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Why You Need To Develop Negative Buyer Personas

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buyer persona

If you’re using landing pages, content offers or other inbound marketing tactics to tap into your target market, you’ve probably become an expert at picking out the dead-end leads in your growing databases and contact lists.

They probably look something like this:

  • Gmail address when you want to be sure you’re speaking to a decision-maker.
  • First- and last-name conventions like Moon Dancer instead of John Smith.
  • Job titles listed as ‘student’ when you’re selling big-ticket items like yachts.

Not many students can afford a yacht, but perhaps their parents can — and that’s why you keep them signed up instead of sucking it up and hitting the ‘purge’ button like HubSpot did back in 2015 when it unsubscribed 250 000 people from its marketing blog.

Your definition of a low-value lead naturally depends on your marketing and sales objectives. If brand awareness is your bag, baby, you could argue that there’s no such thing as a worthless contact. Just don’t tell the growth hackers; they’re not really ones for warm and fuzzy content generated for the sole purpose of brand love 🙂

As a rule, your databases are gold worth mining. And no one wants to waste time mining for gold in a coal seam. That’s why, after you’ve gone through the painstaking process of researching and building buyer personas for your product, you need to go the extra mile and sketch out negative personas, too.

What is a negative buyer persona?

Negative or ‘exclusionary’ buyer personas are window shoppers. These are visitors to your website who liked your content enough to sign up for your newsletter or perhaps download your e-book, but for a variety of reasons, they’re never going to buy. They’re just browsing.

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Now, you could stick to your guns and keep devoting time and resources to creating content and enticing offers to nudge them through the buyer’s journey… but you know you’re going to be left at the altar.

(Or worse, they do end up becoming customers, but they’re nightmares to deal with. Fickle, regular complainers, over-communicators — they exhaust your team to the point that you’re losing money by servicing them.)

Other methods to sift through a database of potential customers

If you’re still building up the courage to build a negative buyer persona, there are other ways you can exclude certain buyers (or should we say, non-buyers) from your contact lists and databases.

  • You could use branching logic when building workflows in your marketing automation and sales tools, so that you can exclude them from your efforts.
  • You can use a Prospect Fit Matrix to weed them out at the very last stage of the buyer’s journey i.e. the decision stage.
  • You can simply unsubscribe them. While you’ll remain a regular feature in their social feeds and browser history, they probably won’t even notice you disappearing from their inboxes.

It’s worth mentioning that many marketing automation platforms like HubSpot and even MailChimp charge you based on the size of your contact list, usually in increments of 1 000 or 2 000 contacts. All the more reason to Dear John those window shoppers.

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How to Better Communicate With Your Audience Through Email Marketing

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You’ve probably heard several people say that email marketing is dead. Since instant messaging apps and social media platforms have entered the picture, people may easily believe this false claim. But, if you’re a business owner who’s on a never-ending quest to improve customer engagement, you should know that email marketing remains an incredibly effective practice.  

With over 3.9 billion email users worldwide, it’s not an exaggeration to say that over half of the world’s population can be reached through this channel. As an all-in-one tool, email marketing can perform various functions, such as influencing purchasing decisions, widening brand awareness, and improving one’s sales.

To show you how vital it is, HubSpot has found that over 80% of businesses heavily rely on the channel for their customer acquisition and retention. If you haven’t hopped into the email bandwagon, you should get on board as soon as possible. Statistics show that for every dollar you spend on a campaign, you can potentially acquire $38 in return. 

If you’ve already implemented an email strategy but did not get the results you want, you might be wondering how you can improve the performance of your email marketing campaigns. To steer your business in the right direction, the guide below will teach you how in four simple steps. 

1. Segment Your Audience

Writing a marketing email is no different than writing a letter to a friend. With this analogy in mind, the first thing you should do is determine whom you’re talking to and why.

Nowadays, there’s no such thing as the average consumer. Given that the market has become more competitive, customer demands have evolved and are now more specific than ever. If you simply send out generic emails that don’t provide any form of value, chances are you won’t capture the interest of your leads.  

Before you start sending out promotions, you need to characterize and segment your audience. Even though each customer has his/her own unique characteristics, you can group them all into a specific mailing list. Here are some factors that help marketers establish buyer personas:

  • Job Title
  • Demographics: Age, Gender, and Location
  • Purchasing Capabilities
  • Online Behavioral Patterns
  • Email Clickthrough Rates
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By figuring out the different kinds of people who buy your products, it’ll be a lot easier for you to deliver the right messages to the right set of eyes.   

2. Personalize Your Messages

Did you know that including the recipient’s name in an email’s subject line can increase its open rate by 16%? Personalization is a vital component in creating the ideal customer experience, yet many companies fail to do it properly. 

When it comes to email marketing, personalization can be done in several ways. Other than including the customer’s name in your email, you can deliver and customize messages based on a subscriber’s characteristics. If a specific customer is in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey, sending out an email that can help them decide on a solution will increase the likelihood of a transaction.  

It’s no secret that customers greatly value the experience they get from a brand. If you were able to segment your audience accordingly, sending out timely and relevant messages should be a breeze. Apart from sending out specialized promos and discounts, your customers will greatly appreciate it if you regularly send important updates or let them know that your business provides email support.

3. Share Your Story

Your customers don’t just want to transact with your brand; they want to build a relationship, as well. Enticing your leads to convert should always be your goal, but this doesn’t mean that you should only bombard your subscribers with promotions. Aside from advertising your products and services, you should also use email marketing to pave the way for valuable engagements.

