Customers tend to have different behavior during their buyer’s journey. Therefore, it makes no sense to use the same message at every stage of this journey.
It may not simply work and turn your potential customers off.
How to solve the issue then?
You should rethink your strategy and come up with messages for the specific stage of the buyer’s journey. In other words, use lifecycle marketing.
In this guide, you will get familiar with lifecycle marketing in detail.
Let’s cut to the chase!
The Essence of Lifecycle Marketing
For those who don’t know, lifecycle marketing is the process of creating the right message to customers at every stage of their lifecycle.
The lifecycle of customers reminds quite a bit of a marketing funnel and consists of six stages – awareness, engagement, consideration, purchase, support, and loyalty.
Let’s see what your customer does at every stage.
- Awareness (a potential customer finds out about your brand and wants to learn more information about it)
- Engagement (a potential customer starts to interact with your brand and wants to know detailed information about your offerings)
- Consideration (a potential customer thinks if your offerings might be interesting to consider more seriously)
- Purchase (a potential customer buys your product and turns into a real customer)
- Support (you start working on providing your customer with support ensuring that the person has made the right choice)
- Loyalty (your real customers are fond of your brand and spread the word about it)
This is the concept of lifecycle marketing. By the way, the idea behind this lifecycle marketing belongs to Infusionsoft. This company had a goal to promote its email marketing software. And the lifecycle marketing concept was a driving force that helped achieve this goal.
But how to implement it in practice?
Keep on reading and you’ll find out!
Lifecycle Marketing in Action
A lifecycle marketing strategy involves three steps – triggers, message, and channel. Let’s review these steps more attentively.
This step helps predict conditions when your marketing message should work for your audience. All these conditions go in line with the six stages of the lifecycle of your customers.
Here are the examples of triggers per each customer lifecycle’s stage:
- Potential customers who have never heard about your brand or product before (Awareness)
- New visitors of your site (Awareness)
- New email subscribers (Engagement)
- Potential customers who review alternatives and compare your brand to other ones (Consideration)
- New customers (Purchase)
- Churned customers (Support)
- Active customers and brand ambassadors (Loyalty)
To sum up, whatever action that a customer takes can be considered a trigger.
Keep in mind that the message you sent to your customers should be related to the triggers. For instance, cart abandoners (consideration stage) can get an email reminder about your brand.
The channel for your message can be – live chat, email, YouTube, social, etc. It is up to you which channel to use. However, avoid using all the channels at once if they are not appropriate to your message and target audience.
Tactics of Lifecycle Marketing to Be Armed With
To get you a better idea of how lifecycle marketing tactics work, each tactic will be based on the segments that had been suggested before.
#1 Potential customers who have never heard about your brand or product before
Trigger: Potential customers face their problems and start searching the solution on Google
Message: Help your customers find a way to solve the problem
If your potential customers don’t know that your brand exists, they won’t turn into paid customers.
Do you agree?
However, by facing their problem potential customers stumble upon your brand that would work as a solution to the issue.
For example, your SaaS company offers a tool that helps people find email addresses. Your potential customer needs to find an email address of the person. This potential customer goes to Google and types something like “how to find email addresses?”. If you work on your content marketing strategy and have already covered this topic, it may appear as suggested information on this occasion. Eventually, a future customer reads it, stumbles upon your tool, and gets converted into a paid customer.
Thus, if you want your potential customers to find your brand in the search, you should rank on Google.
Besides, you will need to figure out what search queries your potential customers use to find a solution for their issue.
How to do this?
Use Keywords Explorer from Ahrefs. Just enter a few business-related terms and review the “Matching terms” report. Don’t forget to click the “Questions” tab.
As you can see, there are 9K+ topics that you can review and decide which ones would work the best for your website. Create a list of the most promising topic ideas and go ahead to cover them.
#2 New visitors to your site
Trigger: Potential customers visit your site right after discovering your content
Message: Newsletter subscription
Most of the time people read content, leave the site, and never get back again. Your goal is to get those people back.
There are a number of ways to get people back. You can lean them towards following you across social channels. However, practice shows that the most actionable way is using email marketing.
Because email marketing allows you to own the direct communication. Therefore, try to do this via signing people to the newsletter. If you want to make sure your email newsletter is eye-catchy, don’t shy away from using a professional newsletter creator.
Also, you can collect sign-ups by offering free ebooks, discounts, etc.
