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An Easy Way to Use Buyer Personas to Boost Lead-Gen Response

by | Jan 26, 2011 | Conversational Writing, B2B Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Lead Generation, Buyer Personas | 0 comments

The use of buyer personas in marketing has been a hot topic recently. So today, in case you’re using buyer personas or are thinking of doing so, I’d like to offer you a tip for using them that can boost the ROI of your lead-generation campaigns.

“Whoa, hold on! What the heck is a buyer persona,” you ask? And well you may, since most of that discussion I mentioned seems to assume that everybody already knows. Well, according to Adele Revella, a speaker, trainer and consultant on product and marketing strategies:

” A buyer persona is a detailed profile of an example buyer that represents the real audience – an archetype of the target buyer.” [i]

She adds, “Marketers can use buyer personas to clarify the goals, concerns, preferences and decision process that are most relevant to their customers.”

They can also use them to identify possible changes to their offering, adapt their messaging and improve their sales training materials to better address their customers’ needs and concerns. “Imagine how effective marketers could be if we would all stop making stuff up and start aligning our messages and programs with the way real people think,” says Revella.

One easy and effective way to use buyer personas – a way that can help you generate more quality leads and boost your marketing ROI – is to simply hand them, along with the writing assignment for your next campaign, to a direct response copywriter.

Writing to One Person

Why a direct response copywriter?

Well, because even though the term buyer persona is a relatively new one in most marketing circles, it’s actually a very old and well established technique in direct response. We call it “writing to one person”.

The concept of writing to one person has been around for decades in DR (direct response). And all good DR copywriters still use it – religiously. Because it’s so powerful for getting prospects to respond.

To a DR copywriter, writing to one person means writing to a specific person who represents the target audience (i.e., a buyer persona). It involves learning all you can about that target audience. Not just how he or she thinks, but also how they feel. You dig deep into all their concerns, needs, interests and beliefs. You develop a strong, detailed mental picture of that one, specific person.

Then you keep that person solidly in mind as you write your piece. You visualize him or her as vividly as you can, so you feel you’re writing to a real person. In fact, copywriters will often use the face of someone they know who fits the profile of their target audience.

This technique helps the copywriter empathize with the target buyer and account for all the conflicting pressures and emotions the buyer feels while she does her job. It determines how you talk to this person, and what you need to say to persuade her.

The writing to one person technique produces three big benefits:

First, it helps the copywriter write in a conversational tone that keeps readers engaged. By knowing and visualizing the reader, you know what to say, and how to speak to her.

Second, it helps build credibility. A thorough knowledge of the target reader’s concerns, needs and interests allows the copywriter to add more relevant details and maintain consistency, so the claims in the copy seem more believable.

And third, writing to a specific person helps build rapport with the prospect. The prospect feels like the writer knows and understands her, so she’s more likely to trust the writer and act on what the writer suggests.

Combined, these three benefits – reader engagement, credibility and rapport – lower the prospect’s buyer’s resistance, and ultimately, boost response to your promotion.

How a Buyer Persona Helps Your Copywriter…and Your Campaign

Left to his own devices, a good DR copywriter will research your target audience and formulate his own “buyer persona” to represent that audience before he begins writing. But if you can provide him a detailed, thoroughly reviewed buyer persona at the outset of your project, you’ll not only be helping him, you’ll reap several benefits yourself:

  • You’ll be handing your writer a more detailed, more accurate picture of the target audience than he could possible build himself.
  • You’ll give your writer a huge head start on his research, leaving him more time for crafting and polishing a winning campaign.
  • You’ll shorten development time by helping your writer:
    • Highlight important concerns,
    • Prioritize issues, and
    • Filter information from conflicting sources.
  • You’ll shorten review cycles, because your writer’s first draft is much more likely line up with the thinking within your company.
  • And you’ll generate more leads and boost ROI through more accurate targeting of your prospect.

Building an insightful, detailed buyer persona for each job title that affects your sale will take some commitment. But the effort put into building and using buyer personas to shape your lead generation campaigns and sales efforts can reap you big rewards.

A little added value
If you’d like to learn more about buyer personas, how to create effective ones and how to use them, I encourage you to check out Adele Rivera’s Buyer Persona Blog, and Tony Zambito’s blog, The Digital Buyer Persona.

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Sources

[i] Revella, Adele, What the bleep is a buyer persona, Buyer Persona Blog, 8 November 2006.

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