This Sometimes Is A “Hatred” Business (written July, 1993)

Do you naturally hate others? Have you found yourself complaining about your neighbor because he has a nice car or a nice front lawn? Have you found yourself complaining about anything life has thrown at you?  Well if you have, then you are a “hater” my friend and that is a shame. Life is too short for you to complain and hate.

I have found out in this business what it is to be “hated”. Simply put I provide a “print & mail advertising service” for smaller multi-level marketers and mail order dealers, which they can afford to use. Print & mail advertising is when I print your flyer and mail it for you. This is pretty much no different than you placing an ad with your local newspaper or you placing an ad with a larger publication or you even placing an ad in a fine smaller publication. The only difference is the distribution and the format of the mailing itself. When I print and mail your flyer, instead of being collated in a publication or magazine, your flyer is placed in an envelope independently with other flyers. However I have learned that many of you dealers and many of you MLMer’s don’t understand the “dynamics” of print & mail advertising and therefore when your “dream” is not reached through using my service, you then “hate” me for all the wrong reasons. I hope to dispel your myths now and forever hold my peace.

If you are going to hate me, then hate me because you don’t like me. Do not hate me for what I refer to as “R & R”. Our military brothers and sisters understand R & R to be rest and relaxation. However R & R in this business means results and response. I have been a hated man by many because of the lack of results and response when you utilize my service. I have been hounded, scolded, threatened, accused, abused, criticized, condemned, and any other “bad mouth” word you can think of. I am sure all publishers have had their fair share also. Why though? What have we done? All I am doing is providing you dealers with an affordable means of getting your flyers out in the mails. I am not providing you with a “magical,” “mystical” method of generating a full time income in “no time” whatsoever. That is not reality. That is a fantasy. How can you possibly think that by utilizing my service or anybody’s service for that matter, that we can “magically,” “mythical” be your answer for success? I know you are able to think. Think right now for a moment. Is it possible? No it is not. Then why would you hate me or anybody for that matter if I don’t bring in the results you can only “dream” about happening? That is why I say this is a “hatred” business. All publishers, including myself work just as hard, if not harder, then the next guy. We both try to get you the best possible response to your offers. However inevitably, it is through your efforts of “testing” that we’ll be able to gauge our advertising services – and if we do not meet with your approval, so be it. There is no need to hate me or any publisher for that matter.

When you understand how to promote and are fair with me, or any publisher, and yourself, your advertising will succeed. Two things you must understand about reality, my print and mail service and all publications.

#1) You need to be patient. My print & mail service and 99% of the publications are mailed out third class bulk mail. Bulk mail through the postal service is an inexpensive way for us publishers to get offers out in the mails efficiently. However since it is inexpensive – very inexpensive – it takes anywhere from 2-3 weeks to actually reach the hands of a prospect. In another words if I mail out something to you today third class mail, it won’t reach you for up to three weeks – maybe even longer. So why do we use this service then? Cost baby! A piece that would normally cost 91 cents at the post office for first class mail costs me only 15.1 cents third class bulk mail. So we publishers pass these savings on to you in the form of low affordable rates. The reason you need patience is because it takes about a week to prepare your ad for mailing and then about 3 weeks for it to reach our prospects. Therefore it will take about a month before it gets into our prospects hands and another month to tally up the full results of your advertising efforts. In another words you send your offer to me or any publisher today, it will take about 2 months (maybe longer) before you know if your advertising was a success or failure. That may seem like a long time, but in the mailing business, we are always three months ahead. Three months in the mailing business is like three days in reality. If I shut my doors right now and quit this business, I would still get just as many orders for the next three months as I get today. So you see there is about a three month “lag time”, which further means that it is very important for you to understand this for the success or failure of your advertising efforts.

#2) You also need to understand that your offer is not mailed out by itself. My print & mail service, your local daily shopper – all publications for that matter are mailed out by bulk mail with as many offers as they can get inside their pages. In other words your offer is mailed alongside of 20-200 offers. This is called a “cooperative”, or a “marriage”, or a “share” mailing. The reason you must understand this is because you are not going to get the same response from when you mail your own offers out by themselves. You are used to mailing your offers out in your envelope with one or two of your offers. In a cooperative mailing, your offer is now mixed in with 20-200 offers. My mailing service only has as many as 10 offers maximum, which is a tremendous benefit of using my service over someone else’s. Think for a minute. 1,000 cooperative circulation is completely different then 1,000 circulation by itself. Common sense tells me that your offer will not do nearly as well in a cooperative mailing as compared to mailing it by itself. Would you agree? Then how do you compare different publications and different advertising mediums? I say cost, not circulation.  Here’s what I mean: If an ad in a publication costs $100. Then forget about the circulation. Think in terms of cost. When you spend $100 on an ad – then take another $100 and see how many you can mail of that same offer first class mail by itself. In other words take another $100 and see how much you can mail for the same moneys by itself. Then simply do it. Whether it be 100 pieces or 200 pieces. Just do it. Then compare the results from your mailing to the results of the mailings from the publication. Keep in mind that you will not get the full results for up to 3 months, but that to me is a legitimate test and should give you valuable insight on whether your offer is good for any publication. But I would also suggest doing this test three times in a row for three consecutive months before you feel it to be conclusive. One test is OK. Three tests for the same thing is conclusive.

Now no matter what you get as results or response, don’t judge me. I don’t judge you and I ask that if you are going to hate me, then hate me for being me. I think though when you learn these two facts above are reality, you will stop hating and start learning and listening. This business of ours is great and I love it. So will you when you stop dreaming and start understanding reality. We publishers are here to help you succeed.  We love recommendations and repeat business – so we do strive to help you. However we can’t help you if you can’t help yourself first. Understand reality and stop hating me. God bless. Peace.

The author of this article is Larry Costello, President of All-American Print & Mail, 2200 Wilson Blvd #102-57, Arlington, VA 22201.