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Storytelling for your email marketing strategy

Published by Celia on June 25, 2015

Do you know how many spammy emails are sent per day?

Personally, every morning, I have to delete more than Ten advertising emails from websites that I don’t recognize, or because I never subscribed to their newsletters, or because I no longer remember when I allowed them to send me their messages.

I don’t know which of the two reasons is sadder:

  • -To see that they’ve added my emails to their subscriber list without my consent, completely ignoring data protection laws.
  • -Or to think that their newsletters are so insignificant that I can’t even remember why or when I registered to receive the emails.

Today I will explain to you what you should do so that your users don’t forget about your newsletters. Just to make it clear, you should never work with purchased mailing lists.

HAVE YOU HEARD OF STORYTELLING?

It is a communication technique that can be applied to marketing at all its branches and that consists of telling stories to create a connection through the emotions of our readers so that they can experience a unique and unforgettable feeling.

Storytelling techniques have been used since humans started to use a coherent language. Our ancestors already told stories to admonish and teach children near the fire at night. Also, the Bible and its parables are a clear example of the use of the communicative art. All civilizations have their mythologies and legends, like the Greeks, Romans, etc.

As you can see, it is not something that was invented recently. But the truth is that this technique has been adapted to be used in modern marketing strategies. Many professionals are using this technique as part of their plan as it is undeniably useful in creating a closer relationship with the potential customers.

You want your subscribers to remember your newsletters so that it won’t be sent directly to the spam folder, right? Well, for that, you’ll have to learn how to connect with your readers from the first moment.

When reading the subject of your email, the subscriber should be curious, or at least interested in getting more information. Your job is to try to catch the attention of the readers and, once they show interest, you’ll have to offer something fantastic. Tip: Never use an amazing subject line for a common message.

It’s much easier to lose subscribers than to get new readers interested in your brand. So be very careful with these marketing strategies that use ambiguous content to catch the attention of users, as that kind of approach will only negatively affect your reputation.

For this reason, you need to learn to tell good stories that connect emotionally with your readers, so they will never be disappointed or think about unsubscribing from your newsletter.

WHAT SHOULD YOU CONSIDER BEFORE YOU BEGIN?

For your story to be compelling you should:

– KNOW YOUR SUBSCRIBERS:  what are their passions, their fears, their dreams, and what worries them. Analyze their needs and think about how your product or service can solve their problems.

Remember that we are driven by impulses and emotions. If you find out what are the feelings that drive the actions of your clients, it will be easier to connect with them and gain their trust.

– KNOW YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE VERY WELL: and adapt it to the needs of your ideal customer or reader. It may be that for you, your product is wonderful. But maybe your client doesn’t think alike. Create a survey or ask directly which topics interest them and what they expect to receive from you. That is a great way to open a discussion and start a conversation with these subscribers.

Now the important thing is the customer, not the product. Always remember that, especially when writing. The protagonista of his story should be your ideal customer, your product or service will be only the solution to their problems. If you can do that correctly, your brand will be a success!

– CHOOSE VERY WELL THE FEELING YOU WANT TO AROUSE:  dedicate all the necessary time for this aspect. The result will not be the same if you want to arouse passion, then if you work with fear. It depends a lot on the problem you want to solve. Your customer or reader should feel protagonist of his story; if he feels uncomfortable, he will probably stop reading or ignore what you are trying to tell him.

Create a story where the protagonist is the customer, working with all the available information about him: His passions, his desires, his hobbies. Write as realistically as possible. Try to get him to connect with your narrative. Your job is to show him how your product or service can be the solution to his needs, the answer to his dream. He will have to understand that the service you are offering could help him to enjoy his hobbies even more.

HOW TO APPLY STORYTELLING TO YOUR MARKETING Email STRATEGY?

– ON THE SUBJECT LINE:  start by attracting the attention of your subscriber with a relevant subject. This is the first thing the reader will see, so you should think a lot, before you start writing the subject line of your message.