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Email is a direct and intimate channel that allows your audience to learn more about your business.  Now that consumers are more socially conscious, they take a company’s values and beliefs into account before closing in on a business deal. 

Sharing stories on how your business began or letting them know your stance on particular issues lets your audience see the human side of your brand and eventually strengthens your online reputation in the long run.

4. Let Data Serve As Your Map

Just like any other discipline under the digital marketing umbrella, your email strategy should be fueled by data. Taking note of important metrics such as your clickthrough rate and overall return on investment primarily lets you see how successful your campaign is. At the same time, harnessing these statistics also lets you identify bottlenecks and enables you to make the right adjustments.

Similar to optimizing your landing pages, email marketing is not a one-and-done task. Complacency is the number one enemy of any brand, and this is why marketers should make it a point to test their email templates periodically. But now, you may be wondering, “Which components of my email campaign should I test exactly?”

Aside from your subject lines, your email’s design, length, and button placement can greatly influence the success of your campaign. People react differently to certain templates, and A/B Testing allows you to see which variation delivers the best results. 

Harness the Power of Email

No matter what industry you may be operating in, there’s no denying that nothing grows your business more than customer loyalty. Luckily, advancements in technology have given brands many opportunities for valuable engagements. But, in this fast-paced digital world, it’s easy for business owners to prefer popular channels such as social media and disregard email-marketing entirely.

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While it may seem like an old-fashioned way of communicating with your audience, at the end of the day, email marketing still gets the job done. As an all-in-one tool, investing in an email marketing campaign will do more than just optimize your conversion rate.  

Just like any other marketing practice, there’s a right way to do things. With the tips above in mind, you’ll be able to take your campaign to the next level and drive your business forward.

About the author

Eliza Espino is an Online PR Specialist for Spiralytics. She recently began her professional career in digital marketing and is continuously learning about the field. One of her goals is to help grow businesses from different industries. Eliza spends her free time exploring films and series that can make her smile, think, laugh, or cry.

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How to Increase Your Email Open Rates in 2020

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To grow your brand online, you need to market it effectively. This requires you to leverage various forms of marketing.

One of the most reliable forms of marketing is email marketing. There are over 4 billion email users around the world and that makes it a great medium to reach out to a massive audience.

However, for your email marketing campaigns to be effective, you need to ensure that your audience not only receives your emails but also opens them. It’s only then that you can get them to take your desired actions and convert.

Thus, your email open rate is critical for conversion rate optimization. If you can’t achieve a high open-rate, the chances are that your email marketing campaign will not be successful.

So, how can you increase your email open rate?

Let’s find out.

How to Boost Your Email Open Rates

Here’s how you can increase your email open rates.

1. Short Subject Lines

Email subject lines are perhaps the most important part of any email marketing campaign. If you don’t get them right, the chances are that your receivers may never open your email. This would mean that all of the other content of your email will be wasted.

The subject lines need to catch the attention of your receivers and should prompt them to click on your email to open it.

So, here’s a trick – the email subject line also needs to be short.

But why?

Because many of your receivers may check their emails on their smartphones. In fact, about 42% of all email opens are on mobiles.

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email opens are on mobilesImage via Litmus

Owing to their smaller screen size, smartphones tend to display shorter subject lines. So, if you write a long subject line, the chances are that the receivers may not be able to read it completely. This may reduce the possibility of them opening your email.

That’s why about 82% of experts prefer to use short email subject lines that are less than 60 characters long.

What’s more?

The above-mentioned study also found that the average length of email subject lines is just 43.85 characters.

Yet another reason for keeping your subject lines short is that email apps stop displaying lines longer than 30-40 characters.

2. Subject Line Content

Length isn’t everything, however. The content of your subject line is also important.

While the copywriting has to be on point, you can improve the chances of your receivers spotting your subject lines by adding emojis to them. They can make your subject lines appear unique as only about 6.9% of email subject lines have emojis in them.

To test the efficiency of the subject lines, you can use tracking tools and figure out the impact of the emojis on your subject lines.

impact of the emojis on your subject linesImage via AWeber

You could also try to vary the capitalization of your email subject lines to make it appear more unique.

The most common case used is sentence-case with about 60% of subject lines using it. However, only 6% of them are written in lowercase completely. This strategy might come in handy and could help you boost your open rates.

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These strategies, of course, don’t apply to transactional emails which may be opened by your customers regardless of the subject line.

3. Segment Your List

One of the most important things you can do to improve your open rate is keeping your email list fresh and segmenting it well. A fresh and well-segmented email list means that only those who’re interested in receiving your emails will get them.

What’s more?

Segmentation means that you can personalize your subject lines and emails for each segment separately. As a result, the emails will seem more relevant to them. Due to this, they’ll be more likely to open your emails to check them out, hence improving your open rates.

Segmentation can be done based on their purchase behavior, demographics, locations, and interests. For instance, you can send emails depending upon the types of products that they’ve purchased from you and suggest similar products to them.

Final Thoughts

Improving your open rate is crucial for the success of your email marketing campaigns. To get your subscribers to take action, you need to get them to open your emails. For this, you can come up with crisp and attractive subject lines.

You can also add emojis to your subject lines and change their case to make them more unique. Lastly, you should keep your email list fresh by removing inactive accounts and segment it so that you can send out more personalized emails to your subscribers. You can also increase your email subscribers by combining your email marketing with social media marketing strategies using social media marketing tools.

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Do you have any questions about the tips above or need help boosting your email open rate? Let me know in the comments.

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