Ah, the customer lifecycle—the guiding light of any email marketing campaign. Without this information, marketers would still be sending outdated, one-size-fits-all messages and enduring excruciatingly low click-through-rates. The truth is, customers have different needs at different stages in the purchasing decision and, to be effective marketers, we need to tailor our messaging to the buyer persona as well as the step in the buying cycle. By taking time to fully understand your customer lifecycle, you can hit the mark on their needs and increase engagement.
Use these tips below as your guide for fluidly moving customers through their lifecycle and driving them toward becoming satisfied, engaged brand loyalists.
At each stage of the buying cycle, a number of customers will likely fall out of the funnel. Keeping this number to a minimum is imperative, and some points produce larger drop-offs than others. Identify when this happens, and proactively reach out to customers pre-emptively.
Data can help you locate these opportunities. Scour open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates for dips indicating a drop-off point. Use this insight to send specific, high-value offers just prior to those points in order to keep customers well engaged.
The call-to-action (CTA) may be the most important part of any email communication. Tightly focused, action-oriented language will offer your prospects crystal clear direction for the next step. Of course, this desired action depends upon the stage in the lifecycle.
For example, a new customer who wants to learn more about you company and offerings would respond best to CTAs such as “Check out this Free eBook!” A customer who has done their preliminary research and is deciding between products, however, may be better swayed with “Start your free trial today!” For customers who are already engaged with your products, build on enthusiasm by suggesting “Share this deal with a friend!” On the other hand, lapsed customers may simply need a little push in the right direction, such as “Click here for your 10 percent discount!”
The content customers respond to best depends on where they are in the lifecycle. If you handle marketing for an electronics store, for example, you probably couldn’t garner much interest by sending coupons for a new laptop to customers who have recently purchased a new laptop. However, these customers may be interested in offers for specials on laptop accessories. As time passes, this segment would benefit from offers for virus scans and performance tune-ups. As the product lifecycle ends, these customers will become more interested in content on the newest laptop models, including trade-in specials.
The key to success in driving engagement is to be familiar with the entire lifecycle—from the moment the customer first begins to research their options, to the post-purchase stage when your customer is actively using your product, to the time your customer is ready to think about making a new purchase.
Tailoring campaigns to each segment of the customer lifecycle takes preparation, but will assist you in maximizing your opportunities at every stage.
To enhance your ability to engage your customers throughout this lifecycle, download the quick guide to Email Activity Scoring.