will cost you to receive by mail the list from which you must select your tracts for the drawing.

         
    3737

     

    DIAL 1- 900 FOR-PROFITS Would you like to start a business in which you don't have to make anything and your product is information, but can earn profits of more than 95 percent? Of course you would. Such a business does exist and is predicted to be a 20 billion dollar a year industry by the year 2000. New technology in the telecommunication industry, now offers hundreds of ways that entrepreneurs can make huge profits operating a "Pay-Per-Call" business. This business will make hundreds of fast-track entrepreneurs rich during the 1990's. Why not you? Several Information Providers (nicknamed "IP's" in industry circles) are now grossing between $5,000 and $50,000 a month by providing information on a pay-per-call basis. For a very select group of IP's, monthly income exceeds $100,000. And for a few (mostly in the provocative sexually explicit field) monthly income has reached upwards to half a million dollars! This very hot new business opportunity is, the fastest growing, most exciting, money-making opportunity of the 90's. This business is the 900-number telephone information service. In this business, unlike toll-free 800 numbers, every time someone calls your 900 number, a charge appears on his phone bill, and you make a profit. The caller pays for the information or service he receives via his phone and the phone company acts as your collection agency. The per-minute charge makes this business interesting and profitable. Charges range from as low as 50 cents to as high as $50 per minute; during his lunch hour, a stockbroker in New York charges $50 per minute to give hot stock tips to 900 number callers. You may already be familiar with some types of 900 number services; sport updates, weather and traffic updates, romance and dating lines, and so forth. However, these common services only scratch the surface of the fascinating information you can provide through a 900-number program. Consider these two successes: Surf line and Alaska Men's Magazine. The former is a local Malibu, California-area, number that provides instant updates on surfing conditions. Surfing fans, who live for that perfect wave, often call this number several times a day and spend about $1 a minute for the privilege. Alaska Men's Magazine's 900 number sells information about eligible bachelors who live in Alaska. It is an instant personal/mate wanted advertising service. It is successful because few women live in Alaska, so many Alaskan men are looking for spouses, and many women in the lower forty-eight states are looking for husbands. America's Funniest Home Videos invited the nation to help select the winner of the $100,000 grand prize for the funniest american home video. One annoucement made by the host, Bob Saggett (lasting approximately five minutes), resulted in another $250,000 program grossing, by my calculations very nearly enough to pay the the $100,000 grand prize. This next example is the cream of the crop. The Wheel Of Fortune ran a 21 day program. Each week Pat Sajack invited callers to call and play Wheel Of Fortune. The cost of the call was $2.00 per minute. Through the course of 21 days The Wheel Of Fortune received 4.7 million calls. That's 4.7 million calls, not minutes. The average number of minutes each caller was on the line was five minutes and the average cost of a call was $10. Forty-Seven Million dollars was grossed in less than 30 days. This is only a small sampling of the many uses a 900 line can be used for Dozens of categories for 900-number services exist, but they boil down to four basic concepts: romance, financial, maintenance, and entertainment. "Romance" line - that is, true confession, dating, and similar topics--now earn about 80 percent of all industry revenues. However, like the video industry, that situation is changing rapidly as the business becomes more professional and offers stronger concepts to consumers. "Financial" appeals to people's urges to make money, save money: stock and bond price lines, sports updates for gamblers, and horse racing lines. "Maintenance" refers to technical support lines. A computer operator, for example, must call a technical support number because they are having problems with either there software or hardware. "Entertainment" refers to everything else, mostly for recreational purposes: miscellaneous products and services, soap opera updates, rock stars, and contest. FIVE SERVICE METHODS To satisfy these four basic concepts, you can offer one of the five methods which your target market can call: * Interactive auditext--pre-recorded messages responds to caller's choice. * Live audio: an operator or group discussion interacts with a caller. Obviously, this is more expensive for you to operate than pre-recorded messages. * Interactive video: a caller's personal computer retrieves text and graphics from an on-line data base. * Facsimile: sends pre-stored faxes of printed information in response to caller request. News reports, stock reports and so forth can be made available through pre-programmed computerized fax services. * Messaging: callers leave recorded messages, such as their name, address, product specifications, order information, etc. TWO TYPES OF SERVICE Once you choose a method that suits your concept, you have to decide whether to market it locally or nationally. A national line uses a 900 number offered through one of four national common carriers. Telesphere Information Services 900, AT&T, Sprint Gateways, and MCI. Or, if you want to start locally, you can contract with your local telephone company for a local or regional 976 line. T. Harv Eker, a young California entrepreneur known as the "Biz Opp Wiz," said in a recent report on 900-number service business, " I recommend that a small " infopreneur" start with a local 976 number to learn the ins and outs of this risky business. You can study your target market and test your advertising and your service idea for far less than it costs to start a 900 service." Experts show that eight or nine out of every ten 900 services fail. However, if your concept hits big, you can make phenomenal profits. And you can reduce your risk by following the experts' advice about how to choose and market the best idea. Russ Blackwell, an executive with Microlog Corp., a major 900 service bureau explains, " In 90 percent of the lines, call volumes do not reach anticipated levels. The services may still make money, but they often do not make as much as the infopreneurs expected." The reasons this occurs are numerous. First, people's profits fall short of their expectations because they got overly excited about this business and forecast profits far higher than any they should reasonably expect. Second, people try to sell bad ideas. For example, Blackwell says, "One service tried to sell insurance to the elderly. It was a legitimate application, but hardly anyone called because senior citizens rarely use 900 numbers. They think it has a stigma, and they prefer to make toll-free calls. Instead, Blackwell asserts, the largest target market research young people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five--in short, impulse buyers. Other seemingly good 900 information ideas that flopped include quilting information and gardening information. Why did these ideas fail? They did not meet the essential criteria that experts have learned make a 900 number successful. 1. PERCEIVED VALUE: People must believe they receive a high value from the information. They must think that the information is worth the price of 95 cents a minute, $25 a call, or whatever the service charges. If people can get the information for free or cheaper elsewhere, they will not use your service. Jim Coffee, General Manager of Audio Communications, Inc. (ACI), insists, "You must carefully identify your target customer and offer very significant value." By target customer, he means you must analyze the demographics and buying habits of your potential callers. He adds, "The success of your program depends on two elements: first, your content, which is measured by the average hold time (AHT); and second, the quality of your marketing or your advertising measured by the number of "connects" or calls. AHT means that your callers are willing to stay on the line and listen to the entire message or to interact with the program or the operator. Your content must encourage them to stay on the line and increase their charges. 2. IMMEDIATE VALUE: Futhermore, your callers must perceive that they need the information you offer right now--IMMEDIATELY. This factor is why Surf Line succeeds--surfers want to hit the perfect wave right now-- and Quilt Line failed--quilters can mosey over to the library and lock up the right stitch when they feel like it. 3. REPEAT CALLS: Once your callers reach your information service, they must call back again and again. Your content must repeatedly satisfy a continuing need. Stock prices change every day, the weather changes every hour, traffic conditions change often during rush hours, people often want to make contact with potential dates. Repeat calls make or break this business. Eker notes that your 900 service must also make the information convenient and easy to reach. It must be far more convenient than any other method or medium. A caller should only push a few buttons to reach the desired information, or go only through one operator. SECRETS OF STARTING UP Your first task is to think of a concept that meets these criteria. Second, you must identify an easily reached target market. Eker advises that you start with a tried-and-true category at the local level. This could include sports line or "conditions" line-local beach, skiing, vacation, traffic, or similar line that affects people's leisure or driving time. Most important, you must develop a highly targeted marketing plan to reach you audience. To do this, find out from your local media--newspapers, radio, TV, cable, magazines, etc.--about their audiences. Then, select the media and develop advertising that will reach your audience. As one example, a traffic line will be most popular in the mornings and afternoons during prime drive times, so a local radio advertisement targeted at young workers who listen to a rock station may make sense. Unfortunately, in the radio business, "drive time is prime time," and you pay higher rates. You could explore placing some less expensive radio ads just before prime drive times begins (about 7 a. m. and 3 to 4 p. m. in most markets) to reduce your costs. You should blend a series of ads, some before, some during, and some after drive time to reach the greatest number of people. On the other hand, Eker says, sharing a little known secret, "The best place to advertise a 900-number services may be your local cable TV channels. Although most people don't know this, you can buy local cable TV ads placed on national cable channels very, very inexpensively--as low as $1 per minute for local broadcast TV. Each local Tv company receives two minutes per hour for local advertising on each channel. So, for example, you could advertise a Sports Line on ESPN, WTBS, TNT, WOR, or WGN and reach almost all the sports fanatics in your area. And do so for as low as $12,000 a year. In short, you must thoroughly, search for the best marketing alternatives and have the available financial resources to buy advertising. Once you think you have a terrific, saleable idea, getting started in this business is very simple. Although you could buy your own equipment to hook up to the common carriers, that equipment can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Instead, use what is called a service bureau. A service bureau handles all of the operational details. You simple pay its start-up charges and on-going fees and make your information available. You either provide cassette tapes or call in to change the information as you need to do so. It takes as few as two or three days to get your service on line. Or, in an interesting variation, you can work with another information provider (IP) in a joint venture to sell a service that the other often larger IP cannot do. Many major newspapers and magazines are using joint ventures and partnerships to establish line services. In this case, you may receive a percentage of the profits, usually 25 percent, a royalty, or a continuing fee. Coffee's ACI and other service bureaus that double as information providers also offer joint ventures and partnerships. If you don't have the money to carry a marketing program, this may be a good way to go and reduce your start-up costs, yet lets you get started in this lucrative opportunity. Another secret to this business, says Eker, is that you must be prepared to cut your losses--FAST. You should also plan a to test a range of program concepts through various media. This business works like the direct mail and catalog business. You must test your services, prices, and advertising again and again to find the right formula. When you hit it big, you then should run with the winning combination. But if an ad doesn't draw many callers, or even if the call volumes are just not high enough to make the profit you want, discontinue the service quickly and try something else. Or better, have another services already underway. PROFIT POTENTIAL When you hit, you can make amazing high profits. On average, 900 numbers charge $1 for the first minute and 75 cents for additional minutes. The average call lasts three to five minutes, so your revenues per call average $2.50 to $4. If you invest $40,000 you only need 10,000 to 16,000 calls to break even. Your cost on each call will equal $1.50, giving you a profit margin of about 40 percent per call before you deduct your overhead, operating costs, and taxes. Here is what a typical month's revenues, expenses, and resulting profit might look like: Monthly Revenues: $100,000 (25,000 calls at $4 per call) Fees to the Carrier: $40,000 (average 40% of gross) Fees to service: $3,000 Marketing: $40,000 Overhead: $10,000 Total expenses: $93,000 Monthly profit: $7,000 If you invest $60,000 in the total start-up, your return on your investment per month would equal 11.7 percent. More likely, Eker notes, a national start-up that would generate $100,000 per month in revenues would realize 8 to 13 percent per month. "The goal is to realize between $1.08 and $1.13 for every $1 you invest," he notes.

         
    3753

     

