Have you always imagined having a strategy that can help you win new customers and bring existing ones back? Well, customer lifecycle marketing is one such surefire strategy.
Customer lifecycle marketing is a coordinated marketing effort that touches every phase of the customer’s journey. The aim of this strategy is to help you win new customers while retaining existing ones. It involves 4 phases:
Reach → Act → Convert → Engage
At each phase of the cycle, you approach the customer using specific channels and specific marketing messages.
A deep dive into the key phases of customer lifecycle marketing:
The first phase is also called the ‘discovery’ or ‘awareness’ phase. During this phase, your customer (or prospect) comes in contact with the business. This can happen through several online, offline, or in-store mediums like television advertisements, online search, cold emails, events, etc.
During the ‘act’ phase is when the customer acquires the first product or service from the brand. All the information and experience should prompt him/ her towards a sale. This is when marketers use advanced marketing tactics like remarketing, personalized messaging, affiliate marketing, etc. to enhance awareness and prompt decision-making.
For example, A free-shipping coupon for first online sale is sent via email to the customer. When the customer uses the coupon to complete the order, the Act phase is complete.
Conversion is a critical stage in customer lifecycle marketing, as it turns a one-time prospect into a paying customer. Studies prove that new customer acquisition costs 5x when compared to retention. Ideally, marketers need to use personalized strategies such as omnichannel marketing and conversational commerce at this stage.
For example, A customer makes an online sale for shoes, after looking at a buying guide published by the brand. He/ she then collects their purchase in-store, without paying any extra fees or charges.
Engaging the customer is the last leg of customer lifecycle marketing, which aims to turn existing customers into brand advocates. Loyal customers receive hyper-personalized shopping experiences and priority services such as personal assistants. Companies also use marketing channels like SMS, email, and mobile to retain customers.
For example, A customer service call to collect feedback to improve service that will elevate individual user experience.
Customer lifecycle marketing metrics that you should keep an eye on
In marketing as well as in sales, there are hundreds of metrics that tell businesses what to do and what the red flags are. However, in customer lifecycle marketing three key metrics matter the most. These metrics show if your efforts are invested in the right direction. These three metrics are:
User activation rate
(Total customers / Total users) * 100
Repeat customer rate
(Total repeat customers / Total customers) * 100
Loyal customer rate
(Total loyal customers / Total repeat customers) * 100
Depending on the health of the metrics, marketers must make course corrections. It’s important to ensure that you don’t fall into the pitfalls of lifecycle marketing while trying to improve the metrics. Let’s explore those below:
Pitfalls Vs Best Practices
Pitfall – Poor segmentation. Best practice – Data-driven segmentation
Every customer segment has different preferences and expectations. Poor segmentation leads to scattered marketing messaging, that may not bring in the RoI.
The need of the hour is data-driven segmentation. Lean on data to identify subsets of users who show similar trends in consumption and loyalty. Don’t stick to existing stereotypes of age and gender alone. Also, identify more segments based on demand, price brand, specifications, etc.
Pitfall – Sending repetitive offers. Best practice – send contextually relevant offers
Offers, loyalty programs, promo codes, etc. to help in customer engagement. Repetitive offers can result in declining engagement rates for your campaigns.
Enrich your marketing campaigns with relevant offers, and use attributes like recent browsing history and wishlists to design these offers. Such relevant offers will help build customers’ loyalty.
Pitfall – Lack of personalization. Best practice – Proactive personalization
What’s challenging with the customer lifecycle marketing approach is that you have to cater to new prospects, as well as existing customers at the same time. This makes personalizing the buying experience a complex one.
You can still personalize specific parts of the lifecycle to engage your customers. For instance, emails or SMSes should address the customer by name. A personal callout with a targeted offer can help convert indecisive customers.
Our success story from Southeast Asia
Fave – one of South East Asia’s fastest growing startups doubled its customer lifetime value- with customer lifecycle marketing
Fave is a multi-category online-to-offline platform. It has users coming from multiple channels and mediums, but the challenge was to onboard these users and get them to make a purchase.
Fave wanted a scalable solution that would make it easy onboard, engage, retain and also entertain new referrals from customers.
With MoEngage Flows, Fave was able to send push notifications and SMSes to new customers who have signed up on the app but were yet to make the first purchase. They were able to create marketing automation flows that were easy to create, visualize and deploy with omnichannel methods. From onboarding, new prospects, to earning referrals from existing customers, Flows helped Fave move customers in the right direction.
Bringing it all together
David Ogilvy, the advertising titan once said, “You cannot bore people into buying your product; you can only interest them in buying it.”
Customer lifecycle marketing takes care of invoking interest in your customers and turning them into loyal customers right from the first contact. If done right, it can multiply your omnichannel revenue without incurring additional costs. To do it effectively, you need a smart tool by your side as well.