7 Story Secrets

“Seven Story Secrets
That Skyrocket Sales…”
By Vin Montello
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
“Seven Story Secrets
That Skyrocket Sales…”
By Vin Montello
Who is this report for?
While this report is great for marketers looking for yet another bag of
tricks to pull from in their own campaigns… I’m releasing this mostly for
other copywriters. My aim is to up their game which in turn will up my
I’m revealing my secrets in hopes that they’re used… tweaked… even built
upon. Others in my business… close personal friends freaked out when I
told them I was revealing this stuff. They thought I was nuts to give away
the “keys to the farm.”
Aaah… but that’s the best part. Even if you become a master marketing
storyteller, it doesn’t change my business one bit. You will never be able to
replace me.
Unlike standard “Benefits and Bullets” copywriting, there is nothing cookie
cutter about story copy. I can’t be cloned because this truly is the melding
of creativity and science. Sure, the science part could be templated… but
the creativity part cannot.
There will always be room for more.
Besides… I said these are “7 Storytelling Secrets” but I never said they are
the only 7. I still hold a few secrets close to the chest. Can you blame me?
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
But these 7 are a great start anyway.
How did this all begin?
Well… 2006 started for me like it did for most copywriters. I was making
low 4 figures for sales letters that were converting well… but nothing
That’s when I realized I wasn’t fully utilizing my background. I wasn’t
taking full advantage of my 19 years experience writing television.
During my nearly 2 decades in TV I became a master storyteller… sending
audiences on emotional roller coaster rides with my words. I knew I
needed to find a way to marry the rhapsody of Hollywood-style storytelling
and the science of marketing persuasion.
Once I cracked that code, everything changed…
My clients began seeing double digit conversions. In some cases
converting 32%… 53%… 63%. One optin page converting cold at 91%. I
quickly became known as “The Storyteller Seller.”
And while my clients began getting rich, my rates shot skyward. I went
from average to upper 2% of copywriters in what seemed like a blink of an
Most of that early success came from 7 different story tactics I perfected in
dozens of sales letters that made untold millions of dollars.
I’ll introduce you to the 7 in a moment. But first let me say this…
In life there is no better way to get… and keep
someone’s attention than by telling stories.
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
In the early days of radio, it was drama, not music that carried the
And today, it doesn’t matter what the arena. In film… in television… in
literature. It’s all about the story.
Think back to when you were in school. I’d bet you a beer that your
favorite teacher… the one who really got through to you… told stories.
The stories you tell in your sales letters, emails and squeeze pages have
an important job to do. That job is to keep prospects riveted… all the
way to the “buy now” button, or until that 800 number pops up on the
Billions of dollars are made each year, all riding on the back of a
But… you need to know how to use stories to the greatest effect, if you
ever want to attain high-response in your direct response.
Here’s where that begins…
#1 The Headline Story
You can tell an entire story right there at the very top of your sales page.
For great examples just take a look at John Carlton’s famous golf
So many of them have rich characters involved in what are called “hero”
Here are a couple that perfectly illustrate what I’m saying…
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
“Crippled Golfer Stuns L.A. Open Crowd By Crawling From Death Bed
To Beat 110 Pro Golfers With a 67 (Using A Short Backswing) And
Qualify For The Last Spot In The Famous 2002 Tournament!”
“How A Completely Self-Taught Pip-Squeak Golfer Ignored Everything
The So-Called “Experts” Teach… And Stumbled On The ONE BIG
DARN SECRET To Instantly Adding Dozens Of Laser-Accurate Yards
To Your Tee Shots… Especially If You’re Too Short, Too Tall, or Too
That last one is one of John’s most famous golf headlines. Aside from the
golf theme, it shares something with the first headline that aided the
effectiveness of the story. Do you know what it is?
I’ll tell you in a moment. But first, here’s another one that shares the same
story secret. This one not from John Carlton.
“Tottall Newbiie Marketter Bulllliies Hiis Way Thru The Herd… Kiicks
The Doors Wiide Open… And Diiscovers The 7 SIMPLE SECRETS
To Buiilldiing A Massiive Liistt Off Priimed–To–Purchase Prospectts – And
How Hiis Effffortts Can Reward You Wiitth 6 Or 7 Fiigures — Even Iff
You’’re Brand New And Are Sttarttiing Wiitth No Liistt”
In all three examples, the headline was used to tease the product… but
more importantly to entice the prospect to read on.
The headline is the first element of a sales letter people ever see. In these
cases, the frist words on the sales letter not only tell a story, but a full,
rich, visual story.
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
Here’s the best way to tell if you’ve got the makings of a winning headline
story. Just ask yourself this simple question:
“Did I set up at least 1 compelling, 3 dimensional character in my
• Crippled Golfer
• Pip-Squeak Golfer
• Total Newbie Marketer
If you can answer yes, then you’re on your way.
