Email Marketing Fundamentals

If you don’t consider who your email audience is, you will quickly fail to engage with them. You won’t be able to communicate to them the way they understand and as a result, won’t be able to funnel them to conversion.

So it is vital that you have a solid grasp of who your audience or target market is before you commit to any email marketing. Knowing who you are dealing with should be part of the foundations of any marketing plan, especially when it comes to email.

In this section of our ultimate guide to email marketing, you will learn:

  • The biggest marketing mistakes business owners make when starting out
  • What a marketing persona or a customer avatar is 
  • How you can use a marketing persona or a customer avatar for email marketing

Biggest Marketing Mistakes Business Owners Make When Starting out

Having a great product or service doesn’t guarantee success. It takes so much more to create a thriving business. A lot of what makes a business successful comes down to marketing. 

Here are five mistakes that business owners make when it comes to marketing and what you can do to do better:

1. Not having a marketing plan

Marketing can be one of your biggest expenses. Creating a marketing plan will help you make sure that your time, money, and resources are well spent.

A marketing plan outlines your marketing strategy. 

Generally, a marketing plan will include:

  • A list of your marketing goals, what you want to achieve from your marketing strategy
  • A timeline for your strategy, including when you want to achieve specific goals and when you will run different campaigns
  • A description of who your target market is

Having a strong marketing plan will benefit your business in many different ways.

You will have a clear understanding of your target market

Your target market is who you are trying to sell to. Understanding the people you are marketing to is extremely important when it comes to creating a marketing plan.

For example, Converse is a brand that has a young target market, they have a very active social media presence because they know that is where their customers are.

They often partner with young and cool celebrities that their customers are fans of, like Millie Bobby Brown

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Here’s a post from Converse on their Instagram page marketing their collaboration with Millie Bobby Brown.

You will have a clear outline of your goals

You likely have many goals for your business, but having them written down clearly will help you develop a plan to achieve each one. 

You will know where to market your business

In the past, the only way you could market your business was through physical advertising such as flyers, billboards, or ads in newspapers or magazines. Traditionally this kind of marketing is expensive, and sometimes ineffective.

Thanks to social media and the internet, things have changed and you have so many more options for marketing your business. You can be where your customers are on social media and you can communicate directly  with them which was never possible before.


Marketing is an expensive venture and without a plan, you’re not going to know the best places to spend your time, money, and resources. 

2. Not benchmarking

Benchmarking is when you compare your business to your competitors and/or to the industry that you’re in so that you can see where you fit in the market.

For example, McDonald’s and KFC are both in the fast-food industry, they can use benchmarking to compare their businesses to each other. While they are two distinct brands with their own ways of doing things, they are still competitors in the overall fast-food industry and can learn a lot from what the other one is doing, where they stand out, and where they can improve.

Via benchmarking competitors can learn about: 

  • Social media presence

Which social media platforms your competitors are using and what their strategies are 

  • Customer service

How they respond to customer queries and complaints, how they set up their customer experience

  • Sales

Whether or not they are meeting their sales goals if their sales have increased or decreased over time

  • Marketing

How they market their business and the ways that they go about marketing

  • Employee management

How they treat their employees, how much their employees are paid, how they deal with employee grievances 

  • Size of the business

How big their business is and if they have a growth strategy

  • Location of the business

If they have physical stores or they operate online, or both

  • Tone of voice

How they sound to their customers, what their brand voice is on social media and on their website

Having this information gives their businesses many opportunities for improvement and growth:

  • It can help you improve your products

Comparing your products to those of your competitors can help you get some perspective on them. You can use this perspective to assess the quality of your product, see the areas for improvement, and work on those areas.

  • It can show you where your business needs to improve

You can compare your business practices to industry practices and see what you can change to make your business more efficient. 

Maybe you’ll notice that you can change something about your management style, or you’ll find a better way to package your products, there’s a lot you can learn from doing this.

  • It can help you set goals for your business

Once you see what the industry is doing differently, you can decide where you feel your business is succeeding, and where it is falling short. With this information, you can set goals.


Without benchmarking, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to identify where your business fits into the industry. Benchmarking will help you build a foundation for your marketing plan.

3. Not understanding what makes your business stand out

There are so many businesses out there that are trying to do the same thing as you, this is why having a point of difference will make you stand out and can make a huge difference. 

