customer transformations in email marketing

How To Show Customer Transformations In Your Email Marketing With Relatable Before-And-After Stories

Do you collect testimonials in your business? What's the best way to show customer transformations in your email marketing? Can the success stories and case studies of your customers help you convert more of the people on your email list? 

If you want to learn an easy way to go beyond your regular, commoner-garden testimonial, this is the place to be. 

Let's go get the secret sauce! 


(0:14) Grab our amazing resource Click Tricks totally for FREE!
(3:33) What's the big deal about customer transformations?
(5:24) The power of social proof on potential buyers.
(10:19) Show people that something is good.
(13:41) The importance of the before-and-after story.
(17:14) Create a way to capture customer wins.
(20:08) How do you collect great customer stories?
(28:15) Genuinely build you your customers and their stories.
(29:48) Success stories help others buy.
(33:16) Subject line of the week.

What's the big deal about customer transformations? 

Everyone in marketing talks about the fact you need to have social proof and testimonials. And it's true – you have to talk about the results you get for people. Of course, never get yourself into any hot water here. Everything you say has to be true, so you have to be careful not to use stories that imply, suggest, or outwardly state that people have had success from working with you if you can’t back that up. Whatever you say, write, or put out there, has to be a true claim that you can prove. Don’t be naughty!

The power of social proof on potential buyers

But why is it so important to share the stories of people who have experienced success with you? You have to tell others (especially potential buyers) about the transformations – about how you took someone from point A to point B and how you got them an outcome. That's powerful. And it's something you don't want to forget in favour of just sharing the facts about your product or service. 

For example, Rob’s parents just bought a car, and the salesman who sold them the car asked for a nice testimonial. Before they wrote the review, Rob and his parents had a look at existing ones already out there. And they all said that the salespeople were lovely, friendly, and helpful. And that’s all great. But none of these testimonials were anything transformative! We don’t think they helped the dealership much.

So what Rob and his parents did instead was to point out how their life was transformed as a result of buying a car from that place. You have to go beyond the testimonial and focus on the transformation. And for a car, that could have to do with the feelings of increased safety, certainty, confidence, or status, for example.

If people read about us that we’re fun to learn from, for example, it's great. But people don’t necessarily buy programmes to have fun while they learn! They primarily want to know they’ll get the results they’re looking for. While having a good experience in the process is important, people care about the outcome

Show people that something’s good

Don't just tell people that something’s good – show them. Of course, you want to appeal to the conscious, logical side of people's brains too. So tell them what they're going to get (i.e. the deliverables). But then also show them how what you’re giving them is going to resonate.

The most powerful part of using transformational stories as social proof in your marketing is that they turn facts into emotion. It’s hard for humans to buy from just facts – we have to initially get interested because of an emotion, curiosity, or excitement. As marketers, we need to offer the logic too, but the point is that you can't argue with how someone else feels about something. You can’t say that you believe something works (or doesn’t work) based on another person expressing how they feel. Because you can’t argue with their feelings!

Over the years, we’ve had several students come to our show and share their transformational stories. And it’s a powerful thing to do because you get to hear directly from a person. It’s not just us telling you what’s in our programme. You get to hear what the person was struggling with, and you might identify with their struggle. When you hear the story directly from someone who's gone through it, you can see they've been exactly where you are now (or even in a worse-off position than you). 

The importance of the before-and-after story

This is why the “before” picture is important – and we don’t mean that just in the visual sense. Always tell the “before” story. In the world of email marketing, you might be struggling to get people on your email list for the first time, for example. So when you hear someone else talking about what they tried or why it was so difficult for them, suddenly you can relate. Facts become emotional.

And the more facts you share, the more you give people things they can latch on to, relate to, or identify with. Maybe you also have the problem of not knowing how to convert the subscribers who are opening your emails and clicking on your links. And if you want the same transformation another client had, you start thinking that maybe this same solution will work for you. The more facts you paint as pictures, the more there is for prospective clients to grab onto and relate.

Create a way to capture customer wins

One of the things we recommend is that you have a methodology for identifying the people in your audience who’ve had some sort of success with your solution. Is there somewhere you can collect information about recent successes? Note that you want them to be recent because that makes them more believable and present – they feel more timely.

To find these stories, you need some sort of “listening mechanism” in your business (and we don't mean this literally), where you can capture customer success wins. For example, we have a private members-only Facebook group where we ask our students to share their wins every week. This means we can identify people who’ve had great success with our programme, and we can ask for more information. We might not invite everyone on the podcast for an extensive interview, but we’ll often reach out to the person and ask them if we can have a conversation about their experience and find out more details. 

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10 book recommendations that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we stumbled upon which have been game-changing for us).

How do you collect great customer stories?

When we see someone sharing a win, we screenshot the message and then often have a conversation with the person about what they did. We congratulate them, give them personal significance, and then ask them more questions. You can choose to document what they tell you in various ways. For example, we have a Wall of Wins on our website – it's a huge page full of screenshots of people sharing their wins. 

If you don’t have any wins or success stories for your programme or course, it’s most probably because you don’t have a proactive way of capturing them. Because people are most certainly having results – they’re just not sharing them! That's why inside our programme – The Email Hero Blueprintwe have a couple of email marketing campaigns that are designed to collect testimonials. Somebody buys your product, and you put them through one of those campaigns, which ask for a testimonial. You can do this by sending out the link to a simple form for your customers to fill in, so you can collect your testimonials. 

