How Well Do You Know Your Audience?

If you saw my email earlier this week, you’ll already know that I’m presenting at the Inboxed Summit, which is happening in a couple of weeks from now. 

On Monday of this week, I was lucky enough to be invited to record the Q&A panel session with four other deliverability experts, where we talked about anything and everything related to email deliverability. 

I had a blast and it was great to see that all the experts on the call were pretty much in agreement about everything.

Everyone on the call dropped lots of knowledge bombs and I’m going to share one with you today.

The credit for this one goes to Chris Lang, co-founder and CTO of Send13 and Klean13 (both of which are services that I often recommend).

One of his pieces of advice that he shared on the call has inspired me to write today’s post.

His advice was simple: Know Your List.

This sounds like very obvious and very simple advice, and it is. Ignore it at your peril.

But…  what do you actually need to know?

Here are a few of my suggestions… this isn’t a definitive list but I hope it helps. I’d love to know what else you’d suggest are important.

Who are they?

This is where demographics and “customer avatar” really comes into play. The more specific you can be here, the better. I won’t say much about this because there are many articles out there devoted to this subject.

What do they need?

This is a question that can work at many different levels. What do they need emotionally, what do they need to learn, what do they need help with, what are they specifically expecting from you?

How often do they want to hear from you?

It’s vital to know this. No point sending an email once a month if they need more frequent communication. No point sending an email once a day if they’ll ignore it and get annoyed with you. At the very least, you should set an expectation of how often you’ll be in touch… but make sure you choose an appropriate frequency.

As a quick aside, though – from a deliverability point of view, only sending an email once a month isn’t going to help you increase your engagement with your audience. I’d recommend at least one email every week or every fortnight as a minimum.

What should you be offering them?

I don’t mean “what are you going to sell to them” here. This question should look much deeper than that. 

How can you segment them?

Segmentation is an often-overlooked factor that can improve email deliverability.

Imagine that you’re a pet shop owner. Would you send emails about dogs to people who only liked cats? I hope not! This is where it’s really important that you only send the right emails to the right people who actually want to hear about the specific thing you’re talking about in this email.

So you could segment according to their needs, their interests, their budget, their greatest challenge, the reason they actually need your help, the list goes on.

A very important factor to take into account is this: Where are they on their journey with you? 

Are they only just becoming aware of you and not sure you can help them yet? 

Are they aware of the problem but not ready for your help? 

Are they in pain right now and need immediate help? 

Are they one of your raving fans who regularly engages and even replies to your emails?

Make sure you’re particularly aware of this.

Wrapping Up…

Some of these things, hopefully many of things, you’ll know already.

Some of them, you can infer from their behaviour – for instance, what types of emails are they engaging with?

And of course the best way to find out, if you don’t know, is to ask them! If you saw my “Please help” email a few months ago, you’ll remember exactly what I did.

Once you’re clear on all of these things you know about your audience, you can start to take action based on all of this. Only send the right emails, to the right people, at the right time. Use the intelligence of your marketing automation platform to help you do this.

Bottom line – one size mustn’t fit all!

I really hope this post has given you some food for thought. 

If you decide to do something differently after reading it, please get in touch and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!