Making money stuffing envelopes is probably one of the oldest work-at-home scams out there! Since 1997 I've been warning moms about the dangers of sending money to companies who claim you can make money assembling crafts, getting lists of companies looking for home workers, and last but not least, stuffing envelopes.
It seems so easy - once you pay your money, you'll get a list of companies who need people to stuff envelopes with their promotional material, invoices, you name it and because you feel you can make money at it, you'll do it. Unfortunately, that isn't how the envelope stuffing scam works. Once you send in your cash, all you'll receive is information on how to place ads, similar to the one you responded to, which scams more people out of their hard-earned money.
But what if you really want to make money this way. About a month ago I found something very exciting for those intrigued with the whole envelope stuffing business. I was amazed to discover that if this is your ideal home business, it really can work.
Katie Veseleny, author of Bizy's Guide To Making Money With Direct Mail Services took time out to answer a few questions about this possible home-based envelope stuffing business.
Q: Katie, what's up here? Can you really make money stuffing envelopes?
Katie: Well, sure you can. But, don't expect anyone to drop off boxes of envelopes and inserts and pay you a huge fee to put them together! This is something that will be most successful when you offer total service packages. I prefer to call it Direct Mail Services.
Q: What exactly is a Direct Mail Service Business?
Katie: A Direct Mail Service Business is offering to take away a portion of the nuisance work for your client. Much the same as a business owner would hire an accountant, they will also hire companies (such as yours) to handle this kind of work. Direct mailing is just that … you take the mailing responsibilities away from your client, and let them get back to business. You collect and maintain the mailing lists for them, send out their regular periodic mailings, as well as any sporadic mailings, and help with anything else that will make their business more successful.
Q: How does one start a Direct Mail Service Business?
Katie: Start by looking into who your clients are, knowing their mailing habits and what they need. Put together service packages that really offer benefits. Also, rather than asking your client to provide the inserts, envelopes and mailing labels, you can actually create the inserts needed as well as creating and maintaining their entire mailing list database. I think you'll find it's more attractive to your potential client when you're taking away the bulk of the nuisance work, and allowing the business person to get back to doing what they do best running their business.
Q: How does this business differ from the envelope stuffing scam?
Katie: For starters, it's your business. You know you're legitimate. Plus, it's a total service package. It's not something that's going to make you rich overnight … you need to work at it by building a clientele and a biz reputation. I believe that if you do the math when looking at those advertisements, you'll find it's absolutely absurd to believe that you could make so much money with little or no work required.
Q: What equipment do you need?
Katie: Your computer or a good word processor to print the labels and keep track of the mailing lists and databases. If you're inclined to offer design services, you'll need additional software to help with the designing of promotional material and other things. There are some frills and 'wish for' equipment, such as paper folders and automatic envelope folders, that will make things run more quickly, but you can do without them initially. Let the biz buy those extras later on.
Q: What's the total cost to get this business up and running?
Katie: This will vary with each person. It's going to depend a lot on what you want to offer in your service packages and what you have at your disposal right now. You can start with only the cost of promotional materials (biz cards, flyers, brochures, etc.), or you can put together a portfolio of examples of your work if you're planning to offer design capabilities. That will be a little more expensive.
Q: What type of person would do best at this business?
Katie: I'm going to say, patient people. This is a great business for folks with little ones at home and those who have odd hours of availability. It's something you can do in the evenings, early mornings, anytime. The most necessary skill is being able to 'sell' the idea to your clients. You'll need to know how to present your service packages in a beneficial light.
Q: How do you market this business?
Katie: Face-to-face conversation with your potential clients will work best. Talk about it with everyone and get some positive interest going for yourself. Talk with your friends and family members, they often know someone who owns a business or works in an organization that would appreciate your services. Talk with business owners you know and make appointments to discuss the benefits you can provide.
Q: Any last tips or suggestions?
I've always found that when you decide to do something, and put your mind to it anything can happen. If starting your own Direct Mail Service Business is something that interests you Katie Veseleny's ebook, "Bizy's Guide To Making Money With Direct Mail Services" gives you step-by-step instruction on how to make this business work.
Liz Folger is a Work-at-Home Expert and author of The Stay-at-Home Mom's Guide to Making Money from Home .
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