5 Levels Of Customer Awareness And Writing Better Emails

You can grow your business quickly when you understand the 5 levels of customer awareness. If you are frustrated that your emails or social media aren’t leading to more sales this will help.

5 Levels Of Customer Awareness:

  1. Unaware
  2. Problem Aware
  3. Solution Aware
  4. Product Aware
  5. Most Aware


You can use these 5 stages of awareness with potential clients or current clients to upsell services.

For this blog, I’ll focus on potential clients. People who haven’t hired you yet but they found you on social media, your website, or opt-ed into one of your free offers. This means you’re sliding into their inbox on a regular basis.
These are generally going to be people who are occupying one or more of the last three levels. So, these are potential customers who are either solution aware, product aware, and/or most aware. These are the prospective clients you’re targeting with your emails.

A little background info here…

I was in a 3-month LinkedIn DM coaching program. I had a HUGE breakthrough when my coach shared about the 5 traits your ideal clients must have. I’ll share these details further down.

I was like you, feeling confused that sales weren’t coming in from the social media posts or emails I was sending out. I spent so much time creating really great content.

BUT there was the problem.

I was speaking to people who weren’t solution aware!

I’d get on sales calls, speak with them, and find out what they wanted was more website traffic. So they came to our agency for Local SEO or Google Ads. But I knew that alone wouldn’t work. So on the sales call, I’d start trying to teach them about StoryBrand and how they don’t necessarily need more traffic; they get plenty. What they have is a website conversion problem.

Did they sign up for anything? NOPE! I confused them. And what is one thing that StoryBrand repeats over and over again? Donald Miller says, “If you confuse, you lose”. It’s that simple. See, even experienced marketing professionals sometimes miss the mark.

The good news here… we KNOW and UNDERSTAND how to identify and fix these issues for ourselves which makes us the perfect ones to pass down our wisdom to YOU.

The problem for me: I was talking to potential clients who had problem number one. These potential clients were unaware.


As we move forward through the 5 levels of customer awareness, I’m going to weave in some of the StoryBrand Framework language. This will help you understand how to incorporate the elements of story into your marketing message which is guaranteed to connect, inspire, and ultimately convert.


5 levels of customer awareness


Here’s a link to StoryBrand BrandScript. Feel free to download this and start to practice the application of each step into your messaging for each of the following.

Since this blog is specific to the PROBLEM your customers have, we will be focusing mostly on step 2 of the StoryBrand Brandscript, which is [a character] Has a PROBLEM.

So, let’s get into more about the five levels of customer awareness.


When starting work on a new marketer project, which one of these questions would be the most useful for you to answer first?

Many experienced marketers ask themselves, “What am I selling and who is my potential customer?”, and this isn’t far from the questions that should be asked.

The Most Important Question to Ask Yourself When Creating a New Marketing Campaign

However, according to marketing experts Michael Masterson and John Forde, one of the most important questions asked by marketers doesn’t get enough attention. Before coming up with any kind of marketing strategy, the first thing you need to consider is, “What does my customer already know?” What does he/she know about our products and our business? What exactly do they think we’re solving? How aware are they of other existing solutions and our current competitors?

Given that this is the case, is asking yourself “what does my prospect already know” the most important thing we can do before creating a marketing campaign?

Source: Copyengineer

It seems likely to be true. This is because the answer to that question will give you more information than just what’s on the surface. It will also guide you for the following:

  • Exactly what other information your potential customer needs.
  • Exactly how you need to approach and speak to your potential customer about this information.
  • Exactly the kind of promotion or deal that is the best fit for your potential customer.
  • Exactly how direct and targeted you can and should be when you are promoting your product.
  • Exactly what type of special offer will achieve the greatest response thereby getting you more leads.
  • And more depending on your specific product or service

This is all invaluable information when creating a targeted marketing message.

Here’s the thing about this customer category… they don’t even know there’s a problem so they’ll never look for or pay attention to a solution.


Let’s talk about our problems… Follow this How To Use A StoryBrand BrandScript for more detailed information on putting a StoryBrand BrandScript to good use.


Problem Aware

The first step is always awareness and now your potential client is awake and aware. This is good but this is just the start of their adventure. Congratulations to you, business owner! You now have the opportunity to offer your expertise and guidance to the hero of the story.

They are the HERO of their own story, and since you’ve been where they are before and have since solved the problem, you are the perfect GUIDE to help them.

