How Well Do You Know Your Customers? How Personas Improve Segmentation

No two customers are the same, so why do brands constantly send everyone the same emails? Does a soccer mom with three young children in the suburbs have the same needs as a young professional couple living in trendy downtown neighborhood? And yet, without segmentation they will be getting the same emails. The chances of high click through rates (CTRs) and conversions on such campaigns is unlikely.

Given the increased focus in 2014 on segmentation in email marketing, there is more brands could be doing to to connect with their customers. The question is, how exactly do brands make a deeper connection?

Segmentation using personas is the way forward.

Personas as a segmentation tool

This is where more information is key. You have to learn to get inside the mind, the lifestyle and personality of your customers. It will take time and possibly further resources, which is why it is best to see ask the following questions first, from the data you can access about your customers, before investing further understanding the personas of your customer base.

The returns from this will be demonstrated in a higher CTR, higher conversion rate and increased revenue from email marketing campaigns.

Start with asking the following six questions:

  • Demographic information. Age, household income, marital status, gender, location, whether they have children, or if they do, are they young, teenage, or all grown up. With this you can start painting a picture of the name behind the email address.
  • Job and seniority. This is more important for B2B brands, but equally useful as another piece of the personal tapestry behind the name for consumer brands.
  • A day in the life. With social listening you can get an even more complete picture. Understanding what they like, watch on TV, music they listen to, fashion choices, all helps to clarify the image of your audience within your organization.
  • What are their pain points? Learning why your customers need the products or services you sell is useful. Even more so is the value you can gain from knowing how a problem makes a customer feel. This could help when it comes to tailoring marketing language and promotions.
  • What do they really want? Now you know what they don’t want, it is time to consider what, from your product or service they could get excited about. This could open up the possibility of using an aspirational approach to email marketing language.
  • Who influences them? Is it friends and family on social networks? Search engines? The media? And more importantly, who or what is more important when it comes to influencing them. This way you can target them with different pieces of information in the sales and customer retention cycle.

The better you understand customers, the more likely you will be able to connect with them, help them see how your product or service will improve their lives.

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