How To Use Stories In Email Marketing

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Boring emails are actively disengaging.

You know the kind. Dry, dreary content that doesn’t even try to get you on board.

Content must be interesting and valuable to engage its audience. Making sure your emails are rich and engaging means your readers will keep reading. 

One way of enhancing your email marketing is to use stories. Telling tales in your content livens it up, builds their trust in you and quietly sells to your audience. Without them knowing they’re being sold to…

What more could you want?

Let’s dig a little deeper to uncover how it works.

Why Stories Sell

From birth we are conditioned to listen to and enjoy stories, and the practice doesn’t disappear when we grow up.

The same neural pathways light up when we recognise a story is being told. Our bodies settle into a calm, interested and engaged state, ready to receive information.

Put plainly, this means storytelling is the perfect way to overcome objections and deliver messages to a market that might otherwise be standoffish and cold.

Types of Stories

Stories can be educational, inspirational, funny, sad, persuasive… It actually doesn’t really matter what category the story falls into.

What matters is that it’s good. Not too long, no waffle, clear, concise and definitely not dull.

How To Use Stories

1

For Overcoming Objections

Handling objections is a big part of any sales strategy, no matter the sector. 

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling and how great it is, customers will always find means to grumble. Money makes the world go round and people really care about how they spend it.

Any of these ring a bell?

Many of us instantly put up barriers the minute we realise we’re being sold to.

Storytelling is selling undercover whilst your audience is busy being entertained.

2

To Educate

This is an easy one. Stories are widely and consistently used to teach. 

Fairy tales, for example, are designed precisely to demonstrate important lessons to kids. Stories are often more engaging and easier to remember than hard facts, and the same rule applies to your email marketing content.

As a coach or speaker, you’ll want to impart wisdom to your readers. Creating a story around a lesson you want to deliver transforms the information from flat to memorable. 

3

Make A Dull Message Interesting

Though you might take huge pride in being part of the data entry sector, others’ may not be so highly enthused. 

When dry messages need delivering, storytelling can lift the content and bridge the gap between reader and writer, making the content more accessible and the reader 100% more likely to keep reading.

4

Build A Relationship

If you read my blog you should know by now that nurturing the bond with your readers is key.

You want your audience to feel like they know you and to hear your voice when they read your content. People buy people, after all… Build trust now and they will want to buy from you later.

Have a pet rat?

Always wanted to go snorkelling?
Despise beans on toast?

Weave small pieces of yourself through your content using storytelling so that your readers can piece you together as a person, rather than a faceless email.  

Only when you feel real to them can your relationship strengthen. 

Where To Get Ideas

Don’t panic. Inspiration for great stories is everywhere

There is no need to take time out of your busy schedule to go hunting them down.

The most relatable stories come from run-of-the-mill situations paired with messages that work. A supermarket trip, bad service in a restaurant or a recent conversation with your kids could all spark a lightbulb moment. 

I’ve known clients to carry notebooks in their car and dedicate a folder on their phone purely for recording story ideas. Why not give it a go?

What Makes A Good Story?

Great stories aren’t complicated. You need:

How Long Should A Story Be?

Some stories can be told in a few sentences. Others will need a full email to get the job done.

Your story should be fast paced and free from waffle. It needs to be long enough to set the scene, engage the reader and deliver the message

No longer and no shorter than that.

And that is the long and short of it!

As you can see, stories are a powerful marketing technique.

Storytelling can gather empathy, build relationships and sell ideas to audiences that might not think they’re ready to receive them. 

If you want to learn more about email marketing strategies that get great results, book a call today.

Nathan Littleton

Nathan Littleton

Nathan Littleton is a marketer, professional speaker and author who specialises in helping businesses to grow by attracting and winning more customers. Each year he sends more than a million emails on behalf of his clients, and his proven track record has led to him working with leading brands including Microsoft, Virgin Care and the BBC. Having started his first business, building websites from his bedroom at the age of just 12, he quickly built a reputation for his unique take on email marketing and growing businesses by sending truly un-deletable emails.

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