    150 FIRMS THAT PAY YOU TO WORK AT HOME Dear Opportunity Seeker, Enclosed is the listings that you requested. According to all the available information and sources within our computer network, the companies listed here have shown a great need for home-based workers such as yourself. All of our listed companies are revised on a regular basis, since some of them may change their needs or requirements. Although we believe our information to be completely reliable. We cannot however, guarantee its complete accuracy and we never stop researching firms in the HOMEWORK INDUSTRY and make every effort to provide the type of programs that you, the homebased worker are seeking. It is now the time for you to read over the listed companies and pick those in the various groups that you wish to contact. We urge that you PLEASE contact each and every company listed, regardless of which group they are in. All that's now required is to send a large business (10) envelope with one (1) 29 cent stamp affixed in the upper right hand corner. You then address this envelope to yourself (SASE) leaving it unsealed, then fold it into another #10 envelope that you will address to each of the companies below. BEFORE sealing the mailing envelope, neatly print or type a short note asking details on their HOMEWORKERS PROGRAM (S). It is requested you DO NOT write long letters since they are not read and are often discarded by mail room personnel, and even if that is not the case, you do not want the companies response to be delayed, simply because your inquiry laid around while someone tried to determine just what you were requesting. Once the listed companies receive your inquiry, they have instructions to send your materials. Please follow directions. If you send anything other than what is called for, you will get little or no response. Be patient, some firms are very large, international in size, some are on a seasonal basis, so it might take a few weeks for some responses to reach you. NOTICE The listed companies have been separated into 3 different groups, based upon the type of work they offer. If you are NOT going to contact all companies listed, be sure to check which particular group is of interest to you, before you write to any companies. The following companies usually have more than one to offer. If so, they will present you with all their opportunities after you contact them. Which offers they send you and in what order they will be sent, depends entirely entirely upon their processing abilities at that time. GROUP 1--COMMISSION CIRCULARS/MAILING LETTERS LBI SYSTEMS, P. O. BOX 3430, JAMAICA, NY 11432 B & L ADVERTISING, P. O. BOX 22609, MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55422 SELMAR BROOKS PUBL, P. O BOX 126D, BROOKLYN, NY 11229 IRENE'S ENT.,P. O. BOX 4552, E; PASO, TX 79914 MC CALLS ENT.,P. O. BOX 514, STEUBENVILLE, OH 43952 JAMES TITUS, 22203 FLINTLOCK, DR.,KATY, TX 77449 WORLD WIDE TRADE SERV.,MEDINA, WA 98039 LEIBIG ENT.,3703 COLD SPRINGS RD., HUNTINGDON, PA 16652 EM ENT.,BOX 1315, FLORENCE, SC 29503 TEA TREE OIL, BOX 18508, SPOKANE, WA 99208 ATLANTIC MAIL, BOX 690, HALLSVILLE, TX 75650 PROFIT, 3731 KANAINA #325, HONOLULU, HI 96815 AMETHYST, BOX 2348, NIAGRA FALLS, NY 14302 GOLDEN RULE, BOX 3975, VENICE, FL 33595 SM PUBLISHING, 20119 RHODA CIR.,CERRITOS, CA 90701 LLYOD ADKINS, 9025 E. CRESCENT AVE. MESA, AZ 85208 VIDEOSCOPE, BOX 20302, ATLANTA, GA 30325 BAKER, 221 W. BLUEFIELD, PHOENIX, AZ 85023 BARGER, PO BOX 61 RT 1, MILROY, PA 17063 MASCOR, 4807 BETHSEDA #344, BETHSEDA, MD 20814 SHOP, 433 DOUGLAS, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94114 FORTUNE HOUSE, 7507 S. TAMIAMI #215, SARASOTA, FL 34231 LINDCO, 3636 PETERSON, CHICAGO, IL 60659 TATE ENT.,BOX 330, FLINT, TX 75762 MICAH GRAPHICS, BOX 17726,BATON ROGUE, LA 70893 HOOK FAST, BOX 1088-SD, PROVIDENCE, RI 02901 BEN, BOX 69, FRANKLIN, VT 05457 M&H, 1370 CENTER, OREM, UT 84057 B. WITHERSPOON, 53 LANGMEYER AVE., BUFFALO, NY 14215 PUBLISHER, BOX 22, EARLTON, NY 12058 CPC, 407 N. HUNTINGTON, MONTEREY PK, CA 91754 HOME BUSINESS, 1484 IVERSON, ATLANTA, GA 30307 SAVRAN, BOX 815, FLUSHING, NY 11362 R&R, BOX 111733, TACOMA, WA 98411 HARTWICK, BOX 348, PT OXFORD, OR 97465 IMAGES, 2727 PACIFIC #107b, HIGHLAND, CA 92346 JD ENT.,ALAMOSA, CO 81101 PASTEREZ, 6239 W. CHARTER OAK, GLENDALE, AZ 85304 DYNAMIC IDEAS, 6055 NASH WAY #C11,SACRAMENTO, CA 95842 ORION PRESS, BOX 8068, ALEXANDRIA, VA 22306 MO SPECIALTIES, 312 CARPENTER ST.,READING, PA 19602 GUARDIAN, BOX 31175, PHOENIX, AZ 85046 DOROTHY LEEPER, 918 CANAL ST.,JOHNSTOWN, PA 15901 BUDGET ADS, BOX 125, RED OAK, GA 30272 MIDWEST, BOX 5447, LAFAYETTE, IN 47903 WDC, 693 W. 60 ST. LOS ANGELES, CA 90044 THORNTON, BOX 470492, FT WORTH, TX 76147 STALLINGS, 4502 12 AVE., TAMPA, FL 33605 R. MEDINA, 275 KATHY LN.,MARGATE, FL 33068 QUALITY, BOX 1305, SEAFORD, NY 11783 PROGRESS, BOX 93248, LOS ANGELES, CA 90093 WYNWOOD HOUSE, 323 FRANKLIN BLDG.,#285-02, CHICAGO, IL 60606 RBS, BOX 2659-G, DANBURY, CT 06813 KELLEY, BOX 4696-P, DETROIT, MI 48234 TODDCO,4219 W. OLIVE ST., BURBANK, CA 91505 RUBEY'S, BOX 20514, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73156 CONSULTANTS, BOX 1922, SUMAS, WA 98295 GOOD EARTH, 14 SUNSET PT.,ORACLE, AZ 85623 ROBCROSS, BOX 8768, BOSTON, MA 02114 HAWKINS, BOX 589, FOREMAN, AZ 71836 T&S RT 1 BOX 257, FT. GAINES, GA 31751 STUDIO 44, BOX 806, COMMACK, NY 11725 LENHART, 8 STANFORD, W. CALDWELL, NJ 07006 M&K, 3356, IDIATLANTIC, FL 32903 HAMILTON, BOX 608039, ORLANDO, FL 32860 NATIONWIDE, 1671 E 61 ST.,BROOKLYN, NY 11229 OWEN CORP.,771 A, BATTLE GROUND, WA 98604 NAT'L MAILER, 11017 LUENBERG CT.,LOUISVILLE, KY 40223 THOMPSON, 3703 GAMMA ST.,AMARILLO, TX 79110 GEORGE BARTA, BOX 7103, FT. LAUDERDALE, FL 33338 GORMANSTON, 7014 13 AVE.,BROOKLYN, NY 11228 VIDEOS, BOX 4-D, MIDDLETON, NY 10940 COMMUNICATIONS, BOX 996, NEW YORK, NY 10268 FOODMASTER, BURNT HILLS, NY 12027 WORLD WIDE, BOX 62, POWELL, TN 37849 NATIONPLAN, 1671 E. 16TH ST.,BROOKLYN, NY 11229 NAT'L ADVERTISERS, BOX 1356, SILSBEE, TX 77656 BUSINESSES, 92-MG BRIGHTON 11 ST., BROOKLYN, NY 11235 ASHBURN, 140 16 AVE.,SEA CLIFF, NY 11579 MINIWORK, AA, WINKLEMAN, AZ 85292 LYNETTE, 6251 MENTOR PK., MENTOR, OH 44060 R. K, 4700 LAVINA ST.,VANCOUVER, WA 98663 P. K, 1621GISH ST., #1A, LONG BEACH, CA 90815 MERCHANDISING, BOX 20514, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73156 NAT'L HOMEWORKERS ASSOC.,P. O. BOX 11350, EUGENE, OR 97440 MAIL IT, BOX 10070, KANSAS CITY, MO 64111 PUBLISHERS, #126 E HOMECRESTA, BROOKLYN, NY 11229 NVS CORP.,48 SPRINGVALE AVE.,DPT 1, LYNN, MA 01904 VL, P. O. BOX 1353, LEMON GROVE, CA 91945 VINYL INDUSTRIAL PROD.,DEPT 2812, 2021 MONTROSE, CHICAGO, IL 60618 UNIQUE SYSTEMS, P. O. BOX 3174, BINGHAMTON, NY 13902 LINCO, 3636 PETERSON, CHICAGO, IL 60659 HARROW PUBL, BOX 176, DANIELSON, CT 06239 CJ NELSON, 1825 DOMANIK DR.,RACINE, WI 53404 PHOENIX, BOX 150, SNELLVILLE, GA 30278 LOVE'S, 1445 E EVANS CREEK RD.,ROGUE RIVER, OR 97537 RAMCO, 2230 ROYAL, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70117 OPPORTUNITY, P. O. BOX 7586, S. LAKE TAHOE, CA 95731 HRB ENTERPRISES, P. O. BOX 574045,ORLANDO, FL 32857-4045 MICAH GRAPHICS, BOX 17726, BATON ROGUE, LA 70893 OPPORTUNITIES, P. O. BOX 2780, DPT HW, N. CONWAY, NH 03860 T. JONES, 3228 S. BOULEVARD STE 226, REDMOND, OK 73013 MARKET MAKERS, 1317-B, CENTRAL-B, CENTRAL AVE SE #276, ALBUQUERQUE, NM 87123 TELECOM COMMUNICAT'N SER., 135607 CONE ST., #2, NUNCIA, MI 49448 J&J INVESTMENTS, P. O. BOX 131401, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35213 FEDERATED TAX SER.,DPT 6112, 2021 W. MONTROSE AVE., CHICAGO, IL 60618 SMC, 9401 DeSOTO AVE., DPT, 50-24, CHATWORTH, CA 91311-4991 VIEJO PUBL, INC.,5329 FOUNTAIN AVE.,DPT OP, LOS ANGELES, CA 90029 PRIVATE PLACEMENT, P. O. BOX 7387, WILSON, NC 27893 SUCCESSFUL SYSTEMS, DPT 10-12, HORACE HARDING STN., FLUSHING, NY 11362 ACADEMIC GUIDANCE SER.,1500 R COMMERCE PKWY DPT 10, MT. LAUREL, NJ 08054 TOM BRANCH, 4229 MILL ST., PHILADELPHIA, PA 19136 PASSE PUBL., 161 S. LINCOLNWAY, N. AURORA, IL 60542 HOMEWORK, BOX 4385, PORTLAND, OR 97208 HOME PROFIT, BOX 329-Y MAIN, RANCOCAS, NJ 08073 ASF MARKETING, BOX 6672-E, PORTLAND, OR 97228 PASTERZ, 6239 W. CHARTER OAK, GLENDALE, AZ 85304 HOUSECALL MALL, 3431 W. THUNDERBIRD #13-210, PHOENIX, AZ 85023 NWC PUBL. CO.,DPT W-83, 158 BLOOMINGDALE ST.,CHELSEA, MA 02150 BASCO, 9351 DeSOTO AVE DPT B50-24, CHATSWORTH, CA 91311-4948 ATLANTIC MAIL, BOX 690, HALLSVILLE, TX 75650 MD ASSOC., BOX 21305, COLUMBUS, OH 43221 FOLEY-BELSAW CO.,6301 EQUITABLE RD DPT 20952, KANSAS CITY, MO 64120 SUCCESS, BOX 586, ELLICOTT CITY, MD 21043 GROUP 11-ENVELOPE STUFFING PROFITABLE IDEAS, BOX 5337, NEW YORK, NY 10185 UNIVERSAL FINANCIAL REP.,BOX 2009, FOREST PK.,GA 30050 J. C. ENT.,BOX 236 WASHINGTON ST.,MARIONVILEE, MO 65705 LS BLOOM, BOX 5983, RICHARDSON, TX 75083 SOLLIEN ENT., BOX 2060, WAKEFIELD, MA 01880 CENTURY, BOX 15910, FT. LAUDERDALE, FL 33318 GROUP 111--DISTRIBUTORSHIP/DIRECT SALES OPPORTUNITIES BRITE MUSIC ENT.,BOX 9191, SALT LK CITY, UT 84109 LE PORE PUBL.,363 MILLER AVE.,FREEPORT, NY 11520 KELL DIST CO.,30820 COUNTRY RD #10, GRANGER, IN 46530 GEORGE STEARN ACY.,8361 VICKERS ST.,SAN DIEGO, CA 92111 SUPER GLOSS MFG. CO., 3431 W. CLARENON, PHOENIX, AZ 85017 KIDCO PRODUCTS, 223 HORSEBLOCK RD., FARMINGVILLE, NY 11738 MERLITE IND. INC.,114 FIFTY AVE.,NEW YORK, 10011 AMERICAN TOY PARTIES, 20 CRAIG RD.,ACTON, MA 01720 PREFUMES +, 1426 W. 6 ST.,#206, CORONA, CA 91702 SPECIAL T, 7360-7433 VAMA, N. HOLLYWOOD, CA 91605 DAN NEWMAN CO.,1051 BLOOMFIELD AVE.,#2A, CLIFTON, NJ 07012 MELLINGER CO., 6100 VARIEL AVE.,WOODLAND HILLS, CA 91367 LIL' ORBITS, 8851 RESEARCH CTR.,MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55428 RICHMOND SALES INC., DPT IO-191, 42 POWER RD., PAWTUCKET, RI 02860 PVC FURNITURE, DPT NC, BATTLE GROUND, WA 98604-0010 PLEASE NOTE--Since the listed companies in group 11 group 11 may change their requirements from time to time or on a seasonal basis, we urge you to contact ALL companies. The above listed companies DO guarantee payment for owrk completed. If you contact any of the companies listed in group 111, be sure to provide them with your telephone number. IMPORTANT NOTICE: We act as an agent in listing you and we are not responsible for any dealings you have with any of the above listed firms.

         
    3756

     

    HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR ANSWERING MACHINE Your Answering Machine can be used to make MORE MONEY than you've ever made in your whole life! People with absolutely no business or marketing skills have been successful with Answering Machine Marketing methods. Recently, a young couple in Gossell, Kansas, went from three hundred to three million dollars, marketing money-making information in the form of books, manuals, and reports using a simple telephone answering machine. This can only prove that the American Dream is still alive and well. this couple has also proved that if you have: (1) A Great Idea; (2) Believe in your ability to make it happen; (3) Non-Stop motivation to take action now!, and (4) If you persist...You Can Have It All! UNLIMITED MONEY MAKING POTENTIAL The money-making potential of a simple telephone answering machine is almost unlimited. So how do I use my answering machine, and what do I sell? Good question! The possibilities are endless! Many people are making a lot of money selling "How-To" information in the form of books, reports, manuals, directories. Topics include: Home Worker Guides, A Government Job Guide, Making Money As A Free-Lance Writer, Making Money With Your Pick-Up Truck, Making Money At U. S. Government Auctions, and more. However, the telephone answering machine ad approach can be adapted to many, many different products and services: Insurance or real Estate selling, home mortgage reductions, home improvements, Seminars of all kinds, Dating Services, and any kind of restaurant, social events, and 1001 other types of services. HOW IT WORKS A small display ad, or an inexpensive classified ad is placed in daily or weekly newspapers inviting the reader to call a recorded message for more free information on your product, service or event. Using a well-written, benefit-rich script, you, or a professional speaker, record a 2 or 3 minute message that entices the caller to do one of the following: (1) Leave his/her name and address and request that the order be shipped C. O.D. (2) Leave his/her name and address to request more "free information" be sent. A third method that some have tired concerns credit card ordering. however, most operators have found that this does not work very well. people do not like to leave their charge card number at the end of a recorded message. A fourth method that has had some success, asks the caller to order direct from the phone message, by sending a check or money order. Which of the two primary options works best? There are several advocates of each method. Obviously, if you are offering a high-ticket item, or a specialized service (real estate, insurance, multi-level marketing, etc...) you would want simply to capture the callers address and/or phone number for the follow-up. If you're selling a relatively low-priced item (less than $50), such as a book, gift item, etc., you can either use the C. O.D or inquiry method. To ship C. O.D., or not, is a marketing option that confronts every marketer who has a reasonably priced item, and who wants to use a recorded message as a selling tool. The major advantage of C. O.D. shipping is that the order instructions are captured on your answering machine, and can be processed and shipped immediately. The major disadvantage to the C. O.D. method is that it is likely that 40% to 55% of all orders shipped will come back to you because the UPS driver or U. S. Postal Route Carrier (C. O.D. orders can be shipped either by United Parcel Service or by U. S. Mail) could not make delivery and get paid. that's not good! Proponents of C. O.D. shipping claim, even with the huge amount of undeliverable, that this method is still their favorite. There are three entrepreneurs, one in Utah, one in California, another in Arizona, who each are making millions of dollars per year selling books and reports, via the C. O.D method. it's nice to keep it simple. you run your ads, you use a hard sell recorded telephone script. the callers leave their address, and you ship. Marketers who hate C. O.D. shipping usually can't emotionally handle all those undeliverable, unpaid for shipments. C. O.D. shipping does work for some. if you can "psychologically" handle the big return factor, it may make you the kind of money you have always dreamed of making. Her's an important marketing tip: If you do get involved in C. O.D shipping, send a postcard to the responder one day before you ship the order. Say something like this: Thank you for your order for our amazing (fill in the book's title or the name of the product here), your order is being processed and will be shipped immediately. Please be sure to have $_______ (total amount) available to pay the UPS driver when he calls. SPECIAL FREE BONUS In addition to receiving the (fill in product name), we are also including a very special free bonus with your order. We know you'll love it! Thanks again for ordering. We appreciate having you as a customer. Signed___________________________________________________________ Name and Address Of Your Company This technique works just great! One marketer was able to reduce returns by over 15%, by using this little ploy that added up to tens of thousands of dollars in one year! What should your free bonus be? Put on your thinking cap! you can come up with some inexpensive "widget" or low-cost report, that relates to what you're selling. If you're going to use the C. O.D. method---You must do this! Another option to the C. O.D. method is the two-step inquiry method. Sure, it's much slower. First you capture the name and address of the voice responder. Next you rush him or her (it's wise to mail within 48 hours--or less!) your sales literature. no huge ego-deflating returns, plus your printed sales literature can make a much stronger, and longer presentation than a 2 or 3 minute electronic script. WHY IT WORKS Why does a simple answering machine work so well. We have discovered that many people who are usually not "mail responsive" will pick up a telephone and call a recorded message. this is particularly true of newspaper readers. So what must you do to get started in this exciting and highly profitable business! Well, let me give you the necessary steps that you must take to put this information into action. (1) Create/or locate a product or service that is highly in demand by a large group of people. (2) Write a classified ad and sales message (almost like a commercial) to sell the product or service. record the sales message onto a simple answering machine. (3) Place your classified ad in a newspaper that offers the cheapest rates (usually a very small paper or Pennysaver, etc) and put the phone number that is being used by the answering machine that has your recorded script on it in the advertisement. (4) Your customer will see your ad, call your number, listen to your sales message and order. A SIMPLE CONCEPT THAT CAN MAKE YOU MILLIONS!

         
    3781

     

    HOW TO OBTAIN A MERCHANT'S CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT It's a proven fact that mail order marketers can increase sales substantially by offering their customers a credit card option. Some marketers enjoy increases of 10% to 30% in sales when they get up with a Visa/Mastercard merchants account. Others have reported increases up to a whopping 100%, or even more! If all of your sales are made by mail, you can expect to up your total sales by at least 10%, and more likely 15% to 30% simply by offering the credit card option. If you plan to use the telephone a great deal as a marketing tool, offering a credit card buying option could double or triple your sales. Credit card buying is seductive. Many people like the option of buying something today that they won't have to pay for until later. Also, most consumers tend to spend more using their plastic, than when they're writing a check, or paying cash. REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BECOME A CREDIT CARD MERCHANT There are many good reasons why you can benefit from securing credit card merchants status. Here are some of them... * People with credit cards are more affluent than those without plastic. They can afford to spend more money. * They tend to be better "credit risks", if you want to sell "open account." * Overall, they buy more by mail than those without cards. * You cannot effectively sell from commercials on radio or TV without offering credit card purchasing. Visa and Mastercard are by far, the cards most consumers have. * They often will make credit card purchases even when they are short on cash, and/or when their checking account balance is low. * You can sell on installments, obtaining permission to charge the buyer's card on a monthly basis. * You can ship goods with the secure knowledge that payment has been secured before shipment is made. THE PROBLEM By now, you're probably convinced that accepting credit card orders is a darn good idea. But how can you obtain credit card merchants status? Truth is, it's not always a piece of cake. In recent years banks have been playing hard-ball with many business people, especially anyone doing business by mail. It's the same old story, a handfull of mail order crooks have almost totally screwed-up a good thing for honest dealers. The major credit card companies have told the banks to be very, very selective in issuing merchant accounts to mail order sellers and home business operators. Because a few scum-bags have ripped off some banks, and run off with the money, your local friendly banker may not be too "friendly" when you tell him you want a merchants account. It has become increasingly more difficult for mail order sellers to secure a merchants account, and if you only sell by mail, but also do consider setting you up for Visa and Mastercard processing. That happens to be reality...but always remember WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE MUST BE A WAY! In this special valuable report I'm going to cover some of the best way to obtain your merchant's status. THE BEST WAY TO OBTAIN YOUR MERCHANT ACCOUNT Although your banker may have already told you that they "cannot" accept you for a merchant account, the simple, unvarnished truth is that he/she can. Visa and Mastercard do set some rigid guidelines for their affiliated banks to follow, but ultimately the banks must approve or disapprove each application. Excuses concerning "doing business by mail", "operating a home-based business", "not having a long business track record", are just that-excuses! A somewhat polite way to tell you "no"! Could a mail order businessman, (books, home-study courses, etc.) but how also conducts his business exclusively in his home get a Merchant Account? Fat chance of him getting a merchants account. Right? Wrong: He happily processes credit card orders for his customers will full knowledge and cooperation from his bank. How did he do it? He never stopped asking for what he wanted. When his own bank refused to even consider him for a merchant account, due to the fact that he was in mail order, and also doing business from his home, he beat path to several other banks. The first four banks he visited also said "no", (2 were large institutions, 2 mid-size), so he decided to try some smaller banks. Guess what? The very first bank he went to said "Maybe". They asked him to transfer his account to their bank, so that they could "monitor" it for six months. He told the bank official that he would consider their proposal, and the proceeded to another small bank one block up the street. He liked what the second small bank said. They said "Yes!" All he needed to do was establish a checking account with them and maintain a modest $1,000, business checking account balance. This he quickly did! He is not unique. But he was very persistent and kept asking for what he wanted, and you must also. Probably th two best ways to get a merchant account are: (1) Keep pestering your own bank about granting you charge card privileges, until they agree to do so. (2) If your bank outright refuses, make a list of all banks in your immediate area, putting some special attention on small banks. Next, get out a pair of your most comfortable shoes and get to it! Ask...Ask...Ask..Ask.. Ask! You have nothing to lose, and much to gain by being persistent, and by constantly asking for what you want (that's good advice in all areas-business and personal) of your life! CREDIT CARD MERCHANT ALTERNATIVES If you absolutely have no success in obtaining a merchants account from a local bank, you should consider the alternatives. Here are some of them... ***Ted Nicholas, best known as the best-selling author of "How To Form Your Own Corporation Without A Lawyer For Under $50.00", has established a small business organization entitles "Entrepreneurs of America." Membership is $50.00 per year. This organization intends to offer reasonable rates on credit card processing to their members. For more information write to: Entrepreneurs of America, 2020 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 224, Washington, DC 20006. Phone: (800) 533-2665. *** The Late Howard E. Welsh is the founder and director of the fast growing National Association of Publishers and Mail Order Dealers. His association has many exciting programs to help small order tabloid publishers and small mail order dealers succeed. Just prior to printing this report, For more information, write: NAPOD, 12 Westerville Square, #355 Westerville, Oh 43081. ***If you sell books, manuals, magazines, or forms of "paper and ink" products, you may wish to join the American Booksellers Association (ABA). This is the No. 1 booksellers professional association in the United States. In addition to many other benefits (National and regional conventions and trade shows, educational programs, etc.), members also can have their credit card orders processed through the ABA's Merchant Service Discount program. Write to: American Booksellers Association, 122 E. 42nd St., New York, NY 10168. ***Barry Reid, owner of the Eden Press, has advertised that he can help mail order marketers obtain credit card processing. Write: Eden Press, Box 8410, Fountain Valley, CA 92728. ***Mountain West Communications of Colorado offers a business telephone answering service that handles inquires or orders. When you subscribe to their service, they can also process your credit card orders for you. Write: Mountain West Communications, P. O. Box 216, Hotchkiss, CO 81419. Phone: (800) 642-9378. NEVER GIVE UP! Although this special report gives you various sources that might be able to help you with your credit card processing, the main message of this report is "NEVER GIVE UP" Never take "NO" for a final answer. Keep asking for what you want! Those who keep asking and seeking, usually obtain what they want.

