Money Mailer franchisee review: Jane Massey of St. Louis

Money Mailer is a money maker for this goal-driven franchise owner

A portrait of Jane MasseyJane Massey had a lucrative career for over 20 years in the corporate travel industry, calling on regional businesses with multi-million-dollar travel budgets in a multi-state territory. Things changed when her firm was acquired by another company. Before she even met her new boss in person, the boss told Massey she was being “negligently” overpaid. “That,” Massey says, “was a sign.” She knew it was time to venture out on her own, and when she found Money Mailer in 2002 she knew she could strike the perfect work-life balance and still meet her professional goals. This is her story.

How did you learn about Money Mailer?
Through a mentor who happened to be a business broker at the time. He was a long-time mentor who had known me my whole adult life, and he had worked for Money Mailer in the past. He thought it would be a good fit.

What do you like about owning the business?
I definitely like the freedom and independence of owning my own business. I like that the Money Mailer leadership team has a lot of core people who are still there. I have always believed them to be benevolent, recognizing that if customers do well, franchisees will do well – and Money Mailer corporate and investors will do well. It’s bottom-up. Everybody needs to win for it all to work. Even in local markets, I am encouraged to help my neighboring franchisee. It really is important.

I have a lifestyle that I love and an income that works for my family. I have always been proud of my affiliation with Money Mailer, both the product we provide and the team of people we work with.

What is the genius of this brand, when you strip everything away?
We deliver local advertising to a hyper-local market. I don’t do any convincing. I have a conversation. My job is organized friendship. It is one business owner talking to another. I’m not selling anything. Together, we identify what their goals are and based on what those are, I provide solutions, and it’s not always Money Mailer. What are they trying to achieve? If they’re brand new, I’m more of a consultant/mama bear – I provide referrals and help them make as few mistakes as possible, whether they’re growing or struggling on a certain day or have a new location. Once you have a relationship with a business owner, you figure out what they need and how you can help.

I’m not a revolving door of a salesperson. I’m not about making quotas or commissions. I am about helping them succeed.

A silver mailbox with a red flag in the up position is opened to reveal half of a Money Mailer red, white and blue envelope as if it were being slid out of the box. The front window on the envelope shows a slice of pepperoni pizza being pulled away from the main pie. The Money Mailer logo and the word “Money” are visible on the top of the envelope.

Every month, 50 million households open their mailboxes to find a Money Mailer envelope stuffed full of coupons offering discounts for goods and services in their neighborhoods.

How does HQ help you? What are some of the most valuable things they do to support you?
Their support is huge. Multiple times in my tenure with Money Mailer I have asked for help: “Hey, I’m stagnant and can you send somebody out to help?” I’ve always taken advantage of the trainers. I always have my hand up for support. They provide excellent ongoing training. Over the last month, I have had two trainers come to St. Louis to help. One was analyzing my business and helped me establish new growth goals. I’m 55 and I just paid for my last college tuition. Now I want to shift from paying for my kids’ education to saving for my retirement, and I’m not a numbers person. The next trainer spent three days with me reestablishing some basic business practices, like how to keep track of data in the field again. He walked in doors with me. We did what the newbies do. We set some realistic goals of how many touches I need a day and how many weeks of a mailing cycle I need. They’re sending someone after this mailing cycle to analyze how I’ve done.

They also have amazing IT support, with amazing new programs to make our jobs easier. They constantly offer up new things to allow me to do things more efficiently, more quickly.

What kind of experience do you need to be successful with Money Mailer? What kind of person will succeed here?
Truly, anybody. When you go to convention, there is no stereotype of who does well with Money Mailer. They have no look. They have no age. It is amazing. I took a client to convention, I’ve taken my kids, and I’ve told them you will not be able to tell who are the top producers. They’re not all charismatic and gorgeous and young, they’re slow and steady. They’re not rock stars. They’re people who go out every day and talk to business owners. There is no cookie-cutter type who can be successful at this business.

What does your typical day look like?
It varies by week. I certainly work full-time. I’m in the office by 8:30. I work until the end of the day. It could be that I have to go to a networking event, I may be walking into five to 10 doors a day, I might be having one or two meetings a day. It kind of depends on where I am. In the next two weeks, I will be prospecting client proposals. Last week was pulling in who’s in and who’s out, narrowing the field. There’s more phone work, and artwork.

But l get to choose when I work, how hard I work, who I call on, when I go on vacation, how I manage my family time, everything. When my kids were younger, I didn’t miss a game. I could make my own schedule. We had two 8-year-olds and a 10-year-old when I bought Money Mailer, and I work at home. The needs of my family have changed over the years, and my business can adjust. I used to go on vacation for a month. It’s a lifestyle, not a job. You make the business adapt to the needs of your family as those needs evolve over time.

What kind of staff do you employ, if any?
I have an administrative assistant who works 10 hours a week. I use the Money Mailer art department and IT support. I’ve used telemarketers and salespeople in the past. The business works well with one owner, and part-time or full-time administration helps.

How large do you want to grow your franchise?
I’m going to build deeper within the zones I already have. Once your overhead’s met, it’s all profit. It can be by charging more or selling more. I’m looking for significant growth in the next 18 months. And Money Mailer wins, too. They don’t make any money unless the franchisees are successful.

Why are you necessary as a brand? Why would it be a horrible thing if you closed up and went away?
You could spend a fortune and still not reach me in the newspaper, the yellow pages, radio, Facebook. Money Mailer can help you reach customers you want to reach. It’s not sexy, but it works. You could spend a fortune; or try us for pennies per home. A lot of our clients want to reach business owners. They don’t open their mail at the office, they open it at home. I can reach people in lots of places. It’s not the traditional way you think of, but I can.

Knowing what you know now, if you were starting out today, would you still become a Money Mailer franchisee?
Yes. The reason is because I love the freedom, the independence. I can help other people, small business owners and consumers. I can help connect people. It’s definitely a good income source.

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