Lifecycle Email Marketing: How to Improve Your Marketing 600%
Posted by Brad Smith
Everyone knows that it’s more difficult and expensive to get new customers than keep your existing ones.
But we still obsess over more traffic.
What specific, strategic activities do you use to follow up with new leads or touch-base with existing customers? Are these tactics integrated so you’ll get the best return on investment?
Obsessing over traffic is a good start. But most people that arrive at your site are never going to buy anything.
You need to focus on the ones that show interest and are actually willing to open their wallet.
Here’s how you can use lifecycle email marketing to improve your results by 600%.
Why You Need to Hold on to Existing Customers
The vast majority of people that come to your website will leave forever.
So you need to focus on the ones who will actually buy something.
You can no longer compete on price, so forget about being the low cost provider.
It’s expensive to acquire customers up front. You might not make your money back after the first sale. But after several purchases from the same customer, you’ll begin to see massive profitability.
Smart internet marketing tactics make this process easy by automatically following up for you.
Forget about social media. This is where email marketing shines.
Why You Need Lifecycle Email Campaigns
In their April 2011 study, market research firm, Gartner, found that using event-triggered techniques results in a 600% lift over traditional outbound programs.
Why does it perform so well?
Because it’s relevant, and timely. That’s the holy-grail for any good marketing campaign.
The best use of event-triggered techniques is with lifecycle emails. When someone starts an action, or doesn’t fully complete one, they automatically receive a series of emails.
The purpose of these emails may vary, but the underlying goal is always to drive more sales and repeat purchases.
Here are 4 campaigns that every business can start using today.
The Four Lifecycle Email Campaigns Every Business Should Have
There are four primary lifecycle campaigns that every business should have. These address the biggest opportunity gaps for the best return on your investment
And they also help you save time by automating the process.
Two should happen when you’re generating leads before a sale, and two more should be set up for existing customers after a sale.
Pre-Sale (Lead Gen)
The first lifecycle sequence you should think about is a welcome or introductory cycle. This is the best way to get quality leads and start building trust with them. Because if people don’t trust you, then they’re not going to buy.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Lant, you need to contact a prospect at least 7 times before you can penetrate their consciousness.
That means you need to be in contact with them multiple times before they even think about you as an option. So before they will buy, you need to get them interested and then provide them with enough value that you overcome any objections and decrease any risk.
The best way to execute this first sequence is by using a newsletter or blog.
But these will only work when you focus on the customers needs and interests first… not your company’s. The goal is to build enough trust that when you present them with an opportunity to buy, there are no hesitations.
In eCommerce, there is always a large number of people who abandon a shopping cart before purchasing. There could be a variety of different reasons, but your goal is to reduce the abandonment rate and get more people to actually buy something.
This is also true when you’re selling services. There is always a large number of leads that drop-out or aren’t ready to buy for a number of reasons.
So your goal is to automate a follow-up sequence so that when they’re ready to buy, they’ll come back to you.
First you want to notify or remind them about their unfinished request. But you can also follow up with different offers or specials to help motivate and entice people to purchase.
Post-Sale (Customer Retention)
Congratulations, you have a customer! But you’re still not done…
These people opened their wallets and actually gave you their hard-earned money.
Now you need to turn a one-off purchaser into a loyal customer. Because maximizing the lifetime value of that customer is key to future profitability.
Someone finally bought something from you. Great!
But your relationship with that person isn’t done… it’s just beginning.
If that person is truly happy with your product or service, then you want to get them to tell their friends, buy something else, or purchase more frequently.
Past Customer Cycle:
You’re going to lose customers. That’s just a fact of life.
But you don’t have to give up on them completely.
The final lifecycle sequence that you should create should win back old or lost clients. Maybe these people haven’t been back in awhile, or perhaps they left you for one of your competitors.
But they made a purchase in the past, so they’re already worth more than most of your new traffic this month.
You should remind them again of your unique solution, introduce them to new offers, and entice them with a special coupon or promotion to come back.
It’s easier and cheaper to focus on your existing customers (than try to get new ones).
Yet most companies don’t systemically follow-up with qualified leads and past customers.
These sequences should be planned and executed automatically… without your day-to-day involvement. That means you can set it up once, and just improve the process from time-to-time.
You can get back to work, and trust that your systems are doing the work for you.
Most people that come to your site won’t help you.
So focus on the ones who are actually willing to pay.