If the chosen emotion is passion, you can start with something like:

Today is the day your dream comes true, {NAME}.

{NAME}, I know you’ve been waiting for this for some time.

Your subject should attract attention and arouse emotion in your reader; he needs to feel the desire to continue reading to find out what you are offering. However, be careful that the subject is not too generic, or the subscriber will ignore your message and look for something that is more urgent or more relevant.

Don’t use the subject of the email to tell one of the benefits of your promotion or, worse, don’t even think about numbering them! For example Newsletter XXII sent by. It’s too impersonal!

Use it to emotionally entice the reader, to convince him to click and read the message, try to show him that he should not delete the email or mark it as spam. Use a short, concise sentence, always striving to get right to the point.

Your goal will be to make him want to know more information and dedicate enough time to read your message. Be creative, but not ambiguous.

VERY IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to request the name of the subscribers in the opt-in forms, to add this field to your newsletters. By calling the readers by their names, you will be able to create a much more personal email.

– IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH:   Now is the time to start fulfilling what you’ve promised. If you told the reader in the email subject he would find something amazing; now you are going to have to show that this is true. Never offer anything insignificante with a catchy subject, your readers will hate you forever if you betray them.

We should not use storytelling to lie, but to connect emotionally with the readers. Always keep in mind this difference or your online reputation will be severely affected. No one likes to be made a fool  if you try to fool your subscribers with a smart lie, many of them will request to unsubscribe from your newsletter or delete your next emails.

In this first paragraph, you must capture and maintain the interest of your reader. Work with the feeling you’ve chosen and start creating your story, this wonderful experience that your reader is missing because he has not yet bought your product.

You can do this in several ways that are equally valid:

-Telling your story: If you’ve been in the same situation that your client is currently in, you’re in luck! There is no better way to connect with someone else than to have the same experience and share it.

-Creating a story where the customer is the protagonist: Select three or four related phrases that together make sense and convey what you want to explain. These phrases should not be too complicated, try using the correct adjectives. What is important is the message, which should be clear and understandable.

Imagine that you are selling an accounting system and need to attract new customers, a good first paragraph could be:

Are you tired of losing hours and hours in front of the computer whenever you have to pay your taxes? If you no longer want to have to work like a dog to manage your company’s accounting, today is your  lucky day.

I also had to spend sleepless nights working hard to finish my financial reports, that is why I decided to create this simple system, which any person can use without technical knowledge.

Your potential customers have spent a lot of time trying to organize their bookkeeping manually, that’s probably why they have accessed your site. With a direct message, you can force them to think of all the reasons for buying an accounting management system.

You would be saying the same thing with:

We specialize in accounting, with an advanced system to meet the needs of companies of all sizes.

But your reader would feel nothing. It would be a cold and impersonal message. Your subscribers are not worried that you are an expert, if they can’t connect with your proposal, it will be much more difficult  to convince them to trust you.

– IN THE TEXT OF THE NEWSLETTER: You have already managed to arouse the interest of your client. He knows you understand him and he wants to continue reading what you have prepared for him. Now you should focus on trying to keep alive the feelings you aroused with the subject of your email marketing.

List the benefits that your customers will get if they hire your services or buy your product. But forget those long, boring lists of features, you should continue telling your story.

Keep telling a story exposing your solutions to your client’s problems. Explain why your product has been specially designed to make life easier for these people. If you’ve done your job correctly, you already analyzed the profile of your ideal customer to adapt your product to them, right?

Continuing with the previous example:

  • Stop wasting time on tedious tasks; we do all the work for you.
  • You will not worry about your accounting; our system manages everything for you.
  • Forget all the spreadsheets and reports; our system will generate them automatically when you need to download them.

Here are three examples of possible SOLUTIONS for your customer’s PROBLEMS. Creating a list with at least six advantages of your product is not that challenging if you really know to whom you created it.

-IN THE IMAGES: Add at least one quality photo, adapted to the width of your newsletter. And make sure it conveys the same emotion as the rest of your message because the images are also essential for creating an emotional bond with your readers.

