Everyone that starts out learning the mail order business is normally
introduced to Commission Circulars very early in the game. You have probably
seen ads claiming "how you can make money - sometimes as much as $5,000 - for
every page you copy".
Just by making copies of pages, I can make money? Sure - but that's not all
what it takes.
Commission Circulars are ads that are already typeset and photocopy-ready.
All you have to do is stamp or type YOUR name and address in the "order from"
box. Then, all you need to do is make copies or print and mail these
It's a very simple process and serves an excellent purpose for many people.
Commission Circulars allow a person to make money without handling the
product. Orders normally will come directly from the customer to YOU. You
keep 50% or more of the money and send the rest, with the customer's order
to the dealer. The dealer will process the customer's order and ship it
directly to them. Your only function is to take your money out of envelopes
and re-mail the rest of the order and money to the dealer who is the prime
source of the product. Some people base their business on Commission
Circulars alone. Some people really love separating copies, stamping their
name with a rubber stamp, collating and stuffing envelopes and mailing them
at the post office. Some businesses get their families involved because
children can help in most phases of this business process. It's really a fun
hobby for some people.
However, what happens if you are not right for Commission Circulars? What if
you are just getting started in the mail order business and don't mail more
than 10 letters per week? What if you don't know anybody to send the
circulars to? Some people will tell you to buy a mailing list _ but can you
really afford to spend $290.00 for first-class postage to mail to 1,000
people at this time? Besides, 1,000 people probably wouldn't bring in more
than 2 or 3 orders. If you are only getting $2 or $3 commission from the
circular _ you'd go broke quick!
You need to ask yourself several questions before ordering Commission
Circulars. First and foremost, you need to determine how much you are mailing
per month. If your postage costs are less than $200 every 30 days, it
probably won't pay you to order Commission Circulars. However, if the
Commission Circular can become a part of your mailing without causing you an
extra postage expense, you might consider them.
Commission circulars bring in good profits only when they are mailed to a lot
of people _ 1,000 won't cut it. Big mail dealers who process tons of mail per
week and mail to thousands every month benefit the most from Commission
Circulars. They have the volume it takes to participate in this type of
business and will generate enough orders to make them pay for themselves.
There are a number of ways though for the new beginner to take part in
Commission Circular mailings and receive a response that is sufficient.
One way is to take part in Co-Op Printing deals. Read and study the mail
order publications and you will find several good co-op printing deals.
This is where you send a circular to a printer. He or she will print a
certain number of copies. Your ad will be printed on 1-side and the printer's
ad will be printed on the other. They will send all the copies back to you
and you are responsible for mailing them. This immediately cuts your printing
costs in half! A lot of people use this method if they do monthly bulk
mailings or mail a lot. (Just be sure the ad the printer puts on the back of
your ad is something that doesn't compete with items you are selling).
If you don't do a lot of mailings and/or you don't want the hassle of
stuffing and mailing a lot of envelopes, you can advertise your circular
in a mail order publication. At a standard rate of $25 per 1,000 _ you can
get your circular printed and mailed without any additional work on your
This is the least expensive way to take part in Commission Circulars because
you save on postage, envelopes, mailing list of names, folding, stapling and
the time spent carting everything to the post office. Purchase a few Big
Mails and keep up to date on publications and prices.
The third way of getting your Commission Circulars out is by printing them
yourself and having someone else mail them for you. Most bulk mailers (people
who process large volumes of mail) will normally include your 8 1/2x11
circulars in with their own mail for 2c to 4c each. You benefit from the
mailers own mailing list plus you are saved the time of mailing and
If you have a office copier or other printing equipment that will make copies
from a camera-ready master, you're in business. Just print as many copies as
you want, box them up and send to the mailer you select.
Commission Circulars are really a great way to help others promote their
products and bring in an income also for you. I myself participate in 3
different commission programs, however I co-publish publications. The only
difference between them and Commission Circulars is the fact that they are
publications. You make money on any advertising ordered through you as well
as subscriptions. Advertising, printing and mailing are the 3 MOST sought
after products in mail order. So naturally, I take part in the promotion of
Before participating in any Commission Circular or Co-Publishing effort,
you should always take the time to inspect the product you are promoting.
If it's low in cost, order it before promoting it. This way you will be able
to answer questions if potential customers call or write you about it.
If the product is more than you can afford or you don't want to buy it _ ask
the dealer to send you a brochure or other information. You need to be aware
of any product or service you are promoting because it is a direct reflection
on YOUR company. Your company name is on the circular and people will think
you are the Prime Source.
Think about it this way. Suppose a shoe salesperson came to the door without
any shoes to show you. They had no brochures, no information about their
product and no knowledge of what shoes were available. Would you make a
purchase simply from a price list? Probably not! And your customer probably
won't either. If they do happen to take the time to request more information
get it for them. Don't toss their letter in the trash and not answer it
because you don't know the answer. You could be throwing away a $100 order.
Wouldn't it be worth the 29c investment?
Direct Mail Mailing Tips
If you do decide to mail your own circulars yourself because you want to be
sure they are mailed _ here are some tips to cut costs:
1. Be sure ALL the circulars are printed on BOTH sides of the paper.
This way _ you can get 8 circulars (4 sheets of paper printed on both
sides) in a standard business-size envelope for 29c.
2. Never, never, never put only one sheet of paper in an envelope and mail
it. The person receiving it will be confused and you will automatically
be recognized as a newcomer who loves to waste money!
3. If you choose to include a cover letter with your direct mail, put a
coupon or bonus offer at the bottom of the letter to encourage the
customer to look through your offers and consider them.
4. Fold your circulars in a "Z-fold" when placing them in the envelope
itself. This way, as soon as the envelope is opened the customer does
not have to unfold it. Your best offer or "eye-catcher" is looking
directly at them.
5. When printing circulars on the back of other circulars, turn one of them
upside down. This way, the order coupon for the flyers are not
back-to-back and customers can place two orders from one circular.
6. Place similar or complementing offers in each envelope. Don't put a
hodge-podge of all kinds of different items as this will tend to confuse
the customer. A good combination is: (a) Mailing List, (b) Stamp Program,
(c) Printing or Typesetting, (d) Money-Making Program.
Continually try different ideas to market your products properly. Work on it.
Make a game out of it. Eventually you will hit upon the right combination
that will literally stuff your mailbox with orders!