Stories Sell – Fact

Facts get forgotten, whereas stories get repeated.

That simple sentence is worth remembering next time you think about writing some web copy, brochure text, email content or case study.  copywriting and storytelling

But that doesn’t mean that a gripping story will necessarily result in a flood of new clients.

Yes, your prose may have moved them, it may have captivated them and they may have enjoyed your story. But your strategy didn’t work because they didn’t buy, get in touch or sign up.

Using storytelling to influence others in your copy isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you want to influence people and get them to take an action, there are a few things you must get right.


If you’re going to use a story, make sure it’s relevant to your goal.

If not, yes, your reader will get a great story, but they won’t ‘get’ what it has to do with your company or the action that you’re asking them to take at the end.

What’s more, if you find yourself having to explain the tenuous link at the end, it’s not right. It should be obvious from the outset why you’re telling it.

There must be an instant connection between your story and your company.


You’ve probably read enough novels over the years to know there are some seriously boring stories out there.

To capture your reader’s imagination and to get them to take an action, your story must grab them from the off. That means making sure all the elements of a good yarn are there: a beginning, a conflict, climax and the end.

What’s important?

Paying attention to every word you write will help you strengthen your story. There’s no room for sentiment it the world of marketing, so when reading through each paragraph ask yourself whether it contributes anything to the overall message – if the answer is ‘no’ cut it.

You have to be brutal to be effective.

The final thing to think about is the length of your story. Too short and you may miss the point, too long and your audience may doze off. As a guide, make sure your story takes up no more than half of your copy. Any more than that and it can begin to dilute the effectiveness of your message.

Do you use storytelling?

If so, how have you used it and what has the effect been?

Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+

 Image courtesy of Simon Howden/FreeDigitalPhotos
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