In the cold email world, you can’t rely on past experience to get a sense of who your recipients are. So how do you connect and build a relationship with someone you never met before?
By creating a customer avatar that reveals your target audience’s needs and by crafting your emails in a way that meets those needs.
What’s a customer avatar?
Customer avatars are fictional characters that represent the ideal target audience for your cold email campaign, like a webmaster, a small business owner or a decision maker in any capacity.
Avatars are important because they help you understand what your audience’s pains and gains are as well as their interests. They allow you to speak directly to an individual rather than just a job title, allowing you to better deliver your message.
The more specific and detailed you make your avatar, the better off your email conversions will be.
Why should you create a customer avatar?
This might sound strange, but you can’t truly connect with an audience if you haven’t shown empathy for their needs. The best way to capture this feeling is by creating an avatar for them.
What does this person look like? What makes them tick? What keeps them up at night?
Once you’ve answered those questions, you’ll know what it would take to speak a language they understand.
By developing a customer avatar, you’ll be able to craft cold emails that resonate with your target audience on a deeper level — and increase your open and conversion rates in the process!
What should be included in your customer avatar?
Creating a customer avatar for your cold email campaign can be made easier with a structured approach. Your goal is for you to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience before you write a single word.
Here are the 5 steps you need to follow to create the perfect customer avatar for your email campaign:
Step 1. Identify your target audience
Understanding your target audience is essential to building a successful cold email outreach campaign.
To do so, you first need to identify what it is about them that defines who they are as an individual, separating them from the position they have.
You want to get answers to questions such as: How do they think? How do they like their information presented? How do they make decisions?
Understanding your target audience is the first step in crafting email copy that speaks their language and breaks through the noise.
Where do you find this information?
One of the most complete sources of target audience intelligence is LinkedIn profiles. In them you can find a treasure chest of valuable information, including their current and past experience, their education level, who they follow and what groups they’re engaged in.
Step 2. Find out what they need and the problems they face (i.e. their pain points)
The goal of this step is to figure out what challenges your customer avatar has so that you can present yourself as the “saviour” who offers a handy solution to their problems — presenting the right thing at the right time.
If you don’t address their needs, your email will end up in the trash bin. Say, for example that you’re reaching out to webmasters to solicit backlinks for your website but they’re not interested in link exchanges.
Then they’ll likely ignore you completely or even get back to you with a “please unsubscribe me from your list” type of response.
But if you offer to write a guest post after researching their site to find a keyword where they have a clear content gap to fill, they’ll likely want to hear more about your ideas, and perhaps you’ll end up receiving the backlink you wanted anyway.
The key here is to make sure that you’re not “asking” for anything but offering something that’s valuable to them and their audience.
Step 3. Find out how they like to communicate
Before you approach your target audience for the first time, it’s vital that you find out how they prefer to communicate.
Some in your target list may be receptive to cold emails, but others will want to have received a request to connect via LinkedIn first. Yet others may prefer DM instead of email, so you have to include that option.
Depending on your target audience, you’ll need to figure this out in advance otherwise your outreach will be like shooting in the dark, and you might end up burning bridges you didn’t have to burn.
It goes without saying that if you communicate in a way your audience appreciates, your chances of success will increase dramatically.
Step 4. Create a persona for them that includes demographic and psychographic information
The next step in developing a customer avatar is to create a list of demographic characteristics that represent your ideal audience member, including their name, age, gender, occupation, income level, etc. plus a list of psychographic questions to assess your avatar’s state of mind.
The demographic information needs to include things like:
- Name (make one up), age, gender
- Geographic location
- Income level/education level
- Occupation/specific role in their organization
- Interests/online places they like to frequent
The type of psychographic questions you need to answer are:
- What drives them?
- What do they value most?
- What motivates them?
- What do they think about in relation to offers like yours?
- What do they feel/say about the type of proposition you’ll be presenting?
Why so much specificity? Because when you’re looking to connect with your target audience, it’s important that the emails you send are tailored not only to meet their needs but also their frame of mind.
Step 5. Find out where they like to hang out online
Find out where your customer avatar likes to hang out. What sites and groups do they frequent, what forums do they participate in? What blogs do they like to read?
There’s no better way to assess where your target audience is at than by hearing them say it themselves.
Join the same Facebook, LinkedIn and other public groups and forums that your customer avatar likes to frequent and then analyze what they talk about by reading their entries, posts and comments.
Then, use this information to get a more complete understanding of your target audience. This intelligence will help validate that you’re on the right track in creating a customer avatar that’ll be the perfect fit for your cold email outreach campaign.
The final piece of the puzzle is to make sure that all of your future email communications are informed by the work you’ve done above.
When you send out a cold email campaign, you may be addressing it to hundreds or thousands of people, but what you should really be focusing on is directing your writing to an audience of one: your customer avatar.
If you do so, you’ll notice how your open and conversion rates begin to increase as your emails break through the noise and connect with your target audience at a much deeper level!
Marcelo Beilin is a Digital Marketing Consultant and blogger who helps business clients take their traffic and online revenue to the next level. He also helps readers find the perfect tools to earn online income at BestTech2EarnOnline.com.
You can connect with him on LinkedIn.