Email storytelling is different

Last week, I spent a lot of time snuggling on the couch procrastin… reading Mattew Dicks’ book – Storyworthy.

It’s an interesting read, but something immediately felt weird…

On Page 34, Matthew said:

“If you wouldn’t tell your story at dinner that way, for goodness’s sake, don’t tell it on stage that way.”

Then, on Page 41:

“The story about my wife uncovering my childhood secret, in the full seven-minute version, is one of the most popular stories that I tell…”

Wait… What?! 7-minute story?

This is when I realized the problem.

Storytelling is very contextual.

Telling a story in an email is drastically different than telling a story on a stage… in a book… at dinner… or even in person.

Here’s why:

People pay for a comedy show.

People sit down “ready” to read a book for 30-60 minutes.

People must eat that dinner regardless of the story

But people are actively looking for a reason to DELETE a boring email.

See the difference?

The intention.

When you’re telling a story on stage (book, dinner), the audience isn’t going anywhere. They will give you the benefit of the doubt and allow you to set up the story – even when it’s taking a bit too long.

You can also use your body language and/or eye contact to sustain the excitement.


Nobody will spend 7 minutes reading an email.

An email storyteller has to:

  • Capture the attention within 2 seconds.

(Or they bounce)

  • Set up the story in just one or two lines – MAX.

(Or they bounce)

  • Maintain that attention like an emotional roller-coaster.

(Or they bounce)

No, I’m not saying email storytelling is harder… or better…

It’s just different.

So, if you want to use email to cultivate a list of raving fans who buy every offer you introduce…

For goodness’s sake, please don’t spend 7 minutes telling a story in your email. And if you need help, check this out.

K. That’s all. Got to bounce.

I have a book funnel I need to create today. 😁

Cheering for you,