Storytelling Weekly – #013 Alaska Salt Co.

Salt has been a strategic material for thousands of years in China.

It’s almost as important as firearms.

To sell salt, you have to be a state enterprise because it is:

  • A key income source for the government
  • A price stabilizer for other necessities 
  • A system to control capitalism

The salt industry accounts for HALF of the government’s income in 778. And this is why if you sell salt without a license…

It’s a mandatory death penalty.

(Fun fact: salt was so valuable that there were salt bandits. Suck it, pirates.)

So, today, let’s discuss the most interesting salt company – 

The Alaska Salt Co.

Recap of Storytelling Weekly

Before diving in, here’s a quick recap for newcomers just tuning in to my One Story A Week Series. 

  • Once a week, I’ll find an interesting brand to study.
  • I’ll break down what I like about their storytelling techniques.
  • Then, I’ll show you how to utilize these techniques in email.
Full Disclaimer

I don’t have any insider info or access to their account. So, I’m writing based on studying their website, interviews, and emails. However, I don’t have proof of earning claims or results of specific campaigns.

Now, there won’t be any “hard selling” in this series, but – 

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Brand Introduction

Ecommerce Email Marketing - Alaska Salt Co Logo

Casey Siekaniec and his wife Britni founded Alaska Salt Co., harvesting sea salt from Kachemak Bay in Homer. 

While Casey might be the General Manager, Britni is the voice behind all their marketing.

And what a voice!!

It’s bold. It’s daring. And it’s salty.

For anyone who’s claiming:

“I’m selling [boring products]. Why would people want to hear from me… let alone read my email daily?”

The answer is in the Alaska Salt Co. email list 👇

Ecommerce Email Marketing - Alaska Salt Co Optin

(hat tip to Chris Orzechowski & Daniel Throssell for introducing the brand)

Storytelling Tactics

Before I break down anything…

Let’s look at two emails:

HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY SALTY BITCHES.

I hope you all had a fabulously, uncomfortably full Thanksgiving!! We sure did 🙂

Hey.. we clean up pretty nice. and apparently so does Samantha:

[a picture of a roasted chicken… or turkey?]

OK. This did actually make me sad but.. she just didn’t know when to keep her beak shut.. so we had no choice. Casey had to take her on down to the train station…

RIP Samantha, and now the whole neighborhood can, too. 

Anyhoosies.  Just thought y’all should know ’bout that. I’ll move right on to the deals since we all have lots of shopping to do today 🙂

First up, Buy 3 Get 1 Free on Salty Trio Sets!! These little gift boxes are the perfect go-to for people you have no fucking clue what to get for Christmas. Maybe your sister’s new boyfriend, an introverted coworker, or someone who is just so hard to shop for. It has our 3 most popular salts plus a little travel tin. It is simple but to the recipient it is not going to seem like a copout gift. Instead, it will feel like a super unique gift from a small, US based company. They will be thinking “you trendy little bitch always finding good ass gifts”. These retail for $26 but feel nice and heavy and expensive and thoughtful in person 🙂
Source: Black Friday 2022

I told you it’s salty. 😏

But wait, the next one takes it even further:

Good Salty Morning,

At least, it’s morning to me right now [7:53 am]. I’ve been wide awake since 5:00 am since sleeping, along with all other fun, enjoyable things is something the pregnant are not permitted to do. 

I am currently 8+ months pregnant and things are getting pretty weird up in this bod. Specifically, there are two things I simply cannot do, that I have never heard any pregnant person ever speak of.

The first being that without some sort of reflective device, I CANNOT (if my life depended on it) see my own crotch/pubes. 

Like. I just can’t. 

I don’t even know how long this has been the case but it just dawned on me a couple of weeks ago that I hadn’t seen my ole partner in a minute. and. I gave it a real, real hard try.

Now, if you’re a long time reader, you know that I don’t wear pubes. I personally find them to be unsightly and burdensome, but until recently didn’t know there was an actual scientific reason for me not vibing with pubes. I thought my dislike for my own bush was a product of my generation, something I’d grow out of [pun intended] now that I’m in my thirties.

again. no dice.

What better time to try on pubes than whilst pregnant and physically unable to even see them? and let’s be real… I’ve not just given up on hedge maintenance in my 3rd trimester, its been a long while since I’ve had but a single fuck to give about like, looking cute in general. And feeling sexy? [insert a dump truck full of laughing/crying emojis here]. 

But just I couldn’t take them anymore. They are so GOD DAMN itchy!!!!

Now. I know what you’re thinking (you judge-y little fucks); that I didn’t let them grow out long enough and that I just need to give it more time..

But trust me…. 

Length was not the problem.

nope.

I started my No-Shave-November back in June.

The problem is that I have straight pubes. like, straight as an arrow. straight as a.. well, think of the straightest person or thing imaginable and by comparison my pubes are far straighter. and coarse little mother fuckers. (are we turned on yet lol).

So all day long it feels like there’s a 1700s witches broom in my panties and I have to go about my day resisting the urge to subtly rub my crotch on every corner and piece of furniture I come across for some relief and I just couldn’t take it any more. 

I woke up yesterday and told myself I wouldn’t go one more day without swathing that ginger hay field growing in the canyons of my thighs. 

[and the story goes on… and on… and on about how she tackled the mission]
Source: Pregnant Lady Problems

The two emails above are textbook examples of story-powered emails.

Now, the structure is always the same:

  • Story Hook
  • Transition
  • Offer with CTA

We don’t need to explain the Offer.

Basically, what do you want to sell today?

The transition is equally simple. It can even be…

“Anyhoosies.”

But the story makes or breaks the email.

Email Tip of The Week

The question I get most often is:

“I’m not selling an interesting product. I don’t have a lot of customer success stories to share. How do I use stories in my emails?”

Well, the simple answer is – 

You story does NOT have to be related to your product.

by Me.

*shock*

Yes, look at the two examples above.

The stories have NOTHING to do with salt…

(except that they’re extremely salty)

But when you read the story…

Are you not entertained?

The purpose of the story is to –

  1. Attract your readers’ attention…
  2. Make them laugh…
  3. Make them want more…
  4. Help them know & like you a bit more after every email…

That’s all.

The story does NOT have to sell your product.

Because when you’re engaging with your readers daily(ish)… entertaining them with stories… nurturing the relationship…

You build trust with your list.

This way, when you make an offer…

Your subscribers will often buy – offer unseen – because the relationship is doing the selling.

Conclusion

Stop worrying about not having an “interesting product.”

Look, your audience… even if they’re suffering from a painful problem… they do not want to listen to pain, problems, challenges, and failure all day.

They want to have fun.

They want to be entertained.

So, give them what they want… and the relationship will make it 10 times easier to sell anything.