From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Finding Mailing Lists

Hello Pat,

How do direct-mail companies (like AWAI) know where to get mailing lists? For example, why wouldn’t AWAI go to “The Writer” magazine? Why do they choose “Writer’s Digest?”

Also, I’ve been getting “Writer’s Digest” for about five years. I don’t believe they ever asked me demographic/profile information (such as household income, college graduate, PC owner, etc.). How do they get the information that’s included on the data card?

Maureen B.

Hello Maureen,

Direct-mail companies use list brokers to find their mailing lists. List brokers have the skill and experience to find the best-performing lists for their clients. There are a lot of reasons we would choose one list over another – such as “Writer’s Digest” over “The Writer” magazine. On thing we look for is to make sure the list is made up of buyers who have made a direct-mail purchase before. That’s the first indicator that it might be a good list for us.

To answer your other questions … “Writer’s Digest” may have some informal survey or questionnaire that you may not have participated in. Another way a company can get your information is through a data-matching service such as Experien. With just your name and address, a data-matching service can find lots of (non-sensitive) information about you.

Good Afternoon,

I was wondering if the AWAI copywriting program would be beneficial for writing specific industry reports and research studies that go out to clients for sales and marketing purposes. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Andrew M

Hello Andrew,

Great question. The answer? Absolutely!

The industry reports and research studies you refer to are known as “white papers” in the direct-mail universe – and they are often used as a marketing tool. While the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting is not specifically about writing white papers, it is helpful for ALL types of writing.

You learn how to appeal to a specific audience, write clearly and simply, create compelling benefits for your readers, and also how to do the ever-so-important research. Which, of course, is the key skill you need to write a good white paper.

That’s it for this week. 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 »

Click to Rate:
No ratings yet
Published: July 3, 2006

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)