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Pampered Chef: Sales Postcards vs Mini Catalogs

  1. Melissa78

    Melissa78 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I've been doing the basic PC Postcard for my invites (for those that give me info or I send them the postcards). Trying to figure out for the fall if I should convert to mini-catalogs or keep with postcards. I'm a tightwad and hate parting with money (yes I know, gotta spend it to make it) but the price of stamps KILLS me (I don't mail ANYTHING in my everyday life) so I prefer the price of postcard stamps if I must use the USPS. Anyhow...

    Have you used both methods?
    Do you see a difference in your attendance with one vs the other?
    Do you see a difference in your sales with one vs the other?
    Is the return on investment (ROI) worth the extra cost in the catalogs, plus extra postage, plus the new label (or any label in general)?
    If using Minis, how many do you usually order at a time?

    TIA! :chef:
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #1
  2. Melissa78

    Melissa78 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Oh and no offense to anyone if you are employed by the USPS. I mean nothing by my comments on the price of stamps/mailing. Just one of those areas in life where I'm beyond frugal. I'm trying to work on getting over my issues with costs of supplies but its very difficult. I think I am already a Catalog Natzi. I don't want to part with them after seeing how fast you go thru them and how much they cost.

    Yes....I have issues. No secret there!
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #2
  3. I'm new and I have not even heard of the "mini" catalogs. Where can I find them to buy?
    Amanda:chef:
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #3
  4. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    WOW! Have I ever seen a difference! My attendance and sales have skyrocketed since I started using a full page invite w/ a mini catalog.

    For Jan-May, my show avg. was $370. In June - the first month I used this format, my show avg. was $561. In July, so far, I have not had a show under $600! My show avg for the month so far is $704! (5 shows) That is an incredible increase in sales.
    To me, this is particularly note-worthy because, although I know times are hard around the country, I live in an state that has been in a recession long before the rest of the country, and continues to have the highest rate of unemployment, and lowest economic forecast in the country. I didn't think it was possible to increase my show attendance and sales by as much as I have, but that one little change has done it!
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #4
  5. DebbieJ

    DebbieJ Legend Member

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    The postcards get mangled in the mail. They are not given priority in the sorting/delivery process.

    I love doing the minis with a full page invite, just like Becky. I put them in a #10 envelope and they are first class and get the appropriate treatment. I have seen my outside orders go up since using them.

    I do not eat the cost of postage--I ask my hosts to pay me UNLESS they have 40 names or more on their list, then postage is on me. :)
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #5
  6. Malinda Klein

    Malinda Klein Advanced Member Gold Member

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    I love the new label coming out to apply on the minis. Does anyone know if the postage machines will rip the mini-catalogs to shreads? :(
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #6
  7. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    I don't eat the cost of postage - I write it off. That discussion is on another thread though. :D

    I'm so disappointed that I only have enough minis for one more show, and then all of my August Shows will be mini-less. I sure hope HO did a better job with on-hand qty's for the Fall-Winter Season!
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #7
  8. DebbieJ

    DebbieJ Legend Member

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    I don't trust the postage machines, so I put mine in an envelope.
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #8
  9. pcsharon1

    pcsharon1 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I use mini's - I have noticed that a lot of people have them with them when they come to the show and have already decided on some things they want.

    I use postcards if it is a repeat host and she hasn't changed her guest list. Unless it is a repeat host at the holiday season - then I will use the holiday mini.
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #9
  10. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    They are on the supply order- you'll find them in the same section as the regular catalogs. They are $3.00 for a pack of 25...so a MUCH better deal when you are just handing them out to contacts on the street, at booths, or as invitations to your shows. They have photos/price/description (just like in the regular catalog) of all the NEW products for that season, plus the hot and classic items- like the Deep Covered Baker or Food Chopper, etc. There is usually one recipe in it as well. They are small enough to fit in a standard envelope, too.

    Unfortunately, they sold out of the Spring/Summer Mini Catalogs in early June (?), and we can't order new ones for the Fall season until July 25th or whenever Fall supply products become available.

    Definitely check them out!! They are worth getting to at least have for handing out....it's cheaper than a full-size catalog, so if you don't get anything in return from that person/customer, you aren't out as much $$.

    You can get an idea of what they look like if you go to The Pampered Chef and under the Products, select the bottom of the list "Shop Interactive Catalog".....or try this link. :D The mini is the little green one that says "New Products" under it.
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #10
  11. Bluiydangl

    Bluiydangl Member

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    Ok so I never thought to put the minis in an envelope and SO just mailed 40 today. (this isn't the first time) DOH! oh well. I will chalk that up to pregnant brain.... lol thanks for reminding me they can fit in an envelope and hopefully not get mangled!!!
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #11



  12. No offense taken!!!! I hate to pay the price for postage too!!;)
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #12



  13. It is best to enclose the catalogs in an envelope to prevent the ends from
    catching on the belts in the sorting machine.:)
     
    Jul 22, 2009
    #13
  14. chefann

    chefann Legend Member Gold Member

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    That's actually a USPS regulation - address them so that the fold is on the bottom (and HO has printed the minis to be in that orientation), and then seal all 3 sides with a sticker or piece of tape.

