As a self-identified picky eater, I’m especially prone to order mishaps at restaurants. Just the other week, I tried out a new pizza joint with raving reviews. However, after waiting over 40 minutes for my custom pizza, the order was wrong, and I was less than raving about it. When timing and content (or pizza) are off, it typically has negative results for the end user (or hungry pizza enthusiast). Timing and content matter, especially in your email marketing strategy. Utilizing targeted lifecycle marketing emails allows you to be confident that you are delivering the right message to the right people at the right time.
Every email marketing campaign includes a lot more planning than just a catchy subject line and a cool graphic. It’s important to think about the entire scope of the campaign, rather than just the specific content of an individual email. Some other aspects to consider are the object, audience, key messages, value prop, channels, call to action, schedule, and associated costs. It’s also important to think about the campaign from the perspective of your audience. They need to understand why they received an email and guided through their lifecycle journey through your lifecycle marketing emails, rather than interrupted in their journey with your brand.
Lifecycle marketing emails can be specifically targeted to reach various goals. They allow you to increase engagement, sell more products, onboard new users, bring back inactive users, and focus on building and earning trust along the way.
Your customers and prospects are all at different stages in their Customer Lifecycle Journey as well as different levels of engagement with your brand- so why would you market to them all the same way? Below are some examples of lifecycle marketing emails to utilize-
- Lead Nurturing: the goal of a lead nurturing campaign is to move leads through the marketing funnel so they are sales-ready. This campaign can be used for prospects that are in the beginning stages of their lifecycle journey. One of the best ways to start a targeted lead nurturing campaign is to identify contacts that are interested in a topic and then follow-up with more relevant content that continues their relationship with your brand. For example, you can specifically create a nurturing campaign for leads that download an e-book you are currently promoting. The key to lead nurturing campaigns is to make sure you are continuing to deliver valuable content to the prospect.
- Welcome Email: this is the very first email a new customer receives when they fall into the onboarding stage of your lifecycle. The welcome email should be a simple message that introduces them to and showcase your unique brand. This email sets the standard for future value from email communications. Make sure that the next steps to success are clear and the desired action is easy. For example, if you want to direct someone to shop on your website, include an obvious button that takes them there directly.
- Onboarding Campaign: these are the subsequent emails that follow the initial welcome email to your new customers in their onboarding stage. This is one of the most important campaigns to reduce churn rate among new customers, and the goal to be providing the customer with a direct way to reach their first success with the product. Customers are at risk of churning between initially becoming a customer and experiencing their first success because they can get lost, confused, aren’t getting value, or they lose interest. To prevent this, you can utilize an onboarding campaign to set expectations, break down the product, keep it simple, highlight important elements for them, walk them through the first critical steps to success, and then continue improving it based on feedback.
- Engagement Campaigns: for customers that are past their onboarding lifecycle stage, consider enhancing their value and engagement using new content announcements or product update emails, and promotional emails that provide them with rewards and incentives based on their behavior and engagement with your brand. Additionally, event invitation emails and confirmation emails that direct to forms and landing pages can help increase engagement.
- Milestone Emails: when customers have been loyal and engaged- reward them! Milestone emails can be a fun way to show appreciation for contacts that are in the later stages of their lifecycle journey. These can be targeted to celebrate a one year anniversary as a customer, their birthday, when their company was founded, or how much they’re utilizing your product. The level of personalization in the email, the relevance, and the timing makes it a really special way your company can reach out to say thanks or to congratulate an accomplishment.
- Re-engagement Email: this is specifically for contacts that aren’t engaged with your brand, and haven’t opened an email in the past 6 months. They might have previously been a customer, but now they’ve dropped off the radar. A re-engagement email is a positive spin on what is thought of as the breakup email. It’s an opportunity for the contact to determine if they want to continue receiving email communications, or if they want to change their email preferences with your company, or even to unsubscribe. Re-engagement emails are a healthy part of list management and following permission-based email sending practices.
For more information about Lifecycle Marketing and how to target customers and prospects at various Lifecycle stages, check out our Lifecycle Marketing 101 Ebook.