The Art of Email List Building Target Audience

A crowd of people who is your target audience ideal customer

Part 2: Define Your Target Audience

You might think that thanks to the Internet, you can reach any potential audience anywhere in the world. This is true in theory, but if you try to attract everyone at once, you can end up attracting no one. It is important to define your target audience.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when building your list is assuming everyone is part of your target audience. As we mentioned in the last module, there’s no point building a large list just for the sake of it. A smaller, focused list will serve your business far better.

In order to be effective with email marketing, you need to identify the people you can help best with your product or service. They will be the people you really want to work with.

In this article, you will drill down to define your ideal customer and you’ll create your ideal customer avatar who is your target audience.

Why Do I Need an Ideal Customer Avatar?

Knowing exactly who your ideal client is helps you make the right decisions in your business, because all of your business decisions are made with them in mind. The more comprehensive and individualized your ideal customer avatar is, the better you will be able to relate to your audience.

Even if you’ve done this before, it’s imperative that you don’t skip this step.

Connecting with your audience is simpler when you can speak in a way that resonates with them. You can show that you relate to their problems, and you can provide solutions that make their lives easier.

By creating a specific ideal customer avatar, it doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on other business. The opposite is often true and you attract more people because you’re more specialized in what you provide. Don’t be afraid to get specific. Think about it: If you were in the business of dog grooming, would you want to market to people without pets? Probably not – you’d choose people with dogs obviously!

Without an ideal customer avatar, you risk being generic and ineffective, causing your audience to be confused about whether your content is for them or not. They might even unsubscribe from your list.

Defining your ideal customer is no easy task and it’s normal to feel slightly overwhelmed. But trust in the process, and that all the time spent identifying your audience will benefit the growth of your email list.

Step 1: Draft Your Ideal Customer Avatar

Your ideal customer avatar is your vision of the person you really want to work with. This representation might be based on someone you know or a combination of people. He or she has a name, demographics, and other characteristics to depict the typical person you can help best.

To reiterate, you’ll be designing your avatar so you know who to attract to your email list. That way you can easily tailor all your email writing and content to their needs.

Woman displaying a list of questions to answer about email list building and target audience
When building your email list ask yourself who do you want as your target audience

To help you pinpoint your ideal audience, start drafting the image of them by asking yourself these questions:

  • Who do I want to target?
  • Who can I help the most?
  • Where do I think I can bring the biggest transformations in their lives?
  • What are their biggest challenges?
  • What problems can I solve?
  • What are their dreams or goals related to their business?

Your answers to those questions will give you an initial perception of who your ideal client is, but demographics and psychographics take it a step further in knowing more about your target audience.

Demographics help you recognize who your audience is, and psychographics tell you about their behavior and their why.

Step 2: Take Your Ideal Customer Avatar a Step Further with Demographics

Now you might think you’ve identified your audience as “women, aged 25-50” – sounds good, right? Actually, although gender and age are demographics, that’s too general and doesn’t make for a comprehensive ideal customer avatar.

Examples of demographics:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Children
  • Education
  • Income
  • Ethnicity
  • Location
  • Employment status (employed/self-employed/business owner)
  • Religion or spiritual belief
  • Hobbies/spare time activities

Demographics can be helpful in knowing who your audience is and if they are important to your goals, yet they just don’t go far enough.

4 images portraying people in families demographics for target audience
Demographics and Psychographics are used to know your ideal customer

Step 3: Use Psychographics to Understand Your Customer’s ‘Why?

Psychographics get you closer to the person you really want to have on your list. They are essential and the key to personalize your content appropriately. Think of psychographics as the challenges, the dreams, the feels, beliefs, and the goals that are important to your ideal customer. They’ll influence why your customer will buy.

Ask yourself:

  • What books do they read?
  • What foods do they like?
  • Who do they follow?
  • What films do they watch?
  • What music do they listen to?
  • What kinds of clothes do they wear?
  • What are their core values?
  • How do they view the world?

Once you know what is important to your ideal customer, you’ll know how to speak like them, how to sell to them, and how to motivate them to take action. They will sense that you truly “get” them. The secret to growing your email list is to connect with your audience on an emotional level.

Tips for Collecting Information About Your Ideal Customer Avatar

Now that you know the difference between demographics and psychographics (and that you need both), you need to find the information. You can gather this type of data from different sources.

  1. Ask your audience.
    One way to collect information about your target audience is through interviews with past or current customers. You can reach out to your ideals and ask them for answers to your questions directly or via surveys. Pay attention to the language they use in their responses, as you will want to use the same type of language you when you start writing emails. This helps establish rapport and create a feeling of understanding.
  2. Observe your audience.
    Spend time where your target audience hangs out. Facebook Groups are a perfect online starting place. You can find a group by searching on your topic of expertise and join it to see what people are talking about. Networking events, tradeshows, professional meetings and conferences are all great in-person events where you can observe trending topics. Whether this is virtually on social media or in-person, pay attention to questions people ask, the common problems they share, or even their likes and dislikes. This will tell you a lot about them and show that you are paying attention to their wants and needs.
    4 images 2 female 2 male with names for name your avatar for your target audience
    Name Your Avatar

    Step 4: Name Your Ideal Customer Avatar

    Naming your ideal customer avatar makes it easier for you to remember what attributes make up their profile and it also helps to humanize them. Bring your character to life by finding a picture that represents what they would look like.

    Defining your target audience is crucial to growing your email list. By creating your ideal customer avatar, you are able to tailor your content and reach the right people who are interested in your business. If you want to achieve success in email marketing, do not miss this crucial step. We’ll refer to your ideal customer avatar throughout the remainder of this course.

    Read Part 1: What’s an email list and why do I need one?
    Read Part 3: Plot the course of your customer’s engagement

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