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Using Anchoring to Strengthen Readership

publishing, marketing, writing a book, platform, gravity wellA newsletter can help draw readers into your gravity well through frequency, consistency and something we call anchoring: giving people something they already like and want to know more about.

We take this idea of anchoring, as with frequency and consistency in your newsletter, from Russian scientist Pavlov’s experiments with dogs, who salivated when ringing bells made them think they would be fed. It was important that he gave them something they already wanted – that anchoring idea of meat, rather than something they were indifferent to, such as an apple. You want to instill a similar feeling with your readership, giving them what they want.

Remember that Pavlov’s experiments with dogs worked because dogs already like meat. If the bell had rung every time an orange had rolled across the floor, the dogs would probably not have noticed it – unless they were given to playing with ball-like objects.

With your newsletter, make sure you offer your subscribers what they really want. Now and then you may judge some related topic as more important than what your subscribers are looking for from you, but for the most part subscribers expect you to stay on topic and address what they signed up for. If subscribers want a newsletter on a different subject they will go find a newsletter o that subject. They won’t appreciate your telling them what’s important and what they should be interested in. Don’t give them oranges when they want steak.

When your newsletter is anchored in what your target market already wants and values, subscribers will look forward to your newsletter and, even more important, take the time to read it. If you do not supply information they find important, subscribers won’t read your newsletter, and readers won’t subscribe. They may even become irritated by it and resent its appearance in their email inbox. When this happens, you have no chance of pulling those subscribers into your gravity well. As they become more and more frustrated with you and your newsletter, they’ll cancel their subscription and drop off your marketing platform.

On the other hand, if your subscribers become excited by the arrival of your newsletter, not only will they become stable members of your marketing platform, but they will gladly be pulled into your gravity well. This is why a newsletter is vital to your success and to the success of your book.

In our next post, we’ll look start to look at another major building brick for your marketing platform: your website.

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