How To Boost Your Opens, Click-Throughs, And Conversion Rates With Storytelling
One of the most underused, yet radically powerful, ways to boost your revenue is by telling stories. Most alternative health and supplement companies completely miss the mark when it comes to telling stories. And as a result, they’re leaving a lot of moolah on the table every time they send an email.
If you do nothing else, simply telling stories boosts your email sales to levels you’ve never experienced. I’ll explain how to tell stories soon — including how to turn mundane happenings in your life into engaging stories that sell.
But first, let’s talk about why stories are so powerful:
When you tell stories in your emails, your emails become more engaging and persuasive. Because…
Humans are hard-wired for stories
Think about it:
For all human existence, we’ve learned through storytelling. Our ancestors passed down ancient myths since humans learned to talk. (And probably even before that through pictures). Religion has been a staple in human evolution because of the stories each religion tells. And stories are as important today. If not more so.
Here’s what I mean:
In the marketing world, everyone worries about how pathetically low our attention spans are.
And while this is true, did you ever notice how easily people binge their favorite Netflix TV shows?
Many people even binge an entire series, from start to finish, over the course of a weekend. With most TV shows running for at least 40 minutes, it’s obvious that our attention spans aren’t the problem.
Rather, boredom is the problem.
That’s the thing about storytelling. Since we’re hardwired to enjoy and learn from stories, they’re naturally engaging to us. It’s hard to get bored when you’re watching an engaging story.
I’m currently watching Game of Thrones for the first time with my girlfriend — and we’re hooked. It’s hard to turn it off when an episode ends.
Sure, each episode ends with an important cliffhanger. (Which is a fantastic storytelling technique that I can help you incorporate into your emails — and you can book a Discovery Call with me here.)
But even if each episode didn’t end in a cliffhanger, I suspect it’d still be hard to turn off Game of Thrones because it’s a captivating story.
Anyway, back to why storytelling is so powerful in email marketing:
Another thing stories do is they build your authenticity, trust, expertise, and rapport with your list.
This is something almost every brand who sends emails gets wrong.
It goes back to something one of my mentors, the esteemed Ben Settle, harks about a lot:
Strategy vs Tactics
Most brands using email marketing focus on tactics instead of strategy. This is why they offer endless discounts of varying amounts. Offering discounts makes a lot of people open up their wallet, pull out their credit card, and buy whatever you’re offering.
But this is a short-term tactic that backfires on your brand.
First, it “conditions” people to devalue your products or services.
And second, which is far more dangerous, it burns out your list.
I call this “discount pimping.”
Think of it like this:
If the only time you’re hitting “send” and talking to your prospects is when you’re offering discounts, you’re telling them:
“I only value you for a one-night stand and to make a quick buck.”
Yes, discounting works. Especially in the short term.
But if you exclusively ask your email list for a booty call, they'll get the picture:
You don’t value them.
Plain and simple.
Over time, discounting becomes less and less effective. You have to offer bigger and bigger discounts or people ignore your emails. And if people aren’t regularly opening your emails, it can wreak havoc to your deliverability. Meaning, your emails go “sight unseen” and land in the spam folder — alongside Nigerian princes who promise you billions of dollars in exchange for your social security number.
Not a good thing if you’re trying to make consistent and predictable revenue with email marketing.
On the flip side…
When you tell stories, you “condition” your list to open and read your emails.
Stories are fun. They’re engaging. And they usually offer some kind of lesson. Meaning, you’re educating your audience. And proving to them that you value them for more than their wallet.
This builds authenticity, expertise, trust, and most importantly, rapport with your email list.
Storytelling helps you build a bond with your readers that make it so they ONLY want your products and services. Even if they’re more expensive than similar products from your competitors.
And the last reason why stories are an effective sales-boosting machine is because…
They let you “get away” with promoting a product in every single email you send!
Most people have a natural “guard” against others selling them something. Their spidey senses start tingling every time they can sniff that you're trying to sell them something. (This is another reason why people start ignoring your emails if you’re “discount pimping” them all the time.)
Stories counteract this natural human phenomenon.
Stories are persuasive (without being salesy). Again, this is because we are hard wired as humans for stories.
And since stories are fun, entertaining, and engaging, people will actually thank you for trying to sell them something in every single email. Because even if they don’t buy or don’t need the product you’re offering, they’re still learning something from your stories.
Or if they’re not learning something, you're still entertaining them — which as we discussed, is
The ultimate antidote to our ant-sized attention spans!
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking…
“Okay John, but I’m no Steven Spielburg. I haven’t written a story since I was in grade school. And I know my stories will suck.”
For this, let’s look no further than Top Gun. (Yes, the movie…)
You don’t have to have the best stories in the world to make more sales from your emails. In fact, your stories don’t even need to directly relate to whatever product you’re selling.
Here’s where Top Gun comes into play (and hat tip again to the esteemed Ben Settle for this story):
Top Gun was actually one of the best recruiting devices ever invented for the Air Force and Navy.
If you’ve never seen Top Gun, it doesn’t make a pitch to join the Air Force or Navy. It’s not trying to “sell” its viewers on joining.
