Email marketing is a powerful tool in the overall digital marketing landscape. It can help small businesses connect with potential customers around the globe and maximize conversions.

Lifecycle email marketing is a strategy that requires honing in and creating targeted messaging. Here are some effective lifecycle email marketing strategies and examples to employ in 2019. 

What is Lifecycle Email Marketing?

When you have a lifecycle email marketing strategy, you’re going beyond bulk email marketing and meeting your leads and customers at their level. The customer lifecycle includes: 

  • Engagement 
  • Discovery
  • Purchase
  • Retention

This cycle can be further simplified to new leads, current customers, lapsed customers. 

Each stage of the customer lifecycle can be broken down further, based on the activities your leads and customers are doing when they receive an email or browse your site. This is where lifecycle email marketing comes in.

For example, a new customer who looks at the same outfit on your site three times might need a push to add it to their cart. Alternatively, a customer who added multiple items to their cart then abandoned it might need a specific call-to-action to make the sale. With effective automation and email flows, you can turn these hold-outs into paying customers.

New Leads – Engagement and Discovery

The first step to entering the sales funnel is to attract new leads to your product. This can be done with a strong SEO strategy that helps you stand out against the competition. Once someone clicks onto your website or social media page, they’ve become a new lead in the engagement and discovery stage.

There are a few tactics to take with lifecycle marketing at this stage. Your first priority will be to make your new lead feel comfortable and increase their awareness and trust of your brand. You can use targeted emails to educate them further about products they’ve been browsing. 

As mentioned before, using emails triggered by browse abandonment and cart abandonment is an effective way to push a customer who’s considering your products into a purchase. You can do so by reminding them that a sale is almost over or offering an incentive for finishing the purchase.

It’s a well-known fact that retaining a customer is more affordable and more straightforward than acquiring a new one. A strategic approach here can drastically increase revenue over the long run. 

Current Customer – Purchase

When a lead becomes a customer, it creates an opportunity to shift the focus of your lifecycle email marketing strategy. Rather than pushing to sell, the primary focus will be showcasing the value of your customer service.

Start with a follow-up email thanking the customer for their purchase. Next, ask for a review of the product and of the company. The follow-up email presents an opportunity for research and feedback that can shape future strategies. 

Once you’ve followed up on customer satisfaction, it’s time to cross-sell or upsell. The goal is to help the customer make the transition from a one-time purchase to a retained customer. One common way of doing this is by offering a VIP email marketing perk that puts them on the list for discounts and pre-sales.

 

Lapsed Customers – Retention

Retention isn’t as simple as it sounds. That’s why it’s important to have targeted emails that help bring lapsed customers back and provide an opportunity for them to remember what they’re missing.

One of the most common forms of retention emails for lapsed customers is the “we miss you” email, that offers an incentive for customers to make another purchase. Depending on the product or service offered, another method is a “replenishment” email. A replenishment email is triggered after a specified period in which it’s expected that the customer will be nearly out of the product they purchased and will require more. 

Caveats for Lifecycle Email Marketing

While lifecycle email marketing is an effective way to attract and keep customers, there are a few things to consider when employing these strategies.

First and foremost, be mindful of your email flow. If your customers feel inundated with marketing emails, they’ll be first in line to hit the unsubscribe button. Do some A/B testing and find a sequence that works for you.

Second, setting up effective email automation will take some time and experience. In many cases, your email marketing service will need to be able to talk to your eCommerce platform, collecting metadata about your customers to send emails at effective intervals. 

Finally, the best way to acquire and retain customers is by offering value and showing them why they should give you their hard-earned money. No email marketing sequence will ever make up for shoddy products and lackluster service. 

By setting up a lifecycle email marketing strategy and delivering on what you promise, you’ll be setting your business up for long-term success.