Want to know how to write better emails?
Well, you’re in luck, as in this episode of The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast we’ll be going over one of my favorite email copywriting secrets for writing more engaging emails.
And, spoiler alert, that secret is email storytelling. Telling stories in emails can truly take your messaging to the next level to pull your audience in and create a deeper connection with your readers.
By the end of this episode, you’ll understand:
- How to choose which story to tell in an email
- Ways to connect with your email subscribers immediately
- Examples of email storytelling
- How to use storytelling in email marketing to increase sales
- And more!
On that note, let’s dive into the episode.
Disclosure: This episode + post on email marketing contains affiliate links to trusted partners I think you’ll love!
How To Write Better Emails With Email Storytelling [Podcast Episode Audio]
The video below also comes with a bonus email marketing strategy!
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Free List-Building Challenge
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Ready to grow your email list and increase your income? Grab your seat here!
Improve Your Storytelling In Email Marketing With These Helpful Tools
Teachable. This is my favorite platform for creating profitable online travel blogging courses. Their support is fantastic, too. My affiliate link gets you a 14-day free trial — no credit card required!
ConvertKit. A feature-rich yet user-friendly email marketing platform made by bloggers for bloggers. My affiliate link gets you a 30-day free trial — no credit card required!
StoryChief. Distribute your content across all channels — including your email marketing platform — on autopilot
Deadline Funnel. This powerful tool allows you to create real limited-time offers; as in, once the tripwire deadline is over there will be no way for a person to get back into the funnel to get it again.
Beaver Builder. I personally use both their theme and plugin. The plugin allows you to create beautiful landing pages using a user-friendly drag-and-drop page builder.
Interact Quiz Maker. This tool allows you to easily make beautiful and engaging quizzes that can engage your audience while growing your email list. In fact, quizzes are one of my favorite blog freebies to offer! By the way, this guide can help you understand how to create a freebie if this concept is new to you.
Perlu. A media network that is great for working with brands as well as other creators.
Ultimate Bundles. Become an Ultimate Bundles affiliate for high commissions. You can also apply to have your own digital products included their bundles for even more potential income!
Jasper AI. Create content faster using the power of artifical intelligence — from blog articles to emails to social posts and beyond! My link gets you a 10,000-word free trial.
Using Email Storytelling To Write Better Emails [Episode Transcript]
While the word “story” might bring about thoughts of giant fairytale books, your favorite novels and movies, or sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows trying to scare your friends, the truth is that storytelling is also a powerful tool that can be used to make your emails more compelling.
Stories are powerful.
They help us create connections, they open our minds, and they can make our words more memorable as meaning is attached to them.
Plus, stories just make your emails a lot more fun to read.
Email Storytelling Structure
Now, when it comes to email storytelling, you’re not always going to be creating a story with a fully developed beginning, middle, and end; however, you do want to create an overarching narrative that brings the information being given to life.
Think about this way. Let’s say you’re reading an email that shares three tips for planning the perfect solo trip.
What will be more compelling:
A simple list of tips, or that same list of tips brought to life with anecdotes sharing the author’s experience with each tip or a larger story of how utilizing the three tips made their solo travel experience much more rewarding.
Yea, I think you get my point.
Free Blogging & Email Marketing Resources
Now before we dive into some helpful email storytelling tips, I want to direct your attention to the show notes, where I’ve linked my free Travel Blogger Resource Library – which also includes email templates!
Inside you’ll snag access to 45+ resources from cheat sheets to workbooks to workshops to video tutorials that can help truly turn your blog into a profitable business.
I’m all about implementation and I really want to make sure you don’t just listen to the episode and forget about it, but that you actually use what I share to make your blogging life easier.
Feel free to even pause this episode to go grab those resources.
Then let’s dive into a 5-step process you can use to add compelling stories to your emails. I’ll also be sharing some examples at the end to help bring these steps to life.
Step #1: Pinpoint the purpose of your email.
Whether it’s getting people to purchase a product, read a blog post, watch a YouTube video, click an affiliate link, or to grow your authority in your niche in the eyes of your community, you want to define the point of why you’re writing the email in the first place.
There are so many different stories you can tell, but not every great story will be perfect for every email.
Just like with everything you do when it comes to your blog, you want to be intentional and create a cohesive experience that leads to the reader taking action, not feeling confused.
Plus, knowing why you’re writing the email can help with creating content quickly.
So, determine the purpose of your email — including the call to action — and then move on to…
Step #2: Create a story arc.
This is where you’ll be choosing the story you actually want to tell in your email.
There are a few ways to go about this, though one template I like to use is considering a transformation or main benefit your call-to-action (CTA) can bring, as well as a pain point related to reaching that transformation.
The idea is to showcase how your CTA can help your community overcome the pain point.
For instance, if the purpose of your email is to get your community to purchase your travel blogging course, you might focus on the story of how the steps you teach in the course allowed you to go from totally confused and overwhelmed to owning a profitable location-independent business and fully understanding how to make money travel blogging.
Adding a pain point into the mix instead of simply sharing the benefit that your call-to-action can bring adds a bit of a narrative arc to your email and can make it more compelling.
The goal here is really to lead people to your call-to-action, which should feel like the natural next step after reading your story.
Step #3: Create a connection immediately.
Okay, so by now hopefully you know the purpose of your email and a story that you can tell. But, how do you begin the story?
One thing to remember is that the first line is incredibly important. You want to grab the reader’s attention and create a connection immediately.
This comes back to understanding what people truly need. Let’s use the example of trying to sell a solo female travel course and run through some ideas:
You might start your email storytelling by:
-Sharing a compelling fact or surprising truth, like that safety is the number one concern for solo female travelers, which can then tie to your course helping women stay safe.
