The mail-order business success largely depends upon catalogs, advertisements in newspapers or periodical magazines, and through direct mailings. The orders are received by mail, telephone, or fax.
Mail order operations can be categorized into three distinct types:
- General merchandise catalog houses, which present all kinds of products.
- Specialty merchandise catalog houses, which present limited products or only those which are in demand.
- Stores which present their products through telephone shopping.
Benefits of Mail-Order Business
- Large geographical area can be covered.
- Initial start up cost reduction and minimal inventory.
- Low priced products.
- Simple shopping method.
- Usually home based without any costly location.
- Convenient timings and no time schedules.
- Furniture and fixtures are not required.
- Trained sales staff is not needed.
- Can be looked after by one or two persons.
The mail-order product makes selection easy for the customer due to the following reasons:
- Customer need is satisfactorily met.
- Product description in detail through words, pictures, or video.
- Reasonable cost of product.
- Product not usually available in stores.
- Convenient shipment through mail.
- Promotes repeated sales.
Advertisement of Mail-Order Business
Advertisement of the mail-order business is of extreme importance, the business relies heavily on advertisement, and it is the only and large expense associated with the business.
The common types of advertisement means are direct mail, publications, and catalogs.
Customers are informed about product details by sending direct mail consisting of product brochure, order form and a cover letter.
Uses of Direct Mail
- Product brochures, discount coupons, or samples can be sent.
- Selected or specific area can be targeted.
- Initial responses can be assessed for future sales and expansion.
- Surveys and research can be undertaken.
- Helps in other means of advertisements.
Useful Tips for a Successful Mail-Order Business
- Qualified and professional Direct Mail/Marketing House should be consulted for help and guidance.
- Personalized mailing list can be compiled which is economical or a customized mailing list can be rented or bought. Persons on the list can be selected by observing previous purchases, amounts spent, etc.
- A better response can be achieved by phone calls after mailings.
- Addressed envelopes, testimonials, detailed letters, product illustrations, discount coupons, samples and tokens may help in getting better customer response.
- Mailing time is important, try to avoid mailing during holidays and tax season.
- Cheaper modes of mailing must be used to cut expenses.
- Mailing list should be followed by repeated mails in increasing numbers.
- Never forget to include order form in your mail.