The idea behind having a point of difference is that you want to give your customers a reason to choose your business over your competitors. There are a few ways you can distinguish yourself:

You could have a really unique product or service

Having a product or service that stands out from what your competitors are offering is one of the best ways to boost sales. 

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, with more than 1.9 billion of their drinks being served every day. They have been able to build their entire company around their flagship product: the original Coca-Cola.

Here are some ways they built their business through marketing Coke:

  • Coke for a Nickel

According to Planet Money, Coke was sold at the same price from 1886-1940. This strategy gave their customers consistency in knowing how much they had to pay for every bottle.

  • Creating a free sample coupon

They offered potential customers a free sample coupon, this gave them a huge boost in first-time customers. (CM Commerce, 2020)

  • Launch of the ‘Contour’ Bottle  

In 1915, Coca-Cola created its iconic ‘contour’ bottle. By doing this, customers were able to recognize a Coke product only by the shape of the bottle. (Coca Cola, Great Britain)

Target Persona And Email Marketing
Target Persona And Email Marketing

Source: Coca-Cola

You could have a unique voice and brand

Creating a unique voice that is recognizable to your customers is a great way to stand out. 

A brand that does this well is Duolingo. Duolingo is a language learning application, it is not the only app of its kind, but it stands out through its marketing and branding.

A9fjiu0r5oya4r1addcpsj8k3lnuha27gtsvbgg Zdofvrydxbig1mf Olob C Tqckc1j2ahe4 Jfz5ktiokyv9dlnmxiblxosjbysntgcqgdupb5qdra0sdwsxw6kqsodsesf5Source: Duolingo

They are fun and playful with their followers, and that has helped them gain 527k followers on Instagram and 2.1 million on TikTok.

Imagine that number! One of these followers might be their next potential customer. You see the advantages of strategic marketing?

By having a unique voice, you lead people to where you want them to be. 

You could have unique customer service

Having a better product might not be enough to beat your competitors if your customer service is lacking. Giving your customers a positive experience will give them a reason to keep coming back.

Imagine going to a restaurant with good food, but absolutely terrible customer service, would you want to go back? Many customers would say no, because the negative experience they had at the restaurant will stay in their minds longer than the taste of the food.  

According to a research by Microsoft, 96% of respondents said that customer service was important in their decision to remain loyal to a certain business.

Globally, 59% of customers say customer service is very important when they choose or stay loyal to a certain brand. People of all ages, both men and women, also agree with this.

You could have a USP (Unique Selling Position) 

A USP (Unique Selling Position) is what makes your business special, what you offer that no other business does. Having a strong USP will give your customers a reason to choose your business over your competitors. A USP is usually expressed through things like slogans, which are short, memorable descriptions of your business and what you do.

A good USP should:

  • Be memorable – something that people will remember about your business
  • Be real – your USP should be based on something your business actually does, so that it’s not just an empty promise
  • Be useful – your USP should be focused on something that your customers want or that they can use

Examples of USPs:

Starbucks

Starbucks’ USP is “Love your beverage or let us know. We’ll always make it right.” They offer to remake drinks if they are not up to the customer’s standards. This helps customers feel like they are getting the highest quality product.

Netflix

Netflix’s slogan is “See what’s next.” Their USP is offering their customers hundreds of movies and tv shows to choose from at the touch of a button.

Nike

Nike’s slogan is “Just do it.” Their USP is offering the best quality shoes, clothing, and equipment for athletes. They offer products to make their customers feel strong and ready to work out.

4. Trying to sell to everyone

When it comes to trying to get customers for your business, think quality over quantity. It’s not about getting millions of customers, but rather building up a loyal customer base that keeps coming back.

Why you shouldn’t try to sell to everyone:

  • Your customers will be confused about what your business does

Having a clear message about what your business does and who you are selling to will help you grow. On the other hand, having unclear messaging might drive potential customers away.

For example, Nintendo began as a playing card company in Japan and since then, the company has tried to do many things before finally settling on video games.

Nintendo tried to work in a few other industries between 1963 and 1968, including a “love hotel” (where you could rent rooms by the hour), a taxi service, and an instant rice company.

These different ventures had varying degrees of success, but ultimately focusing on too many different things held them back from building what is now one of the most successful and well known video game companies in the world.

