Sometimes you can break the rules (and break them brilliantly)

There are so many things I love about this email.

Let me count the ways for you. 

Piles of books tied together with white string.

Everything and everybody has a story. Use it in your marketing.

First, though, I want to point something out: they’ve used images in their email. Normally, that’s a big no-no for me because what you tend to see is a bunch of boxes and some random text because your server usually won’t automatically download images.

However — and isn’t there always a however? — some people can get away with breaking these rules.

J. Peterman is one of them.

I love their marketing. It won’t appeal to everyone; but then, nothing will.

They don’t use photographs of their products, they use sketches and illustrations — and it works for them.

But most of all, I love their product descriptions. Because they’re not just product descriptions, they’re little stories.

And humans are wired for story.

This little email tells a short story beautifully, because you can almost see their lives unfolding before you. Actually, the reason I love it so is because what it said to me.

It reminded me of my favourite Audrey Hepburn films.

Plus, J. Peterman isn’t just selling here, or marketing using a story… they’re giving you a gift. A little recipe for alcoholic lemonade.

You can do this type of marketing with anything.

Everything and everybody has a story. Find it. Use it. Sell it.



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

PS Combine this type of email storytelling with a direct mail campaign and you’ve got something pretty powerful there. Give it some thought. And remember: it’s okay to ask for help.

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