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3 Ways Storytelling Can Power Great Email Marketing Campaigns

Marketing departments have been telling brand stories since – well – since marketing began. They used advertising, events, famous personalities and other methods to give prospective buyers a memorable brand experience. 
 
It takes much more than a catchy phrase to earn and maintain the interest of today’s decision makers. Stories are a powerful tool to convey your company’s story. 
 
You have probably heard the quote attributed to Brian Eisenberg, “Facts tell, but stories sell.” You know from personal experience the statement is true, but you may falter at creating a compelling story as part of your email marketing efforts. 
 
Make Stories Personal 
 
As each person processes the story you tell, it creates a personal, sensory experience and influences the way they think. Complex concepts become easier to understand when the reader makes the human connection contained in a story. 
 
People identify with the characters of your story. If you paint a vivid mental image in their minds, they can sense the physical, emotional and spiritual satisfaction enjoyed. The prospect feels an urge to experience the same level of satisfaction. 
 
Lower Sales Resistance
 
Potential buyers naturally have a guard up to defend themselves against the new information. They are afraid of someone taking advantage of them or a purchase making them look foolish. They tend to fight any sales message every step of the way. 
 
When a story is told, resistance is minimal. The story is making no attempt to sell anything or make the reader think a certain way. The narrative simply shows what happened to another person and leaves plenty of room for the reader to draw a personal conclusion. 
 
Instead of telling them what is true, use a technique offered by Billy Wilder, Hollywood screenwriter, “Don’t tell them 4. Tell them 2+2. Let them add it up. Then they own it.” Stories take the sales claims out of the abstract realm and into something more real to the reader. The prospect can see the scene in their mind’s eye and feel emotionally connected. 
 
Be Truthful and Consistent
 
Develop a personality in your stories to carry from one email to the next. Stories are neither sales pitches nor advertising. The personality of your ‘star’ character is most effective when it closely resembles your ideal client persona. A contrived story with an obvious goal to display features rather than personality will be easily spotted and rejected. 
 
Make the story exciting and oozing with personality. You want the sales lead to identify with and root for the success of the fictional characters in your story. An emotional connection is what makes stories such a great sales technique. Maintain consistency as your character interacts with the prospects over time to extend the value of the emotional link. 
 
Don’t exaggerate results, facts or outcomes. Nothing will alienate your prospects more than to find you have taken their engagement with your story and soiled it with an untruth. 
 
The goal of email marketing with stories is to follow the advice of Chris Brogan, “Stories are how we learn best. We absorb numbers and facts and details, but we keep them all glued together in our heads with stories.”
 

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