         
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    юB F dn ([email protected] я`љdCourier 10 cpi, 12 point`хdCourier 16.7 cpi, 12 pt`НdCourier 20 cpi, 12 ptn nFresno` dBakerd dDoylea dVistac dSanta Barbarab dMontereyMAIL ORDERS BEST KEPT SECRETS INTRODUCTION While many aspects of mail order are commonly understood by those who have alreday learned the hard wya--by costly experience, years of trail and error--there are several facets of mail marketing that remain cloaked in mystery, clouded by half-truths, misinterpretation and misinformation among those who0 have not yet had the advantages of such experience. This report will attempt to clear away some of the fog and reveal mail order the way it is in the real world, not as some crafty promotor would have you believe it is. We will cover a wide territory in just a few concise pages, and present both pros and cons of various mail marketing ideas, methods and pratices within the large sco-e of selling by mail. Many books on the subject, some consisting of hundreds of pages do not include the informatioon you will find here. CAPITAL INVESTMENT You've probably seen the ads: "Start your own mail order business with just $10 and make thousands of dollars at home in your spare time" You don't really believe ads like that, do you? of course not. You're much too intelligent to fall for such misleading promises, but there are many people who are not as smart as you, and it's to this audience these ads are directed. some shrewd promoters of mail order plans, schemes and other questionable programs prey upon the gullibility of the public. They appeal to humanity's inherent greed...the dream of making a fortune without investment, risk or effort. Just for the record, there still is no free lunch. The amount necessary to begin will depend on what you hope to accomplish. If you plan to buy or rent a small building, stock it with merchandise, hire a few employess, we're talking upwards of $50,000. To begin at home in spare time, using a spare room and operate as a sole proprietorship or with the help of family members, you can trim that figure by many thousands of dollars. Before we get too specific about dollar amounts, let's pose a few questions: * How much do you know about mail order? Do you have knowledge and experience in advertising, graphic arts, printing, accounting, record keeping, taxes? * Have you selected your product line, and have you determined who your prospective customers will be? Do you know which publications to advertise in, what size ad to use, which mailing lists to rent? * Do you have a reliable supply source for what you will be selling, or will you be your own supplier as manufacturer or publisher? * If you must rely on an outside supplier, will you purchase products wholesale to stock and ship your customers, or will you operate on the dropship method, having orders shipped directly to your customers from supplier's stock? Your answers to these questions will help in figuring your initial cost. For instance, if your knowledge of mail order and the other related subjects consist of what you might have read in a book about 10 years ago, you're not ready to begin. Plan to invest at least $100 in a few mail order books, reports, subscriptions to a couple of mail order journals, maybe even subscribe to a newsletter. Learn as much as you can about mail order selling, now and on a continuing basis, because there are always new ideas, changes and innovations that you must keep up with. Never think you know all there is to know. Obviously, it will require more capital to produce whatever type of item you sell than if you purchase ready-made products, and it will cost more to buy and stock what you sell rather than doing business on a dropship basis. We haven't established the selling price of the products in question, either wholesale or retail, but it will require more capital to maintain an inventory of $50 items than if they are to sell for only $5 so this must be taken into consideration. When purchasing inventory from an outside supplier, you can probably buy in dozen quantities, but the picture changes if you produce your own product line. It would not be practical to produce only a dozen of anything because the production costs would be prohibitive. To enjoy the lowest possible production costs, you would be required to turn out a minimum of a thousand at a time. On a dropship basis, inventory costs would be zero. If purchasing items to stock yourself, you should maintain an inventory of about $500. If you plan to manufacture, publish or otherwise produce your own products, you should figure a minimum of $3,000. The biggest chunk of your initial capital--and this is important, because most newcomers don't realize this until it's too late--should be reserved for advertising and promotion. So, if you invest $500 in products, plan to keep about $1500 for promotion. This will include space ads, classified ads, mailing lists (if you opt to take the direct mail route), circulars, brochures, sales letters and envelopes. If you are operating on the dropship method, you should still plan to invest a minimum of $500 in advertising to get your business off the ground. As you can see, there is no exact answer to the capital question, but now you should have a working estimate as to how much capital will be required, based on the direction your are investment for your particular objectives. ADVERTISING--THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY To the mail order newcomer, all advertising looks pretty much alike. Each ad represents a person or company who is trying to sell you something or get you interested in what they have to offer. You normally don't try to judge the sales copy, layout or graphics. Either you buy, inquire or pass it by. As you become an active advertiser, yourself, all ads begin to take on a new perspective. You see ads interesting or boring; one will zoom out at you with sparkle and zest, while another leaves you cold. All this analysis will be based on your own experience in creating and placing advertising for whatever you are selling. In the final analysis, however, personal opinion or judgement means nothing to the success or failure of advertising. It's the results of each ad which determines its power and effectiveness. WHAT MAKES ADVERTISING SUCCESSFUL? MANY INDIVIDUAL ELEMENTS COME INTO PLAY MAKING A SUCCESSFUL AD: 1. PERSUASIVE SELLING COPY. The wording is the single most important element in determining a successful ad. What counts most is what you say and how you say it. 2. PLACEMENT IN APPROPRIATE PUBLICATION. This might seem obvious, but it is often neglected. If the right people don't see your ad, they can't respond. 3. SPACE/PRICE IN PROPORTION. You simply can't sell high priced merchandise from a small classified or one inch ad space. These should be considered as a low cost means of building a mailing list by asking readers to write for more information. If you expect to sell directly from an ad, the size of the ad will have to increase in proportion to the selling price. Two or three inches of space for items selling for 42 to $5... half or full page for items selling for more than $5 up to $20. When the price goes above $20 it is usually best to run inquiry ads and follow up with a printed sales presentation. There are exceptions, but this is a fairly safe rule to follow. 4. TESTING ALL THE ELEMENTS. Unlike institutional advertising (toothpaste, cars, soap, etc.) which must rely on extensive market research, analysis, surveys and a lot of psychology to achieve success, mail order selling has a built-in "watchdog" to guard against waste and loss, and to help assure that every dollar spent will produce a profit...or at least tell you why it didn't, so you won't make the same mistake twice. This method (unique to mail order) is called KEYING. By inserting a number or letter (or combination) into every ad you run, you can tell which ad works in which publication and in which issues it works best. More sophisticated forms of this testing technique can be carried thru by trying a new headline, a different testimonials, guarantees, etc. The testing technique know no limits, but there is also danger in becoming test-happy. To use the testing principle effectively, be certain that the results will justify the time and expense of making the test. If it merely means adding to your paperwork without adding profit or reducing cost, it isn't worth it. DROP SHIPPING Theoretically, you can offer a million dollars worth of merchandise by mail without ever buying or stocking a single item. The trick to this is by using the drop ship method of selling. Simply stated, this means that you merely do the advertising, receive orders at your address, then forward the orders to your suppliers with your wholesale price and they send the item to your customer. It's an easy way to sell, it's effective and it works for many mail order firms, large and small. But, like so many other things in this business, there are two sides to the story. If you have already heard about drop shipping, you have probably only heard one side...the side that merchandise promoters want you to know. As Paul Harvey might say, "Now you will hear the REST of the story." Yes, drop shipping can be used profitably, but it is unlikely that you or anyone else can become wealthy in mail order this way. The reason is economic. Most manufacturers, wholesalers or suppliers offer drop ship discounts of 30%-40% and up to 50% to dealers. This is not enough to allow any great profit on which to build a business. The selling costs will usually outweigh the profit allowed on merchandise, so the more you sell, the more you lose. How then can you make money by using the drop shipping principle? By using it to get REPEAT business. Here's how it would work: Select what you think would be a good "leader" item and ask your supplier for his lowest price in quantities. The low price will give you greater flexibility in promoting it. The important rule here is to make sure this item represents the entire line of merchandise that you want to sell. Whether you sell it directly from an ad, run inquiry ads and use the two-step followup method of selling, or rent a mailing list...you will probably lose money on this first sale. Don't worry about it. If it's a good item at the right price, you will be building a customer base... people who will be happy with their purchase and will be willing to do business with you again. Now is the time to use the drop ship method. From your original supplier or from others, get all the sales literature available on other good products that will appeal to your customers. Use this literature as individual sales pieces, or compile them into your own catalog. When filing your first order, enclose this catalog or sales literature with the order, along with an order from and your return address envelope. A percentage of customers will begin sending you additional orders for these new items. Here's an important point: To get the first order you had to spend a lot of money for merchandise, first order you to spend a lot of money for the merchandise, the advertising and shipping. This time you don't have these expenses. All subsequent orders are virtually FREE, except for the cost of the sales literature (possibly 2 cents to 10 cents each.) At least 3 or 4 times a year, mail to your accumulating customer list with additional offers. All of these can now be drop shipped at a profit. Keep a close watch on items that are hot...those that sell exceptionally well. You might want to take advantage of the lower prices by stocking some of these to fill your own orders and enjoy the maximum profits from each sale. This is how drop shipping can and should be employed. Of course, if you already manufacture or publish a product of your own, you're way ahead of the game. Use drop shipping to supplement your sales by offering other items to your customers on a regular basis. This is where the profits are in drop shipping. THE ILLUSION OF PRINT/MAIL SERVICES IF ever there was a lazy way to easy profits in mail order it has to be the concept of letting someone else do all the work for you. In theory, it works like this: You send a camera-ready circular or ad to someone who advertises a print/mail service and they will print and mail it (along with many others) to 1,000 to 25,000 names on their own list. You simply pay a one-time charge while they do all the work. Now, multiply this by 5, 10 or more such services and you could (still theoretically speaking, of course) have several thousand of your offers in the hands of prospective buyers within a few weeks. The problem, is that it doesn't work that easily, at least not to the point of making it profitable for the dealer who expects to become delunged with orders. Even the very best mailers in the business can produce only a small percentage of return for their clients, so you would have to have a very high markup on your offer and reach millions of people if you hope to make it profitable. If you already have a test-proven offer that produces about 3% return when you mail the offer by itself, you will be lucky to get one-half of 1% when mailed by a mailer along with hundreds of others. Yes, some offers can produce a profit, even with such a small percentage of return, but they are extremely few and far between. First of all, you would most likely have to be the high markup that is required. If the offer calls for $10 and you can produce it for 41 really is: That's 5 orders per thousand...50 orders per 10,000. Some offers might be able to survive on this, others cannot. You will have to do some figuring to determine whether it's worth trying. On the down side of this practice, there has been quite a bit of speculation about such print/mail services as to their honesty and quality of their services. Many of them offer less than good printing, often smudgy or in various shades of gray instead of crisp black and white; some of the lists they use are so overworked, they have become virtually worthless. Even the best mailers use primarily "Opportunity" lists, so merchandise offers would hardly be appropriate. Another flaw in this idea that some crooked mailers are out there who simply don't mail the quantity they claim. It seems they print and mail only hundred or so, but claim to mail in the thousands. This is very difficult for anyone to prove or disapprove, so the entire idea of using a print/mail service is precarious at best. CHAIN LETTERS It should hardly be necessary to include this mail order scam, but such letters continue flooding the mail every day. Chain letters are a total waste of time and money, appealing to the gullible and greedy, looking for fast, easy money. The easiest way to spot a chain letter is when you see a group of 4 or 5 names and you are asked to delete one and add your own, then send a specific amount of money. Chain letters are a sore spot on the business of selling by mail, and they are illegal. If it even looks like a chain letter, it probably is. Save your money and stay out of trouble. When you receive chain letters in your mail, trow it away...fast. Better yet, turn them over to your local Postmaster. ESTABLISHING AN IN-HOUSE AD AGENCY There have been several ads promoting books and reports on this subject, or included as part of the contents in several mail order books stating: "SAVE UP TO 17% ON ALL YOUR ADVERTISING" It's legitimate, practical and effective, but like so many other promises, there are pros and cons involved. The pros are fairly obvious. By setting up your own advertising agency and placing your advertising under your agency name, most magazines will allow you the standard 15% agency commission plus and extra 2% cash discount. If your annual ad budget is $5,000 this amounts to a saving of $850 a year, which is a considerable piece of change. The negative side to this operation involves the initial cost of establishing your new agency, which isn't very difficult, but it might be considered time-consuming. To initiate an agency you will have to have a name for it other than your regular business name. Example: If your company name is Nationwide Electronics and your name is John Smith, you could call your agency John Smith Advertising or The J. S. Advertising Agency, The agency address will have to be different than your company's, but this can be resolved by renting a post office box one of them and using your home or office address for the other. Next you will have to open a separate checking account under the agency name because all advertising payments will be issued thru your agency, and you will probably be required to register your agency with your County Clerk as a new business. Once these details have been taken care of, you're ready to begin placing ads. You'll have to have insertion order forms printed with your agency name and address, and a separate form must be prepared for each ad in each publication. When your advertising schedule involves only a few publications, this will not be a problem, but if you expand into 50 to 100 different magazines, it can really cut into your time. Of course, if business gets large enough, you can always hire a secretary to take care of that chore. THE LURE OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING The easiest, least costly and potentially most profitable entry into mail order advertising is thru the classifieds...yet there is probably more money LOST in classified advertising than in any other way, with the possible exception of direct mail. Why? Let's take a closer look. Display advertising, the classy, artsy ads in magazines and newspapers, are difficult to create and expensive to place. The novice lacks the necessary talent, ability, expertise and (usually) the capital needed to venture into this area of selling. It requires a basic knowledge of advertising in general and mail marketing in particular, plus some background in artistic composition, layout and ad writing. The cost of running even the smallest display ad often runs $200 to $500 or more per insertion. The biggies, those full pagers, usually run $2,000 to $10,000 or more. Needless to say, the average newcomer isn't about to jump into such an investment on pure speculation. So, the classified ad becomes very attractive, both in its ease of creation and the cost of running it. Such an ad can be scribbed on a piece of paper and sent to publication with payment in a matter of minutes, if necessary (although such a hasty move should be avoided) without any creative design or artwork. The problem with using classified ads that they are often expected to do more than they were designed to do in the first place, and that's to build a prospect mailing list. Instead, probably 95% of all first-time classified users will try to sell their wares directly from the ad, and this is where they go wrong. With very few exceptions, every classified ad should, in one way or another, say "SEND FOR MORE INFORMATION." It should NOT say " Send $10 for this thingamabob"...yet many of them do. Many authorities will tell you that you can ask for money in a classified up to $5 for certain offers, but this is misleading. Asking for money in any amount will automatically cut response by up to 50% or more. When you're paying by the word, every word must work hard for the money spent, and that means brevity is essential. But is also means you can only tell, not sell in the ad. By merely whetting a reader's appetite for more information, then sending the complete story in a well-prepared sales package, a classified ad can be used profitably to build a business. If you don't ask a classified ad to do more than it was intended to do, you'll never be disappointed. WEALTH FROM REPEAT BUSINESS Most newcomers to mail order think in terms of finding a single, new "hot" product to sell...one which will capture the public's fancy and catapult them to fame and fortune. This fancy is soon shattered after a few attempts at advertising the new pet product, only to discover that sales are few and profits are even fewer, if any exist at all. The secret in this case is that costs a considerable amount of money to secure each new customer. Sometimes a modest profit can be realized from the first sale, but more often a break even situation or small loss is the true outcome. This is the crucial point...the stage where most beginners in mail marketing become confused, disillusioned with the entire idea of mail order. It's at this point the faint of heart throw up their hands in disgust, claiming that mail order is just another scam. The more stouthearted (stubborn) dealer will try again with another idea, another ad, maybe a new selling proposition, only to experience the same disappointment as the first time. The smart person will begin to realize that it's vital to begin with at least TWO related items, preferably five or more products, all appealing to the same type of buyer. TO ILLUSTRATE THE POINT: Suppose you place an ad for a $5 item at a cost of $100. To recoup the ad cost you'll need 20 orders. Depending on fulfillment costs you'll also need an additional 5 or 10 orders to show profit. But suppose you receive only 10 orders? This means $50 LOSS each time you run the ad. But wait: it also gives you 10 new customers. When filling the original order enclose additional offers of a related nature. Assuming customers are happy with the first purchase, about 10 to 20 % of them will order something else from you. It have cost you &100 for the original ad, but the additional order will cost only a few cents. This is where the profits come from. Naturally, you hope you DON'T lose money on the initial ad. You would much prefer to show a profit right up front, but this example was used to present the worst picture and how it can be turned around. Keep in mind that, as long as your ad is running, you will be building your customer list. At least two or three times a year, send these customers a new offer. Satisfied customers will stay with you year after year, and this is where the wealth is in mail order. It's not in the advertising; it's in the customers. PROFITS IN THE PRINTED WORD A good line of information books and reports can be the most profitable items in mail order. The field is enormous and the possible subjects are wide and diverse, as are the individual markets for each subject: financial, home business ideas, health, home & auto repair, investments, spare time money making ventures, do-it-yourselfers, mechanics, electronics, collectors, etc. One of the big secrets here, of course, is to decide exactly which market you want to serve, then offer information only to these people. Don't try cross-selling by offering a handy auto repair manual to someone who has expressed interest in better health or attaining greater income. Equally as important is to offer useful information; new ideas or uncommon information that isn't readily available elsewhere. Next in important is the price/profit margin. Stay away from publishers who offer the standard 40% discounts. You need a minimum of 50% if you plan to operate on a drop ship basis, and 70% discount if you want to stock merchandise and fill your own orders. This may not seem important to you now, but you will soon realize that you need the high discounts to help offset the selling costs of whatever you are selling. Your selling costs involve the original advertising placed in publications, printed sales literature and postage needed to answer inquiries. The next step toward success in the mail order information field is to use advertising and sales material that are geared to the information you are offering. Nothing sells itself by mail, it's in the words, ideas and graphics in the advertising that will draw inquiries and sales. How will you sell your information-- Through classified or display ads? By direct mail? with a combination of all methods? Will you try to sell directly from a magazine ad, or ask for inquiries and use printed follow up material to make the sale? These are questions that deserve careful consideration before you go too far. If you are inexperienced in advertising or new to mail order, you should enlist thee services of a competent mail order specialist to get the answers to your questions. When all the facts are in, are there really big secrets to selling by mail? Not really!! There are only established principles of operation, proven ideas, methods and techniques that work...others that have been proven unworkable and unprofitable. There are no hard rules, just helpful guidelines. The true secret is to learn and follow the methods that have proven to be successful, use whatever knowledge and skills that you can bring to your new business, and get professional help in areas where you lack the ability to do it on your own. The mail order graveyard is scattered with the bones of those who didn't!

