From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Regular Mail vs. Email

Is it better to contact potential clients via regular mail or email? Let’s start this week’s Mailbag by answering that very good question from John S.…

"If you have a potential client’s regular mail address and email address, which is best for sending solicitations to? Obviously, email is more cost effective – but will it get read? I’ve read a lot of advice from writers who got their start by sending their self-promotions by regular mail, but few or none from those who send by email. Appreciating any help you can offer."

– John S.

We answered almost this exact same question at our Selling Yourself Weekend back in June, John. The simple answer: Technically, all unsolicited email is spam – even if it is well intentioned. It isn’t likely, but your potential employer may take offense to your unsolicited email promotion.

However, as you pointed out, it is much cheaper to send email – especially when you’re sending out multiple copies of your self-promotion. So what can you do to get your email in your potential clients’ inboxes without being seen as a spammer or a pest?

There are two things that work very well. You can send a postcard saying that you are interested in writing copy for them and you would like to follow up by emailing your self-promotion on a certain date. Or you could use the phone number you have to contact them and leave a quick message simply stating that you will be sending your self-promotion by email. Either way, your email will now be expected – and not considered spam.

Wondering what your life will be like when all the work you’re putting into the copywriting program starts to pay off? Here’s what it’s like for John R.…

"Hi, Scott. I have to tell you that my wife and I are really starting to get accustomed to my ‘extra income.’ And it’s definitely not pocket change. I’ve put a lot of work into this AWAI program, and it’s really paying off.

"I used to do direct mail in the early 90’s, but to be honest, I never knew there was a market for copywriting itself (of the freelance variety, not ad agencies and such, which I knew about, but didn’t want to pursue). I truly have AWAI to thank for opening my eyes to the possibilities.

"I made good money before, but I never dreamed I would have this much freedom in addition to the money. And best of all, it’s not rocket science. Any reasonably intelligent person could do this with a little time and effort. I’m getting to the point where I really need to start thinking about who to send all of the ‘overflow’ work that I’m too busy to handle."

– John R.

As always, 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: September 6, 2005

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