TO MAKE A FORTUNE WITH CLASSIFIED ADS
you ready to make money - lots of it? Can you spare a little time and just a
few dollars? If you are prepared to fulfill your dreams and realize your
goals, mail order classified ads are your ticket to success.
have what it takes - right now. Classifieds are the best dollar-for-dollar
return in advertising, and you can earn a high profit on your product
ads are the easiest to write, the easiest to place, and cost the least. They
require only a simple follow-up, and bring in hundreds of dollars of sales.
read classified ads for a purpose. They aren't interrupted - as in most
advertising - and are specifically looking for products, services and
information that appeal to them. As well-placed classified ads will bring
hundreds - thousand - of replies month after month, year after year.
don't have to have a special background to make money with mail order classifieds.
Any beginner can realize a steady second income or develop a stable,
full-time business through classified ads.
you have to be persistent. You must WANT TO MAKE MON_EY, and be willing to
stick with it. If you do, you will find that being successful is easy - just
follow the steps, one by one, climbing the ladder to the top.
WHAT SHOULD I SELL?
a look at the classified ads in the magazines and tabloids you read. They
are filled with offers for services, products and information. And they
sound good. The ads show enthusiasm about the materials being offered.
gets you going? There are many things you find of special interest
constantly. Could you offer those for sale? Do you have a special trade or
service that can be conducted by mail? Maybe you have a product to
distribute, such as stamps or coins, a timesaving gadget, or a do-it-yourself
kit. Or perhaps you can tap into wholesale or surplus goods that you can
sell at a good profit. Bargains are always in demand.
most successful type of mail order product is INFORMATION. Specialized
information in the form of ideas, money-savers of self-improvement can be
easily produced on a low budget and readily SOLD AT A HUGE PROFIT.
in the form of how to make or do something is a constant best-seller. People
are always looking for simpler, or cheaper, or better ways to improve their
crafts. What can you offer?
THE 2-STEP APPROACH
proven method of selling mail order items of information is called the
two-step approach. Basically, you place a short classified ad in the back of
a magazine or tabloid. The ad does not mention price, but tells the reader
to write for free details. Once you have an inquiry, you then send
information concerning what you have to offer, and watch those orders pile
in. Essentially, a mail order classified ad buys a name and potential
business. It may just break even with the actual orders placed. The real
money comes from subsequent sales.
begins at the second sale and gets bigger and bigger as the sales continue.
WHY NOT CHARGE IN THE CLASSIFIED?
get far more responses from an ad for free information than you will for gods
- at any price. And, since you want a POTENTIAL BUYER, you'll have more
inquiries for materials you want to sell later.
a small fee to cover postage or the cost of the inquiry will never make you break
even - people won't be bothered. And a small fee doesn't necessarily weed
out non-buyers. If you find your classified is pulling people who aren't
interested in your offer, you can change the advertisement to be more
specific as to what you really have for sale.
WHERE TO PLACE CLASSIFIEDS
best advice in placing classifieds is to follow the leader. Find where other
goods in your category are being sold and do the same. The mail order
business is not a place to be real different - especially as a beginner.
Although your product must have an appeal different than the others. Stay
with the pack and advertise in the same publications.
for repeat business. You can review back issues of publications at your
library or buy some copies of the publications you might advertise in. If a
certain ad has appeared time after time, you can bet it's a winner.
for the details of some of the offers similar to the one you have. You might
even purchase a sample product or two so you can get a good feeling for what
is being offered, how the ads run, and what kind of prices are successful.
you have a specific product or information that is appropriate to a
specialized type of magazine, check out all the magazines of that topic.
Which publication carries most of the ads? What is the circulation of the of
the publication? A magazine with a higher circulation may cost more to place
a classified, but bargain rate publication won't be the best investment if
they don't bring the inquiries.
your dollar-for-dollar inquiry. How many people may read your advertisement
for the cost it takes to place the ad? Many products have special seasons,
and classified ads are no different. December generally returns varied
responses because of the holiday season, and is not a good month to include
in your testing. The sum_mer months are generally slower for classified
responses and mail order packages. The best time to try your ads are the
fall, winter and spring months.
WHAT IS TESTING?
most important element in mail order advertising is to test. Not only do you
need to find out if your product will sell, but you have to find out what the
best price is.
have to test the magazines. One may not draw as many responses as another.