         
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    21 STEPS TO HOME BUSINESS SUCCESS Fifty million home-based businesses will be in operation by 1997, according to Link Resource's National Work-at Home Survey. All around the country, people who want more control over their lives are starting home businesses In New Orleans, Rick Hart's home based cajun Cargo ships seafood nation wide. In Palatine, Illinois, Stephaine Heavey works from home designing and selling original patterns for fabric dolls. And in Dallas, Lisa McElya published the Dallas Party & Event Planners Guidebook from the entire first floor of her two-story home. These three people are living the new American dream of owning a business, but avoiding the high overhead and start-up costs of a commercial location. If the idea of working from home is appealing, but you don't know where to begin, here is a step-by-step guide. STEP #1 DECIDE WHAT PART OF THE HOUSE TO USE Select an area away from family activity. The perfect space is a separate room (or perhaps the garage), but any area will do, if it can hold all the business supplies and equipment, and also provide enough work space for desks, tables, or counters. STEP #2 DETERMINE HOW MUCH TIME YOU CAN SPEND ON THE BUSINESS Many people start a home business on a part-time basis while raising children or working outside the home. Others start full-time when family and finances allow. However you begin, figure out how may hours per week you can devote to the business Make a weekly chart of your activities, examine it, and determine where the business fits. Don't assume you have time and find out later you don't. STEP #3 DECIDE ON THE TYPE OF BUSINESS Make a list of things you like to do, your work and volunteer experience, and items you own that can be used in a business. Look over this line-up, and using ideas from it, list possible businesses to start. Eliminate any business that isn't appealing or doesn't fill a need people have. For ideas on different types of businesses, consult the end of this article. Other ideas can be found in the source material listed at the end of this article. STEP #4 CHOOSE A LEGAL FORM The three basic legal forms are sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. The most common is the sole proprietorship. As its name implies, a sole proprietorship is owned by one individual. It is the oldest form of business, the easiest to start, and the least complicated to dissolve. Here are some of the advantages of this business form: 1. You own all the profits 2. Your business is easy and cheap to organize. You don't need any government approval, although you may be required to carry a city, state or county license. Your only other obligation is to notify the Internal revenue Service (IRS) for the purposes of sales tax. 3. You're the boss 4. You enjoy certain tax savings. You must pay regular individual taxes on your income, property, and payroll, but these are not levied as special taxes, as with a corporation. You will also have to pay sales tax which you have received from your customers. 5. Greater personal incentive and satisfaction. Since you have your investment to lose if your business is not successful, you should be more willing to put time, thought, and energy into the business. And when your business is successful, you enjoy maximum sense of accomplishment since you know its success was dependent upon your decisions about your management ability alone. For more information about this and other forms of business, send for the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Publication MP25. Selecting the Legal Structure for Your BUsiness (50 cents). It outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each legal type of structure. If after reading it you are still uncertain what form of the business should take, consult an attorney. STEP #5 DETERMINE WHERE THE MONEY WILL COME FROM There are three ways to finance start-up costs: use your own money, obtain a loan, or find investors. If possible, it is better to start small, use your savings, and not worry about repaying a debt. also keep in mind that since you are a home-based, chances of qualifying for a loan or finding investors are slim until the success of your idea is proven. STEP #6 GATHER INFORMATION Spend a few weeks researching home-based businesses. A library or bookstore can provide numerous books on business basics, and on the specific type of business that interest you. Homemade Money by Barbara Brabee (see sources) is an excellent book to start with. If you are considering a computer business, get in touch with the association of Electronics; Cottagers, P. O. Box 1738, Davis, CA 95617-1738. To keep informed of what is happening in home business world, contact National Home Business report, P. O. Box 2137, Naperville, IL 60566, for subscription information; and Mothers Home Business Network, P. O. Box 423, East Meadow, NY 11554 (send SASE for free information). STEP #7 CHECK ON ZONING RESTRICTIONS Find out how your property is zoned, the call City Hall and ask what regulations apply to home businesses in that zone. Also, if you rent or live in a condominium, check the lease or homeowner's association rules to be certain a home business is allowed. Generally, if you do not annoy your neighbors with excess noise, odors, and traffic, you will not be deterred from running a business at home. The neighbors may not even be aware of the business, but it is necessary to know exactly what you can and can't do before you start. This is important should any problems or questions arise later. STEP #8 PICK A BUSINESS NAME AND REGISTER IT If the business you choose is different form your name, file an assumed (or fictitious) name certificate with the county. You are notified if another business already has that name, so you can select a new one. Do this before investing in expensive stationery and brochures. It costs only a few dollars to file, and it protects the business name from being used by someone else in the county. STEP #9 WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN A good business plan clarifies your ideas and establishes a plan of action. A good business plan should include a description of what you are selling, your background and qualifications, who the prospective customers are and where they can be found, what is needed to build the business, how you plan to promote, and how much money is need for start-up costs. SBA Publication #M925, The Business Plan for Home-Based Business ($1) is helpful. STEP #10 GET AN IDENTIFYING NUMBER If you are the sole proprietor of the business and have no employees, you may either use your Social Security number or an Employee Identification Number (EIN) as the business number on official forms. If you have employees, or the business is set up as a partnership or corporation, you must obtain an EIN. To do this, complete IRS Form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number) and file it with the nearest IRS Center. STEP #11 OBTAIN A SALES TAX PERMIT If the product or service you sell is taxable, you need a state sales tax permit. Call the local tax agency, explain the type of business you have and what you sell, and ask if you need to collect sales tax. If you do, they will send you the necessary information and forms to complete. You also use this tax number when your purchase items for resale. STEP #12 OBTAIN LICENSES & PERMITS It's very important not to overlook any necessary license or permit. For example, some cities and counties require a general business license, and most have special laws regarding the preparation and sale of food. Call City Hall to find out what is need for your particular business. In addition, Chamber of Commerce provide information on city, county and state licenses and permits. STEP #13 SELECT BUSINESS CARDS, STATIONERY, BROCHURES Spend time on the color, design and paper for these items. They make a definite impression-good or bad - on the people who receive them. If you are not certain what is most suitable and effective, consult a graphics designer or a creative printer whose work you like. STEP #14 OPEN A BUSINESS CHECKING ACCOUNT Call several banks to find out what services they offer, and what minimum balance, if any, must be maintained to avoid paying a service charge. Also ask about credit card if you plan to offer this convenience to your customers. Bank fees can be significant, so shop around for the best deal. If your personal checking account is with a credit union, see if it can also provide a separate business account. when you open your account, you may need to show the assumed name certificate and business license. Finally, investigate obtaining a credit card in the business's name. If this is not possible, set aside a personal credit card to use for business expenses. STEP #15 SET UP RECORD-KEEPING SYSTEMS Put together a simple and effective bookkeeping system with an 8 1/2 x 11" three-ring binder, columnar pad sheets and twelve pocket dividers from the office supply store. For each month, set up columnar sheets for income and expenses. Use a pocket divider for each month's receipts, bank statement, deposit tickets, and canceled checks. In addition, an automobile log for business mileage, and filing system for correspondence, invoices, supplier catalogs, client records, etc. are two other useful tools. For more information on record-keeping, see IRS publication #583, Information for Business taxpayers. STEP #16 CHECK IRS REQUIREMENTS If you comply with basic IRS guidelines, you can deduct a percentage of normal household expenses (mortgage, interest, taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs, etc.) as a business expense. see the box accompanying this article and, for more detailed information, IRS publication #587, Business Use of the Home. Also become familiar with these IRS forms: Schedule SE (compensation of Social Security Self-Employment Tax) and Schedule 1040 ES (estimated Tax for Individuals). Depending on circumstances, you may have to file them. STEP #17 OUTFIT THE BUSINESS Make a list of everything needed to start the business, but before you buy anything, look around the house for things you already own that are usable. When you are ready to start purchasing, check the classified ads and garage sales. Both are good, inexpensive sources for office furniture, typewriters, computers, answering machines, etc. But only what is absolutely necessary for start-up, and wait until the business is off the ground to get the extras. STEP #18 DECIDE ON TELEPHONE REQUIREMENTS Call the telephone company to find out the cost of a business phone in your area. If you cannot afford a separate business line, investigate the telephone company's regulations on using your personal phone in a business. It may be possible to do this if you follow certain guidelines. Keep a record of long distance business calls as they are a deductible expense. Finally, consider the benefits of an answering machine to catch calls when you are out. STEP #19 CHECK OUT THE POST OFFICE & UPS Using a post office box as the business address down plays the fact you are home-based. It also prevents customers from dropping in at all hours. While looking into box rental, ask for information on the various postal rates, particularly bulk rate, if you plan to do large or specialized mailings. If you mail many packages, check out United Parcel Service (UPS), as it is less expensive than the Post Office. STEP #20 PURCHASE THE NECESSARY INSURANCE Check with your homeowners insurance agent about a rider for your existing policy or the need for a separate business policy. Also make sure you have adequate personal and product liability coverage. Shop around, as each company has different rules regarding home businesses To save money on medical insurance, join an association and participate in their group plan. One such body is The National association for the Self-Employed: they can be reached at 800-527-5504. STEP #21 ORGANIZE THE HOUSE & YOURSELF To have more time for business, organize and simplify household routines. Start by holding a garage sale to get rid of unnecessary possessions. Next, have a family conference and divide household duties, making sure each person does his or her part. The, set up a planning notebook to keep track of appointments, things to do, calls to make, errands to run, shopping, etc. Finally, set up a work schedule so you won't get sidetracked by TV, neighbor's visits, snacking, and telephone calls. Creating and operating a home business is a wonderful and rewarding challenge. The satisfaction is not only in the money earned, but in doing what makes you happy. SOURCES SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. Pamphlets mentioned in this article are available by calling the nearest SBA office or ordering from SBA, P. O. Box 15434, Ft. Worth, TX 76119. NEWSLETTERS HOMEWORKING MOTHERS. Mothers' Home Business Network, dept. 10-6, P. O. Box 423. East Meadow, NY 11554: sample available for $2 and SASE. NATIONAL HOME BUSINESS REPORT, Barbara Brabec Productions, Dept 10-6, P. O. Box 2137, Naperville, IL 60588; $18/year, quarterly. (Sample issue, $4.00) BOOKS, REPORTS ELECTRONIC COTTAGE HANDBOOK #2 MAKING $$ WITH YOUR HOME COMPUTER by Lis Fleming. Fleming, Ltd., P. O. Box 1738, Davis, CA 95617-1738; $7.00 ppd. HOMEMADE MONEY by Barbara Brabec, Barbara Brabec Productions, P. O. Box 2137, Naperville, IL 60566; $16.95 HELP FOR YOUR GROWING HOMEBASED BUSINESS by Babara Brabec. Barbara Brabec Productions, P. O. Box 2137, Naperville, IL 60566; $13.45. THE #1 HOME BUSINESS BOOK by George and Sandra Delany. Liberty Publishing Publishing Co. Inc., Dept 10-6, 50 Scott Adam Rd., Cockeysville, MD 21030; $4.95. THE COMPLETE WORK-AT-HOME DIRECTORY AND IDEA BOOK. E. A. Morgan Publishing Co.,Dept. 10-6, P. O. Box 1375, Huntington, NY 11743; $15. (Includes free report: " The Legalities and Tax Advantages In a Home Business.") THE WORK-AT-HOME SOURCEBOOK by Lynie Arden. Live Oak Publications, Dept. 10-6, 6003 N. 51st Street, Suite 106, Boulder, CO 80301; $13.95 STAY HOME AND MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS by Jo Frohbieter-Mueller. Betterway Publications, Box 219, Crozet, VA 22932; $11.45 101 BEST BUSINESSES TO STAR by Sharon Kahn & The Philip Lief Group (Doubleday, 1983, $19.85). Many of the businesses profiled are suitable for running at home. ASSOCIATIONS AMERICAN HOME BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, 60 Arch St.,Greenwich, CT 06830. NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF HOME-BASED BUSINESS WOMEN, Dept. 10-6, P. O. Box 95, Norwood, NJ 07648; $30 annual membership. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE COTTAGE INDUSTRY, Dept. 10-6 P. O. Box 14850, Chicago, IL 60614; $45 membership.

