Improving Conversion Rates: Getting your customer personas right is rocket fuel for conversion rates with Lucy Bloomfield (episode 011)

by April Buencamino-dy

Lucy Bloomfield grew her eCommerce business to over 10,000 customers in just 18 months, and now she helps other retailers replicate her success. When we caught up over the summer she mentioned she’s currently seeing some amazing results by focusing on customer personas – I know how many of you struggle with these and how powerful they can be so it was a no brainer to add that into our ‘Increase your Conversion rates’ focus.

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Lucy’s Secret for Developing Successful Personas

Lucy learned the hard way with her first product business how important developing customer personas really is.

After several failures and false starts, she and her team finally got serious about defining their customer. Lucy attributes this commitment as the key element that turned the business around.

What is a Customer Persona?

Lucy’s definition of customer persona is a detailed, unique profile which tells you everything you need to know about the customer. While most people look at age, gender location and interest, Lucy says you have to go way deeper.

A persona is like an iceberg — the tip of the iceberg is everything you can see easily about someone, but the real value lies beneath the surface—the emotional motivations that evolve behind closed doors. A depth of understanding really lets businesses connect with customers on a much deeper level.

Lucy points out that when a salesperson greets a customer who comes through the door, they are doing an internal assessment. The level of nuance that comes from an in person interaction and is much better  developed than an online engagement.

Lucy says that most online retailers are essentially selling blind. Which is why the customer persona is absolutely critical. 

How to Build the Customer Persona

Most people approach their online customers using demographic type data, but Lucy pushes retailers to glean deeper desires from stats.

Asking the questions about how demographics influence thinking is important.

  1. Start with Demographics and start asking questions. Lucy stresses that anytime there is ambiguity in the customer persona, it simply doesn’t work as well. Anytime you come to a fork in the road about the persona you’re developing—Lucy encourages people to make a choice. 
  2. Begin to define clear aspirational definitions. What does your persona want? 
  3. Once you’ve gone through the process of understanding the hopes and desires of your persona, you can ask: What Does the Customer Fear?
  4. Why does this person want to buy your product?

If you can show the persona how your product can help them reach their aspirations— you’ve built value. 

Where to Start

If you are new in your eCommerce journey, just spending the time really thinking about your personas and digging deep can have incredible results.

For people with existing customers, Lucy suggests using your existing data to increase the efficacy and reach of your existing personas. She recommends taking a selection of customers you want to sell more to.

For instance, if you want to sell a higher price tag product, you could look specifically at those customers who have a higher order spend. When you’ve collected the individuals you want to study more, Lucy recommends doing two things:

  1. Look at your customers Facebook Pages
  2. Call your customers to have a conversation. Lucy suggests sending an email to get permission first. The results aren’t scalable, but so rich in information, it’s a great tactic to build up with.

How to Test

A great way to test your assumptions about persona is by using Facebook ads with long form copy.

When you do a proper value build, Lucy says there will be people who are triggered by your message. When you get attacked, you’ll know you’ve hit a nerve and gotten it right.

Insider Tips

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with Improving Conversion Rates Marketing – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

Your best changes are not going to happen sitting in front of your computer. Get up—walk away and think deeply about why your customers are not buying. Think about it, then act quickly. It’s crucial to see what happens once you’ve taken action.

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve Improving Conversion Rates marketing performance?

Lucy’s favorite way to improve is to think about the website and CRO in stages. She points out that you can do a pretty huge volume with a so-so site. 

  1. Just get the site to work
  2. Get significant volume of orders every month. 
  3. Once you are consistently doing well—that’s the point to really dig in and play with the site and your data.

It’s impossible to improve our marketing unless we’re monitoring the performance – but the list of stuff we could monitor can be overwhelming. So what, for you is the number one Improving Conversion Rates marketing KPI?

Add to Cart—conversion is such a low number, but getting someone from add to cart to conversion is easier than from browsing to add to cart.

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in Improving Conversion Rates marketing?

Apple will be adding more privacy protection in the near future. People will be able to opt out of sharing their data. 

Interview Links

Lucy on Social media:

Sponsored by…

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