A Great Story Could Be The Secret To Doubling Your Response

A Great Story Could Be The Secret To Doubling Your Response

Stanford University marketing professor Jennifer Aaker asked each of her students to give a 1 minute pitch. When asked to recall the pitches later, only 5% of students could cite a statistic, but 63% could remember a story (in detail).

I’ve written over 40 direct marketing promotions that used storytelling as the main selling technique.  This often doubled or more the response to a landing page, video sales letter, TV spot or long copy direct mail package.

The most successful promotion ever, the Wall Street Journal “two young men” mailing, uses a story.

Why does storytelling work so well?

Our brains are hard-wired to like and respond well to stories. Consider how many bad movies or books you’ve finished simply because you started them. We’re hardwired to finish stories; we’re already invested and need to know how it ends. In addition, it’s much easier to make an emotional connection to a protagonist than to a product.

It’s difficult to convince prospects to feel sadness, anxiety, awe or anger because of a product. Evoking those emotions through storytelling, on the other hand, is quite easy (think Disney.)

While stats and facts can be valuable, emotions are more persuasive in our emotional minds. Once you make someone feel something through storytelling, you can connect with them. Once you connect with someone, you can more easily persuade them to take the action you want them to.

Storytelling has the ability to bypass the skeptical and rational part of  a prospects brain until they are emotionally “hooked” on buying the product on a visceral level.  For many people, salesmanship repels, while storytelling sells.

Use an emotional personal story to capture the reader’s attention and hook her emotions. Next offer a product that appeals to the reader’s desires. Then provide proof that the product actually works. Finally persuade the reader to purchase the product.

But where do you get a great story from?

Every product has a great story or can get one by interviewing the founder, customers or customer service personnel.  Your company may have many stories. Find the story that will resonate with your prospects and motivate them to buy your product, then tell it well.  This could double the response to your current or next direct marketing promotion.

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