From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Direct Marketing Continues to Grow

The Golden Thread is a newsletter about helping you achieve the writer’s life – and in this column, I’ll tell you how your fellow members are doing it. I’ll let you in on what they have to say in their phone calls and emails to us about their progress and the jobs they’ve been getting. I’ll share opinions and comments, and answer questions too.

Let’s kick off this week with a bit of news from Michael Masterson’s e-zine Early to Rise that I think will interest you:

Direct Marketing Dominates: The Numbers Don’t Lie

"Direct marketing continues to grow. According to the Direct Marketing Association, more than 18 billion catalogs were sent out last year, a 5% increase over 2003. This represents a long-term trend. Ten years ago, for example, the volume of mail-order catalogs was 10 billion. And sales reflect this growth. In 1997, catalog sales were recorded at $77 million. Last year, they exceeded $140 billion. And those are just catalog numbers. If you add third-class letters, bookalogs, and magalogs to the mix, direct mail reigns as the single biggest form of advertising."

– Michael Masterson

A comment from Mike K. about graphic-design jobs on Direct Response

"I’m in the middle of a graphic-design job I got from the Direct Response Jobs board. I hope that more people with GD jobs will find the site."

– Mike Klassen, Klassen Communications

All right, Mike! Congratulations! Though was just launched in November ’04, it has already become the best place on the Internet to find a job in the direct-response industry. Right now, we have over 100 postings for freelance assignments. Admittedly, a majority of the jobs are for copywriters – but we haven’t forgotten about our graphic-design members. Our main challenge right now is to get the word out to potential clients about the site itself. We have someone who is actively pursuing both GD and CW postings – and we’re about to start a campaign with press releases and ads to announce the site to all the major direct-mail news agencies. As the site grows and we continue to promote it within the industry, you can expect to see lots more graphic-design and copywriting jobs.

Copywriting member Mistina B.’s unexpected benefit as a result of attending our FastTrack to Success Bootcamp:

"The 2004 Fast Track to Success Bootcamp was my first, and I made several connections that have helped me in recent months as I’ve launched my full-time freelance business.

"I’ve maintained contact with several of the copywriting members, and we continue to help each other out in many different ways. Scott S. and I have exchanged several sales letters and other marketing copy for peer review. Tom T. has literally talked me off of a ledge when the pressures of the new business drove me to the point of tears.

"Also, a mutual friend introduced me to Cherie R., one of the graphic-design members. Cherie and I worked together to create a logo for my new company. In addition, she and I check in with one another regularly to see how our respective careers are panning out and to cheer each other on. She and the others I’ve stayed in touch with have provided an incredible source of encouragement and strength in traveling the lonely and frightening – but undeniably exciting and rewarding – road of self-employment.

"Sure, the main point of the Bootcamp is to hone our copywriting skills, and it definitely succeeds in this regard. But these types of relationships truly make the experience priceless."

– Mistina B., MystiComm, Inc.

Thanks to one and all. Keep those emails coming!


The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: March 7, 2005

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