Let’s Get Personal – How Persona-Based Email Marketing Leads To More Opens and Conversions

buyer persona
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Email marketing is one of the most popular forms of communication from businesses to consumers. It’s estimated that 87% of businesses use email marketing over other forms like social media, display, or PPC according to Larry Kim, founder of WordStream. The great news here is that email marketing is clearly a cost-effective way to reach consumers, but what happens when the inbox is overflowing with promotional emails from all of these businesses taking the same strategy?

Consumers tune out the noise and filter the literal thousands of emails to a promotions folder in their inbox, meaning your product or service goes unnoticed – lost in the sea of email campaigns. But how is it that some companies remain so successful in email marketing and how can you compete? The answer is delivering content that stands out above the rest. Content that has value. Content that relates to the consumer. The one sure-fire way you’ll be able to achieve this is by creating a consumer persona that identifies who your consumer truly is. So let’s dive into why personas are quintessential to email marketing and how you can create them yourself!

What Is A Persona?

A persona is essentially a fictitious person meant to represent a segment of customers that takes all of the information compiled from a target market for your product or service and brings that to life. Beyond the target market demographics, a persona provides more specific information to help identify who your consumer really is and what their needs are.

Target Market vs. Persona

From your target market, you should be able to create multiple segments with one persona to represent each. The more specific you can get in these segmented personas, the easier it will be to write to their needs, and the more successful you’ll be able to create relevant, valuable content that will capture their attention. Most importantly, personas allow you to keep customers engaged, acquire new customers, and improve conversion rates. One study by MarketingSherpa found that implementing a persona strategy to email campaigns can result in a 7% conversion rate. That’s huge!

Let’s Get Started – Implementing Personas

So now that we have a solid understanding of what a persona is and why it matters in the success of email marketing, let’s dive into how we can create and implement them for your product or service to get your emails noticed and most importantly – convert customers.

  1. Do Your Research: Before you even begin creating your beautiful email template or start writing copy, do the research. Ensure you have enough quality information to create a few effective personas. You want to know what goals your customers have, what motivates and frustrates them. You also want to identify the tone of voice that resonates with your personas before you get to writing.
  2. Strategic Segmentation: Personas give you the opportunity to personalize your messaging and value proposition to your consumer, but that won’t work if you haven’t segmented your database. The further you can segment your list, the more detailed and relevant you can be in your emails. This is how you grab the attention and engagement you’re looking for in the swamped inbox.
  3. Become A Copy Master: Compelling and relatable copy is key to a successful email marketing campaign and getting more opens. By researching your personas and segmenting your database, you should be able to write to the individual’s needs and provide an intriguing solution. If you’re having trouble transitioning from a copy apprentice to a copy master, utilize writing tools like Grammarly, StateOfWriting, or MyWritingWay to leverage better copywriting skills.
  4. Emphasize The Action in Your CTA: By now as a marketer, you’ve probably had the importance of the CTA drilled into your head. But are they relaying your message effectively and more specifically, are they compelling your personas to take action? Ask yourself – what does your persona want and how can you hook them? Get specific and don’t leave your consumer wondering what to make of the information provided in your email. Creating personas will allow you to identify the best call to action for that segment – i.e. a tech-savvy millennial may not resonate with a “Call Now” CTA, but rather a “Schedule Online” CTA.

Now that you’ve dialed in your personas and know who you’re trying to reach, the messaging should become clear for how you’ll deliver the solution to their needs. Don’t be afraid to get specific. In fact, the more specific you get, the easier it will be to implement the steps of an effective email marketing campaign, stand out in the inbox, and increase conversions!

“5 Ways to Create Super-Effective Emails with Buyer Personas.” WordStream, 13 Dec. 2018, www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/01/31/email-marketing-with-buyer-personas.

Carter, Grace. “5 Ways to Align Marketing Campaign to Your Personas.” UXPressia Blog, 14 Mar. 2019, uxpressia.com/blog/5-ways-align-marketing-campaign-personas.

“Create a Website.” Quicksprout, 18 Apr. 2019, www.quicksprout.com/customer-persona/.

Kim, Larry. “Video: The New Way of Email Marketing.” Stukent, www.stukent.com/expert-sessions/the-new-way-of-email-marketing/.

Larson, Jeff, and Stuart Draper. Digital Marketing Essentials. Mimic Pro Bundle.

Lee, Kevan. “The Beginner’s Guide to Creating Marketing Personas: Buffer.” Buffer Marketing Library, Buffer Social Blog, 30 Nov. 2018, buffer.com/library/marketing-personas-beginners-guide.

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