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🧐What are story handles? (& how they generate growth)

story handles

This is Inbox Hacking, a free newsletter with Email Marketing insights, tools, & tactics sent twice per week. Join marketers from the NBA, Stanford University, & BASF, and sign up for a Free subscription. Ahead today: What are story handles and how do they generate growth for your organization?

Get those Labor Day email templates ready (September 4th is 11 days out).

Today, our feature article is about story handles— how simplified powerful stories can be carried on without you doing all the work. No time to waste so let’s dig in.

Takeaways from our feature article:

  • Story handles multiple your brand’s reach
  • Simple messaging can be handed off to and spread by affiliates, customers, distributors, etc.
  • Complex stories are hard for others to consume or spread
  • 8 success story examples 

Links to help craft solid business stories. My favorite example stories will follow. 

*Marketing Made Simple episode inspired today’s feature.

My Top 3 Examples of Story Handles

Success story examples. Short, simple, shareable.

The Foreman Grill: Plug in and grill meats indoors.

A big smiling ambassador didn’t hurt.

David Goggins: Stay hard.

A two-word story, he backs up with physical feats that are destroying his body.

My Dad: Talk to your customers.

Spent exactly $0 on advertising his painting biz. Spent hundreds of hours chatting with the people “who kept food on his table.”

*Bonus Goggins-type example in Self Help section below.

Simple Stories are Easy to Understand, Use, & Share

Any idiot can comprehend all three of those stories. And the story handles exist because any idiot can tote those stories around too.

💼I’m no biz guru but I’ve shared my Dad’s story with a ton of small businesses.

💼Not a fitness coach but I can sweat my butt off and eat half-decent, then promote that idea to others seeing me hiking up Yonah Mountain (next to a truly hard new mom toting her 9-week-old baby up the rock!).

story handles

💼And I’m no chef but I tell everybody The Foreman Grill cooks perfect salmon in my bachelor-stricken kitchen.

story handles

Story Handles Hold the Potential to Go Legend

Tom Brady (TB12): Pale, soft-looking QB barely drafted, becomes GOAT, makes babies with supermodel.

Unnamed charity nearby: Overcame shaky start with unique mission→  help people the community didn’t know existed. 

Walmart+: Mr. Anti-consumerism (me) was even sucked in by the story of ease. Local store items toted to my truck, to my doorstep, or odd items shipped from warehouse.

Lions Club: The largest service organization in the world.

Ipod: 10,000 songs in your pocket.

The last example, everyone knows and unfortunately led to our current dystopian iPhone reality with curved neck syndrome and attention extinction. Still, the story has handles and has carried Apple to limitless success (could purchase half the planet🤑). 

Below… seasonal subject lines, insightful content stat, & Today’s Hack expands lead gen.

No long pitch because…

My fingers hurt from writing brilliant, nay, life-changing copy for the past 7 hours.

Ok, the past 27 minutes.

Regardless, go on and demo Inbox Mailers already. The demo team is friendly, helpful, and they smell good.

Inbox Mailers’ triggered emails:

  • Produce open rates of 50% – 70%
  • Increase click volume
  • Re-engage dead lists

Schedule a free demo of Inbox Mailers while I rest my fingers.

*sponsored→ When you support our sponsor, you support me, the pups, & waitstaff I over-tip constantly.

book demo

Knowledge Base

💪Knowledge is power, but first bearded motivation

A mountain of cold email statistics

🤓Recent Microsoft sending errors (super-technical)

Email web font deep dive from Litmus

🍁Seasonal subject line examples (fall arrives in 30 days)

$10,000 in free Google Ads for non-profits (grants) / also YouTube fundraising

🌐Logos are not as simple as you think 

Follow Inbox Mailers…

Self Help

“I’m just a dumb redneck who figured out I ain’t never gonna die.”

~SEAL guy, from motivation vid above. What did I do the next day after it fired me up?

Had my lowest mileage of the year. Pitiful. But it happens.

Regardless, all the folks in that vid doing the hell-mile are impressive.

But I only know the name of one. The SEAL guy Chad. Why? He won. They didn’t. 

Winning matters when it comes to being memorable.

* Inbox Hackers Shout-out:

📢Will at Fuller (edu)

📢Wajid at Zappian (lead gen)

Facts and Stats

  • 8 in 10 marketing automation users see an increase in the number of leads (Oracle)

  • The average unsubscribe rate for 2022 was 0.1% (Snov)

  • 83% of marketers believe it’s more effective to create higher-quality content less often (SearchEngineJournal)

Bonus: 55% of replies to cold email campaigns come from… a follow-up email (

What is a Dead List?

It’s a lifeless email list with too many unengaged subscribers… many who have forgotten your brand altogether. It’s sad…

But sad does NOT mean hopeless.

Many Inbox Mailers have resuscitated over a third of their dead email list! We’re talking subscribers as inactive as decapitated zombies, dusty mummies, or any lifeless analogy you just imagined in your brilliant little head.

So instead of giving up on your unengaged subscribers why not test Inbox Mailers with a free demo? It costs nothing to see how to revive a dead list you worked hard to build. Schedule a demo today. 👈


Get Hacking

Today’s Hack

The problem with lead generators / lead magnets?

They get created without enough thought about the audience.

So today’s hack is easy. Look at your current lead generators (PDFs, ebooks, guides, etc.) and consider more audience opportunities.

Example: A lead magnet designed for teachers. Why not design an alternate version targeting those about to graduate and become teachers?

Alt hack: A/B test dollar amount discount offer vs. percentage discount.

Please forward Inbox Hacking to your fellow email marketing peeps. Forwarding to just one person makes a difference for us.

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