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Have you recently ghosted your email list? This is a safe space, you can tell me. 😉 Listen, it happens—no need to panic! I’ve created a 3 part email sequence series to win back that click. I’m sharing email copywriting tips along with email newsletter content because we all know it can feel strange trying to slide back into our audience’s email… especially after we’ve ghosted them!

By the end of this post, you’ll have an email marketing & email copywriting strategy to build back trust with your audience and let them know why they signed up to be on your email list in the first place. It’s time to REVIVE your email list!

Let’s jump in!

⬇️While you’re here, don’t forget to click here of below for your freebie: 42 subject line party starter templates! ⬇️

email subject line swipe file-ashlyn writes


No. 1

3 Part Email Newsletter Sequence

I want you to use a clean and organized three-part email sequence funnel, which I’m gonna call these *really* silly descriptors—you’ll see why.

#1 The Not-Cousin-Eddie

#2 The Oprah

#3The Gatsby Email

Okay, here is my overall philosophy on emailing your list if it is been awhile—don’t make it weird. Picture “Christmas Vacation”. If you’ve seen the movie, then you know Cousin Eddie. He’s the weird comedic relief, uncle character in the movie. He barges in, a little bit tipsy, causes all sorts of ruckus, eyebrows raise. He leaves the family wondering, “Who is this guy? How are we related again?” I don’t want you to be that, zooming back into inboxes, making it weird, giving them the feeling of “when did I sign up for this person’s emails?”. So this is how we are going to make sure that doesn’t happen!

“The Not-Cousin-Eddie”—that’s a very quick “who I am again” email. We’re gonna give them some killer value and give them an out if they’re really not interested.

Battle Title GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

“The Oprah email”— We’re gonna give them your absolute best, things that you’re consuming lately, tools that you’re loving. It’s like inviting them to come and sit on the couch with you for a minute.

“The Gatsby”— We’re gonna toast to them. Give them a free invitation, a coupon code, free shipping, something to express your gratitude for them. They stuck with you.

Leonardo Dicaprio GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Okay, now you know the three emails that I want you to have in this sequence. My next tip is number two, I want you to keep your explanation short and sweet.

<< Related: Write Better Newsletters: 5 Ways to Get People to Read Your Emails >>

 

No. 2

Keep your Explanation Short and Sweet

So basically, we don’t wanna over-explain why you’ve been MIA, and I’m gonna give you an email copywriting swipe for this. The other week I was at my friend Amber’s event, the Blooming Grove Live, and I was leading a round table discussion. People are coming up to my table and asking all sorts of email copywriting questions, and this one came up a lot which is why I was excited to share about it. What I told them is in this campaign, in this email sequence, you don’t want to over-explain and apologize for why you’ve been MIA. We’ve got to flip things and help them understand what’s the value for them. That’s rule number one in copywriting is everybody’s reading things, thinking “Okay, but what’s in this for me?”

So like I said, I wanna give you a little copy swipe template that you can use.⬇️

email copy swipe file-ashlynwrites

This is about how long this should be. You’ll see it’s pretty short and sweet.

This is The Copy Party Starter. If you’re a service provider, a great way that you can frame this is, these are some of the tools and resources that you’ve created for your clients. You wanted to bring them to your subscribers as well. And so, *zhuszch*, change them a little bit because they’re not deliverables. But you can give them those kind of tools.

Maybe give them a VIP seat, let them understand what it would be like to be a client of yours. This can also subtly seed. People do pay you for what you do. In this email, our overall goal is not being weird and we just want to come in with lots of value and remind them why you’re there.

I also recommend letting them know you’re gonna offering up some kind of sweet deal or offer like extending a friendship bracelet to them in the coming days. And that would absolutely remind them what they signed up to hear from you about. So, you’re the “what” girl or guy for them.

The Parent Trap GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

You may also need to include a PS in this email that points them back to their original freebie or download or opt in that they use to get on this list if it’s been a while.

Overall here, keep that copy minimal because the goal is for them to actually use the resources and the tools that you’re sending along.

<< Related: How to Write Better Emails: My PROVEN Email Newsletter Formula >


No. 3

Make Unsubscribing Super Obvious

Tip number three, make unsubscribing super-duper obvious. If unsubscribing is hard to find, that will just tick people off—you will not be making any friends that way. It definitely needs to be in the footer copy of any email that you send out to adhere to CAN-SPAM law.

I’ve found in an email sequence like this, when it’s been a minute, it can even be that much more of an olive branch extension if you put it right there in the body copy of the email saying “if you don’t want to hear it from me anymore, click here to unsubscribe”. Same link as the one in the footer.

Okay, quick recap so far:

☑️ You know your three-part email sequence

☑️ You have that first email short and sweet with a roundup of useful tools or content that you’ve created.

☑️ You’ve made that unsubscribe link very clear for them.

Next up: Reinforce your value.


No. 4

Last Email: Reinforce You are Valuable

We’re talking about emails two and three in this series. More gifts, more presents. Like Oprah invites people to come sit on her couch or like she did when the TV show is on, that’s what we’re doing in email, too—it’s more intimate. 

Make sure in this email, they’ve definitely connected the dots and understand that this point who you are and why they first started subscribing to you. The rest of the email, just share really valuable tools, resources you’ve enjoyed lately, or tools or things that are on your desk right now. You can mix your stuff in there, but let’s think about it. >>>

That first email, you are shilling your links and content that you’ve created. And then the last email of this series, we’re gonna be doing that, too. So here is your break to talk up other businesses or tools on your desk. Yes, you can throw in some links to things that you have done, but we want to help reinforce the idea that you just share killer content—you don’t care where it comes from. You’re gonna be valuable in their inbox no. matter. what.

<< Related:9 Strategic Ways to Send Better Emails to Your List >>

There is a section in Anne Handley’s weekly fortnight email that I love. She just shares stuff she’s enjoying, and it is always helpful for me. She’s a writer, I’m a writer. That’s why I’m on her list. But that’s what I mean. I’m gonna put up a little example of a recent email from her, but this is the kind of content I’m talking about. So valuable.

Then for the final email, like I said, you’re gonna get back in the saddle of selling your own stuff or reminding them that you do what you do for a price. I’m calling it The Gatsby though ’cause we’re essentially channeling this GIF >>

Leonardo Dicaprio GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I want you to just serve it up complimentary. 

Maybe you wanna do that with a coupon code or free shipping. You wanna invite them to a masterclass or something completely on the house or give them a massive discount to one of your products. Really trying to soften the blow of completely ghosting them for a while. Now we’re trying to slide back in with regular content, and there you go.

Those three emails have reminded them of what you do and what your value is. And now you can add them back onto your regular weekly or bi-weekly or monthly newsletter campaign.

**But, here is the kicker. You can’t forget again. You’ve already forgotten once. Sooooo, don’t do it twice. They will lose trust with you.**


No. 5

Don’t worry about unsubscribes

Tip number five, don’t worry about unsubscribes. You are gonna get unsubscribes on a campaign like this. If you get weird about that number, then reframe it in your head. No, it doesn’t always mean people hate you. It may just mean they’re in a different stage in their customer or client life cycle than they were when they first signed up for emails from you.

Maybe they needed your content at that time in their life, and they are just not there anymore. They’re in a different phase and they don’t need this type of value and content in their lives. That’s okay.

<< Related:6 Steps to Clean Up Your Email List Subscribers >>

I talk about cleaning up your list a lot. Otherwise, it’s just dead weight. So, it’s okay. I meant it when I said you actually need to keep showing up though if you do this once because we want them to now trust you that you said you’re gonna show up, and you’re gonna show up. So be sure to watch this video that I have right here, I’m taking you through an entire year’s worth of email marketing ideas you can use. 


