Print is one of the most trustworthy forms of communication. Itâ€™s tactile, tangible, and unlike the countless online pings, pop-ups, and ads we fight off daily, we know where it comes from. Thatâ€™s not to say print marketers should be phoning it in when it comes to wooing potential customers. An effort still needs to be made, some say more when it comes to putting your best foot forward in print. Unlike the secondâ€™s long life span of an email or tweet, print pieces have a shelf life of up to 17 days. Letâ€™s explore how you can tell your story in our favorite medium, print!
Make a connection
Stories bring people together. They put names and faces to brands that are otherwise seen as just logos, websites, or retail locations. Storytelling allows you to make an emotional connection with your audience. To start on your storytelling journey, pick an element of human nature that you can craft a message around. Be inspiring. Be heartfelt. Be pioneering. Whatever you choose Ââ€“ make sure you resonate with your target audience or else your story will fall flat. This goes for words and images as well. Authenticity is essential in storytelling. Stock images will not cut it here.
Storytelling 101 Ââ€“Â Character, Conflict, and Resolution
The basic elements of storytelling are character, conflict, and resolution. This is the same for relaying a funny tale at a dinner party or creating a great storytelling direct mail piece. First introduce your character(s) whether they be a person, brand, company, or product. Hereâ€™s a little example we created to illustrate:
â€œIn a remodeled chicken coop in 1940, a father and son had the idea to start a printing company. From those humble beginnings, the idea that would grow to become Lawton was hatched.â€
Next, set the scene for the conflict or challenge that the character(s) must overcome, a lesson learned, or history made. The resolution is how your story ends. It should wrap up the character and the challenge of bringing things into present-day focus relating back to the audience once again. Stories donâ€™t need to be overly complicated. In fact, the easier to follow the better. Donâ€™t forget to follow things up with your call-to-action.
Form letters get the boot
This is particularly true if youâ€™re in the nonprofit sector. Storytelling is your lifeline in fundraising. A well-spun narrative can mean the difference between a one-time donation and a monthly supporter. Form letters filled with dry, one-sided accounts and asks are out. Make a more meaningful impact with supporters by introducing actual recipients of the need rather than just talking about numbers of people helped. Which of the following scenarios feels more compelling?
- A folded letter with text stating that â€œâ€¦12 students received financial support to attend college because of your giftâ€ and asking you to give again OR
- A branded notecard from Trevor, one of 12 scholarship honorees, telling you more about himself, thanking you for your support, and asking you to give again
Thoughtful design combined with a compelling narrative packs the might to put your fundraising goals or sales goals over the edge.
Are you ready to start telling your story through print? The team at Lawton is ready to help you find the best way to have your message heard with our wide array of digital print options. Contact us today to find out more.