Recently, one of my clients sent me his favorite email marketing piece. To him, it was the gold standard, and he wanted his email campaigns to look just like this piece. Why did it resonate with him? The subject line caught his attention, the top message intrigued him, and the copy supported the message. And so, he clicked on the CTA, filled out a form, and downloaded the offer.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? I was also impressed with the piece and the message, but as I took a step back and thought about it, something felt off to me.
Just like anyone else, I can be seduced by good copy and design, but sooner or later, my marketing sixth sense starts to kick in. Why did the campaign feel off to me? It targeted the wrong buyer.
What appeared to be a beautifully executed campaign was, in fact, a dud. The campaign was directed at IT engineers and used the language and imagery that would resonate with that group—and it did this very well. Unfortunately, that was not the target audience for this piece. This piece was intended for business operations folks—so “wrong” message sent to the right buyer.
I am sure that a great deal of time, effort, and money went into creating and launching this particular campaign. I am equally sure that it failed. Why? Because buyer personas are the most critical component of inbound email marketing campaigns. If you don’t truly understand who you’re trying to have a conversation with, you will not be able to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.
Often, the buyer persona is like that person you’re always trying to avoid at parties: you don’t want to spend time with someone you don't have a connection with. But you need to work on that connection and figure out what makes your buyers tick:
Believe it or not, buyer personas are easy to develop. It just takes some time and of course, input from those closest to your customers and prospects. Check back next week for my pointers on how to create and evolve personas.