The use of email and other internal communications apps remains the most effective lead generation tactic with the highest ROI for B2B companies.
There are many different ways to approach email marketing – some have a promotional message, others educational or a welcoming message. However, as our inboxes become more crowded, capturing customers’ attention becomes increasingly challenging. If there is nothing unique about your emails, they won’t stand out, resulting in a low click and conversion rate.
Storytelling plays a valuable role in building long-lasting relationships with customers and is an excellent tool for improving your email marketing.
What is Storytelling in Marketing?
We relate to a memorable story that can stay with us for a long time.
Storytelling in marketing replaces conventional sales pitches and instead uses a narrative to connect your brand or product to customers. A good story can be told in many ways, including email. As one statistic showed, 81% of B2B professionals ranked storytelling the second most effective approach in content marketing.
However, not all marketing campaigns focus on ordinary offers and product information. Sometimes the best way to succeed is evoking an emotional response from customers, stirring emotions and thus establishing a connection and trust with the reader.
Brands need to realize the potential that nurturing customer relationships can have. Speaking to customers authentically and naturally can significantly impact loyalty, purchase intent, and customer relationship.
Why is Storytelling used in Marketing?
The standard marketing strategy is to identify a customer’s pain points, display your product’s best features, and attract them by offering discounts. This rationally-led approach to marketing works only for short-term sales activation.
Long-term brand building is based on customers’ emotional priming, which evokes emotions and instills strong trust.
Storytelling allows marketers to effectively attract the target audience’s attention while communicating what makes their brand or product unique.
Customers want to connect on a deeper level with the brands they support.
In fact, one study showed that marketing campaigns with purely emotional content performed twice as well as those with only rational content. As if that’s not enough, another survey showed that brands that form lasting emotional connections with customers increase their lifetime value and decrease the likelihood of switching brands.
Clearly, there is real business value in establishing emotional connections with shoppers.
Benefits of Storytelling in Marketing
Storytelling is a great cost-effective solution that brands can use to differentiate themselves from competitors. To master storytelling, you need to strike a balanced mix of art and science. Businesses that establish a personal connection with users will enjoy many benefits:
- Increased user engagement
- Increased conversion rates and sales
- Increased brand value
- Elevated brand perception
- Improved brand reputation
What are the Basic Principles of Email Storytelling?
We live in a day and age where customers are increasingly skeptical of brands, thinking they only care about profits. To counter this, businesses need to carefully craft every interaction with their audience.
Compelling storytelling has the power to unlock tremendous growth for your business. You might ask, what are the elements behind an excellent story-based email? We have categorized them into three sections:
1. Natural communication
Brands need to have a strong, understandable, and natural communication style in their marketing emails. These characteristics include communicating clearly, speaking as a regular person would, and in an appropriate tone for the situation. By aligning your brand voice to be more natural, you can influence consumers’ perceptions of viewing your brand as more human.
A good story needs to have a strong purpose, provide value to the reader and have a short and concise message. When creating the content, keep in mind why you are writing this story and the end goal you aim to achieve. Brands need to show that they care about their customers’ needs and value their time. By showing genuine consideration, readers feel that the business is responsive to their needs and preferences.
3. Personal Communication
Personalized campaigns can be as simple as calling your reader by their name to mining customers’ data and tailoring content and recommendations that reflect their interests. By knowing your target audience, their purchase behaviors, likes, and dislikes, you better understand their preferences, which allows you to create more relevant, memorable experiences.
What Factors do Story-based Emails need to Have?
One study showed that customers are 57% more likely to be loyal to brands that demonstrate human and personal communication. It also found that emotions are the most significant drivers of purchase intent and satisfaction. The most practical and immediate steps brands can take to improve their marketing is personalizing their communication.
There are several factors behind artfully crafted story-based emails:
- Capture attention with an eye-catching and unique subject line
- Craft a captivating and creative first sentence
- Tell your story
- Strategically include a relevant call-to-action
- Add a funny visual element
Together, these factors will ultimately boost click-through rates and result in better conversions.
How to Use Storytelling in Emails?
Emails are a powerful medium allowing you to directly reach your audience and tell your story.
So, you might be wondering how to master storytelling in your emails. Here are the types of emails where storytelling works best:
1. Welcome emails
Welcome emails are the first impression your brand makes on a new customer. A great way to introduce yourself is by sharing the origin story of your brand, product, or service. It is crucial to grab your newly subscribed reader’s attention and encourage them to engage with your content in the future. This will make your brand more memorable and offer exciting and unique content for the reader.
2. Milestone emails
You can use storytelling by focusing on important milestones of your company’s story. The best way to use milestone emails is by showing how far your brand has come. For example:
- Celebrating a number of subscribers
- Your company’s birthday
- The milestone of a customer with your brand
- A product or service anniversary
Milestone emails are a fantastic opportunity to make people connected to your brand. These emails should have the right amount of fun and function. Share the story of all the hurdles your brand has faced so far, celebrate iconic products, and recap a customer’s journey with your brand. Remember that subscribers will expect a discount or freebie to go along with your celebratory emails.
3. Lead nurturing emails
Almost 60% of consumers consider online reviews very or extremely important before purchasing. So, what better way to convince readers of something than cite previous success stories?
This type of email is meant to guide potential leads through your sales funnel until they convert to customers. And the best way to convert a lead that isn’t ready to buy is to build their trust. Storytelling and testimonials of previous customers and how they benefited from what you offer is a powerful lead nurturing technique.
According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report, 92% of people trust recommendations from peers over all other traditional forms of advertising. Customer success stories provide an excellent opportunity to make your brand feel more human. Real-life examples of how your product or service improved the lives of others will make readers trust you more.
4. Employee stories
People ultimately choose to do business with people they like and trust. You can leverage your employees’ voices to show your company culture and values. One of the best sources of content is employee-generated content. These types of stories are great because they often provide purpose, sentiment, emotion, and a human touch to your brand. Employee storytelling will also help you attract top talent and aid your recruitment efforts.
5. Behind-the-scenes stories
As we have already established, your customers want to connect with others. You can create this connection by showing how your team works, how your products are made, or your organization’s workflow. You can include some team-building content showing your employees having fun together.
Another way to approach behind-the-scene storytelling is to give your audience an exclusive insight that they won’t be able to find anywhere else. For example, you can include some interesting details about your company, a new product launch, or the opening of a new branch. This way, your content authentically engages with your audience and makes them feel a part of your community.
Traditional marketing approaches have always been based around the idea that the shopper is a rational consumer. However, businesses that realize the power of emotions can build long-lasting relations and create loyal customers.
Start telling your audience the story of your business and why your company is the one that understands them the most. Get inspired, experiment with your content, and you will master the art of storytelling.
**** This is a guest post by Erol from myshortlister****