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pected to see a bunch of alfalfa. His wife was with him. He appeared to be very proud of her, and really you couldn't blame him. Likely she has been up since long before daylight, yet she was as fresh looking as the flowers daintily pinned in her belt. Her clothes were good, they were stylishly made and fitted her far above the average of the city woman's clothes. The daughter was near by-just home from boarding school-and was dressed in a suit that she knew just how to wear. The young man was dressed in a business suit; on his head he wore a derby that no hat maker on the continent need have hesitated one moment to claim as his own, his shoes were patent leather, and if there was one thing noticeable in his entire outfit it was, maybe, the absence of some of the brighter colors from his puff scarf that the city fellow has adopted.
I walked the fair grounds over and over again-I ate with some of the mail order buyers and talked to many of them, and they won me over long before the "2:40 trot" was announced. I did not see one man with his pants stuffed into his boots-I didn't see a hickory shirt nor a pair of blue jeans. I saw one, and only one, celluloid collar, and that was worn by a fakir-a real city fakir-who informed me confidentially that "them ‘rubes' are too wise-it's me for St. Louis as soon as I can raise the price.”
To the mail order advertiser these last few lines will not come as news, but he will verify the truthfulness of the statement. He knows the condition that exists. He has helped to bring it around. His plan of doing business has placed in the hands of these same buying-by-mail people the opportunity that they wanted. They took advantage of it. It has been continually profitable and will continue to increase in volume and profit as the years roll round. It's a popular plan--a convenient plan. It's only in its infancy and yet it has assumed enormous proportions.
The Mail Order Publisher
publisher of a well-known mail
con consisting of nothing more stimulating than pumpkin pie and milk, informed me that he had his "plans laid out for the next three years." During the following three months he made six radical changes in his business-each one taking him farther away from what he had planned to do than the preceding one. And today he stands ready and willing to change anything connected with his paper, from the subscription price to the postoffice entry, whenever it shall appear to him that the change is beneficial.
And these changes are suggesting themselves and being suggested to him every month.
The time when a mail order publication could be edited by an inmate of a foolish house and live, has gone glimmering into the past along with the paper collar and the high wheeled bicycle. And the time when the work of the scissors and the paste pot counted for but little on account of the villainous mechanical appearance of the sheet has also gone to return no more. In its stead has come and come to stay, though always improving, sixteen to forty pages of original matter, illustrated with halftones and zinc etchings, made from original drawings, ornamented with borders, head- and tail-pieces and initial letters, printed on perfecting color presses, carefully wrapped and mailed and going to millions of readers who have paid their good money in advance with the expectation of getting it regularly during the time such subscription covers, and who are not slow to put up a howl should a single issue fail to reach them.
The prices paid for stories and feature matter by some mail order publishers is almost beyond belief to any not directly connected with the mail order publishing business. One publisher paid $800.0) for a story of about 15,000 words. The drawings and half-tones for illustrating “set him back” another two hundred. He spent about $1,000.00 in advertising the fact in his own and other mail order papers that this particular story would commence with a certain month and advising his readers and the other fellow's readers to get busy with the first installment as soon as it appeared. Then he "broke" the story at a point where the automobile exploded and-left the heroine "up in the air" till his next issue.
What was the result?
Twenty thousand people wanted to read how the girl escaped instant death; twenty thousand new subscribers; twenty thousand letters containing twenty cents each; twenty thousand people who took that publisher's word regarding his idea of a good story and backed it up with their good money.
And while the "tone" of the mail order papers has been materially elevated, do not imagine for one moment that it has been done at the expense of the advertising columns. In truth, the reverse is the fact. Only a few mail order papers are today carrying any advertising that the publicity advertiser could reasonably find any fault with. The "broad” medi
cal goes begging for space in which to show itself. In its former space we find standard medical preparations. The work-at-home scheme is tabooed everywhere, and the correspondence school ads are using the vacated space profitably. The fellow who used to charge you a dollar for a "colored steel engraying of Washington” and sent you a postage stamp is heard of no more. But the piano, organ and phonograph advertiser took his place and were glad to get it. The man with the "miniature" set of furniture for $1.98 is in Canada and his "factory” is long since closed, but the man with the sure-enough parlor suit is sending his goods on the installment plan by carloads and is giving the buyer an honest article at an honest price.
