Tell Me a Story…

One of our clients is a wonderful storyteller. He recently sent me an ad with an inviting story written in the parable style. Very engaging and I got the moral: “Be clear and specific about what you want.” I had to chuckle, because while I got the “message,” I didn’t know what he wanted me to do with it. In short, no matter how well written, how clever the story, without a clear call to action woven throughout the story, it is not selling…

Story telling is an effective sales tool. We all like a good story. When writing a sales story use some of the basic emotions of joy, surprise, anticipation, acceptance, fear, anger, sadness, and disgust. These emotions allow the reader to relate. An emotionally compelling story can be remembered for a lifetime.

A good story does not interpret “why” something is happening. Allow readers to have their own emotional responses. A little bit of intrigue is why readers find good stories so appealing.  If you know your target market well enough, you probably have a good idea of their response…

The best marketing stories are simple. Not too many characters or too complicated of a plot. Begin with a character(s) your target audience can relate to. Sympathetic is always a good place to start. A complicating situation develops. The character(s) try to resolve the situation—maybe even multiple ways.  As the story draws to a conclusion be sure you have woven in a call to action.

What do you want them to do after reading your story? Establish a direct connection for the purpose of your story. Inspire your reader to do what you want them to do. A call to action could be:

 

  • An upcoming price increase — stock up, buy before the price increases…
  • A deadline — order by the 30th and receive…
  • A free gift — free gift to the first 100…
  • An introductory offer — special prepublication price of…
  • “No risk” trial  — if you are not satisfied…

Calls to action can be anything including to oldies “not available in stores” and “limited time offer.” Whatever your call to action, be sure to include it. That is the whole reason for the story! 

Calls to action are not just for stories. They need to be in all your marketing. Let them know what you want them to do!

Have a great day in whatever your adventure.
To Success! To Life!
Sharon

p.s. Consider using calls to action in most forms of correspondence. Ask for what you want. Be specific. Be clear. Be concise.

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