Lifecycle Management. Relevant to marketing automation?
Why is it relevant to marketing automation?
If you're in the world of marketing automation, you're probably familiar with the concept of Lifecycle Management. But for those who are new to the game, let's break it down.
Lifecycle Management is managing a customer's journey from the moment they first engage with your brand through their experience as a customer and beyond. The goal is to create a positive and seamless experience every step of the way, ultimately resulting in customer loyalty and advocacy.
So, what does this have to do with marketing automation? Well, everything. Marketing automation software allows for the automation of various touchpoints throughout a customer's lifecycle, which makes it much easier to manage this process at scale.
Let's take a look at a few examples.
First, there's the lead nurturing stage. This is the period of time between when someone first expresses interest in your brand and when they become a customer. With marketing automation, you can set up a series of emails to automatically send out to these leads, providing them with valuable information and moving them closer to a purchase decision. This helps to build trust and keep your brand top-of-mind with your potential customers.
Next, there's the customer onboarding process. This is the critical period after someone has made a purchase, where you want to ensure they have a positive experience and are set up for success. Marketing automation can help by sending out welcome emails, providing educational resources, and even surveys to gauge customers' feelings about their experience.
Finally, there's the post-purchase experience. This is the stage where you want to keep the customer engaged and happy in the hopes that they will become loyal customers or even advocates for your brand. Marketing automation can help by sending personalised messages, targeted promotions, birthday messages or other special offers.
So, how can you make the most of Lifecycle Management in your marketing automation efforts? Here are a few tips:
- Map out your customer journey in detail so you understand what touchpoints need to be automated and when
- Use personalised messaging and segmentation to ensure that your messages are relevant to each individual customer
- Monitor your customer feedback closely and adjust your automation strategy as needed
- Don't be afraid to get creative! Use random facts or personal anecdotes to make your messages more engaging and memorable.
Lifecycle Management is an essential concept in the world of marketing automation. By utilising automation tools to manage every step of the customer journey, you'll create a more positive and seamless experience for your customers, ultimately leading to greater loyalty and advocacy for your brand.
You know the problem or need – e.g. your current marketing activities are failing or not delivering the number of leads needed for your business.
You now need to find out what is available – what is essential for you. Is it price or service or some unique element that you must have?
Now that you know what is essential to you, you compare the options and decide on the right solution. Maybe it is a trial or downloading a whitepaper to examine the finer details.
This is the big one. You now need to decide who to buy from. Is the company a good fit? Are you looking for ongoing help or want to buy and be left alone?
Lifecycle Management: #Awareness
This part of the process is lead generation. You are the experts in your business. You live and breathe your business and understand more about it than your visitors. You want to be aware of this and offer high-value information your visitor will download in exchange for their email address. Once the form has been completed, email marketing comes into play during the stage:
- The Welcome email
- These are opened more than any other type of email, and their reception is critical because it establishes your relationship with your new subscriber. The importance is to lay out exactly what they should expect, both content and frequency.
- Engage with us on social media.
- Encourage your new subscriber to engage with you further through social media. If the welcome email is received well, subscribers are more likely to share the content with their friends and colleagues, thus increasing the number of new subscribers.
- Introduce other Information
- Your new subscriber is at the awareness stage and probably looking for more information, so it is essential to direct them to our resources, like whitepapers, eBooks and your blog.
Finally, the plan is to progress the new subscriber from the awareness stage to the Research stage. Every email should encourage subscribers to dig deeper, and your lifecycle management comes alive when they do.
This is an example of an awareness stage offer. At the bottom of this screen, you will see a box titled “Download the complete guide to email marketing”. Go ahead and download a copy for yourself.
This means tailoring your communications to your contacts and their situations. All your contacts will be at different stages in the customer lifecycle, and your automations should reflect this. Utilise other platforms such as emails, SMS and social media to ensure the right message is sent at the right time.
Every stage of the marketing lifecycle is crucial; you must ensure a comprehensive approach covering all areas. At Flowbird, we work daily with clients to develop lifecycle campaigns to suit their businesses. You can leave the hard work to us, or we can point you in the right direction. We can be flexible to provide the level of support you need.
The First Stage
The first stage of the lifecycle is when a new contact interacts with your business for the first time. The most common example of this is subscribing to your newsletter.
