Stories are a powerful tool in any marketing campaign.
In our last blog, we went over a few of the many reasons why stories are so impactful in any marketing strategy, and if you’ve had a chance to read it, then you already know that storytelling is a marketing strategy that you can’t afford to ignore or go without. But, understanding the importance of storytelling in marketing and doing it effectively are two very different things. That’s why your friends at Worcester Envelope Company have come up with this guide on how to effectively use storytelling in your direct mail marketing campaign.
The Elements of an Effective Marketing Story
While storytelling in itself is an incredibly powerful tool in any marketing campaign, it’s important to note that not all stories are made equal. Just as there are good and bad novels, children’s stories and movies, there are also good and bad marketing stories. So, what makes one story more effective than another in marketing? Here are a few elements that you’ll find in any effective marketing story:
- A Hero – The best stories have the power to draw you in, putting you in the hero or heroine’s shoes. And, no, your hero cannot be your business or your brand. Your hero should be someone your audience can connect with, which, in most cases, means your hero needs to be a person going through something similar to what your audience is going through. But, what makes a hero a hero? In a story, the hero is the one who is transformed by their experiences. The lessons learned throughout the story help to turn the hero from a regular guy or gal into someone who is extraordinary.
- A Goal – Before you sit down and do anything else with your story, you first need to determine what the goal of the story is. In your marketing efforts, you should always be thinking about how what you have to offer — whether it be products or services — helps to solve a problem for your customers. Creating a story is a wonderful way to emphasize your ability to solve a problem for your customers. But, in order to create an effective story for your marketing campaign, you first have to understand where you want the story to go or what the goal of the story is.
- Conflict – Every good story needs a conflict. Conflicts and obstacles help to add interest to a story, and the ability to overcome those obstacles is what really makes the hero the hero in the end. After all, a hero isn’t really a hero if there’s nothing to overcome! The conflict of your story should be the problem that your products or services can help the customer solve. To develop the conflict in your story, think about the external and internal roadblocks that would keep your hero away from the goal.
- A Mentor or Teacher – In most stories, the hero isn’t expected to flounder on their own to solve a problem or overcome an obstacle; they almost always have someone guiding them. Think about it. Would Frodo have ever destroyed the ring or even made it out of The Shire had it not been for Gandalf? Would Harry Potter have been able to defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named if he didn’t have Dumbledore’s guidance? Would Luke Skywalker have ever destroyed the Death Star without the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi? Probably not. And, while your business, brand or product doesn’t make a great hero, it can make a great mentor — guiding your hero to their goal.
- A Moral – The entire point of a story is the moral, and in your direct mail marketing stories, your moral can also be your call to action. The moral of a marketing story is not to be kind to others or to check your pride at the door. The moral of your marketing story is that the best way to overcome a certain obstacles or challenge is to take advantage of your service or product, and that should be abundantly clear throughout every aspect of your story.
Let us help you get your story out there.
Understanding the elements of an effective marketing story is just the first step towards creating a story that sells in your campaign. Make sure that you stay tuned for our next blog to learn more about creating a direct mail story for your campaign.
In the meantime, let the experts at Worcester Envelope Company help you tell your story in a beautiful, compelling way. We offer custom-printed direct mail envelopes, and since we use Flex8 printing, we can create beautiful, vibrant mailers that demand to be opened. With Worcester Envelope Company, your audience will never miss out on your story again. Best of all, we offer free, no-obligation product quotes. Let us show you what we can do! Contact us today for your free product quote.