  • Your website traffic (how many people visit your site) will suffer

Google and other search engines rank websites that come up in search based on how useful the sites will be to users. One thing that they look at is bounce rate.

A “bounce” is when someone goes to one page on your site, and the bounce rate is calculated by whether or not they click on any other links on your site, or if they immediately leave. Having a high bounce rate, meaning people leaving your site without engaging with it, could hurt your chances of ranking high in search.

This is why being clear about what your business does and who it is for will benefit you. It will make sure that the people that are visiting your website will find it useful.

Whereas if you are trying to be too broad and appeal to too many different kinds of people, your customers will have a hard time getting what they need from your website because there is too much unnecessary information that is not useful to them.

  • You will lose opportunities for growth

Understanding who your customers are and how to effectively sell to them will help you grow your business. Having an ideal customer in mind will help you plan a marketing strategy. 

Urban Decay Cosmetics is a cruelty-free company. They market themselves towards people that have the same values that they do.

Target Persona And Email Marketing

Source: Urban Decay

Target Persona And Email Marketing

Suppose their website is visited by a make-up artist who supports cruelty-free products. If they don’t emphasize their products being cruelty-free, they will eventually lose the possibility of that person becoming their potential customer.

Knowing your audience, accepting and respecting who they are and what they need from you will help you grow a successful business. Take time to learn about your customers, reach out to them to ask them for feedback and build your business around what they say.

5. Ignoring your competitors

Ignoring what your competitors are doing could hurt your opportunities for potential growth. Blockbuster ignored the rise of Netflix and suffered the consequences. Blockbuster built their business through home movie and video game rental services at their stores, Netflix rose doing the same thing, but online.

Blockbuster didn’t take Netflix and their business model seriously until it was too late. They eventually did start to offer rentals online, but Netflix already had a hold of that market. Today, Netflix is valued at billions, while Blockbuster went bankrupt. 

Staying up to date and keeping up with the trends can be difficult, especially in the modern world where things are constantly changing. This is why knowing what your competitors are up to will help you stay updated, and will help you make your own business better.

Here are a few reasons why you should keep up with your competitors:

  • You can spot new trends early

Keeping an eye on your competitors will give you an opportunity to seek out new trends and implement them in your own business. 

  • You can see where your competitors are going wrong

It’s always a good idea to watch your competitors to see what mistakes they are making. Because you have similar business models and customer bases as your competitors, you could also be making the same mistakes. 

  • You can see how they treat their customers 

Customer service should be at the center of your business strategy, so watching how your competitors approach their customers can give you insight into what you’re getting right and what you’re getting wrong.


Marketing your business is something that you need to be doing consistently in order to grow, and the way you go about marketing will change over time, but it will help you to get into good habits early on. 

What is a Customer Avatar or Buyer Persona?

A customer avatar/buyer persona is a fictional representation of who your ideal customer is.

When crafting a customer avatar, you are essentially creating a fictional person (based on your actual target market) and trying to figure out how to sell to that specific person.

Your customer avatar will help you understand the kind of customer that you want to sell to. 

Some things to think about when creating your customer avatar:

  • What are their demographics? These are things like their age, gender, location, etc.
  • What are their goals in their personal and professional lives? 
  • What social media platforms do they use?
  • How can your business help them?

Having a customer avatar is like planning to go to a foreign place. 

Before travelling, you have to make sure you know where you’re going. You have to assess whether it is a beach or a mountainside.

By doing this, you will know whether you go by bus or by boat, or what clothes you should bring.

I mean, you wouldn’t want to wear rubber shoes on the beach, right? 

This scenario is similar to including customer avatars in your marketing strategy. When it comes to promoting your product or service, it’s essential to understand ‘who’ you’re communicating with.

Many businesses face this challenge: they tend to make educated guesses about their target market after developing their products.  

This does not have to be the case.

In this section, you will learn about:

  • What a buyer persona or customer avatar is 
  • Why you need it 
  • What does it consist of
  • What are the elements of a customer avatar

At the end of the article, we have a FREE downloadable customer persona template for you. 

What is a customer avatar?

A customer avatar, buyer persona, target persona, and buyer profile generally mean the same thing.

According to Ardath Albee, a B2B Marketing Strategist, “a customer avatar is a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience”. (Buffer)

The avatar concentrates on a single individual and describes them in detail. With a mixture of research from surveys and consumer interviews, a customer avatar represents the ideal consumer for your company. 

