- You … A Mailorder master Making Mailorder Millions?
- A More Scientific Approach!
- So Let’s Go!
- It’s All In The Product
- Getting The Advertising Right
- Long Copy, Short Copy?
- What About Those Testimonials?
- Are Guarantees Worth The Paper They Are Written On?
- It’s All In The Mailing list
- Part II
‘You … A Mailorder Master Making Mailorder Millions?’
Some of you will be cringing each time I write ‘mailorder.’
“That’s not how you spell it, why does he keep writing it that way?‘
I said the same thing when I studied an American called Jim Straw who had made his fortune in mailorder.
As a mailorder marketer with over 700,000 customers worldwide, he has sold over two hundred & fifty million dollars ($250,000,000) worth of products and services by mail.
He explains later why he writes it that way and I agree with him so you’ll just have to live with it!
I gave a graphic illustration in The Omniscience Principle of how two builders given the same tools can end up with vastly differing results.
The next couple of sections are dedicated to the art of mailorder. I have studied many of the world’s top masters; part of my success is a testimony to the formulas devised by them. I am going to share with you exactly how these people established great fortunes via the mail.
Why would I do that in the age of email and the Internet? Because mailorder is as relevant today as it’s always been. It’s still an extremely valuable way to get your marketing message out when done well.
You will learn EXACTLY how they did it … mailorder will become yet another weapon in your marketing armory.
Once you get to the end of this section the only difference between you and the Mailorder Masters will be that they used the formulas and got rich … You have the same formulas and ‘could’ get rich … if you use them!
I promise, you will have everything they ever had to make their fortunes. The same applies to all the information I give you.
One module has taught you all about licensing. Bill Gates became the world’s richest man partly by licensing his DOS system. Once you read that module, the only difference between you and Bill … the only difference, is a few billion dollars!
He didn’t inherit that money. He followed a formula; a formula that had been around for years and used by thousands of people before him, thousands of people. Some had done well; some had failed.
Bill took that same formula and worked it. He worked it like no other human being has done before.
The Wealthness Blog gives you the systems used by the top 5% of the population to accumulate 95% of the world’s wealth.
Choose just one, work it like no other human being has ever done before and in your lifetime, you could become one of the world’s high achievers.
The things I can’t give you are the missing ingredients you have to add to the formulae:
Passion, obsession, guile, grit, determination … I can’t make you a cockroach. All I can do is light the touch paper to that bomb in your head.
You … A Mailorder master Making Mailorder Millions?
It may surprise you to know that virtually everything published about online marketing has its roots firmly embedded in mailorder.
OK, things have got more technical, cheaper and easier with the net so people have gone for the ‘easy’ option!
Nothing wrong in that but in totally jumping aboard the Internet Express they’ve totally abandoned what remains one of the most lucrative areas of marketing ever developed.
Many Internet marketers have seen the Glory Days of Internet marketing and e-mail promotions slip into a dark and distant memory.
A couple of years ago, making cash was a simple case of banging out a few e-mails and watching the account fill – What with spam blockers, junk filters and arrogant ISPs filtering out legitimate marketing it’s now so much more difficult!
So, it may surprise you to know that many ‘Top Gurus’ are now going back to good old, reliable offline terra firma.
Obviously, they’re still running online campaigns and keeping up with all that’s new but they’ve decided that mailorder is a great addition to their marketing efforts … I never left it!
I started out in mailorder and added the Internet to my marketing arsenal.
I have studied many books and attended umpteen seminars by mailorder millionaires who, in turn, have studied many books and attended umpteen seminars by mailorder millionaires.
I would go as far as to say that I am pretty well versed in the art of mailorder and have formed my own theories based on the knowledge gleaned from experience and mentors.
I am going to share with you what I feel are the best elements of several different attitudes towards mailorder. I know what has worked for others and have applied those systems to my business … they work!
They work better than anything you will learn at college or by conventional means; awesome systems developed in the field.
I had a conventional education; I have a higher diploma in graphics and advertising. Most of what I learned at school was utter bullshit … if what the lecturers taught about ‘making it’ actually worked, then surely there’d be no lecturers … they’d all be out applying what they taught and be busy getting rich!
The paradigms outlined over the next couple of modules covering mailorder, copywriting and advertising have generated $Billions.
You will have more information available to you than most of these people had when they made their fortunes in mailorder … FACT.
Believe BIG! The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Think little goals; expect little achievement. Think BIG goals and win BIG success. Whatever you focus on grows.
A More Scientific Approach!
Mailorder IS a business … just as Manufacturing, Wholesale, and Retail are businesses.
Think about it this way … If you decide to fabricate a product, you will be in the Manufacturing business – If you decide to sell products for further distribution, you will be in the Wholesale business – If you decide to sell products to the end-user (consumer), you will be in the Retail business.
Why then, if you decide to sell products or services by soliciting orders by mail, are you not in the Mailorder business?
As far back as my research has been able to reach, it has been stated emphatically, by writer after writer, that Mailorder is not a business.
Mailorder is only a way of doing business.
