Why You Need an Email List — Even If It’s Just One Person
There’s a popular phrase in marketing: The money is in the list.
And, it’s true. When you have a highly engaged list of the right people, you can get more sales.
But, there are other reasons an email list is so powerful for copywriters …
For copywriters, a list will do quadruple duty for your business.
The List as Writing Exercise
When you have an email list, you want to be consistent.
If you only contact your subscribers (the people who said they want to hear from you) when you have a sale, it’s not valuable for your audience.
If you only contact people with a once-a-month newsletter, they’ll most likely forget who you are or why they signed up in the first place. Subscribers will stop opening your emails or unsubscribe.
It’s a disservice to your audience if you don’t contact them at least once a week. Many people email several times a week … even daily.
Keeping up with mailing your list is a powerful way to build your “writing muscles.” Every week, you get practice:
- Brainstorming ideas …
- Creating a unique “hook” or “angle” …
- Writing the rough draft …
- And, publishing your content.
When you write every day, you improve your writing skills. This is good for you, but it also helps you help your clients.
When you write for a specific purpose every week, you get a lot of practice explaining what you do and creating content around a specific topic.
When you do ongoing work for a client, you’ll write about the same theme or topic – such as jewelry, health supplements, software, etc. – again and again.
These may be different projects, like case studies, blog posts, or websites … but they’re all around the same topic. When you niche your services, this becomes even more likely.
By writing for yourself, you train your brain to constantly be looking for new ways to talk about the same topics, and this develops your writing skills.
It can be difficult to write every day. But, when you have a list, you have the incentive to do so, because you need to create an engaging email for your list.
The List as Time Management Tool
One of the hardest parts about running your own copywriting business (and it is a business) is time management. You have to work for your clients, create invoices, do research, find clients … the list goes on and on.
That’s a lot of tasks.
Often, your own marketing gets shoved to the back of the line.
When you make a commitment to your readers and yourself that you’ll create at least a weekly email, you’re building in time for your marketing.
You know, each week, no matter what, your new email needs to go out. Treat this task as a client task. Don’t push it to the side. Don’t let other tasks fill this time. Your email needs to go out every week.
This allows you to make the time to tend to your own marketing.
It will give you practice in deciding:
- How long you need to create content …
- How long the research will take …
- How long it will take to put the email into a system …
- How long you need to edit …
- And, much more.
This also gives you insight into what your clients face when being consistent with their marketing.
I know I’ve run across several clients who need to be consistent. As an outsider I can see this. If they publish a blog post once a month or make random social media posts, I know those efforts aren’t as helpful as they would be if they were done consistently. I also know the struggle and can show them empathy and offer solutions.
The List as Content Library
You’re creating new content every week for your list. It doesn’t matter if you have one reader (Hi mom!) or 1,000 readers. You want to send out valuable information in your emails.
Each week, you’ll have something new. And, this is the start of your content library.
Often, as freelance writers, we find it difficult to create our own marketing.
The beauty of creating a weekly email is you’ll be able to get into a rhythm.
Most likely, you’ll find the emails will get easier to write over time.
And, after you’ve sent out four emails, you have another gift.
You have enough content to create something else!
Your emails are the basis of what I call your content library.
You can use the content you’ve created for your list to expand your online presence. You can re-purpose into social media posts, podcast topics, blog posts, featured blog posts on other people’s websites, into articles to post on LinkedIn … and that's just a short list.
Instead of needing to sit down and create all of this material from scratch, you have a starting point.
Want to start posting short, valuable insights about copywriting on social media? Grab quotes and short snippets from the emails you’ve already sent.
Want to create a blog post for someone else’s site? Combine the content of past emails around the same subject and edit them into a blog post.
Want to start appearing on podcasts, but don’t know what to talk about? Create talking points from the content you created for your emails.
All of these have one thing in common: Most of the work is already done for you.
You can re-purpose content you already created for your emails and create new marketing pieces for your own business. One piece of content, five or more uses.
The List as Authority Builder
A list will also give you an opportunity to raise awareness of what you do. It takes the average buyer 5-12 touchpoints before they’re ready to buy something.
With a weekly email, you have those five touchpoints in five weeks. But, it’s not just for one person. It’s for every person on your list. You create those needed touchpoints for many people with one message a week.
A list also allows people to get to know you. You show up in their inbox each week, which keeps you top of mind. When someone is ready to hire a copywriter, you’re easily one of the first names they think of.
You’ve been showcasing your expertise for weeks, months or years. You don’t need to convince people you understand copywriting. They already know.
People on your list aren’t likely to ask for samples or your previous conversion rates, which you may not be able to give.
Your list is also a useful resource for past clients. Ask if you can add them. Also ask anyone who has considered working with you in the past but wasn’t able to move forward at the time.
When you announce you have a new service or open slots, you can easily re-engage previous clients to get new projects.
You can use the list to showcase your abilities, as well.
It doesn’t matter if you have five readers or 500. You can use your own list as social proof. What kind of open rate do you get? What kind of click-through rate? Easily use your own stats to give social proof on calls, in contracts, in blog posts and more.
An Email List Is a Powerful Business and Marketing Tool
When you consistently email a list, you build authority with your readers. You create a time management system you can use in other areas of your business. You create a content library that will let you build other marketing materials, courses or coaching programs in the future. And, you get the chance each week to write.
A list is easy and free to set up. You can start asking people if you can “add them to the list” now and use a free tool to get started. Or, just send your weekly message to people individually, if you have only a handful of names.
Take the time to invest in yourself, your business and your future clients by starting an email list.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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