#2 The Been There Done That Story
The BTDT story is a great way to form a bond with your reader. You’re
letting them know they’re not alone in their pain. Whatever pickle they’re
in… you’ve felt how they feel now.
Here’s an example:
In your copy you say… “You’ve listened to all the experts who claim they
can help make you money online. But still it doesn’t seem to work for
You could just add… “I know how you feel. That happened to me too.”
That might work. But it carries much more import if you tell it as a story.
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
“When I started online, I also bought every worthless “get rich quick
scheme.” I was delivering pizzas at night, just to earn extra cash to pay
for these ebooks and courses. You know… after 6 months I still hadn’t
seen dime 1 of profit. I was working my ass off, and just getting poorer
and poorer. I was just about to throw in the towel…”
See how much more powerful that is?
You’re not only telling your reader you’ve been there, but you’re letting
him know he’s not so far gone. He too can do what you did.
This might be the most important story in your sales letter. If you can’t
relate to your reader, the rest of your letter means nothing. Now… It’s
not too hard, when you think about it. You just have to put yourself into
your reader’s shoes. This is just a story version of what Vic Schwab calls
“being on both sides of the counter.”
Think about what your prospect’s going through. What led her to your
page? And what in your experience can parallel that?
You nail that down… and the “been there done that” story is simple.
#3 The Product As Hero Story
Every story needs a hero. In marketing, one of the simplest ways to sell
with a story is to make the hero of the story… the product you’re selling.
Use the story above as an example. The guy was working hard, but falling
further and further behind. He was about to throw in the towel…
“But then a friend introduced me to XYZ product. And the difference was
night and day. It was as if XYZ anticipated every problem I was having
with marketing online. I went from losing money to total profit in 1 week.
And it was all thanks to XYZ.”
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
You read that story in someone’s sales copy and you can’t help but picture
XYZ in blue tights and a cape, flying off into the horizon. The classic
movie hero.
When positioning your product as the hero of the story, it will only work if
it’s both exciting and believable. You must do a balancing act here. Make
sure this story passes both the “so what” and the “yeah right” tests.
Here’s a way to amplify the hero story. It’s simple and can make the story
twice as powerful. Give your hero a villain to fight against.
In the above story, our troubled guy was paddling to keep his
head above water. You amp things up by adding a villain trying to
pull him under the water!
There he is trying to make it online but getting nowhere. Find the story of
the online crook who ripped him off when he was at his lowest point.
That’s your villain.
#4 The Reader As Hero Story
Similar to number 3, the reader as hero story works with the idea that if
the reader uses XYZ, the success that follows will be attributed to her…
not the product.
You’ve seen examples of this in television commercials. The mom needs
to cook a big dinner for her husband’s boss, but she’s a lousy cook (a story
right out of 1957).
So she buys XYZ frozen lasagna and the dinner party is a hit. She even
hides the box at the end while everyone is asking her for the recipe.
That kind of story also works today, both online and offline.
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
“My clients just weren’t seeing results. But I read XYZ and the next day I
had them rolling in profit. They thought I was a magician!”
Just like in the “product as hero story,” the final act of the tale must pass
the “so what” and the “yeah right” tests.
#5 The First Person Hypothetical Story
This is a story tactic you can use when there is no true, compelling story to
be told. You tell your story as a hypothetical, with your reader as the
“What if you were to try XYZ for 30 days… free? And what if you really
worked the program. You could find you wake up on day 30 with a flood
of Paypal sales in your inbox. You’re now a big success. Your life suddenly
changes. You drop the day job and instead sit around in your pajamas
making 5 times the money, with 1/5th the work…”
In the “first person hypothetical” story it’s important that you
make the reader the star of the story. It’s not “What if Bob was
to try…” Or “anyone could try…” It’s “What if you try…”
As long as this story stars the reader… and you put that reader in an ideal
hypothetical situation, there’s a good chance they’re going to believe it’s
really going to happen to them. In their mind it now rises above a “what
#6 Analogies And Metaphors As Stories
Most marketers don’t even think about this one. You know you need to
take advantage of any great opportunity to tell a story in your copy.
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
That doesn’t mean you overwhelm readers with a series of them
throughout the letter. That can get tedious and actually turn the reader
But… there are areas of a sales letter that work like gangbusters as
stories… even though they’re not typically defined as such. It’s like just
telling the the big “explosive” end of the story in a few words.
These are times when you use analogies and metaphors in your copy.
Think about it.
“Destroy the competition…”
“Explode your sales…”
“Turn your online business into an ATM machine.”
These metaphors and analogies are… all by themselves… stories. Or at
least the final act of a story.
Even if you decide not to venture into the world of full-blown story copy on
your own, I recommend you at least run your letter though the metaphor
and analogy gauntlet.
Take the mundane and make it visual and exciting.
