The Beginner’s Guide to Lifecycle Marketing

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Every buyer is completely different.

They are at completely different levels of the shopping for journey and, due to this fact, reply to completely different messages. Having just one message—and shouting that in any respect of them—is not going to work and will even flip a few of them off.

Instead, you want a greater technique. One that takes into consideration the stage prospects are in. From there, you possibly can customise a extra appropriate message.

How do you do that?

Well, you are able to do what’s referred to as lifecycle advertising and marketing. In this submit, you’ll be taught the next:

What is lifecycle advertising and marketing?

Lifecycle advertising and marketing is the method of matching the kind of communication a buyer desires to see as they progress alongside their lifecycle.

Typically, the client lifecycle consists of six high-level levels, just like the modern-day advertising and marketing funnel:

  1. Awareness – Your potential prospects first study your model.
  2. Engagement – Your potential prospects work together along with your model and be taught extra about your choices.
  3. Consideration – Your potential prospects consider your choices and determine should you’re the correct match.
  4. Purchase – Your potential prospects flip into prospects by shopping for from you.
  5. Support – You assist your prospects by making certain they’re deriving most worth and satisfaction from their buy.
  6. Loyalty – Your prospects love your model. They buy from you repeatedly and/or take the initiative to inform others about you.

The thought behind lifecycle advertising and marketing was developed by Infusionsoft (now Keap) to advertise its e-mail advertising and marketing software program. Today, the idea continues to be related to e-mail advertising and marketing.

However, prospects don’t simply work together with a enterprise by way of e-mail. So we will increase the scope of lifecycle advertising and marketing to different advertising and marketing channels too.

How to implement a lifecycle advertising and marketing technique

To create a lifecycle advertising and marketing technique, we’ll use this framework, courtesy of Barilliance. It entails three steps:

  1. Triggers
  2. Message(s)
  3. Channel

Let’s take a look at them in additional element.

1. Triggers

Triggers are predefined situations that decide when a advertising and marketing message needs to be introduced to a buyer. These situations are aligned with the six levels of the client lifecycle.

Since the six levels of the client lifecycle are fairly high-level ones, let’s break them down into extra particular segments that may function triggers:

  • Prospects who haven’t heard of your model [Awareness]
  • New website guests [Awareness]
  • New e-mail subscribers [Engagement]
  • Prospects who’re evaluating [Consideration]
  • Cart abandoners [Consideration]
  • First-time prospects [Purchase]
  • Churned prospects [Support]
  • Active prospects/VIPs [Loyalty]

Basically, any buyer motion may be changed into a set off.

2. Message

This is what you ship your prospects.

Don’t simply ship something, although—not solely ought to your prospects care in regards to the message, but it surely must also be associated to the set off that despatched stated message.

For occasion, chances are you’ll need to ship an e-mail reminder to cart abandoners, i.e., prospects who dropped off on the Consideration stage.

3. Channel

This is the place the message is going down. It may be any advertising and marketing channel—e-mail, social, stay chat, YouTube, and so on.

Lifecycle advertising and marketing ways

With the framework in place, let’s take a look at how we will apply it in actuality. We’ll use the segments we created as examples of how one can execute lifecycle advertising and marketing.

1. Prospects who haven’t heard of your model

Trigger: Customers understand they’ve an issue and search on Google to discover ways to resolve it
Message: Educate your prospects on how one can resolve the issue
Channel: Search engine optimization (website positioning)

Customers can’t purchase from you except they know you exist. And discovery often happens as a result of prospects first discover out they’ve an issue they should resolve.

When that occurs, more often than not, they flip to Google. This means if we would like potential prospects to search out us, we have to rank on Google. Not solely that, we have to determine what issues they’re looking for and what sorts of phrases they’re utilizing.

To try this, we will use a key phrase analysis instrument. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter a number of phrases associated to what you’re promoting (e.g., “coffee,” “cappuccino,” “coffee bean,” and so on)
  3. Go to the Matching phrases report
  4. Switch the tab to Questions

Matching terms report results

Here, you’ll see over 300,000 potential matters you would goal. Look via the record and pick these which can be related to your web site. Then create content material that may rank for these matters.

