Email outreach is about identifying your target customer and sending personalized, targeted messages to connect with them. Here's how to create a buyer persona and leverage it for your outreach efforts.
Level up your digital marketing with our best tips for freelancers and agencies. Download Now
Who is your dream customer?
What motivates them to get out of bed in the morning? — Tacos? Software deals? Taco-flavored software deals?
Knowing your ideal customer changes the way you communicate with them. It changes the language, tone, and approach you use in your marketing. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have a clear perspective of their ideal customer when they sit down to write an outreach email.
In this article, we’re going to discuss creating a buyer persona specifically for email outreach. This tool will help you send more personal, connective, and converting emails — even if you’re writing cold to someone you’ve never met.
I spoke with Guillaume Moubeche, cofounder and CEO of lemlist, to learn about how to send powerful emails that convert. According to Guillaume, it all starts with defining your customer.
Guillaume Moubeche – cofounder and CEO of lemlist. And whoa..check out those futuristic-looking work-cubes in the background.
What is a buyer persona?
Definition: Your buyer persona is a detailed description of the person most likely to become an all-out fan and paying customer of your product. On a Net Promoter Score survey, they’d be a 10.
This is the person your product was made for.
The buyer persona can be a real-life person who’s purchased your product or a fictional character you manufactured in a lab with your team. (“It’s alivveeee!” – Dr. Frankenstein)
The point is: When you create ads, blogs, marketing collateral — or outreach emails — your buyer persona is the subject you’ll write to. And you should think of them as the recipient of all your messaging.
What are the benefits of customer profiling?
When you try to write for everyone, you appeal to no one.
On the other hand, specificity creates powerful marketing.
“It’s all about conversion rate,” explains Guillaume. With a buyer persona, “You will get more signups, inbound leads, and sales. Emails will convert better. Ads will get more clicks.”
Most marketing material — particularly cold emails — aren’t written to that level of specificity. You can stand out and convert more leads by investing a few minutes to learn more about who you’re writing to.
What should be included in a buyer persona?
Your buyer persona should be carefully detailed. This character will represent the motivations, desires, and worries of a much larger group of people we’ll call your ideal customers.
Guillaume gave a handful of details you should make sure to include:
- First name
- Last name
- Job title
- Typical day-in-the-life
- Goals and objectives
- How they learned about you
- How they will get to know your brand
- What is holding them back?
- What motivates or drives them?
You can also include details about who you’re not selling to. To clarify certain characteristics, it can be helpful to apply some exclusive language that tells your team who your customers aren’t.
Some of these are obvious. Demographic information like age or someone’s position in their company has clear advantages for your outreach. But what about things like hobbies, the struggles that hold them back personally, or how they discovered your brand?
In a general sense, these details remind you that you’re speaking to a real human.
But taken a step further, these details also hold specific benefits. For example:
- Hobbies can be used as icebreakers and connection opportunities.
- Learning what problems your ideal customer needs to solve enables you to position your offerings in a way that removes their barriers. (Fully addressing their “pain points.”)
- Knowing how they discovered your brand tells you where they likely spend their attention online.
If you’d like a template for creating a buyer persona, Guillaume also offered some free templates.
Customer persona templates like the one above can be found on Lemist.com
How do you create a buyer persona?
To create the best-possible buyer persona, you’re going to throw all generalities out the window. A buyer persona should go into excruciating detail. The more specific you can be, the more powerful your messaging.
So how do you get the right information?
Here are a few tactics for gathering the right information for your buyer persona:
Look through your customer data
Your best customers can really help you define a near-perfect buyer persona. Look for the repeat customers, the ones with the highest order value, and the ones that are the most engaged with your business online (social media, comments, chats, and even email).
Interview that soulmate customer
If your buyer persona is based off an actual living and breathing homo sapien with a real phone number and family, then you should validate their number and contact them. Get to know that person inside and out. Interview them. Buy them a taco and pick their brain about who they are, how they found your product, and how it solves their business problems. And obviously, the more people like that you can interview, the more refined your customer persona will be.
Run ads to test assumptions
If you haven’t met your soulmate customer yet, then run experiments based on your gut-assumptions. Create and test digital ads based on information you think is relevant to your ideal customer. As you run tests, keep a record of the details that perform best. These details will become the attributes of your buyer persona. Here are a few things you can test:
- Headlines – You can test different headlines with specific messaging that you think will resonate with your ideal persona.
- Geography – Determine which locations seem to jive with your offer the most. Geography is probably the most overlooked trait when it comes to building personas ;).
- Surveys – You can include an embedded survey on your landing page(s) to collect persona data (see the list above for data collection ideas).
Who needs a buyer persona?
Okay, okay, Guillaume has convinced you that your team needs a buyer persona — or several, depending on your business. But which members of your team actually need to reference it?
According to Guillaume, most of them. Obviously, all your marketers and sales folks need to know who they’re selling to, so you’d better equip them with a copy.
After that, it all comes down to the nature of your product. For example, if your ideal customer prioritizes great design, then your UX team should probably rely on your buyer persona as well.
If your ideal customer wants a lean SaaS product — as opposed to one that sports all the bells and whistles — then your developers should be aware of the details in your buyer persona as well.
The point is, share your buyer persona like we’re living in 2002 and this is your new favorite mixtape. Those tunes deserve to be shared.
Huge shoutout to Guillaume from lemlist for providing valuable insights for this blog post. Keep an eye out: we’ve interrogated Guillaume for all his email outreach secrets. The rest will be published in upcoming articles. Stay tuned!
What’s an unusual detail you know about your ideal customer (without getting weird)?
Check out the next post in this series: