Every customer is unique, and every business is different from its competitors. And every interaction between customers and businesses is unique in some way from the one before.
That being said, there are also similarities, and it helps to know these similarities, especially when you’re a marketer. Observing similar behaviors and stages in professional relationships can prove very beneficial, especially when you have many customers to work with.
What is customer lifecycle marketing?
Over the years, business professionals have noticed these similarities and trends and they’ve put together a number of stages in which the typical customer goes through. These stages show their interaction with and relation to a given business.
Known as the customer lifecycle, this concept has led to its own form of marketing. What exactly is customer lifecycle marketing, and why does it matter?
What sets customer lifecycle marketing apart?
Throughout the years, marketers have come up with many methods of approaching promotion, and various tools for reaching customers and different ways of viewing the audience are common.
Lifecycle marketing is set apart by its unique view of stages and it approaches the concept of marketing as a journey.
There are some variations on the typical customer lifecycle model, but most of them see a similar set of stages.
As seen on the chart, the initial phase takes place when the customer first discovers the business. This can come from a blog, web page, video, or any other type of media, like TV ads, billboards, or word of mouth.
The next phase in the cycle is the one where leads are cultivated, or subscribers are acquired. The customer or would-be customer gets more information and they learn about how the business could help them. In doing this, they enter a period of consideration.
Almost every model of the customer lifecycle features the phase of purchasing as the third or fourth step. After this, the customer moves into an advocacy phase where the focus is on retaining them and turning them into a brand ambassador.
Each phase of lifecycle marketing is unique and requires its own approach. Some may say that every customer is unique, but the phases they go through don’t matter as much. Is this the case, or should lifecycle marketing be analyzed as a viable model to learn from?
How do you apply lifecycle marketing in email?
Triggered emails are the lifeblood of many retailers and account for 77% (on average) of a retailer’s email revenue. Small wins in your customer journey strategy can have big revenue results. For B2B buyers, knowing where your prospects are in the sales cycle will help guide the type of emails you should be sending.
Consumers and business buyers exhibit different behaviors when they visit your website. When you pay attention to this behavior, you’ll know exactly type of email to send at the right time.
There are different kinds of emails you can send: newsletters, promotional content, surveys, etc. The beauty of email marketing automation is that you can set up a variety of ‘trigger’ events in advance. Just be sure you organize your email sends by pre-set triggers.
Upgrade your welcome series
This is the first email you’ll send to any new subscriber. This email is the beginning of your relationship so make it count. Including basic information is a given. How you encourage future engagement is key to winning them over as a customer. Do you news you want to share? Is a 20% coupon in their future? Can they upload user-generated content and become part of your online community?
Generate more revenue with cart abandonment emails
Smart retailers use cart abandonment and browse abandon email triggers with abandon. What have you got to lose? For an ecommerce website this is one of the most important emails to send. Sometimes all it takes is a simple reminder that they left something in their cart. For publishers looking to attract subscribers, it could be a trigger with the subject line, You’re almost there. Subscribe now and save.
Re-engage subscribers with a reminder
There are more than 1.8 billion websites online in 2021. You’re not alone when trying to attract return visits to your website. Sending an email to subscribers who haven’t opened your email in a while is acceptable. During this past year, email fatigue has become a real phenomenon. COVID-19 has increased the frequency of emails sent across all industries. It’s also okay to pare you list and remove subscribers who haven’t interacted in 12 months or longer. Unopened emails impact your email deliverability.
Does understanding customer lifecycle marketing really matter?
The main difference between the phases of the customer lifecycle is the mindset of the customer at each step. At one point, they may be skeptical but interested, and, in another, they may be ready to act but seeking a specific kind of confirmation.
As such, each phase necessitates its own type of marketing strategy. The approach and content used to turn a stranger into a lead may be different from what is used to turn a purchaser into a brand ambassador.
Using the right type of content at the right time is a sure way to improve the customer’s experience because it is more about giving them the correct answers to their questions and making sure they feel their need (at that moment) is being taken care of.
If someone has just found your brand, you’d be better off showing them product benefits than begging them to click the purchase button right away.
Likewise, a repeat customer may not need to be continuously primed to buy an entry-level product. Instead, they may be a better fit for exclusive deals and long-term subscriber specials.
The customer lifecycle comes in many forms, but they all share a common theme. This cycle highlights the customer’s journey and their experience with a business as that experience evolves over time.
- Lifecycle marketing is about the customer’s journey in relation to the business
- Most models have interest, engagement, purchase, and advocacy phases
- Each step of the cycle necessitates the use of specific content and strategies
Now that you know about the lifecycle, take a look at some email examples that work great to help your customer along their journey.