Okay, there you go. Put on your best pump-up jam, crank out this series, or just swipe from The Copy Bar shop our template for this. You can for your own business and *zhuszch* for  your own brand voice. Bottom line, don’t worry if it’s been a hot minute since you’ve sent out an email newsletter to your email list. Follow this tips and strategies I talked through in today’s video to win back that click from your audience. Comment below with any questions that you may have as well. If you need help analyzing your email metrics after you get this campaign out, be sure to watch this video I’ve got teed up for you next!


email subject iine swipe file-ashlynwrites

Reading Time: 7 Minutes Have you recently ghosted your email list? This is a safe space, you can tell me. 😉 Listen, it happens—no need to panic! I’ve created a 3 part email sequence series to win back that click. I’m sharing email copywriting tips along with email newsletter content because we all know it can feel strange trying […]

5 email metrics to track-ashlyn writes blog

True life: I’m an email marketing copywriter, which means I love digital marketing, but I also am obsessed with my privacy and my data online—it’s a weird life. 😉 Apple and iOS have some privacy updates that are coming down the pipeline, which, yay, when we have our consumer hat on, but *cringe* for our email metrics. These changes will directly affect the email metrics that you’re measuring in your creative small business, as you use email marketing. Soooo let’s talk about it.

5 Email Metrics You NEED to Track- Ashlyn Writes Blog

Now when you first hop in and look at your email marketing analytics, you may get a *little* bit overwhelmed with all of the geeky vocab flying around in there, but I wanna break it down and make it as simple as possible for you to track and figure out what to look at. I want to set you up so that your email marketing is on track for success.

By the end of this post, you’ll learn what email marketing metrics actually matter and the ones that I don’t really care about. Plus, since we are on the cusp of that new iOS update, I’m gonna give you my opinion on what things to actually change up and how you can prep best for it.

So today we are talking through these 5 email metrics:

  1. Open rate (explain what open rate means)
  2. Click through rate
  3. Unsubscribe rate
  4. Conversion rate
  5. List growth rate

If you’re working through this and  you want to grab some email subject line swipe files, don’t forget to click here or down below for a link to my 42 Plug-And-Play Email Subject Line Templates!⬇️⬇️



Email Metric No. 1| Open Rate

Come out of the gate here and give me the big secret. I’ve talked about this in some other videos, you want to make your subject line, which is what your open rate is kind of dependent on— you want to make that obsolete. Instead, I am far more concerned about how I and how my copywriting clients can build that know, like, trust factor so much that when a reader sees your name in the inbox, it’s no question, they absolutely click open—they want to hear from YOU.

Now, here’s why that matters more than ever. Apple has recently unveiled some of the features that the iOS 15 update will have. For many of us working here in the digital marketing and email marketing space, some of these features are a little bit, *shall we say* not so fabulous. Like I said, I love privacy as a consumer, but it’s gonna hurt the way we track email metrics and that’s okay, we just have to prep for it.

As it is, open rate is a super inaccurate email metric. Think about things like unroll.me. If you use a tool like that, that screws things up because essentially to track an open rate, here’s what happens. An email service provider embeds an invisible pixel in each email. And that email goes out if the email is opened and the image is displayed, tracking information to sit back and recorded as an open, sounds great in theory, but it’s simply not reliable.

5 Email Metrics You NEED to Track-ashlyn writes blog

From far away, it’s okay. But up close, it’s a big, old mess.

I’m telling you all this because I don’t want you to freak out so much about your open rate. We’re gonna get into what you actually should worry so much about later on. If email open rates were that imperative for us to look at in the future.

<< Related:45 Swipeable Email Marketing Ideas Your Subscribers Will LOVE >>

Now with this update, according to tactical.co, with this feature, you are not gonna be able to tell what recipients are using iOS 15 devices when they open the emails and open rates are important for tracking the success in most email marketing campaigns, at least a lot of us look at it that way. Furthermore, this is my favorite part of the article, it’s the metric that most marketers use when cleaning your lists. I mean, if you’ve cleaned your list before, this is probably something you’ve looked at, who’s actually opening your emails?

How can you prep best for this update? Well, today, go ahead and put it on your calendar for this week or next. I want you to go ahead and clean your list. We’ve talked about how to do that in some of my other videos—this is paramount for you to go ahead and do— you should be cleaning your list regularly anyway.


Email Metric No. 2| Click-through Rate

This is surprise, surprise,  the number of people that after that email is open, click the hyperlink that you have inside your email, where you want people to go.

For example, when I send out my weekly dog-ear newsletter, I include the main link that I want them to go to three different times—that’s the same hyperlink, three times.

I’m gonna put it once above the fold. So for people on mobile devices, it’s there at the ready. I’m usually going to link some sort of either an image or a button. And then I’ll also probably hyperlink an entire sentence.

<< Related:How to Write Better Emails: My PROVEN Email Newsletter Formula >>

That percentage of people who click the link, that forms the click through rate, that is always the metric that I’m way more concerned about than the open rate. While industry standard varies from industry to industry, a whopping 2% is kind of the overall average—that’s something to think about as you’re looking at your metrics.

I harp on it with my team when we’re going through and crafting different campaigns for our copywriting clients. One thing you could always do is remember that each email has one goal, essentially one CTA. Now there’s variance there. I’m gonna change it up sometimes, but overall, I have one goal and one big call to action or a link that I’m driving to in every single email.  Sometimes you’ll send out roundups, but by and large, go with that rule.

5 Email Metrics You NEED to Track-ashlyn writes blog

Another tip, and I talked about this when I did a video all about your subject line, you would think that your subject line has more of an effect on your open rate, but weirdly enough, it actually has more of an effect on your click through rate. 

Another way to say that is your click-through rate can change depending on how powerful and strong your subject line is.

Think about it as when they see your subject line, that is priming them for what they’re gonna see as whatever they should click on in the body of your email—that priming is very important.

A little mathlete note to mention here for you to remember—your open rate and your click through rate are going to naturally decrease as your email list grows. That’s just how math works. That can be helpful to keep in mind as you’re hearing maybe how peers are doing in the industry or those metrics can be different depending on somebody who has 100,000 person list and somebody who has 100 people or 1000 people on their email list.

Go ahead and let me know in the comments below, does that 2% industry standard click-through rate number surprise you or does it make you feel good? Is that a little bit more on track to what you are seeing in your email marketing platform? I’d love to know. 🙂

<< Related A How-To Guide For Tracking Metrics That Matter >>


Email Metric No. 3| Unsubscribe Rate

Hot take here, but I don’t care about this from that much. I’ll tell you in just a sec what I’m more concerned about, but I would always rather, whether it’s social media metrics or email marketing metrics, I would rather have a smaller list of more loyal people who are tuned into what I wanna say and wanna be there and don’t mind me pitching and selling from time to time, than a broad list of people.

<< Related: Write Better Newsletters: 5 Ways to Get People to Read Your Emails >>

I have a friend who logs into her email marketing platform and puts her hand over the unsubscribe number until she gets to where she wants to. I personally look at it, but I don’t worry about it that much, because I’m more concerned about what I’ll tell you in #5.

Bird Box Horror GIF by NETFLIX - Find & Share on GIPHY

Okay we’ve talked through these email metrics so far: open rate, click through rate, and unsubscribe rate. The next email metric we’re concerned about is the conversion rate—you knew I was gonna say this one. 😉


Email Metric No. 4| Conversion Rate

This is what happens when they get on the other side of that link that they clicked in your email. Do they actually convert? Do they do what you wanted them to do? Did they go to the shop page and buy the template? Did they click through to the sales page and actually purchase your offer? Did they click through to the reg page and sign up for whatever challenge or webinar hype piece you have going for your launch?

If you follow my Quarterly Champagne Campaign system that I teach inside Prime to Launch, which essentially, is setting up your business to do FOUR big launches a year. Then when you’re in one of those launch seasons, this is when you start to measure for that metric. Your typical weekly newsletter probably isn’t gonna be as concerned about converting because we’re starting to, in those weekly newsletters tackle those objections and start to prime for your offer. We’re not concerned yet about converting to the sale, but when I’m in pre-launch for that hype piece phase, then I’m worried about this.