But it tells a great story about two Naval pilots who got to train with some of the best pilots in the world.
As a result, Air Force and Navy recruitment jumped through the roof of an airplane in the sky.
And that’s not all.
Maverick, played by Tom Cruise, wore Ray-Ban Aviator glasses throughout the film. And sales for these sunglasses increased by 30+% after Top Gun came out.
Not too shabby — especially for a movie that didn’t have a call to action at the end to join the Air Force, Navy, or to buy Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses.
Now, let’s look at how this unravels in the real world of email marketing.
One of my supplement clients recently released a new product. And I used my special product launch formula (which includes storytelling) to generate an extra $49,889.08 in revenue. We could’ve had an even better launch — but both my client and his supplier completely sold out.
(If you’d like to read this case study, you can download it here.)
Anyway, this product is super unique — and had amazing stories “baked into it.”
For example, the creator of this product gave it to his mom who suffers from Parkinson’s.
She took it for 6 months straight and nothing happened. But she kept taking it.
8 months later after she started taking it every day, she was on a Zoom call with her son and held a cup completely still. No shaking whatsoever!
I told this story — making NO claims that it “cures” Parkinson’s or any other claims that could’ve gotten my client in trouble with the FDA. I simply told this story, said your results may vary, and how it’s not designed to cure anything.
That email created nearly $9,000 in revenue, got 62 total conversions (the most out of any other emails in the campaign), the highest open and click-through rate for any other email in this campaign, and set the stage to have a $49,889.08 launch.
Now, other emails actually generated more revenue. For example, the “sneaky” shipping update email we sent out after we sold out ended up creating an extra $20,957.14 in revenue. (Bringing the entire product launch campaign to $70,846.22.)
But this campaign wouldn’t have been as effective without this first telling this story.
And so it is with your emails.
Alright, I’m running out of “real estate” here. But I want to give you a couple ways to tell better stories before I bounce.
But first, let me mention this:
If you need an email copywriter to help your alternative health or supplement company make more sales, build a better bond with your email list, and boost your revenue (without increasing ad spend), stop everything you’re doing right now and…
Book a Discovery Call with me here: https://calendly.com/johndbrandt/discovery-call
(Note: if the link above doesn’t work, it means I’m not currently accepting clients. If that’s the case, you can join my New Client Waitlist here: https://www.johnbrandtcopy.com/waitlist. And be the first to know about when I have a new opening in my schedule.)
Alright, back to telling better stories…
Here Are 3 Simple Ways To Tell Better Stories Today
I won’t get into all the deets here. But I want to give you some ammunition so you start telling stories today.
Here they are:
1. Tell client success stories.
Telling client success stories is one of the easiest ways to tell stories that sell. Plus, they relate to whatever product or service you want to promote without any extra effort on your end.
Fun fact before we move on:
Do you know the popular at-home exercise DVD P90X?
It blew up because of infomercials told in a documentary style instead of the classic, “Wait, there’s more!” trick.
Anyway, the first round of these infomercials bombed!
So the team at P90X gathered up a bunch of before and after pictures from their most successful clients.
And the next round of infomercials created a billion dollar brand! Everything else in the informatica was the same. But...
The billion-dollar difference was in adding before and after pictures!
Alright, onto point #2.
2. Share testimonials.
This is like telling client success stories, but it’s even easier. If you have a bunch of testimonials, add a few of them into an email and hit send.
It’s best if you gather up all the testimonials you have around a certain pain point or frustration. For example, if you’re selling a weight loss supplement, you can round up all the testimonials that express how skeptical customers were before they tried it — and how amazed they were with their results.
But it’s not even necessary. Even gathering up all the testimonials, no matter if there’s a certain theme to them, can make your email sales explode through the roof.
3. Share mundane stories from your own life.
This one is also easy. You can use anything from your life and “twist” it into a story to sell your product or service.
For example, let’s say you have a CBD product you want to promote.
And earlier that week, you were walking your dog around the park and you twisted your ankle.
You can say all this in an email. And then at the end, plug your CBD product and how it eased your pain from the twisted ankle.
This isn’t the best example, but you get the point. Anything in your life can become “story fodder” for an email.
Waiting in long lines at the supermarket? That’s an email.
Missed your plane? That’s an email.
Woke up late and got into a fender bender on your way to work? That’s an email.
Do this everyday and you’ll get much better at telling stories and “twisting” them so they relate to whatever product or service you’re trying to sell.
There are plenty of other ways to tell more stories in your emails. But these are the 3 easiest to implement.
If you want help crafting better stories and writing emails that drive sales, use the link below to set up a Discovery Call with me:
I can either critique your emails. Consult you on your email marketing strategy. Or become your “ghostwriter” — writing your sales copy, running your promotions, and improving your email marketing strategy.
But I don’t always have room for more clients and frequently shut down the link above when my schedule is full.
If you tried to book something, but the link didn’t work, use the link below to join my waiting list and you’ll be the first to know when a new spot opens up.
Join my waitlist here (if the link above doesn't work): https://www.johnbrandtcopy.com/waitlist