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How the Right Brand Persona Leads to Profitable Ecommerce Emails

You can’t do it all as your business grows. Chances are there will be more than one person writing emails to your customers. To truly connect with customers and leads, many businesses rely on research and buyer personas.

E-commerce emails are most effective when they build trust and it’s hard to build trust with a range of different voices. If one email is short and to-the-point but the next is full of flowery adjectives, it can create a confusing experience for your customer. The solution to this problem is a strong brand persona.

One reason email is so effective for conversions is because email gives you a chance to connect one-on-one with your customers. And true, you need to have a good idea who your ideal buyer is if you want to write profitable e-commerce emails. At the same time, if you don’t use a great brand persona to communicate with that ideal buyer, you’re missing out on building relationships that signify long-term ROI.

What is a brand persona?

If your logo is the face of your business, your brand persona is its character.

For many businesses, the brand persona begins with the founder. But depending on your brand, you may find that the founder isn’t the person your ideal buyer will connect with. So, your team will need to do some creative thinking to develop the right brand persona for your content, especially your e-commerce emails.

Some might start their brand persona with an archetype like the caregiver. This strategy can cause problems though. Just like any great buyer persona, a winning brand persona needs to be specific. It needs to feel real to your customers.

With that in mind, approach putting together your brand persona the way an actor approaches a new role. You may want to start by answering the questions below:

●     How old is your brand persona?

●     What was their experience growing up?

●     What are some personality traits?

●     What do they look like?

●     What do they do for a living?

●     Does your brand persona have any hobbies?

●     How big is their family?

●     Who are their best friends?

●     What are their coworkers like and how do they get along?

●     What is their relationship to your customers?

●     What does your brand persona want most?

●     What are they willing to do to get what they want?

●     How do they go about trying to get what they want?

●     Do they stand out, or do they blend in?

Once you’ve finished this exercise, it’s tempting to remove all the “bad” qualities of the character you’ve written down. But it’s a good idea to leave in what improv actors call “opposites.” 

Likes AND dislikes

Your brand persona isn’t about fitting in everywhere or appealing to everyone. Most of us don’t join every club or follow every account on Instagram. Your ideal customer has things that they like and don’t like, personally and professionally. Imagine what those would be for your brand.

Along with your target audience’s likes and dislikes, think about what would be out of place in their world. Use that understanding to further refine your brand persona.

For example, if your ideal buyer is a teenage girl who loves earnest activities like youth ministry, yoga, and holiday shopping, a brand persona who relies on sarcastic humor may not be the right fit or you should use it sparingly.

Build your brand persona

You also want to create a brand persona your customers feel they can talk to. It’s great to talk to a confident salesperson who knows all the answers when you’re ready to buy or looking for reassurance. That said if you’re having a problem and want some help or advice you’d probably rather talk to someone who is a good listener. Finding a way to strike a balance with your brand persona is important.

If you love your brand, we get it. Yes, your brand persona and brand identity should match. But as you continue to develop your brand persona, it’s a good idea to answer the questions below without your existing brand imagery

If you’re just plugging in what you already have, it will be harder for you and your team to get creative. You want to create an authentic persona that can represent your brand. These questions can help you get to the next stage:

●     Create an image of your brand persona. What do they look like? Is it a person, or could it be an animal or something completely new?

●     Describe how your brand persona speaks, and write out some examples.

●     Put together a brand guide that combines your brand identity with your brand persona

Refine your buyer persona

Now that you’ve nailed down your brand persona, it’s time to think about the relationship between your brand and your buyer. What are the best strategies to connect your brand persona with your buyer persona?

You probably already have a buyer persona ready, but just in case let’s look again at your ideal buyer.

Most companies have many buyer personas, but for emails, you really want to select just one buyer persona at a time for maximum results. Even better, choose a buyer persona that represents your most challenging customer. Think of your most detached, busy customer, the one who never stops comparison shopping, and craft your buyer persona around them.

Answering these questions can help you figure out how your brand and buyer personas might interact:

●     What does your buyer persona do for a living?

●     How old are they?

●     Where do they live?

●     What are their family and friends like?

●     What was their experience growing up?

●     What are some personality traits?

●     Does your brand persona have any hobbies?

●     What do they look like?

●     What are your buyers’ goals?

●     What will they do to achieve them?

●     What challenges do they face to get to their achieved results?

●     What are some examples of their feedback about your products?

●     How can your product help them achieve their goals?

●     What challenges do they face while purchasing your products?

●     How much say do they have in the purchasing process?

●     Where do they go for the information they trust?

●     What makes them feel good about their purchase decisions?

Pulling your personas together

Now that you have your brand persona and your buyer persona, your next step involves a little more role-playing. What do you think a conversation between these two will look like?

Clearly, there can be many iterations of this conversation. This exercise is just a way to form the voice of your brand persona.

Having samples of your brand persona in action will help your team understand your brand’s sense of humor, favorite phrases or words, and how your persona handles objections. This will make it much easier for anyone to understand and use your new buyer persona.

Using your brand persona to create great e-commerce emails

Now let’s talk about how your persona uses email.

Is your brand persona likely to know all the latest technology? Do they love animations or do they send plain text emails? Are they more likely to tell a personal story or to tell a story about a client or contact? Are their emails mostly short and sweet or do they tend to write longer emails that explore topics from every angle?

This insight will help you come up with a list of killer e-commerce email ideas to keep your customers engaged.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, these are just a handful of examples:

Inspiring Email Template Examples For Ecommerce Industry

Email Newsletter Ideas You Can Use To Engage Your Readers

Building your e-commerce emails

There are many ways different ways you can approach your e-commerce emails. An email that makes your customer feel like you wrote your emails with them in mind, get better conversions. This sounds simple but it’s easy to get into a rut, repeating the messaging of your business instead of exploring the language that connects with your customers.

Before you start each email, revisit your buyer persona dialogues. Reviewing these conversations will put you in the right headspace to write. You may also want to create swipe files of emails and blogs with personalities that align with your brand persona for ideas and to get just the right tone.

You want each email to feel like a gift you’ve selected just for your customers. Each e-commerce email should be a surprise in their inbox that shows that you care. When that gift is a discount on your products or a new product announcement and that customer makes a purchase, both of you win!

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Jana Rumberger is a writer and content manager for Selz. She has expertise in strategy, selling products online, and small business solutions. Jana combines diverse experience in art, education, and advertising to craft engaging content. In addition to her writing, she is an active visual artist and foodie in Portland, Oregon.

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