Use motivating, bright, vivid, and focused images. If you have questions about what emotion the image will convey to your readers, try to test it with your family and friends.

Don’t tell them about your email marketing campaign, just ask them:

What do they feel when they see the image? What sensation does it arouse in them? Is it a good emotion or do they feel uncomfortable with what the image is invoking?

There are many sites where you can find professional images; if you really want to inspire confidence, you will need to take care of every little detail. Don’t start working with amateur pictures from your pets, for example. Your photos should be relevant to your readers and play with their emotions.

DON’T FORGET THE CALL TO ACTION

And now, it’s time to include your purchase button, the link to subscribe to your services, to contact you for more information or whatever the purpose of your campaign.

You have already managed to attract the attention of your readers, to arouse their interest, but now you need to convince them to take the next step.

Add a remarkable sentence that summarizes what you want it to do and the advantages of accepting your offer, as you did with the subject/title of your newsletter.

Your subscribers shouldn’t have any doubts about the real value of what you are offering. Now is when you have to prove 100% that you can provide the solution for their problems.

And wait for some time before sending the email. That is na impressive trick; If you wait for a few days before you send the newsletter to your mailing list, you’ll be able to spot problems in the content  of your email.

Once you’re sure you’ve created the perfect email, you can send a copy of the message to your family and friends to ask for their opinion.

And send it!

THE AGONY OF WAITING FOR THE RESULTS

Don’t be discouraged if soon after clicking the “Send now” button you don’t receive 100 interested emails, purchase or subscription notifications – especially if your subscriber list is relatively new  and you have new subscribers every day.

Few potential customers become real customers after the first contact with the company. Just as you took a lot of time preparing your campaign, trying to understand your ideal client, the customer will take time to decide if what you are offering will be relevant to him.

Wait at least ten days before attempting a new approach. If you send another email later, you can try to generate a sense of urgency.

Try to create a sense of scarcity: limited places, extra discount for the first ten customers, discounts for a limited time, trial days, etc. The new email should be shorter. This subscriber already knows your story; if you try to tell him the same thing, he will lose interest quickly.

But let’s talk about this in another article, because surely you are ready to start telling a wonderful story to your subscribers, right?

about_celia

Frustrated philosopher, bored administrator, and happy graphic designer, passionate about marketing, social networks, and blogging. I firmly believe that dreams are fulfilled if we work day by day to make them come true.

Website: www.elperrodepapel.com

We want to thank Celia, from the blog El perro de papel, for this fantastic article. We hope you have enjoyed it as much as we did.

 


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Comments

  1. Humberto

    Hola, excelente información, ahora mismo la een práctica, ya que tengo la certeza que el email marketing seguirá siendo la forma más viable de llevar a nuestros clientes la información que desean y necesitan

    24/01/2016 - 16:10:41 Publicar una respuesta
  2. Ariel

    Gracias por compartir, este artículo me ayuda a pulir las ideas que tengo al respecto.

    14/01/2016 - 17:21:42 Publicar una respuesta
  3. Jose Ramirez

    Excelente articulo Celia mil gracias por compartir esta valiosa informacion

    13/07/2015 - 22:21:59 Publicar una respuesta
    • Celia

      ¡Perdona, Jose!

      Se me pasó tu comentario.Me alegra que te resulte útil.

      ¡Gracias a ti! 🙂

      24/07/2015 - 13:51:35 Publicar una respuesta
  4. Ramón

    Muy buen artículo. Gracias por el aporte

    30/06/2015 - 20:47:11 Publicar una respuesta
  5. Celia

    ¡Muchas gracias por vuestra confianza una vez más!
    Me encanta cómo ha quedado 😀
    ¡Voy a compartirlo ahora mismo!

    ¡¡Feliz jueves!! ^^

    25/06/2015 - 12:34:55 Publicar una respuesta
  6. 118Media Marketing Online

    Muy buena estrategia, gracias por los tips !!

    25/06/2015 - 11:13:52 Publicar una respuesta

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