How to Create Buyer Personas for More Effective Email Marketing

Email marketing campaigns succeed when they target the right email subscribers and send messages they want to hear. This is why buyer personas matter more than you think.

Creating the best customer persona is not by simply making blanket assumptions and hoping that it works. For example, just because someone is a tech enthusiast, doesn’t mean they’re a millennial and love ordering from meal delivery services. Well, you get the point!

Yes, we can make educated guesses, but more importantly, we need to do market research. So, I’ve put together a detailed article on buyer personas. You’ll learn:

  • How they can boost your email marketing
  • The steps to create them
  • Using the data you collect in practical email marketing situations

Continue reading.

What Are Buyer Personas?

Let’s start with the buyer persona definition. A buyer persona is a representation of your best customers based on your current data and research. Think of it as a made-up character that depicts their likes, dislikes, pain points, hobbies, and goals.

Most businesses have more than one buyer personas. They usually start out with one persona. Over time, they find that they’re also serving a different group of people with different characteristics.

Regardless of how many personas your business has, it’s crucial to hone in on their needs. Or else, you’ll risk becoming too broad with your messaging and not providing enough value.

Why Should You Create Buyer Personas for Email Marketing?

Image attribution: Freepik

So, what’s the importance of doing it? It helps with your email marketing efforts in the following ways:

  • Inform your email marketing strategy. From your marketing offers/promotions to design to email copy, you’ll know what resonates best with your audience.
  • Increase brand recall and loyalty. Because people can relate to your emails, they’re more likely to keep your brand top of mind. Staying connected with your audience through email is a great way to increase loyalty, but it has to be done right. Always start with a buyer persona. 
  • Add value to each stage of the buying journey. Whether they’re in the awareness stage, consideration stage, or conversion stage, you’ll be able to align your copy and offer with their journey.

Related: Lead Generation Funnel: What It Is And How To Create One

How to Create Buyer Personas for Email Marketing

As mentioned previously, building a buyer persona entails research. You won’t have to do it from scratch, though.

You can leverage any information that you already have from your customer service team and interactions with your audience. Then, enhance that information along the way.

Here are the 5 ways to do it.

1. Know who buys your product or service.

First things first: You need to have a good understanding of your target market’s demographics and psychographics.

Demographic data include their age, gender, location, job title, income, and family status. Psychographic data refer to their attitudes, values, motivations, and interests.

While demographic data gives you a basic knowledge of their identity, psychographic data enables you to connect with them at a deeper level. The bottom line? Having both types of data refines your buyer persona. 🎯

Let’s take a look at a few ways to collect both data:

  • Customer service and marketing teams. This is often an overlooked internal source of valuable information. These teams interact with your audience more often to learn their successes and frustrations with your product or service.
  • Facebook groups. These communities are not just places to interact and share experiences. They’re also perfect for conducting market research. Even if you don’t have your own Facebook group, you can always head over to your top competitor’s group. Pay close attention to the kind of questions they ask and the language they use.
  • Online research. Spy on the competition. Take note of which content or topics people respond more often to and share. You might also want to check positive and negative reviews to know what they like and hate.

2. Find out how people find your business.

Image attribution: Freepik

If you already have a website that’s generating traffic, be sure to use Google Analytics. This free analytics service will provide you a wealth of information on your top web traffic sources. You may find that they’ve discovered you through organic search, other websites, or social media.

In addition, you can survey your site visitors and email list. Ask questions like, “How did you know about our company?” “Have you purchased from us before?” Give them a list of options that they can easily choose from.

3. Conduct customer surveys and interviews.

Stop guessing and enhance your data collection by asking your audience directly. You can do it using any of these strategies:

3.1. Survey your top users or customers.

A lot of businesses are using this method to know their audience better. Here’s an example from HubSpot. (See the screenshot below.) Notice that they target their survey to top readers since these people are likely to participate and have already formed opinions about HubSpot.

In the email, they start by congratulating the recipient and then explain how the survey helps meet their needs better.

3.2. Run an UpViral giveaway. 🎉🎉🎉

Did you know that giveaways provide opportunities to conduct detailed surveys? This is because people know they’re getting an incentive in exchange for their participation.

Using the UpViral platform, you can add the survey as a Custom Action. It’s a special feature that basically encourages participants to complete certain actions to collect more points and increase their chances of winning.

4. Identify their pain points and objections.

Another aspect to include in your buyer persona is the list of objections that your audience has.

Your current customers could be having objections about your product or service, pricing, shipping cost, or customer care. Meanwhile, potential customers could have concerns about the durability/reliability of your product or service.

Take note of their frustrations for every stage of the sales funnel. Then use this information to write emails that address them.

💡Tip: Are some people unsubscribing from your mailing list? Learn and improve from this experience by giving them an unsubscribe survey. It’s an optional survey they can answer after opting out. It asks why they’ve unsubscribed.

5. Start building different profiles for different persona types.

Have you got all the information you need? Good. Now, it’s time to create different buyer profiles. You can use your own template or use the ones that you find online.

Check out these buyer personas examples:

Image attribution: Alexa blog

Image attribution: HubSpot

It will be helpful to organize all your information into sections and bullet points to make them easier to digest by your email marketing team. From here, you should be able to send more powerful emails that resonate with them.

Putting That Into Action

Now, you can use the buyer personas you’ve built to guide the direction of your emails. Here are some ways to communicate more effectively with your subscribers using the personas:

  • Break up your subscribers into groups (a.k.a. “List segmentation”). Use your different personas to segment your email subscribers based on characteristics/attributes that closely resemble the persona.
  • Speak their language. Every buyer persona identifies with certain words and phrases. This is where you get to personalize your message to speak about their challenges and the things they care for the most.
  • Use relevant visuals. Including images in your emails holds their attention and gets your main message across quickly. This is extremely helpful for ensuring that your buyer persona acts on your message.

Final Thoughts on Buyer Personas

Buyer personas represent your best audience. Taking time to create them can scale your email marketing for success.

So, we’ve discussed how these personas help as well as how to create and apply them.

You can make your personas as simple or detailed as you like, as long as it paints a clear picture of your customer. Finally, keep in mind that personas may change depending on additional information you find over time.

As mentioned in this post, take advantage of various resources such as your customer service team, online groups, your top competitors, and surveys. We hope this article helps!

Have you created customer profiles for your email marketing already? What challenges did you face? We would love to know your thoughts in the comments.