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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2019-09-04

At OMI, we are big advocates of audience mirroring. We use it with our clients every chance we get. Why? In my 20 years in business as a marketer, it has proven to be one of the most effective strategies I’ve seen for driving sales and customer growth.

Audience mirroring involves identifying prospects who "mirror" your existing customers. I recently wrote an article for Forbes Magazine on this topic, focusing on how to put audience mirroring to work as part of prospect-focused email campaigns. The process takes a few steps, but it’s not overly complex -- businesses of all sizes can use it. A few of the steps and key takeaways from my article are highlighted below:

  1. Get To Know Your Audience: To start, get to know your customers. Look at your database and consider things like the types of companies they work for, industry, location, and size of the business, as well as their individual roles, job titles, age and gender. Are there similarities or any obvious groupings? If so, use that insight to develop personas -- archetypal representations of your most prevalent customers. Personas can be based on demographic factors like age, job industry and income level, but also include qualitative information such as interests, personalities, behaviors and motivations. Be careful though, it isn’t enough to just know demographics about your customers. You need to know how those demographics correlate to interest in your product/service.
  2. Segment Your Audience For Email Personalization: It’s important to segment your audience by common traits so you can develop and test messaging specific to those groups and their interests. There are many ways you can segment including by demographics, by previous engagements they’ve had with your company (i.e. email opens and clicks) or by their stage in the buying cycle. You can even survey your audience to better understand their interests and preferences. Once you’ve identified the common traits or behaviors, and with customer personas in mind, you can tailor your campaigns for each segment to address relevant touch points that will lead to increased engagement and conversions. Once you start sending more targeted messages, it is important to have a “control” to measure against.
  3. Find the Right Targets: Using results from message testing, you can attempt to mirror each segment and target new prospects with the creative messages that have performed successfully with your initial audience. As you look to find new targets that mirror your existing customers, I personally think it’s important to work with a trusted third-party provider specializing in acquisition email data. Most companies simply don’t have the in-house expertise and resources to compile and maintain acquisition data accuracy at scale. That’s why they should leave it to the experts.

In closing, throughout my two-decade marketing career, I’ve seen firsthand the success that can come when businesses take the time to know their prospects and customers. Knowing them well enables you to attract more – it’s that simple.

For a deeper dive on using audience mirroring for your business, you can view my Forbes article here.


Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.


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