At times, it feels almost impossible to run and maintain your business. There’s no guidebook that steps you through everything you need to do. Did you know that lifecycle marketing campaigns can boost your business to the next level? This concept is often overlooked, and a lot of people don’t even know what it is.
In this piece, we’ll explain everything that you need to know about consumer/client engagement. We’ll even outline the top automated lifecycle marketing campaigns that will boost your revenue, save you time, and help you to beat your competitors. Let’s get started with some quick definitions.
What is a Lifecycle Marketing Campaign?
A lifecycle marketing campaign is a focused and specialized campaign. It’s when you build communications for prospects and customers, as they step through different phases of their journey. Some people refer to this as customer base management or even customer relationship management (CRM), consumer or client engagement. Whatever you call it, it’s about understanding the buyer’s journey and staying in touch with them every step of the way.
Often, the campaign is initiated by a certain trigger. In other words, the prospect or client does something that will trigger your communications to start.
You may not have realized it, but you have experienced these if you have purchased a product. Think about how emails, SMS messages, direct mailers, phone calls or ads may have appeared shortly after you completed that purchase or service. It’s not a coincident! Everything from an email telling you where your product is, to SMS notifications as it gets dropped off at your door. This is all part of lifecycle marketing. Lifecycle marketing looks at the prospect journey with lead and nurture campaigns, to when they’re a new customer, to the mid-lifecycle (especially if they’re on contracts), and what happens at the end of their lifecycle with you.
The idea is that you keep your customer-base engaged throughout all these stages and look at what external impacts could also affect them – a marriage, a move, billing changes or promotions ending.
Understanding the Importance of Lifecycle Marketing
This form of marketing is really important. Not only does it resonate with people because these communications are sent at a relevant time to them, but also because it will drive business revenue, client growth, and loyalty.
In work we have done with businesses, we have seen welcome programs reduce churn by nearly 2% (which can lead to thousands of dollars). A movers program was able to generate 1K new clients and retain over 20K a year. With Win-back programs, we have seen an incremental lift of 1% on these programs.
These milestones will be more apparent as we explain 7 different lifecycle marketing campaigns in a later section. For now, you need to realize that a lot of thought and tracking goes into these campaigns. And that’s why marketing automation is a key enabler.
A Little Marketing Automation Goes a Long Way
A robust, automated marketing system is a lifesaver for businesses across the globe. It’s equally useful for mom-and-pop shops as well as massive, Fortune 50 companies.
The right program will track what the customer does. When they do certain things, a specific marketing campaign will automatically roll out.
For instance, after someone signs up for your newsletter, the software will automatically send them a welcome email.
Why is automation so important? There are three major reasons:
- It saves you time
- It removes human error
- It picks up on habits you might not realize
Saving Time with Marketing Automation Tools
There are only so many hours in the day. Most business leaders will agree that their time is best spent in efforts to grow their business.
Manually drafting and sending different emails can quickly burn up an entire day. The sheer time it takes to roll out lifecycle marketing campaigns is incredible.
Marketing Automation Tools today are growing and trying to help businesses achieve a ‘headless’ state; where someone can help program and oversee, but the tools can take care of all of the interactions.
These tools can let you set up processes that are routine, but allow you to personalize the experience. You can insert the product or service name, the person they interacted with, and different content as part of your email, digital ad creative, SMS, push notifications and direct mailers. They help ensure your clients feel like they’re being treated as an individual, without you having to create a new message for each person.
As Artificial Intelligence grows within these tools, they will help you maximize your communications. They can set the frequency at which people get your emails, they can choose the best time to send the email for that individual, and more. But we will cover that topic in another blog! Let’s talk about the campaigns you should start thinking about.
Top 7 Lifecycle Marketing Campaigns Your Business Needs
Now, let’s take a second to review some of the top automated lifecycle marketing campaigns that your business can benefit from. These campaigns are often automated because that lets communications happen whenever a customer triggers them. If you can’t automate, then give your best attempt!
Remember, you’re looking to turn potential customers into lifelong customers. These campaigns will help with that.
#1: A Welcome or Onboarding Program
Most businesses have one of their highest costs in attracting new clients. In subscription businesses, we have seen as much as 50% of new customers lost within the first year. Replacing those clients, while trying to grow your base, can prove to be a complicated task.
Many of those people leave because of a pricing issue, related to them not seeing the value of the product or not being able to justify the cost. The other issues tend to be related to service.
Take this opportunity to welcome them to your company and on-board them to ensure they know what to expect, tips and tricks, and check in with them. When purchasing a product or service, they may be overwhelmed and not recall every feature or detail. So, take the time to remind them over a few days to help build their loyalty.
