Using personas in email marketing

Personas are also pivotal in crafting effective email marketing campaigns. Highly targeted emails get more opens, clicks, and engagement. Targeted emails are also more optimized for lead generation and likely to result in increased conversions.

Speaking directly to a buyer persona’s pain points is key when it comes to the strategy and messaging of an email campaign. Consider their buying stage, demographics, role at the company, etc. This way, when it comes to crafting the bigger picture strategy, or something smaller like a subject line, you’ll know what to say and how to say it.

Here are a few actionable ways to apply this targeted approach to email marketing:

Developing personas for your email marketing

If you work in marketing, chances are good that your team or company has developed personas at some point. If you haven’t, it’s a fairly easy exercise to knock out. Simply put yourself in the shoes of your customers and determine each persona’s role, goals, challenges, etc.

Defined as “fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers” by Hubspot, personas distill the information you already know about your audience with the goal of reaching them in more targeted ways. When developing personas for your email audience specifically, you’ll want to develop those same generalized representations for people who have subscribed to your email list in one way or another. A few elements to consider:

  • Is this person a lead, prospect, customer, or former customer?
  • How did they sign up for your list?
  • What resources have they downloaded?
  • What web pages have they (or have they not) visited?

Campaign Strategy and Goals

Every great email marketing campaign has an overarching goal and, ideally, is based on where your typical buyer is in the buying process.

If a typical buyer hasn’t heard of your company before, you are better off sending an email campaign that focuses on brand awareness. The further they get down the funnel, the transition to a more lead-focused strategy.

Collecting the right data for each persona

Once you’ve decided on the qualification criteria for the personas you’d like to target, you need to gather the data you’ll need to segment your email list appropriately.

The easiest way to do this is to include the data you need from the get-go in your email signup form. Many marketers shy away from asking for a lot of fields on their signup form but never fear: Most people are willing to part with more information if they know it will mean receiving content and offers that are actually relevant to their needs and interests.

Or, if you’d rather reduce signup friction by avoiding a lot of form fields, including an email in your welcome series that asks subscribers to update their preferences, along with the promise that they’ll receive emails catered to their interests. You’ll be shocked at the kind of response rates this kind of email gets – especially if you keep things simple, focused, and direct the CTA to a mobile-optimized form on your website.

Write Compelling Copy

This should go without saying, but steer clear of listing of your company’s services. Instead, envision your buyer persona’s everyday problems…how can your company help solve them? Take into consideration a buyer’s biggest concerns and struggles, and then write copy that will address those concerns.

Also, consider word usage and particular phrases. The words used to market to a Millennial are going to be different than those used to speak to a Baby Boomer. So take into consideration things like age and educational background. Would the reader respond well to complex words or a colloquial approach? All of these considerations can help hone in on a message that will speak to the persona.

Relevance is everything in email marketing

The concept of “relevance” has become a bit of a cliché in the marketing industry, but it’s only because it can’t be said enough: Today’s savvy consumers both expect and deserve personalized experiences, and if they don’t get it, they’re gone. In fact, 56% of people unsubscribe from emails due to content that’s no longer relevant to them (Chadwick Martin Bailey). The good news is that when you get that subscriber experience right, it leads to major results. Relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails (Juniper Research).

The Benefits of Using Buyer Personas for Email Marketing

Creating buyer personas for email marketing can help you stay on track with your marketing strategy.  Ensure that all of your marketing materials are designed specifically for your target audience by using buyer personas.  As inboxes are becoming increasingly overcrowded, you need to produce emails that catch the eye of the recipient.  Making emails more personal and tailored to your recipients is an excellent way to improve email performance.


Birch, A. (2018, February 27). Creating Buyer Personas for Email Marketing Campaigns. Retrieved from, L. (2018, April 11). How to utilize personas for more effective email marketing. Retrieved from Buyer Personas in Email Marketing Campaigns. (2019, March 7). Retrieved from

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