All for the same reason: we have an insatiable hunger for stories.
When you ask someone: "What happened?", yes, you are looking for facts, sometimes trying to get an explanation, occasionally seeking understanding... but most of all, you are feeding your need for stories.
Now let's turn this around. Instead of taking the position as a CONSUMER of stories, let's look at the role of being a PRODUCER (AND DELIVERER) of stories.
Suppose you are putting together a Web page for a furniture store. Here are a couple ways you could start:
1) Non-story opening copy
You could start by listing the different brands of furniture, or the different types. You could even start by proclaiming the USP of your store and explaining the unique benefit of doing business with you.
2) Story opening copy
You could start with a story... like this:
When Alan and June got married, they wanted to furnish their new home so they would feel comfortable, stay within their newlyweds' budget, and impress people who came over to their house -- all at the same time.
They went to three furniture stores and were told by snotty salespeople that they would have to "compromise." But when they came to Franklin Furniture and Accessories, we told them "Here's the dinette set you need, and we have some living room sets that should fit your requirements as well."
A week later, Alan and June had exactly the furniture they wanted, sprucing up their new home... and the price was right, according to their budget.
~ ~ ~
Surely you see the power of the second approach. Stories work.
But let's talk for just a second about WHY.
The late Joseph Campbell, author of "The Hero With A Thousand Faces," said we all hunger for stories. My friend and screenwriting teacher Jim Bonnett says much the same. So when you tell a story in your copy, you are feeding a constant need that your prospect has.
There are other reasons, too:
- People learn through stories, usually better and more quickly than they learn through the presentation of facts. If you want (or need) your prospects to learn about the unique benefits of your business, a believable story is the most efficient and effective way to do it.
- People identify with the people you write or talk about in your stories. If you went through a furniture shopping experience similar to Alan and June's, the chances are good that you compared what happened to you to what happened to them. By getting mentally and emotionally involved with the people in the story, you are much more likely to take action on what you read next in the copy.
- A story is the most direct route to another person's unconscious mind. Stories stir up fears and desires much more reliably than statements of fact, claims of benefit or empty, hollow phrases -- all of which you see far too often in copy that doesn't work very well.
While we're on the subject of stories, I did want to remind you that the prelaunch sale of Breakthrough Copywriting is still on until tomorrow night.
What does this have to do with stories?
In the Seminar Handouts section, you get step-by-step templates for 7 unique types of stories that are very powerful in copy (pages B-3 to B-11). One of them, for example, is a template for a Value-Builder story. A student of my work used this story to increase the sales price of a piece of software 30%, with no drop in sales (the conversion rate remained the same).
The prelaunch offer ends Friday midnight Eastern Standard Time, so check it out now:
And be sure to send me a good story -- a true story, like Matt Marshall did, about the increased software price -- after you put the Breakthrough Copywriting material to work for you!
World Copywriting Institute