Quick Start Tip – Look at Your Competition

A great way to learn about your audience is to spy on your competition. You’ll learn the terms they use, the type of language, and how they speak to their (and your) target audience using funnels, content, and products and services.

This is the perfect way to find your audience if you’re not sure of their identity, but you know your competition finds them and is successful. This way you’ll cut through a lot of time and effort.

  • Look at Their Websites. What makes their site effective? What content do they have? What are their calls to action? Does it load fast? What makes it special?
  • Observe Their Social Media Feeds. Follow and friend your competition everywhere. Set up alerts so you don’t miss any of their content. This allows you to observe how they interact with, and respond to, their audience.
  • Watch the Videos They Make. Peek at the videos they make, the comments, and how they respond. You can also see who they watch and discover what’s important to them that in turn educates them.
  • Notice How They Interact with Others. It’s important to notice how they interact with others—colleagues or audience members. You can reply to their postings or email message to see how they respond to people who engage with them.
  • Sign Up for Their Email Lists. You want to know how they market to others. One way is to register for their email list so you can see how they use email marketing to move you through their sales funnel.
  • Buy Something from Them. Buy something to see how they interact once you’re a customer. Use this info to reverse engineer their funnels in a way that will help you market to your shared audience.
  • Observe All Interactions. The more you observe your competition, the more you learn about what you should be doing, especially if your competition is successful.

One thing I don’t want you to do is copy your competition. Copying isn’t a form a flattery in business. It’s plagiarism. Don’t do that. You can get ideas, expand on them, fill in the gaps, and do more research to make something yourself for your audience. You don’t need to copy.

Why You Should Sign Up for Other People’s Lists

You can learn so much by signing up for your competition’s newsletter list. Learn about the right content to create, the language they use, and products they recommend as well as offers and their CTAs. Let’s take a deeper look at what you can learn by registering for other people’s lists.

  • You Can Learn about Language. You’ll learn about the language they use to elicit the feelings and responses they want from their audience.
  • You’ll Learn about Using CTAs Effectively. How do they use calls to action? What do you notice is most effective when using CTAs in email marketing message? How often do they include a CTA and how many do they include in each email?
  • You Can Learn about Types of Content That Works. Think about what they sent in a specific email. What was it supposed to accomplish? How did they use words and tone to get you to do what they desired?
  • You Can Learn about the Types of Products They Recommend. Also look for product recommendations along with the products they create and sell to their audience. Both are options you can sell to your own audience.
  • You Can Learn about the Different Types of Emails Sent. Make a note of how often and what types of emails they send to their audience. Do they send on a regular time and day? Identify what they send so you can send the same type to your own list.
  • You Can Learn about Subject Lines That Are Effective. Are the subject lines effective? What makes them effective? Keep these subject lines and associated content in mind when you create your own email messages.
  • You Can Learn about Providing Customer Service. Look at how they deal with problems. Did a link they send not work? How did they correct it? Did you respond to an email to see if anyone answered? Did they? What happened?

There’s so much you’ll learn about your audience, competition, and business in general by registering for others’ lists. Once you do, put together a list and comparison based on what seems to work—and what doesn’t. Then create your own plan for your audience that’s different enough to make you stand out.


Want to know even more about your target market? Want to figure out what makes them tick and–more importantly–buy?  Make sure you grab your copy of Find Rabid Readers: How to Identify Your Target Market today!

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Celia Kyle

Celia Kyle is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of paranormal and science fiction romance, as well as non-fiction for authors.

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