Granted, mailorder can be a way of doing business … for a Manufacturer, Wholesaler or Retailer – but – it can be, and is, a business unto itself. – It needs no other purpose than that of ‘selling products or services by soliciting orders through the mail.’
Have you noticed that I have chosen to use ‘mailorder’ as one word … instead of two separate words; or as a hyphenated compound word.
According to my handy-dandy dictionaries…four of them; one of them even being state of-the-art computerized…there are only two definitions containing both words; “mail” and “order.”
The first definition is, mail order … two words; not hyphenated … defined as, ‘An order for goods to be shipped through the mail.’
Since, if you decide to sell products and services by mail, you will not be involved in the business of ‘ordering goods’ by mail … you will be ‘selling,’ not ‘ordering’ … the use of ‘mail order’ as two words is illogical.
The other definition is, ‘mail-order house’ … with mail-order as a hyphenated compound word … defined as, ‘A business that is organized primarily to promote, receive, and fill requests for merchandise or services through the mail.’
Although more functionally correct, if I read the definition the way my old professor of the English language taught me, the business of a Mail-order House is ‘primarily to promote requests for merchandise or services through the mail, receive requests for merchandise or services through the mail, and fill requests for merchandise or services through the mail.’ – but – a ‘request’ isn’t a sale and ‘promoting, receiving and filling Requests’ isn’t selling.
Therefore, I have chosen to define ‘mailorder’ … one word; no hyphen … as, ‘The act of promoting the sale of products or services through the mail, and receiving and fulfilling mail orders.’
Unfortunately, the term mailorder… in all its forms whether two words or a hyphenated compound word … has come into some disrepute over the years – not because of the nature of the business but, rather, because of some of the shoddy products and services offered at super-inflated prices being sold, and the high-pressure, exaggerated-benefits sales approaches employed by some less-than-scrupulous promoters selling their wares, through the mail.
The same aspersions cast against ‘salesmen’ in general have been, and are, leveled at mailorder marketers – however – a lone salesman can only, physically, call-on a dozen or so people in any given day. A mailorder solicitation, on the other hand, can reach hundreds of thousands of households at the same time – That makes mailorder a much bigger, and far more visible, target … affecting more people in one day than a lone salesman could contact in a lifetime.
For that reason, all too many mailorder marketers have politically corrected their chosen profession to that of being direct response marketers … while the mailorder industry disdains itself by denying its true purpose and politically correcting its intent.
As for me, I am a Master Craftsman of the Mailorder Art … a Mailorder Marketer … proud of the fact that I can bring the products and services of the world into the homes and offices of people who would not otherwise, except for my efforts, have convenient access to those products or services.
You are, hereby, invited to join me in my chosen profession … become a Mailorder Marketing Master – satisfy the wants and needs of the public by taking products and services directly to them, in their homes and offices, by mail.
So Let’s Go!
Before we do, you’ll see that much of what you’ll learn here about the traditional business of mailorder is still as cutting edge and relevant to your online business as anything you’ll ever read from those gurus.
Although I love paper and ink type products, just about anything can be sold via the mail. This section of System Ultra K will give you everything you need to do this, and sell well. If you have product already, when you’ve finished you will know how to double, triple or even quadruple your sales.
I will outline a more scientific approach to mailorder because it works with almost any product you can imagine. All you need to do is follow the rules established by those who have blazed the trial. Although this is about as close to foolproof as you can get, it’s not an absolute because, as I said, nothing in business is 100% guaranteed – anyone who tells you different is a fool or a liar, or both!
Why do I love paper and ink, information type products?
I touched on the reasons why in an earlier module but to recap: They are highly profitable and their value is unquantifiable.
If the information you are about to read has generated $billions and has the capability, in the right hands, to generate billions more … what is that information worth?
You certainly wouldn’t set your price based upon the cost of the paper and printing would you?
If you read this section, put the systems to work and begin to make thousands of dollars, pounds or euros a week are you going to contact me and say: “Ere Mr T, I’ve been thinking … you know that course thing of yours, I think you overcharged me a bit. I’ve written a course of my own and had some printing done and it was a fraction of what you charged me, I think you ought to give me some money back or I’ll be sending the boys round.”
Of course you wouldn’t! You’d realise that the value lay in what was being taught. In fact, you’d probably feel that you should have been charged a lot more.
You see, there’s no real tangible value you can attach to information. The general rule is, that you charge what people are willing to pay, whilst giving value for money.
How much are people willing to pay?
Well, that depends on what you’re selling and how well you promote it. The only way you are going to ascertain the value of your product is by using a more scientific approach.
If you were selling computers for instance, there is an extremely small margin for error. We all know the price of a particular model and no matter how good your sales literature, you’re never going to convince anyone that your all-singing, all-dancing, super-megagigabyte, turbo-charged, super-pentium is worth any more than its intrinsic value … no way, no how!
A computer, is a computer, is a computer, and if you overprice it, your potential customers are going to spot that immediately and go elsewhere.
Now, when you’re dealing with ‘information’ that is unique and not available elsewhere, how do you value it?
