Home Based Business Opportunities & Resources


How To Start And Operate Your Own Pen-Pal Club

:: Home Library Home Based Business Ideas Part 1

Pen Pal clubs are very easy to start, and can provide a very
comfortable "by mail" income for the sharp operators.

The best way to operate is via a monthly newsletter, and listing
of new members. We've found that a simple, one page, typewritten
sheet is all you need to get started. This should be, or should
include, a quick run-down on what your members are up to, i.e.
Janice C is planning her holiday in Greece next month; Debbie O.
is taking night classes to learn Spanish; John R. is thinking of
changing jobs - he wants to get more involved in sales; Bon L. is
setting up his own carpet cleaning business; Dave A. is wanting to
move to Ireland ... etc.

This kind of reader-membership involvement will get your
"newsletter" off to a running start, and keep your members loyal
to you because of the "gossip" you pass along in each issue.

You follow your "gossip story" with either a question and answer
session, or letters from the readers. Complete the newsletter
with a short story on how to meet men or women, what to say, and
how to develop a friendship. The back page, or extra page, is
then a listing of men and women - including a short description of
each, and their addresses - wanting to correspond with or meet
other people with similar tastes.

You'll need a typewriter, paper, and names of people in writing
and receiving pen pal letters. You can quickly secure a start
with names answering ads (classifieds) placed in your local
papers, and some nationals that have similar ads in, and it won't
be long before you have the basic 100 replies to begin your

You should have letterheads and mailing envelopes and return reply
envelopes printed. Get quotes from local printers, and mail order

Next, make up a sample copy of your newsletter, and an application
sales letter than will explain your membership fee of about œ10 a
year for the newsletter, plus œ1 per month each time you carry a
member's name and address in your "correspondents wanted" section.
Be sure to ask for reports on what members are doing, and
encourage them to send up to date news on what they're doing in -
this keeps the "personal touch" gossip supplied.

Now, send out your newsletter samples, with your sales letter/
membership application, to the list of names we've supplied you
with, or you may have purchased from other sources.

At the same time, you should run an advertisement in as many of
the small mail order publications and ad sheets as you can afford.
For a complete listing of these, you should order the Guide to
British Magazines and Adsheets, published by John Pooley, 27 Carey
Street, Reading, for œ3.00. Your ad could read something like

Pen Pal Listings! Nationwide circulation! œ1 to: (your name and

Tom's Pen Pal Letter! Monthly Club News and membership listings!
œ1 to: (Your name and address).

Of course, you'll want to keep records on all your members, and
continue to update the listings you carry, but basically that's
all there is to get started. You could even run ads of this kind
in your local newspapers and get a good response. We recommend
that you send for sample copies of other Pen Pal Club bulletins to
see how they operate and what ideas of theirs you can adapt for
use in your newsletter. By all means, become a browser, and look
through all the magazines and leaflets with information about pen
pals and mail order introductions, every time you pass a magazine
display rack.

Be sure to get your newsletter out regularly, and don't stop
advertising. Keep up your efforts to sell as many issues of each
publication as you can, expand your membership list, and get as
many new listings for each issue as you possibly can.

Something you might want to consider - 3 back issues of your
newsletter for œ3, or as a free bonus to all new subscribers. You
could carry this idea as a free bonus in your advertising, and as
a special offer in your newsletter.

You might also want to expand your income potential by offering
booklets, books, tapes, motivational and informational material.

By keeping good records of all the mail you receive, you can also
sell or rent name lists of people who have responded to your
offerings to other mail order dealers. Real opportunities exist
for sales mentioned in the paragraph above - the opportunities
limited only by your imagination.


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