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Here's a common dilema: You receive a letter enclosed with a copy of your

ad that specifically states "...for more information, send $1." However,

they DON'T enclose the $1.

One respondent was brave enough to include a cover letter that stated he

was enclosing $1 for more information, but conveniently "forgot" to put it

in the envelope. Is this really an unintentional mistake? Did the person

really forget to send the money? Probably not. Why do I make that assumption?

Because the frequency of them are too numerous to count. If it was just

"human error" the same tactics wouldn't be used by 90% of them. (I did have

one clever gal though purposely seal and re-open part of the envelope to make

it appear like the money had dropped out. It was obvious the envelope had not

got caught in machinery because I used to work for the post office and know

how the mail is processed.)

Unfortunately the poor mail order dealer who is trying to run an honest

business will go ahead, take the financial loss and fill this order. They

rest on the "hope" that this person will place a large order in the near

future once they receive their information; which will make up for the $1

he/she conveniently forgot to enclose in the beginning.

But thereis a way to combat this problem. Here's what you do: Instead of

filling the order for more information, write a short letter on your business


Thank the customer for inquiring about your product and graciously inform

him or her that the letter was received without proper payment. but send the

information anyway. Do not sacrifice 29 Cents for an 18% conversion. In the

long run, after you've written and mailed the letter, it is better that you

send the free ($1) information anyway.

Also, enclose 1 or 2 ads in with your letter. This way, it only costs you

29c to respond to their request and you don't lose money on someone who is

only after a "free ride."

Believe it or not, there are actually some people who just enjoy receiving

mail. They never place an order or spend any money. They just enjoy receiving

mail. And some people actually spend time just to see what they can get

"free." They envision mail order companies as huge enterprises and have a

vengeance to rip them off because they are jealous and have nothing to

account for in their own personal lives. I know this sounds harsh _ but

there are people like this.

And on the rare occasion when a customer writes back and claims to have

answered your ad and sent $1 for information already, you simply reply:

"I'm sorry. In checking our records we find that you did, in fact, make an

inquiry on (date). Unfortunately, you did not enclose the $1 payment as

stated in our ad. We understand mistakes like this can happen since most of

us lead hectic daily lives and we apologize for any misunderstandings."

Then _ leave it go at that. The customer will get the message. You aren't

being cruel and calling them a liar. In fact, you are being rather innocent

in the entire matter. The only difference is _ YOU are in control of the


Somewhere there's this unwritten law that says you have to send NEW customers

tons of circulars the first time they write you for more information. Not so.

Customers who are worth the time and investment you make will supply you with

repeat orders and you don't have to send them boxes of stuff. Instead, send

just a few offers at a time. This way, it will take many mailings to get

copies of all the circulars you promote and it will appear to the customer

that you are adding and growing in your business.

Think about it! And for those of you who make it a habit not to send people

the requested first-class stamps and postage money to offset the cost to send

you the information you are requesting _ watch out! Most of us are people

just like you are. We work hard and cannot afford being nickel-and-dimed to

death either!