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The Importance of Storytelling in Email Marketing

Janis Rose, the Founder and CEO of Mailigen, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his insight on the intersection of sales, marketing and technology. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

In this episode, we discuss everything from the future of email marketing, Rose’s definition of it, and the impact of multimedia content within emails.

TechnologyAdvice: What are your favorite examples of storytelling?

Janis Rose: I love how InVision got me interested in their product. It’s a design prototype application. First, I was just curious about what they were inventing. Purely through story, they were explaining how designers of large companies like Google, eBay and PayPal work and use their product to build better products themselves. They tell stories of successful companies from a design perspective, and email was the best channel to deliver those articles to readers and get them engaged.

I’ve seen other companies do the same. You don’t talk about yourself, you talk about success with your clients and how they use your product to tell stories. It’s a really exciting time, we’re going through a rebranding and have identified what the real core values are for us. One of them is mentorship, helping our customers to identify and tell their stories.

Over the next few months, we’ll be doing a lot of education with storytelling and telling your story. It’s now the one thing that will really differentiate you from your direct competitors. Everyone has the same technology. The packaging may be different. But executing the storytelling really well is important in today’s world.

TA: What’s the importance of multimedia content within email?

Rose: Inline, embedded or encoded images load in email programs that will block server-side images. This proves to be working great for emails with heavy graphics. Image blocking is for older email clients. If you use Gmail or any iOS device, the images are unblocked already. There’s an advantage in serving the promotional material. It also increases the size and load speed. People hate waiting today, so we have to be very careful with an image of one or two megabytes. Will people delete it before it loads?

Talking about surveys, it’s a great way to get more information from existing clients, new subscribers, event attendees, etc. This information can be used for deeper segmentation and personalization in the future. Content quality is key. The more information you can use for your client, the better. You can use it on your website, use it on a welcome email. Just ask for an email and more information using a survey.

TA: What are your thoughts on lead generation?

Rose: It really depends on how you actually acquire the leads. They’ve got the carrot and were more or less lured into engaging with your email marketing strategy. You can actually have a wider effect that can generate more leads from the same list. Sharing great content is one way; providing great content or sharing spontaneous gifts can happen through marketing automation.

You can also use marketing tools to automatically follow people or look for emails on social media, and get more information that way. Today everyone’s using so many different ways of acquiring leads on the web. There’s bounce back, time-based forms, etc. Lead generation today is key: they must be quality leads. You have to give something of high quality to users from the get-go to establish loyalty.

Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via SoundCloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes.

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Josh Bland.

The Importance of Storytelling in Email Marketing
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