Where’s the PROOF!? (M3)

I’ve been getting a few inquiries about providing proof of mailing when you setup an M3 deal. In my experience, it’s never been much of an issue at all. I do believe that it *could* be an issue if I was approaching business owners as a marketer and not a fellow like-minded biz owner. That’s the big difference.

Here’s an email I just received:

When two companies do decide to go for the M3 offer, how do I go about handling money. ¬†Once I get the grand total from the printer (who handles the mailing also) do I just tell them what they owe me? Do I pay it all up front? Wont they want to see the bill? And is this 100% ethical? If they ever found out wouldn’t they be very pissed and want the share they paid for?

I’ll handle these questions one by one but first, I’d like to mention that your whole approach should be as a like-minded business owner and not as a marketer selling a product or service. YOu want to approach prospects this way specifically. You want to make sure that your intentions are exactly the same as theirs, this way they won’t even question it because the logic makes so much sense.


1.) When two companies do decide to go for the M3 offer, how do I go about handling money.

This is where paypal comes in REALLY handy. I strongly suggest using paypal’s email invoice feature. Personally I wouldn’t do a button because it will look too “markety”. Most biz owners will not have heard of a paypal invoice so you’ll need to explain it to them. I say something like this:

“I’ll pay the printer/mailhouse in full once we’re all ready to go. I can invoice you through paypal which will protect all of us. You don’t need to have a paypal account, they just process a credit card. Or you can pay by check of course but paypal invoice would be fastest so we can get this out. I get a receipt from the post office soon as it’s mailed.”



2.) It says that using the system I can get the other advertisers to pay for MY portion, but how do I go about hiding my portion of the bill and making them cough up the money?

The beauty of the M3 system is that you have the resources to get printing/mailing/lists so low that it doesn’t even look suspicious. If you tried to do this 5 years ago, you probably couldn’t get away with them paying for your space since the cost would be so high. It would have still made sense to split it up 3 ways evenly but you’d really have to pull a fast one over on them to get them to pay for your spot.

Today, with the cutthroat competition of online gang-run printing and mailing, coupled with cheap lists or the use of unaddressed mail (EDDM), the costs have come down so significantly that this whole system works logically. You don’t have to lie to them, just tell them you’re splitting it up. Splitting it up can mean two or three, right?

If you took 100 business owners, stuck one of the 6.5×11 16pt UV coated full color cards in their hands and asked them what they think it would cost to print and mail one of them, you’d probably hear almost all of them say at least 70 cents. Just thinking about postage and the print cost of a large postcard is going to do the justification for you. It all makes sense on their end, don’t sweat it.

As far as ‘proof’ if they ask for it, there’s two kinds, depending on whether it’s targeted mail or EDDM.

EDDM Proof

If you’re doing an EDDM campaign, you should take a picture of all the postcards stacked together and email it to them. It’s impressive. That alone will be obvious proof. You can also have the post office make you a quick copy of the forms when you pay for them although you may not want them to see the postage amount.

Targeted Proof

With a targeted mailing, you’re not handling the actual cards but you do receive a form 3602, which the post office provides the mailhouse (me for example) that details how many pieces were sent. It does show the postage however it’s not a big deal since you offset the postage price with printing. See more of what I mean in a moment.

Also, with targeted mailing always make sure to include one or two extra addresses in you list for each partner, one for their business and one for their home so that they can know when it’s delivered. This also obviously gives them proof that it actually happened.


3.) Do I pay it all up front?

Yes you will need to pay all of it up front, the printing happens almost immediately after ordering and we’re talking about tangible products here, not a service. Everything is mailed within roughly 3 business days, so the postage is paid at that moment and requires the balance to be paid in full by you.

You should ALWAYS collect the full amount from your partners prior to printing. Again, you’re not doing this as a service and you’re not approaching them as someone who is. You’re approaching them as a like-minded business owner who wants to share resources.


4.) Wont they want to see the bill?

No, it’s highly doubtful and if they do for some reason you can feel free to give me a heads up and your client can email me and I can send something that verifies it! I’m on your side.


5.) And is this 100% ethical? If they ever found out wouldn’t they be very pissed and want the share they paid for?

What’s really nice about this system is that you actually are providing massive value to them. All they care about is what it’s going to cost them. The fact that you’re splitting it up makes logical sense, and if you mention that you have a friend that’s does printing and mailing, that justifies the cost. If you have samples, that can really help because you can show them that you’re out of state business partner uses this with great success.



Some more advice:

If you’re doing lead generation (preferred) don’t be greedy to make money on the front end. Your money should be coming on the back end so the more you can mail, the better. I highly suggest keeping the cost as close to breakeven as possible, maybe making yourself a few bucks more but again, don’t be greedy. The money is much better spent on more mailings.

When you quote the cost, if you talk about the cost of postage, don’t bloat it. You can markup the cost of printing as much as you’d like but don’t forget that your postage proofs will have the postage cost printed, so you don’t want to look like a jerk later. The real advantage you have is in the printing, because nearly all printing these small business owners deal with is super expensive. Go to your local printer and see what postcards cost to print, you’ll be amazed.

I’ll quote this from the private forum:

Asked for quote on 5000 cards approx 6×9 full color both sides, both EDDM and targeted (if I supply the list)
EDDM: $3929.55 (.79/card)
Targeted: $4351.28 (.87 card)
I asked for quotes from a couple more printers – but this is supposed to be a discount printer! MinutemanPress

Almost all your marked up cost can go to printing. You can markup the list as well, just keep the postage around 30 cents for targeted and 15 cents for EDDM.


I hope this helps! Feel free to ask questions in comments.