If you are the only supplier, then what have your potential customers got to compare your information to? Add to the equation the fact that the information you are dealing in has the potential to make your customers very wealthy and the ability to make judgment on the cost goes out of the window.
If you were to ask the guy who charged $10,000 a day for his seminar how he justified such a hefty price tag then his answer would be purely one of economics: If you left one of those seminars, applied the techniques he taught and made several hundred, thousand dollars in your first year, would you still feel it was a high price to pay?
How would you justify charging a hefty price for a computer?
The more scientific approach means that you need to test, record and review everything you do. Set your price, record the take up, evaluate if it is sufficient, and that enough people have felt you are justified in setting that price.
This rule is the underpinning of everything you learn throughout The Wealthness Blog. If you do not test, record and review, your business will have no foundations and will come crashing down as surely and inevitably as any structure without footings.
Now, with the basic rule in place you really only need three things to succeed in mailorder. We are going to take a look at the basics and then go on to explore each area in finite detail.
1. A product.
2. A good mailing piece or advertising copy.
3. A mailing list.
I explained earlier that I was originally formally trained in advertising. I qualified as an Art Director.
In advertising, you generally work as a team consisting of a Copywriter and an Art Director. You work on ideas, bouncing them back and forth until something begins to gel. I would work on the visual elements and the Copywriter would add the words that drove home the message.
Good advertising teams make excellent money, but do they really know how to sell product or are they just adept at raising consumer awareness?
Are they experts?
I love this quote: ‘It has often been said that an expert is anyone more than 50 miles from home, but in reality ‘X’ is an unknown quantity and a spurt is a drip under pressure!’
I think that just about sums it up!
There are very few ‘advertising experts’ who have sold a single product of their own.
They are very adept at telling business people how to sell their products, they will make silk purses from pigs ears and will charge a premium for doing so, but as a rule, they haven’t got a clue … and that included me!
Oh yes, I could knock up a great looking ad but would it sell anything … not really!
It’s not until you get into the minds of great mailorder artists that you begin to understand why certain methodology works.
Let’s take a look at:
It’s All In The Product
On the whole, the mailorder business is a clean, well-run operation, but there is a clear element that seem determined to spoil it for others – The World of Scum.
Although the techniques you are going to learn apply to selling any product via the mail I am biased towards what I call paper and ink type merchandise for reasons I have explained (easy and cheap to produce, unquantifiable price etc). Unfortunately, it is this niche which seems to attract the largest rouge element. I don’t want to dwell too much on the negative side of this business, but as you will read, it is very easy to make mistakes following conventional thinking, mistakes we want to avoid.
One of the greatest misconceptions, and also the greatest damaging contributor to the mailorder business is the notion that a product must sell for at least 5-8 times its cost.
The result of this presumption is that some mailorder novices rush out and source low cost products and apply an artificially high mark up on the goods.
Is it any wonder then that their customers feel they have not had value for money when sent this overpriced dross? Even those who peddle information fail to source good, solid, reliable data. They find any old material, add to it the highest price tag they can get away with, throw in a dodgy guarantee for good measure and run rampant through our customer base.
The worst example of this I ever saw was an ad placed in a high profile publication reading:
How To Make Thousands Of Pounds In The Mail Order Business – Guaranteed.
Send just $10 to:
When trusting customers sent off their tenner they received a tatty old bit of paper and on it were a few badly typed words:
Put an advert in a high profile publication reading: ‘How to make thousands of pounds in the mail order business’ and charge £10 for it.
It’s dirty scum-bags like that who ruin the business for others who offer quality product.
If I could only give you one piece of advise it would be this:
Do the very best you can do in anything and everything you can do … ALWAYS!
Source the best products you can find – people will buy from you and as your reputation grows, so will your sales. Customers will pay large sums of money if your products are worth it.
A mailorder product does not have to be marked up at 5-8 times its cost. The secret is in the profit not the 5-1 rule. Why is it that to be successful in the mailorder world your profit must be 500% – who started that notion?
What makes this business any different from any other? Most of the world’s biggest retailers work on much smaller margins, why should mailorder be any different?
Select your best product, and based on a scientific evaluation of the competition, decide what you ‘think’ people will pay for it. Excluding VAT (taxes), if applicable, subtract the cost from the sale price and you have your profit per item.
From this you can calculate how many sales you need to cover your overheads, mailing, paper, printing etc and … hey presto, the rest is clear profit!
When you know how many sales/orders you need to cover costs, you can work out if a mailorder project is viable. If it appears as though there is potential then test, record and review!
If it makes a profit, then roll out the mailings.
Mailorder ‘superstars’ constantly profess to making a killing from marketing and that it’s the most profitable business ever devised. It can be, sure, but major big hits are positively the exception, not the rule.
In fact, most of the so-called mailorder superstars have never had a runaway product in their lives.
I know I certainly haven’t – I’ve had good runs but have yet to hit the BIG UN!
Every once in a blue moon, a product will break all the rules and fly away. If anyone tells you they regularly make massive, quick money in mailorder then frankly, they are talking through their arse!