    I've been using the minis for shows, and putting them in an envelope. I put the host's name and address as the return address, so that people are more likely to open it. And I include a full-page invitation with it, usually one of the theme show invites. On the back of the invite, I print the guest special for the month.

    I haven't had a consistent enough show schedule to note whether they've made a difference. But I do know how I treat sales party postcards that arrive in my mail - they usually go straight in the trash. But catalogs I look through, at least a little bit. I figure that there's gotta be other people who treat postcards the same way I do -why not give them a little catalog to look through and pique their interest?
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #14
  15. JDooley

    JDooley Member

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    I think I am going to try this for a few months and see how it goes! Does anyone have a template for the invite they will share?
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #15
  16. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    Here is the one I use - I got it from here, but I can't remember from who....
     

    Attached Files:

    Jul 23, 2009
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  17. ChefMary412

    ChefMary412 Advanced Member

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    Do you have them RSVP to you or the host?
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #17
  18. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    I put the hosts address as the return address on the envelope.
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #18
  19. JDooley

    JDooley Member

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    When I email my invites out I always direct them to RSVP with the host. Normally they are more comfortable doing this and then I call and get the final count from the host.
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #19
  20. nancycookspc

    nancycookspc Member Gold Member

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    Does anyone make reminder calls in conjunction with mailing out mini catalogs?
    If so who does it host or you the consultant.

    AND any tips on getting the host to give you phone numbers
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #20
  21. jenniwest04

    jenniwest04 Member

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    I do reminder calls...I sent them an invite list to complete with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and state on their if they provide their phone numbers, I will do a reminder call 2 days before. My host letter also includes deadlines for them to get those guest lists to me. I pay postage and do the tax write off.
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #21
  22. chefann

    chefann Legend Member Gold Member

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    Always to the host. They know her (or him). But I DO put my contact info on the invite as such: "Product questions? Or need to know more? Call Ann at xxx-xxx-xxxx" and my name is all over the invite, etc. anyway. (I have my standard contact label on the back of the mini in the "your consultant" area, and put my website with the show info on the mini and on the full-page invite. Oh- and include it in the "your consultant" area on the guest special flyer.
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #22
  23. Crystal Patton

    Crystal Patton Advanced Member

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    Chef Becky - that invite was one I posted. I am soo flattered that you use it!!:D

    I also have started sending out a 'reminder' post card 5 days before the show. Since my full page invited doesn't address what we are making I put that on the reminder postcard. I think that has helped with attendence too.

    It's in publisher so I'll try to add it here.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    But Crystal, I can't stea...um borrow it if it's in Publisher.:confused::p

    I'll know who to give credit to now - I thought it was perfect, and can be adapted to any type of show easily. It's been great for my business - THANK YOU!
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #24
  25. Crystal Patton

    Crystal Patton Advanced Member

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    Not to worry about giving me credit, I was just so excited that someone actually used something I posted and it didn't shatter their business. (tongue in cheek):rolleyes:

    Here is the postcard as a JPEG file. Swipe this baby!!!
     

    Attached Files:

  26. quiverfull7

    quiverfull7 Legacy Member Gold Member

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    Two questions: I have not made the leap to sending invites. I tried it ... weakly I guess, after NC last year. I had a hard time getting them to give me the guest lists. HOW and WHAT are you saying and giving them to get them to provide that list including emails?
    And: Are you making enough in increased sales to cover the cost of stamps esp. if you are sending the reminder cards? THANKS in advance!
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #26
  27. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    I've been doing this since starting my cooking shows- basically this summer..so I can't give you "before" and "after" comparisons, but I can say that so far, my attendance has been 8 or more guests at each show, and my sales (with one show exception) have been above the national average ($550+) so far. Not bad for a few stamps. Of course, those were postcards mostly (or in one case, just e-vites)...since the mini-catalogs ran out after my first show.

    As far as how I get the hosts to give me their list, I don't really ask. I coach in such a way I guess that it's not an OPTION for them, it's just what they need to DO. No one has questioned it. I do mention that as a service to my hosts, I send out the invitations and do reminder calls (when phone #s are provided!) so she doesn't have to. Most of my hosts sit there and nod their head or say something like "I didn't have to do anything!!" (excitedly saying it). I also don't include invitations in their packet. :D
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #27
  28. chefann

    chefann Legend Member Gold Member

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    Diane, I know someone who only gives hosts her guest list packet (a cover letter, guest list form, and addressed envelope) and tells hosts that their date isn't guaranteed to them until she (the consultant) gets their guest list. When she mails the invitations, she also puts the host pack into the mail. I know that she's had success doing it that way. And she's been getting a lot of electronic guest lists - hosts type them out in Word or Excel and just email them to the consultant. She gets them faster, and it's easy for her to save them for the next time that host has a show.
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #28
  29. Crystal Patton

    Crystal Patton Advanced Member

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    I pitch it as a service to them (using the carrot of over 40 names and it's free). I have attached my intro letter and I underline in red or highlight the guest list part of the first paragraph.