5 Email Metrics You NEED to Track-ashlyn writes blog

Now in a recent video I walked through and basically gave you a screenshot-able example of what your email funnel could look like for a say, evergreen webinar launch, that may help you. I’ve also talked about conversion rates, borderline ad nauseum in this video, I will link that in the description box.

Here’s my final little soap box moment—watching is a numbers game. I know I’ve said that before here. I’m gonna say it again. I tend to see students in clients be a little surprised that conversion rates are just by and large, lower than maybe what they were expecting. And that’s like most math, most numbers. That’s not for us to judge. It’s just something for us to keep in mind as we build our lists. As we grow for our traffic, leading into a pre-launch for a launch phase, you got to do that backwards math and figure out if this is the goal that you wanna sell, how much traffic do we need to go into that funnel?


Email Metric No. 5| List Growth Rate

All right, and the last email metric is number five, list growth rate. Okay, I told you I’m not as concerned about the unsubscribes. What I am concerned about is this though, this is essentially the over-under of how much our email list grew in a single week, new subscribers minus the unsubscribers or the balances. What you wanna track here is your email list growth and attrition, either a week over week or a month over month, quarter over quarter, basically, are you adding more email addresses every single month than you lose through your unsubscribes and your hard bounces.

You want to make sure you’re tracking all of these email metrics when it comes to your email list.

I want you to get ready for that iOS update. And I want you to just map these things at least quarterly in your business. Again, that’s open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribes conversion rate and the overall list growth rate. These provides such valuable information, and they’re gonna help guide you in the direction that you need to go for your email marketing fabulousness in your business.


If you’ve got any questions about the emal metrics I covered today, as always, make sure that you leave them in the comments below and be sure to check out the video —I’m showing you all about how to craft a sales and a launch sequence for the upcoming, big marketing campaign you’ve got in your creative business. Here’s to working from a place of more rest, less hustle, and I’ll see you in the next one.

⬇️ Don’t forget to click here or down below to grab your FREEBIE:  my 42 Plug-And-Play Email Subject Line Templates! ⬇️


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5 Email Metrics You NEED to Track- Ashlyn Writes Blog

Reading Time: 9 Minutes True life: I’m an email marketing copywriter, which means I love digital marketing, but I also am obsessed with my privacy and my data online—it’s a weird life. 😉 Apple and iOS have some privacy updates that are coming down the pipeline, which, yay, when we have our consumer hat on, but *cringe* for our […]

Let’s talk about how to write emails for your next big launch. If you’ve ever cracked your knuckles and prepped to write a launch email sequence for your business’ next offer, be that a group coaching program, a new collection, a brand new course you just dreamed up, a workshop, a flash sale, whatever it is, and you’ve thought, okay, exactly how does this email copywriting thing go for my launch???

Well then, you’re in the right place, get your Lisa Frank school supplies ready, that’s exactly what I’m covering today.

By the end of this post you’ll learn:

  1. How to quickly and easily get started writing your launch email sequence.
  2. Exactly WHAT content ideas to cover in that launch email sequence.
  3. The Anatomy of a Launch

With that, let’s dive into your launch email copywriting strategy.

⬇️ Don’t forget to click here or down below to grab my FREE 42 Email Subject Lines Swipe File download! ⬇️

Email Subject Line Freebie Download



No. 1| How to Quickly & Easily Start Writing Your Launch Email Sequence.

Ok, I want to show you what landed in our email inbox recently—girlfriend had a 70K+ launch of her first launch of a product using our templates.We are going to walk through some of the things that we talked through on our coaching calls because this is what I want for you as well!

First up, how to get started writing your launch email sequence.

Okay, so this is something that I didn’t realize I do as a conversion copywriter until I had done multiple day rates and realized I was starting here every single time. I realized to expedite the whole process of a launch copywriting strategy, I would actually start the entire launch messaging process on the sales page, and on the sales page, I would start about a half to one third down on the page where I’m introducing the offer.

(By the way, I did a recent video where I talk through day rates, how I structure them, how I conduct a VIP day rate. Whether you’re a copywriter or whatever you do in your business, you may find that helpful. )

If you are familiar with my Sweet 16 method which, again, I’ve discussed in multiple videos, boom, there you go, I want you to start at that point in the page.

I tell anybody who’s writing their own messaging for a launch campaign or a promo period to start with actually writing ABOUT the offer because it forces you to do a few things—>

  • You have to get ultra-specific on what the product is, how it’s packaged, what those features and benefits are, etc
  • Then when you zoom back to write all the persuasive copy, think all of the copy that’s at the top of that services page or that sales page or maybe even on the home page of your website. I promise you that those desires, the pain points, the thing that you’re reminding them that they really want is so much easier to write when you have an ultra firm grasp of the thing itself, you’ve been living and breathing what the product is. 

So how do you kick off writing your launch emails? You start by writing the offer page first. 

Also, listen, grifters gonna grift. This helps you get back to basics and rework through why—especially if you’re the one that created this—why you created it, what it is, the results it’s gotten people.

I promise you, once you steep in the testimonials and the proof points of people that have been through this experience, or they have very kind words to say about whatever it is you’re offering, it’s a lot easier to turn around and sell that when you know that the product and the proof behind it is honest.

how to write launch emails—ashlyn writes

Here’s another pro copywriting tip: I spend about an hour to an hour and a half on every launch email that I’m writing, when I’m writing from scratch for a new launch campaign. That customer from earlier said that that was really helpful for her to hear that’s about how long I spend on emails, so I’m telling that to you as well. She actually used some templates from our shop and then she set a timer, told herself she could only spend an hour to an hour and a half zhuzhing each launch email and kind of writing it with her style and her brand voice.

Now, this is not an infomercial, but I do always wanna make things easier for you. I feel very firmly and strongly in the fact that you should not hire out all of the messaging components of a launch your first time out of the gate because you’re still trying to test proof of product. So if that’s you, be sure to check out the shop, I’ve got a sales page template in there, I’ve got some launch email templates for you to grab and go with because it is very paramount that you spend some time digging in and making sure that you understand this product like the back of your hand. You’re trying to get some lift off here, and then from there, once you’ve got the funds to invest back in the funnel because you’ve seen the proof of the product, you can do that. You can hire out copywriting if that makes it easier for you—that’s just my hot take.;)

<< Related: How to Build Your Email List BEFORE You Launch >>

Here’s your takeaway tip—make sure BEFORE you write any emails for this promo period in your business that you’re spending time really making sure you understand what I call the onlyness factor, the UVP, the USP of this offer. Again, maybe it’s a new collection. Maybe it’s a new course, a mastermind, or a workshop. I want you to drill down and make sure that you’re able to tell me WHY you’re offering this and WHY it’s different from anything else out there.

Okay, now I’ve covered how to quickly and easily get started writing the entire launch email sequence. Let’s talk about what you actually say in those launch emails—the content ideas!


No. 2| How long should it be? Let’s talk through the Anatomy of a Launch Campaign.

I get asked a lot—”how many emails do you have after the webinar or the challenge or whatever it is??”—that’s what we’re gonna cover here in this point. I’m introducing to you the Anatomy of a Launch Email Sequence. 

Okay, if you’ve been around here for a second you’ve heard me say this before, but “launch” is just a sexy word for a marketing promo period, a campaign, a vehicle that you’re using to make some noise, make a big stink about something that you have in your business.

The way I see it, you should have about four big ones of these every year—past that, it gets exhausting.

These big ones, you’re going to choose a hype piece to be the vehicle to get that message out into the world.

Maybe it’s a webinar, a challenge, a flash sale, an in-person launch party. It’s some sort of communications thing that you can use to call people to that, and at the actual hype piece, you get to explain your offer, explain who it’s a fit for and who it’s not, and then let people decide.

