May 19, 2006 10:38 AM EDT
Well if you grab just about any magazine you can usually find in the fine print whether our not they make their subscriber list available. For instance: I have a copy of Business 2.0 Magazine sitting in front of me and at the bottom of the features page there is some fine print that reads "We make a portion of our mailing list available to reputable firms" This means that they will "RENT" to you a part of their list. Usually you would want to do testing by purchasing about 1,000 names. You can find a cheap printing service to make up some nice postcards with your site address or even an 800 number to place orders.
If you do a test mailing and you get say a 5% return on investment you would then purchase 3,000 more names and see if you get the same 5% return. If you do then you can assume that if you mail out 50,000 postcards you should get about the same return.
The other way you can do this is to get ad space in their newsletters instead of doing postcard mailings. You can contact any magazine advertising department to get the details. The nice thing about it is that you already know that the people on their subscriber lists are predisposed to a certain type of product.
Victories Secret makes about 700,000 sales each month to their catalog subscribers so you already know that those people might be interested in some product related to what victories secret sells.
One other nice benefit is that these companies continue to bring in new subscribers each month so you can always get fresh lists and basically ride their coattails.
It`s also a good idea to have a product that you can sell to the same person more than once, like vitamins or something that needs to be replenished. That way you aren`t constantly hunting for new sales each month.
Of course cost is going to vary from magazine to magazine but you could get started doing this kind of marketing for under $1,500
Some magazine will give you 30 days credit so you don`t have to pay until you have some sales but you need to test to make sure the sales will come in to be sure you can pay it back.
Check out the SRDS (Direct Source Marketing List) at your local library. There are 3 volumes that are each twice as big as a phonebook with just about every reputable mailing list there is. One other tactic I have heard of is to read through the SRDS and find big lists and then go find a product to market to that list. It makes it easier to find the list first instead of spending all your time working on a product and then not being able to market it.
I like the earlier comment about finding dematologists for my acne product. I was actually thinking of some kind of celebrity as well. If you look at the proactiv website they have several well known models.
I hope all this helps. You can contact me if you have any questions or if you want to work together on any projects. I`m always open to new ideas.