Lifecycle Marketing relates to marketing campaigns that are tied to your customer’s needs and how they use your products. As we discussed in last week’s blog post, Lifecycle Marketing refers to marketing and sales campaigns that address your customer’s needs and requirements as they evolve over time. So, a brand new customer will have very different content needs compared to a long-term customer who knows your brand very well and is experienced using your product.
Here are my three top tips for conducting successful Lifecycle Marketing campaigns with your customers.
And remember, we’re using email marketing automation systems to implement these lifecycle marketing campaigns.
Step 1: Value Communication
First and foremost, communicate with your customers regularly about the value you are generating on their behalf. This form of communication not only acts as a testament to your brand’s and product’s ongoing improvement, it also expresses your dedication to continually deliver value to your customers.
I like to see use the power of story telling in these sorts of communications. Story telling has two distinct advantages over a more factual, “product features & benefits” style of email:
- By keeping your customer as the ‘hero’ of the story, you help them relate to your product so that they feel positive and comfortable with the solution you’re selling; and
- It gives you a much better chance at crafting a compelling, irresistible and highly clickable subject line for your email, which vastly increases your chances of your email actually being opened and read!
For example, if you sell an organic protein powder, you might tell a story about a specific customer who was training for a special sporting event and was looking for a product to help her increase her endurance or recover faster after training.
In your story, tell your customers about the specific problem this customer had and how you were able to solve it with your new product, and perhaps even go a step further by including a recipe (with image) for a tasty dish you could make with the product before inviting customers to purchase it online.
Step 2: Onboarding
For product-based businesses, the Onboarding sequence includes a Welcome message and a series of Getting Started emails.
Take your welcome emails seriously. Sure, it’s an opportunity to say “hi” but it’s also the most important email in your onboarding.
Your call to action should clear, simple and focused. Get people to the next step, give them an idea of what to expect and make their first experience with your product a positive one.
Personal welcome emails are a great way to start a conversation with a new customer. You might take the opportunity to ask new folks how they found you, or what they hope to get out of their experience with your product.
When automating these messages, make sure you schedule them to be sent during business hours. (An automated message sent 30 seconds after someone purchases at 3am doesn’t exactly look personal!)
With Get Started emails, the idea is to encourage customers to take action quickly. The sooner they can get value from your product, the more likely they’re going to have a positive experience.
Don’t overwhelm people with a long email – just include one step at a time to make it do-able.
Regardless of how user friendly your product is, every user feels like “the new guy” when they start using your product. Some of your users may have trouble getting acquainted with your feature set, while others may not understand the best ways to the get the most value from your product. You can always stay one step ahead and recommend the next best action for your customer. And, if you pickup where new users are getting stuck you can e-mail helpful tips and assistance before distress signals are sent out.
Click here to read more about on-boarding and how it can be the secret sauce to successful, profitable online sales success.
Step 3: Product-based Up-selling
Up-selling works best when you offer additional products that speak to your customer’s needs and usage. You can learn a lot about your clients, based on which product they have purchased and how long they have been paying customers.
Product-based Lifecycle Marketing Campaigns:
- Focus up-selling campaigns on customers who have already purchased at least one product; customers who have already purchased a product from you are more likely to purchase another.
- Offer a special purchasing opportunity based on seniority to customers using a paid product for a prolonged period of time
- Generate a special complimentary bundling offer for a purchased product with a product not yet purchased.
Rallying in your customers and generating a customer base is more than half the battle. Once they’re in your domain, Lifecycle Marketing programs help you optimize revenue potential by engaging customers as their relationship with your product builds over time. Start with the basics of value communication and build up your programs to product and usage-based initiatives. Your customers will feel that you’re catering to their needs, and your business will reap the rewards.
Need some one on one support to tailor these strategies to your own business? If implementing lifecycle marketing and sales automation into your business and growing your sales online sounds perfect for you but you’re not sure where to start or don’t have the time to do it, I’d love to help you!
Seriously, turning product-based websites into lucrative sales machines is my special zone of genius. Would you like to chat about how this could work for you and your business?