#3 New email subscribers
Trigger: Potential customers have signed up for the newsletter
Message: A series of emails that help introduce your brand or product
When potential customers sign up for the newsletter, it is time when you should work on delivering the gifts you promised – free ebooks, discounts, etc. Besides, it gives you a wonderful opportunity to share your business proposal ideas through content.
#4 Potential customers who review alternatives and compare your brand to other ones
Trigger: Potential customers explore more information about your product and review alternatives on the market
Message: In-depth comparison of the products
No one wants to pay money for the product blindly. People prefer to make sure the product will satisfy their needs one hundred percent. That’s why your potential customers make a comparison of similar products within the niche. They don’t want to goof off by making their final decision.
Consequently, it is important to know your main competitors. To do this you can use the Keywords Explorer tool again. Go to the “Matching terms” report and click on the “vs” tab right within the “Terms” section.
As you can see, there is a list of the direct competitors of Visme. It is up to you whether to create a comparison page of your product with the competitors or not. In the case of Visme, there is a blog post that compares Visme and PowerPoint.
When you write comparative blogs, you should be fair and objective. Moreover, you can run an independent survey where people could vote for the service or product they believe is the best.
#5 New customers
Trigger: Potential customers purchase the product and turn into real customers
Message: How to use your product the best
Channel: Social media, email, video, content marketing, in-app, live chat
When new customers start using your product, it is quite important to help them get a great experience in the first place. Otherwise, they may not understand the real value of your product and stop using it.
How to do this?
Interact with your customers and educate them. Show them the ways of using your product.
Here are pieces of advice that you can take on board:
- Send a series of emails that would introduce all features and benefits your service offers
- Create a powerful knowledge base
- Offer support help 24/7
- Write blog posts and create video content that covers your service’s features
- Run a social media group where members could get answers to their questions
Remember, don’t leave your customers with the product alone. Instead, guide them all the way.
#6 Churned customers
Trigger: One-time customers that never buy again
Message: Discount offer to get the customers back
Channel: Email, retargeting ads
There are cases when the customers leave your product and don’t want to buy more. Your goal is to prevent churn. And you can do this by applying retargeting.
Send ads that would remind them that they forgot about your service and it is time to make a purchase.
Don’t forget that email marketing can help as well.
#7 Active customers and brand ambassadors
Trigger: Loyal customers who buy your product regularly
Message: Be a part of your loyalty program
Channel: In-store, email, in-app
Loyal customers deserve special treatment. And creating more opportunities for them to buy your product. Hence, invite them to join your loyalty program.
For example, Sill’s Green Rewards loyalty program. The first thing that you will have to do is to make a purchase. Afterward, you start earning points to unlock new program levels.
Also, you can find out the ways how to earn points (and how many) right off the bat.
What’s more important, the program offers two ways how you can redeem your points – get free products or take dollars off your next purchase.
Build your own loyalty program or take this example as a template.
#8 Cart abandoners
Trigger: Potential customers add your product to the cart but don’t purchase it
Message: Finish the purchase process
Channel: Email and retargeting
There are cases when people may not finish the process of buying. It can be caused by different reasons.
For example, the person adds the products to the shopping cart. Then this person starts to think that the product’s price is high. It triggers the idea to buy the product.
By the way, Statista has provided stats. It proves that 80% of online shopping orders were abandoned by potential customers.
Nevertheless, your task is to get abandoned customers back.
How to do this?
The most straightforward way is to send an “abandoned cart” email. And it works not just for eCommerce brands. You can use this method to complete any incomplete transaction for whatever industry you are in.
Also, you can use retargeting to reach out to these abandoned customers across social channels. For this, you will have to run social media ads.
How does retargeting work?
When you launch a retargeting campaign, it reminds the visitors of your site (product page) to return to the site and buy the product. You can run these campaigns using Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook retargeting, and other platforms.
This method is widely used by professional marketers all around the world. It helps increase the number of sales and grow customer loyalty.
To Sum Up
The lifecycle marketing strategy should align with the segments and triggers. Take time to work on them. You might need to have a customized strategy for your specific business needs.
Remember that if there is no action – it is also a trigger. For example, your potential customer signs up for your newsletter. However, you noticed that this person doesn’t open the last few emails. It triggers you to solve this issue somehow. And you believe that you should send another email.
Hence, start with analyzing your niche and user behavior first. Then, create the segments and possible triggers respectively.
If you think this post lacks some more information, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.