6 stages of Customer Lifecycle Marketing and email marketing

It’s no secret that boasting a highly engaged customer base is essential to business success.

Happy customers result in repeat purchases, referrals, user-generated content, and brand advocates. All at minimal extra cost to businesses.

When it comes to email marketing, and marketing in general, communicating with your customer base should never be a one size fits all strategy.

Despite your customer base fitting neatly into your target market, they are still likely to differ considerably. This could be in their demographics, their purchasing behaviour, or the products they regularly buy from you.

As a result, your marketing communications should be tailored accordingly. 

Sounds difficult, right?

Well, it needn’t be. In fact, there is a robust marketing strategy especially formulated to help you achieve all of this. And it’s called Customer Lifecycle Marketing.

Read on to learn more about it.

What is Customer Lifecycle Marketing?

Customer Lifecycle Marketing defines the marketing strategies used to effectively recognise and target each prospect and customer, and where they fit into key relationship stages of their customer lifecycle. This is to attract new customers, retain them, and leverage their loyalty.

This framework is particularly important as one size fits all marketing and communications no longer cut it. 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that provides a personalised experience. And 72% of customers will only engage with personalised messaging.

It’s also important to remember that Customer Lifecycle Marketing isn’t a standalone strategy. It can also influence your wider marketing.

For instance, one of the benefits of Customer Lifecycle Marketing is that the data utilised to segment customers can also be used to superpower personalised marketing automations, promotions, and campaigns in general. 

The 6 stages of Customer Lifecycle Marketing

Depending on where your research takes you, you’ll find different names for the stages of Customer Lifecycle Marketing.

However, the following stages are commonly used:

  • Reach

The first opportunity for a brand to reach a potential customer whilst they are in the early research stages

  • Acquisition

Initial contact is made by the prospect, whether it’s a website visit or enquiry

  • Conversion 

The prospect makes their initial purchase, officially becoming a customer

  • Retention

Maintaining engagement and offering the customer a positive experience so they keep purchasing from you

  • Loyalty

By building a positive relationship, the customer makes repeat purchases and becomes an advocate for the brand

To give marketers more inspiration, we have broken these stages down so they are specific to email marketing:

Prospect

Prospects, both new and warm, offer an opportunity to gather new, loyal customers. 

These individuals will have already engaged with your brand in some form, hence why you have their email address. However, whilst some may already be familiar with your offering, others may need a little TLC.

Emailing this group is all about encouraging them to make their first purchase. Welcome emails and nurturing campaigns are ideal for achieving this. They can introduce your brand, offer essential information, and even provide an incentive for them to buy. 

And even better, welcome campaigns have been shown to generate 60% in open rates and 14% in click through rates.

Rover Email Example 1
Rover Email Example 2

First time purchaser

A customer has made their first purchase, congratulations!

But the hard work doesn’t stop there.

After all, it costs 5 times more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones. So, it’s important to keep your customers happy and build loyalty at every opportunity. 

Now that they’re familiar with your specific purchasing journey, encourage them to buy again with an incentive. 

Katie Loxton Email Example 1
Katie Loxton Email Example 2
Katie Loxton Email Example 3

Repeat

61% of SMBs report that over half of their revenue comes from repeat customers, rather than new business.

The key to keeping your customers purchasing is ensuring your communications are as personalised and tailored to each individual as possible. 

And we’re not just talking about first name personalisation. Instead, utilise demographic, behavioural, and purchase data to offer highly targeted email content.

For instance, in-store promotions based on their location, abandoned basket reminders, or recommended products based on past purchases. 

Currys Email Example 1
Currys Email Example 2
Currys Email Example 3
Currys Email Example 4

Loyal

On average, loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their original purchase.

This group of purchasers should be given extra special attention. They are most likely to spend, recommend you, and provide content. So don’t give them any excuse to stray to a competitor.

Communications at this stage should be focused on making your loyal customer feel special. But also, on getting the most from these individuals.

This can be achieved through campaigns that not only they will benefit from, but they will also want to share. This could include exclusive offers and promotions, referral schemes, and competitions.

Lush Email Example 1
Lush Email Example 2
Lush Email Example 3

At risk 

There are a variety of reasons why a customer may be at risk. They may no longer need your products or services, they may have found a better offer elsewhere, or they may simply have forgotten about you.

At this stage, it’s important to pull out all the stops so you don’t lose this customer forever.

Use email to remind the customer of why they engaged with you in the first place. Showcase the benefits of your business, your other happy customers, and don’t be afraid to pull at the heartstrings by letting them know they’re missed.

And most importantly, provide a straightforward call to action so that the recipient can purchase or engage with you once again.

Duo Email Example 1
Duo Email Example 2

Lapsed

Despite all of your efforts, sometimes customers simply disengage from your brand.

But all is not lost. Customer Lifecycle Marketing can help you to identify this group and target them effectively with email. 

Communications to lapsed customers should include resolutions to common issues. This could include links to support contacts and documentation, social channels, or even the opportunity to provide feedback.

And of course, to win a customer back brands need to provide an irresistible offer. This could be a discount, a freebie, or a voucher.

SkillShare Email Example 1

Getting started with Customer Lifecycle Marketing

As you can see, there are a wealth of opportunities to improve your email communications with Customer Lifecycle Marketing.

But we appreciate that getting the most out of this strategy can be time, resource, and budget intensive. Customer Lifecycle Marketing requires faultless data, automation capabilities, and lots of campaign creation.

If you’d like to get started, but need some support and guidance, then we would love to help.

Level-up your email marketing