Whether you’re a fan of his work or not, you’ve most likely heard of William Shakespeare, 16th century poet, actor, and playwright. His best-known work was probably that of Romeo and Juliet, though he also wrote dozens of other plays, more than 100 sonnets, and many other creative pieces that are still used and taught today.

So, why are we talking about William Shakespeare? What in the world could this centuries-past man have to do with content marketing today? Well, for starters, Shakespeare had a huge impact on how we tell stories today; specifically, he invented more than 1,700 words and phrases that are still in use in the English language—including “swagger,” “new-fangled,” and even “marketable” (that last one is from As You Like It)!

This brings us full circle. Good storytelling—the oldest form of marketing—is still very much alive and important in today’s digital age. Whether you’re writing an e-mail blast, a blog for your website, or anything in between, you tend to write in a similar manner as Shakespeare; you write in acts.

Act I

The first act of any written piece is meant to grab your audience’s attention and makes your brand the protagonist—and everyone wants to root for the hero. For example, when you’re writing an e-mail blast, act I might be considered your subject line. Write a weak subject line and that e-mail is going to have a low open rate. Write an eye-catching and intriguing subject line, on the other hand, and you’ve captivated your audience. They want to learn more, so they read on.

Act II

This would be the equivalent of your body copy, or the “meat” of your content. The goal of the second act is to continue holding your readers’ attention while also moving the journey or plot forward with new information. This includes the things your reader needs to know in order to keep “rooting” for your brand.

Going back to the example of an e-mail blast, this would be the body of your e-mail—your reason for the message. Maybe it’s to announce a new product, or perhaps it’s to convince readers to take advantage of a sale.


Finally, we reach act III, the finale. Act III should be short and simple, with just enough there to make your audience react to the emotional journey on which they’ve been taken. This act also sets up the need for a call-to-action (CTA), inviting your audience to reach out to you or otherwise further interact with your brand. This is what allows your story to live on, whether through follow-up communication with your client or via social media sharing.

Who would have thought that we could draw so many parallels between the work of William Shakespeare and the exact kind of work we do here at Rebel Interactive Group today? Looking for a team of professionals to knock all three acts out of the park for you? Reach out to our team and we’d be happy to assist you with your e-mail marketing, social media marketing, or other relevant needs.

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