<< Related: My Pre-Launch Strategy: What You Need to Have a Successful Launch  >>

After that precipice comes the falling action.  Here in the architecture or the choreography of a launch is that falling action, and this is gonna be the sales sequence. The way that I think about it, if you have to rewrite your sales sequence for every single time you launch this same thing, you’re doing it wrong because this needs to be a sustainable piece of messaging that you can reuse over time. (I’m getting into that more later.)

I wanna show you the basic anatomy of a launch campaign because I know I just threw a word salad at you. If you’re visual like me, hopefully, looking at it like this will help. We draft an email map for every launch client that we have, it’s just helpful for me to see the visuals of it.

You can take the girl out of ballet, you can’t take the ballet out of the girl, and the choreography of an entire launch is just so cool to me. So I wanna share this with you, so hopefully, you can see it.

how to write launch emails—ashlyn writes anatomy of a launch

Here’s how this breaks down:

  • Pre-launch emails that are generating and building buzz.
  • You’ve got your hype piece invitation sequence.
  • Hype piece fulfillment, delivery emails. Again, it kind of depends on what you’re using as that noisemaker for this launch.
  • Then you have the sales sequence and then you have the cart close sequence. Maybe you’re getting fancy and adding on a downsell, but that is the basic choreography of a launch funnel.

Here’s a little mockup that you could use if you’re using this for, say, an evergreen, or I think the easier word to say these days is like an on-demand webinar, I don’t have to wait for it, I can just watch it right away. Here is how I would structure that.

how to write launch emails—ashlyn writes anatomy of a launch

Okay, and again, my hot take here— I will believe this until convinced otherwise— I’ve written a whole dang lot of launches in my day, but that pre-launch sequence and then the sales sequence after that, those messages don’t need to change all that much.

The hype piece may change because, again, you may be doing something live, you may be changing that up each time, but that falling action, the sales sequence doesn’t change all that much from launch to launch. That is why I talk about it soooooo much—I *really* believe in sustainable marketing. The funnel should be able to expand and contract depending on the energy that you have to put into this offer, into this promo campaign. Maybe you’re in a period of business or life where you can’t throw everything into it, and so you’re backing off a little bit, but that bottom part of the sequence doesn’t need to be able to change all that much.

<< Related: 96 Copywriting Power Words To Increase Conversions on Your Sales Page >>

Let me throw you some examples of these so you can see it. Dustin and Nicole Hill are some fantastic clients of ours. I have love that they were able to take the email launch sequence that we wrote for their brand new course that they launched, they got it out the door once, used the same copy, reworked it very ever so slightly, used it again for a second launch. And finally, this third launch, we’re going in and updating that and writing some of the things from scratch because they’re tired, we’ve used them over and over, but they got two good launches out of that one fantastic sequence. That’s what I’m talking about.👏👏

launch email example

We have another client, her name is Emily, and she’s getting one big launch out. She knows the proof of product is there, she’s beta tested it, she gets great results from it. So now she’s taking the launch copy that we write for her and she’s turing it into an evergreen funnel after that. Again, sustainable marketing is what I wanted to pinpoint there.

Finally, we have a client named Suzy, her business is How to Handletter. What she’s doing is taking an email sequence that we’ve plugged in for her and she’s going to live launch it sometimes and she’s also gonna pull it off and evergreen it, but she’s gonna take the same bones of that email map and that structure, the anatomy of a launch I showed you.

I hope that makes sense, I just want you to kind of wrap your head around every single time you launch something and put it out there, you shouldn’t have to write brand new emails from scratch every single time. Screenshot this, I want you to see that anatomy one more time and about how many emails would go into each portion of the whole email map.


No. 3 | Launch Email Copywriting Strategy

Okay, we covered how to quickly and easily get started and where you even need to start to write your launch emails. Next up, we talked about what content should go into the launch emails—you saw some examples of those. Now it’s time to talk about your *actual* launch email copywriting strategy.

Okay, like anything in our small businesses, you wanna think about how realistic it is for you, the CEO, to actually outsource this. Or if this is something you need to marinate in and understand so you’re good enough to be dangerous before you hand it off to someone else. As a copywriter, I am definitely 150 million %% of the bent that you need to be able to make back your investment in me before you invest in me—I don’t feel comfortable taking your money otherwise.

So maybe for your first few launches, you’re using some of the tips I’m giving you, some templates, like the ones we have in our shop, whatever. You’re trying to piece together and get this off the ground so you have enough to invest back into the launch AFTER you have that proof of product and you understand that things are firing as it should be.

Think back to that testimonial I showed you of Abby at the beginning of this post, that’s what I want for you as well.

One last pro tip for you here: Don’t forget an abandoned cart sequence! We actually just added this to the shop because I think that it’s not your mama’s cart abandoned sequence anymore out there. Anybody else used to add something to their cart because you knew in like an hour, two hours, you would get a 10% or 15% off email coupon code—just me?? That’s still a thing, but I also want you to think about a cart abandoned sequence in your launch campaign—it’s something to add in, it can add a little something special.

<< Related: Planning to Launch Soon? Here&#8217;s What You NEED to Know >>


Okay, now you know exactly how to get started crafting your email launch campaign sequence. But what about the long-form work with me or services page that that promo period may be driving to? I’ve got a how-to video all about writing copy for that page teed up for you next so you can watch that. The Copy Bar is there for you if you need some of these templates plug and play to get your next launch off the ground. I’m so excited to see what you put out there.

Here’s to working from a place of more rest, less hustle, and I’ll see you in the next one!

⬇️ Don’t forget to click here or down below to grab my FREE 42 Email Subject Lines Swipe File download! ⬇️


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how to write launch emails—ashlyn writes anatomy of a launch

Reading Time: 10 Minutes Let’s talk about how to write emails for your next big launch. If you’ve ever cracked your knuckles and prepped to write a launch email sequence for your business’ next offer, be that a group coaching program, a new collection, a brand new course you just dreamed up, a workshop, a flash sale, whatever it […]

All the words to describe your “why” that can’t just live tucked on a shelf somewhere in your brain—they need to go on paper, as part of the “mood board” for your words.

^^ That’s your brand positioning messaging, and a big part of that? Your core values.

Let’s better articulate ~your why~ into words by defining core values, sound good?

How to write your core values | Ashlyn Writes

You focus a lot on your “branding” on the visuals—logo, color palette, mood board …

… all important, as visuals are the medium that relay up to 90% of messages to our brain.

BUT, do you have a mood board for the WORDS you’re using to market your business?

I work with thousands of creative small business owners. And out of the gate, I notice that most of us haven’t defined this on paper, for many different reasons … but chiefly because we start out as a team of one and it feel like we don’t need to … by the time hiring a VA, a this-and-that manager, a this-and-that strategist starts … we’re too busy doing the work of the freak show (I say that with so much love) that entrepreneurship is, that writing brand messaging & core values is—meh—at the bottom of the lsit.

In this post, I’m unpacking this part of the brand message you need to have in place before you write conversion copy for your website.

You’ll learn:

  • What exactly the whole “brand positioning” thing IS
  • 6 examples of core values from other businesses
  • 5 steps to writing your own core values
  • 7 things to make sure your core values are *not*

 

As you inch closer to writing your own website words, you may need today’s freebie to help you out a bit. Click below to grab your Google Docs Website Copywriting mini-template!


VIDEO


What are core values?

Like I said above, core values are part of a bigger piece of messaging—your brand positioning.

And when you have core values that align and drive your business (whether it’s just you or a tiny team), things are CLEAR.

But when you don’t?

Well … that’ll become clear, too. 😜

Your core values are a small set of timeless guiding principles you’ll use to be the north star as you grow, make decisions, build a culture (even if you’re just a solopreneur) and hire/choose which contractors to outsource to.

BUT.

You cannot just Harry Potter-wand ~conjure~ your core values—you can only discover the ones that are already there.

In Traction, Gino Wickman says “core values already exist within your organization—they’ve just been lost in the day to day chaos.”

“Core Values already exist within your organization-they've just been lost in the day to day chaos.” -Gino Wickman Click To Tweet

Another way to say it?

