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Trade alert: How knowing your customers can boost your marketing success

Whether you're the owner of a large online store selling costume jewellery or the manager of a smaller, bricks-and-mortar shop that has some accessories as part of a larger portfolio, you will have to engage in some kind of marketing in order to sell products.

It can be difficult, though, to know exactly how to target your audience without feeling like you're bombarding or spamming them with constant sales messages.

This is particularly the case for email marketing. We've all been subjected to campaigns from brands that seem to think filling your inbox every five minutes is the best way to convince you to make a purchase, when it's actually the fastest route to you hitting 'unsubscribe'.

How, then, can you tread the fine line between keeping your brand fresh in the minds of your consumers and irritating them?

Well, one great way of ensuring a positive interaction and raising the likelihood of getting your email content read is to use the method of creating a buyer persona.
In an interview with Marketing Land, newsletter creation brand Morning Brew's co-founder Alex Lieberman explained it has been focusing on targeting one persona lately - and the technique has been paying dividends.

"We picked a real human being, detailed out what this human does. Literally codified a persona and their behaviour that we can reference in any point in time," he commented.

This means the brand's entire content strategy is tied to speaking to that one person using a detailed voice guide aimed at engaging their personality.

The technique seems to be working, as Morning Brew now reports an excellent 45 per cent open rate that most businesses would surely covet for themselves.
However, co-founder Austin Reif stressed that it isn't just a case of getting people to click to open your emails.

"The content you create needs to be informed by who your audience is and 100 times better than anything else they are getting. It all starts with content," he added.

Marketing experts Hootsuite and Hubspot also recommend the buyer persona technique to increase your engagement with customers, as it allows you to personalise your marketing on a large scale.

So, how can you go about creating buyer personas for your costume jewellery business? Here are some top tips to give you a hand.

1. Research your existing audience

You need to look into who is already purchasing your necklaces and bracelets - work out their age, location, income, buying behaviour and interests, bearing in mind that you'll probably need more than one persona.

2. Identify their pain points

Next, work out what barriers your customers face and what is holding them back from achieving what they want. For example, as a costume jewellery company, your customers' pain points may be that they are spending too much with their current brand, or are wasting too much time searching for the accessories they want.

3. Identify their goals

Linked with point two is working out the positive things your customers want to achieve. In this instance, it might be finding a necklace for a particular event or learning how to coordinate accessories with fashionable outfits.

4. Work out how your brand can help

This next stage involves using what you've learnt above and coming up with a strategy to work out what benefits you can offer to your customers. For instance, you could send a round-up of the top five jewellery trends for each month to help those who want to appear more up-to-date.

5. Create your personas

The final stage is turning all of the above into a real person to target. Don't be vague here - give your personas actual names, job titles and hobbies if you want them to feel authentic and help you speak to them.

By putting your personas front and centre every time you build a marketing strategy, you'll strengthen your relationships with your real-life customers. In time, this could really help you to sell more of your costume jewellery, build brand loyalty - and avoid the dreaded spamminess of email marketing.