Your new lead has actively chosen to contact your company, and this is an opportunity you need to grab with both hands. Whilst your customer is open to hearing more from your company, contact them with a dedicated welcome campaign.
Additionally, try to collect essential information on their preferences and interests. This will make it easy for you to begin sending tailored campaigns right from the get-go.
Everyone loves being celebrated now and again. Use birthdays and anniversaries to reach out to your contacts and make them feel valued.
Email them with a celebratory offer or to say congratulations. This works well for birthdays but can also be used for customer anniversaries.
Birthdays and anniversaries can make up an integral part of the customer lifecycle, and they’re easy to set up without needing a lot of data.
A re-engagement campaign aims to encourage a dormant customer to become active again. However – even if you fail – you are allowing that inactive customer to unsubscribe rather than driving them to resent your business by continuing to send them emails they don’t want to receive.
With re-engagement campaigns, it’s important to remember that there’s nothing more effective than winning repeat business from an existing customer. After all, retaining a customer requires less input than generating a new one.
Following on from above, customer retention is key to a successful business. Your customers are what keep your business ticking over. It’s only fitting to reward them with exciting and valuable communication.
Segmentation is critical for successful customer retention. Use the wealth of data you have on your customers to send them tailored campaigns that interest them. Tailor your communications to your customers’ purchases and other complementary products or services they may be interested in.
Behavioural targeting can range from abandoned cart emails to respond to visitors’ activity on your website. Marketing is about interactions, and behavioural emails should react to your contacts.
You should be able to engage your contacts and encourage purchases by sending very relevant communications to them.
The Buyer's Journey
The buyer's journey is a vital concept in inbound marketing.
It is a concept that Hubspot extensively uses in its inbound methodology. As the name suggests, it depicts the buyer's journey from their awareness of your company to becoming part of your customer base.
The Awareness Stage
The awareness stage is when the buyer recognises a potential opportunity or problem they must solve.
The buyer does some non-specific research on their issue.
- Blog articles
The Consideration Stage
In the consideration stage, the buyer understands their issue and has ideas for solving it. The buyer does more specific research on the options available for their problem or opportunity.
- Expert opinions and guides
- Videos tutorials
The Decision Stage
In the decision stage, the buyer chooses exactly how (and with whose help) they will solve their problem.
The buyer compares options and makes a choice.
- Free trial
- Free Consultation
Growing Your Database
Once you’ve grown a decent database, you’ve got a lot of robust data. You need to use this wisely and make the most of it to engage and retain your contacts. You need to attract prospective customers to give you their details in return for emails, content and other communications that are of value to them. An ultimate goal is to balance growing your contacts list whilst only sending to people interested in your business and communications.
There are many tactics and methods you can use to grow your database. We can help you develop a strategy to increase your contact numbers quickly. Using the following techniques, you can grow your contact numbers and the amount of information you have about them.
Data capture forms on your website and social media pages are the most common ways to collect contact information. These are the places your contacts are most likely to be attracted to visit. Use eye-catching, easy-to-use forms and put them in areas most likely to catch your visitors’ attention.
Subscription confirmation emails work well to keep your database clean. They ensure that your subscribers genuinely want to receive your communications.
Another method includes ‘sharing social media links when a contact signs up for downloadable content. It encourages your contacts to spread the word about your company and increases the number of form fills with minimum effort.
Text data capture across your offline channels can help attract different audiences in-store and by direct mail. Custom QR codes on your advertising materials can further widen your reach.
Growing a wealthy contacts database is only the first part of the job. You need to keep your data accurate and up-to-date, ensuring you’re not sending emails that don’t want to be received. Luckily, many email service providers will automatically deal with unsubscribes and hard bounces.
It would help encourage your contacts to update their details and preferences. Not only will this keep your data clean, but it will also mean you can continue to send tailored and personalised emails to your contacts.
You work hard to grow your contact database; losing subscribers is never a nice feeling. However, it’s important to remember that unsubscribes are not bad. Maybe they are not enjoying your communications, but they should unsubscribe than mark your emails as spam.
Once you’ve got a wealth of recent, accurate information on your contacts, you need to do something with it. To retain your customers, you must use their details to send them engaging, personalised communications. We can help you retain your customers through well-crafted campaigns that deliver value to your contacts.
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