What’s old is new again.
That’s definitely true for the email newsletter. For a while, it seemed like maybe email newsletters were going to drown in all the other content being produced and published online.
For a writer like you or me, when faced with so much useful information on other people’s websites, it can be easy to wonder, “What can I possibly add that hasn’t already been covered?”
While it’s true many of the topics you might write about in your own email newsletter have been covered elsewhere, it’s also true that they won’t be covered from your specific perspective anywhere but in your own writing.
And, when you have a well-thought-out, well-written email newsletter, it can be one of the more powerful and effective tools for growing your web-writing business.
How an Email Newsletter Will Help Your Business Thrive
And email newsletter for your writing business serves multiple purposes, and each one can attract clients to you and make it easier for you to earn your desired income as a writer.
Here’s a funny thing… as I started creating this list, I realized the purposes behind an email newsletter actually fit neatly into Robert Cialdini’s list of the seven things that influence and persuade people.
Being able to tap into all seven influencers at once is rare, and you’re unlikely to have a single issue of your email newsletter that does so. But over time, your email newsletter will call upon all seven, and that makes it one of the most powerful and versatile marketing tools you could hope to have.
Purpose #1: Creating Connections
People, even business people, make buying decisions based on who they know, like, and trust. Liking, as Cialdini describes it, is a big factor in our willingness to say yes to another purpose.
When you regularly send out an email newsletter to your list and allow your subscribers to get to know you as a real, three-dimensional person, some of them are going to identify with you and like you. Some are not.
Those who like you will stick around, and when you make them an offer or they’re looking for services like yours, they’re going to be pre-disposed to choose you over other writers they don’t know and like as well.
Another advantage to this is that you’ll enjoy working with them more, because they already like you. Likability that goes both ways is key to a good working relationship.
Purpose #2: Staying at Top-of-Mind
When it comes to landing a project, timing is a huge factor. Few companies are going to hire you if they don’t have a need. You might come to them with a brilliant idea to help them grow their business. But, if they just aren’t in the market, you’re going to get a no.
However, reach out to a company when they’re actively in need of a writer, and you’ll have a good chance of getting a yes.
By sending out a weekly email newsletter, you put timing on your side. Your readers will see that you show up when you say you will (Cialdini’s consistency principle). And, no matter when they start considering hiring a writer for a project, you’ll be on their radar.
Purpose #3: Providing Value
One of the big points of an email newsletter is to help your readers. You offer valuable information. Share insightful ideas. Even teach them to do what you do.
Now, I know, some writers will say, “Don’t teach what you do, because then, why would they hire you?” And, the truth is some won’t. But, others will see your step-by-step breakdown of the process and realize they have no interest in doing that kind of work.
Then, because you have been so generous with your knowledge, they’ll want to return the favor by hiring you. This is Cialdini’s reciprocity principle in action.
Will it work with every single subscriber? No, of course not. But then, how many clients can you really serve at a time? Probably not your whole list.
Purpose #4: Showcasing Results
As you become more established as a writer, you’ll have opportunities to share the results you’ve delivered for other clients.
You can publish case studies. You can do interviews. You can share testimonials and talk about the stories behind them.
And, this shows your readers that yes, you can do what you say, and you’re actively doing it for others who are happy with the results.
Here, you’re tapping into Cialdini’s social proof.
Purpose #5: Your Email Newsletter Establishes Your Authority
I already mentioned the importance of your potential clients’ knowing, liking, and trusting you before they’ll be willing to hire you. And, I talked about how your email newsletter helps with the liking factor.
It also establishes trust by giving you a venue to show what you know… and through doing that, you establish your authority.
When you consistently show up in a person’s inbox and share great information—strategies they can use, insights that help them solve problems—they come to think of you as a leader in your industry. It’s only natural, if they decide to hire someone who does what you do, that they would come to you first.
Purpose #6: Showing How You Can Help
In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Cialdini discusses the power of giving someone a reason why. Simply using the word “because” is enough to persuade some people to take the action you’re asking them to.
Follow up that “because” with an example of how you’ve helped someone in a similar situation and how you can help them, too… and you’ll get more calls from people looking to hire you.
Purpose #7: Share Your Availability in Your Email Newsletter
The final principle of influence is scarcity. And, when I was thinking how every purpose I was coming up with for an email newsletter filled one of Cialdini’s persuasion factors, I realized… well, scarcity doesn’t quite fit.
But then, I remembered you can use an email newsletter to show how in demand you are, and that does convey scarcity. So, it’s officially a sweep for Cialdini, persuasion, and influence.
But, how does this look in your email newsletter? It does only work once you’re booked out for a few weeks in advance or more.
Then you can put a line item in your email newsletter that essentially says, “My next calendar opening is xxx date. If you need help creating web copy that works harder for your business, contact me about a booking today, as my calendar tends to fill fast.”
An email newsletter can be one of the most powerful tools in your marketing toolkit. And, once you get it set up and are in the habit of writing for it, I think you’ll find it’s easy and fun!