Category: Email Marketing
The power of stories is undeniable. They easily achieve what companies are looking for in any of their email marketing mailings: capture interest, connect with their target audience, create emotional links, persuade and achieve sales... The key is to do it entertainingly, even fun, away from the commercial discourse. That is why the user's attention is retained longer and they react positively to what they read or watch.
Stories can be incorporated into corporate content in various ways, depending on whether you prefer storytelling or storyselling. Only one letter changes, but it is the one that signals the objective of the story, so it completely changes the message.
When we talk about storytelling, it's about telling a story to create a connection. We have been telling what happens to us for centuries, wanting to convey ideas to other people. When it comes to a company, the protagonist can be the company itself or a client, depending on what you want to achieve.
When the objective is clearly to persuade, then we talk about storyselling, i.e. telling a story to sell. Going from wanting to inform differently (as storytelling does) to seeking a commercial purpose does not change the format, but it does change the focus of the content.
An example to differentiate between the two uses of a story: storytelling would be to tell how work is done within the company on any given day from the point of view of a specific department to get to know the team; storyselling would be to tell how the opening of new premises has been prepared and experienced so that customers can see that attention to detail has been paid to encourage them to visit it.
The nuance becomes more evident if you think about which call to action would be good in each case: maybe in the first case you wouldn't need it, but in the second case you would add it to get appointments or bookings.
The basis is the same because all stories have an introduction, a midpoint and end. Surely you remember a commercial in which this technique is used. If, in addition, you have a copywriting formula in mind, it will be easier to think about how to apply storyselling to your mailings.
The first thing is to be clear about the objective: what will you consider a success? Most commonly it will be purchases of a specific product, such as a launch or cross-selling, but it can also apply to a service, which could then be arranging a visit or registering for an event, depending on the company's business model.
Equally important is to confirm at what point in the customer journey you want to send your story. Think that storyselling works best when the customer already knows the brand at least a little bit (otherwise, storytelling is the solution you are looking for). For example, a good segmentation would be to send it to customers who have known the brand for some time.
When constructing your story, remember that it is not an advertisement, it is about selling more indirectly. Present your product or service as the solution to a specific problem. Then, the protagonist is the customer who is looking for you, although he will find that out in the narrative when the happy ending comes. In this case, when he realises that you are what he wanted, you resolve his conflict and he can get back to normal.
There are different formats useful for telling any kind of story: text, illustrations, videos, image carousels, podcasts... or a combination of all of them. Any of them can be applied to email marketing because you have all those building blocks to create your campaign.
Start by writing or making a sketch to create the storyline and when you finish you will realise which format is best and which elements you need. Also, in storyselling it is usual to always end with a call to action button related to the purchase (in storytelling it could be "Read more").
A good story doesn't need to be very long, but it does need to be striking to make it attractive. Don't forget to include one!
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