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Bulk Mailers


westlakevending
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Shawn,

I have no experience with this however I am interested in how this turns out for you. I have always thought that the letters would be seen as junk mail and thrown away before they were even read. Please keep us posted.

Did you have them professionally printed or did you do them on your printer?

Steve

 

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My thinking on bulk mailers would be to print up a nice brochure and Letter. I would offer referral payments to my existing customers and mail them out. I would say thank you for allowing me to place my eq. in your place of business and offer an incentive for any referrals they could give. That way your mailing is more personal (addressed to your location contact) and it is less likely to be viewed as "junk mail."

You might get some locations that way. Just a thought. It might work well if you have a really good rapport with your locations and have a good sized route. Just a thought off the top of my head.

 

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One thing we do that helps bring in more leads is the following: at the end of the year, between Xmas & New Year, we distribute (by hand or bulk mail) a sheet thanking all of our charity customers. The sheet has copies of our customers business cards and there is a statement urging people to patronize these businesses. We make sure to provide this to the locations that have turned us down and have found some of them willing to participate the next time they are asked.

Philo

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I have used this approach for combo machines three or four times. I have always been fortunate to enough to a get a least one location per mailing. Mailings are usually 200 - 300 places. I only had one reply on the last mailing.  Before that I had 4, 2, and 2 responses. I don't mass mail. I chose my list by the size of the business and tried to get the name of the person in charge of office machines like copies etc. first. Then I put the brochure in a good grade of envelopee and sent it to that persons attention. The brochure I used came from the biz-op I got stung by. It has a tear-off "interested in" return portion. I had our name and address printed on the tear-off before I sent them out.

Ted 

 

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I've done direct marketing response in the past with other businesses, and I agree about 1% is the normal response rate.  So if a stamp cost $.40-$.41 and you mail out 100, with a 1% response rate that's a minimum of $41 it just cost you to locate a machine.  Plus the cost of envelopes and your printed materials.  Now factor in other things like TIME on the phone, referral fees, etc.  Just not worth it. 

If you're going to spend money to locate machines, just hire a locator.  You can find reputable ones for $40-$50.  It takes the hardest part of this business away, and allows you time to grow and have fun!

If you absolutely don't want to pay for locations on any scale, then try networking.  The next time you're getting your car worked on, oil changed, hair cut, or just ordering a pizza.  Casually mention to the owner or manager what you do.  Suggest a machine.  Believe it or not now you have them cornered now, because you’re the paying customer in their business.  I'm thinking a certain amount of guilt is on their shoulders if they tell a paying customer NO...  Also once you're established, ask for referral from your current customers. 

 RJ

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One more thing I forgot to mention, and is worth considering...  Factor in how much you are loosing every month because your machine(s) are not on location and instead collecting dust in the garage.  Use an average number of $10 a month. 

 

I'm considering going full time and was toying with the idea of placing these myself to save $$$… It was going to cost me a significant amount of money for the amount of locations needed.  However once I factored how long it would take me to place these vs. how much I was loosing every month because they were not on location, it was a pretty easy decision to make.

RJ

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I had recently printed up some letters to send to business owners.........I am going to mail them out instead of giving them out in person........once mailed I was going to wait a week and contact the owners to checkup.......what do you guys think about the bulk mailer idea

I have to wonder why you are trying to reinvent the wheel.

Locating for bulk vending is about pounding the pavement talking to business owners face to face.  The only time you would ever call a business owner is if they were not in the location when you were there trying to locate.  Several times I have asked the person behind the counter if I could locate there, and they said that my dad is the owner and he's not here right now.  I then ask, can we call him up and ask him?  Or you might get a business card or maybe a to go menu with the number on it and ask the counter person when would be a good time to call the owner.  Is this the best number to call him?

You have already been in the location, you know wheter or not you want to place a machine there.  Now it's just a matter of getting to the decision-maker.

If only 1% of your mailings turns into a valid location (and I believe it's alot less than that), that means that you have to send at least 100 mailers out.  How much is postage these days?  It's at least $0.35 per post card, and I think $0.39 per letter.  So that's $39 just on the HOPE of getting a location.  You would be better off just paying a locator to get you the location.

What you should be doing is pressing the flesh, talking to all your friends and other business owners if there is anybody who owns a store that would be willing to take in a homeless gumball machine.  Think of it as a little like network marketing.   You know 2 friends who know 2 friends who know 2 friends...

 

Darryl Perry

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I've done direct marketing response in the past with other businesses, and I agree about 1% is the normal response rate.  So if a stamp cost $.40-$.41 and you mail out 100, with a 1% response rate that's a minimum of $41 it just cost you to locate a machine.  Plus the cost of envelopes and your printed materials.  Now factor in other things like TIME on the phone, referral fees, etc.  Just not worth it. 

If you're going to spend money to locate machines, just hire a locator.  You can find reputable ones for $40-$50.  It takes the hardest part of this business away, and allows you time to grow and have fun!

If you absolutely don't want to pay for locations on any scale, then try networking.  The next time you're getting your car worked on, oil changed, hair cut, or just ordering a pizza.  Casually mention to the owner or manager what you do.  Suggest a machine.  Believe it or not now you have them cornered now, because you’re the paying customer in their business.  I'm thinking a certain amount of guilt is on their shoulders if they tell a paying customer NO...  Also once you're established, ask for referral from your current customers. 

 RJ

HA!!!

 

I guess I should have read to the bottom of the list before I made my own suggestions.  It's weird how we both had the same responses, just different amounts.

 

Darryl

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