What Every Copywriter Can Learn From My First Direct Mail Campaign

I didn’t know it at the time, but I had my first direct mail campaign success in college too.  

Here’s the story.  

As a part of studying for a degree in speech communication, I was required to take the Introduction to Speech Communication class.  

One assignment was to put a résumé together and write a cover letter. As the instructor put it, “When you guys finally graduate and open the classified ads, you will not find an advertisement that says ‘speech communicator wanted.’ So you’ve got to sell yourself into another industry.” 

And boy was he right!

Not knowing whom to contact, I opened the back of Adweek and I started writing people’s names and numbers down. In the end, I sent out 38 letters to everybody from movie producers to artist’s managers to concert promoters. 

Out of the 38 letters, I received 20 rejection letters. None were interested in a college student with a degree in speech.

However, I did get three positive responses, and I turned all three into interviews.  How did I do it?  By selling myself on the phone. 

One of my interviews was at ABC Television with a gentleman named Al Burton. It was my understanding that he was the producer of the hit TV show “One Day at a Time.”  

When I arrived at his office, his assistant ushered me into a conference room with Al and others who were to speak with me about my background. His assistant, who was puzzled as to why I was there, asked me, “How did you get into see him? Nobody sees him.”  

I sheepishly replied, “I wrote him a letter and called him on the phone.” 

Another interview was with George Shapiro, Seinfeld’s manager, I believe. He, too, was tough to get in to see. However, there was something I put in my letter that opened the door. 

What was it?  

That I was a fraternity brother of his nephew! (If you don’t think networking works, think again.) 

To be sure, my last interview was with an executive at Bill Graham Presents, the concert promoter, which I ultimately turned into an internship. 

However, during the conversation prior to meeting with the contact person, she wasn’t sure she could help me. 

Then it came to me, and I said, “Perhaps if you had the opportunity to meet me, you’ve be in a better position to make a decision.” She agreed, and I landed the interview and the internship. 

And boy was that a cool internship was!

I was writing press releases and Santana would walk in … Eddie Money… Rodney Dangerfield … and many others… I went to a bunch of concerts too! 

None of this would have happened if I didn’t know how to pick up the phone. I know that there are a lot of young copywriters today trying to make it in this business.  

Many of you are competing in the same arenas as much bigger, established writers and marketers. 

If you aren’t using the phone as part of your outreach, you’re losing opportunities.

This is how I got business back in my day, I found out who to call, what to send, and how to follow up and close the assignment by phone.

 Since most of your competitors are hiding behind the keyboard, learning these old-school skills could not only give you an advantage… but get you business they will never see. My home study course could be just what you are looking for.

Click the link to check it out. https://bit.ly/33yDQzE 


Doug D’Anna, Copywriter and Creator of the
Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula

Doug D'Anna

As a seasoned direct response copywriter, Doug D'Anna has created more than 100 widely-mailed control packages for the world's largest specialized information publishers—generating over $100 million in direct sales.