It’s quite difficult to target your marketing in a systematic way without customer avatars. Otherwise, you’re forced to do repetitive trials and errors.

You wouldn’t want to waste your time on something that doesn’t give accurate results, right?

Why do you need to create a customer avatar?

According to BrightTalk, integrating buyer personas in email marketing increases the open rate by 2x and the click-through rate by 5x.

Creating customer profiles helps businesses to:

  • understand where customers obtain their information from
  • how they think
  • and how they respond to marketing communications

In this way, you can know how to “reach” them.

Instead of addressing “anyone”, start addressing “someone”. You’ll be able to communicate with them in their own language, on platforms they use, and address their unique concerns or views.

Your marketing plan will most likely be more effective if you use a customer avatar.

What makes up a customer avatar?

Aside from it being an important part of your overall marketing plan, a customer avatar is:

  • A character in a story who has wants, needs, and pain points.
  • A very detailed picture of a person who represents your target audience.
  • A detailed plan that is based on research and facts.
  • The best-case scenario is when someone spends a lot of money, buys things over and over again, and/or promotes your brand.

Here’s an example of a customer avatar from Indie Game Girl.

They use brief excerpts to let you get to know Brandi Tyler, the company’s target consumer. It presents the information in a clean way. You can also use a picture of your buyer to help you and your team remember who you are talking to when you are planning campaigns.

When it comes to the content, the specifics help you picture what Brandi does when she buys shoes. It makes it very clear what she is going through and includes real quotes from customers.

Add facts from your research like this to your descriptions to make them seem more real.

Target Persona And Email Marketing

From this created persona Indie Game Girl can see points that they can use to their advantage as to how they create their products.

For example, one of Brandi Tyler’s frustrations is having poor recommendations in cases when the pair she likes is out of stock. This point will give them an idea to create more choices for customers like her.

Also, the persona includes statements from real consumers, which can assist them in understanding the problems of their target client.

To create your own customer avatar, here are the 5 elements you must take note of:

  • General Information
  • Values and Objectives
  • Sources of Information
  • Obstacles and Pain Points
  • Roles and Objections

But before discussing each of them, here’s an example of what a customer avatar template looks like.

Target Persona And Email Marketing

Suppose you have a dental clinic.

Here’s Jane Doe with a problem of “ugly teeth”. She’s a vlogger and she wants to “confidently smile while vlogging” but she finds her appearance quite lacking.

She’s challenged with financial issues and losing subscribers. 

With this information, we can already have solutions in mind like giving discounts on her dental treatment.

Let’s dig into the details one by one.

  • General information

To consider:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital Status
  • Location
  • Concerns (quote)
  • Occupation
  • Level of Education

How can this help you:

  • Brings your customer persona to life
  • Makes your marketing strategies more realistic
  • Helps you set up dynamic goals
Target Persona And Email Marketing

This section is where the customer’s personal information is. Here, you have other details of Jane Doe. She’s 15, a YouTube vlogger, and a student.

Demographics can help you when you write content, emails, or sales copy

Picture this: your avatar is sitting across the table from you. Try having a conversation with him or her and write down the words you would use to talk to them. This strategy will help you to approach them more convincingly.

  • Values and objectives

    To consider:

  • What exactly are they looking to achieve?
  • What are their priorities?
  • What are the things they can do “with eyes closed”?

    How can this help you?

  • Copywriting
  • Marketing with content and email
  • Creating your products/services
Target Persona And Email Marketing

With these values and objectives, you can put reviews and feedback from previous patients on your emails.

For example, you can send Jane an email with verbatim feedback from a patient her age. This will encourage her to get treated. You can also add before and after pictures to make it more appealing.

  • Sources of information

    To consider:

  • Where do they get the majority of their data?
  • What are their favourite books, publications, and websites?
  • What kind of events do they go to?

How can this help you?

  • Writing content for emails or sales copy
  • Creating target options in social media platforms
Target Persona And Email Marketing

The goal of this section would be to look for books, magazines, and other sources of entertainment that only your ideal customer would like. 

For example, since Jane likes America’s Next Top Model you could consider writing your copy with a very catchy introduction, like having a “teeth talk”. Start with a question like “How does Kyla Coleman have such beautiful, pearly whites?” 

