By now you should know that sending batch-and-blast messages to all of your customers is not an effective form of email marketing. Each customer is at a different point in their relationship with your brand. Because of this, you should envision each step of the customer journey, and develop the appropriate messaging for every point of the cycle.
This is where lifecycle marketing comes into play.
What is lifecycle marketing?
Lifecycle marketing refers to marketing campaigns that address different customer needs as they progress in their relationship with a brand. This type of targeted messaging helps foster the relationship between a brand and its customers, ultimately increasing retention.
Why does lifecycle marketing matter?
The lifecycle marketing approach is critical to achieving customer retention goals. With these messages, it’s simple to get to know customers, continuously engage them and build brand loyalty. In fact, lifecycle email marketing was found to improve campaign performance by 55%, increase subscriber engagement 67%, and raise customer satisfaction 54%. 
Lifecycle marketing also has an impact on Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), which is defined as the total dollars flowing from a customer over their entire relationship with a business. CLV is one of the biggest predictors of retail success. Through lifecycle marketing, our customers are seeing a 20% increase in CLV year-over-year, as well as an average retention rate lift of 17%.
There are three stages of the customer lifecycle. Now, we’ll take a quick look at each phase.
Phase 1: Pre-Purchase
Essential Campaigns: Browse Abandonment, Welcome Series
The pre-purchase stage occurs before a potential customer makes their first order. Once you’ve captured their email address, you can begin communicating with them with targeted email campaigns. For instance, you can track their behavior on your website to create personalized browse abandonment campaigns based on this history. Additionally, when they sign up for your newsletter, you should send them a welcome series to acquaint them with your brand and products, in hopes of motivating their first purchase.
Phase 2: Post-Purchase
Essential Campaigns: First Purchase, Product Education, Segmented Promotions
The post-purchase phase begins after a customer makes their first order from your store. Once this happens, you should thank them for choosing your business and let them know how much you appreciate them with a first purchase series. You can also send them product education emails to make sure that they’re using their purchased items correctly. And since you have more information about this customer, you can use it to create segmented promotions based on their purchase history.
Phase 3: Retention
Essential Campaigns: Win-Back, Cart Recovery, Replenishment, Best Customer
The retention phase begins when your customer has developed a sense of brand loyalty, and purchased from you at least three times. There are multiple campaigns you can use to drive continued engagement and retention. For example, win-back messages can re-engage once loyal customers who are at risk of churning. Cart recovery messages are also a great way to recapture potentially lost revenue by following up with customers who placed items in their shopping cart but did not complete a purchase. Additionally, automated replenishment messages can keep customers loyal by reminding them to reorder consumable items before they purchase from a competitor. But don’t forget to reward this loyalty, best customer campaigns let your most special purchasers know how much they mean to you.
For a more in-depth look at each of these stages, download our new Lifecycle Marketing Guide. In addition to explaining the customer lifecycle, the guide offers examples and best practices for implementing these types of campaigns, while also introducing you to common customer personas.
And to learn even more about lifecycle marketing you can now play “Guest to Best: The Customer Lifetime Value Game.” In the game, you’ll encounter some of the most common challenges you’ll face while trying to retain customers and grow their CLV.
With these resources, you’ll be able to move potential customers from non-purchasers, to two-time purchasers, to three-time purchasers, and down the line to loyal, brand evangelists in no time flat!