Or, after three months, it may not seem to pull at all. Then switch to
another publication. You may try several publications at the same time with
the same ad to be able to judge which has the best dollar-for-dollar
be too hasty in dropping a publication, however. Sometimes it takes the
repeat insertions of three or four months to get the proper percentage of
responses. People become more secure with a repeat ad, or they may pass it
by the first or second time until they get around to writing for information.
things you will be testing are the type of inquiry and the response package
that contains a sales letter and brochure. You'll also need to test the
frequency and number of times to continue mailings after you have a good
is the name of the game - and this is where you need perseverance. Don't get
discouraged. GIVE IT A TRY. Because of the low cost of placing classifieds,
it's worth it to keep it going. YOU CAN PROFIT.
TYPES OF ADS
are three types of classified ads - qualified, partially qualified, and
qualified ad is specific. It includes several details to inform the reader
about what you are selling. The people who respond to highly qualified ads
usually are specifically interested, and produce the best quality prospects
with the highest percentage of sales. Since the ad may be a few words
longer, it is the most expensive to place.
partially qualified ad offers a special benefit, such as money or
self-improvement. The readers have some idea of what you are offering, but
don't know the specifics.
ads offer only the few details, are inexpensive to run because they are
short, and bring in the largest response. However, blind ads product the
lowest percentage of actual orders because they are often answered just out
best place to start is - you guessed - the middle. A partially qualified ad
is a good test ad. It doesn't need to be specific about your product, so it
brings in inquiries that can be used over and over for related items. You
can rewrite it with more details or trim it down later.
the best guideline? PROFIT. If you compare the actual orders received from
the number of inquiries for each of your ads, you have the rate of
conversion. Aim for the ads which pull best for you.
KEYING THE ADDRESS
do you determine what inquiry response cam e form which ad? You code the
company name or street address so you can dtermine what ad pulled the
response. This is called keying the address, and it's one of the most
important tips in mail order classified advertising.
simple key is a two-part letter and number code. The letter stands for the
name of the publication, and the number represents the month the ad
appeared. You can make up any code as long as you keep track of what
publication it appeared in. You can add the key to the address by
hyphenating the street address to include the code. Or you can key the
company name by adding specific initials.
surest way to key is to add the code to the address in the form of
department, division, or suite number. Be careful it doesn't conflict with
any other addresses nearby.
your own copy for a classified ad is easy. There are so few words you need
to use that you don't have to worry about being a writer or a professional in
advertising. You are your own expert in selling your product.
selection of words is the most important aspect of classified ad copy. You
need to choose precisely, by don't skimp on words to save the cost in the ad.
best way to prepare copy is to first write about your product or service at
length. Go ahead - list all the benefits. Scrutinize the features and write
them down. What sticks out? What is so great about your product? What can
it do for the reader who will take the time to write for more information?
How can your product help? Will it show how to earn money, does it offer
self-improvement, can it help accomplish something appealing and significant?
a heading that points out the most significant aspect or feature of your
product. Follow up with a few words or details, and finish with a request to
write for more information. The best word in a classified is
"free," but you must follow up with something free.
SAVE MONEY PLACING ADS
classified ads are billed a certain charge per word, so you want to keep your
words important and precise. Once you have written your ad, take a closer
look at it. Can you eliminate extra words without changing the meaning?
might be able to delete conjunction such as "and," articles like
"the," "a," and "an," or prepositions like
"for," "with," or "from." Perhaps you can
contract your company name into initials or use just one word.
part of your address counts as one word: the number; the street name; the
street aspect (boulevard, avenue); the key (if separate); the city; and the
state. Many publishers let you include the zip code free of charge.
figures rather than words for numbers, but don't use contractions or
abbreviate. You have to pay for each word in full, so spell them out
completely. That way you'll get no confusion when people place orders.
RESPONDING TO INQUIRIES
you start getting responses from the classified ads, you should send out your
sales literature immediately, definitely within one week. The goal is to
convert the inquiry into a sale and convert the sale into PURE PROFIT.
sales literature can be a one-page pitch for your product. It doesn't have
to be an expensive color catalog. As you get going, you may prepare a sales
package and a series of follow-up offers.
can't tell from the type of inquiry whether the person is a buyer or not.
