Browse by...
Home Resources Knowledge Base

A business relies on the number of customers it can gain and retain. This process is commonly known as either the customer journey or the customer lifecycle.

The two terms are considered different in the marketing community. However, they’re similar in nature, in that they both define the movement of a customer through the sales process.

The customer lifecycle

In general, the customer lifecycle in marketing refers to the beginning of the customer experience through to the end, which is typically a purchase.

Usually, the customer lifecycle looks like this:

In general, the customer life cycle in marketing refers to the beginning of the customer experience through to the end, which is typically a purchase. Usually, the customer life cycle looks like this:

Source: Campaign Monitor

Here, it’s clear that the cycle has come to an end, once the lead had gone through each of the traditional stages of a sales funnel.

A customer journey

A customer journey, however, varies in that the cycle doesn’t stop. Instead, the consumer moves through additional stages that help them become familiar with your services or products, come back for more, and even helps you by spreading the word of your brand to others around them.

So take that first part of the funnel mentioned above, then add these following stages to it:

A customer journey, however, varies in that the cycle doesn’t stop. Instead, the consumer moves through additional stages that help them become familiar with your services or products, come back for more, and even helps you by spreading the word of your brand to others around them. So take that first part of the funnel mentioned above, then add these following stages to it:

Source: Campaign Monitor

This is what creates the full customer lifecycle. Clearly, the journey doesn’t end after a customer makes a purchase. Instead, it continues in a loop

So, while the traditional marketing funnel still is relevant, it’s become more of a full cycle instead of a single funnel. Remember, the key here is that a cycle doesn’t end, where a funnel does.

We’ve added some directional arrows to demonstrate the full customer lifecycle, once you’ve compiled all the steps.

Source: Campaign Monitor

Measuring the success of your customer lifecycle

Once you’ve outlined the cycle that your customer will be moving through during their lifecycle with your brand, you’ll want to begin sending them through each stage.

One of the best ways to do this is through email marketing automation because it helps give you measurable results to monitor.

One of the best ways to do this is through email marketing automation because it helps give you measurable results to monitor.

Source: Delivra

With the use of proper segmentation, monitoring where each customer is in the customer lifecycle is simple.

To help measure the success of your customer lifecycle, you can monitor your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the email campaigns for each stage in the cycle. You’ll want to monitor the following KPIs for any dips:

  • Open rates
  • Click rates
  • Unsubscribe rates

Does the customer lifecycle really matter?

Every customer is unique, and, while they may seem to fall into similar places during the buying journey, that doesn’t necessarily mean they all fall under the same customer lifecycle stage. Therefore, having a solid understanding of the entire customer lifecycle is considered really important.

What now?

Now that you understand the customer lifecycle, it’s time to turn your attention to effective email marketing for each stage of the cycle. Take the time to review these notes and examine the examples provided so you’ll have a good idea of where you’ll want to start with your own campaigns.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
Straight to your inbox

Get the best email and digital marketing content delivered.

Join 250,000 in-the-know marketers and get the latest marketing tips, tactics, and news right in your inbox.

Subscribe

Get started with Campaign Monitor today.

With our powerful yet easy-to-use tools, it's never been easier to make an impact with email marketing.

Try it for free