-Another idea is discussing the pain point, for instance, you might start off with “Raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself longingly flipping through National Geographic, picturing yourself in the photos but realizing you had nobody to go with. And so, you push trip dream out of your mind.”
-Debunking a myth related to your topic, for instance, you might start off by saying something like “Don’t talk to strangers may just be the worst advice I’ve ever received.”
-Starting with the transformation being achieved and then working backward, with a line like “I would not be the independent and confident woman I am today if I’d never traveling solo. What is crazy is that my first solo trip actually almost didn’t happen.” From there, you can work backwards to share the transformation story.
Step #4: Empower your audience to take action.
There will often be things that can stop your community from taking the action you want them to take.
Maybe it’s a belief that the transformation your call to action can deliver isn’t possible for them.
Or, if you’re selling a digital product, maybe they’re nervous to spend money.
You want to identify what might be holding someone back and address it in a way that empowers your community to take action.
Of course, this shouldn’t be about tricking people or saying whatever needs to be said to get what you want.
The call to action should genuinely add value to peoples’ lives. If not, it doesn’t matter how compelling your email storytelling is, as you’ll soon come to be seen as inauthentic.
Step #5: Add your call-to-action.
While this typically shouldn’t be the first thing people read, you also don’t want to have it so far down that it gets missed.
Personally, I like to include a few calls to action in my email to make it easy for people to click, purchase, watch — whatever — when they’re ready.
A good rule of thumb is to try to include the first call to action before they need to scroll.
Email Storytelling Examples
On that note, let’s look at an example of a storytelling email — specifically two product storytelling examples.
In this email story example, my goal was to get my community to purchase a product bundle that I was a contributor to and an affiliate of that focused on helping bloggers create a profit plan and understand how to monetize a blog. This example shows one of the top ways to promote affiliate links.
The subject line of the email was “How my blog has evolved:”
My blogging business looked a lot different back in 2011 when I started Jessie on a Journey…as in, it really wasn’t a business at all. I would create and create and create, and I would imagine one day being profitable, but I had no clue how the two would connect.
One of the biggest differences between my blog in 2011 vs my blog today = having a profit plan.
Not only do I know how to monetize my blog, but I understand what the journey from writing to making money looks like, and I have systems in place to ensure that my business is profitable every month.
And you can, too. Because really, the major difference between a profitable blogger and one who isn’t earning yet is clearly understanding what you need to do to get there and having the vision to make it happen.
This vision is exactly what the Brave At Business Bundle can give you. <– Though, note, it disappears tonight!
Now, you can also have a little fun with that first line where you are creating that instant connection.
One strategy I use that is also amazing for overcoming writer’s block is to find an inspiring quote and connect it to your story in a fun way.
For example, I once sent out an email that had the subject line “Have you tried standing on your desk?” that was meant to encourage people to join my Travel Blog Prosperity membership community.
Here is an excerpt:
Have you tried standing on your desk?
While I didn’t make up this tactic, I do love this quote from beloved actor Robin Williams: “I stand up on my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.”
The thing is, most bloggers never take the time to “stand on their desk” or learn a new way of doing things.
Honestly, I’ve seen so many bloggers get frustrated and just give up because…
-They continue posting on 10 social media channels 101 times per day, despite not getting results
-They publish multiple blog posts every week, hoping the next one will finally be the one to bring more traffic
-They constantly create new products on a monthly basis, waiting for one to finally resonate with their audience
-They join 1,000 Facebook share groups, hoping that the next time they spend hours commenting and sharing will finally lead to their own success.
Then when they look back a year later…two years later…three years later…they’re still not profitable.
Scary stuff; but guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way.
Because here is the truth: It’s not that these bloggers didn’t have what it takes to turn their websites into profitable businesses.
It’s that they continued doing what *wasn’t* working until they burnt out and gave up.That’s not what I want for you, friend.
Which is why I’ve opened the doors to Travel Blog Prosperity back up for a limited time!
Hopefully these storytelling in sales examples have inspired you to get creative and tell stories in your content — even when pitching a product. It’s a great way to monetize your email list.
Of course, creating storytelling email newsletters or regular boardcast emails where you’re bringing strategies to life with stories is also smart.
Overcoming Writer’s Block When Writing Emails
Now I mentioned writer’s block a little bit ago, and I want to touch on that quickly again.
I’ve got an entire episode on how to overcome creative block as a blogger, but in short, when I feel writer’s block, I find that there are two things that usually work to get past it.
The first is simply closing my laptop and coming back to the project the next day with a fresh mind.
The second is taking imperfect action and just writing. It’s always great when you have your brilliant story already in your mind and the email text flows from your fingertips.
But that won’t always be the case. In those instances, sometimes getting out a bunch of imperfect ideas onto paper can help pave the path to that perfect story.
Alright, now I hope you enjoyed this episode.
I hope you feel inspired and empowered to start writing emails that tell stories.
Don’t forget to grab access to my free travel blogging resource library. Or, if you’re in the US or Canada, you can text the word “blogger” to 1-833-818-0342 to have it sent to you by text message.
There are a ton of resources in there on growing your community and increasing your blogging profits – including templates meant to help you write better emails!
And of course, make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes sharing these bite-sized strategies for bloggers who want to turn their blogs into profitable full-time businesses.
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See Email Marketing Success With These Helpful Past Episodes:What To Send To Your Email List To Engage Your Community How To Create A Free Resource Library That Grows Your Email List Create A Free Challenge That Grows Your Email List & Income Create A Profitable Automated Email Sequence (With Template!)
What are your tips for how to write better emails?
Do you incorporate email storytelling into your strategy?
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