         
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    60 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR MAIL ORDER CATALOG SALES Perfection in a mail order catalog is like infinity...you can continually approach it but never quite reach it. In the case of many catalogs, however, it is not necessary to achieve perfection or even approach it very closely - in order to make the catalog vastly more profitable than it is at present. Relatively small improvements can result in a more-than-proportionate enlargement of that all-important figure on the bottom line of the financial statement. Making as many improvements as possible as quickly as possible is probably the most profitable procedure. But even making each new catalog a little better than the one which preceded it can produce substantial increases in sales per catalog and in total sales over a period of time. Following are 60 suggestions that should help your catalog do a better selling job for you if you are not already using these ideas. Whether you use all of them in connection with your next catalog or adopt a few at a time in the course of producing several future catalogs, the ultimate result should be very noticeable and very gratifying. BEFORE YOU CREATE YOUR CATALOG.... 1. Look at your present catalog with extremely cold, critical and unsympathetic eye. Pick out all the faults-large or small-that you could find if you were no longer the owner of the catalog but a nitpicking customer who has been disappointed in his or her last purchase from you and is still sore about it. Such a review could be very enlightening-even if it should prove slightly embarrassing-and could make your new catalog much more profitable. 2. Put your "letterman" on your team. Review all incoming correspondence from customers and prospects during the last two years for comments, suggestions or criticisms that may be helpful in preparing your new catalog. Screen all future correspondence of this nature as it arrives and place copies of the useful letters in a special file to be reviewed before starting your next catalog. 3. Think of your catalog as a means of helping your prospects accomplish something they want to accomplish or create an effect they want to create-and prepare your layouts, copy and illustrations accordingly. 4. For each major type of product you sell, determine as many reasons as possible why different groups of prospects or customers do buy or should buy this product. Arrange your groups of prospects or customers in their orders of importance. For each group arrange the reasons for buying in order of their importance. Then arrange the reasons in their order of importance to your total group of prospects or customers. Use the most important reasons as the basis for the copy and illustrations you use in this catalog. If there are significant differences in the primary reasons for purchasing different types of products, make the presentation for each specific type of product fit the product of using the same type of presentation for different types of products... 5. If the preceding reasons indicate that different appeals are needed for different groups of prospects or customers, change the wrap-around, letter or introductory page of your catalog to appeal to different groups, and separate your mailings accordingly. 6. Plan your catalog completely before you start preparing layouts and copy.. Use all 60 suggestions in this list as your guide for your planning.. 7. Plan to ring your cash register more often by using approaches in tune with the times. 8. Plan to attract new customers-reactivate dormant customers-and get bigger and better orders from present customers by adding new and excitement and extras pleasure to owning or using the types of products offered in your catalog.. For example, feature dramatic new items, unusual items, items that are especially timely, etc... Include unusual facts of interest about specific items. 9. Plan to add interest to your catalog-and give it a much longer life--by including helpful information on how to use, operate and maintain your products...unusual uses, etc.. This is information that customers can use to advantage and will want to keep for future reference, Such information also increases customer confidence in your company which correspondingly increases the customer's inclination to buy from you. 10.. Determine whether items that were unprofitable or barely profitable in the present catalog should be promoted more vigorously in the new catalog or should be dropped and replaced by new products, Never keep an unprofitable product in your catalog just because it is one of your favorites. If it doesn't sell, get rid of it! 11. Give your company a distinctive personality. Promote this personality in all future catalogs as a means of making your company not "jut another mail order marketer" but a very special marketer in the minds of your prospects and customers. WHEN YOU CREATE YOUR NEW CATALOG... Use Procedure 12 to 19 to make your prospects want your products: 12. Write your copy to tie in with and stimulate the specific reasons for buying discussed in the preceding section. 13. Wherever possible show your prospects how your merchandise can accomplish the results desired by the prospects to a greater degrees than competitive products-and prove it by citing results of lab tests, field tests, wards received, other special recognition - and especially testimonials and case history stories, preferably with photographs. Give the prospect every possible incentive to buy from you rather than somebody else. 14. Put special emphasis on your products and/or services which are exclusive or markedly superior to those of your competitors-and tell your readers WHY your products and/or services are superior! 15. Take the prospect "behind the scenes" if practical and show what you do (especially exclusive or improved procedures) to make your products better than competitive products. 16. Make the most of new items the first time you offer them; they are only new once.. Give them every opportunity to succeed saleswise by giving them preferred position and allowing adequate space for you to do a proper educational and selling job on them at the time they are introduced. 17. Assure prospects that is easy to use these products...that instructions are included with each order (if true) and/or are available in specific books or magazines (preferably obtainable from you)...and cite case histories to prove how successful other customers have been in using them. 18. Tell prospect how to start using your merchandise properly and what other action should be taken-and when-or state that this information will be included with the shipment. 19. If your products are bought primarily for pleasure or are considered a luxury or "non-necessity", help the prospect rationalize the value of the purchase. Use Procedures 20 to 26 to make it easy as possible for the prospect to make an accurate selection of the types of merchandise and the specific items of each type best suited for his or her purposes: 20. Group all items of the same type in the same section of your catalog. 21. Arrange the groups of items in their present or potential order of importance to you profitwise. Put the most important group at the front of your catalog and the least important near the end of your catalog (but not on the last three pages). 22. Within each group , arrange the individual items in descending order of quality, price, popularity or promotional possibilities. Give the most important items the most valuable positions and extra space for copy and illustrations. Allocate positions and space to the other items in the order of their importance. 23. If practicable, use the Sears system of offering the same type of item in three different qualities-- GOOD, BETTER and BEST - with different price ranges to match the differences in quality. Usually it is more effective to talk about the BEST quality first and the GOOD quality last. 24. Use COMMON copy to present features or qualities that are the same for all or most items of the same type. 25. Use INDIVIDUAL copy to talk about the features or qualities that make each specific item different from all or most of the other specific items in the group. 26. In preparing the INDIVIDUAL copy above, use "parallel construction" to help the prospect make a point-by-point comparison of the specific items as quickly, easily and accurately as possible. Once the prospects have selected the merchandise they wish to buy, make it as easy as possible for them to order Procedures 27-31 27. Be sure your ordering information is easy to understand. 28.. Make your order form easy to use, with adequate space to write the necessary information. 29. Put in one or more extra order forms to make it easier for customers to order again.. 30. Encourage prospects to order by phone on credit, charge or c. o.d. sales and encourages them to telephone for further information they may desire. 31. Offer a 24-hour phone-in service through an arrangement with a local telephone answering service who can answer your phone during the hours that your business is nor normally open.. This is especially convenient for the customer who shops in your catalog during evening or weekend hours. Make it as easy as possible for customers to pay for their orders Procedures 32 and 33 Offer credit card service on orders for a specified amount or more.. By putting a minimum on credit card orders you will often increase the original order to at least that minimum amount. Credit card orders tend to be nearly double the size of cash orders. 33. Make it easy to determine shipping charges so they can be included in cash-with-order payments. Use order starters and sales stimulators such as 34 to 42 34. Use a wrap-around letter on the front of your catalog to stimulate, ore orders and to do a selling job on the merchandise in the catalog; also to make special appeals to special groups or call attention to merchandise in the catalog of special interest to special groups. 35. Use the wrap-around to offer order starters (loss leaders or hot items to get prospects in to the catalog). 36. Offer specials at intervals throughout the catalog to entice readers to start an order. Once they buy even one lonely item they'll tend to order other items to go with it. 37. Offer logical assortments of mixed or matched seasonal items to provide extra variety and pleasure at any given period of time. Make suggestions for these assortments and provide inducements for prospects to order them. 38. Offer assortments of mixed or matched items designed for use during different seasons in order to provide variety and pleasure throughout the year (or most of it) instead of during just one season. 39. Offer a free guide or plan for using each assortment above correctly and offer information on how to make the most effective overall use of the assortments. 40. Offer a gift or discount for orders of certain sizes and use a stairstep graduated approach to increase the value of these discounts or gifts as the size of the order increases. 41. Offer a gift-shipping with gift cards. 42. Provide extra services such as "Seeker Service" for items not listed in the catalog. Through extra service techniques you will make your customers more dependent on the information you provide and they will become more dedicated customers. Stimulate promptness in ordering Procedures 43 and 44 43. Use action incentives to spark early orders, such as premiums for ordering by a specified date; special offers for a limited time only; etc. When a time limit is involved, send a reminder (letter, promotional mailing, second catalog, etc) timed to arrive two weeks ahead of expiration date (as nearly as you can time it with current third class mail service). 44. Mention frequently and prominently in your catalog that anyone who orders merchandise from this catalog will automatically receive the next catalog free. If you wish, this offer can be modified to require the purchase of a specified amount during the life of the catalog or by a specified date. Other suggestions Procedures 45 to 53 45. Use the back cover of your catalog for special offers; also the inside front and back covers and the pages facing the inside covers. 46. Use teaser copy and cross-references throughout the catalog to entice readers (into other sections. This can be especially effective when related accessory items are sold. 47. Concentrate service information on a Service Page; locate it on a page conveniently adjacent to the order form; and use frequent cross-references to this page throughout the catalog to stimulate extra page traffic. 48. Humanize yourself and your catalog by making it seem like the catalog came from helpful, friendly people. If your business is truly a "family business" don't hide that fact. 49. Watch your language! Avoid using technical "industry or business jargon" in your selling and service copy; keep legal phraseology to the absolute minimum in your guarantee. 50. Make your entire catalog harmonious in layout and copy style but not monotonous. Include enough variety to keep the reader interested instead of becoming bored. 51. Give your catalog a longer life by emphasizing the length of time that you will be able to ship from it and suggesting that readers keep the catalog for future reference. 52. Ask for referrals from your satisfied customers; also names of friends who might like to receive a copy of the catalog. Consider testing the "cluster concept" that neighbors are very similar and nail to your customers next door neighbors. 53. Sell subscriptions to your catalog by providing a location on the catalog for readers to remit 50 cents for a "full years subscription to your catalog." You can also suggest that they give a "gift subscription" to a friend very inexpensively (and thus pay for the catalog you mail to the referral). AFTER YOU CREATE YOUR NEW CATALOG... 54. Use the basic or major catalog to establish the value and regular price of the merchandise. Use other, smaller catalogs or solo mailings to promote sales from the major catalog or to provide special reasons for buying (reduced prices on individual items or special assortments, closeout, etc). 55. Ask the recipient to pass the catalog along to an interested friend if the recipient already has a copy or is no longer interested in this type of merchandise. 56. Re-mail the same catalog to your better customers 3 to 5 weeks after you mail it the first time. 57. Prepare an alternate cover for the catalog and mail the same catalog to your entire list several weeks later. You'll find it will do just about as well as the first mailing did. 58. Mail to your BETTER CUSTOMERS monthly, featuring items carried in the catalog - don't rely solely on the once-or-twice-a-year catalog. 59. Use your catalog as a package stuffer-enclose one with every order you ship. Your best prospect is the person who just placed an order with you and received prompt and safe delivery of the items ordered. 60. Be prompt in acknowledging orders (with thanks), answering inquiries, shipping merchandise and making refunds or exchanges if necessary. Remember the old adage of that great retailer Marshall Field, "the customer is always right." Less than 2% of the population will intentionally try to take advantage of you and the other 98% are well worth cultivating. ...And just as every good mail order catalog has something extra thrown in for good measure make the customer happier...here's our extra one for good measure! 61. If you receive a change-of-address notice from one of your customers, immediately mail a copy of your catalog addressed to "The New Residents at (the former address of the customer)" because the new residents probably has tastes and interests very similar to those of your customer-after all, he bought the same house! To give this mailing added power, you might tip a note onto the front cover of the book stating that "the Smiths used our catalog regularly, maybe you'll find it equally useful."

         
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    111 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR DIRECT MAIL RESPONSE 1. Mail to your customers more often. If you are now mailing four times a year increase the frequency of your mailings to size or eight times. If you increase your mailings by 25% you should increase your sales by at least the same percentage. 2. Use a P. S. on every direct mail letter. The P. S.S is second in importance only to the headline. 3. Don't forget to thank your customers for their orders by enclosing a message with the orders...and enclose another merchandise offer with the "thank you" message. 4. Vary your mailing format - use self-mailers, Lettergrams, computer letters, envelope formats, catalogs...change your format so that prospects don't get in the habit of recognizing your mailing piece. 5. Ride on the coattails of current events (energy crisis, elections,, cold winters, etc.) When inflation increases, have an "inflation-cutting" special, etc. 6. Look for other products you can successfully sell to your customers. 7. Include more offers in your mailing package than you already are.. Study the mailings firms such as the Haband Company who pack a volume of material into their envelopes and see if you can adapt the idea to your own mailings. 8. Think about using simulated handwriting for emphasis in your letters. Occasionally test a handwritten letter...particularly if you're soliciting funds for charity. 9. Try an unusual format that you've never used before. 10. Test selective distribution to your list. Maybe only a portion of your list should receive more mailings. Other mailings should go to the entire list. 11. Stimulate off-season business by asking for it.. If you normally have a summer slump have a special "summer sale" mailing in the summer. You can boost your sales any time of the year you need a boost through effective direct mail. 12. Word your offer differently - put a unique twist into it by offering a baker's dozen instead of a regular dozen.. Or sell 110 instead of 100. 13. You can even add a smell to your envelopes. Check with your envelope manufacturer about special inks that can be used to make your envelope "smell" the way your product does. 14.. Change the size of your mailing package frequently to create interest and appeal. 15. Test credit terms.. You'll find that Master Charge or Visa Bank Americard will result in larger orders than cash terms. 16. Let people "peek" into your envelope with multiple windows on the face and back. 17. Test buck slip routing for addressing...and use it to reach multiple prospects. 18. Try using illustrated letterheads and test them against conventional letterheads. 19. Put a simulated check into your mailings to emphasize a discount.. 20. Consider using stamps, coupons, early bonuses, etc. 21. Pack order starters - a special offer that will get a person started on his order - into your catalog.. 22. If you can sample your product, test including a sample in your mailing.. 23. Make more sophisticated use of your own list and the lists you rent by looking for those segments of people in a list who buy.. and forget the rest of them. 24. Test simulated telegrams. Mailgrams, other imitation formats similar to the Mailgram. 25. Test a tiny letter with a tiny pencil accompanying it. Test a jumbo letter in your envelope...maybe even mail it in a jumbo envelope. 26. What is your "wastebasket readability factor" and what can you do to get people to read your mailing piece when it is sitting on somebody else's desk... or has already landed in his/her waste basket? 27. Put a wraparound on your catalog. It gives you two covers instead of one. 28. Test your catalog mailing and mailing dates. 29. Use teaser copy on your outer envelope and test its vs a blind envelope. 30. Acknowledge orders promptly, and include additional sales literature with your acknowledgement. 31. Periodically send a statement to your customer that shows he's been missed - even if he doesn't owe you any money. 32. Follow up inquiries promptly and persistently. Make it easy to buy from you by giving the inquirer a return envelope to send his order back in. 33. Tie in with a timely topic (current events, special problems, etc.). 34. Get to know your printers - not printer, printers. Every direct marketer needs different types of printers with different capabilities to come up with different printed pieces. 35. Test multiple premiums with your offer and give your prospect a choice of the one (s) he prefers. 36. Put your letterman on your team - make your best selling products sell most.. 37. Remail your mailing to your best customers three or four weeks later.. You'll do 60-75% as well on the second mailing as you did on the first. 38. Look for creative new ways to increase catalog sales. 39. Remember the five basic rules - test, test, test, test, test. 40. Don't be afraid to run without a test if your gamble is small. 41. Use good judgement in planning your direct mail and you won't go wrong. 42. Use a bounce-back package enclosure to get an extra order. 43. State your guarantee in the strongest possible terms..and state it often. 44. Spotlight your message on your envelope and lead your reader inside. 44. Spotlight your sales points in your headline. 45. Start your message on your envelope and lead your reader inside. 46. Feature last-minute merchandise on the back of your envelope or on a separate flier enclosed in your package. 47. Offset delays in mail delivery by extending cutoff dates. 48. Cultivate customer with special savings, bonuses or premiums. 49. Use lightweight paper to save postage and allow you to put more in your envelope. 50. Use a "Publisher's Letter" to give the prospects an extra reason for buying. 51. Put distinctive differences in your catalog to add interest. 52. Check dimensions of your envelope to make sure they'll conform to new postal requirements. 53. Stimulate action by featuring a time limit at the top of your letter. 54. Show how merchandise solves problems and enhances the stature of the user among his contempriaries. 55. Use a full-view envelopes to display attractive literature. 56. If buying your product spells numerous benefits, spell them out by number for maximum impact. 57. Increase customer goodwill and purchases with advance notice of sales. 58. Use stock photos for much less than the cost of making original shots. 59. Cultivate customers with special catalog offers directed exclusively to customers. 60. Use unusual techniques to get your customer to open your envelope. 62. Dramatize big news by using a big format to present your message. 63. Can you use the inside of your merchandise carton as part of your media mix? 64. Increase the impact of your advertising with clip art - at minimum expense. 65. Express appreciation to your customers for their past business! And enclose some extra sell material with your thank you message.. 66. Use match-up and comparison tables to increase selection ease and accuracy. 67. Offer premiums that are unusual. 68. Include smart-selling stuffers in envelopes, packages, etc. 70. Update your catalog with supplements or newsletters. 71. Use a second letter in the package to increase the impact. 72. Use a second letter in the package to make a second offer... 73. Notify the customer if there is going to be a delay in fulfillment - and include additional merchandise offers with the notification. 74. Test post card deck mailing as an inexpensive method to get leads/customers. 75. Put an unusual message on the outside of your envelope. 76. Put an alternative offer in the reply envelope to create bonus sales. 77. Try a massive display of stamps on the outside of your envelope to emphasize a fact. 78. Tray a 3-dimensional package for unusual effect. 79. Tray a pre-holiday mailing to invite a former customer back. 80. Try a customized response vehicle to get your customers to respond. 81. Offer to provide specific benefits to the customers. 82. Offer potential gift lists to both customers and prospects. 83. Use customer gift lists as future mailing lists for your prospecting.. 84. Test selling your product by phone. 85. Use an in-watts line to get more orders. 86. Call on your business reply order by some other name! Such as, trail order card. 87. Can psychographics help you build sales from neighbors of your customers? 88. A double coupon in your package could double your response. 89. A reply envelope plus loose stamp might be more effective than a B. R.E. 90. If a postcard can tell your story ...test it. 91. If a postcard's too small, step up to a self-mailer. 92. Follow-up your prospects inquiries promptly with hard sell material. 93. Make the space on the inside of your mailing envelope work for you by using it to sell your product. 94. Prove to your prospect that your free gifts are really free. 95bine promotion with your shipping and service information. 96. State your guarantee boldly, in strong words .. and repeat it often. 97. Teat allowing mailer in your envelope and you in his.. 98. Test simulated gram formats. 99. Develope a distinctive personality for your business. 100. Make a major anniversaries a plus factor in your promotion.. 101. Have your reply envelope emphasize your prompt shipping service.. 102. Present outstanding testimonials in a big way for big impact. 103. Never stop selling the advantages of direct marketing to your customer. 104. Consider using special formats to make ordering easier. 105. Test different length trial periods. 106. Promote seasonal products in off-season times - and offer alternatives. 107. Ask customers their opinion of a proposed new product. 108. Test the plastic record message in your mail formats. 109. Us e the negative to accentuate the positive. 110. Use simulated handwriting in your messages. And just like every good direct mail package should offer something : a little extra" to the prospect here is one more a total of 111 ideas - to add to the list. 111. Use the telephone aggressively - both outgoing and incoming - to stimulate business, customer activity and salesmen's productively.

