From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Using ALL CAPS

A couple of weeks ago, in Issue #166, Mike Klassen wrote an article in The Golden Thread about publishing your own e-zine – an easy and profitable self-promotion strategy. We asked our readers to share their links with us – and so far, this is what we’ve received. Check ’em out!

"I’ve had a newsletter up since 2002 called e-Newsletter Journal, which is
about … drum roll, please … newsletters! The April issue talks about fee
and free-based newsletters and e-reports / e-books. Past topics have covered
RSS, blogging, and long scrolling Web pages: http://www.internetviz-newsletters.com/internetviz/

"Then I have one about IT Security that has gone from 75,000 to over 100,000
readers: http://www.internetviz-newsletters.com/shavlik/"

– Meryl
Content Maven
http://www.meryl.net/blog/

"My newsletter is at www.peterfogel.com."

– Peter J. Fogel
Copywriter/Consultant/Speaker
"Delivering High Response Copy That Your Marketing Deserves"

"Here is the link to my website … where folks can sign up or download my monthly newsletter: www.romegraphics.com."

– Mike K.

"I have an e-zine that I send out monthly to promote my copywriting business. Anyone can subscribe to my newsletter by logging on to my website at www.ksmileycopywriter.com. There’s a subscription form on my homepage to fill out. Just leave your name and email address."

– Keith S.

And here’s a question from Mike Klassen that will interest all of you Graphic Design members…

"I just wanted to let AWAI know how thrilled I am to be taking part in the Graphic Design Mentor Program. What makes it so exciting is that my mentor is Lori Haller. I got to meet and learn from Lori at last year’s Bootcamp, so the chance to get one-on-one help and advice from her through the mentor program is fantastic. I wasn’t even aware until last week that there was a mentor program for us GD members. I’d love to see more programs designed for GD members similar to what is offered to writers. Is there anything on the horizon we can be on the lookout for?"

– Mike Klassen

Excellent, Mike! I’m glad your coaching is going so well. I was lucky enough to meet Lori Haller at last year’s Bootcamp. She is an amazing graphic designer (and presenter).

And you’re not the only graphic design member who’s looking forward to more AWAI perks created specially for you. We’ve been in touch with dozens of your fellow members who have been clamoring for new products … and a little more recognition. I’m happy to report that you won’t have long to wait. We’ve hired an expert in the field – Kristen Schwarz. She is in charge of developing new tools to help our graphic-design members become successful, starting with a newsletter written specifically for them. But, she’ll need your help. Tell her exactly what you need to launch your career or your suggestions for improving the program. You can email her at graphics@awaionline.com.

This last email comes from Ryan H., a member who caught a potential conflict in the Quick Tip advice we gave in Issue #166…

"Did you notice that right after you said NOT to put more than five words in a row in ALL CAPS, you ran an ad with a headline that contradicted your advice?"

– Ryan H.

Here’s the headline that Ryan is referring to:

IF YOU’RE SERIOUS ABOUT BECOMING A GREAT COPYWRITER FAST
…YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS LITTLE-KNOWN WEBSITE

Ryan, there are two points that we need to clarify here.

First of all, the Quick Tip was about using caps in the body copy of a conventional, print sales letter, not in headlines or subheads. The reason for this is that when you use too many all-cap words in a row, the copy is harder to read.

And that brings me to the second point …

As I said, the Quick Tip was about using ALL CAPS in the body copy of a conventional, print sales letter. We weren’t talking about online copy, where it’s often necessary to violate this "rule."

In a printed direct-mail piece, you have more formatting options. For instance, a much larger font, bold lettering, and bold colors can all set your headline apart from the rest of the text. Just take a look at our latest promotion for the copywriting program ("Retire this Year") and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. However, none of these options translate well to online copy – they’re just too distracting. And for text-only email messages (like the Golden Thread), ALL CAPS is pretty much the only way to identify a headline or indicate new section.

As the writer, you always have to use your judgment and balance the need for emphasis with the need for readability.

Thanks, Ryan, for giving us the opportunity to explain this in more detail.

And thanks to one and all for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us. Keep those emails coming!

Scott

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: April 18, 2005

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