99.9% of successful Mailorder Masters do not get rich with one single big hit. Never, no way, no how!
Mailorder Masters make a steady profit month in, month out. Some may never strike that golden seam, but they do get rich … slowly, surely, absolutely … using all the techniques you are learning.
One of my past business disasters was when I bought a bar in Shrewsbury. ‘The Upsidedown Flying Crocodile Bar’ had everything: Position, character, regular passing clientele, owners with energy and flair!
We pitched our theme at the younger generation by offering bottled beer, a 10,000-watt sound system, and a live DJ. The bar was right on the intersection of two main pub-crawl, routes and every weekend you could not move in the place. The kids would queue right along the road to get in.
Two doors down was an old man’s drinking pub, never busy, but with a regular gathering of undesirables. Those old has-beens would drink steadily from the moment the doors opened until they fell out at night, day in day out.
If you were to ask anyone in the town about ‘the lads who had the bar,’ they’d say we were the town’s richest wide boys … well the truth couldn’t have been more different!
Yes, we were busy; we would take large amounts of cash over the weekend, but there was the problem – we only took cash for six hours in a week. Thursday to Saturday; 9.00 o’clock till 11.00. Six lousy hours!
Whilst we were creaming it in during that time the neighboring pub was pretty deserted, except for a few hardened drinkers steadily putting it away. But they’d be there the next day, and the day after, and the day after that…
Although on the surface, it appeared we had shares in a brewery, we could never come close to matching the barrelage sold by the grotty hole down the road – and they had smaller overheads!
That’s what happens in mailorder, the masters have a range of products that make a profit and keep banging away day in day out … sounds just like that new-fangled, t’Internet thing, eh?
Find the best products you can, ensure they make a profit, however small (to a point where the effort of selling that product outweighs the work involved), and keep banging away.
Getting The Advertising Right
This is the most overemphasized element in mailorder … not overrated: overemphasized.
Granted, dynamite copy will sell products, but therein lays the problem.
I could sell tulips to the Dutch if I put my mind to it. I have, over the years, discovered that I’m a much better Copywriter than Art Director, and I have a talent for helping customers to make the right choice!
Now, when the old Dutchman takes delivery of his much-anticipated bunch of flowers, only to discover they’re the limp, anemic, bottom-of-the-garden, greenhouse variety, how do you think he’s going to feel?
I would have made those tulips sound so good that the Dutch fellah would have written out a cheque on the spot … yet how dismayed he would be when they arrived?
One of the first marketing pieces I wrote was a flop. In fact, many of the marketing pieces I have written have flopped! But the first was a gem; it was full of anger and frustration.
I had received so much crap over time from people who were breaking every rule I am about to teach you. They had driven me mad with their idle banter and false promises. I had become so indignant at constantly being let down that I vented my rage on my first unsuspecting mailorder ‘potential’ clients. I had vowed never to disappoint people like others had me.
I felt the whole world should know about all those bastards who had ripped me off … not the wisest of moves I’ve ever made, as you’ll read!!!
I do not recommend that anything negative should go into a mailing, there’s no need and if a potential customer is not thinking in a pessimistic way, why encourage them?
I want to reproduce what I wrote and share with you the animosity instilled in me by ‘mailorder wannabes’ messing up our business, and how it makes people feel when ad copy is better than the product … and yes, this really was the heading I used:
Sick of Bullshit?
Are you sick of people who say they can, when they can’t?
Are you sick of people who offer you the earth, then come up with a handful of mud?
Quick introduction … my name is Money King.
You may or may not be aware that you are currently residing on someone’s mailing list.
So am I!
I know because I bought your name and address and like me, you will be receiving offers every week from some SMART ARSE sitting at a desk thinking of a new way to rip you off.
Every day I get some promotion or other telling me that I am about to become a millionaire in my sleep using words like these:
‘YOU ARE ABOUT TO MAKE A MILLION AND THE BEST PART IS, THAT YOU HAVE TO DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO EARN IT!!!’
I am sick to the back teeth of people trying to take me for a ride … Are you?
I consider myself to be quite worldly-wise, yet I have been taken in on more than one occasion.
A good copywriter will sell coals to Newcastle. (They used to mine lots of coal in Newcastle!)
I have experienced that sickening feeling at the pit of my stomach when, after waiting for days with eager anticipation, the package finally hits the doormat. I had been getting up especially early to catch the postman because, I knew that in a few weeks I was going to have all the money I have ever dreamed of…
It arrives, drops from the letterbox; you tear open the envelope – a $million opportunity?
Not a chance!
You have just forked out your hard earned dosh for a few scraps of hastily photocopied paper containing about as much information as a Peter and Jane kiddies’s book.
That’s OK. You send it back and ask for your refund under that ‘No Quibble Guarantee’, only to find that it’s absolutely, definitely, positively a ‘Full Quibble, Not A Chance Mate, Guarantee.’
Most of the mailings I receive go something like this:
‘Dear Fellow Entrepreneur, mug, soft touch, I used to be destitute, living in the gutter, drinking meths.
