How identifying your buyer persona will help you create successful newsletters

di Francesca Columbu

How well do you know your contacts? Do you know what their needs and buying behaviour are?

Online users receive every day dozens of newsletters that they are not interested in or that even annoy them, because they are repetitive or because the content is considered irrelevant. The result is that many of those emails are not even opened or in some cases are moved directly into the trash folder.

Therefore, the time spent by the sender in creating that message turns out to be vain and unproductive. Time that could have been better used instead if the techniques of observation and analysis of its target had been put in place. Identifying the ideal client is in fact one of the main phases of a web marketing strategy, including email marketing.

First of all, you should ask yourself these questions: do I really know who my potential customers are? What are their needs, desires, and even their fears? Can I perceive their way of thinking? Today there are many ways in which it is possible for a company to investigate its users and understand what attracts their interest/attention/criticality.

Everything is based on the analysis of the archetype of the client, or so-called buyer persona, on which everybody should base its entire communication strategy.

Who is the buyer persona?

The buyer personas are our typical buyers, in other words the users who, from the demographic point of view and for their behaviour, interests, values, may be more inclined to buy our product or service.

How can you identify the buyer persona?

There is no single answer to this question; on the contrary, the answers can be many and can depend on the business of each company. We want to show you the most tested and, therefore, considered most effective in marketing, thanks to which you will arrive in a satisfactory way to the recognition of your ideal customer.

Your primary objective must be to acquire as much data and information about your potential customer as possible, so as to direct your communication campaigns - and therefore also your newsletters - to the identified prototype. You can use various tools for this purpose.

Tools to identify the buyer persona

1) Experience of employees

The company's employees are certainly those who, more than anyone else, deal with customers on a daily basis; in particular, those who deal with customer care or are employed in the purchasing department, are the ones who communicate frequently with customers and define, on the one hand, whether there are recurring complaints and in relation to which product, and on the other hand, whether some services are more appreciated and satisfactory than others.

Their experience and level of knowledge of users means that employees are the first people to be approached to establish - in the first instance - the profile of the average buyer.

2) Insight and analytics

Google Analytics or Facebook Audience Insight must be our main allies! Let's use them to understand who is browsing our site or visiting our social pages: starting with information related to gender, age group, geographical location, and then analyzing the users' online behavior. Which sections of our website are the most interesting? Are there products or services more requested than others? How often do they complete the purchase? The results of these analyses are invaluable because they will help us determine the topics and therefore the content that would most likely arouse the user's curiosity if included in our newsletters.

3) Reviews and Facebook groups

Thanks to the platforms dedicated to reviews (Tripadvisor, Booking, Trustpilot, to name a few), but also thanks to the comments on our Facebook page, we can perceive what the user thinks of our company and how he/she sees our product. For this reason it is essential to do a web search that allows us to understand how customers talk about us. Facebook groups can also be very helpful, since there you can find a group of users of the same type of product we sell: it would be useful to subscribe to the group to check which are the most frequent requests and therefore the needs of users in relation to that consumer goods.

4) Questionnaires and interviews

Never forget to address to the customers themselves! One way to get direct feedback from those who know and use our services is to set up a questionnaire consisting of precise questions, from whose answers we can get the data we need. You may ask if and how satisfied they are with our products, if they need any additional service, if they have difficulties navigating our site: a lot of information that helps us to determine how positive their experience with our company is.

In addition, you can set up interview sessions (although the time required for their implementation is greater). Just think carefully about the questions you are going to ask: fo example, each of them could be aimed at outlining the user's navigation path on our site and tracking the touchpoints, i.e. the points of contact between user and brand. In broader terms, this information could be useful for us to map the Customer Journey, the entire process that involves the interaction between consumer and company, right down to the purchase.

Once we've completed this research, all we need to do is reorder all the information we have. Specifically, we will need to focus on two types of data: demographic (age, gender, education, employment, income and origin) and psychological (user behaviour, habits, objectives and ways of thinking).

Not only that, it is also very important to analyse the ethical values of the client, in order to establish whether those of the company correspond to his/hers. It is fundamental that customers share the values and mission of the company.

At the end of these analyses we should get a portrait of the customer, to whom we could even give a name, age, geographical origin, attribute hobbies, habits and of which we would above all be able to perceive fears and needs.

In practical terms, how can the identification of the buyer person be useful for the composition of our newsletter? Basically, all this data will help us to create a personalized communication for each group of potential buyers. For example, if we realize that one of our product categories arouses more interest in users than others, we may focus our messages on promoting and/or producing blog articles related to that category. If we then notice that our newsletters are particularly successful, we may decide to produce a "serial" narrative or create a recurring appointment for the user, through a serial story, so that not only our contacts will find that content interesting, but they even expect to receive that newsletter weekly or monthly.

The other great advantage of identifying your buyer personas is that for each campaign it will be easier to segment your audience, reducing the risk of your communication ending up in spam or being moved to the trash folder.

Over time, this would lead to the achievement of our main objective, towards which all our marketing actions are aimed: the significant increase in the conversion rate from lead to customer.

Always remember to analyze our audience and do so as thoroughly as possible.

Of course, this is not a simple and immediate process. Identifying the target buyer is part of a complex strategy, which requires a lot of patience, a listening attitude and above all a good capacity for data analysis. It is a precision work: a wrong approach to the process of recognizing the ideal client or a wrong and approximate analysis of the results can lead to a misinterpretation of reality, as the identified buyer persona would not correspond to the real one and therefore communications would not have the success we are aiming for.

Therefore, it is necessary to be very careful in planning and implementing the strategy, giving the right value to the tools and techniques used. In doing so, the success of the newsletters will be effective and real and we will be able to have a database with qualified contacts, composed of people really interested in what we say and will be more likely to buy our products in the future.

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