#2: Abandoned Cart or Sign-Up Program
Getting a user to complete an action, whether it’s purchasing a product in their cart or completing a sign up, is a critical conversion point for businesses. There could be a multitude of reason as to why they didn’t complete – they may be second guessing the product or service. They may be hesitant because of the cost. Or they got distracted as they were just about to hit submit.
With some of the businesses we worked with, we have seen abandoned carts help recover 2% of sales.Some ways to ensure conversions here are simply adding an email which includes a link back to what they had, or maybe including a coupon or discount. Some companies will introduce retargeting, where ads will show up to that person on other sites to remind them of what they left behind.
The same goes for signups. It may not be possible to send them an email as they haven’t completed, but retargeting is a way to remind them of what they’re missing out on. Some signup processes may start with just the email, and then you’ll want to build a flow to ensure they continue the rest of the verification process or any next steps. Your email can briefly address this concern by citing how good your products are and how many customers you have.
#3: Post Purchase or Service Survey
Lifecycle marketing is really about understanding your customers and their experiences. The best way is hearing it directly from them. This is where surveys are helpful.
After a successful purchase, you can roll out a marketing campaign that includes a survey. It should be brief and only cover the essential parts of their interaction. Normally, we recommend the survey take no more than 2 minutes. Anything longer, and you may need to add an incentive to get high completion rates.
Make sure you include some “free answer” sections when asking for feedback. This ensures the customer can put down their honest thoughts for you to review.
Then look for trends and commonalities in the feedback you receive, so you can make your service better. And don’t hesitate to inform customers at a later date as to what you’ve heard, and what the company is doing. It makes them feel heard!
#4: Review Campaign
When people are considering a product or service, they often lean on reviews to guide their decision. You’ll want to ensure you’re building your reviews online, and sometimes its hard to ask people for this.
Automating these review cycles is great because you want to ensure you’re continually making that effort. Often, reviews will be tied to campaign #3, where they will be triggered once the company knows that the client had a 4+ stars out of 5 rating, as anything lower should be investigated and understood as to what the dissatisfiers are. This helps ensure you’re not prompting bad business reviews online, while also addressing what customer concerns are.
And don’t forget – this will also help your SEO efforts!
#5: Sorry to See You Go – Disconnected or Cancelled Subscription Campaign
Losing customers is a normal part of business. But it doesn’t mean you can’t still try a last-ditch effort or make a lasting impression.
This form of marketing campaign is typically triggered by a customer either unsubscribing, opting out of an email program, or cancelling their services.
The main piece of data that you want to collect is why they’re leaving. Get a little bit of feedback and use it as a learning opportunity. This can be done through a survey at the end through an email. Some companies may have a team outbound call the customer with rich offers. You never know if your customer will have buyer’s remorse and want to come back.
It may cost you less to try and save this customer, versus trying to attract a new one. So, determine if your processes, product, pricing, or experience were the reason for the breakup and if there’s a way you can resolve the issues!
#6: Win Back Your Lost Customers
Break ups aren’t always messy and there can be a second chance at winning someone over. Firing a campaign that goes to customers who have left, and offering them a reason to come back is what you will typically see. Many businesses will use discounts, but it can also be perks that may not have a material cost to you.
The reason why people go after previous customers, is they know your brand and have experienced your offering (for better or for worse!). This means there’s less education you need to do on who you are, and more on why they should come back.
Address what has changed since they’ve last been with you, and why their life will be better when they do come back!
#7: Customers Who Are Moving
When someone moves, they are open to new products and services as it’s a ‘moment of truth’ in their life. This means you have an opportunity to acquire new customers, as well as retain the ones you have.
Moving is a hectic part of a person’s life, as there are a lot of moving pieces. Making it easy for them to move with your business, or by being there for them in their new home.
Normally, subscription-based companies will capture these moving clients in forms or calls into their call center. These contacts are a great trigger point to capture and begin a cycle of communications to follow to ensure the move is seamless.
When it comes to acquiring new clients, there are a lot of opportunities to source external data to identify people in a moving cycle, while also capturing searches. By building campaigns for these people with unique landing pages, marketers will often build lifecycle campaigns around capturing their email address or cookie-ing them once they visit a specific landing page. From there, the lead nurturing communications begin!
Sensible Marketer is a full-service marketing agency. We help your business grow and keep your customer base. We use a number of CRM tools and our years of experience to help you build integrated campaigns to grow revenue and reduce churn. Contact us for a FREE consult today to help get your programs started or evaluate the ones you have running.