Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach existing customers as well as prospective customers, having higher conversion rates than social media marketing and costing less than paid advertising.
But sending marketing emails that hit the mark requires more than merely including the recipient’s name in your message.
Buyer personas can make email marketing work for you, by helping you understand your ideal audience and improving your click-through rates by as much as 16%.
Understanding Buyer Personas
Described by HubSpot as “fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers,” personas essentially distill the information you have about your customers, enabling you to reach a new level of understanding about their needs, wants, and expectations.
Buyer personas empower you to make your content marketing, product development, sales strategy, social media marketing, customer support service, and email marketing more penetrating. You can use them as guiding principles for creating highly effective newsletters and promotional emails that will bring you better results at lower costs.
Buyer personas are only as good as the research that informs them. When creating buyer personas, you want to use as much market research as possible, together with all the insight and data you can draw from your own customer database through interviews, surveys, customer support data, social media comments, phone logs, website analytics, sales data, and inventory data.
How many buyer personas you develop depends on your business and scope, but you will want to develop at least one comprehensive buyer persona that can inform your email marketing strategy.
Buyer Personas and Email Marketing
If you already use buyer personas for your other marketing efforts, you can rely on them for your email marketing strategy as well. If you don’t have any buyer personas, this is the best time to create them.
Remember, you won’t be using them only for email marketing, but for every marketing and sales campaign you undertake, so that the investment of time they require is well worth it. Your buyer persona should include the following critical information:
- Role, company, education
- Demographics, including gender, age range, household income, location
- Identifiers based on the search terms your ideal customers use, their language, or their mannerisms
- Real quotes from surveys, interviews, emails, or social media comments
- Primary and secondary business goals customers have, like improving their workplace productivity, or improving communication with their coworkers
- Primary and secondary challenges customers are facing, like improving team performance in a cost-effective way
- How your business can help that persona achieve their goals and solve their challenges
- What objections the persona may raise during the sale process, based on your existing experience with customers
- Your marketing message or elevator pitch
Remember that a buyer persona is not a mere description of one individual, but rather generalizations drawn from a group of ideal customers. It may include multiple roles, goals, challenges, or objections.
Putting It All Together
With all the information above at hand, you will be able to take email segmentation to the next level. You will go beyond personalized greetings in your emails to tailor compelling messages, including links, graphics, and calls to action that will engage your audience. You will also be able to determine the best days and hours to send your emails, as well as the frequency at which to send them, based on the persona’s availability.
You will know, as well, how long your emails should be, and how many links or product mentions to include in them. Ultimately, buyer personas will help you find the right voice and calls to action for your email marketing efforts.