Postcards or letters are potential profit makers for you. What's important
is to MAKE A SALE.
the person's name and address on a label and make at least three carbon
copies of these labels to use for subsequent mailings. Your second sales
packet should be mailed a month after the inquiry was received, and another
month after that.
sales are where you are going to MAKE YOUR FOR_TUNE. Your classified draws
the inquiries, the first order establishes a good customer, and the rest of
the orders are pure gold. Testing is the only way to find which plan works
best for you in getting orders. You'll need to find out which sales packet
works best, and how often to make mailings.
THE RESPONSE PACKAGE
typical mail order package - called a conversion - consists of a personal
letter, a brochure, an order form, and a return envelope. How elaborate you
wan to make your conversion depends on how successful your product seems to
be selling and how much money you want to invest.
start small. A simple one-page offer can work as well as a fancy catalog.
After you've built up a few good selling product, you might print up a single
page brochure or catalog. Even at that, you don't have to go to color unless
your product warrants it.
don't need an advertising agency to put together your sales packet, but you
can use one if you want. Be sure to investigate the type of agency and what
it can do for you. You should have an agency with a proven background in
mail advertising, and you must take a good look at what has already been
produced. Talk with clients and see if the agency pulled through for them.
don't you need an ad agency? Because you can produce all the sales
literature you need. You are the best sales person for your product because
YOU KNOW IT. If you have done the proper research, you have already found
out what the competition is, how much their products cost, and what sales
appeals they are sending out.
in placing and writing classified ads, do what the competition is doing.
Although you shouldn't - and can't, legally - take directly from them, you
certainly can copy the format and general ideas they project.
somebody has been selling something successfully for years, do the same
thing. Adapt your product to fit. Of course, you can't convert a sales
pitch for surplus goods to an appeal for a self-improvement book, but take
notice of WHAT SELLS PRODUCTS.
HOW TO PREPARE SALES LITERATURE
sales letter promotes you as well as your product. It is a personal appeal
to a potential buyer. You want the person to feel special and have a reason
not only to look through the rest of the literature, but TO BUY YOUR PRODUCT.
appearance of the sales letter is the most important aspect. It should be on
company letterhead, cleanly printed, and inviting to read. Although it can
be any length, it doesn't have to be more than one page. But it must be
double-spaced and typewritten in clear, easy-to-read type.
most effective sales letters are printed in two colors. The second color
offers eye appeal and provides emphasis in selling the benefits of your
products. The most inexpensive way to product two-color is to print black on
two-color letterhead. You may use the second color in alternate paragraphs,
or as special paragraphs, indented to catch the eye. Blue, red or green type
is harder to read, so keep the second color areas short and important to the
effective ways to use a second color are as handwritten remarks in the
margins of the sales letter, as underlines, and in the signatures.
the sales letter as though you're writing to a friend - keep it direct and
personal. Present yourself and your product as worthwhile, honest and
beginning of the letter should have a lead line similar to a classified ad.
It emphasizes the benefits of the product and points out the strongest
be tempted to use two or three appeals in a row. Choose only one and save
the next best ones to try on other sales letters as you test the results.
through on the appeal, amplifying WHY the product is desirable. Emphasize
its value to the reader. Build credibility. Will it make me a better, or
richer, or more secure person? Can it prevent worry, poverty, illness? Why
should anyone want to have it? You might admit what the product won't do,
then present several positive aspects, stating what it will do.
the next section, mention price and immediately talk about the money-back
guarantee. The reader will be more convinced the product will do all you
claim if you are willing to stand by your product enough to offer a full
restate the major benefits or feature of the product and push for the order.
If you are offering a special premium for ordering immediately, state it
here. Include a good reason for why the person should not wait, but ORDER
you have only a one-page sales pitch, you need to provide space for an order
form. It should be well-defined by a line or dotted line around it, and
should be large enough for someone to write in the information. If you plan
to send out a complete packet with sales letter and brochure, print up
separate order forms.
the benefit, the product name, and the guarantee. You might want to use the
first person in pushing for the order. For example, "Yes! Please rush
me my..." Include the price on the card, perhaps in a manner such as,
"I enclose my check for $ ."
adequate space for the name and address with long lines to write on. You may
also want to place a key if you are using more than one sales appeal.