Core values are simply “the way we do things around here.”

To pull another quote, Jim Collins says “Executives often ask me, ‘How do we get people to share our core values?’ You don’t. Instead, the task is to find people who are already predisposed to sharing your core values. You must attract and then retain these people and let those who aren’t predisposed to sharing your core values go elsewhere.”

So that’s a relief, yeah? You already have them floating around!

It’s now your job to catch them … and put them on paper.


Examples of Core Values

I pulled a round-up from some other businesses to give you a start of how your core values may look.

For the record, I like memorizeable things. Thus, 5 core values is what *my* opinion is should be your max. <<< Maybe I just suck at memorization (TBH, I kinda do), but if you’re not able to spout them out quickly, woof. That’s the point.

Don’t have more core values than you can memorize.

Atlanta Tech Village’s core values:

 Atlanta Tech Village

Jackson Spalding’s core values (note: this is the full-service communications firm I worked for and adored—we each had a framed copy of the values on our desk, which I LOVED!)

Jackson Spalding

Barnes & Noble Booksellers core values:

Customer Service
Quality
Empathy
Respect
Integrity
Responsibility
Teamwork

American Express’s core values:

Basecamp’s core values:

Whole Food’s core values:

Selling the highest quality natural and organic products available
Satisfying and delighting our customers
Supporting team member excellence and happiness
Creating wealth through profits and growth
Caring about our communities and our environment
Creating ongoing win-win partnerships with our suppliers
Promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education


4 Steps to Writing Your Own Core Values

Step  01: Start with “why,” as they say.

First, be dedicated to the concept of starting with ~why~ … it’s  concept I mentioned early: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Watch Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” TEDTalk. I know it’s in the creativepreneur starter kit, but watch it once again.

How to write your core values for your small business | Ashlyn Writes

Just like we said at the beginning, the important thing to realize is that YOUR CORE VALUES ARE ALREADY THERE, we just have to name them.


Step 02: Have a “values storm” session.

Next, pull out a blank sheet of paper and have a “values storm” brainstorm session so to speak. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and pull out a piece of paper. Until the timer dings, WRITE & answer these questions (psst—if you have a team, make everyone do this separately. You’ll have different answers, but that’s the point):

  • What values do you personally cling to? Believe in firmly?
  • Why did you decide to go into business—what did you want to change?
  • What’s ONE value you want every team hire (or contractor you look to for outsourcing) to share?
  • What’s something your business would NEVER do?
  • What ticks you the heck off?
  • ^^^ And related to that, what’s the deeper meaning behind why that makes you angry?

Didya fill up that blank page?

Side note: If you’ve already served clients and customers for a while, when you start to think about how to write core values for your business, it may be helpful to first think about what comes out MOST boldly during dire straights or sticky client situations. i.e. When you hit bumpy waters serving clients and customers, WHY did that get bumpy? What values were at stake??

“The brand’s values should be so strong and so clear … that behavior on social media that doesn’t reflect the brand would be completely out of character,” one of my favorite digital media experts Kevin Sandlin says.

So, what are the guns you stick to?


Step 03: Vet other sources.

Ok, we ransacked your brain for values nuggets.

And your team, if you have one.

Now, let’s flesh out your own ideas with supporting evidence that rings true for you.

Here’s how you can do that:

First, look through your Pinterest feed. Are there quotes that hit ya hard stuck on a Pinterest board of quotes? Jot those down.

AshlynWrites_PinterestGIF

Next, what about your saved Instagram posts? Your screenshot folder in your iPhone (or wherever you corral memorable quips)?

Third, Gino Wickman recommends naming 3 people you admire & jotting down characteristics they embody.

I freaking love this.

Traction_Giphy

 

If you have a team, think about 3 members of your team. But if you’re riding solo, think about those you emulate: What leadership traits do your mentors or coaches have? They’re psuedo extended team members, paid or not, and you can use them as a reference point.

Finally, let’s look at personality tests. Beyond Buzzfeed, have you ever had one you were like, FRICK YES, THAT IS SO ME? I definitely have. 😉 So, let’s vet those for ideas: Be it Strengths Finder (my favorite!), Myers-Briggs, or even the Ashlyn Writes “What’s Your Selling Style” quiz (was that shameless enough for you?), if there’s a test that’s been particularly helpful for your personal development, grab your results and see what some of your leadership traits are. Phrases there can make great core values.


Step 04: Sore into buckets, and trim down to as many as you can memorize.

When we’re working with students inside Copywriting for Creatives, the next step I recommend is we sort into buckets. Your core values are SOMEWHERE in this long list you created in steps 1-3.

So, start to piece bits and pieces together. String phrases into words. Combine things that are alike. Strike through stuff that’s good, but not great

Which values are similar-ish enough that you can group them together?

Pull the BEST way to say that out as the bucket name (which will likely become the core value).

Then, trim your ideas down to a list you can memorize. There’s no set number … but like I said above, 5 is a good place to park. 

Gut check this final list you have: are they clear, bite-size, and easily understood? Memorable? Like, literally, can you memorize them (if not, REWORK them)?

Sleep on this initial draft for a week or so, tweak, and put them on a sticky note near your laptop. Something may come up you’ve forgotten, or a certain work situation will remind you of a value so deep down in your being you forgot to list it.

Taking a page from Einstein’s “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” quote, mine are fairly close to how I operate with personal core values—that may be helpful too, if you’re a creative entrepreneur.


Finally, remember this: if your values only live on paper, it’s just an out-of-touch wish list.

“Executives spend too much time drafting, wordsmithing, and redrafting vision statements, mission statements, values statements, purpose statements, aspiration statements, and so on.

They spend nowhere near enough time trying to align their organizations with the values and visions already in place.”

– Jim Collins

Now you can use your core values to

  • Attract the right customers/clients, contractors, & teammates
  • Train anyone you’re outsourcing to or hiring
  • Review (and or hire/let go) anyone on your team

What is one core value YOU would have in your creative small business? Tell me in the comments below!


How to write your core values for your small business | Ashlyn Writes

Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Core values may be my very favorite part of the branding process! They’re the canvas for all the brand painting you’ll do. But how do you pull them together, and what do they look like? Taking a page from Einstein’s “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” quote, mine are easy-peasy, and I’d love to teach you five steps to write your own.

If you’ve ever wondered how to writes a work-with-me page or a great services page, you’re in the right place. In this post, I’m breaking down how to explain what you do for your paid services in a way that brings all your potential clients to the yard. 😉  Hit like if this page on your website needs to be refreshed or rewritten or written from scratch, and let’s get going.

This is the final part in a three-part series where I’m talking through some things you can do to get your business up off the ground or breathe fresh life into it. You can open up another tab and catch up on the other two here!

I’m also starting another series on email marketing copywriting—if you don’t wanna miss that, then click the subscribe button on my YouTube channel so you’ll be in the loop to know when they drop next Thursday.

How to Write Your Work With Me Page - Ashlyn Writes Blog

Plus, read until the end—I’m giving you a lightning round of do’s and don’ts of things that you should and shouldn’t do on your work-with-me page. This comes after drafting dozens of them for the clients in the agency side of my business and then, seeing students put into work these. These are things that I have caught and edited during copy chiefing sessions—it’s yours for the taking.

Let’s jump in!

BTW, I was feeling a *little* bit extra and made a worksheet just for this post—it’s the Work-With-Me Page Worksheet (very creatively named;)

Click here or down below to grab your FREE Work-With-Me Worksheet!

 

No. 1

The Basic Framework

Okay, so let’s start with an outline of what you need to write. The goal of your services page or your work-with-me page is to get them to the next step in the funnel. I talked about the basic funnel in the first video in this series that I would create if I was starting my business from absolute scratch today. I’m gonna say that whole “get them to the next step” probably a million more times, I start by telling you WHY I came up with the 16 elements that you need to have on this page, which I’m also about to tell you.