Recommended studying: Keyword Research: The Beginner’s Guide by Ahrefs

2. New website guests

Trigger: Customers land in your website for the primary time after discovering your content material
Message: Subscribe to your publication
Channel: Email

After discovering your content material, most individuals will go away and by no means return. So if you’d like them to proceed participating along with your content material and model, that you must get them to remain or return to your web site once more.

There are some ways to do that, together with getting them to observe you in your social channels. In my opinion, e-mail is the perfect channel since you personal the direct communication. (Social platforms can take away you anytime.)

However, a customer to your web site received’t hand over their contact info with out some enticement. You can do that in a wide range of methods. For instance, we maintain it easy by asking them to hitch our weekly digest:

Text field to enter email address to subscribe to Ahrefs' newsletter. Next to text field is bearded man on a computer

E‑commerce shops are likely to dangle reductions as an incentive:

Text field to enter email address and subscribe to Zalora's newsletter. Text above promising $20 voucher for those who subscribe

Whereas bloggers want giving freely free eBooks:

Picture of man. Next to it is a CTA to unlock an ebook

3. New e-mail subscribers

Trigger: Customers join your publication
Message: A welcome sequence introducing your model, content material, and catalog/merchandise
Channel: Email

Once the prospect indicators up to your publication, you must ship no matter you promised—a reduction code, eBook, and so on. But past that, it’s an awesome alternative to proceed participating them and introducing extra of your content material (or should you’re an e‑commerce retailer, your catalog of merchandise).

For instance, after confirming your subscription, advertising and marketing company Demand Curve follows up with an e-mail of sources you possibly can examine out:

Short write-ups, each with a link leading to various resources

Dr. Rhonda Patrick has a multiday e-mail sequence that introduces you to her premium content material, which she supplies for free:

Rhonda's newsletter containing links to premium content

4. Prospects who’re evaluating

Trigger: Customers are on the lookout for product comparisons on Google
Message: Feature comparisons, product comparisons
Channel: website positioning

Customers will at all times need the perfect bang for his or her buck. So even when they’re acquainted with your model, they’ll make comparisons. One of the methods they do that is by looking out on Google for comparisons between your model and your rivals’.

Here’s how one can discover who your prospects are evaluating you with:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter your model identify
  3. Go to the Matching phrases report
  4. Under Terms, click on on “vs”

Matching terms report results. "vs" option in the sidebar

Here, we will see the completely different manufacturers that our prospects are evaluating us with.

It’s as much as you whether or not you need to create one web page or particular person pages for every competitor. At Ahrefs, we created one versus web page:

Excerpt of Ahrefs' "versus" page

Rather than the usual side-by-side comparability of options the place the web page creator wins, we determined to characteristic impartial polls and speak in regards to the options that solely our toolset has.

Polls showing most SEOs prefer Ahrefs

5. Cart abandoners

Trigger: Customers add merchandise to the cart however don’t full the acquisition
Message: Complete the checkout course of
Channel: Email, retargeting

During the method of shopping for, prospects might procrastinate or hesitate. They start by including your merchandise to the purchasing cart however abandon it midway as a result of they’re distracted, have one other matter to take care of, are stunned on the complete worth, or are aggravated by a component of your checkout course of.

In truth, Statista’s March 2021 study discovered that virtually 80% of on-line purchasing orders have been deserted.

Abandoned carts are effective if prospects return. But many don’t. Sleeknote claims that e‑commerce manufacturers lose round $18 billion in gross sales annually due to cart abandonment.

That means you want a option to try to get these prospects again.

The commonest manner is to ship an “abandoned cart” e-mail. Here’s an instance from Bonobos, a males’s clothes model:

Abandoned cart emails aren’t simply restricted to e‑commerce manufacturers. You can use these emails for any incomplete transaction in any trade. For instance, right here’s one from CodeAcademy, a web based programming faculty:

 CodeAcademy's "abandoned cart" email

Besides e-mail, you too can retarget these prospects utilizing social media advertisements. That manner, as they’re searching the online, they’re reminded to finish their checkout along with your model.

