Why storytelling is the future of email marketing

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, email marketing was a dry and dull affair. Marketers would send out impersonal, uninspired messages that went straight to the spam folder. However, a hero eventually emerged: storytelling. Yes, you read that right. Storytelling has become the knight in shining armour of email marketing, rescuing it from its humdrum fate and taking it to new heights. Let's find out why…

First of all, we humans love stories. It's in our DNA. We have been telling stories since the dawn of time, passing down legends and myths from generation to generation. Stories help us connect emotionally and intellectually with the world around us. That's why using storytelling in email marketing is a powerful tool to captivate your audience and make your brand stand out.

With storytelling, you can create a sense of empathy and understanding with your subscribers. Instead of bombarding them with a list of features and benefits, you can create a story that resonates with them on a personal level. Whether it's about overcoming a challenge, achieving a dream or simply sharing a moment of humour, storytelling makes your email more memorable and more likely to be shared.

Another great advantage of storytelling in email marketing is that it can help you build brand loyalty. When you tell a compelling story, you're not just promoting your product or service. You're creating an emotional connection with your audience that goes beyond a simple transaction. You're telling them who you are, what you stand for and what makes you unique. By doing so, you're creating a community of followers who share your values and are more likely to stay with you for the long haul.

What do the experts say?

Speaking of the importance of storytelling, in a Forbes article, Marie Hattar says that “Storytelling is powerful because it creates an emotional connection between a company, its products and its customers. Effective storytelling increases engagement between a brand and its audience, which helps drive conversions and, ultimately, revenue growth.”

According to a Headstream survey, if customers enjoy a brand’s story, 55% are likely to buy from the company in the future. 44% said they would share the story with their contacts. 15% of respondents said they would buy from the brand right away.

Stanford University Marketing Professor, Jennifer Aaker, shared that “stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone.”

Some stats…

  • 55% of people say they would consider buying from a brand after reading a compelling story. Brands that use emotional storytelling are more likely to be remembered and shared. (Harvard Business Review)
  • Companies with a strong brand story outperform their competitors by 20%. (Forbes)
  • Brands that use emotional storytelling are more likely to be remembered and shared. (Harvard Business Review)
  • 65% of consumers say that the purpose-driven brand story of a company influences their purchasing decision. (Edelman)

So, here’s a recap of the benefits of storytelling in email marketing…

  • Emotionally engages your audience
  • Builds trust and credibility
  • Drives engagement
  • Boosts brand loyalty

But, you may be wondering, “How do you create a great story for email marketing?”

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. It all begins with a story of your company’s origin

Origin stories can be a great way to welcome new subscribers to your email list. An origin story is a type of story that tells the history or beginnings of a brand, product or service. By sharing your brand's origin story, you can introduce your brand to new subscribers and create a personal connection with them.

Top tips for doing this successfully

Tip 1: Make it personal. Use a conversational tone and make the story personal. Talk about the challenges you faced when starting your business, the inspiration behind it and what makes your brand unique.

Tip 2: Include visuals. Use visuals such as images or videos to help bring your story to life. This will make your origin story more engaging and memorable.

Tip 3: Highlight your values. Use your origin story to highlight your brand's values and mission. Explain how your values have shaped your business and how they guide your decision-making process.


Image Source: Warriors Insider

2. Share success stories

Success stories are an all-time favourite because there’s no better way to attract a new audience than by having your current audience validate your brand. Sharing success stories in your emails is a powerful way to engage your audience, build credibility and drive conversions. So why not ride on the wave of success stories?

Success stories are stories that showcase the positive outcomes that your product or service has delivered to your customers.

Top tips for doing this successfully

Tip 1: Choose the right story. We suggest selecting a success story that is relevant to your audience and aligns with your marketing goals. Make sure the story is authentic, credible and can be verified. Prove it with quotes, links, images or whatever else you can think of. Just prove it, prove it, prove it!

Tip 2: Provide context. Introduce the success story by providing context and explaining why it's relevant to your audience. Talk about the challenges your customer faced and how your product or service helped them overcome those challenges.


Image Source: Typeform

3. Employee stories

Using employee stories in your email campaigns is a great way to showcase the human side of your brand, build trust with your audience, and create a sense of community. Employee stories are stories that feature your employees and their experiences working for your company.

Top tips for doing this successfully

Tip 1: Highlight your company’s culture. Use employee stories to highlight your company's culture and values. Talk about the ways in which your company supports and empowers its employees and how this translates into a positive customer experience.

Tip 2: Make it personal. Use a conversational tone and make the story personal. Talk about the employee's background, how they came to work for your company and what they enjoy most about their job.

Tip 3: Showcase employee accomplishments. Use employee stories to showcase the accomplishments of your employees. This could be a project they worked on, a customer success story or a milestone they achieved while working for your company.


Image Source: Station

4. Use your brand mascot if you have one

A brand mascot can be a great storytelling tool in your email marketing campaigns. A brand mascot is a character, animal or object that represents a brand and is often used in marketing and advertising campaigns.

Top tips for doing this successfully

Tip 1: Introduce your mascot. Use your first email to introduce your brand's mascot to your audience. Share the story behind your mascot's creation, its name and its personality traits. This helps to create a personal connection between your audience and your mascot.

Tip 2: Use your mascot as a guide. Use your mascot as a guide to take your audience on a journey. For example, if you're launching a new product, have your mascot "lead" your audience through the product's features and benefits.

Tip 3: Incorporate humour. Use your mascot to inject humour into your emails. This helps to make your emails more entertaining and engaging for your audience.

Tip 4: Use your mascot for calls-to-action. Use your mascot to encourage your audience to take action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. This helps make your calls-to-action more fun and engaging.


Image Source: McDonald's

5. Share themed resources in your newsletter

Sharing themed resources in your emails can be a form of storytelling because it allows you to create a narrative or theme around a specific topic. For example, if you are a company that sells outdoor gear, you could share themed resources around camping tips for beginners. It’s all up to you but you get the idea.

Top tips for doing this successfully

Tip 1: Choose a theme. Start by choosing a theme that is relevant to your brand and your audience. For example, if you are a fitness company, one week you could create a themed newsletter with resources about staying healthy during the winter.

Tip 2: Provide valuable information. While storytelling is important, it's also essential to provide valuable information that your audience can use. Make sure your resources are informative, practical and actionable.

Tip 3: Develop a narrative arc. Once you have your theme, develop a narrative arc that will guide your audience through the resources. This can include an introduction that sets the scene, a problem or challenge that needs to be overcome and a resolution or solution to the problem.


Image Source: Gearhead

The end…

Well, folks, it's time to wrap up our journey through the wondrous world of storytelling in email marketing.

The moral of the story is that if you want your email marketing campaigns to stand out in a crowded inbox, you need to embrace your inner storyteller. Remember, no one wants to read a boring email that feels like a chore; but with storytelling, you can turn even the most mundane topics into an epic adventure.

Embrace storytelling and let your creativity fly high. Your audience will thank you and who knows, you might just end up with a happy ending.


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