How to choose your ideal reader

Your Perfect Newsletter Reader: Who Are They?

Dear friend,

Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that aren't. (Hubspot)

A few years ago, I wanted to meet other cool creators.

So, I started a group where we could hang out at a sunny cafe with yummy snacks, share ideas, and get inspired together.

But after a few meetings, something weird happened... nobody showed up!

Except on the fifth meeting, guess who came?

A super cool guy who became my wise mentor!

He gave me a golden nugget when he asked an important question: who would love this group the most?

At first, I didn't know how to make my group bigger and have people come every time.

So, I changed things around - the logo, the words we used, and what we talked about - to make it awesome for a special kind of person.

And guess what?

In a few weeks, new people started showing up, ready to join the fun!

We drank coffee, talked about awesome stuff, and helped each other.

This special kind of person is called an ‘ideal customer’ or 'customer avatar’ in business, which are fancy ways of saying who our group is perfect for!

Now, let's tie this to newsletters.

The lesson here is before writing, know who you want to reach - your ideal reader.

They're the one who jumps up and shouts, "Yes! This is for me!"

Knowing this helps you write content they'll enjoy.

If you don't know who your ideal reader is, you're spending time and money on the wrong people.

You'll be sending generic emails to a broad audience, increasing costs and decreasing engagement which leads to missed opportunities.

Without knowing your ideal reader's needs, wants, and pain points, your messages won't convert.

Therefore, let's get clear on who you're writing to so you can create a great experience.

Here's what to focus on:


Building connections with your audience requires understanding their interests, concerns, and motivations.

There are six main segments in consumer demographics: age group, gender, income level, education, occupation, and location.

The more you know about your ideal reader, the better you can serve them.

For this reason, keep in mind:

  • Age range helps tailor your message and tone

  • Income levels guide which marketing channels and words you use

  • Education and occupation provide insights into their challenges and things they care about

Collecting feedback helps you understand your ideal reader.

Try creating polls, asking questions in emails, or chatting with people on calls.


Psychographics help you understand your ideal reader's values, beliefs, and dreams.

Imagine you sell eco-friendly products.

Knowing your customers value sustainability lets you talk about your brand's positive impact, something that resonates with their beliefs.

Therefore, start researching their values.

Use tools like Google Forms, Amazon mTurk, or design a survey to capture thoughts and emotions.

Goals, Interests, Fears, and Challenges

Knowing what your subscribers think about and their aspirations helps you write useful newsletters.

So, discover their goals, interests, fears, and challenges by:

  • Interviewing your subscribers

  • Having deep and honest conversations

  • Finding out why people do what they do

To be successful with your ideal reader, answer these questions in the Newsletter Ideal Reader exercise.

Imagine someone who's going through the same things you did 6 months ago, feeling the same way you felt.

That's who I write for!

I write like I'm talking to them directly, understanding what they're feeling and seeing the world the way they see it.

Finding Your Ideal Reader

Think about who you want to help most.

What kind of person could benefit from your expertise?

Once you know, research where they spend time online and offline.

  • Look for groups, forums, and communities where they discuss their interests and challenges

  • Join online and real-life groups where your ideal reader hangs out

I started a group called "Houston Content Creators" for people who love making content.

Then, I joined another group called "Ambitious Entrepeneurs" to meet in-person with business professionals in Houston.

Now, I leverage X to find ideal readers for my newsletter.

Creating an Empathy Map

Empathy Mapping is a visual tool that shows how people feel about your product or service.

Step into your ideal reader's shoes.

Use empathy mapping to understand their thoughts, feelings, what they're excited about, and what keeps them up at night.

You'll be more intentional with the stories you share, the emotions you convey, and the connection you create with your readers.

Furthermore, here are three things to keep in mind for your empathy map:

  • Focus on your ideal reader: Get specific about their needs, wants, and pain points.

  • Explore all angles: Include thoughts, feelings, actions, and challenges. Remember what they see, hear, and say.

  • Emphasize emotions: Go beyond facts. What is their emotional state throughout the journey? What sparks joy or frustration?

On the same note, take part in conversations.

Analyze your reader's questions and comments to understand their mindset and needs.

I have calls with my subscribers and help them solve problems.

I ask questions about their goals, their challenges, and any feedback they have so I can improve my newsletter.

I interview them, study how they think, and learn the words they use to communicate.

Using AI for Market Research

Master the art of research and AI prompting.

Use tools like Google Gemini and Chat GPT to learn about your ideal reader.

But remember to verify with real market data.

Don't blindly trust AI - fact-check everything!

Try these prompts:

Prompt 1:

What are 20 non-obvious deeper questions I can ask to understand my ideal reader who is a solopreneur starting their newsletter?

Prompt 2:

If my ideal reader is a solopreneur starting their newsletter, give me a detailed empathy map to represent this person. Then give me 5 helpful, actionable newsletter ideas I can write for this reader.

I use AI for market research and then validate this information with real-world data.

If AI predicts that my ideal reader will struggle with content planning, then I reach out to confirm it directly with my subscribers.


Understand your ideal reader so you can maximize the impact of your newsletter and your time.

Ask questions, learn about them, and create a great experience.

Doing the exercises will help you attract more readers who love your content.

If you get stuck, I'm happy to help!

Reply with your question.

Your friend,