PRINTING A BROCHURE
a brochure or sales catalog is not as difficult as it may seem. It doesn't
have to be a glossy, four-color fancy booklet. You can send out even a
one-page description of the product and an appeal for ordering.
brochure or sales catalog is the visual representation of your product. It
emphasizes the features rather than the benefits, and goes into detail about
the product. Think about what you're selling. What are the best points of
sale? If it's printed information, what is the format-size, number of pages,
hardcover or soft. Is the author a well-known authority? How is this a
better deal than another of the same subject?
you're selling a product, maybe you'll need to include the colors available,
sizes, or the type of materials. Or emphasize the clear, easy-to-follow
instructions that are included. When you get stuck, just look at all the
other catalogs and compare. What information is included? Follow suit.
important aspect of a brochure is the use of illustrations. Again, these
don't need to be series of four-color photographs. Although photos are very
good ways to sell goods, don't bother to use anything that is less than
excellent in quality. Be careful if you want to use a model. Remember, you
WANT TO SELL.
excellent way to illustrate your product is with simple lithe drawings. Even
if you cannot prepare the final artwork, you probably can think of what you
want and how to place it on the page. Local yellow pages, newspaper ads,
typesetters and printers are good places to find an artist to do the final
work at a reasonable price.
you have a good idea about the size and scope of your brochure, you're ready
for the rough layout. And this is easy. Just pretend you're an artist.
That's right - you don't have to draw to do a rough layout. Pencil in the
type for the heading. You can do a stick figure sketch of a line drawing or
indicate the size of the photograph. Draw lines to indicate the body copy.
out all the words for the brochure in accurate, clean typewritten copy.
Don't forget anything that will be printed, and don't misspell anything.
Then take it to a typesetter or printer. Printers usually can work with you
to help choose the type style, size and particulars about the layout. Or,
they may know artists or designers who can help you for a small fee. They
usually work closely with a few typesetters, but you work directly with a
typesetter to have the type put into final form.
can obtain a bulk rate permit at the post office if you send out at least two
hundred identical pieces at a time. They must be presorted for destination.
The bulk rate cost is lower, but it takes much longer for the mail to be
most important aspect to mailing your sales literature is the quality of the
list of people you are sending it to. A brilliant sales piece won't work it
if is not sent to the right people. That's why you must be clear when you
place your original classified ad, and that's why you need to test which heading
to use and how many details to include.
own mailing list is the best one, because - since you keyed the responses -
you know what these people responded to. You have already profiled the
potential buyer, you have already written a sales piece aimed at that buyer,
and YOU WILL MAKE MONEY from that buyer.
you can buy or rent lists of names and addresses form list broker, you can
never by sure how well the list will respond to your sales package. If you
need more names, just place more classified ads. Test different headings,
test different magazines, and test different products.
is extremely important to keep accurate records in mail order. It is only
through these record sheets that you can determine which ad pulls the best,
which advertising lead is the most enticing, and how well your product is
selling. Good records are the follow up of good testing.
copies of all ads and conversion material in a three-ring binder or
scrapbook. You may also include in that book - or a separate folder - a
record of all the keys you have used. The separate sheets of records per key
or publication will help you be able to compare which ads are bringing in the
can make your own record sheet with a pen and ruler. Then have a few
photocopied. You'll need a separate sheet for each ad you place. At the top
of the sheet, place the name of the publication the ad appeared in; the issue
number or date; the date the issue was placed on sale; the address key; the size
and cost of the ad; which ad you used; the price of the product; and - to be
calculated later - the profit.
main body of the record sheet has two main categories: inquiries and sales.
First, the number of days should be listed in a column at the left. These
don't necessarily coincide with the days of the month, rather start with the
first days responses came in. The subheads under "inquiries"
should be: date received, number received, running total. the subheads
under "orders" should be number of orders received, running total,
cash sales, and running total for cash sales.
record sheets will help you to figure out the responses to classified ads,
orders from sales literature, and how much money you are making.
calculate the cost per inquiry, divide the cost of the ad into the number of
fine the cost per order, add the total cost of mailing the sales packets to
the cost of the ad and divide that by the number of orders received.
ratio of conversion is the number of orders compared to the number of
inquiries. For example, if you get twenty orders fromone hundred inquiries,
the conversion is twenty percent.
HOW TO CALCULATE PROFIT
the amount of cash sales. That is your gross profit. Subtract the cost of
the product. Subtract the cost of the product. Subtract the cost of
mailing. Subtract the cost of conversion and the cost of the ad. That is
your net profit, the one that counts. Just stick with it, and you can
WATCH THAT PROFIT GROW bigger and bigger each ad, each conversion, each sale.