Life had dealt me some cruel blows and I was in a rut with no possible hope of a future. I had given up, there was nothing left to live for. I decided to end it all. I was about to throw myself off the Severn Bridge when, suddenly, it happened.
An idea came floating into my head, a vision, a way to make enough money to live like a King, and what’s more; I realised it could be done overnight.
Immediately, I took control of my situation and put my idea to work. Within 48 hours I became the most successful man on the planet and now have everything I could ever desire: Cars, a private Leer Jet, a mansion, wild women, and a months holiday every week.
I am now a big-league player. I will never have to work again.
Send me a hundred dollars and I’ll tell you my secret.’
Well something like that!!!
I used to fall for it. I now ask myself: “If he has such a wonderful idea; an idea so brilliant it is making him megabucks, how can he afford to waste so much of his precious, fun packed time, writing to me?”
It’s manure. That’s why and 99% of what you get through your letterbox is the same.
The sad thing is, that the 1% of real, sincere opportunities never get a look in. You become so disillusioned that you throw all mailings in the bin without a second thought.
The genuine, solid business plans which would give you a reasonable standard of living; they don’t even get glanced at.
It’s the same old story – the majority of us suffer because a small percentage of losers take the piss!
OK, what makes you so different Mr, Sat On His High Horse, Preacher Man? I hear you ask!!!’…
Off I went, babbling on about how disenchanted I was with everything I had bought from mailorder pretenders. You see now though, what I mean when ad copy is overemphasized. Don’t get me wrong, you need good copy, but it’s only ONE ingredient in the great mailorder soup.
If the product does not live up to the hype then the customer is going to be (a). Cheesed off and (b). Never going to buy from you or anybody else via the mail again.
Many excellent ad writers have gone broke because they had no depth of understanding of the mailorder business. Many people can write a killer headline and body copy. Then why is it that so few go on to make considerable incomes from mailorder and enjoy any longevity?
It’s because there is a lot more to success in mailorder than finding any old product, hyping it up and waiting for the orders to flood in. Yet, that is how so many mailorder ‘experts’ portray this business and yes, they may make some money, the same as any scamster can have a couple of hits. But there is no real substance to what they are doing. They fade away and move on to vandalize some other virgin territory of rich pickings.(Sounds like the Net doesn’t it?)
There was an infamous British soap, El Dorado that flopped spectacularly a few years ago. I hate soaps, but what caught my attention about this one was all the pre-launch hype. I have never seen so much exposure for a programme: Hot Latin lovers, steamy romps in the sun, dusky beauties. I am convinced this hype was its downfall.
The programme hadn’t a hope-in-hell of living up to peoples’ expectations. If they had launched with a low-key introduction, then I’m sure people would have not pre-judged the show. They’d have taken it for what it was and it might well have done better. I’m not saying it would have survived because it was crap, but maybe it would have stood half a chance!
ENSURE THAT YOUR PRODUCT IS AS GOOD, IF NOT BETTER THAN YOUR MAILING.
This is what one of America’s top newsletter writers had to say on the subject of overemphasized ad copy:
‘When I became a newsletter publisher (over 20 years ago), I spent 80% of my time putting my newsletter together and only 20% of my time on advertising (I still do but my ad copywriting has got better).
My ad copy wasn’t the greatest, but the product was so good that 75% to 85% of my subscribers renewed their subscriptions each year (they still do). Producing revenue with NO additional advertising expense.
As a matter of fact, at one time I quit advertising my newsletter for one full year. My revenue stayed about the same, but my savings on advertising increased my usable cash flow by 100%.
Today, most of the ‘new breed’ of newsletter publishers spend 80% of their time on advertising and only 20% on their product.
Their ad copy is so good, it pulls orders like crazy – but – only 20% to 30% of their subscribers ever renew their subscriptions. So, they have to spend more and more time and money advertising for new subscribers, just to stay even.
Granted, ad copy is IMPORTANT … but … the absolute best, most order-pulling ad copy in the world cannot, and will not, make you a fortune in mailorder without a valuable product.
A product that is as good as (preferably better than) your ad copy.’
What makes good ad copy?
This has long been the subject of fierce debate. The simple answer is: Copy that sells your product.
If you are going to do the writing then you need to develop a style. You also need to test, record and review in order to evaluate what works; but I don’t want you to go broke whilst going through this process.
I know what works for me, but you may develop a totally different style as I explained in an earlier module. The art of copywriting can be explained from a thousand different angles – all are right, all are wrong!
Leonardo Da Vinci was an exceptional artist, so was Dali.
They were masters in the field of art; both were dominant in their profession. But each had their inimitable style, which was very different from the other. Neither was any less accomplished as an artist, yet one would not dream of using the other’s style (assuming they were both around at the same time!). Both were right, neither was wrong – they simply developed their own individual style … that worked.
There are many arguments put forward by mailorder gurus as what exactly works.
If you follow just one paradigm as a newcomer to mailorder, then you are simply copying that person’s teaching and not developing your own style.