This is a good thing because they have questions… a lot of them!

Your job, as the guide, is to have answers to all their questions.


Okay, so… There are 3 parts to a StoryBrand problem.

The External Problem

The external problem is the problem by itself.

The Internal Problem

The internal problem is all about the feeling about the problem. It’s all about being in your feelings here.

If you want to do a deep dive, then solve this next one too…

The Philosophical Problem

The philosophical problem is about how unjust the problem is in the first place. It has everything to do with why the problem shouldn’t exist in the first place. It’s unfair.

Spending the time investing in this part of your BrandScript will pay huge dividends. When your potential customers don’t have to think too hard about what you do and how you can help them, you will win them.

So, for example… If the problem is _______________, and you know your potential client feels _____________ about having this problem (because you’ve been there and done that), then you can relate to them and you build trust with your empathy and authority.

Diving even deeper to hit philosophical pay dirt, this problem __________ shouldn’t be a problem at all and it’s terrible that it exists at all. It shouldn’t be this way, and you know what? It doesn’t have to be since you have the solution to the problem!

We are serious fans of StoryBrand at Liz Cortes Coaching and RebelFish Local Marketing Agency. Have you heard of StoryBrand prior to landing on this blog?

We’d love for you to check it out for yourself. Follow StoryBrand Workshop to learn more about how to clarify your marketing message so that you can find and serve your most ideal customers. Once you clarify your messaging, YOUR BUSINESS will become the go-to for the SOLUTION they need for their problem.


Here’s what my coach from the DM LinkedIn coaching program shared about honing in on ideal customers.

In order to target the most ideal customers and clients for your business, you must know and understand the following.

The 5 Traits Your Ideal Client Must Have:

  • Has the problem you can solve
  • Needs your service
  • Has tried to find solutions in the past
  • Wants YOUR solution
  • Has the income to pay for your solution


We’ve now arrived at the point of this blog. Remember, we’re talking about targeting potential customers who are already aware there is a problem and that there’s a solution to that problem, they may be product aware at this point, and if that’s true, they’re on their way to being most aware.

This is the target audience for your email campaign. For the next 3 levels of awareness, I’ll include an example of that specific level of awareness and some information about how your email should be formatted in that particular case.

Solution Aware

At this point, your potential customer is aware they have a problem and they’re in need of a solution. It’s time for you to move in with that solution. They don’t yet know what it is you have to offer. Let’s talk about how to do this.


Real Brand Example Customer POV:
You are now aware that there is a problem with the food you’re currently feeding your pup and you’re ready to find a solution. You start to read up all you can on what kind of diet is best for dogs and you find there are solutions that already exist. You’re just still unsure of which solutions would make the most sense for you and yours.
What should you include in this email?

As far as the StoryBrand Framework goes, the solution aware step correlates mostly with:

  • Meets a GUIDE
  • Who gives them a PLAN
  • And CALLS them to ACTION

You are the perfect guide because you’ve experienced what they’re currently experiencing you understand the intricacies behind all the feelings about the problem. You can relate to them. You can show empathy and authority as the guide that will help them by giving them a plan.

For your marketing materials you want to use language that demonstrates your authority, and the empathy you have for them.

It’s your job to give them this plan. It should be simple to follow without too many steps. The ideal plan will be no more than three steps. More than that may feel overwhelming. This is important to remember even if you have a plan that involves multiple steps. If the solution you offer does have more than a few steps for the plan, do what you can to break the plan down to a few main steps. Even if you have substeps under each main step it will present as more manageable.

Once you’ve proven yourself a good guide, and presented the solution, it’s time for the CTA.

Call the hero to action. You want to do this by using direct language. Tell them exactly what they need to do. Is it ‘buy now?’, or ‘download free PDF?’. There are many options for this CTA but it’s important to frame it by using language that makes them feel what they will either gain or lose if they do or don’t take action. Paint that future for them. They need to know what life will look like once they take action. They need to know what life will look like if they choose not to take action.

Don’t be discouraged if they don’t buy or respond to your CTA right now. The good thing is that they’re on the hunt and they now know your solution is an option. As long as you’re still in their inbox the opportunity to connect and close exists.



Product Aware

At this point, your potential client is aware of the problem, that there is a solution which is this product. This is very good news! However, they are not necessarily one-hundred percent sold on the solution you are offering. Whether they need more time or information is always a question. Perhaps they’re just waiting for a special offer.

