You come across an old box of books when you’re cleaning out your basement and pull out one with an interesting cover. You have a vague feeling that you read it once a long time ago. You flip it open and read the first few pages. It’s engaging, so you bring it upstairs and put it on your nightstand.
The next day when you get to work, you see a copy of the book on your boss’s desk. Was that there yesterday?
On your lunch hour, the book is in the window of an independent bookstore you pass on the way to grab a sandwich.
During your commute home, your favorite podcast quotes the book and calls it one of their favorites.
“Hey, this book is everywhere. It must be really good,” you think to yourself.
It had been years since you thought of the book, but you pick it up again when you get home. The cover looks even more interesting than it did the night before. You sit down and read the first 3 chapters.
What just happened?
It’s called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. Or Frequency Illusion. And you can use it to your advantage.
Frequency Illusion is about two things: pattern recognition and confirmation bias.
The human brain is designed to recognize patterns. We are constantly categorizing things--saying these things are important and these things are not. We notice what we deem important. What’s not important, we overlook.
And when what we think is important shows up in our world view again and again, we take that as a sign that we were correct in our assessment. Its presence confirms our success at making the right patterns, choosing the right things to find important.
Okay, so what does this have to do with your business? Or newsletters?
Let’s go back to that old book in the box in your basement. A copy of it was probably on your boss’s desk the day before. The book was in the window of the shop for weeks. And your favorite podcaster may have already shared it as a favorite.
But you didn’t notice. Your subconscious mind immediately categorized that information as unimportant--even before your conscious mind had a chance to take note.
That’s what potential clients are doing with your business.
They’re gazing right past your sign on the road, that Facebook post, the print ad you put in the local paper. Their subconscious mind is categorizing that information as unimportant. You didn’t stand a chance against that pattern-making drive.
So what do you do?
You need to grab them where they are.
And where is that?
In their email inbox. The average American worker spends approximately 6.3 hours a day in their inbox. That’s 6.3 hours a day for your name, your logo, your message to get noticed by your clients and potential clients.
With an email newsletter, you can create the touchpoint that will serve as the basis for their frequency illusion. They see your email and then suddenly--look, there’s your ad on Google. There’s your tweet popping up in their feed. There’s a colleague recommending your services.
All of your marketing and the power of referrals begin to work together to show that potential client how right they were in putting your services into that Important category.
But let’s think about the book in the box in the basement one more time.
What if you hadn’t picked up the book and started to read it? What if you’d just scanned the title on the spine and closed the box?
That’s what happens when a potential client lands on your website but doesn’t have an opportunity to sign up for a newsletter.
You lose that future touchpoint. There’s a good chance they’ll forget everything they read within a few minutes, maybe an hour at most. And once again, they’re gazing right past your sign on the road, that Facebook post, the print ad you put in the local paper.
BUT if they sign up for your newsletter and hear from you in a week or even a month, they remember. And jogging their memory regularly means you get put right where you want to be: in their subconscious mind’s Important category.
So next time they see your sign or your logo or your name, they’ll pause and think “Hey, these folks are everywhere. They must be really good.”
And that’s the power of an email newsletter.