Customer lifecycle marketing recognizes that different marketing strategies are necessary at every stage of a customer’s brand journey. Lifecycle marketing differs from the buyer experience; turning consumers into loyal, active customers takes time and trust. It can be challenging to win people over immediately, but you can employ lifecycle marketing strategies to attract and retain buyers after their initial purchase.
What Is Customer Lifecycle Marketing?
Lifecycle marketing is the combination of strategies companies use to positively influence customer behavior as they progress through every stage of the marketing cycle. Lifecycles can be long or short, but no matter the cycle length, several stages make up a lifecycle marketing plan. Understanding these stages allows you to target each audience’s specific needs at each stage, regardless of whether your prospects are new leads, first-time buyers, or repeat customers.
Lifecycle Marketing Stages
Marketers have created many methods for increasing profits and have used numerous tools to reach customers. In lifecycle marketing, stages play a unique role, and marketing is viewed as a journey. Each stage of the lifecycle is unique and requires a different approach. These stages include:
- Brand awareness
- Customer engagement
- Customer retention
- Brand loyalty
Brand awareness is the first stage of the customer lifecycle and is where your relationship with the customer begins. Awareness is the stage at which customers start learning about your brand. The most challenging part of this stage is making your brand stand out from the competition, as potential customers receive hundreds of marketing messages daily.
During the engagement stage, people will begin interacting with your brand. The customer is interested in your offerings and wants to find out more by following you on social media, signing up for your email newsletter, or looking at your website. People will also often start paying closer attention to what others say about your brand and how you respond to customer complaints or requests.
The evaluation stage is where customers decide whether to purchase from your brand. They may look at company reviews, research, or check their gut before making final purchase decisions. Providing digital self-services, such as FAQs or review sections, can help customers trying to find answers themselves. Ensure easy access to information that will help prospects compare features and prices.
The purchase stage is where people make their final buying decision. People who make it through this stage are now your customers. You don’t need to promote your brand during this stage, but you should strive to make the purchase process as painless and straightforward as possible.
The most important thing you can do to retain customers is meet their needs post-purchase. Many people won’t return after their first purchase if they don’t feel like they have access to needed support. It’s essential to follow up and provide support where necessary to ensure their satisfaction. Following up is an easy way to prove to your customers that you value them.
Customers reach this stage when they are so happy with your brand that they spread the word. Continuing to provide quality service and support and nurturing a connection with customers can create an emotional bond that will keep them coming back. Don’t forget about customers once they’ve made purchases. Strengthening relationships with current customers not only encourages people to continue shopping with your company but may also convince them to bring in new prospects.
Customer Lifecycle Marketing Strategy
Strategy drives successful lifecycle marketing campaigns. A good strategic plan helps you build your customer base, convert one-time purchasers into repeat customers, and improve your customer lifetime value. You’ll have difficulty bringing in the right leads and may waste a lot of your budget without proper strategies.
The best marketing strategies plan for customer interactions at every stage of the lifecycle. Here’s how you can apply proper strategy through every stage.
Brand Awareness Strategy
Creating visual, shareable content helps you attract more people from your target audience. Some brand awareness strategies include:
- Creating buyer personas to understand your target audience better.
- Launching social media ads that will stand out to customers.
- Researching and incorporating keywords in your content that relate to your audience.
- Working with influencers to promote your products to your audience.
- Creating blog posts that address the common problems your prospects may have.
Although acquiring new customers is crucial, many companies spend too much time and effort on this stage. Don’t exhaust all your resources acquiring new customers; ensure you have enough time and effort for future stages.
Customer Engagement Strategy
As part of your customer engagement strategies, you should direct visitors to your website or social media pages and provide details about your products or services that will convince them to choose your brand over your competitors.
Prospects often have a lot of questions during this stage. Provide content that’s easy to understand and gives precise answers to their questions. The following are some examples of engagement strategies:
- Promote your product’s features through video demonstrations.
- Write guides or blog posts to provide answers to common questions.
- Provide long-form content that covers industry research or trends.
- Include testimonials and case studies that emphasize the benefits of doing business with you.
- Create landing pages that encourage engagement.
After impressing potential customers, the next step is to convince them to make a purchase. The best way to do this is to make the purchase process as easy as possible. Compare your brand to your competitors to determine what prospects need to see or know to make a purchase. Some strategies include:
- Presenting product features and up-front pricing on your website so customers can compare your products with others.
- Including customer reviews to provide customers with confidence in their purchases.
- Ensuring you can deliver a good customer service experience and addressing any post-purchase issues.
- Providing free trials to offer peace of mind with full investment.
As with the customer engagement stage, personalization is the key to converting potential buyers into customers. Try to make prospects feel unique instead of just being another revenue-generating number.
Retaining customers costs companies less money than acquiring new ones, yet many companies aren’t spending enough time on retention. Most customers will make additional purchases with a company that offers exceptional customer service. When you provide top-notch service after a sale, you can keep customers, improve the customer experience, and ultimately increase revenue. The following are some customer retention strategies:
- Provide discount codes or offers that can be applied to future purchases.
- Create targeted ads featuring complementary products and services to accompany first purchases.
- Give existing customers exclusive access to new products or services.
- Ensure easy access to support through tools like live chat, messaging, and FAQs.
- Create self-service options for simple service problems.
Many satisfied customers become brand advocates and tell everyone they know about your brand. These customers choose your brand over others and can drive sales as repeat buyers. Showing people you value their feedback is key to building customer loyalty, as customers are more likely to stay with a brand they trust. Here are some brand loyalty strategies:
- Offer free products or discount codes as incentives for sharing reviews.
- Provide exclusive features for returning customers or create a loyalty program.
- Offer rewards to people who bring in new customers.
- Create reactivation campaigns for customers who haven’t shopped with you in a while.
