Some of the most important data your business has is your customer data.
It tells the story of who buys from you, what they buy, and how they buy. If you’re like a lot of small businesses, you have a lot of customer data that’s just waiting to be used effectively. From basic demographic information to extensive analysis of a visitor’s site use, that data is ripe for picking. But figuring out how to target people like your customers can be challenging if you don’t know where to start. Buyer personas are one way you can use your customer data to improve conversion rates.
Read on to discover why you need to create a buyer persona, how to put together those personas for your email marketing campaigns, and how to use personas across different industries.
Why create a buyer persona for email marketing?
A buyer persona is simply a characterization of your best (or worst) customers.
Buyer personas can help you create customized and personalized email campaigns that convert subscribers into customers.
Why is this important?
Personalization is one of the top email marketing best practices for many reasons:
• A personalized email message can increase your click-through rates by 14%, and it can increase your conversion rate by 10%.
• Personalized web experiences, like emails, can generate a 20% average increase in sales over non-personalized emails.
• Nearly 75% of marketing professionals have seen an increase in customer engagement since switching to personalized emails.
Knowing how your customers shop is critical to putting together an email marketing campaign that drives traffic and growth. Let’s look at how to do that.
How to create a buyer persona for email marketing
Putting together your customer data in a useable format is one of the biggest challenges for small businesses. Thankfully, buyer personas provide the perfect avenue for using that data.
1. Understand your demographics and target market.
Before you can create a buyer persona, you’ll need to know who buys your products or services.
Start by analyzing the data you have for your current customers and look for trends in the information.
Practical demographic insights include:
• Age: there are generational differences in how people use email. For example, millennials prefer email over text and chat options, and a quarter of gen z checks their email when they wake up.
• Gender: men and women read and interact with emails differently. Women are about 15% more likely to reply to a B2B email than men are.
• Family situation: targeting single people is different than targeting a married couple with two children. They have different needs and purchasing patterns.
• Geographic location: where people live impacts where they shop. If you operate exclusively online, take note of where most of your customers live.
You can break demographics down even further, depending on how much data you have about your customers.
2. Know what brings people to your business.
To create an effective buyer persona, you need to know what brings people to your website or store.
If you don’t have a comprehensive insight into your site traffic (you should), you can always use a survey to find out why people like your company.
Ask these questions to help craft your buyer persona:
• How did you hear about our company?
• What made you decide to purchase from us?
• Were you already familiar with our business?
• Have you ever shopped with us before?
Uncovering why people want to work with your company is a crucial step in putting together a buyer persona that’ll resonate with potential customers.
3. Figure out why and how people use your products.
Depending on what you sell, it may or may not be obvious to you why your customers are buying your products.
For a buyer persona to be truly effective, you need to know why and how people are using your products and services.
Use these tricks to figure out what motivates your customer:
• Ask your customers for feedback, testimonials or reviews.
• Encourage your customers to post and tag you on social media.
• Research how people use your competitor’s products and services.
• Follow up with an email questionnaire after your customer checks out.
Not only will this help you put together a buyer persona that complements your business, but it’ll give you insight into other ways you can improve your services or marketing efforts.
4. Take note of common customer objections and concerns.
While most buyer personas are positive and look at why a customer is your customer, negative personas can be useful as well.
In fact, you can learn a lot from the objections your customers have.
Common objections you may need to include in your buyer persona are:
• Price: this is why you need to know who your customers are and why they shop with you. Nearly 90% of people will pay up to 25% more for your products and services if you offer a solid customer service experience.
• Returns: the truth is that not everyone will be happy with a purchase. Understanding why a customer is returning a product can help you expand your buyer personas for email marketing campaigns.
• Shipping: the cost of shipping is something most shoppers pay attention to. About 44% of ecommerce shoppers will abandon their shopping carts if the shipping costs are higher than they anticipated.
• Timing: for some people, it may not feel like the right time to make a purchase. To overcome this objection, consider using language that conveys a sense of urgency or offering promotional codes that expire quickly.
You can use this information to either improve the positive buyer persona you are creating or craft a negative persona for people you don’t want in your store.
Buyer persona for email marketing by industry
Regardless of whether you’re selling a physical product in a brick-and-mortar store, a subscription-based service on your ecommerce site, or collecting donations for a nonprofit, a buyer persona can help you with your email marketing campaigns.
But putting together buyer personas is going to be a little bit different depending on the industry you’re in and what you’re offering.
Here’s how a buyer persona can be useful across different industries:
• Nonprofits: creating a buyer persona for a nonprofit is an excellent way to increase donations and interest in your organization. You want to know who’s more likely to donate to your cause, so you can target them with your email campaigns.
• Education: whether you’re a part of the higher education community or market for a trade school, you still want to know who a potential candidate for your organization is. You can use buyer personas to create the perfect students for your school.
• B2B: buyer personas for the B2B sector are a little bit different than B2C personas. Not only are you creating a persona based on the individuals you’ll interact with, but you’ll need to keep in mind that the individual may not be the decision-maker in the organization.
• Ecommerce: running an ecommerce store means you never get to physically see or interact with your customers. You’ll have to create a buyer persona based on whatever data you’re able to collect from them.
• Brick-and-mortar: with a brick-and-mortar store, you’re creating buyer personas based on people you talk to in person. It can be easier to understand the demographics of your customer base, but it may be a bit more challenging to get them on an email list.
If you’re struggling to figure out how to create a buyer persona that works well for your industry, consider researching how your competitors approach their email marketing efforts.
A buyer persona is one of the most effective ways to use your customer data. It gives you valuable insight into your customers and provides you with a clear strategy for email marketing.
Keep these three things in mind when creating a buyer persona for your business:
• Buyer personas are a representation of the people you want shopping with your company.
• Creating more than one buyer persona can help you segment your email marketing campaigns effectively.
• A buyer persona will help you understand your products and services better.
The good thing about a buyer persona is that you can build one to suit your company’s needs. It can be as comprehensive or simple as you want it to be, and you can create marketing funnels for each persona.