An average mailing by a small, one person mail order company is generally about a thousand pieces, and many such operators rarely mail more than a hundred pieces per week. If you know your conversion statistics, you know that the order return on mailings is about 1% to 2% when using a rented list of names, up to 5% or more when mailing to your own customer list.
Using those figures, the response rate would be about 2 orders from a mailing of 100 when using a cold list, and about 5 to 10 orders when mailing to your own customer list for each 100 pieces mailed.
Contrast this to a major catalog mailing house such as Miles Kimball, Hanover House, Lillian Vernon, Johnson-Smith or L.L. Bean, each of whom might consider a mailing of six million pieces a month or every few months.
Keep in mind that these are catalog merchandisers – mass mailers, not manufacturers. Not publishers. Mailers!
They BUY what they sell from somebody. It could be from you!