When I first started writing, I used to send all my stuff to a mailorder master, Stuart Goldsmith. I admired his work and mimicked his style to the extent of almost mirroring what he wrote. On several occasions he returned whole batches of work with: ‘You are more than talented enough to write your own stuff without copying mine,’ scribbled in red ink across it.
Over time, I persevered and grew more and more confident, to the point where people could recognise my style a million miles away.
Yes, you must have an idea of what works in the early days of your career, but you have to test, record and review what works for you and the particular product you are selling. You need to develop a style that is your own – how are you going to achieve Total Personal and Financial Freedom when you are walking in another’s shoes?
Let’s examine some more mailorder hypotheses:
Long Copy, Short Copy?
I have a drawer full of mailings I have selected from the thousands I have received over the years. The only qualification a mailing needs to end up in that prestigious ‘Catch my Eye’, drawer of fame, is to catch my attention!
If you want to succeed in mailorder I would urge you to do the same. Read the all mailings you receive and decide which ones inspire you to send off for the product.
Do not pre-judge anything, simply read each mailing and ask yourself if it motivates you sufficiently to spend some of that hard-earned cash of yours!
Don’t go as far as sending off for everything though!!!
Most mailings will have you nodding off before you get to the end of the headline, but every now and then you will receive a gem and when you do, study it. Try to analyse and discover what it is about the piece that attracts you. Chances are, if it works on you, it will be working on others.
My drawer contains all sorts of mailings, some are ten pages long, others are cleverly worded single sheets; all have a spark of inspiration.
When I first got into mailorder, everything I read about the subject said that all mailings must be at least four pages long. This is all very well if the writer has the talent to keep you interested for fifteen to twenty minutes … most don’t. By the second page, the majority of mailings have actually put you off the product!
I made that mistake when I ranted on about being ripped off in the earlier example. I think I managed to keep the potential customer’s attention, but by the time I had managed to get around to the sales pitch, the reader had become a paranoid, anxious, anti-mailorder radical.
People didn’t care what had happened to me, their only interest was: WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
The long copy theory proclaims that you should give a customer all the information they need to make a decision. The other side of the coin is to make copy short and punchy and invite them to request more information.
Writers then go to the other extreme and cut out all the important bits giving the customer no information at all on which to make a decision. Many of these types of mailings contain an abundance of sales cliches with no substance … but they often work … and I’ve never understood why!
I have tested both long and short copy, and had good results with both.
When developing your own style, look at what motivates you. There are certain ground rules and specifics that apply to both long and short sales letters, elements that must be included if a mailing is to work.
How you structure those ingredients will become your ‘style’. If you feel you will never make a writer then don’t despair … you’ll just have to pay someone!
I showed you how through freelance writers in an earlier module.
But you shouldn’t exclude yourself from mailorder for lack of a skill. Many top entrepreneurs have never put pen to paper. Do you think that Richard Branson, who incidentally, began his fortune in mailorder, writes all his own stuff?
He knows what works, what to include and how to structure a mailing or advert, then pays a professional company to add the frilly bits. He, or one of his close team will have the final say as to what goes out, not some specky advertiser who as never sold an item of their own.
What About Those Testimonials?
Have you ever read a testimonial that sounds authentic?
Even if they are absolutely genuine, they always read as if the publisher has sat down and written each one them self, then got friends and family to scribble them out so they can be reproduced with different handwriting. Yet, some mailorder gurus swear by them: ‘They add credibility to the product’.
Again, you will need to tread very carefully when using any endorsement. I personally rarely use testimonials of the: ‘I read your books, followed the systems and now I’m filthy rich!’ variety because they just sound like a pack of lies, even if they’re not.
I have read so many mailings where testimonials are plastered all over the place. My attitude towards them is that the publisher must have some kind of inferiority complex. It’s as though they haven’t the confidence in their writing skills, or product, or both, and need reassurance that the merchandise is as good as they portray.
I find that an endorsement by a third party can work if applied subtly, but it’s a balance you must learn to achieve.
One problem with the: ‘I used your systems and got rich’ type of testimonial is that they give the reader false hope.
Let’s say you’ve decided to sell running shoes via the mail. You write an excellent mailing or advert and fill it full of testimonials from satisfied athletes who have excelled wearing your product.
‘I bought your shoes and won all my races last season.’
S. Gonzalis. Mexico
Next, you discover that people with only one leg are buying your shoes convinced that if they buy them, they too, will win races! The shoes appear to be so good that they will actually compensate for their own shortcomings.
The same could apply to any goods you sell.
The product couldn’t possibly deliver the sort of endorsement achieved by others if the buyer is innately inadequate. When it doesn’t meet those very high expectations, the result, again, is disappointment. The product itself may be excellent, but running shoes will never enable a one-legged man to break world records, even if other top athletes have whilst wearing them.
So be careful when using testimonials!
Are Guarantees Worth The Paper They Are Written On?
Again, there is a fine art to knowing when and how to use a guarantee.