Let's face it – not everyone’s going to write the world's greatest testimonial. But if you see an excellent one and want to dig under the surface, you can reply, thank the person, and ask them if they’d like to chat with you so you can talk about the before and after. At that point, you can send them a deeper questionnaire or hop on a call and ask them if they’d like to answer a few questions. You'll find that if the experience was transformative enough, or people got incredible results quickly, they’ll want to talk about it!

The power of stories

For a lot of people, receiving a testimonial is the end of the conversation. For us, it’s just the beginning. We want to know what the person did, what they tried, what was happening for them before they started working with us, etc. We want to get the story. Because that’s a lot more powerful than just another testimonial.

Think about the power of stories. We talk about this a lot – we use storytelling in our emails because stories connect with people. They allow you to feel something you wouldn’t normally feel. With a story, you're creating scenarios and triggering emotions. You're painting a picture that allows people to imagine what you’re saying. You can’t imagine a testimonial unless the person tells it as a story. It’s like the difference between reading the synopsis of a film and watching the whole movie! 

Generally speaking, testimonials are easy to collect because people can write them quite fast, especially if you put together an easy process with a form for them to fill in. But once you get those initial testimonials, they’re your foot in the door to get more. If it sounds like there's more there, dig further. Ask questions. When people have put action, commitment, and consistency in doing the work, they’ll be happy to tell you more. And they'll get some significance by hearing from you personally.

Genuinely build up your customers and their stories! 

When you're sharing your customers' success stories, genuinely build those people up. Tell everyone how brilliant, clever, or smart the person is because that puts them in the highest status position. It makes them credible. Plus, it fires off a lot of emotional resonance and positivity.

Others can see that you're talking about a respected person that you think of positively. Whenever you hear us talking about a client, we share from the heart all the things we love about them. And we’re just being honest – we’re using this genuinely and not in a facetious or dodgy way.

Success stories help others buy

If someone’s joined our list, and they’ve gone through our email engine but haven't bought yet, we often find they'll eventually (finally!) buy at the back of a success story we share. Typically, these are the most difficult people for us to sell to. Because they’ve been through a lot of our content, but they're still on the fence about buying.

And oftentimes, it'll be a testimonial we share that makes the penny drop for those kinds of subscribers and gets them to decide to go ahead and buy. The story we share probably resonates, and while they weren't sure our solution would work for them, they've now heard or read something that makes them feel it does. We find that the emails that include success stories and testimonials are often some of the highest-converting emails we send. That's why we often do shout-outs about some of our students. We publicly celebrate their success because it's a lovely thing to do, and these emails do well for us.

If you want to go and check out the two different testimonial campaigns we have inside our programme, you can find them at The Email Hero Blueprint. And as a special bonus when you buy, you’ll get an email asking for a testimonial and a chance for a shout-out. How about that?


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Subject line of the week

This week’s subject line is “Our ‘gateway drug'”, and the email was about when we first got into the world of surveys. We started off wanting to run one survey and suddenly realised the power they had. So we became addicted to them!

This phrase has a completely different connotation, of course – people think of another context when they see that. And they certainly aren’t expecting someone who teaches email marketing to talk about this topic! And that's why it worked, so check it out!

Useful Episode Resources

Related episodes

Testimonials – how to write and collect them automatically to bring in more sales with Monica Snyder.

How Our Client Jeri Anderson Made $27k In Month One Launching A Brand New Business & Starting With Zero Contacts On Her List.

How April McMurtrey Increased Her Revenue By 400% In Just One Year – A Case Study.

FREE list to improve your email marketing

If you want to write better emails, come up with better content, and move your readers to click and buy, here's how. We put together this list of our Top 10 most highly recommended books that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we happened upon, which have been game-changing for us). Grab your FREE list here

Join our FREE Facebook group

If you want to chat about how you can maximise the value of your email list and make more money from every subscriber, we can help! We know your business is different, so come and hang out in our FREE Facebook group, the Email Marketing Show Community for Course Creators and Coaches. We share a lot of training and resources, and you can talk about what you're up to.

Try ResponseSuite for $1

This week's episode is sponsored by ResponseSuite.com, the survey quiz and application form tool that we created specifically for small businesses like you to integrate with your marketing systems to segment your subscribers and make more sales. Try it out for 14 days for just $1.

Join The Email Hero Blueprint 

Not sick of us yet? If you're a course creator, membership site owner, coach, author, or expert and want to learn all about our ethical psychology-based email marketing that turns 60-80% more of your newsletter subscribers into customers (within 60 days), The Email Hero Blueprint is for you. 

This is hands down the most predictable, plug-and-play way to double your earnings per email subscriber. It allows you to generate a consistent flow of sales without having to launch another product, service, or offer. Best news yet? You won't have to rely on copywriting, slimy persuasion, NLP, or ‘better' subject lines. And you can apply everything we talk about in this show.

Subscribe and review The Email Marketing Show podcast

Thanks so much for tuning into the podcast! If you enjoyed this episode (all about how to show customer transformations in your email marketing) and love the show, we'd really appreciate you subscribing and leaving us a review of the show on your favourite podcast player.  

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