A quick story about how I even came up with the 16 elements I’m about to show you.

When I first started my business and left corporate marketing, I essentially had two businesses under one roof. I was continuing my moonlight gig as a wedding calligrapher and stationer, but I was also beginning to offer brand messaging website and launch copywriting as a conversion copywriter. So both of these services I’m shilling out under one roof. The more I learned about copywriting and the more that I was applying what I knew from corporate marketing, but then what I was learning as I was selling to more of a creative market, I started to develop this. One day, light bulb, why am I not using this formula that I’ve come up with over on the calligraphy side of my business, as I’m trying to market to and sell to couples for wedding services? I wanted to see if I could better anchor my prices—wedding calligraphy isn’t cheap. You also don’t *need* it to get married.  With that, this Sweet 16 framework was born.

how to write your work with me page-awblog

You may be familiar with this Sweet 16 Sales Page Template in the shop. It’s one of our best sellers. I’ve recently released a version that is more helpful if you’re specifically only selling services and only selling a digital product or offer. And I know 16 seems like a lot, it seems long. But the beauty of this framework is that it can be accordioned out for that 5,000-word sales page. And I want you to consider shrinking it down a little bit to 500 words, a thousand words for your service.

Let’s break down the basic framework…

So these first few ones, I’ve done a video on my P-A-R-I-S framework, but essentially what we wanna do right out of the gate is start with that problem, agitate it just a little bit and remind them of what they want. Before you flash them that three or four-figure price tag, you need to demonstrate empathy and authority. We also need to make sure that we’re connecting with that aspirational identity that your ideal client wants, and you can help them get.

  • 1 | Problem-You need to demonstrate empathy and authority—AND demonstrate the aspirational identity they’re going for
  • 2 | Agitation
  • 3 | Remind them
  • 4 | Interesting Fact– I think it’s so important, now that they’ve invested in the emotional side of their thinking, we need to back that up with the rational side. So here we want to give them an interesting fact, a data point, a statistic, something that can really give them some meat of yes, you were thinking this is a good decision, but let me just show you exactly why you were onto something and absolutely is. Here’s your moment to back up what you’ve told me so far by bringing in a data point, factoid, or proof.
  • 5 | Solution– After you’ve done those four things, voila, the S, the solution. You can now introduce the offering that you’re trying to sell.
  • 6 | Social Proof Pass No. 1. — And as soon as you do that, I want you to bring in a social proof pass. This is the first one you’re gonna have on the page. A testimonial, case study, some sort of authoritative figure saying why you are trustworthy.
  • 7 | Socratic Price Anchoring & Reasoning  – Headline, Body Copy-  Or as I call it more common, the Starbucks Test. Because it is 2021, and at this point, we’ve all purchased something and somebody has sold it to us by saying, you could buy your weekly coffee at Starbucks or four coffees a month or whatever, or you could put that money over here. That concept, what they’re doing there, is price anchoring. They’re helping you understand and putting it in terms that you can start to associate with where you’re already spending your money. So I want you to have a moment on this services page, where you’re doing that same thing. You’re telling them kind of the cost of not doing business with you. What is that going to bring in their life in terms of stress or money spent elsewhere, etc.
  • 8 | The Stack– I want you to list out like a grocery store receipt, every itemized thing that they get as part of the service in working with you.
  • 9 | Call-to-Action-Now you’ve done that and you can call to action, you can have the button that says either fill out the application to work with me, contact me for your free consultation, hop on a discovery call by picking your time here, whatever it is. Remember what I said at the top of this video, the goal of this entire services page is to sell that click, okay? So many of us feel like if we can just look somebody in the eye and get to talk to them and hear what they need and explain to them what we do and how we can help them, we can sell them on what we do. The whole goal of this long page is that CTA that you’re putting right there.
  • 10 | Scarcity-And yes, there’s still scarcity if you’re a service provider. Because last time I checked, you don’t have infinite hours in the day. You need to go ahead and tell them how many of these you’re anticipating booking for the year, for the next quarter. Your spots are limited because you aren’t a superhero.
  • 11 | Social Proof Pass No. 2- Let’s chime in again, by letting somebody else sell them with words and not you, which is always great.
  • 12 | Promise-Making, Risk-Reversing Guarantee-We wanna give them some sort of promise-making, risk-reversing guarantee. What if they start to work with you and aren’t getting what they like. Or they invest all this and didn’t get what they wanted. How are you gonna come in and give them some sort of happiness guarantee, or work with them on rounds of revisions. Or whatever it is that you have in your process that helps make sure that clients walk out the door satisfied every time, mention that here.
  • 13 | Credibility– A quick line of credibility to explain why I should even trust you to do this.
  • 14 | Attract/Repel -It could be helpful to include some sort of attract or repel. How do I know if I’m a fit for this offer versus one of your other offers is better for me? Or you don’t work with people like me.
  • 15 | FAQ- Related to that, give me a section of frequently asked questions.
  • 16 | P.A.R.I.S. Framework™ & Stack Recap-And finally, the last thing is, I want you to give me that one more Hail Mary pass. I want you to give me the P-A-R-I-S formula one more time with that call to action after it. So again, you can really go for the juggler and remind me of what it is that I’m wanting and how you can help me get it.

Okay, I know that was a lot and I breezed through it. Like I said, I go into it more in-depth in that template and inside Copywriting for Creatives., but I hope this gives you a basic starter package where you can take that and apply it to your work-with-me or services page.

If I could say this to you in red flashing lights—it’s something that I think really helped me when I started my businesses—I did not adopt the mentality of being a freelancer. I looked at myself as a business owner, day one. Spelling out what you do in a page like this in that long framework, that can really help you start to see what you do as a productized service.

A Forbes writer recently wrote this, I loved it. He said that, “The gig economy is still robust, but the solo-commerce model, in which service-based industries, residential home services, caterers, professional services, all of that helps people grow easily from contractors to a solo practitioner business, to even a micro-small business and beyond.” Yeah… that’s what a lot of us do as service providers. We look at what we do as a small business.

All of that brings me to this next step. Now that we have this framework, how do you actually organize this message and copy on your work with me page?

Related: The Secret to Sales Calls That Close the Deal 

 

No. 2

How to Organize it

Okay, there are two services (work with me) page templates we keep in the arsenal on the agency side of my business, and I’m gonna walk you through those here.

#1  is what I named the “services splash page”—it’s essentially a menu of your services.

#2  is that medium to long-form services page, like I just walked you through.

Here’s this sitch, that person that is in the market to spend money on your four, maybe even five-figure service, your absolute cream of the crop offer,  ideal client, is probably not the same as Budget Betty over here who’s looking to just spend, you know, a few hundred bucks or whatever it is and get what she needs. Because of that, we have to speak to these ICAs differently. You’ve got a couple of options here.

Your first option is to have that work-with-me tab on your website. Go straight to this mid to long-form services page, where you’re outlining what it is you do. It’s probably a little bit harder to have this long form page explain multiple different packages. If you have tiers inside of a package, this could be a great way to do it. But if your offer ladder—I referenced an offer ladder that I would build out if I was starting my business again in that first video—if I’m doing that, and I’m really selling to ideal clients that are on opposite ends of the spectrum, then what I’m gonna do here is drive to what I call a services splash page. I have a menu of options available for them to pick on. That way they can compare a little bit more apples to apples. They can choose to click through on one of those CTAs and zoom straight to a mid-long form services page, where you’re really explaining what you do for the high-end offer.

how to write your work with me page-aw blog

Maybe the lower ticket version can click straight to purchase that or talk to you on the phone, or whatever it is. That way if they’re seeing a services splash page, they can choose to either click to your big service and see everything that that includes in that long-form services page. OR they can look at one of the other offerings that you’re providing if they’re, again, an ICA, that’s very different from the person that’s ready to pull out their pocketbook and their hard-earned dollar and spend.

You can let the CTAs to those smaller offers be things like, I fill out an application, or hop on a discovery call with me, or whatever it is.

