Determining your ideal target audience by looking at the pain points

Koen van de Wetering
May 30, 2023

Together with co-founder Roel, we started the adventure called 'AdPage' a few years back. The landing page tool that would take the Netherlands by storm. Nobody understood what we were doing, but that didn't matter. We saw other U.S. Landing Page builders like ClickFunnels, LeadPages and InstaPage growing fast. We were convinced that we could do the same but for the Dutch market. Simple thought right?

After the MVP (Minimum Valuable Product) was ready, we went to market. Anyone who needed a landing page could come to us. We also immediately created an English- and Spanish-language website so that we could help international customers right away.

8 months later...

After 8 months we had to come to the conclusion that sales were lagging behind. Where we were full of energy and positivity at the start, this had now given way to enormous frustration. We could not put our finger on why our SaaS had not become a sales machine.  

The spreadsheet had changed from multi-million dollar profits to a cut and paste game about what the next few months would look like. It was clear to us: setting up a SaaS business was not as easy as initially thought.

A positive distraction

We were also active in another online venture, Social Media Entrepreneur. With this company, we helped entrepreneurs with their social media marketing. Our clients could also use our landing page tool for free. With online video training, they were explained how to use AdPage to create landing pages for your online campaigns.

Contact with these clients gave us more and more insight into the target audience. Initially why they want to build a landing page and then about how they use the product (AdPage). We also saw that a lot of business owners often don't have the desire or time to get to work building a landing page themselves. This, of course, is crucial. If users do not enjoy the product, they are also more likely to drop out quickly.

To gain more insight into what was going on with the target group, we started conducting interviews. We used the same questionnaire with everyone. Through this link you can download a template of this questionnaire.

Social Media Entrepreneur Congress 2019
In 2019, we organized our first conference for Social Media Entrepreneur.

Also, in the meantime, we had partnered with the Mark Bongers Academy. Participants in the Facebook courses received free access to our landing page tool for 60 days. Of all course participants, 50% decided to continue with AdPage after 60 days. Nice conversion right?

However, we saw that the activity of these users was gradually decreasing. A signal we had to do something with.

Declining activity of our users
Declining activity of our users

Gain insight into users' pain points

We decided to start calling the users who were less active in order to find out what was causing them to use the tool less often. Often I got the response that they were very satisfied with the tool, but that creating a landing page was simply not a priority. An entrepreneur has so many things on their mind that AdPage came somewhere at the bottom of the list.

A business owner feels no urgency to get started with AdPage, there is no one holding them accountable for whether or not they create a landing page. You're selling a potential opportunity that you're not even sure will yield anything.

Often we were also told: "I just invested €4000 in a Facebook course, so I have to start creating a landing page. Otherwise it would be a waste of money". This is not necessarily a great reason you want to hear as the creator of the tool.

Meme: I paid €4000 so I have to do something with it

And then I got acall

On August 16, 2021, I received a call from Robbin Oerlemans of MailCampaigns. They mainly help web shops to deploy effective email marketing. We had already spoken to each other in 2019 about a possible collaboration between AdPage and MailCampaigns.

Robbin told me that they were looking for a pop-up builder that responded to the needs of their design team. They had already worked with well-known American popup tools but they just didn't have the right features.

As you might imagine, we were still looking for what is called a Product Market Fit. Every opportunity that presented itself I took with both hands. Creating the popup software was a lot of work. Still, we decided to get started with this new feature.

Product Market Fit
Product Market Fit

After several months of hard work, our programmers had the new feature ready to use. MailCampaigns went to work on it. For us, this was an ideal opportunity to discover the pain points and challenges of an Email Marketing Agency that had a lot of expertise in the market.

First popup created by Mailcampaigns
First popup created by MailCampaigns with the new popup feature

In the first period after launch, we had very regular contact with MailCampaigns' marketing and design team. This way, our development team was able to validate the new features directly with the customer.

Through the cooperation with MailCampaigns, we also came up with the idea to develop a new feature: profile enrichment. MailCampaigns managed to increase sales by as much as 1700% for Undiemeister, among others. During a live webinar with Social Media Entrepreneur they told more about this.  

We saw MailCampaigns more and more as our launching customer. Even though we had been on the road with our product development for over 2 years, it became more and more clear to us that we could help customers like MailCampaigns well.

Profile enrichment deployed for Super Cycling
Profile enrichment deployed for Super Cycling

The penny dropped: these are our ideal customers

Then it finally dawned on me. We never really thought about our target audience. We were running around like cowboys, seizing every opportunity that came along. We had complete focus on the solution but hardly thought about the problem we were solving.

Strangely enough, we were able to tell our clients that they should know their target market well and talk to it a lot while we ourselves never did. We knew it, but we didn't do it.

Meanwhile, MailCampaigns has created some very nice popups, landing pages and profile enrichment pages. So what pain points and challenges do we solve for them?

Pain Points

  • Mess around with other form builders.
  • Poor quality builders within current ESP (Email Service Provider).
  • Frustration among marketing and design team that everything is customized (dowel tape).
  • Lost a lot of time on technical issues.
  • Less time for creativity.
  • Less time for optimization.
  • Developers spend time on standard development questions.


  • Segmentation based on the data from the ESP.
  • Personalization based on data from the ESP and CDP (Customer Data Platform).
  • Simple one-click pairing with no fuss.

Are you my ideal client?

If you're an email marketing agency and you have a lot of experience building email marketing campaigns, the above pain points and challenges probably won't provide much recognition.

Do you have little or no experience in online marketing? Then chances are very high that you can barely follow the above points. I don't mind that. After all, that means you are not my target audience. And by now, I've finally made peace with that.

It provides focus and creates peace of mind. In addition, it has a positive effect on our marketing and sales, we can serve our customers better and our company grows!


Do you find it difficult to figure out who your ideal customer is? Then it's smart to get started with a buyer persona. By creating a buyer persona you can map out what your ideal target group looks like. Of course the demographic characteristics are important here, but especially the pain points and dreams play an important role.

Engage with your customer. Ask why they chose your products or services and how they came to you. The answers to these questions will give you valuable information that you can then apply in your marketing mix and communications. You will find that you can communicate much more effectively and specifically to your dream customer if you know what problems your target audience has.


Earlier, we also gave a webinar on this. Check back below.

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