Customer Lifecycle Marketing Campaigns
Customer needs evolve through each stage of the lifecycle, and implementing a customer lifecycle marketing campaign is the most efficient way to address these needs. Segmenting your audience based on their place in the customer journey allows you to build a proper relationship based on their individual needs.
Providing consistent value across all lifecycle channels can help you attract new customers and establish repeat buyers. Creating a captivating campaign while targeting the proper lifecycle stage can be challenging but worth it, as you’re likely to boost customer loyalty and referrals and reach revenue goals.
Here are some examples of campaigns for every lifecycle stage.
Brand Awareness Campaign
Creating blogs that rank high in SERPs provides customers with the information they may be looking for. When they read your blog, they are introduced to your website and get a feel for your brand. It may also be beneficial to include easy links to let people learn more about your product or make a purchase.
Customer Engagement Campaign
Provide a pop-up for people to enter their information while reading blogs on your website, such as their email addresses. Encourage them to fill out the form to receive more information on what they’re reading and how your offerings can meet their needs.
Make the purchase process as easy as possible. You can simplify the checkout process by having shipping and billing information pre-saved for returning customers, so it only takes seconds to submit their order.
Include customer reviews for your products or services so people can feel confident in their purchases. Provide links to related products on a page so people can easily find products that may complement the products they’re interested in.
Customer Retention Campaign
Provide an email confirmation that summarizes the order and includes the return policy and any additional information the customer may need. You can also send an email a few days later introducing a limited quantity of exclusive products that may tempt them to make another purchase.
Customer Loyalty Campaign
Create loyalty programs that encourage customers to continue doing business with you. A loyalty program example includes a point system that adds points based on the amount of money customers spend. These points can then be used as a discount on future purchases.
Informing customers of how you give back regarding charity work or other social means may also build an emotional connection with them. Emotionally connected customers spend much more per year with a company than other customers.
How to Boost a Lifecycle Marketing Campaign
Here’s a quick list of ideas for bettering your lifecycle marketing campaigns.
- Track the percentage of clients who return to your site to make additional purchases to measure customer loyalty. Compare the number of new and returning customers to determine the share of repeat buyers.
- Try to collect contact information from people who visit your site, such as options for subscribing to your email list. This can help you grow your brand awareness and engagement and encourage customers to purchase from your website.
- Track how much money returning customers are spending on repeat purchases. Experiment with loyalty offers that can increase purchases.
- Send newsletters to customers even after they’ve made a purchase, as this will keep your brand in mind for future purchases.
- Provide exclusive offers and loyalty programs to make every customer feel valued. Customers who feel important to a company are more likely to make additional purchases.
Lifecycle Email Marketing
Emails play a considerable role in marketing and can benefit from the customer lifecycle. Knowing where your customers are in the lifecycle can guide the type of emails you send. You can send several kinds of emails, such as welcome emails, promotional content, newsletters, and surveys. Sending emails at the right time is crucial so they don’t get buried in peoples’ inboxes. They should also be interesting enough to make people want to open them.
Your welcome email is the first email you send to new subscribers and is the beginning of your relationship with them. This email should be a major area of focus. The way you encourage future engagement is an essential factor in winning them over as a client. Are there any coupons you can provide for a discount on their first purchase? Is there any news you need to share? Is there a deal on a specific product they won’t want to miss?
Promotional emails build customer retention by incentivizing customers to continue purchasing from your brand instead of the competition. Promotional emails often include a discount code to encourage current customers to make additional purchases. They can also be used to announce an exclusive product or offer only available to existing customers.
Companies use newsletters to discuss information with customers. This information can be about significant company changes, announcing new blog posts, or discussing industry topics. Newsletters are often longer than other emails and should contain engaging content and calls to action to learn more.
Sending an email to customers who haven’t visited the website in a while may convince them to return. People are often busy in their day-to-day lives and sometimes need a quick reminder that you still value them as customers.
How to Improve Your Email Campaign
Don’t get discouraged if your email rates are low. There are a few ways to improve your email campaigns and make enticing email content people want to open. Here are some options to try:
- Make sure your subject lines have a good length, message, and sufficient context.
- Ensure the preheader text is as eye-catching as possible.
- Add attention-grabbing designs, including videos and graphics.
- Personalize the emails with the customer’s name.
- Provide a clear CTA.
- Test and compare new send-out times, such as Saturday morning vs. Friday night, to see when you get a higher open rate.
Why Is Lifecycle Marketing Important?
Understanding the customer lifecycle is essential for properly reaching out to customers. During some stages of the lifecycle, prospects may be interested but questioning your brand, while in other stages, customers may have made a purchase and need an incentive to return.
If someone just discovered your brand, you’re better off telling them about the benefits of your product instead of trying to convince them to make a purchase immediately. However, repeat customers don’t need to be reminded of product benefits continually. It’s better to provide exclusive deals and loyalty program offers to existing customers.
Because of all this, each stage requires its own marketing strategy. Using the correct type of content at the right time can enhance the customer experience, as it proves to customers that you are more concerned with meeting their needs and answering their questions than using them to make a profit.
Implement Lifecycle Marketing Strategies In Your Marketing Campaigns
Now that you know all of the benefits and stages of lifecycle marketing, the next step is implementing it in your company’s marketing campaigns. Begin mapping out the customer lifecycle and determining how to use these stages and strategies to better your marketing efforts.
Investing in a marketing agency can help you correctly target customers throughout the customer lifecycle. Avalaunch Media is a full-service marketing agency ready to help you reach your audience at every stage of the customer lifecycle. We are passionate about the marketing industry and are committed to maximizing results for our clients. We develop and execute marketing strategies to win our clients’ trust. Contact Avalaunch Media today and let us help you launch your brand.