Again, remember the purpose of this page is to get them to the next step in the funnel—do what it takes to get them there.

If you are going with the splash page route, absolutely include some of those P-A-R-I-S elements that I mentioned back in step one. I pulled a couple of examples here from some Copywriting for Creative students. >>>

 I have both Bethie, who provides photography services

I’ve got Tiffany, who is a PR coach.

I chose these two and wanted to show you their services pages so you can see both a B2C example and a B2B example. If you like the idea of this services splash page, and you wanna see some examples of that.

Here’s another example— this is a template that’s inside FG funnels— here is kind of how that would look. Like I said, personally, my recommendation is that absolutely you add up before they see that menu.

 

That P-A-R-I stuff, the S is the menu. We need them to know you’ve got empathy, you’ve got authority—you’re really listening to their problems before you come out and say, buy my stuff.

 

No. 3

Do’s & Don’ts

Okay finally, here’s some do’s and don’ts for your work with me page or services page.

DO give an idea of prices 

Oh my gosh, I can not say my prices on my website. I’ve talked at length about this, yes, you should. I’ve got plenty of videos where I’ve talked through this. My favorite analogy is just to imagine that you’re going to a really fancy restaurant, or for today, let’s say you’re going to a fancy spa. You’re looking at the list of options you can order. The price is beside all of them, so you feel really clear about how much you’d be spending. And then there is the offer, the offer that seems like exactly what you would want. Oh my gosh, it’s what you’re dreaming of in a spa day. And it says price upon request. Well, most people aren’t gonna get their courage up to ask. They’re just gonna pick what they know, what they can see. And that’s why you need to have your prices available on your work with me page. Because a lot of times, by not including them, people just automatically are gonna assume that they can’t afford you.

DON’T focus so far down the funnel that you forget this page has one job—get them to the next step.

All right next, don’t focus so far down the funnel that you’re not remembering what I said a lot in this video. And I’m gonna say it again, that the goal of this page is to get them to the next step in the process. Maybe you’re selling your free discovery call. Maybe you’re selling a consult call. Maybe you’re selling a free audit or even a paid audit, but very rarely are they gonna be going from this page immediately hitting that call to action button and getting to check out with their credit card for your three or four figure service. There’s likely some interaction with you, whether they’re getting that pricing guide, or a proposal from you, or hopping on the discovery call. So burn that in your mind as you draft to this page, that the goal of it is to get them to do the next right thing. Get that fish on the line.

This work-with-me page, doesn’t have to reel them all the way in. You’re gonna use some other tools to do that. A FreshBook’s study showed that 50% of respondents experienced symptoms of poor mental health for the first time this past crazy year as entrepreneurs. I think a lot of the stress that comes with being a small business owner can come from the feast or famine type mentality. I personally have a lot less stress and more confidence if I’ve got some fish on the line. People I know I’m gonna talk to you about my services.

DO also embed a brief contact form at the bottom of your work with me page.

Next step, do embed a brief contact form at the bottom of this work-with-me or services page, whether you’re doing the services splash page route, or you’ve got the long form page, and that’s all you have. Maybe they think they are a special snowflake and they don’t fit into any of your tiers or any of your offers in your offer ladder. Maybe they love them all, but now they’re just having some analysis paralysis and they don’t know which one is a fit for them where they are. So include that.

And then, also, this is a pet peeve of mine, but absolutely have some sort on your contact page of form. If you’re gonna include a form there that is separate from your application to work-with-me. I can’t stand when I go to somebody’s contact page to just reach out about whatever it is, and my only option is to act like I’m a client. And it’s asking me what date is my event, and all that kind of stuff. I just wanna say hey. I know I’m not talking about contact pages in this video, but make sure you have either your email address or you’ve evergreened out that form so it can suit other types of inquiries. But on the work-with-me page or services page, you can make that one a little bit more application modeled.

Related: Behind the Scenes: My EXACT 2021 Client Onboarding Process

DON’T set unrealistic conversion rate expectations

And finally, don’t set unrealistic conversion rate expectations. I broke down conversion rates in this video, so you can watch that. But remember, it’s still a numbers game, a traffic game. You can’t just launch to this refresh page and wait for all the calls to come in. You do need to get some traffic pushed to the page to make sure people are actually landing there. They have the option to read through what you have and decide if they’re a fit or not to go to that next step in your application funnel. That’s why I said it so many times in this video, that your goal is to really get them to the next step—that is what you’re measuring for, for the conversion rate for this page.


Now, you know how to outline your work-with-me page, but what about the branding of it all and how you can figure out why you’re different from your competitors? I’ve got all that and more teed up in this video on my YouTube channel. Comment below if you’ve got any questions—here’s to working from a place of more rest and less hustle.

⬇️Don’t forget to click here or down below to grab your freebie Work-With-Me Page Worksheet that may help you sort through this a little bit more.⬇️


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How to Write Your Work With Me Page - Ashlyn Writes Blog

Reading Time: 13 Minutes If you’ve ever wondered how to writes a work-with-me page or a great services page, you’re in the right place. In this post, I’m breaking down how to explain what you do for your paid services in a way that brings all your potential clients to the yard. 😉  Hit like if this page on […]

It’s easier than ever to start a creative small business—yay!—but now branding is one of the most important facets of your business to set you apart from someone who does the same thing.  Today we are talking about how to kick off your brand strategy process.

Quit worrying so much about finding your brand voice and focus on this instead—because if you can’t tell me WHY you do what you do the way you do it differently or better than somebody that does the very same thing, especially if they’re charging less, than we need to stop there and figure it out.

Whether you are just starting to get paid for your creativity or you’re working on building your authority and doing a little bit of a brand strategy refresh, you need to know these tips to build an unforgettable, bingeable brand.

How to Kick Off the Brand Strategy Process | Ashlyn Writes

This is part two to a three part video series  I’m doing, basically called, “what I do if I woke up and had lost it all, if I had to start my business all over from scratch, this is the plan I’d follow”. Be sure to watch last week’s video if you haven’t yet so you can catch up.

Let’s hit it!



 


Tip 1: Define a very clear value proposition for your overall brand. 

A guy named Rosser Reeves is the one who coined this phrase “unique selling proposition” back in the day, but basically, this means you need to figure out what makes you different. 

Okay, let’s have a little heart to heart, all the great digital marketing tools that are out there, from paid marketing and ads to social media marketing, speaking on stages, all that’s great, it’s just going to take a microphone and hold it up to what you’re already doing and what your brand already is.

So if you look at my business—or have been around—you’ve probably heard some very clear key messaging promises, or “value props.” You may have heard me say “I help creatives like you make more money with your words so you can work from a place of rest, not hustle.” If you’ve heard me talk about my signature program, you’ve heard me say “CfC teaches you how to master your message and write your site in 60 days.” That’s a product-specific value prop. Copywriters call this a big idea when you’re working on a specific product, but I’m zooming out here to talk about your brand in general.

How do you figure out what to say here so you can really double down on that and claim it as your brand promise?

My students know we call this your onlyness factor and we work ~soooo~ hard on figuring this out as part of the brand messaging piece of Copywriting for Creatives.

A really quick way that you can start to figure this out in your own business is by leaning into your own quirks, story, or personality, and matching that with your system, your process, or your product/service itself. Say you’re the only photographer on the Eastern seaboard that services weddings at horse estate weddings—that’s very distinct.

Maybe the audience you serve makes you unique.

You can see how all this is bleeding into niching—we’re going to talk about that in a sec—but I want to bring it into a place where you can really figure out that brand promise, UVP, USP.

Another idea I’ve given students to help pull themselves out and figure out why they’re different from other people. Maybe it’s your process. Can you name your process? Do you have a certain way of working through things? It’s your IP, it’s something that you’ve developed and you’ve honed and you’ve tested. It was a hypothesis that is now all-clear systems-go and you provide it for your clients—that could absolutely be your UVP.