         
    60741

     

    24 PRINCIPLES OF DIRECT MARKETING 1. There are four important elements in a "Direct Mail Package" and close attention must be paid to each: (Before anything, of course, comes the essential "idea" since the conceptual strategy is still key.) a) the graphics (carrier) which must be opened by reader - i. e, "what does it look like?" b) the offer: the way the proposition is phrased - i. e "what's the deal?" c) the copy: the compelling description that gets the reader to buy or act - i. e. "how is it said?" d) the list: the targeted audience most likely willing to buy or act - i. e. "who is it sent to?" 2. Perhaps the most important element is the list since an excellent offer, with a striking carrier and compelling copy - if mailed to wrong list - can be a disaster. Others belive copy is most important, but don't let ranking bother you since each element is important. Take all reasonable steps to get, use and keep the most accurate and up=to-=date lists possible to increase your margin of success. Set up a system to add names and keep'em current. 3. Heed "Daly's Law" - "Everything takes longer and costs more!' So. it's wise to start project in ample time to make all elements come together in easy manner. Use "reverse timetable" to plot what needs to be done and when. For instance, you probably need to order lists first. Then, don't forget the envelopes, printed stock, other enclosures , etc. Allow time for delivery and return action plus follow-up mailings. 4. Direct Mail is a demanding taskmaster, so if it fails it's probably you who missed somewhere, not the medium.. If possible, "test" some or all portions of your program so you can alter methods if needed. 5. Writing compelling Direct Mail copy only seems simple so don't be deceived. Heed basic principles of writing to single person in simple, straightforward manner - yet with style. For success, remember the 3 "S's" of successful copy are: (1) Simplicity, (2) Sincerity, (3) Serenity. Long copy is not necessarily bad, in fact it can outpull short copy. Focus on main message you intend to convey. Never forget you want action to occur...NOW. Be sure copy answers the always-asked questions: "What's in it for me?" Always keep reader's perceived needs in mind. Do the necessary research to determine them. 6. Closely analyze your potential markets and your offer so you can hone lists and copy to target your approach. Though you mail by the thousands, remember Direct Mail is more akin to a rifle than a shotgun. Write your copy to be read by one person at a time. 7. Remember Direct Mail is a substitute sales representative. Where an in-person sales representative can immediately answer prospects' questions and overcome objections when raised, Direct mail copy must anticipate all aspects and insure logical points are covered. 8. Incorporate an action device - coupon, order form, reply card or envelope, phone number - to make it easy for recipient to take desired action.. Repeatedly tell recipient what action you want and make it simple to do. Put nothing in the way of getting an order or response. Use all action devices cited. 9. A letter almost always works better in a Direct Mail package than a package - even a catalog - without a letter. Don't worry if the letter repeats what's in the catalog, brochure or order form. It's there for a different purpose. The sales letter is a one-to-one communications to explain and sell, to get the recipient to act. The postscript is often the most-read part of the letter. 10. If all elements of package are good, it is imperative repeat mailings be made. It's difficult to wear out a good list and,, unless mailings are overdone, you can't wear out your welcome. Let statistical probabilities and the laws of economics work in your favor rather than allow difference about making frequent mailings deter you. A common error is not to mail often enough or to a wider list. 11. Keep detailed records of everything you do.. Follow a "systems approach" so you know what happened, when and why. That way you can repeat successes and avoid failures. Sometimes the difference of a tenth of a percent or less is all it takes to tune a marginal performer into a winner. 12. Study all elements of your package so you can know what's working. Is it the price? The geography? The timing? The phrasing of the offer? The list? The copy? The product? Which of those myriad elements, in combination or without one element, makes the critical difference in the return? Analyze your records closely and continually until you know why you're winning and can repeat success. 13. Keep current with changing postal rules, rates, regulations and procedures. Regularly monitor your procedures to insure you're in full compliance. To illustrate expensive errors, a frantic client called after the Postal Inspector visited. We can help with postal problems.. Had he checked with us before the visit, the $5000 per word differential postal cost and worry most likely could have been avoided. We offer professional authoritative postal expertise but seldom can avert unchecked mistakes. Check in advance. (We can supply you with a checklist of valuable postal publications upon receipt of addressed, double stamped #10 envelope.) 14. Save, subdivide and study the good Direct Mail you get to learn what to do - and maybe what not to do. Remember some of the things that appeal may, in fact, be "tests" that, when results are known, are failures. Never underestimate need for simplicity and complete honesty. 15. People who take actions by mail are different from those who don't. Thus it is wise to isolate them so you can easily remail with new or different offers. Remember the axiom: "People who buy by mail"...buy by mail...buy by mail..." Best lists are of mail buyers of similar products or services who recently purchased in same price range. 16. Do what's necessary to make your maill stand out, even "look peculiar" since it has to fight all types of competition. If it doesn't get opened, looked at, and read...there's no chance it will bring the action you want. Clever "teaser copy" on outside of carrier can work wonders. 17. Wise mail merchants work at differentiating between "suspects," "prospects" and (best of all) "customers." Once they can distinguish names on lists among those three categories they are able to achieve cost efficiencies that novices can only dream about. So keep good records of what happens and when it happens with mailings to a particular list with a particular offer. Capitalize on success. 18. Testimonials can be effective promotional tools, especially if they're heartfelt and cogently express what the average user might feel about a product or service.. They're even better when offered by celebrities or persons well-known to the audience. Treat testimonials like the jewels they are and gather more. 20. There's no such thing as a "normal" percentage of return that's universally applicable across a wide range of products and services but, over time and by keeping careful records you can determine what some norms are for your offer (s). Goal then is to "beat your best"...if only by 1/2 or 1/4 of a percent! 21. In producing Direct Mail programs these seven words may be cliche - but only because it's true: "Nothing is as simple as it seems." Continual care needs to be exercises at every step of the planning and conceptual stage, though any step in the conception-production process can become critical if close attention isn't paid to what's happening. "To error is human." Yes. I'm aware of the error but that's exact spelling of sign I spotted in printer's window and I reproduce it to emphasize how vital it is that extreme care be given to this facet of production. Proofreading in a professional manner is essential. 22. Direct Mail Copywriter John Yeck long ago cautioned me to be aware of these two "sinful" acronyms: KISS and CIPU. The first, "Keep It Simple, Sweetie" describes how to tell your message, while the second cautions us to avoid lapsing into business or industrial jargon which "we" understand but most everyone else doesn't. CIPU stands for "Clear If Previously Understood." 23. While the Power of Mail will long be with us (even though the nature of the Postal Service might change) wise direct mailers see themselves practicing in the fields of "direct Marketing" or "Direct Response." They become knowledgeable of the synergistic value from use of print media (magazines, space ads, newspaper inserts, etc) as well as electronic media (radio and/ or TV) to supplement their mail promotional efforts. The combination can be powerful. 24. Continually study and be alert to what's happening in this dynamic medium. It may seem that not much is new, when in fact, there are subtle but important shifts in many of the areas delineated in each of the four elements cited in Principle #1. (Our seminars, workshops and speeches point these out to sponsor's audiences.)

         
    Adm 1

     

    HOW TO CODE YOUR ADS WITHOUT ADDING WORDS TO YOUR CLASSIFIEDS Coding advertising is not the big secret or the involved process many would have you believe. A great many firms sell reports on how to code your advertising for $3 or more, when it's nothing you can't learn with a little study of a few mail order publications. Coding advertisements is simply a means of determining where your orders come from, and in cases where you don't use coupons or separate order forms for several different products, a method of double checking on what the customer actually requested. For the purpose of demonstration, let's assume you have a company called JONDO COMPANY, your name is JOHN DOE, and you market publications by PRINTCO and PUB-GUYS. You decide to run ads for different products in three publications and teaser ads for your catalogs in two others, one for each publisher's catalog. Coding the latter two is easy. For simplicity, where you put the name and address of the company when offering Printco's catalog, mark the name as PC JONDO, ADDRESS, ZIP CODE. When the envelope arrives and no indication is given of what was requested, you can tell at a glance what was requested. Now Printco and Pub-Guys sound and look alike, so for the second ad, mark it JONDO-PG. If you're advertising the same catalog in three different magazines, use different codes for each to see which one gives you the best response, for example JONDO-PG, JOHN DOE PG AND P. G. JOHN. You can easily separate them as you receive them. The permutations are endless: P. G. DOE, P. DOE, G. DOE, DPG, JPG, JDPG, and if that's not enough, code the address, perhaps BOX 99, DEPT. PG, BOX 99-PG, BOX 99 DESK PG, BOX PG-99, and so on. The person ordering wants to be sure you get his request and almost always faithfully reproduces whatever is listed as the correct address right down to the last comma. You can never run out of ways to code. PG is the obvious code for PUB-GUYS, but you could use an arbitrary number code chosen by you and in fact, number codes are invaluable codes for making dates on the ads, to see how many trickle-in orders you get long after the ad stops running, and what months and season are most productive for selling your products. Date coding involves using numbers in sequence to indicate magazine issue number, sequence number, or date published. This coding is virtually essential in later campaigns. Once you've got a fair-sized mailing list, it will be far easier to use advertising codes to indicate their interests than to keep a complete ledger of every person and what they purchased. It also makes computer entry a snap, especially with a good filing program. One thing that scares people about coding is receiving checks or money orders coded like the ads. People become somewhat afraid that they won't be able to deposit them because their account is registered to JONDO, not JDPG or whatever. Have no fear. Your company will be registered to your mailing address. By showing the clerk a copy of the advertisement with the address, there will be little doubt as to who should rightfully receive the money, and your checks or money orders will clear like clockwork. If by chance you do encounter a bank that won't accommodate this requirement, bank somewhere else where they understand the workings of mail marketers.

