Lifecycle marketing is a strategic approach that involves analyzing retail data in order to engage with customers in a more personalized way and cultivate stronger elationships. Rather than following a stale, linear pathway from awareness to purchase as seen in the outdated marketing funnel approach, lifecycle marketing reverses the paradigm by letting each customer drive their own unique marketing experience.
At the center of lifecycle marketing: customers. Each phase in the lifecycle is about tracking the customer’s activities in order to best meet their individual needs and increase customer satisfaction and engagement. Since every customer is different, understanding where each is in their “lifecycle” can help retailers communicate the right type of marketing content at the best times — resulting in much higher returns.
To personalize a customer’s experience, the first step is to understand the elements of the customer lifecycle. Though the lifecycle of a customer has been described with varying terminology, there are essentially four parts:
Shoppers and customers want different things at each stage, and evidence has shown that customers will return again and again to a retailer who is sensitive to and engaged with their particular needs. As customers discover a new need, explore their choices, make purchases, and continue to engage with the brand, the lifecycle marketer works to foster relationships and connect with each customer throughout their dynamic experience.
To meet potential customers when they discover a need, retailers must be positioned to communicate how their product or service is the superior solution to meet that need. This may mean, for example, presenting strong marketing content in a variety of mediums in order to grow interest. Then, when consumers find your website, inviting them to join an email list allows you to begin the lifecycle relationship, and follow up with relevant messages that drive conversions.
Once a visitor joins the mailing list after discovering your site, they are in the exploration phase and likely primed to make a purchase. Here, a well-timed “welcome” email with a purchasing incentive can work to quickly convert that new subscriber into a customer. Also, though they haven’t bought anything yet, much can be gained by leveraging data regarding the person’s on-site behavior, such as which products and pages they have been browsing, and sending them targeted promotional emails tailored to their likes.
After a newly acquired customer makes a first purchase, automatically sending a “thank you” email helps validate their choice while strengthening the new customer relationship. Likewise, a smart product recommendation at this time, made by analyzing data about their purchase, can even motivate another sale. Retailers can apply new insights into who the customer is – and what they like – to make personalized recommendations or highlight new products they are apt to enjoy, thus driving further conversions.
The retention phase of the customer lifecycle is especially critical. After the purchase is complete, the successful lifecycle marketer will continue to engage the customer and foster brand loyalty. For example, if the purchase was for an item that will need to be replenished in the future, such as food or skin care products, a sensibly-timed reminder email can motivate them to choose your brand again. Sending a thank you message, a discount coupon or a special gift to a customer who makes a high-price purchase can serve to diminish any buyers’ remorse they might have and keep them coming back. Marketers can even increase retention by acknowledging key milestones like the 5th or 10th purchase, or a customer’s birthday, with an emailed incentive that shows the customer you recognize them and appreciate their loyalty.
Windsor Circle makes it easy for retailers to deliver unique marketing content that meets the customer where they are in their personal experience. By leveraging an inventory of content triggered by data (like purchase behavior and timing, product, brand or category preferences), in conjunction with metrics like Lifetime Value or Customer Score, Windsor Circle enables retailers to drive effective, targeted marketing campaigns that engage with customers directly, based on who they are, what they buy, when they buy it, and other key factors.
Some of the strategic lifecycle marketing features of our robust platform include:
Create automated email marketing campaigns based on 75+ customer data fields that are triggered based on customer purchasing behavior Learn More >
Automatically determine the projected revenue from the customer relationship, based on past and current metrics. See our CLV Calculator >
With the proven lifecycle marketing results enabled by Windsor Circle’s customer retention automation platform, you can conduct more successful automated email campaigns that create individual customer experiences, leveraging data to help you better engage and build long-lasting – and profitable – relationships with your customers.
Contact a member of our team today, and let us help you turn your customer data into increased returns with actionable, data-driven lifecycle marketing strategies.