That alone could skyrocket your profits! (Yes… that would be a
# 7 The Testimonial Story
Too many copywriters and marketers today don’t use testimonials to the
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
You could just do what most do. Take the long meandering testimonial
that most customers give you, and chop it down to…
“I lost 23 pounds with Slimodrine!”
Or you could use all that meandering text in its entirety.
Both would be wrong, however. A storytelling marketer needs to edit and
remold the story, highlighting what is needed to sell his or her product…
while tossing out everything that doesn’t.
As long as you don’t change the facts of the testimonial, and the
person giving the testimonial is aware of your changes, then it’s
perfectly ethical.
That’s how you turn a huge, unruly story into something as concise and
exciting as this…
“I used to be a Cheerleader… But after I gave birth, I was left with 21
extra pounds of fat. Then I found Slimodrine and now I’m 2 pounds less
than when I graduated high school… Thanks Slimodrine!”
See… it’s a full, rich, true story… all in 3 lines.
Once you “edit” the testimonial, you should go back to your
customer and get her to approve it, just to be safe.
Since your sales page probably has more than 1 testimonial, learning how
to remold testimonials into better stories, can really pay off in 2 ways…
First, because each testimonial is an opportunity to “prove” your product
or service works… but just as important, if not more… it’s an opportunity
to compel your prospects to keep reading.
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
Back at #1 (The Headline Story), I told you that all 3 of those stories
shared something. And that’s true. As a matter of fact, the stories in this
document share that same thing… actually 3 things.
These are the…
3 Elements Required In Marketing Storytelling…
All 3 are required in most stories. It is nearly impossible to have all 3 in a
metaphor however…
These elements are simply…
1. A beginning
2. A middle
3. And an end.
Let’s go back through some examples to see if these stories contain all 3
of these elements…
Headline Story:
Beginning: Once upon a time there was this crippled golfer…
Middle: He crawled from his death bed to play this great golf game…
End: He beats 110 pros and qualifies for the biggest tournament.
The Been There Done That & Product As Hero Stories:
Beginning: Pizza delivery guy can’t make money online no matter what
he tries…
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
Middle: 6 months later he’s about to throw in the towel when he picks up
XYZ product…
End: A week later he’s traded in the pizza dough for tons of dough. Pizza
man is getting rich thanks to XYZ!
Reader As Hero Story:
Beginning: Clients not making money…
Middle: I used what I read in XYZ book and in 24 hours they were
End: It was all thanks to me! Thanks XYZ!
The First Person Hypothetical Story:
Beginning: You try XYZ for free…
Middle: 30 days later you’re making money… lots of it…
End: Your life changes. Now it’s all limos and Leer jets (so to speak)!
The Testimonial Story:
Beginning: Cheerleader gets pregnant…
Middle: Can’t drop the weight no matter what…
End: Slimodrine gets her not only down to her cheerleading weight, but 2
pounds LESS!
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Page: 13
© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
Okay… so there you have it. My simple 7 story techniques that
promise to launch your sales into the stratosphere (That would be
a metaphor. See: #6).
As I’ve said many times before, you don’t want to use all techniques in
every sales letter. That would be overkill.
But using even one or two can really make a huge difference to your
bottom line.
Just recently, I took someone’s letter, that was pretty decent… with a
respectable conversion rate. I added just 3 of these techniques and
improved his conversion by nearly 50%.
If you’re a marketer who wants more sales… a higher bottom
line… and happier customers who actually look forward to buying
from you… then feel free to contact me by visiting my website.
The address is www.montellomarketing.com.
You’ll find a form on that page. Just fill it out and we’ll talk. But please
understand… I’m usually booked months in advance.
I can not do “a quickie.” That is not negotiable. I couldn’t stand behind a
sales letter I threw together. While I have apprentices who help me, I do
all the actual writing myself. None of what I do is ghost written… ever. So
I only have so many hours in a week. And that time is precious.
If you’re copywriter, the fact that you’re reading this tells me you care
about doing as much as you can for your clients, by upping your game.
That’s a great thing.
I’m always happy to help a colleague… especially one seeking new tactics
to help them get better at what they do.
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© Copyright 2008 Vin Montello
Telling stories can be the most powerful weapon you’ll ever use to make
your clients more money. Do that over and over, and guess what? You’re
now in demand. And that demand in turn increases your rates.
If you’re interested in the possibility of being coached on story…
or copywriting in general, head to www.montellomarketing.com and
use the form to let me know. We’ll talk and see if we’re a good fit.
Unlike some other coaches I won’t take you on if I don’t think I can help
you earn back my cost, many times over.
But a warning…
Just because I think I can coach you to greater success, doesn’t mean I’ll
be able to fit you in. I have my regular marketing clients that take up
much of my time. I only coach a handful of copywriters at a time. And like
my writing slots, my coaching slots fill up quickly.
So… if this is something you’re serious about, contact me now.
To greater success in everything you do…

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