Think of your favorite story. Why did you like it? How did it make you feel? What was it about the story that made you want to find out what happens at the end? Answering these questions can help you see the power of storytelling. Nothing makes us feel more emotionally connected to something than a story. They grip our attention, and the really good ones even tend to stay with us for a long time after we hear them.
So can storytelling work for email marketing? According to this infographic from OneSpot, 92% of consumers want brands to make ads in the form of a story. Another statistic in the infographic pointed to why that may be: the average consumer sees about 100,500 digital words each day. If you want your marketing message to stand out in the noisy sea of digital words that your audience consumes every day, you must grab their attention in the way they want it to be grabbed: through storytelling.
Here are some more reasons below that will convince you of the fact that story-driven email marketing really works:
It answers why.
Consumers today want to know why you are emailing them. Sure, they signed up to receive your email newsletter in the first place, but are you just trying to sell something to them again? Or do you really have something to say? Consumers want to know why you do what you do, so tell them!
Every company has a story to tell, whether it is why you originally thought up your product/service, or how your company was founded. There are also stories to be told about your company’s core values, the real people behind your company, how your product/service has impacted the lives of others, and why you branded your company the way you have. You can even tell stories about your various achievements, milestones, obstacles, aspirations, and plans for the future.
One quick word of advice is, don’t get caught up in the presentation of your story. An effective story-driven email is not about how well it is written, or how great the design, colors, fonts, images, or video content looks. Your story is the thing that makes your company look authentic and unique.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t pay attention to the writing or look of the email. You should, it just shouldn’t be the main focus. Connect all these elements together around your story and what your brand truly represents, and your story-driven emails will look completely original to your audience. This is what engages them – not only answering the question of why you are emailing them, but also why they should care.
The OneSpot infographic linked to above also shared another interesting statistic: 68% of consumers consider informative and educational content to be the most valuable. Providing tutorials, case studies, testimonials, and other educational or informative materials to your consumers is just another opportunity for you to tell a story!
In addition to high quality written and video tutorials that can use fictional characters and situations to best explain how to use and engage with your product/service, case studies or testimonials from your real customers can also be a very effective means for telling a story through email.
Case studies and testimonials tell the stories of your current customers and the different journeys they went on to find your company. They explain their problem or challenge, and then talk about the solution (your product/service) and how it fixed everything. Potential customers find themselves identifying with your current customers, just as they would when reading a story or watching a movie.
The effect? Just like when we identify with and look up to our favorite storybook heroes and want to become like them in some way, the potential customers reading your real customers’ stories will want to become your real customers! Which brings us to our next point…
Have the stories you’ve read and watched ever motivated you to do something different in your life? Were you motivated to start something, stop something, or simply change the way you think about something? If the answer is yes, then you can see the best reason why story-driven email marketing works. When we connect to the stories we’re told and identify with their characters, we are motivated to do something or make a change.
If you show consumers why you are emailing them by telling them your story and why you care, then they will see why they should care too. When you educate them in the form of a story on how your product/service will solve their problems, you motivate them to act on what they’ve learned. And this of course, leads to the very reason you took the time to share your story in the first place: a sale, and most likely a loyal customer/fan who will advocate your brand to all of their friends and family… and keep coming back for more.
Do you have a story to tell about your adventures in story-driven email marketing? Tell it to us in the comment section below!