About Zafira
I help entrepreneurs unblock their voice, harness their creative energy, and write sensory stories that connect with their audience.

How To Tell Sensory Stories In Your Emails


I love to infuse the word “sensory” into describing how I write, but what I love even MORE is showing others how to do the same.

Being *sensory* in your writing is, well, exactly that. It tantalizes your tastebuds, pricks up your ears, makes your eyes sparkle and gives you goosebumps.

Reading good writing evokes one or two emotions. Reading sensory writing is a full-body poetic experience.

And if I’m gonna pick one, it’s gotta be the latter!

But how do you take your everyday writing from “wowza” to “DANG I feel all the feels”?

The best way is by doing

… And the second best way is by watching.

That’s why I wanted to give YOU a sensory show and tell when it comes to writing your marketing emails.

Here’s what I’m gonna do:

  • I’m taking THREE excerpts from of sensory emails to my list — and showing you a “before” (without sensory details) and “after” (what happens when you apply sensory storytelling to your copy).
  • Your job is to observe what happens in the “after”!

Let’s begin…

Example 1: A Vacation Recap

  • The goal: Re-engage my email list.
  • The story angle: Connect the dots between being inspired in a new environment *and* hearing what’s lighting up my audience recently.


Hey! I’m SO excited to write this email from my home back in Africa.

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I’ve been back in the warmth and surrounded by family (plus, all my favorite foods)…

… And this trip is even more special because we’ve been able to introduce our daughter to her family here.

Our trip all the way from Canada was SUPER long (and sweaty), but now that we’ve settled in, I can say it was totally worth it and I’m starting to feel excited about strategizing for the months ahead.

Now, if you’re anything like me — I’m sure you’re feeling ready to dive back into business after the New Year, too!


I’m writing to you from what I call home home — Kenya.

It’s been three years since I’ve….

  • Walked barefoot under lush mango trees
  • Stopped to smell blooming orange, red, pink and yellow roses outside my window
  • Gotten away without applying endless amounts of almond oil on my skin every morning (because the humidity embraces it instead)
  • Sipped cup after cup of steaming masala chai in glass mugs without looking at the time
  • Dozed off to the sounds of crickets chirping and woken naturally at the same time everyday (sob I missed the equator)

All to say, it’s been a warm welcome back… And even *more* special because we’ve been able to introduce our daughter to her family here.

Starting the New Year very jet lagged from the journey between Vancouver-Nairobi, under the stars, balmy air and no need for layers has filled me with gratitude for a slower pace than I’m used to (although it has taken some adjusting!).

Buuut I’m ready to get the creative juices flowing again. ✨

If you’re anything like me, you might be “getting back into it” properly right around now, too.

After all the Ferrero Rocher sprees over the holidays…
After giving your laptop a long nap…
After recovering from time with lots of family…


  • Note how instead of saying “it’s warm and I love it here” — I went into detail about my environment! From feeling grass underfoot to the texture of the mug I was sipping chai in, every little detail matters if you want to pull your audience in and really let them into your world.
  • Rather than referencing “the holidays”, I meet my audience where they’re at and show them that I understand them — like the chocolates we inevitably eat, or helping them feel guilt-free for logging off from the internet.

You can read the full sensory email here.

Example 2: Marketing My Spa Week

  • The goal: Attract more applications for my signature 1:1 service, my Spa Week.
  • The story angle: Connect the dots between my recent (disastrous) hair appointment and finding the right fit in a great copywriter.


So I had an interesting appointment at the hair salon two weeks ago, [First Name], and it was SO uncomfortable.

Yes, I finally got a few hours to myself (that new mama life!) BUT I also had to deal with a chemical treatment I’ve *never* had before.

My postpartum hair is super different — it’s white, it’s frizzy and I had no idea what to do. So when a “smoothing treatment” was suggested at the salon, I was like YES PLEASE.

They assured me nothing about my hair would really change, except it would just be… Under control?

After I washed my hair for the first time post-treatment… I regretted it.

My hair smells all weird and it looks so different from before! Yes, it’s no longer frizzy — but it’s just not me.

That’s when I thought about you, [First Name].

Maybe you’ve never found *quite* the right copywriter in the past… Even though they promised messaging that wouldn’t miss the mark.

