The Power of Storytelling in Email Marketing

Sales strategy
21 August 2023


We're starting to see the end of the mass marketing bullshitπŸš«πŸ“’. Customers want authenticity and tangibilityβœ…. They've been taken for fools by images ever since advertising existed :)

No more Kinder ads🚫🍫. We all know how things actually work in real life: kids go wild with sugar and never stay as well-behaved as in the commercials 😊

Why is everyone addicted to Netflix? πŸ“ΊπŸŽ¬ Because everyone loves stories.

Why has Linkedin boomed since COVID? Because people started telling their real stories. We all want to read real people's stories... success stories, failures – we want it all.

Why? To feel less alone, to compare ourselves to others.

The use of storytelling in email campaigns is a very powerful technique. But there's an art and skill to tell a great story. Only some people can connect with people through writing. Plus, this skill is fading away because hardly anyone writes anymore (and it won't improve with our friend ChatGPT around) πŸ“πŸ€–.).

Long story short. Enter email marketing πŸ“©πŸ“ˆ

Email marketing is THE most cost-effective way to quickly build your storytelling.

This article aims to discuss how to tell your story, your business story, and your brand story authentically and innovatively to trigger emotions & create strong engagement.πŸ’¬πŸ“£

πŸ‘‰πŸ»πŸ‘‰πŸ»You will get our recommended approach to sending storytelling emails at the end of the article.βœ’οΈπŸ”†


1. Why Use Storytelling in Emailing?

First, let’s read a little definition of Storytelling :

Storytelling for marketing is the strategic use of narrative techniques to convey a brand's message, values, products, or services in a way that resonates with the target audience. It involves creating compelling and relatable stories that capture the audience's attention, evoke emotions, and ultimately drive engagement and action. Storytelling goes beyond simply presenting facts and features; it aims to create a memorable and meaningful connection between the brand and its audience.

Storytelling in marketing allows brands to differentiate themselves in a crowded market.

Why using storytelling in Email marketing in 3 points:

  • Brand: increased brand awareness, humanize your brand, and long-term brand loyalty
  • Customer: improved a loyal customer base, and interactions
  • Business: higher conversion rates, increased sales

2. Before Diving into your Storytelling

Knowing Your Target Audience

Understanding your persona, and your target audience, is an essential prerequisite. What are their needs, desires, and pain points?

A thorough marketing study will assist you in defining your persona.

You must craft your story according to your target audience.

πŸ‘‰πŸ»For instance: You wouldn't captivate a fintech company CEO by narrating stories in a teenage manner. For these business leaders, you will select rather strong characters, CEO who have managed to turn delicate entrepreneurial situations into success stories.

Collective Brainstorming for Creative Direction

The exercise of storytelling should be highly creative and enjoyableπŸ”†. The author should have fun to entertain the reader.

Gather your team for a collaborative brainstorming session! A team brainstorming session helps enhance employees' creativity, boosts engagement with the company, and strengthens bonds. It's a virtuous exercise that brings employees closer to customers.

Setting Frequency

Before delving into the storytelling strategy, it's crucial to determine the frequency. You won't invest the same level of energy and resources if you're planning a 10-email story compared to a one-shot narrative.

  • 1 email: In the first email, the tone is set. 1 single email is too short to develop engagement with your customers and prospects.
  • 3 to 5 emails: I recommend this frequency to start and test your storytelling. In the first email, you put the proposal the atmosphere, the characters, and the end in suspense. The following emails develop a series of actions and failures ending in strong suspense. And the last email is the resolution and what we take away from this story.
  • Beyond 5 emails: it's a more comprehensive strategy that requires implementation, possibly including videos and more.

πŸ‘‰πŸ»Too frequent emails might overwhelm your subscribers, while too few might cause them to lose interest. Striking the right balance is key. βš–οΈπŸ€

Preparing Your Characters

Your storytelling emails need characters that your audience can connect with.

These characters can be:

  • You
  • An employee
  • A client
  • A customer
  • A member of your family (the story of the grandmother always works:))
  • …

Setting the Tone / the Ambiance

The tone of your storytelling emails sets the mood for your narrative. It should be consistent with your brand's voice and the emotions you aim to evoke.

In an email, you need to be efficient. Your reader must grasp the where, when, how, what, and why of the story right in the opening lines. The beginning is therefore crucial to captivate your audience.

Developing the Scenario

To develop the scenario, you can create it as a storyboard. If you're doing it collaboratively, you can use sticky notes or slides on platforms like Canva. Create a sketch or outline before diving into the actual writing.

😎Tips: If you have a very visual personality, consider adding images to your slides to immerse yourself in the mood and tone you want to convey.

3. Crafting Your Storytelling Email Campaign

Who is the Writer?

Choosing the right person to craft your storytelling emails is crucial. Whether it's a member of your marketing team or an external writer, ensure they understand your brand's voice and the emotions you want to convey.

  • A freelancer

If you hire a freelancer, you need to do extensive research beforehand. All prices and all styles exist on the market! Finding the right trustworthy person to write on your behalf is difficult. πŸ’ΌπŸ•΅οΈβ€β™‚οΈ

😎Tips: If you find a gem, don't let go! πŸ’ŽπŸ™Œ

  • A Marketing employee

Having someone in your marketing team who can write well is incredibly valuable. You can offer training to the marketing department on "How to write effective storytelling."

