From The Golden Thread Mailbag …

Hi, everyone! I’ve got the answers to two questions for you this week. First, this one from Patrick M.…

"I recently subscribed to Monthly Copywriting Genius. I just started reading the back issues, starting from the very first one written by Don Mahoney. The letter was for a product called Q-wave. Don Mahoney said that the promotion was a ‘self-mailer’ and that he was testing his project by this method. I am a little confused by his explanation of what a self-mailer is. Supposedly, it is a piece of mail sent out without an envelope. Any clarification you could give me would be much appreciated."

– Patrick M.

To answer your question, Patrick, yes, a self-mailer is a promotion that is put into the mail without an envelope. In other words, the address and postage meter are printed directly onto it. Self-mailers are similar to magazines that are mailed without an envelope or any other kind of covering or wrap. Magalogs and bookalogs are self mailers. So is our current control for the copywriting program, "Retire This Year."

I hope this clears it up for you. (Keep reading those back issues!)

And now for this question from Lisa – one that she suspects a lot of her fellow Golden Thread readers are wondering about …

"When those job opportunities that appear in TGT ask for salary requirements, should we respond with whatever we would charge to a freelance client, say, $75/hour? Or would they expect to pay less because it is an ongoing job and/or has some other perks? Or does the fact that it is listed there at all imply that it’s a low-paying job?"

– Lisa

That’s a very good question, Lisa. Though you are looking to make as much money as possible, you also want to be competitive. So take that into account when you state your salary requirements for a permanent job. At the same time, keep in mind that you won’t have the same expenses as freelance copywriters who are charging on an hourly basis. They have to take into consideration the fact that they pay their own taxes, medical insurance, office expenses, and so on. So their hourly rate will be higher than yours as a salaried employee.

One last thing to think about – something Bob Bly said at our recent Selling Yourself Weekend in Miami. The gist of it is this: The worst thing you can do to yourself as a fledgling copywriter is undercharge for your services. It makes it look like you are not worth the money. So when you are applying for a job, ask for what your time is really worth.

That’s it for this week. Thanks to one and all. And 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: August 15, 2005

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