Email Story Sales Machine

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The brain is wired to resist change and marketing. But it can’t resist a story. We’re wired for story and any marketer would be foolish not to leverage storytelling in their emails. But is email storytelling any different than just telling stories? Yes it is. Listen to this episode to find out how.

Guest: Bill Mueller is the founder of Story Sales Machine. He’s been writing story-based email sequences. His approach is simple: people love stories, therefore: use stories to communicate and sell.

[00:50] The Podcast is about how storytelling and emails can be used, with Bill Mueller, creator, and founder of the Story Sales Machine

How did the idea come to be, about putting together this program of selling stories?

[02:31] Bill shares his experience about how it all started:

  • Well, I had been writing for clients for many years, and even partnered with a friend of mine, with how-to-produce that we combined into a business for years. And so just over the years, and writing sales pages and email campaigns. But there were a couple of occasions where I would fold in a story from one of my clients. And just because it was too good of a story not to tell. And the results we got, especially from that first client I had, who was selling a product for teachers, we got so many replies, and we got so many sales. And engagement just completely changed everything in this, I thought it was just kind of a one-off fluke. But whenever I had an opportunity to try it again, I noticed that it just seemed to work well.

  • Marketing back in the 70s and storytelling was not so much of a thing, they thought you had to keep things short

[04:13] How email storytelling is different from storytelling in general:

  • There’s a misconception about storytelling in an email that people think that you have to take the reader through the whole hero’s journey and all but that’s not true.
  • It’s different from storytelling in a novel, which requires taking the reader through that whole hero journey, getting into twists, and getting it all resolved in the end.
  • But with email storytelling, we don’t want things to be resolved, some tension should be there. We want people to take action.

[05:45] Talking about the misconceptions that need to get into the picture:

  • Storytelling emails scare people because they think it’s like writing a novel with twists and complicated characters, things to draw a reader in. That’s just not true.

[06:51] People think they don’t have any story to tell as they have ordinary lives:

  • The point here is that they don’t realize that other people can relate to their ordinary stories and not those of heroes that have bigger-than-life epics.

[08:35] Sometimes those mundane, simple, and boring stories need to be told as they are relatable:

  • The best thing is you can collect different people’s stories. There are so many great stories that make such good points and teach great lessons. Give credits where they are due. They can be repurposed in emails obviously but can be made something different too.
  • Reddit is one of the most famous places to go and get great stories. Those are so relatable and interesting, without the names and locations, but the details provided the actual stories. But the emotional impact of that priming for the next line in your email is insane.
  • Another place for stories is Quora, it’s a question-and-answer site. People ask the strangest and most bizarre questions there but there is always someone to answer, people have stories to tell no matter what. They’re just everywhere you look.
  • You just have to look right, it’s kind of like triggering that part of our brain that start noticing things like when you think of a person in the ring, or when you’re buying a new car, and all of a sudden you see that car everywhere. Once you kind of set the intention in your mind, to look for stories, these stories almost jumped at you.

  • There’s nothing more exciting to me than sitting down over coffee and just listening to a great life story. Sometimes you don’t take the whole story that you find, just take a bit out of that story and use that. Like you almost don’t always have to tell the entire story from scratch, but just have part of it.

[15:11] Bill’s way of mentioning his routine moments to have his own stories:

  • So at the end of the day, I just take five minutes, and I go, Okay, what 1 2 3 stories happen today, just moments, and I just write one or two lines about you don’t tell the whole story. Because if you just write a line or two, you’ll remember the rest of it. And after some time, you will have thousands of stories on the go.
  • pretty much everything can be transferred into that format using stories of animals and things that just don’t exist.
  • Every human being on Earth is trained to consume stories and loves them, but most people dismiss it as common knowledge, and no one is trained to do storytelling, only if we allow our brains to see things that way.

[18:28] Another technique to use while email storytelling is through using an image:

  • It’s so easy to segue from an image, there’s a story always implied in an image. Now you’ve heard the saying there’s every picture’s worth 1000 words. Well, if you pick the right picture, you can draw a story out and relate it to your own story.
  • The brain thinks in images like it’s easier for the brain to process an image

[21:06] Bill’s tips for the writing newbie, who are trying to write in general:

  • Just stop trying to write and talk writing, do the talking on paper. You only need to be conversational and have something to say. You need to have authenticity, sincerity, and a good product to sell whatever it is you’re writing about. And just write conversationally.


Why tell stories? Because they work. This year I’ve decided to incorporate storytelling into every part of my life: my business, my marriage and my parenting. The results speak for themselves.



Igor Kheifets is an amazon best-selling author of the List Building Lifestyle: Confessions of an Email Millionaire.

He’s also the host of List Building Lifestyle, the podcast for anyone who wants to make more money and have more freedom by leveraging the power of an email list

He’s widely referred to as the go-to authority on building large responsive email lists in record time.

Igor’s passionate about showing people how to live the List Building Lifestyle.