Captivate Customers with a Lifecycle Marketing Strategy
As email marketing experts, we all know that if the present and future direction of email marketing could be summed up in one word, it would be personalization.
There are an abundance of resources delving deep into the various means of email personalization. Read as many of these blogs, whitepapers, and studies as you can. Additionally, routinely test to find out the personalization tactics that resonate with your brand’s audience.
Although there are a lot of resources about personalization out there, I’ve noticed a gap that exists—it’s hard to find articles where marketers can read about the strategy behind personalization. I’m talking about the big picture: when you want to learn about an overarching framework for personalized emails that sticks with subscribers.
I’m going to address the aforementioned gap by telling you about the lifecycle framework—currently one of the top email marketing approaches that focuses on an approach to personalization that spans the email life of a subscriber.
If you really want your company to be considered a leader in the email marketing space, and you want to achieve the highest possible return on investment for your email marketing, a lifecycle email marketing strategy is a must.
The lifecycle framework recognizes five stages that represent the natural path of your customers—from the first interaction with your brand to the point where they become inactive and you’re trying to win them back.
Stage 1) Acquire – In the acquiring stage, identify your target audience and then capture their attention. Achieve this through promotional campaigns on your website, social media, search optimization, and email signup.
Stage 2) Convert to Customers – Once you’ve secured the attention of your ideal audience, it’s time to pull out all the stops and wow them, with the end goal of turning them into customers. Do this the smart way by tracking subscribers’ behaviors and then tailoring your messages according to their interests. Continuously offer up incentives to engage with your brand and find ways to stay top-of-mind.
Stage 3) Captivate and Grow Customers – You’ve earned some customers, but your job as a marketer doesn’t end here. It’s critical to maintain momentum and focus on pushing your customers through the funnel and keeping them committed to your brand. Show subscribers you appreciate them by asking them to participate in a loyalty program or special promotions. You can also employ auto-response campaigns to personalize transactional messages.
Stage 4) Retain Active Customers – Many marketers know it’s easy to become complacent and unintentionally neglect the customers who’ve been around for a while. This is one of the easiest mistakes an email marketer can make since returning customers generate more revenue than first-time customers. These current, active customers become more than just people who buy from you – they can create even more value if they evolve into brand evangelists.
Keep these ever-important customers in the loop by sending anniversary emails, newsletters, and special opportunities. Create a preference center so customers can continue to provide you with more information about their needs and interests.
Keeping the “retain active customers” stage of the lifecycle in mind is mutually beneficial – you receive more information about your subscribers, while also providing them with personally tailored reasons to remain a loyal customer.
Stage 5) Win Back Inactive Customers – Inevitably, there are always going to be some customers who disengage with the brand. But winning back these dormant customers is important. Initiate re-engagement campaigns that are highly targeted towards the customer to lure them back to your brand.
The modern customers are smart, sophisticated, and abundantly busy. For these reasons, you need to make sure you hit them with relevant and personalized messages. No more “blasts” or generic emails. Adopting the lifecycle framework will give you a holistic view of your customers’ relationship to your brand and help you focus on keeping your marketing personalized.