  • The boss

Nothing beats a great story told directly by the CEO. Everyone wants to know the behind-the-scenes success stories shared by the key figures. πŸ§‘β€πŸ’ΌπŸ“ˆ

"The Wolf of Wall Street" written by Jordan Belfort as an autobiography was a huge success. Sales are in the millions of copies.

How to Write Your Story?

The actual process of writing your storytelling emails requires finesse. A multitude of Storytelling techniques exist, some are complex.

πŸ‘‰πŸ»Here's our recommended approach for Emailing:

  • Craft a Compelling Subject Line
  • Initiate with a promise, a quest, or a question that will be the subject of the story. Your reader knows they will have the answer at the end of the story.
  • Introduce the backdrop, ambiance, and characters.
  • Action: Construct a sequence of actions/adventures, meticulously arranged to heighten tension.
  • Climax: This is the peak of tension, the moment when the protagonist faces his worst choices.
  • Resilience: how will the hero overcome this?
  • Moral of the story: What can we learn from this story?
  • Announces a β€œTBC” if there will be one (and when it will occur)
  • Incorporate a Call to Action (CTA)

😎Tips :

  • Share a Relevant Story, behind-the-scenes anecdote, or a case study that demonstrates the value you provide… Choose a story that's relevant to your brand, product, or service.
  • Highlight the Problem and Solution: Introduce a problem or challenge the protagonist faces, aligning it with a common issue your audience might relate to. Then, showcase how your product or service helped overcome the challenge.
  • Create Emotional Resonance: Evoke emotions that resonate with your audience – empathy, joy, nostalgia, or even a sense of accomplishment.
  • You can add pictures, vidΓ©os, and GIFs to highlight your story.

In conclusion, the power of storytelling in email marketing cannot be overstated. It's not just about selling products or services; it's about selling experiences, emotions, and a shared journey.

By creating narratives that resonate with your audience, you'll be able to make your brand memorable. With careful planning and strategic execution, your storytelling emails can become a potent tool in your marketing arsenal.

4. Use case

I admit: I asked ChatGPT to write an email following the structure we provided earlier. I wanted to try its writing style a bit, and I have to say: it's not bad!

The context: It's about a CEO who almost lost his startup when everything around him collapsed. He decided to pivot and in a single day: managed to change direction, which led to an increase in income. This is a one-time storytelling email.

πŸ‘‰πŸ»πŸ‘‰πŸ»Don’t use ChatGPT for YOUR story!! It’s not mine, so I can πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

Subject: The Day that Changed Everything: From Struggle to Triumph

Dear [Recipient's Name],

A CEO's Odyssey: Turning Struggle into Triumph πŸ’‘

Have you ever faced a moment when it seemed like the weight of the world rested on your shoulders? Today, I want to share a story that encapsulates the power of determination, innovation, and the unwavering pursuit of a vision.

Imagine this: the corridors of my startup echoed with uncertainty. Our revenue was falling short of investor expectations, and the looming threat of their departure cast a shadow over our future. My team, my vision, and our dreams teetered on the edge of uncertainty.

But it was in the midst of this challenge that a spark ignited within me. It was a quiet morning, just me, my trusty MacBook, and a steaming cup of coffee. I stared at the screen, determined to chart a new course, even if it meant forging a path alone.

As the sun's first rays painted my workspace, I embarked on an expedition into uncharted territory. A pivot in our business strategy became the quest that would redefine our future.

With every keystroke, I developed a blueprint that diverged from the familiar. Our past successes were the foundation, but the road ahead demanded innovation. I crafted a series of actions – bold moves that had the power to redefine our identity in the web marketing realm.

The tension mounted as I envisioned presenting my pivot to my team and investors. Doubt clawed at me – would they see the vision as clearly as I did? The moment of truth approached, the climax of our tale. As I stood before the room, my voice shook but my resolve was unwavering. It was the most crucial crossroads I had ever faced – a choice between sticking to the known and leaping into the unknown.

At that moment, I understood that leadership isn't about guarantees; it's about the courage to take calculated risks. And with their apprehension mirrored in their eyes, my team rallied alongside me. It was a leap of faith – a plunge into the abyss that we believed held our salvation.

In the days that followed, resilience took center stage. With dedication, sleepless nights, and an unyielding belief in the path we had chosen, we navigated the uncharted. And then, in a crescendo of triumph, it happened. Our revenue didn't just inch forward; it quadrupled.

So, what's the moral of this story?

In the realm of business, audacity is our greatest asset. Adversity is the canvas on which we paint our most remarkable successes. Innovation is born from the unknown, and triumph is the reward of those who dare to pivot.

As we journey through the business landscape, remember that the darkest hours can illuminate the path to brilliance.🌟

Ready to explore new horizons? Let's join forces and carve a path that leads to your next triumph.

[Your Name]
[Your Contact Information]
[CTA Button: Let's Shape Success]


Email tracking for Gmail

Track every emails and documents that you’ll be send. Know exactly who and when your PDF are opened and never miss an opportunity to follow up again.

Add to Chrome