It’s no longer enough to simply sell a quality product at a fair price. Shoppers want to connect on a deeper level with the brands they do business with and the story behind the products they choose to purchase, making storytelling an essential component of your marketing strategy.
With its support for longer-form content, email marketing represents the best opportunity to tell your brand story and communicate what makes your product unique.
“Through the use of effective email copywriting, brands can craft stories that appeal to both the consumer’s needs and their emotions, creating a compelling reason to buy while simultaneously building trust with your brand.” – Lindsey Newman Segura, Senior Manager, Creative Services at Tinuiti
Tell Stories with Automated Email Campaigns
With the creation of behavioral triggers, you can communicate with your subscribers at key points in their customer journey, allowing your brand story to unfold over time.
A New Subscriber Welcome Series is a great place to start, by introducing your product line and the key differentiators that set you apart from your competitors.
- Does your brand have a cool origin story? If so, don’t be afraid to share it! A note from the founder explaining how or why the company was started gives the subscriber a behind-the-scenes look at your business and helps them feel connected on a more personal level.
- Is your product design or quality different from the others on the market? Share how the product is made or any unique features and benefits that set it apart.
- Share content (articles, videos, etc.) related to your product, or to the lifestyle of your target customer, to show them you care about more than just the sale; you’re motivated to add value to their lives in other forms.
- If your company engages in any social responsibility initiatives or has a charitable angle, showcase how making a purchase will contribute to those efforts, allowing customers to feel like they’re part of a greater community.
Create a Post-Purchase Series to show gratitude to new customers and welcome them to your crew. Make their first purchase experience extra special with the following messages from you:
- Thank them again for their purchase and let them know you’re happy they decided to spend their hard-earned dollars with you.
- Provide them with how-to content or care instructions, helping them get the most out of their purchase now and into the future.
- Invite them to tell others about their exciting new purchase, either through a review page or by sharing on social channels. Explain how their feedback will help inform future product offerings.
- Encourage new customers to engage with your social channels and blogs, where they can find useful and entertaining content that is created with them in mind.
“Personalizing email messages throughout the customer journey is a great way to create a more intimate connection between brand and audience. Be it for their birthday, a past purchase, or just asking for their feedback, connecting with your audience directly forges a deeper, more personal relationship that helps consumers feel heard and appreciated, setting them down the pathway to becoming advocates, or even evangelists, for your brand,” Segura says.
On every email list is a group of customers who purchased once but for one reason or another haven’t shopped with you recently. Use a Customer Winback Series to tell them what they have been missing.
- Let them know you’ve noticed their absence by acknowledging how long it’s been since their last purchase and saying “we miss you.”
- Give them an overview of what’s changed with your brand: new product launches, new site features, and recent bestsellers are just a few things you could highlight to convey the brand’s evolution since their last purchase.
- Utilize previous purchase behavior to cross-sell products or services that are similar or complementary to their original purchase, or highlight the ideal time to replenish or replace something that might be worn out or expired.
Tell Stories with General Update Emails
Do you have plans to launch a new product or unveil an exciting new feature? If so, use a series of product launch emails to get your subscribers excited and motivate them to convert. By building a launch campaign out into multiple touches, content becomes easier to digest and you can build on the narrative over time.
In the example below, BottleKeeper sent a series of emails to communicate the launch of their new spring collection, highlighting new colors and product features at a high level before diving deeper into color stories.
Throughout the series, the BottleKeeper brand maintained it’s fun, irreverent voice, putting their unique personality on display. With the flood of promotional messages inundating customers on a daily basis, BottleKeeper’s distinct voice has helped it break through the clutter and maintain high engagement within their email program.
In the examples below, Campaign promotes first the durability of their product – highlighting the quality and eco-conscious design – then sharing how to refresh the product over time as your needs or style preferences change.
Campaign’s use of a customer testimonial helps readers connect with the message on a more human level, making it easier for readers to picture themselves with the product.
To get started with storytelling, think about who your ideal customer is and what motivates them. Identify facets of your origin story or product benefits that can be used to tie a connective thread between your customers’ wants and needs back to your brand.
Where possible, leverage the talents of an experienced copywriter to weave your core messages into compelling copy that will fuel a sense of connection with your brand, and ultimately drive them to convert.