<< Related: How to Improve Your Brand Messaging >>


Tip No. 2| Find your niche.

Now here’s the thing: what do you do when you have that big idea or value proposition developed? Once you have this figured out, you want to double down and find your niche: you want to put a stake in the ground and decide who you’re for (and who you’re not for.)

I shared a video where I talked at length specifically about niching vertically and horizontally—I made it for people who want to start their own writing businesses, but niching will help anyone starting any kind of business. 

This is how you can start to dominate in a category—and also helps you get really specific in your copy and content marketing. Another bonus? Conferences were a lot easier to book, because when you’re the only one talking specifically about your niche, people find you faster. 

How to Kick Off Your Brand Strategy Process_AshlynWritesCopywriting

Finally, it makes you referrable. It is so hard to refer someone business if you can’t really think exactly what they do or they do a lot of things and then there’s somebody over here who does just this and that’s all they focus on. That person becomes a little bit easier to refer leads to. So think about it from a partnership standpoint too. You don’t have to hang out there forever, but the whole niche down to blow up was absolutely true for me.

<< Related: How to Become a Copywriter & Own Your Niche  >>

If you find yourself serving a pool or clientele like you like, that can be your niche. And if you’re new in business and don’t have clients yet to look at, here’s the thing to do: Start looking at where your passions overlap with a gap in the market. “Cherchez le creneau” is a French term for the marketing concept of “find the hole”—it’s like I tell my students, find the YOU sized gap in the market and go fill it.


Tip No. 3| Figure out your go-to brand stories.

Now if all this—your onlyness factor and your niche— is interesting, but the story isn’t good, people aren’t interested, right? So tip number 3 in the brand strategy process? Figure out your 3 brand stories. This is one of the easiest things you can do to build a brand and create those captivating touchpoints. It’s just simply nailing 3 specific brand stories: your origin story, your a-ha moment, and your transformation story.

Think of it this way—>OAT

O: Your origin story, why it is that you picked up a paintbrush or wanted to work in florals for a living.

A: Your aha moment. That moment when the skies parted and you realized, oh my gosh, this is a business idea, people want to pay me for it, I can’t wait, I’m starting a business.

T: A great transformational story. It might be your transformational journey, but it’s likely another client or customers’ that you’ve worked with.

Done well, this humanizes your brand and gives your audience something to relate to.

Having these dialed in gives you so many opportunities to pull people into the “why” behind your brand. Don’t you worry—I teach exactly how to tell these stories in this video.


Tip No. 4| Get visual with your brand.

As important as your brand message and copy are, if they’re not presented in a way that’s visually appealing, people really won’t want to read the message or figure out how to get the goods.

I’ve learned so, SO much from my clients on this, because I am NOT a designer or a photographer, but I know they both matter. One of my recent clients, Sandra Chau, says you don’t have an option—as the CEO of your small business, you are also the creative director. I love this! 

Investing in solid photography or spending time learning your way around styling is key. Even if you don’t want to take the pictures, you need to be able to communicate the mood, style, and visual story of your brand. 

I touched on it slightly in the first video in this series, but to go into it a little bit more in-depth, when I started my business, I did take some of my own stock imagery for my website, took me about a month to realize that is not my skillset. I purchased one $79 full, huge, massive image that I could cut and crop and use. I got it from my friend Shea at SC Stock Shop. She now has social squares, which is a great tool too, but there are plenty of stock imagery options out there that don’t look like robots. You can also buy brand boards from people and you’ll know I love website templates.

I started my website on a template. I’m five years in business. I now have a seven figure business. I’m now investing in a custom big website. I love custom work. We do custom work on the copywriting side of my business, but when you’re first getting started, you’re throwing spaghetti at the wall, and it is a heck of a lot to invest in a custom website or custom design strategy when you’re not quite sure if everything is going to take sale.

<< Related: 5 Secrets to Choosing the Best Website Template >>

Again, build the business, then build the brand.

As I grew and had more money to invest back in my business, I was told once that you have to be willing to buy your own services. That is if you’re charging 4 figures or more for your service, be willing to invest 4 figures or more in the services you need to support your business. That’ll preach! I found the art director I wanted to work with and saved and saved (and saved some more) until I was able to hire her and invest in my own business with visuals that helped tell the story of my brand. 


Tip No. 5| Listen to what people say about you.

Listen to what people say about your business, that’s your brand, that’s the perception that people have about you.

As Jeff Bezos said, Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room. That’s the perception you’re putting out there. You hear me talk about doing the research a LOT—this is key research.

So, ask people what they’d say to describe your brand or business, or if it’s built on you—YOU. Maybe it’s family, but maybe it’s your clients, customers, partners, business best friends, followers. Ask them, and pay attention to what they say. 


Tip No. 6| Add in Mascot moments.

Alright, next up in the brand strategy process is what I like to call “mascot moments”. This is a little thing that can make a big difference and may come with time. Let me explain. I love Emily Ley’s products, but she has an understated icon that quietly rides along and is woven throughout her brand—pineapples, the icon of southern hospitality. Now, when I see them, I think of her.

I’ve always loved champagne, and specifically, the brand Veuve Clicquot, because I love the story behind Madame Clicquot becoming one of the first female entrepreneurs. A brand photographer wove it into my imagery one time (producing an orange and blue theme that I really loved as an Auburn fan) but it also enabled me to start using champagne as a metaphor for teaching about welcome sequences and launch funnels. Now? I get tagged in champagne stuff constantly from followers and friends all the time because people have begun to associate champagne and Ashlyn. (Don’t mind if I do.) 

How to Kick Off Your Brand Strategy Process_AshlynWritesCopywriting

What is a kind of weird moment or a thing that your audience could see and think of you and your brand? These come best if they’re not forced. You want to ideally tune into moments that are in your life naturally. Build a brand that’s hard to mimicI’ve found that this little tip is one thing that can definitely make it pretty obvious if somebody is trying to, shall we say, get a little too much inspiration from what you do. 😉

>> Related: What Is a Brand Story? The ULTIMATE Guide for How to Create Yours (+ Examples) <<


Tip 7: Define a clear brand voice. 

Congratulations, you made it through all the other tips so we can now talk about voice because we’ve laid the foundation. I’ve done a lot of videos on finding your voice, so I’ll link some of those, but I’ll leave it at this. When you’re starting out, trust that you’ll refine your brand voice in time.

It’s a writing habit that you will develop because you have to write a lot as an entrepreneur.

You have to experiment, try different things, and let this develop. Trust that it will refine over time. If you’re having a hard time figuring out where to start with getting your voice clear and distinct, I have a quiz that will help you get on the right track and figure out how your personality correlates with the type of words that you need to be using to market your business. Once you go through it, you’ll see your selling style, I think that will be helpful for you, but you’ll also get a little mini copy bank of some words that describe your brand voice, and that can be something you can pocket.


Ok, that was a lot! 😉 You made it through all 7 of my brand strategy process tips! Don’t forget, if you need a little extra help on defining your brand voice then make sure to click here or down below to take my brand voice quiz!

Now, if you want to see that crash course one month plan on how I would start my business over from scratch, be sure to watch this video on my YouTube channel where I’m telling you what I do if I woke up, lost it all, and had to start over.

If you found this helpful, make sure you hit that like button, subscribe so you don’t miss the next series coming up, and be sure to comment below with any questions that you may have.


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How to Kick off Your Brand Strategy Process | Ashlyn Writes

Reading Time: 9 Minutes It’s easier than ever to start a creative small business—yay!—but now branding is one of the most important facets of your business to set you apart from someone who does the same thing.  Today we are talking about how to kick off your brand strategy process. Quit worrying so much about finding your brand voice […]

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We're a boutique copywriting business and marketing curriculum source for creatives like you. You should know this is no jack-of-all-trades sitch: I play favorites, and my faves are small business owners. Even while raking in more than 7-figures since I've been at it, I believe working from a place of rest (not hustle) IS possible—and I want the same for you.

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