Tuesday, 3 September 2013


Publishing and distributing a mail order ad sheet can be very

profitable. They are simple and easy to produce, with most

quick print shops able to handle the printing at fairly low

cost. The important consideration is that you can use them to

pull in advertising dollars for yourself, as a free advertising

media for your own products, and as an exchange medium with

which to get greater exposure for you own ads.

Before starting an ad sheet, you should plan it all out - decide

on an interesting, informative title, choose a masthead, lay out

your columns for size, determine if it is to be a simple 8 1/2 x

11 single sheet of paper or an 11 x 17 sheet folded in half.

you'll also need to know your production cost for the number you

intend to have printed, and the postage cost to mail them out.

Most of the ad sheets start out as single sheets of paper, 8 1/2

x 11, printed on both sides. Usually, the front side is divided

into three equal columns about 2 1/4 inches wide, with a 1/2

inch margin from the edge of the paper on both sides and top and


Assuming that the space occupied by your title, masthead and

listing of rates for advertisers interested in placing an ad

with you is two inches deep, this leaves you about 24 inches of

advertising space to sell on the front side. Figuring a cost of

$50 for 1,000 copies of such an ad sheet, printed both sides,

and a third-class bulk-rate postage of $110, this means that

your 24 inches of ad space will have to be sold at a rate of

$6.25 each in order to break even. This means: You have to sell

all of the ad space on the front of your ad sheet at $6.25 each

in order to break even. This means: You have to sell all of

the ad space on the front of your ad sheet at $6.25 per ad - and

then expect to make your profits from the sale of the back side

of your ad sheet. Actually, it would be feasible to charge

$7.00 per inch for the space on the front side, and carry you

own full page ad on the back side. At any rate, don't box

yourself into a loss situation where you can't afford to place

your own ads in your ad sheet.

You get ads by making up an advertising solicitation sales

letter and sending it out to as many mail order dealers as you

can find. You can also run ads in other people's publications,

inviting the readers to check with you regarding placement of an

ad in your publication. And of course, you'll be wanting to

work out some exchange advertising deals (whereby another

publisher runs your ad in his publication, and you run his in

exchange). From the experience of many, many publishers, this

can be one of the most effective ways of getting your ads run,

at low/no cost, and it is recognized to be successful in the

field of Mail Order.

You probably won't be able to fill up all of your available ad

space with paid ads until you're well established - but no

problem - first you fill your ad space with paid ads, and then

you fill in the empty space with ads of your own. Some

beginning advertisers fill a part of their empty space with

complementary ads for other mail order operators, send them a

copy of the issue in which the complimentary ad appears, and

invite them to continue the ad on a "paid" basis from there.

Many of them will appreciate the favor and send you a check or

money order to continue running the ad.

If you undertake the publication of an ad sheet, be sure to

consider the possibilities of sending out 100 to 1,000 copies of

your ad sheet to other mail order operators to rubber stamp

their names/addresses as co-publishers and mail out for you.

Thus, if you had 50 other mail order operators sending out 100

copies each of your ad sheet, you'd be talking about a

circulation of 5,000 copies plus the number of copies you mail

out. If you can get this kind of program going, you'll quickly

build your reputation as well as your circulation, and at the

bottom line, your profits.

Some ad sheet publishers, once they've established themselves

and are putting out an impressive publication, set up

distributor networks. Generally, they run ads calling for

distributor/dealers and asking for a $5 to $10 registration fee.

In reply to the registration application, they send out a

letter explaining that each distributor can buy at half price,

so many copies of each issue of the ad sheet, rubber stamp their

name on each copy, and send them out as their own. In return,

the distributors usually get 50% of the incoming advertising

orders, a half-price ad for themselves, and an opportunity to

sell subscriptions.

The bottom line relative to becoming a successful ad sheet

publisher has to do with keeping your production costs -

printing and mailing - as low as possible, while putting out a

quality product that other people in the mail order business

will want to advertise in - while at the same time using it as a

advertising/selling vehicle for your own products.

My advice is that almost everyone involved in mail order selling

should have some sort of ad sheet - if for no other reason than

as a means to an end - an advertising vehicle for your own

products, an extra income form advertising revenues, and as an

exchange media with which to gain greater exposure for your own

products in other people's publications. Once you've got an ad

sheet, or any kind of publication set up and being seen by other

mail order operators, you'll quickly gain stature and a certain

amount of prestige.

As with any business, your ultimate success depends on your own

feasibility studies, and your "sharp-pencil" planning completed

before you order your first issue printed. Think about it,

weigh the pro's and con's, then go with your decision.

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