Truly, this whole mail order game is one of surprises. In absolute figures it is bewildering. In extent it is amazing. In volume it is surprising. In opportunity it is alluring. In reality it is stupendous. In method it is enticing. And in scope it takes in everything from everywhere.
Those of you who are in it will bear me out in every statement I have made. To those of you who are not in it, I think it only necessary to say "Come c: in the water's fine."
“The Shots That Count Are the Shots
That Hit!”—Theodore Roosevelt ON'T shoot blank cartridges at a opportunity anywhere, outside the city target.
limits. Advertising that simply makes My friend D. once said to me, "I'm
a noise, never produces results. just dying for a day's gunning.” I took The powder ignited behind a projectile him with me to the Calumet marsh, and in the chamber of a gun, makes a noise, posted him on a good "stand.” but it isn't the noise that does the exe The Aight of ducks was fine, and his cution.
firing was fierce and steady as that of a "The shots that count, are the shots veteran on the firing line, in an all day that hit."
fight. Aim at something.
All at once D's gun was silent and I You'll feel better over bagging a little,
rowed over to find out what had hapskinny, old teal duck you aimed at, than
pened to him. As soon as he saw me a fat canvas-back you picked up after coming he called out, “Hello, old man! shooting at random into the reeds. You'll
Got any cartridges to spare?" never feel sure but that some sportsman
"What have you done with the 150 winged it and it dropped where you
you had?" I asked. found it, before you fired the chance
"Shot them all away! I've had the shot.
time of my life !" Post yourself regarding the haunts of
"How many ducks have you killed ?” the game you are after, before you start
“Nary duck! Never could hit anyon a hunting trip, and take along with
thing! But I shot at every flock that you the proper equipment. Advertisers of certain kinds have their
came within a half a mile of me! Say!
isn't it great sport?” haunts, just as ducks or bears have. It pays to be pretty well posted regard
He didn't know the first thing about ing the habits of the genus ad-reader
wing shooting. Admitted he didn't. avidityous before starting out to "beat
“Just shot for the fun of making the old the bush."
gun go, bang!" Just “general publicity” “How's the hunting around here?” shooting. asked Mr. Newgun of the farmer boy.
There's lots of advertising that's done "Huntin's bully! but game's sca'ce." with just about as little sense, or “aim” replied the boy.
as my friend D's "gunning.” Just “adIf advertising is all you are after. vertising," that's all. you'll find ample opportunity any old Little wonder that many people say place. Advertising guides are waiting in that advertising doesn't pay. every forty-acre lot, with ammunition. There is some agitation just now guns, and dogs. You'll be assured about "the enactment of a penal law that any kind of results you may be han- regulating advertising." All right. Let kering for, are just behind the next it include the advertiser (?) who starts bush, and you can land "big bags of out without a well planned campaign. them,” if you'll “foot the bills,” for dog, Fine and imprison him for frightening armory, and ammunition. The guide away the game from the "stands" of will give his services free.
legitimate advertising sportsmen by his If you hanker to go gunning, simply aimless banging. to have the fun of burning powder, and “THE SHOTS THAT COUNT, ARE THE hear the gun "bang !" you can find the SHOTS THAT HIT."
Mail Order Buyers Who Are They? Where Do They Live? What Do They Buy? T is a generally conceded fact that shopping by mail, they continue to buy
farmers are the largest mail order in this way. - buyers. According to recent statis- The mail order papers find it easy to
tics, there are 7,416,900 farm fami- obtain subscribers in the smaller cities lies in the United States, comprising and towns, as their subscription lists over 36,000,000 individuals.
show, and thus the citizens of these In addition to these farm families, places are educated in "Fireside Shopthere are 1,240,000 other rural families ping," as the Englishman designates this in the United States comprising about system of buying goods. 5,332,800 individuals. A total of 41,532,- Now, let us see what a total of 10,800 persons.
578,800 families, or 50,942,300 individuals, While these do not, by any means, means to mail order advertisers, who comprise all of the families and individu- look upon this immense army as their als who buy goods by mail, they doubt- legitimate clientele. less buy more, per capita, in this way, The two great catalogue mail order than any other class of our citizens. houses of Chicago, Montgomery Ward
Next to the farm, and other rural & Co, and Sears, Roebuck & Co., sold a population, the residents of country total of about $80,000,000 worth of mertowns are considered the most desirable chandise during 1906, or a combined mail order customers. Of these there average of, say, $7.50 to each of these are 9,409,500 persons. This number live 10,578,800 families. in cities and towns whose population is According to recent statistics by Prof. less than 25,000 each.