Many mailings I bin rely solely on them; they use the guarantee as their major selling point, leading the customer into a false sense of security. Because the product is guaranteed to live up to expectations, purchasers assume it’s guaranteed to overcome their own personal ineptness, shortcomings or lack of talent.
The warranty will entice those people with only one leg to buy your shoes because it assures an ability they don’t have. When they have spent a few hours hobbling around the track, they send them back because they didn’t enable the wearer to run the 4-minute mile that was guaranteed!
There was never a chance of them being able to run swiftly, so all the fancy guarantee did, was waste a pile of time and energy.
I used to get this with some of my products when I used heavy guarantees … I’ve made all the mistakes in the book!
Customers would send stuff back blaming the product for their failure to excel or make use of it, and rely on the guarantee to get their money back. There was nothing wrong with the product; the person failed the product because they weren’t up to the job.
They were what I call ‘tyre kickers’ … those infuriating people who turn up to your house when you’re selling a car. They never have the remotest intention of buying anything. They turn up, walk around the motor, lift the bonnet, kick the tyres and leave. Maybe they’ve got no friends or something!!!!
Some people will never be anything at all, so guaranteeing that they will be is like trying to sail up an estuary against spring tides – the water’s running at 8 knots and your boat will only do 6! Don’t bother!
There is a time and place for guarantees, especially if the product is good and requires a review. You have confidence in your product and the guarantee is simply a tool used to get it under the nose of the customer. You know that once they’ve seen how wonderful your wares are, they will not send them back.
If you are using a guarantee then, the golden rule is: make it plain and simple.
If you are not satisfied then you get your money back.
There is nothing more damaging to your credibility than a twisted, ambiguous, non-nonsensical guarantee that is worth diddly-squat.
Don’t even consider a guarantee if it is useless and of no benefit to the customer. They’ll spot it a mile off.
‘Try our product for twelve months and if you’ve not been successful send in all your accounts and supporting documentation and we’ll look at it through an eyeglass and if you really have us stitched up for an excuse we may, if we can be bothered and you hassle us enough, reluctantly give you a refund.’
You should ensure that your guarantee is in their best interests; after all, it is they who trust you with their money!
Give them a plain, no quibble, money back guarantee and stick to it.
A guarantee will work for you if your products are the best you can offer. Why would anyone want their money back if you deliver your promises?
This is what Jack Straw has to say about guarantees:
I never use guarantees as a major selling point. In instances, where the guarantee isn’t used as a major selling point, many mailorder companies use ‘generic’ guarantees. Like a clothing company guaranteeing that ‘our dresses will fit to perfection’ but, what if a size-20 woman buys a size-12 dress?
The size-12 dress would, as the guarantee states; ‘fit to perfection’ on a size-12 woman but is the guarantee any less credible when a size-20 woman buys a size-12 dress?
The guarantee still won’t make a size-12 dress fit a size-20 woman (no matter how hard she tries).
Then, there is the ‘satisfaction’ guarantee, like ‘if you aren’t completely satisfied with our product, return it within 10-days for a full, no questions asked, refund of purchase price’.
That’s fine if you have a product that actually ‘requires’ a ‘review’ period before the customer can be sure they actually need the product (such as a size-12 dress sold to a size-12 woman that just doesn’t look right on her because of the cut, colour or style). But, using that kind of guarantee on some products is counter-productive.
In my own case, I used to offer a ‘satisfaction’ guarantee on all of my products and services. Well, a few years ago, I had the computer spit-out all of the names and addresses of all of the people who had requested refunds under my guarantees.
Fully 97% of the people on that list had requested refunds on at least 2 of my products or services. 50% had requested refunds on 3 or more of my products or services and 20% of them had ordered and requested refunds on everything I had ever offered.
After viewing those numbers, I got to thinking … “I’m not a lending library. Why am I letting these people steal the accumulation of my experience by borrowing my products and services under my guarantee?”
That’s when I stopped using a ‘satisfaction’ guarantee on my products and services.
My decision to stop using a ‘satisfaction’ guarantee also had an unexpected, wonderful result … the quality of my customers got much, Much, MUCH better.
There was no noticeable decline in responses and because I didn’t offer a guarantee, the nature of the people who bought my products and services improved.
They were people who were honestly and sincerely seeking the products and services I offered. They were the kind of people who had faith enough in themselves that they didn’t need anyone to ‘guarantee’ their success … and they were willing to pay for the products and services they needed to achieve their goals. They weren’t buying a guarantee, or trying to steal my experience by borrowing my products and services.’
Now Jack sold great products and he still had problems, so just be aware of the downside as well of the upside when deciding which rule to follow.
None of them are right. None of them are wrong.
I personally offer very specific guarantees that avoid the ‘satisfaction’ type you see everywhere … after all, an individual’s satisfaction threshold is totally subjective. How can you ‘satisfy’ everyone?