When clients tell me stories like this, it really breaks my heart.

By the time we work together, they’ve been through the gambit before… Until they land on my Spa Week.

In 2022, I had this offer booked out because clients were SO happy with our work together, they always re-booked me right after we wrapped up.

I’m not saying this to brag, but just to celebrate the fact that you CAN find the right fit — I promise.


I spent 3 hours in a salon chair two weeks ago [First Name], and it was the sweetest kind of torture.

  • Sweet: I was unable to do *anything* for 180 minutes, a rare feat for me right now.
  • Torture: My scalp was slathered with chemicals and was washed on repeat like an aggressive rinse cycle. Also, sharp nails on my stylist. (I love her, but also ouch?)

You see, after losing clumps of hair for months postpartum — my hair has finally grown back, but it’s DIFFERENT.

It’s wiry. It’s white. It’s frizzy. It does not understand the concept of gravity. Its attempts to fuse with my old hair are simply not working. It’s giving… Einstein energy.

And in a moment of desperation when booking the cut weeks ago, the receptionist took one look at me and *strongly* suggested a “smoothing treatment”.

“You’ll feel SO much better and it’ll totally tame your frizz!”

“And you’re SURE it’s not going to straighten my curls?”

“No no no! It’ll just get everything under control, I promise.”

*Appointment booked*

$250 later after The Appointment, I emerged feeling lighter (the difference a 3-inch chop makes!) with a pep in my step, but…

It wasn’t until I gave it it’s first wash that I *kind* of regretted the decision.

My wild curls that I’ve grown to love are now just… Loose waves.

My hair STILL smells like chemicals.

It just doesn’t feel like… Me.

There’s parts of it that look more smoothed out, but my essence is missing.

And here’s why it made me think of you.

You might have felt the same way when trying to write your own copy, or hiring someone else to do it for you.

You spend *so* much time, money and energy to uplevel your hairdo messaging, only to feel… Meh?

There’s nothing that breaks my heart more than a client coming to me and saying, “it hasn’t felt like *me* in so long.”

And oftentimes, I’m the second or third copywriter they’ve hired, because their copy just never landed in their heart the way they wanted.

The treatment they come knocking on my door to book? My Spa Week.

I secretly booked out this one offer until the end of 2022 a while ago, and here’s why:

>> My clients always respond to my first draft saying, “Zafira, you nailed it!”

… And then proceed to book another week together to tackle something else on their to-do list.

Every. Single. Time.

This isn’t to brag, but it’s to celebrate the fact that aligned collaboration really is possible… And produces results.


  • Instead of glossing over the actual experience at the salon, I wove hyperspecific details into the email: from my hair stylists’ sharp nails, to the smell of the chemicals, to the total time it took for the appointment to wrap up (180 mins!).
  • Incorporating dialogue is a really great way to add MORE of a sensory feel, whether it’s to clearly communicate how a conversation went to showcasing the internal dialogue you might be having with yourself. I was consistent in this from my conversation with the stylist and the conversations with my clients, which also helps create a nice parallel.
  • In the aftermath of the appointment, I also play with the sensory parallels I’d created previously: by describing the exact texture of my hair before to what it felt like after. You get a fuller, richer picture of how I was feeling just by noting the differences between them.

You can read the full sensory email here.

Example 3: Selling My Membership

  • The goal: Quick check-in with my audience to let them know I had limited spots left for the upcoming round of my creative writing membership, The Tide Pool.
  • The story angle: Connect the dots between freedom on vacation (I was in Hawaii as I wrote it — kept that a mystery, though!) and freedom with owning your voice.


[First Name]… I’m writing to you from paradise, in the middle of the ocean — fresh from a salty swim this morning.

In this dreamy Airbnb we booked for my birthday week, I’m so happy to finally get a sense of *peace* in a long, long time.

The flowers and the wildlife make ME feel alive! Which is why you might be surprised to find me opening my laptop instead of being *outside* — but I promise it’s for a good reason.

Vacations are amazing, but they’re NOT sustainable for cultivating that sense of peace on the regular. Trust me when I say — you truly get access to that when you find your *voice*… On paper.

