It’s just before ten o’clock at night. I flip on the television. All I want to do is find something to keep me occupied for a half hour.
At 10:30 I set up the coffee for the next morning and then head upstairs. That signals the start of my bedtime routine.
Flipping through the channels, I find the movie “Woman In Gold” about to begin. The summary looks interesting. I decide to watch it.
“Perfect!” I said to my wife
“Let’s record it. If the first half hour is good we can always watch the rest later.”
Thirty minutes elapse and I’m drawn into the story. My wife gets up from the couch.
“I’m going to bed. We’re recording it. We can finish it tomorrow”
“I’ll be up in a few minutes. I just need to set up the coffee for tomorrow.” I replied
Two hours later I finally made my way upstairs. The movie sucked me in and I could not pull myself away.
That’s The Power Of A Great Story
Time ceases to exist when you’re engrossed in a story. That’s why most long form sales copy includes a story element. There’s no better way to keep your reader engaged.
Some of the best performing sales letters in history have been pages and pages of small type. Who on earth would read a thirty minute advertisement? The person who’s under the seductive spell of the storyteller.
How To Use Stories When You Sell
There’s two ways I like to do this. There are other methods out there as well. I suggest trying several different ones.
First, tell a first person narrative. The narrator opens with a compelling story that reveals compelling benefits. Then she segues into traditional sales copy elements. Then she goes back into the story. Finally, she closes with an offer. There’s a bit more detail to it than that but those are the basics.
The other option is a third person narrative. It follows the same format as the first person narrative. Open with a compelling story. Segue into traditional sales copy. Then segue back into the story. Finish with your close and offer.
I like writing a first person narrative when it fits. It feels more personal. Do whatever fits best for your circumstance. There’s a great story hidden in any product, service or idea. You just need to find it.
“I Hate Reading Long Sales Letters”
Me too, especially boring ones. Nobody wakes up in the morning looking for a long sales letter to read. I did not intend to watch a two hour movie last night. I did it because the story grabbed my interest and wouldn’t let go. That’s where your power lies. No human can resist a great story.
Seamlessly integrating all the parts takes practice. Don’t despair if it doesn’t look right your first try.