How to Incorporate Target Personas in Your Email Marketing

May 13 2019

target personas

When it comes to emailing your clients, one thing and one thing only is for certain: your clients probably don’t want to receive emails from you.

Don’t get me wrong – there might be great value to your emails, and you may have a lot to offer by sending your emails to your clients, but that’s not really the point. The point is that people these days, including your clients, don’t have the time to actively read your emails.

They do it out of your respect for you, your brand, and your organization; they do it because they don’t want to miss out on any opportunities you may be offering, such as sales or one-time offers.

But they don’t do it because they want to. They do it out of necessity.

Therefore it’s your job to a) find how to get people to want to read your emails, and b) find out what your clients want so that when you do reach out, they want to engage more with what you have to share.

One would argue that process begins and ends with creating target personas. Below I’ll cover how to create personas and how to make the best use of them.

1) Start with the existing data you have for your current clientele

If you run a business and you’re fortunate enough to have clientele, it’s in your best interest to use any data you have on your clients when creating target personas. Look for the following characteristics as they’ll help you find patterns in similarities among your clientele.

– Location

– Age

– Employment

– Gender

– Purchases

While this short list of characteristics is minimal compared to most large companies’ data, regardless of organization design, it’s probably the amount small companies have regarding their clients. The good news is that the data can be used to generate some key assumptions.

For example, knowing a client’s age can give you a range of their salary. If a client is 23 years old, one could assume the individual just graduated from college and is making a modest amount of income, anywhere between $35K to $65K depending on the field.

If you have hundreds of clients in the 23-25-year-old range, you can then divide the clients into different buckets based on their history of purchases.

If half the bucket purchased your cheaper model and the other half purchased your more expensive model, you could email the former bucket with notifications about sales and the latter bucket with news about new products that just hit the market.

You don’t need machine learning to help you make assumptions; you just need to spend the time to get to know your clientele and employ critical thinking. It’s all about the customer journey at the end of the day.

2) Turn your ideas into advanced assumptions in the form of target personas

Let’s stick with the previous example of two buckets of young clients in the ages of 23-25 to remain consistent.

Now that you have basic assumptions about these two buckets, it’s time to add additional layers, including a face and personality.

Why is this important? Well, mainly because knowing a value proposition is just the first piece of the puzzle. You have to dig deeper. You have to come up with assumptions that you’ll be able to A/B test through your email marketing and come to concrete conclusions.

Here are some steps to creating target personas:

  • 1. Create a set of names for each group

  • 2. Brainstorm what these people do, where they go to have fun, what they do on the weekends, what types of products do they buy and why (i.e., what drives them)

  • 3. Ask yourself what types of brands these people align with and why

3) Incorporate your target personas and advanced assumptions in your email marketing strategy

Then, utilize these aspects in your emails through messaging. If your assumption is that one group buys from purposeful brands, then try purposeful messaging in your next email. See how they react.

In addition, could you run a survey to each group and ask them if they’re in favor of your recent messaging?

Here are where success metrics come in, because you’ll know need to know if

Pull in as much data as you can, make hypotheses, and find out what works and what doesn’t.

These are the simple yet critical steps that will allow you to improve your email marketing long-term. An added bonus is that once you have your plan in motion, you can even look at tools that help with segmenting your email campaigns to make your outreach even more effective.  

Guest Post: Alex Sal

Alex Sal is a widely published business journalist with a background in studying startups and understanding what makes them excel.

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