How to Create a Buyer Persona in 5 Simple Steps
By Shelby McGuigan September 5, 2017
A buyer persona is a fictional person who represents your ideal customer. Every successful marketer uses one. Do you?
Do you know who your customers are?
More importantly, do you know what they want or need from you?
If you don’t, writing engaging email content for your audience will be a challenge. After all, it’s difficult to write content for someone you don’t know or understand.
That’s where buyer personas come in. A buyer persona is a fictional person who represents your ideal customer or a portion of your audience. Their interests, challenges and problems align with your audience’s.
With a persona, you can write more engaging email content that resolves your audience’s problems and speaks to their interests. On top of that, you can also use personas to improve your overall marketing!
Are you ready to create your own buyer persona? Read this post and get step-by-step guidance to build your very own persona.
Step 1: Research your target audience
The first step is to do a little research. Researching your audience will help you create a realistic persona, and possibly find interesting details about your customers you didn’t know before.
To get started, look at your current customer base. Who are your best customers and repeat purchasers? Are there any similarities between them?
By finding commonalities among your best customers, you can create a persona that’ll help you attract more great customers.
To gather information, try setting up a phone call or in-person interview with someone you love doing business with. This will allow you to ask follow-up questions based on their previous answers to get even more detailed information.
You can also research customers you’ve had a bad experience with to learn which kind of people aren’t the right fit for your product or service.
To quickly gather information from multiple people, you could create and send a survey email to your current subscribers.
The survey could ask questions like:
When do you open your emails?
What questions do you have about [Insert your industry]?
What kind of content would you like to receive from me?
What challenges do you have?
After a year or two of using this research, conduct new research to refresh your buyer persona with updated information.
Step 2: Narrow down the most common details
Once you’ve completed your research, narrow down your results by finding the most common answers you received from customers and subscribers.
Then, weed through your research to determine the most important details that’ll affect how you communicate with your audience.
For example, if a majority of people share the same challenge, this will be an important detail to include in your persona.
Here is some of the information you should determine in this step:
- Demographics (age, occupation, etc.)
- Behaviors (skill level, interest in your product offering, how they use your product or service, what they read and watch, etc.)
- Challenges and interests (here’s how to find your customer’s pain points)
- Email preferences (how often they want to receive emails, when they open their emails, etc.)
Step 3: Create separate personas
Now that you’ve narrowed down the most common details about your customers, you should organize those details into separate personas.
To do this, identify people in your audience with the same challenges and goals and group them into their own category. These different categories will represent different personas.
For example, if you’re a fitness instructor, you may have clients who want to increase muscle and gain weight and others who want to lose weight. Since they have very different goals, you should create two separate personas for these clients.
If you find that you need to gather more information about a certain persona, go back and do more research to find the missing information.
Step 4: Give your personas names
The best way to write for and think about your buyer persona is to give them a name!
Assigning a name to your persona will remind you that you’re speaking to an actual person when you write emails. This can help you write more personalized content.
You can even take it one step further and find an image or photo to represent your buyer persona! Check out this example below:
Step 5: Start writing personalized emails
Now that you have a buyer persona (or personas!) with a name, face and details, you can start writing your emails and content with this persona in mind.
Your subscribers will engage with your emails more, because you can create more personal, relevant content for them. (And solve their problems!)
Not sure how to write effective emails for your new buyer persona? Download our free “What to Write in Your Emails” guide and get more than 45 fill-in-the-blank email copy templates and an email writing course.