Those who aren’t fans of modelling won’t recognize her—but your customer avatar will. And this is how you make your copymore captivating and relatable to your customer avatar.

  • Obstacles and pain points

To consider:

  • What problems do they have to deal with?
  • What are they going through?
  • What circumstances are they solving?
  • What hinders them from doing things?

How can this help you?

  • Creating products or services that would avoid the problems
  • Making content that actually relates to customers (e.g., mentioning their struggles in the introduction)
  • Offer products and services as solutions to their pain points
Target Persona And Email Marketing

This information can assist you in a variety of ways.

For one thing, it might help you come up with fresh product or service ideas to help your avatar address his or her challenges.

For example, one of Jane’s challenges is her financial issues. You can bargain with her by sponsoring her dental treatment in exchange for a promotion in her YouTube videos. 

In this way, it’ll be a win-win situation for both of you.

  • Roles and objections

To consider:

  • What role do they play in the buying process? Are they the sole purchaser, or do they require approval from a third party?
  • What will make them hesitant in buying your product?

How can this help you?

  • Block objections by giving out assurances
  • Appeal to whoever is the decision-maker of the buying process
Target Persona And Email Marketing

Finally, consider why your consumer avatar would decide not to purchase your product or service. These are known as “objections,” and you must address them in your marketing.

Assurances play a very important role in this section. You get to know what words you will use in your copy to address the “whys and hows” of your consumer.

A buyer persona will help you build the perfect foundation for any marketing campaign.

You may have the best product in the world, but if you’re attempting to sell it to the wrong people, you’ll never meet your sales targets. That’s where having a buyer persona can help you.

When you research your audience and have a good understanding of who they are, you can create a buyer persona or a fictional character to represent them. By that avatar, you can quickly understand how your brand may appeal to your audience.

Here’s a downloadable FREE customer persona template for you to start with! 

Also, learn more about how to make your customer personas in our next article!

How To Use Persona Avatars For Your Email Marketing Campaign

Building up an email list of customers should be a priority in your business strategy, and having a way to communicate directly with your customers gives you so many opportunities for growth.

But having a list of email addresses is not going to do you any good if your customers don’t find your emails useful.

Understanding who your customers are will help you create an email marketing plan that increases your chances of success. This is why you should be creating buyer personas.

Having a buyer persona or customer avatar can significantly help you discover the best way to communicate to your audiences.

DEFINITION OF A BUYER PERSONA

You need it to optimise your messaging in ads, articles, pages and, of course, emails.

Target Persona And Email Marketing

Why should you create buyer personas for email marketing?

Understanding who your customers are will help you create an effective email marketing strategy that your customers will find valuable. 

A buyer persona or customer avatar is a fictional representation of your target market. It is a result of market research.

It is a fictional profile of someone who is most suited to be your customer. And it includes many characteristic details that you may use to inform your branding and marketing.

Creating a buyer persona will help you in three different ways:

1. Identify who you are writing to.

When setting up an email marketing strategy, you want to think about how to best communicate with your customers.

How you communicate will depend on who your customers are and what works for them.

If you know your ideal buyer persona is a Millennial (someone born between the years 1997 and 1995): 

  • You should make sure your emails are optimized for mobile devices. Adobe reports that 88% of millennials check their email from their smartphone
  • You should have an active social media presence to go along with your email marketing efforts.

If your ideal buyer persona is a corporate executive: 

  • You should consider having a presence on work-focused social media, such as LinkedIn
  • You should be efficient and “professional” in your communication with them
  • You should offer a service that will save them time and money

2. A buyer persona can help establish a tone of voice for your marketing strategy.

How you speak to your customers will impact how they feel about your business, so finding the right tone of voice will help you relate to your customers.

Should your tone be fun and light? Or should it be more serious? 

Here are some tone examples:

LinkedIn

LinkedIn knows that their clients are business professionals, so the tone of their emails is simple and efficient.

They know that their clients might not have time for a long email with lots of information, so they keep it short and to the point.

This email from LinkedIn is quick and easy to read, it lets the customer know how many times their profile has been viewed.

Target Persona And Email Marketing

Starbucks

Starbucks’ voice is a mixture of functional and expressive.

On the functional side, Starbucksfocuses on organizing things in a clear way that helps their customers have an efficient experience.

On the expressive side, they are a bit more playful, speaking in a fun and light way that is meant to give their customers a feeling of positivity. 

Target Persona And Email Marketing

Starbucks, Instagram

3. Create a personalised email strategy.

Creating a buyer persona will help you to personalise your emails.

The idea behind personalising email marketing is to prevent sending information to your customers that is not relevant to them. 

An example of how to personalise your email marketing is by using the customer’s name in the subject line.

Emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.

In the following example, the recipient’s name is included in the email subject line, adding a personal touch and improving the chances that the email is opened.

Target Persona And Email Marketing

Another way to personalise your email marketing is by sending unique emails to each customer depending on how they have interacted with your business in the past.

Personalised promotional emails have a 29% higher unique open rates (how often the emails are opened) and 41% more unique click-through rates (how often a client will click on a link in the email).

For example, Netflix sends emails to their users to remind them to finish streaming something. This encourages users to log back into Netflix.

These emails tend to have a high click-through rate because they are personalised to the customer. So this means that customers are likely to click on the link to keep watching their movies and shows.
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Target Persona And Email Marketing

How to create a persona for email marketing

Knowing who your ideal customer is is an important step in planning your email marketing strategy, you need to know who you’re trying to sell to.

Understand your demographics and target market.

You can collect information from your customers to learn about their demographics.

Demographics include things such as:

  • Age – How you should communicate with your customers can depend on how old they are. 

For example, in 2017 SmarterHQ reported that 74% of Millennials felt irritated by receiving too many irrelevant marketing emails, therefore they are likely to unsubscribe from emails that they don’t find useful.

  • Gender – Men and women have different email habits.

For example, a 2015 Yahoo study found that men generally send slightly faster and shorter replies than women.

Women’s responses tend to have an average length of 30 words and an average response time of 24 minutes, whereas men’s messages have an average length of 28 words and an average response time of 28 minutes.

  • Personal Lives – What people have going on at home will impact how they interact with your emails. A single person with no kids and a mother with three young children would likely have very different email habits.
  • Location – Email habits are different around the world.

Different countries have different customs when it comes to email communication, what works for one country might not work for another.

One of the most obvious differences is language. If you have customers around the world, they won’t all have the same first language. You’ll have to think about what language to use in your emails, and if you want to translate your emails into different languages.

For one, time zones are something that you should consider when sending emails because you want your customers to receive them at appropriate times. 

Different countries also have different etiquette when it comes to emails.

In Germany, emails are expected to be extremely formal, you’re supposed to address people with their titles. While in other countries like the USA, it is more common to address people by their first names.

This is why you should be aware of where your customers are and consider segmenting your email list based on location. Meaning that you might create different buyer personas for customers around the world, and you’ll send different kinds of emails based on that.

Know what brings people to your business.

To create an effective buyer persona, you need to understand the needs of your customers.

People search for services and products to solve a need or problem that they have.

There are so many different ways that a customer might find your business, knowing how they found you is information that you can use to grow.

You can ask your existing customers a few questions about how they found your business and why they chose to purchase from you, such as:

  • How did you hear about our business? Through social media or word of mouth?
  • What made you choose to buy a product or service from our business?
  • Is this the first purchase you’ve made from our business?
  • Did you know about our business before purchasing from us?

Know how your customers use your products or services.

The way customers use your products and services might be as you expect.

But you might also be surprised by the way some customers might find value in your products. And you might even find new ways to market them.

Coca-Cola was originally invented as an alternative to morphine addiction, and to treat headaches and relieve anxiety. The recipe was later adjusted, creating arguably the most famous and popular soda in the world.

You can reach out to your customers to ask for feedback in a few different ways:

1. Ask them to review the products they purchased from you.

Asking your customers for feedback on your products is a great way for you to see how you can improve.

You can send an email to your customers after they have received their product to ask them what they thought of it. You can offer your customers rewards for their reviews to incentivize them. 

You can do this by offering them access to specific deals after they leave their reviews. 

Target Persona And Email Marketing

2. Ask your customers for feedback on social media.

You can ask them to tag you in their posts or use specific hashtags so that you can see what they have to say.

KFC South Africa ran a campaign on TikTok asking their customers to create content about their 50th birthday.

