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Selling mailing lists can prove to be a profitable sideline to any mail order business. Many dealers rely on "direct mail" to promote their goods or services. They are always interested in good, fresh prospects. The most popular classifications of names are "Opportunity Seekers", "Cash Customers" and "Mail Order Dealers". Mail order dealers are the easiest names to obtain. To get them,, all you have to do is copy the names & addresses of advertisers from current mail order trade publications. For a good selection of mail order magazines and newspapers, and answer ads for "Big Mails".
"Opportunity Seekers" are those that are looking for ways to earn extra income. "Cash Customers" are simply those that have made purchases.
Never copy somebody else's lists. This could involve you in "copyright infringement", a federal offense. Also, you could be duplicating old, stale lists. To be successful, your names & addresses must be fresh and accurate. This will keep your customers coming back again and again. To start, you need a computer or someone to type the names for you. Look in your Yellow Pages under "Secretarial Services". Or, contact mail order dealers who sell names. Many of them will do your typing at reasonable rates. Another suggestion is to contact the typing teacher of your local high school or business college. Students love to earn spending money-and it's good practice for them, too.
The best way to have the names typed is across the page. Use white paper and a fresh black or red typewriter ribbon-never blue. Each 8 1/2" x 11" page will easily hold 50 names. Each page should also be carefully coded in either upper corner as to the page number, classification and date typed. Use any code you wish, but one of the easiest is like this: "3CC10169". This means page 3, cash customers, typed October 16, 1999.
The date is extremely important. People change addresses rapidly in this country. Names more than 6 months old may be outdated. After this period of time, it is best to throw these names away. Or, you can make a "follow-up" mailing to each name on your lists. Send these letters first class with your return address plainly visible. Those that are "nixies" (undeliverable for one reason or another), should be deleted. Instead of typing the complete corrected list over again, you can have replacement names typed on a separate piece of paper. Then carefully cut out and paste a replacement name over each name that is no longer usable.
After the names are neatly typed,, take them to your printer. It will cost you about 3 cents to 4 cents to have each sheet printed, if you order 100 copies at a time. This means that every 100 copies of each page will cost you between $3 and $4, but can be worth $100.00 to $300.00 -depending upon what you decide to charge per 100 names. The best way to establish the "going price" is to check the ads of other mailing list dealers in mail order trade publications. Never charge the most, or the least. The middle of the road is always best.
To promote your new mailing list service, run ads like this: FREE 50 fresh names of Opportunity Seekers! Free for long self-addressed stamped envelope! (Your name & address)". Ads like this will save you postage and envelope costs.
When orders come in from your free list, also include a price list of other names you have for sale. Somewhere on your price list, say something like "GUARANTEED DELIVERABLE! We supply 10 free names for every one that is returned!" This will cinch the sale, keep your customers happy and coming back for more!
And for every customer that answers your ads and/or buys names from you, you have another name to add to your