A Marketing Legend’s Wise Take on Storytelling


I love it when the legends praise “story power.”

It happened again yesterday. An email from Drayton Bird. He’s a living legend – among the most influential and successful marketers and copywriters alive. 

And in his email he broke down a century old ad for a mail-order business course. 

The ad tells “the story of two men who fought in the Civil War.” One succeeds in business. One fails. 

The difference? The successful man “trained himself for executive opportunity.” He enrolled in the business course. 

Here’s the thing about this ad…

It doesn’t introduce any new, earth-shattering ideas. 

As Bird notes in his email, “It doesn’t tell you anything you don’t already know.” 

But it works. 


The legend explains: 

“…what makes such ads work so well is story power. I wager more of the greatest ads are stories than any other format.”

This ad worked so well The Wall Street Journal swiped it more than 50 years after it first ran.

The newspaper wrote a sales letter about “two young men” who attended the same college. One succeeded in business. The other struggled.

The difference? The successful one subscribed to The Journal

That letter ran for more than 25 years and generated more than $25 billion (yes, with a “B”) in sales! 

Story-powered content worked 100+ years ago. Story-powered content worked 50 years ago. And story-powered content works today.

Drayton Bird sums it all up…

“…what always works? Stories. I doubt anyone sane wakes up wanting to be sold to – but we all love stories.” 

That’s why smart marketers harness the power of storytelling. Story powered marketing enables them to stand out, captivate their audience, and sell more — without making prospects feel “sold to.” 

And that’s why I’m hosting an online workshop on Friday: 

More Lessons from Marketing Legends

How to Harness the Power of Storytelling to Boost Sales — without Pitching and Prodding

Friday, April 29, 11:30 a.m. EDT, 10:30 a.m. CDT.

There’s zero cost to attend, but you must reserve your spot in advance. Click the big button below to claim your seat…

p.s. I help coaches, consultants, and business leaders discover and deliver powerful stories that captivate prospects and inspire them to act. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.