This campaign benefited KFC in a few different ways:

  1. It got people talking about the product
  2. It created a fun activity that customers would want to participate in
  3. While they did have to pay to get the campaign off the ground, their customers were involved in actually making a lot of the advertising content through their videos
  4. They were able to get feedback on their products
Target Persona And Email Marketing

3. Research how customers use your competitor’s products.

You can use tools like social media to look into how your competitor’s customers engage with their products.

This can help you identify opportunities for your own business to improve, or see where your business is doing better.

Different personas by industry

Each industry will have a different persona and a different way of developing the persona. Here’s a guide:

Personas for B2B (Business to Business) 

A B2B business sells products or services to other businesses. A B2B buyer persona will be your ideal client decision-maker, meaning the person within the company that you will be marketing to, and who will decide whether or not to purchase from your business. 

ClickUp is a B2B company, and its platform is used to help businesses assign projects to their employees and to keep track of the status of those projects.

ClickUp could have a buyer persona that looks like this:

Name: Linda Evans
Role: Project manager
Decision maker: Yes, she makes decisions on what software the company uses to operate Goals: To make the process of assigning tasks easier and more efficient 
Challenges: Some people in her team are not tech-savvy, they take a long time to learn how to use new software
How ClickUp can help: They can offer tutorials on how to use their platform and have good customer support to answer any questions that their users have
Target Persona And Email Marketing

A buyer persona template from Smartsheet

Personas for B2C (Business to Customer)

A B2C business sells products directly to a customer. For a B2C business, you might have more than one buyer persona that you want to sell to depending on the product.

For example, a company like H&M will have different buyer personas depending on which product they are marketing.

H&M has many different departments, such as men’s clothes, women’s clothes, and children’s clothes. Each department would have completely different personas.

For H&M’s women’s clothing department, one of their buyer personas could be something like this:

Name:Lisa Smith
Age:21 years old
Gender:Female
Income:Middle-class 
Goals:To keep up with fashion trends and to find affordable clothes
Challenges:Having a limited budget
How H&M can help:Create affordable products that are designed based on global fashion trends
Target Persona And Email Marketing

Custom Buyer Persona canvas template from edit.org

Personas for Educational Institutions

Educational institutions, such as colleges, universities, and trade schools, can create buyer personas to help them identify their ideal student. 

For example, universities that offer master’s degree programs would create personas to help them identify qualified students that already have undergraduate degrees and are looking to further their education.

For Oxford University, one of their ideal student persona could look something like this:

Name: Peter Black
Age: 18 years old
Educational background: Has an excellent high school transcript, graduating at the top of his class
Goals: To get a high-quality education and to become a lawyer
Challenges: He will need to relocate to go to school in Oxford  
How Oxford can help: Offering resources to help him move and to offer student housing
Target Persona And Email Marketing

This is a description of the housing options available for their students on the Oxford website.

Personas for eCommerce

eCommerce businesses exist completely online, meaning there is no physical interaction with customers. 

For example, some traits of an eCommerce buyer persona would be someone that spends a lot of time online or that has access to fast internet.

Amazon is an eCommerce business, one of their buyer personas could look like this: 

Name: Cindy Roberts
Gender: Female
Age: 36
Income: $60 000 per year
Goals: She has 3 children and a full-time job, she wants to make her life more efficient
Challenges: She doesn’t have a lot of time to go shopping 
How Amazon can help: They can offer her the “Subscribe & Save” where she can schedule repeat orders, such as getting a new shipment of diapers and baby powder every month
Target Persona And Email Marketing

This is a breakdown from Amazon about their “Subscribe and Save” program


Here is a buyer persona generator to get you started.

Creating buyer personas for your business is an amazing tool you can use to plan out an effective email marketing strategy. 

When it comes to email, you want to create a strategy that your customers will find useful so they don’t unsubscribe.

If you have your buyer personas ready to go, you will be able to communicate with them in the way that is best for them, and you’ll see the benefits in your email engagement. 

Link to graphics

The inclusion of the buyer personas is useful but there is not enough engagement with the actual personas to hit the point strongly enough. The example of Oxford University and the student needing housing is a good example. So the problem is housing – where is the solution that demonstrates that Oxford took the persona and developed a solution to address it? A screenshot on their webpage/email etc? Same thing with the Amazon persona. A screenshot illustrating the Subscribe and Save function would tie up that example nicely. Theoretical examples are useful only if they are convincing. 

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