Email plans stagnate when you have no story to tell

stagnating email

Storytelling is about making what you make matter.

Effective storytelling will propel the success of email marketing for ecommerce brands.

Somebody in your business has to take on the role of storyteller. That person should be the founder.

It’s an easy job for me to sit here and tell you to do more (spending more time thinking ‘what should I write that we haven’t already written?’) with your email. But then you’re sat there knowing that 5 … maybe 10% of your overall revenues are attributed to your email marketing.

What’s the point when you have bigger channels, more revenue-aligned channels, to focus upon?

For sure, some brands will have a far easier job on their hands when it comes to building a community through their email marketing.

What are the ingredients of a good storytelling business?

Take as an example. A clothing brand packed with story-based ingredients. Traceability. Price transparency. Purpose. Mission.

An Asket product page oozes detail.

Good example of a storytelling product page

There’s so much to talk about. So many stories to tell. So many emails ready to educate subscribers on the Asket way.

Stories make email easier

And that’s important. For any brand. Having stories to tell makes your ability to write emails feel natural. You’re helping people buy rather than figuring out how to sell.

And knowing how to sell, when there’s no story to tell, is a struggle. I’m starting to sound like a poet now. Sorry.

We often overlook the story. Whether that be;

  • the backstory – why the brand exists
  • the product story – why the product exists
  • the customer story – why the product matters

Asket are what you’d describe as an authority brand built on purpose. They’re in the market to educate and to reform how we buy our clothing. They go beyond the simple talk of ‘sustainability’ and actually openly discuss their perspective and what they are doing to become a more sustainable business. Basic garments manufactured with care. The slow-fashion movement that places ‘we are what we buy’ at the core of our decision making.

Turn product benefits into story opportunities

Your own products have benefit. Behind each of those benefits is a story that you can tell.

When that story is linked to your brand, there’s an ongoing story. A never ending story. It opens up a level of transparency that allows you to open the doors wide on your business. To let people in. To let people buy into what you do.

We’re talking huge HUGE differentiators here.

And… it makes for very interesting reading. And it builds community. And within community, you get feedback. More stories to share.

Storytelling which shift thoughts away from price….

You can write in a way that shifts you away from the constant focus upon price. You write in a way that shifts your customers thoughts away from the primary consideration of price.

It’s a good place to be.

And that, is why you place more emphasis on your copywriting (the story you have to share) as your technology (the mechanism for sharing that story).

The mechanism, your email software, allows you to tell that story in a timely, coherent manner.

Great email strategies don’t have their foundations in tech… foundations are in story

Please don’t look at technology as your saving grace. You still have to earn the right to write to each and every subscriber. Technology doesn’t compel people to open your emails, read your emails, click your emails. Your story does.

The reason so many brands get stuck in the pattern of ‘here’s today’s discount’ emailing is the inability to articulate. The misguided belief that customers are only interested in one thing. Cost.

You’re a consumer. You know that’s not true.

Find your stories and take your email marketing to the next level

Breath life back into your email marketing. From the welcome sequence to the weekly mailing to the geekery of explaining what elements of your products deliver the owner the greatest value.

This methodology has worked with the dullest of product lines. It’s your job to create interest. On a human to human basis. Go deep. You’ll find some great stories to tell. Go tell them.

Written By:

Ian Rhodes


First employee of an ecommerce startup back in 1998. I've been using building and growing ecommerce brands ever since (including my own). Get weekly growth lessons from my own work delivered to your inbox below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *