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How to use buyer personas for lead generation

Use personas for lead generation

Batch and blast communications are behind us. At least they should be. I think we’re all on the same page when I say that. These days, the communication strategy of most companies is a lot more sophisticated. Rather than taking a blanket approach to email distribution, it’s all about knowing your audience and segmenting your campaigns to address their individual pain points and needs.

Buyer persona profiles are the first step in this segmentation process, but it is worth saying that you ideally need an email automation platform to help you get the most out of your strategy. The goal is to continually nurture your segmented prospects with appropriate content to the point that they are ready to engage with you in a conversation.

In a previous blog we discussed the need to craft your personas as an integral part of your marketing strategy (and there’s a guide to creating buyer personas), but we’re now taking those personas to create workflows for nurture campaigns and to drive leads.

Based on our own recent experiences, here’s how we use persona profiles to support lead generation. 

Setting up registration forms

Set up your registration forms to enable your website visitors to self-identify their own persona. How do they see themselves? Not so much a definition of their job title, more a statement about their role, and perhaps a little information about their current situation.  

Depending on the platform you use (we use Hubspot) this may be a simple exercise of linking a form field to your pre-identified personas. By having this field on each of your registration forms (no matter the content type) you can kick start different workflows by persona type and ensure that the right personas are directed to the right content at the right time.

Defining a workflow

Defining your workflows is an art-form in itself! (The ‘how to’ of workflow design is a subject for a future blog!). And, again, depending on the platform you use you can shape your workflow to help you convert visitors to leads, and then leads into customers – or even simply nurture your longer-term opportunities.

Gather intelligence

For each step in your workflow, you should be gathering more intelligence about your contact. In Hubspot using SmartInsights, in other platforms this is progressive or behavioural profiling. Using automated yes/no rules based on responses, your pre-written emails and content is sent to the recipient. And, based on their behavior, you can further tailor your content to suit any further traits, needs or pain points you uncover.

Each step in the workflow should deliver you more information to enable greater insight into the prospect – their buying stage, buying signals etc. And for the recipient, they should be receiving, with every message, no matter how long or how short, usable, actionable and valuable information.

Refine the personas

Refine your known personas as you discover more information about each one and update your workflows as you go – refining the emails, refining the content and altering the timing if each persona behaves differently.

Combine your persona workflow with lead scoring to help you better understand and interpret buying signals – know your student researchers from the CIO / FD / CMO etc. with a current and urgent issue to solve.

Test, review, rinse and repeat

As with most things in marketing, you’ll have a period of testing, reviewing results, adjusting, testing, reviewing and so on. It’s not a case of setting up, pressing go and leaving the automation to ‘go alone’. But, done well, you’ll start to drive leads through the business. While our chosen platform is Hubspot, there are many other platforms that enable you to build automated workflows for your marketing activities. Search around to find the one that works for you and your business’ current goals and objectives.

If you’d like to know more about how to create your personas or would like some help getting started, please download our guide.

Download your buyer persona guide




About the Author: Diana Tucker

Diana Tucker

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