One thing I know for sure is that I don’t like being buried beneath piles and piles of information or new offers, no matter how ‘special.’

It is entirely possible that the content you’ve provided so far hasn’t perfectly addressed their concerns and questions, thereby making it a no-brainer conversion.


Real Brand Example Customer POV:
You are now an informational connoisseur when it comes to pet food. You have searched far and wide and have found some products that you think could help your fur baby thrive. You’ve also found that implementing the solution and changes may not be as difficult as you had imagined with one or more of these solutions. But, you’re not quite ready to click that buy button. You’re still waiting for something.




What should you include in this email?

As far as the StoryBrand Framework goes, the product aware step correlates mostly with:

  • A character with a PROBLEM
  • Who gives them a PLAN
  • And CALLS them to ACTION

At this point, you’ve laid the groundwork and established yourself as the guide with authority in this area who understands and empathizes with their problem. But, it’s still worth repeating the empathy along with the problem.

You want to repeat the problem and how uncomfortable it makes their lives. At this point, you will have spent some time brainstorming each step of the StoryBrand BrandScript, which means you’ll have plenty to draw from in order to include new reasons behind the discomfort.

You want to present your solution with a simple plan that will get them where they want to be. Use those feeling words to paint the image of what life can and will look like once they’ve taken the jump and committed to your solution. Be sure to include a strong and clear CTA in this email.

Most Aware

The most aware are the ones who have been peeping at your emails for a while now. You’ve been sliding into their inbox but you have yet to see a conversion. They know they have a problem, it likely still exists, they are aware of your product as a solution, but they just haven’t bought.

The great news is that they haven’t asked to be removed from your email list so at least you know they’re not bothered by your presence.

You can be more direct in your language with these potentials, but don’t go overboard. These prospects are likely waiting for a specific special offer that is made with them in mind.


Real Brand Example Customer POV:
You have landed on one product that you believe is the very best for you and your dog but, you just haven’t been able to click the buy button. Maybe if they sent you a deal you couldn’t resist? Maybe a free trial? You don’t really know what you’re waiting for… but, you still want to get the emails so you don’t miss out on something great.


What should you include in this email?

As far as the StoryBrand Framework goes, the most aware step correlates mostly with:

  • A character with a PROBLEM
  • Who gives them a PLAN
  • And CALLS them to ACTION


You’ve established yourself as the guide with authority and you’ve shown empathy for the problem your prospective customers face. You have built a relationship with them at this point; even if it means you only get into their email inbox. This is not a loss.

These emails should reiterate the way the problem makes them feel. Definitely include the images of success and how that will feel once they’ve purchased from you. Show them how their life will be better than is currently. Raise the stakes (without being offensive) by including what failure will look and feel like.

Then, reintroduce the plan and call them to action with a special deal just for them.

Part of the image and feeling of success is accomplished when our identity transforms. What were they before they bought your product? Were they feeling wasteful or lost? Once they purchase your product that is the perfect solution for them, will they feel responsible and powerful? Play around with this in your brainstorming sessions.

The transformation element is key to every story ever told! Nobody wants to watch a movie where the hero stays the same from beginning to end, right?

Just as identity transformation (known as the character arc) is key in storytelling, it will be key to your conversion rates.


Real Brand Example with StoryBrand language
Imagine… you’ve made the switch. Your pup has increased energy, a fluffier and shinier coat than before, better breath, and cleaner, more complete poops. The product was made-easy to implement by [insert brand], so you have maintained the time you’d previously thought you would lose. This is a massive win for both you and your best friend. It was painless and now you know you’re doing the very best you can as a dog parent!


5 levels of customer awareness

I haven’t looked into this statistic recently but I think it’s safe to assume that the number of people who search online using Google or other search engines first is in the 99th percentile.

But this doesn’t mean that other avenues aren’t widely used. Social media is a fantastic source for problem and solution research. You can formulate posts across all platforms using the levels of awareness.

Are you feeling confident that you can work through a StoryBrand BrandScript to attract your ideal customers?

If you’re still feeling like you could use some guidance personalized for your business, you’re not alone. This can be an overwhelming task. We’d love to help you succeed with your business goals and dreams! Schedule A Call and we’ll walk through it together. You don’t have to go it alone.

What are your favorite avenues for sniffing out solutions? Have you used any of the above knowledge for customers on your email list?

Tell us how you handle it in business and life in the comments below.