6. First-time prospects

Trigger: Customers purchase your product
Message: How to get the perfect out of your product
Channel: Email, in-app, stay chat, social media, video, content material advertising and marketing

Give your new prospects an awesome expertise, they usually’ll be on their option to changing into a VIP of your model. One manner to do that is to supply assist and training—train them how finest to make use of your product in order that they are going to be motivated to remain or purchase extra.

At Ahrefs, in addition to our in-app onboarding, we additionally ship emails introducing a wide range of sources we’ve created to assist prospects get extra out of our product. This features a temporary explainer on what our toolset does, an introduction to our information base and in-app tutorials, in addition to reminding them they’ll communicate to assist employees on the stay chat anytime they want assist.

Excerpt of Ahrefs' email with information on how to use its tools

We additionally share with them the perfect content material on our weblog and YouTube channel, most of which options the other ways to make use of our toolset and execute completely different ways:

Excerpt of Ahrefs' email containing links to its best content

Finally, we additionally invite them to hitch our customers-only Facebook group, Ahrefs Insider, to allow them to work together with different top-tier SEOs to get the most recent ideas, ways, and options for his or her issues:

Excerpt of Ahrefs' email containing invitation to join its FB page

Education and assist aren’t simply restricted to software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies like ours. E‑commerce manufacturers can do it too. Take a glance, for instance, at how Beardbrand creates content material to assist its prospects:

Beardbrand's content about taking care of beards

If you promote ladies’s clothes, you possibly can at all times present your prospects how one can pair up completely different types for various seasons. Or should you promote sneakers, train your prospects how one can deal with them (particularly suedes!), clear them, and pair them up with completely different types (and even lace them in a different way!).

7. Churned prospects

Trigger: Customers purchase your product as soon as and by no means buy something once more
Message: Discount for returning
Channel: Email, retargeting

The above set off is to forestall churn. But irrespective of how a lot you attempt, some prospects will go away or cease shopping for from you. However, a share of them may be persuaded again.

Retargeting can work properly right here. Use advertisements to remind them they’ve not purchased from you for some time and invite them to take a look at your model once more.

Email can work too. Drew Sanocki famously helped transform streetwear model KarmaLoop from dealing with chapter to being acquired. One of the instruments in his toolbox was the low cost ladder technique for profitable again churned prospects.

KarmaLoop's email offering "Welcome Back" discount to customers

Drew explains the technique in additional element here. But mainly, the concept is to provide rising reductions over time to prospects who haven’t made a purchase order in a whereas.

But as soon as the client buys, they’re taken off the low cost ladder. This ensures you’re not driving your model downward right into a discounting spiral (by the way the rationale why KarmaLoop was on the verge of chapter within the first place).

8. VIPs

Trigger: Customers who repeatedly and steadily purchase your merchandise
Message: Join VIP program
Channel: Email, in-app, in-store

Customers who love your product needs to be given extra alternatives to purchase once more and purchase usually. If you’ve one, it’s a good suggestion to ask them to your loyalty or VIP program.

For instance, Sephora’s Beauty Insider is likely one of the most profitable loyalty packages round. It has over 25 million members, they usually make up near 80% of Sephora’s annual gross sales.

The Beauty Insider program has tiers, which encourage loyal prospects to purchase extra in order that they get upgraded to larger tiers:

Table showing perks that Sephora customers can get when they unlock the various membership levels

Being a Very Important Beauty (VIB) member is essential to Sephora’s neighborhood members. Not solely do they get rewards and reductions, however additionally they get entry to unique merchandise and occasions. So a lot so that there’s a proud VIB neighborhood on YouTube:

List of Youtube videos about Sephora's VIB sales, recommendations, etc

Final ideas

The segments and triggers I’ve written about aren’t exhaustive.

Depending on your small business, you possibly can take a extra granular method and create extra segments. And for every phase, you possibly can at all times take into account extra triggers.

Bear in thoughts the absence of an motion can be a set off. For instance, a scenario the place a possible buyer joins your e-mail record however doesn’t open the previous 5 emails generally is a set off that spurs you to ship a brand new message.

What do you suppose? Did I miss out on something about lifecycle advertising and marketing? Let me know on Twitter.

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