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You’re probably familiar with the saying: THE MONEY’S IN THE LIST!
The email list, that is.
As a virtual assistant mentor, and practicing Virtual Assistant and Online Business Manager myself, I have to agree (kind of).
The money is actually in the relationships you build with the humans on your list.
I’ve been writing emails to those beautiful humans for a few years now, and it’s the number one way I stay booked with clients. It’s also how I was able to launch my mentoring programs quick ‘n dirty, as my client Laura Belgray of Talking Shrimp says.
Writing emails can help you grow your business, more effectively work with a team, and boost your client experience to epic “talk about you all the time to their friends and colleagues” status.
When I’m talking about emails in this article, I’m not just talking about promotional emails. Those sales emails where you actually invite someone to become a client are very important… but today, I want to talk about the power of the emails that help potential clients say YES when you do those promotional emails.
It’s one of the easiest, low pressure ways you can keep your books filled and your business growing.
When I first started my virtual assistant business, I was already really good at customer service emails. I come from decades of customer service experience, so communicating solutions clearly, concisely, and persuasively was easy.
But when it came to writing emails to my newsletter subscribers regularly, I’d end up staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page for hours trying to think of something to say before eventually giving up and going back to my “real work”.
Of course, I knew I had to find a way to nurture my audience through email. They had signed up to hear from me after all. Not emailing them was a huge waste. A big pile of money left on the table.
So I did what any self-respecting business owner would do and paid someone else to do it.
The results were…less than stellar.
Nothing ever came back sounding like me. I always had to do major edits or complete rewrites.
The content was often useful but never interesting. And let’s face it: emails are only really useful if people open them and read them.
In the end, my open and click through rates said all I needed to hear.
No one was reading. No one cared.
So, I finally did what all my clients were telling me to do and started practicing writing and using stories in my emails. And, holy shiitakes, did things change.
I started by subscribing and reading emails from my clients (all top tier copywriters), going through their course content, and started learning little by little about writing, mostly through osmosis.
But what really changed the game was actually practicing writing. Sending emails once a week to my subscribers.
Now, I have a list of subscribers who read my emails and actually enjoy them! I know this because they respond to them. Almost every week, I get an email saying something like “I loved this email,” Thanks for addressing this topic,” or even just, “This is what I needed to hear.”
As a business owner, this helps me because it gives me insight into what my subscribers like, what they want to hear more about, and what they want me to teach them.
It also helps me because as they learn from me for free, they also get to know, like, and trust me. And that’s the magic flick of the wand that makes filling your client roster a little easier when you have an opening.
For virtual assistants, prioritizing your email list is a great way to fill your books when you have openings, and make it easier for clients to invest in higher ticket packages with you.
When you write well, and often, you’ll find it much easier to lead your team, to get to know your audience, and to find new clients when spots open up. If you’re not yet consistently practicing writing for your business, it’s time to start building a habit around it.
When you take the time to nurture your email list on a regular basis, your subscribers get a taste of what it’s like to work with you. They know how you do things, learn about your values and work ethic, meet your team members, and even get a glimpse behind the scenes of your processes and core teachings.
All that makes it so much easier to hit reply and say, “Yes!” when you send out an email that says, “I have an opening starting next month! Do you want to work with me?”
I’m still terrible at starting with a blank page. If you are, too, here are a couple ways I learned to deal with starting-from-scratch writer’s block.
I keep an ongoing list of topics I want to write about. These are topics that are interesting to my clients and help them in some way. (Hint: ask for their feedback and note what they respond to as you email them things!)
As ideas about those topics pop into my head, I add them to my doc and it turns into a little email outline over time. Then, I write from the outline!
I have a doc of fun conversation starters, and writing prompts I use to start, and keep a doc of stories from my life in there too. When I’m struggling for something to write about, I look at that list and see what jumps out at me.
I have someone on my team put together an outline or a rough draft, often from past audio or videos of me giving feedback or teaching. Then they pass it to me to add in my stories and other edits. Sometimes the draft becomes inspiration for a completely new topic and I end up rewriting it completely. Either way, it’s all in my voice, the stories are from my life, and I never have to start from a blank page!
If you don’t have a team member to help you with copy drafts, check out Liz Wilcox’s Email Marketing Membership. For $9 a month, Liz walks you through the strategy AND content of your weekly email to help you go from blank page to sent email (in your voice with your stories!) in half an hour.
Check out Tarzan Kay’s Email Stars program. It typically opens twice a year and covers all the emails you need for your business. It even has a full library of swipe files so you never have to start from a blank page.
If you want to build a relationship with your subscribers that leads to clients and regular pings from the old Stripe account, Email Stars is the perfect place to start.
Yes, I am an affiliate and get thank you money if you join through me. You also get my exclusive bonuses.