If I offer a guarantee of any description it be along the lines of the one on Government Auctions:
Subscribe With Confidence
Refund Policy: We are confident that once you begin using our services you will wonder how you ever managed without us. We know from experience the vast majority of our customers will recover their costs many times over during the course of their subscription period, and come back to use our services year after year. Read the marketing materials thoroughly and if Government Auctions UK is ‘Not Everything We Promise … And More…’ you’ll get 100% no quibble, refund!
This is further defined in the terms and conditions:
This is our refund policy:
4.9 The refund policy covering all GAUK products state that GAUK will refund 100% of the purchase/subscription cost should the product/service fail to deliver in any way from its description. I understand that to receive a full refund I must demonstrate that after following all published material instructions and taken advice from support the product/service has failed in its description.
I have never had to give a refund because the marketing materials are a. not hyped b. describe EXACTLY what’s on offer and c. the product is as good as it possibly can be.
On several occasions I get the odd waster who subscribes, logs in, gleans the information they require and asks for a refund under the ‘no quibble guarantee’.
When we politely ask them to ‘justify’ their reasons for a refund and to point out where we have let them down and deviated from the description we gave BEFORE a payment was taken, we never hear from them again!
This is not a convoluted guarantee designed to dupe the customer – it is thoroughly thought through and designed to stop The World of Scum having a field day at my expense!
If we misrepresent the product then our genuine customers deserve a full refund and we’ll gladly give it.
Don’t be afraid of the customer!
Provide a fantastic product and there’ll be no reason to worry about refunds. Dance with the Devil and you’ll get burnt!
Here’s how I deal with wasters on Money King and remember, the marketing page converts at over 8%:
And if you’re looking for the money-back guarantee, forget it, there isn’t one!!!
Why in the reign of pig’s pudding would I need one? Firstly, they’re scattered about because the guru cretins haven’t faith in what they offer and secondly, there’s a bunch of desperate, useless, genuine losers surfing their sorry asses away; a small group of idiots who buy anything and everything going without the slightest intention of ever reading it properly or taking any action whatsoever… then claiming their money back – they’re a total waste of the air we breath and the precious time we enjoy. Let them surf their way to obscurity; I don’t need their winging, whining, and their negativity anywhere near my cash kingdom.
The guarantees you need to be interested in:
Guarantee #1 I guarantee to supply you with so much hard-core, 24 carat, 100% proof material it’ll make you’re toes curl… I said material not bullshit, fluff and half-baked hogwash.
Guarantee #2 I guarantee that you won’t find my stuff anywhere else on the net…
Guarantee #3 I guarantee that if you don’t take this step now you’ll spend yet more of your precious resources, energy and cash many times over and still end up back here.’
We’ve never had to deal with a single refund request – not one!
Now you need a customer base to approach which is where you need a
It’s All In The Mailing list
A good product marketed to a bad list will fail.
A poor product marketed to a good list could do well.
A good product marketed to a good list will fly … FACT.
Nothing will empty a bank account quicker than mailing to a bad list.
There are hundreds of elements that can be thrown into the: ‘Is it a good list?’ Equation. Demographics, age, sex, buying habits, spending habits, income, car ownership … most of which are difficult to collate.
There are really only three factors that you absolutely need to consider:
1. Mailorder responsiveness.
2. Product similarity.
3. Customer satisfaction.
Have the people on the list actually bought something by mail before? The more times they have purchased, the better. Do not consider a list if the agent has no idea of purchase history.
Was the product they bought similar to the one you’re selling? The closer the better, it means the customer has an affinity with your merchandise and, if you can offer an added benefit they will be better able to evaluate it.
Last and most importantly: Was the customer happy with the product they bought?
If they answered that ad I told you about earlier ‘how to get rich in mail order’ then yes, they bought a product via the mail, yes it was similar to a mailorder product you may offer, but NO chance mate! There is nothing on this globe that will persuade that person to send off for another mailorder con again!
So customer satisfaction is paramount to the value of a list.
You need to establish what kind of adverts people responded to. Generally, hype ads do not provide a product that is as good as or better than, the ad copy and therefore, the punter will have been disappointed.
Generally, hype ads produce hype customers. What kind of customer would a one-legged man be who thought he was going to be able to run a 4 minute mile by buying some super-fantastic running shoes?
You want a reliable customer base of genuine buyers. I would pay top dollar, and I mean top dollar, for a list that had all those qualities above – it’s money in the bank!
So if you are using a mailing list, ensure it has the three elements that need concern you if you are to become a Mailorder Master:
1. A good mailing piece or advertising copy.
2. A product.
3. A mailing list.
Up to this point we have skimmed the surface of mailorder, taken a light overview of the areas which are a part of its make up and given you a basic understanding of what is needed to become successful in it. Over the next couple of modules we are going to study every facet in greater depth, and discover how the real masters get rich.
Remember what I said about breaking the rules and orchestrating ‘good for you situations?’ Well that’s what we are going to do
The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it.
In fact, I would urge you to place a mirror on the top of the set and angle it so that you can see your reflection in it, relaxing in your fat chair. Each time you watch a programme where the actors are having a wonderful time, when they are enjoying the things you are striving for, look up at that mirror. Look at what they are doing and what you are doing to achieve it!!!