Lifecycle marketing is essential to retail success. Why? Because your customers are on a journey with your brand and should receive personalized messaging for each step of this relationship. This consistent and relevant communication strengthens the B2C bond and increases customer loyalty.
Lifecycle marketing just works. In fact, lifecycle email marketing was found to improve campaign performance by 55%, increase subscriber engagement 67%, and raise customer satisfaction 54%. Additionally, 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%.
We believe lifecycle marketing is so important that we’ve developed a host of resources to help retailers understand and implement this strategy.
This guide offers an in-depth look at each of the three stages of the customer lifecycle. It also provides examples and best practices for implementing these types of campaigns, while introducing common customer personas.
“Guest to Best: The Customer Lifetime Value Game,” covers some of the most prevalent challenges retailers face while trying to retain customers and grow their CLV.
Each webinar gives a walkthrough of one stage of the customer lifecycle with successful email examples from our clients. If you missed the first two sessions, don’t worry! We’ve got recordings of both webinars, and will offer a brief recap of each right now. Read on the learn the key campaigns for each stage, along with tips for optimizing these messages.
Phase 1: Pre-Purchase
(Watch the webinar recording here.)
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.
You can track visitor behavior on your website to create personalized browse abandonment campaigns based on this history.
Tip #1: Include images of browsed items or product categories in each email.
Tip #2: Enable frequency capping to avoid sending too many emails during a certain timeframe.
When email subscribers 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.
Tip #1: Personalize the message with the customer’s first name & create a relevant subject line that helps motivate consumers to open the email.
Tip #2: Give customers an easy next step to engage with the brand (ex. “Like us on Facebook for 10% off your next purchase.”)
Phase 2: Post-Purchase
(Watch the webinar recording here.)
The post-purchase phase begins after a customer makes their first order from your store. The key time for strengthening the customer relationship is right after the first purchase, so it's critical to use post-purchase messages as an opportunity to cultivate customer loyalty.
After a customer’s initial order, you should thank them for choosing your business and let them know how much you appreciate them with a first purchase series.
Tip #1: Emphasize one clear CTA (Call to Action) per message. Don’t overwhelm readers with multiple next steps this early in the relationship.
Tip #2: Keep the message short. Most people will not read more than a few paragraphs of text, so try to keep them engaged with simple emails.
Product education emails help you make sure that your customers are using their purchased items correctly.
Tip #1: Trigger emails for at least one week after the product has shipped. This ensures that the customer has already received their items in the mail.
Tip #2: Encourage customers to share how they’re using the items they purchased with you on social media.
At this point you should have access to a fair amount of information about this customer, which can be used to create segmented promotions based on purchase, demographic or product history.
Tip #1: Start with the four basic segments (one-time buyers, win-back, non-purchaser, and all others).
Tip #2: Offer different incentives for each segment. For instance, give churning customers a larger discount than other groups as a way to bring them back into the purchase cycle.
To delve into phase three of the lifecycle, retention, we’ve got another webinar lined up for May 19 at 3 pm EST. There’s still time to register, and we hope you’ll be able to join us!