Geo. B. Waldron, "The yearly food supAdd this 9,409,500 to the 41,532,800 of plies for the American is five billion dolrural population, and the total of 50,- lars," and "Other family expenditures 942,300 comprises just about 60 per cent (not including taxes or benevolences) of the total population of the United are as much more," making a total of States at the present time, which is ten billion dollars; about $119.00 per placed at 84,374,600.
capita, or approximately $500.00 per Even the rural population, and the family. dwellers in small towns and cities do Now, suppose we cut this in two, not comprise all the mail order buyers owing to the fact that the farmer proin the United States, as the records of duces a part of what he eats, and say the catalogue mail order houses, and that each one of the 10,578,800 familiesother mail order advertisers will show, let us call them mail order familiesbut in selecting mediums in which to have $250 that they could spend to adadvertise, this large class of advertisers vantage in buying goods by mail. This choose first, farm papers, and mail order gives us the snug total of $2,644,700,000. journals circulating in rural communi- We often hear it said that the great ties, and second, papers circulating in catalogue mail order houses come so the smaller towns. In fact, the two near to monopolizing the mail order classes of publications named circulate trade that there is no chance for others quite largely in the smaller cities and to succeed in this line; that a mail order towns, as many retired farmers reside buyer can turn to the great catalogues here, and continue to take farm papers, issued by these houses and find pracand having learned the advantage of tically anything and everything he needs,
and at prices that cannot be met, and leave a decent profit to other would-be mail order advertisers.
Some people who have visited Sears, Roebuck & Co.'s establishment, or that of Montgomery Ward & Co., imagine that they are supplying the American farmer with about everything that he eats, drinks, wears, or uses. If these two mammoth establishments sold thirty times as much as they do, they would not sell $250 worth of goods to each of the “mail order families.”
There are hundreds of concerns that could be reaping as big a harvest as Wm. Thompson, of the Kalamazoo Stove Co., who, knowing all about the fact that the catalogue mail order houses were selling stoves at very low prices, decided, about five years ago, to go into the business of making first-class stoves and ranges and sell them direct to the consumer at prices much higher than the catalogue houses were charging.
He decided to make only one grade of goods--the best-and sell them at a fair advance on the manufacturers' cost, thus cutting out the middleman's profit. On account of high quality, the prices were considerably above those of the catalogue houses.
Mr. Thompson was advised, at the outset, by many friends not to make the at tempt, that it would surely result in failure; but he was, first, a practical stove maker; second, a good judge of human nature; and third, a good business man, and so he said: "If people will buy a cheap or fairly good article by mail, why not a genuinely good article?"
The cost of delivering such heavy goods as stoves and ranges was urged as an objection. Mr. Thompson said: “Freight charges is a matter that adjusts itself. The consumer has to pay for the delivery of goods, no matter from whom he buys. I will add freight charges to the selling price, and then undersell the retail dealer and all comers, quality considered."
As stated above, he went into the
“Kalamazoo Direct to You” business about five years ago. The result is well known. The growth of the business, and the immense modern plant that became a necessity to take care of it, is as fine an object lesson of a mail order success as can be found in the world.
Kalamazoo stoves and ranges are sold mainly to farmers, and the mediums that produce sales at lowest cost are farm papers.
Some good mail order journals do sell Kalamazoo stoves and ranges at a price that pays, but not at as low an average cost as do good farm papers.
Another Mail Order Success Less than one year ago the Duplex Phonograph Co., of Kalamazoo, Mich., decided that they would market an improved phonograph on the mail order plan. They believed that, by eliminating dealers' profits, and giving the people who want phonographs a superior instrument at a low price, they could establish their business at much less expense than by the ordinary means of employing salesmen to sell to the trade.
The fact is, that after paying for dies and machinery to make their goods, they did not have sufficient capital to pay the salary and expenses of one good salesman for a year. They decided to put all the money they had, less than $3,000, into advertising.
They were strongly advised against this course, even by some experienced advertising men, but they sought the assistance of what they considered the best agency they could find, made the venture, advertised The Duplex Phonograph at $29.50 cash, and so immediate and generous were the returns that a large success was assured in ten days after the first advertising appeared.
T oday they have an extensive plant, valued at $100,000, paid for out of the profits of the business, are selling goods faster than they can produce them, and this grand success has come in practically ten months from the establishment