“You don’t own a list, you have the privilege of having an audience — made up of people who’ve chosen to pay attention to you. Entertain them, educate them, treat them with respect, and your offers will become an easy yes.”
~ Yara Golden
Yara is the owner and founder of The Art of Story Selling. She helps her clients build real relationships with their audience through email and storytelling.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Yara during our Live Event Launchpad virtual event and she had some amazing #valuebombs to share.
People often say Email Marketing is Dead. Yara challenges this by asking “is it email marketing that is dead or is it your relationship with your audience that is dead?”.
If you are not connecting with your audience and providing them with relevant information, or the way you share your information is just too “salesy” because you are not paying attention to your audience’s needs, your list will become cold because your audience can no longer connect with what you are saying.
So what has to change?
Yara believes that many of us forget to bring the human element to email marketing. Content marketing is something that is treated too much as a system and therefore the “real” person behind that email is lost.
Simple tweaks such as writing in the same manner as you would speak to your best friend, or never using someone’s name in a sentence (Can you imagine saying, “Justin, does that sound like a great deal?” during a 1-on-1 conversation?) are some simple ways we can use email to nurture relationships.
One of the best ways to get people excited and to buy into what you’re doing is to show them the process and take them through your journey right along with you. When it comes to event marketing, give them behind the scenes progress of what you are doing leading up to the event.
The messaging has to be always about our prospects, never about us. What are they feeling, experiencing, what conversations are they having in their head, what are they challenged with, etc.?
According to Yara the size of your list should not always matter. The message we are putting out must be created for an ideal client persona…meaning you are creating your message to a specific person. We can get hung up on the fact that we only have 300 people on our list, or we can remind ourselves we are making a difference for that one person.
Yara also shared with us her StorySelling email structure — watch the video clip from our live interview here: https://youtu.be/1bbICCiW_po
story selling email structure:
- Assume Familiarity (remember you are writing to your best friend): Drop the salutation, use contractions whenever possible (unless it is for cadence or emphasis), and never use their name.
- Subject line: create curiosity-based pattern interrupts. Make your reader do a double-take when scanning through their inbox.
- Hooking your reader immediately — 1st, 2nd, and 3rd lines are your HOOK. Make sure your reader understands why they should pay attention to what you have to say. (you gotta start with high drama). ie: I remember when XYZ was happening?
- Guide your reader to the win: then fill your reader the back story and why it is relevant to the point you’re trying to make. Guide them to the epiphany, “this is what I learned from this experience and came to this place of understanding XYZ”.
- Give your reader the WIN: Give your reader credit for connecting the dots and for understanding how your story connects to them and/or your products. Have a conversation with them and come to the realization together as opposed to you telling them what it should be. They are empowered to become a better version of themselves that they admire. And they will keep coming back for more.
- Ask them to tell you about it: Allow your reader to express/ communicate with you what they’ve just realized, or share a similar experience they may have had in the past.
The purpose of stories is to create engagement and nurturing. Let’s connect with our audience as real people…throw out the fluff and let’s connect as real people.