3 Rules for Applying Personas to E-mail Marketing
Ian Lurie Sep 28 2007
Follow these three rules:
- Design for convenience, for that persona. ‘Convenience’ means different things to different people. For me, it means messages I can easily scan and delete or act on. For someone else, it might mean all the information they need, right in the e-mail.
- Tailor every offer to that persona. Sending a 10% off deal to a persona who wants luxury at any cost won’t get you much.
- Refresh your memory. Every time you launch an e-mail campaign, review your personas. Otherwise you’re going to drift into what I call ‘coupon land’, where every e-mail starts with ‘20% Limited Time offer!!!!’ or some such. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad offer. Just make sure it’ll work for your audience.
And with that, a quick example that I received today:
Here’s an e-mail sent by TheNerds.net (yeah, yeah, laugh it up):
If they created accurate personas, they aren’t using them. They send me special offers on decidedly geeky items, like cables for my home-made hard drive enclosure. What are the odds that someone like me would be downloading images from every e-mail, the moment I receive that e-mail? Zero.
Now, look at the same e-mail, viewed in the preview pane of my e-mail software:
Not exactly compelling, is it? If TheNerds.net created personas, they undoubtedly would figure out that we’re, well, nerds. As such, we like text e-mail, or at least e-mail we can scan very, very rapidly and then delete or read it. I’ll delete this e-mail every time.
To create an e-mail that really caters to The Nerd persona, they should have at least a line or two of plain old text that tells me why I want to read this e-mail. For instance:
Save $10 on Cables To Go Orders
And, they should have a subject line that’s more compelling than ‘Cables2Go’.
E-mail marketers, have mercy on us. Think about those personas before you click ‘send’.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More