         
    Adm 2

     

    HOW TO WRITE IRRESISTIBLE AD COPY When selling through advertising, you're faced with two options, both of which you will probably use frequently. Those options are display and classified advertising. We won't deal here with radio and television copy writing because it is not something many of you will be using until you have developed a great deal of mail order experience. Once you're dealing with that sort of capital investment, you'll probably have an intimate understanding of the fact that expert help is essential to the successful launch of any campaign, and frankly, electronic media are not our field of experience. Classified ad copy writing is a very exacting craft, not an art in the way that display advertising is. It involves following a few simple guidelines and requires little skill. That's why daily newspapers hire school and college students to take orders - and write - for their classified section over the telephone. The first point worth noting is that classified ads are sold by the word or by the line. This has a bearing on how you write your ads, because if the ad is sold by the word, you're not going to write an ad that has a bunch of "a's" and "the's" in it. But at the same time, if it's sold by the line, it will be worth your while to include these words in the ad, as they'll appeal to the better educated segment of the market. So an ad in at so much a line might read: "The hottest thing in years. This is a household wonder you'll cherish for years." The same ad at so much a word will read: "Hottest recent development. Cherish this household innovation for generations." Both are about the same length. The first reads nicely in proper English and the second used big, powerful words to make up for awkward structure. When you buy by the word, which will be the case in most markets, use the biggest, most action-packed words you can think of. And while we're on the subject of word count, the way you mark your address in a classified is also important. If you live on Dog Breath Lane, mark your address as 22 Dogbreath, unless in that subdivision, there also happens to be a Dog Breath circle, a Dog Breath Avenue and so forth, in which case Dogbreath Lane will do. You can usually get away with this ploy, since these ridiculous two name streets are there to sell houses, not to please the Post Office. If you live in Apartment 12, you can usually get away with 12-22 Dogbreath, which saves you another word. Never leave out the zip code, even a nine-diget zip code counts as one word and in many publications doesn't count as a word at all. The initials of your name or company will also do unless you're trying to project an image, and this can save you from one to three words. Even your last name will be all right. In most magazines and a few newspapers, your first word or line of type will be set in darker bold letters. Choose that first word or two very carefully. If you really want good results, do exactly the opposite of what most other advertisers are doing, or be different. If you've got an income opportunity and CASH, MONEYMAKING or INCOME are the usual first two words, be a bit creative, perhaps with BROKE (no more! Try selling doogles! or HORRENDOUS) (budget, a thing of the past.) The first word or line gets your reader interested, and no matter how large the circulation of the publication, you'll suffer terribly if you're not attracting the reader as well as the other advertisers. Those opening words are crucial. Like the man said, you don't get a second chance to make a good impression. Once you've made the hook, hold the reader by telling him exactly what you're offering. If it's an ad for more information, let him know what kind of information and where it leads. Then drop the cost on him, if any and your name and address. If it's a product, in words that say a lot. It's fine to pussyfoot in a display ad if you can afford the space, but short, sharp, to-the-point is what sells from classifieds. One minor point or style to remember, if you're offering a bonus, leave it to the very last. "Bonus with..." won't work. A bonus or free gift is offered for one reason only: to hook someone who has not quite been sold by the rest of the ad. The offer of a bonus won't work UNTIL they know what it comes with. Writing display ad copy is much more involved and should really not be undertaken by even the brightest English graduate without some expert help. As we stated earlier, ad copy writing is one of the highest-paying of the creative professions, mainly because it is so difficult to do. If you must do it yourself, here's a few things you can do to make the task a bit more successful. Making use of the techniques we mentioned earlier, determine which benefit your client is like to be most interested in. Target the emotion that motivates the need for that benefit in most people. If you can do that, you'll hook the right person for the product. If you're selling runless pantyhose for example, you know the anti-run characteristic motivates the buyer, and the reason why women want to buy anti-run hose is to look better longer. Hey, there's the lead for your copy! In big letters, you're going to flag your ad with LOOK BETTER LONGER! You might want to bracket it top or bottom by writing in smaller letters: "Da-don't-run-run hose will help you "LOOK BETTER LONGER" in the Da-don't-run-run hose." If the client is interested in runless hose, you've got her. If not, forget it. Anything else you could use to get a client who doesn't wear pantyhose will cost your clients who do use them, and that's a waste. Once you've got the initial benefit out in the open, either explain it or be very sneaky about adding another. So say: "These pantyhose will give you the confidence in your appearance you won't get with other pantyhose..." or "LONGER... and without blowing your budget. These will give you the confidence..." but the best way to sneak in additional benefits without looking pushy is to say: "LONGER! Without blowing your budget, these pantyhose will give you the..." using the new benefit as a prefix. And, oh, it's so much more complex than that. It's obviously a development in synthetic fibers that allows those hose to be superior, so that must be included too, because the customer wants to know why they're so good. Where do you mention it though? It might be just as effective to get to it right after the heading, in this manner: "LOOK BETTER LONGER! Thanks to a new development in synthetic fibers, Da-don't-run-run panty hose will give you the confidence in your appearance you won't get with other pantyhose." Then the money aspect. And how do you do that? Do you make the sentence longer or start a new sentence? YOU MUST WEIGH EVERY WORD WITH A SURGEON'S CARE! And what about a coupon at the bottom? Do you use a small order form or use the address of the company? How many words do you need, and if you need a lot of words, can you afford the space it will take to print them? Get a word count, and fix it within fairly narrow limits or you'll bore the reader or leave no room for graphics or blank space, which you must have to some degree for proper esthetic effect. Speaking of graphics, what will you have to use? Will you have to make your own? (Clip art used by most dealers is horribly tacky.) And heaven forbid, you design an ad based on another successful campaign by another firm with similar products... and it works well that it sends their sales rising! It could happen. There are many firms, probably even in small cities, that specialize in print media advertising, and many do excellent jobs. You in Canada are fortunate, especially if you live in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal or Calgary, since talent runs cheap in Canadian advertising firms and you can get excellent work, and we're sorry to say this but it will generally be more creative than American agencies of similar size. The fact remains, though, that you know your product better than the agency, and you probably know how you want to sell it. You might have ideas for wording, graphical layout, any number of things. If you truly want to make your campaign, and especially at that crucial first campaign, as profitable as possible, use the services of a graphics firm that composes print advertising at the very least, and ad agency at the best. By the way, we've discovered a lot of graphics houses have some frustrated ad copy writers who can give you expert direction at low cost if you'll only ask. Be ready to take in all your ideas at the time you get your ad done. Every bit of work you do yourself should come off the bill you'll be paying for the job, since it cuts the time the agency or graphics house has to take to prepare the ad.

         
    Adm 3

     

    HOW TO WRITE A POWER PACKED SALES LETTER PART 1 Ninety percent of you who will read this report will at some time get involved in marketing by direct or response mailing. Whether you solicit through mailing lists or have people write to you for information, there is one thing you must do to make the most of your investment, and that is to write a sales letter. If you send only the material requested, you will drastically decrease your chances of success. Most of you have by now seen the world famous Edward Green marketing letter, one of the most successful quasi-legal pyramid plans of all time. It is an absolute masterpiece of salesmanship, and when all five of the recommended pages are included in the mailing, it bull-baffles so many people that a great number of its users do make money with it. We do not recommend you try it, however, since it does not offer dollar value and puts you in a very poor light when you do have something to offer later that does give good value. The personal sales message is the most vital piece of any direct or response marketing campaign. Write a good one and you can literally make a fortune. Write them regularly and you can make excellent money helping others to make fortunes. Good sales letters from professional direct mail agencies can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. If you've never written one of these letters, we'd like you to try an exercise before proceeding with the rest of this article. First, write a letter from 300 to 500 words long explaining to your friend cross-country why you got involved in the best program you have right now and why it might be something he would like to try. Next write a letter of the same length explaining to a mail order dealer this program you have right now and why it would be good for him and why you'd like him to get involved. This is a deadly serious request, and to prove it, we're stopping the article right here and continuing it under another title on the next page. For your own sake, write those letters! SUPER TIPS - PART 2 We hope by now you have the two sales letters we asked you to write. We'd like you now to place them side by side and carefully note the differences in the two letters. If you're not experienced with this, you will notice immediately that you gave both the fictitious mail orders dealer and your faraway friend different reasons why they will like your opportunity. Excellent! Because the most effective sales letter for both your friend and your dealer will be somewhere in the middle. For the time being, don't worry about the grammar or structure of the letter, for it's the content and presentation that's important. We gave you a word limit because the letter should be short to keep the reader's attention. Many of the people you reach via direct or response mailing receive loads of offers every week. They have to in order to keep up with the state of the industry. And they're not going to sit through a lengthy explanation unless you grab them at the start. What you do is focus on the single most important benefit the owner will enjoy from it. It doesn't stop there! You've got to tell the client about the benefit in an interesting, let's say, compelling way. Say you're selling the Crust-Buster Widget. It's the best widget available for busting crusts, and reduces the daily time required to bust crust by at least one third. Here's how we would open out the sales letter: "I'll have to admit I was shocked. Two weeks after I got my first Crust-Buster Widget, I got so mad it was frightening." Intriguing? You bet. The reader expects a put-down for the Widget. But that's not what you're getting at. You've caught the reader off-guard, and for shock value, you'll want to put those two lines in capitals at the top of your letter, but you don't want to use underlines for emphasis or it will look a little too contrived. You could use this line to open a letter to a friend or a stranger with equal effect. Now, here's where you're taking the reader: "At first, I was amazed that the Crust-Buster really did cut a lot of the time it takes to bust crusts. But when I realized how long I'd been doing it the old way, and how many chances I had to own a Crust-Buster Widget, I was furious at how stubborn I had been." Let's examine the methodology here, because it applies to any good sales letter. The first sentence does not explain the rage mentioned in the lead sentence, so the reader has to read on to get the explanation, and the longer you can keep the reader hanging, just like a good whodunit, the more likely they'll read to the end. It also satisfies the requirement for a good lead sentence. It explains the major benefit of the product, and does it in strong language. The writer is "amazed". The product "really did" the job. And it says nothing to the prospect about buying the product. While still using a personal example, a testimonial, which is an excellent technique in most sales letters, the writers points out what the prospect is doing, busting crusts the old way, and points out a situation the reader has probably encountered. Chances are good that the writer knows his prospect and has seen the Crust-Buster Widget many times before but still doesn't own one. And finally, he very subtly points out why the prospect probably doesn't own it by using himself as an example. He's saying that people are basically stubborn, and no one likes to be that way. he's set himself as someone much like the reader, stubborn to try new things, and angry at his mistakes. Now, the writer knows that it is a mistake not to own the product, but if he actually came out and said "If you don't own the Crust-Buster Widget, you're wrong", he's not going to make any friends or sell widgets. One last point is worth noting. It doesn't take a degree in English to write such a paragraph, just a bit of thought and a whole bunch of editing and rewriting so it reads just right. Let's continue the letter and see where it might go, and why it may go that way: "I'm not saying it'll do for you just what it did for me..." This is a soft-sell, and it works wonders. It tells the reader what he already knows, that the product is not perfect. It's honest. It implies that the reader should see for himself how useful it will be. "...but it's allowed me to spend a lot more time doing other things, and that's meant my business runs more efficiently and makes bigger profits." This is the benefit the reader has been waiting for, the one that really hits home... money. Depending on the product, it could be happiness, attractiveness, anything. All products touch on one of these two human needs: the need to increase happiness or avoid unhappiness. One will always be more important than the other, and one type of happiness or unhappiness is the central focus of the sales letter as it relates to the product sold. The writer has led up to this benefit slowly enough so that it has built to a climax, and now the reader will either move directly to the advertising material, which is the whole point of the letter in the first place, or read this letter to the end. At this point, it's always a good idea to mention that the product will pay for itself over a certain period of time, if indeed it will do that and is not merely a novelty or convenience item. That's a common claim, but it's effective, because it makes the product look practically cost-free. From here on, you detail the other benefits you've noticed that may not be in the sales material, and if you can't think of any, expand on a couple that are in the material. As often as possible, use emotion-charged words and phrases but don't overdo it or you'll come across as a cheap hustler. "An extremely good value", "built to take the absolute worst", "jammed with amazing ideas", "unforgettably satisfying" are all valid phrases. Think in terms of the movie review quotes you see in your daily paper. Those short snippets are chosen by the advertisers precisely because they excite people's emotions and get them to the theater. Toss them into your letter at strategic points and you will hold the reader's interest. Now, take the two letters you wrote before and see how many of these points you managed to include in the two of them. All told, your score should be pretty high. But you probably notice a lot of filler material, especially in your letter to your friend, and a lot of excessive hype in the letter to the mail order dealer. Chances are good that if you find the middle ground, you've got a good sales letter. Rewrite the letter with this in mind, but don't use this article for reference as you do it. Let it come naturally to you. You should find your rewritten letter ideal for both your friend (who won't think you're putting a heavy business-type hype over on him) and for the dealer, who'll get the impression you're writing to him as if he were a friend. Now you've got a workable sales letter. There are two steps left: Firstly, get it checked for sentence structure and grammar. Get the best person for this job that you can think of. It might be a school teacher, a reporter, even an English student, but it must be someone who can turn someone else's writing into flawless English... without removing the enthusiasm and snap of the copy. This can be a headache, but it must be done for good results, and every good aspect of your sales letter is money in the bank. Secondly, add a little note on the bottom of the page, just before your signature, reminding the reader to look over the sales material and make his own decision. Follow it with something unique above your signature. "Yours truly" won't cut it. One of the finest lines we've seen above the signature is "May you make thousands rich and yourself happy, (signed)." It's thoughtful, conveys sincerity on the part of the writer, and leaves you with a good feeling about the person who wrote it. You are now ready to commit this letter to a sale letter. Put it on top-quality stationery, the best you can afford. Especially if you're marketing income opportunity information, you must look as if you're doing well yourself. When you have it copied, use premium parchment or other quality paper. Make it look as professional as you possibly can! Have a letterhead made up if you don't have it already; you'll need it eventually anyway, and typesetting for a letterhead is just a one-time investment. And finally, and we cannot stress this too highly, sign everyone individually. Never, never, sign the original and have your signature copied. There is one more special touch which has been proven to get results, and the fact that mail order people especially use this touch an awful lot proves its effectiveness. This is the personal sales letter, hand-written which is attached to the major sales letter. And it can be done in one or two ways. Either leave a couple of inches at the top of the page for handwritten messages, or affix a 3x5 Scotch Post-It note to the top of the letter. If you've received a request for information and the person has dropped hints as to what he might use the item for, by all means target the note to the person's needs, but if not, simply use it to advise the person to look over the material carefully. Make it short, fifty words or less, and address it directly to the reader. It's a time consuming job, especially on a direct mailing of 500 or more pieces, but the time you spend doing this will be well-rewarded. By the way, this handwritten personal note makes it unnecessary to put any sort of address such as "Dear Sir" at the top of the sales letter. There are no good addresses you can use at the top of the sales letter which will not alienate at least some of the readership. We advise using no address at all, and just starting the letter. The standards such as "Dear friend" and "Hello, opportunity seeker", and in fact any descriptive address in this style, is so overused that it looks phony and contrived, and serves you no purpose other than to turn off the reader. Simply start the letter.

         
     
         
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