    Usually I know if they are going to cancel two weeks before the show (instead of 4-5 days when they say they haven't send the invites yet) if I haven't received their guest list. That way I can reschedule and fill the empty spot. My host's seem to love it, they have enough going on in their lives.

    As to the postage, I have seen such an increase in my sales and attendance that I feel it is sooo worth it. I don't have hard numbers, but my average monthly sales since I started doing this have been over $1,900 every month. I have around 3 cooking shows and 1 catty.
     

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  30. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    Hey Di!

    Here's what I do...and why.

    When I first started my business, I had a ton of cancellations. It seemed like I never knew until just before the show if I was actually going to be working or not. There was excuse after excuse (most all family emergencies - and we heard from Tammy Stanley about the legitimacy of most of those.:rolleyes:) and I was getting very discouraged. Then I went to a seminar w/ Christie Northrup (lemonade lady) and she talked about sending the invites yourself. I decided I was going to take charge of my business and do the invites myself. My cancellation rate immediately went to practically nil, and my show sales and attendance increased by at least 50%!

    Now, in this economy, it's become even more important for me to mail the invites. this summer, I began using the mini catalog w/ full page invite (see post #4 for the incredible difference it has made!) - so far, for the month, I have done 5 shows and submitted almost $4000 in sales (some indivd. orders in there too) - with 3 more shows to submit! When everyone around me is seeing all kinds of cancellations, I'm not - so I'm loving this method! (Even have my director finally convinced to do it. She hates it when I beat her in sales!:D)

    I DO NOT use any high-pressure techniques on my hosts (like making them have 40 invites or they pay, or making them turn in a list before they get their host packet) and I don't have any problem getting the lists. I just stay in contact with them, mainly through email. I book almost all of my shows at the show - give them a host packet, and go through the guest list cover letter and form with them. Really, their first Host Coaching "call" is done at the show when they book. I include 10 invitations for them to hand out to people they see on a daily basis, or to use after we mail the invites as they think of more people. This works out great.

    Oh - and here is the Guest List Form I use - got it from here a couple years ago.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
    Jul 23, 2009
    #30
  31. DebbieJ

    DebbieJ Legend Member

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    I use the host's return address on the envelope.

    Guests RSVP to the host.

    I will do reminder calls if I am given phone numbers. So far only ONE person has taken me up on that.

    My cancellation rate for July was ZERO!!!!! July is usually my hardest month, but when I had guests lists for 6 of my 7 scheduled shows, I knew I no one was going to cancel. Then host #7 almost bailed when she said she couldn't find her address book, but I used some of Tammy Stanley's words on her and now we're still on for next Friday! :)
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #31
  32. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    I didn't have any cancellations for July either!

    My sales last year for July - $1850 , My sales for July 2007 - $2700 , My sales for this July - will be over $4000!!!

    It's funny - I've only had one host take me up on the phone # thing too. That's okay, it's working great to do it this way!

    I have noticed more and more of my hosts doing reminders via Facebook, though. My host for tonight just did one this morning.
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #32
  33. ChefJoyJ

    ChefJoyJ Veteran Member

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    I love it!! It looks great and sounds...thanks for sharing! One little note (my teacher eyes couldn't help but notice)...description is spelled wrong.

    Other than that...mind if I steal ("borrow") it too?
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #33
  34. ChefJoyJ

    ChefJoyJ Veteran Member

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    I'm re-starting my biz (*again*...this time after baby #2)...and you've convinced me to start sending out mini-cats! I love that it gives them an idea of some of the many fabulous products PC offers, and gets them excited. :thumbup:

    I know I can search files for this, and I will once both my kiddos are down for nap...but does anyone have an example of a full page invite they want to share on here...? :angel:
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #34
  35. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    Post # 16 of this thread...
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #35
  36. ChefJoyJ

    ChefJoyJ Veteran Member

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    Oops...sorry! :eek:

    I had forgotten that this was page 2. I'd read the first page earlier on my phone, and hadn't looked at the invite, and just clicked to go to the first unread when at the computer. :blushing:

    Love the invite!! :)
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #36
  37. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    It's from Crystal Patton! :D:thumbup:
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #37
  38. quiverfull7

    quiverfull7 Legacy Member Gold Member

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    OK. I'm convinced! I have already got invites out to all my August hosts so I guess I will order mini's and begin in Sept. THANKS everyone and congrats go all of you who have implemented this and are seeing it's rewards. GO BECKY and busting loose in July!
    I had a show tonight and it's close to 700 and 4 bookings for AUGUST! I'm SO excited! Thanks for all your help!
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #38
  39. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    Don't feel like you missed something for August- no one can use mini's for August unless they were lucky enough to get them before they sold out earlier this summer. :D
     
    Jul 23, 2009
    #39
  40. Crystal Patton

    Crystal Patton Advanced Member

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    Oh Man!!! I can't spell to save my life, but no biggy I fill that spot in with other misspelled words. LOL

    Joy thanks for pointing it out - I appreciate it (yes I did Google 'appreciate' to see if I spelled it right LOL) and I am more than happy to share!!
     
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