EXPANDING AND GROWING RICHER
the years, good buyers purchase many times your initial investment in
classified ad space. A first buyer indicates a second sale; after that, you have
a regular customer who may purchase for years.
the field of interest you've selected - don't expand into separate areas.
Cultivating your prime customer list takes patience and testing, but you'll
find it rewarding.
you started with one product to offer and are ready to try another. You can
run new, separate classified ads in the magazines that have tested
successfully to your other offer. And, you can use your list to send out
sales literature for the new offer. Regular mailings depend on the number of
items you have, the size of your list, and your budget. But follow through
is very important.
you are at the stage of printing a small, two page catalog/brochure that
offers five to ten products. You can mail this out to the inquiries from
classifieds, or you can use any combination of one-page offers you have used
in the past. Always run with what sell. Drop anything that pulls no
response as soon as you've given it a fair test.
you get rolling with your mail order business, you can try any number of
incentives to solicit orders. You can offer a free gift - or free anything -
certificates, coupons, fabulous prizes.
might offer a sample, a trial period, or a special guarantee. One way to
push for an order is to indicate that the supply is limited or you won't
stock a certain item for long. Time limitations will elicit quicker
responses. You may offer one price until a certain time and then indicate an
increase after that.
successful way to push for large orders is to offer a discount on the larger
orders. That way, it is worthwhile to order two or more items - for you
because it's more business and more profit in mailing and handling, and for
the customer because it is at a reduced price.
do the other mail order businesses do? What kind of incentives do they use?
As always, check with the competition. What has proven successful to them
probably will work for you too. What kind of "special" offer you
can make to push for larger, quicker or more frequent orders?
only must you print a guarantee in all your ads and sales literature, but you
must honor it. Never send inferior merchandise; never take a chance on faulty
mailers or guess lower on postage. Deliver a complete product.
is only through satisfied customers that you will get repeat business, and it
is through repeat business that you MAKE MORE MONEY.
try to get away with anything less than you promote and stand by all claims
you make. Honor requests for refunds promptly and politely. A customer
satisfied with your honesty remains a good buyer and may purchase from your
MAKING MORE FROM A WINNER
got a successful product. The conversion for orders is high, refunds are
low, and the draw form the classified ad is great. How can you make more
money - even if you think you've saturated your market?
easiest way to increase your inquiries is to run another ad in the same
publication with a different heading. If the classified section is large,
you might request one to be placed at the beginning, the other towards the
end. Although several clever readers will notice the same address, it still
draws a significant number of inquiries in. This technique is also good for
copy testing to see which heading will draw the most response. Be sure to
key each ad separately and keep accurate records.
you have two or more products that you want to advertise separately. This is
a good way to do it without going to other publications. Again, key
addresses, and be extra careful to respond properly to the inquiries.
YOU AND THE LAW
do not need a special federal or state permit to operate a mail order
business. The material you sell must be legitimate however, and you cannot
be deceptive or misleading in claims or advertising.
you offer something "free," it must be free, and all claims
concerning money must be honored.
you use testimonials in advertising, they must be real and available to
investigation. Frauds are discovered and are prosecuted.
federal and state governments require you to report all income, but you
certainly can take every legal deduction. Once you make a good deal of
money, it's often worth every penny to have an accountant fill in your
forms. If your income warrants it, you will be expected to pay income tax
states now have sales tax, so you'll have to find out the regulations
concerning the collection and payment of these fees. An advantage to this,
however, is that you can get a state resale number and may not have to pay
state sales tax on some of the items you need for your business.
you keep accurate records and report the proper information to the
authorities, you'll have no problems.
ads are the best way to make a high income return from limited sources. You
can buy the extras you've wanted, send yourself on an exotic vacation - even
create a profitable yearly income.
of the best aspects of this type of enterprise is that the number of
successes increase as the number of errors decrease. You learn as you go
along and YOU PROFIT CONSTANTLY.
positive thought. As you can see, there is nothing difficult, costly or
extremely risky in making good money from clas_si_fied ads. What is the best
way to get started?
of people have earned a comfortable income from classified ads - with great
happiness and contentment in their own business. You can succeed too, if you
make up your mind that you want to. Faith is simply a state of mind, but it
has been proven that state of mind can CHANGE DESIRE INTO REAL MONEY.
There's no better time to get started.
grant you permission to use this article in full or in part as long as you
leave my name and link intact