The thing is, I know it’s SO hard to do it alone.

That’s exactly why I created The Tide Pool — my new creative writing membership inspired by the ocean (and there’s only a few spots left.)

When I say ocean-inspired, I mean it.

I’m talking about….


[First Name]…

I’m sitting with a cup of chai and my second scone of the day, fresh out of the ocean. Barefoot, tanned and slathered in Supergoop sunscreen.

We woke up at 6 AM for a sunrise walk and a swim on this island (I’m currently OOO for my birthday week!), and I feel a deep sense of peace and home.

Frangipani flowers in my hair. Yellow, red and white hibiscus flowers swaying in the salty breeze. Turtles tossing around in the waves.

And as much as cracking open a laptop sounds nothing like the above, I had to borrow my husband’s to write to you —

Because you don’t have to go on vacation to cultivate this deep sense of belonging, calmness or freedom.

You can find that when you *really* get to know yourself, your story and your voice.

THAT is true freedom. The stuff of a huge exhale, and letting go.

But it’s easier when you don’t have to do it alone, right?

That’s exactly why I created The Tide Pool — my new creative writing membership inspired by the ocean (and there’s only a few spots left.)

When I say ocean-inspired, I mean it.

I’m talking about…


  • Zooming in on details like brand names (such as my Supergoop sunscreen), what *exactly* you ate/drank as you’re writing and the time of day can be SO critical in crafting a sensory experience. It’s such a simple sensory strategy because you don’t have too think too hard about it — you just have to be honest! Maybe you spent your morning frantically dropping kids at school and burning your tongue on a Starbucks macchiato, or you’re writing your email at 11.01PM because the sun has been setting later and you’re a night owl. Take us to where you are in that moment, and you’ve already gotten so much heavy lifting out of the way.
  • When describing your environment, think: adjectives. Textures. Sensations. Place. For instance: I love frangipani flowers SO much, but I went an extra step and told you I’d put them in my hair. Hibiscuses are gorgeous, and I told you all the colors I was seeing *and* how they were moving in the wind. All those tiny details start painting a super sensory experience for your reader that goes beyond the surface!
  • Keeping a running theme throughout your copy is also key to integrating the sensory storytelling. I knew that since I was writing about an ocean-inspired membership experience, sharing my time on a beach vacation would dovetail beautifully so that it felt seamless. Knowing your angle can make the process feel a little more effortless, too.

You can read the full sensory email here.

And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed reading about these sensory storytelling makeovers and how even the tiniest of details can make a HUGE difference.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you’re excited to apply some of these strategies to your own writing!



+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

Add a comment

  1. Elissa says:

    These were great! I love seeing the before and after comparisons. It really drives home the difference a few concrete details can make. Also, as someone with ADHD, I was able to stay connected to the more concrete versions for much longer than I was in the more vague examples. It kept me in the moment with minimal re-reading on my part.

    • Zafira Rajan says:

      Elissa, thank you SO much for sharing this! I’m so glad that this resonated with you — and that the more specific details actually supported you as someone with ADHD! I hope you’ll take some of these tips and run with them to whatever you write next 🙂

  2. Hanif Rajan says:

    Never would I have ever even imagined making a distinction by infusing an element of sensory in writing any sort of narrative! Wow ! Thid has awakened a new part of my intellect ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About zafira

 I help entrepreneurs unblock their voice, harness their creative energy, and write personality-driven stories that connect with their audience.








I help entrepreneurs unblock their voice, harness their creative energy, and write personality-driven stories that connect with their audience.

On the blog, you'll find tips on how to all of the above ^^ better, bundles of writing prompts, sensory stories from my own life and intel on what's fueling me creatively: from the books I'm devouring to the music that's going to make it into my Spotify Wrapped next year. So glad you're here!

Hello, friends! I'm Zafira.

And I'm a 

sensory storyteller.

And I'm a sensory storyteller.

Learn more




What's Your Brands Core Essence?

Take this 2-minute quiz to learn how to diffuse the top, middle and base notes of your unique blend of strengths into a new marketing ritual that helps you stand out powerfully and consistently.

take the quiz!







© Zafira Rajan Inc., 2023 | All rights reserved | Legal | Site Credits