From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Directory of Direct-Mail Companies

In last week’s Mailbag, I answered a question from Steve W. He wanted to know the best way to locate potential health market clients. And I gave him some ideas. But then Lisa S. emailed me, after she read that issue, to remind me that “Will Newman gave a couple of great suggestions in recent issues of The Golden Thread.”

Right you are, Lisa … and I should have included them. Here are Will’s suggestions in an article titled “8 Steps to Finding Your First Clients.”

And in an earlier issue, Will includes a Quick Tip: Two Easy Ways to Stay Current in the Health Market.

Thanks, Lisa. And now, here’s another question on the subject of finding clients – this one from Andrew C. …

“Hi, Scott. Thank you for your excellent Mailbag. It really is essential reading. I’ve got a question for you …

“I am looking for a list of direct-mail companies that are large enough to hire copywriters at a reasonable fee (say, $3,000 to $5,000 per letter). Where should I start? Is there a directory?”

– Andrew C.

Thank you for the compliment, Andrew. I enjoy writing the Mailbag, and I always appreciate getting questions and comments from our readers.

To answer your question …

Target Marketing sells “The Directory of Major Mailers and What They Mail” – a list of all the direct-mail companies in the country. But it doesn’t specify which companies are “big.”

I think you could start to compile a list yourself without having to buy the directory. Start by reading “8 Steps to Finding Your First Clients.” There are some good ideas in there that will get you started.

Have you decided what niche market you want to write for? If you have, start familiarizing yourself with that market. What are the major publications? Do you get any of the newsletters? If you seed your name on few mailing lists, you’ll start to receive promotions (some from the big guys who can pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a sales letter) very quickly.

Keep in mind that even when you become familiar with the industry you want to write for, it will still be hard to find companies that meet your exact needs. But if you are an insider, it will be much easier to identify your potential clients. As an outsider looking in, you won’t know what to make of the huge amount of information you’re going to discover … once you start looking.

Thanks to one and all. Keep those emails coming!


The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: September 26, 2005

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