Do’s and Don’ts of Lifecycle Email Marketing for Each Tier of Customer Engagement

The customer lifecycle (or buying journey) that customers take since first going on your website or appearing in your store is an incredibly important part of your business. When these prospects are nurtured and engaged with the right information and messaging, they make a purchase (or purchases), which can then turn them into repeat buyers and even brand advocates later down the road. Yet unfortunately, due to lack of strategic engagement plans, many customers stop buying from a brand altogether simply because that brand didn’t give them a reason to keep investing. Because of this brands are increasingly creating tiers of the engagement cycle and then sending consumers personalized messages pertinent to different stages of the life cycle. This type of campaign is known as lifecycle email marketing. Email is considered a key channel of lifecycle marketing especially for sending calendar-based, periodic, data-driven, transactional emails in place of batch or bulk emails. These lifecycle emails have been proven to be more effective as they speak personalized messages to targeted customers at critical times in the buyer journey.

Below are some dos and don’ts for creating email campaigns for various phases of customer lifecycle:

If you are planning to start lifecycle email marketing campaigns, or if you already have some launched but want to incorporate more, these tested and proven do’s and don’ts will guide you in starting your campaigns on the right track in order to maximize results from diverse levels of engagement.

Don’t: Spending too much time over-segmenting before sending off emails

One of the most common mistakes marketers make is going from no segmentation to over segmentation by splitting their email list up into a multitude of lists based on complex algorithms. Rapid over-segmentation results in difficulty of maintaining campaigns and because of this, will fail to provide distinctive results for your company. Likewise, it will also make those segmentations almost unusable. Instead marketers should start with broad segmentations and further categorize based on the results from their campaign data.

Do: Perform segmentation to identify customers for winback emails

Customers or subscribers might be marked as inactive if they stop engaging with the brand for roughly around the duration of a month or more. Instead of starting to panic that you may be ‘losing’ leads, you should consider scheduling a win-back campaign for customers as they hit a stipulated period of either 30, 60 or 90 days, depending upon the duration of the buying journey.

What does a great winback email look like? Well, when this winback email from Grammarly showed up in our inbox, we immediately remembered how great Grammarly was and realized we hadn’t been taking advantage of their handy product. The email was just too inviting to not feel like we’d been missing out on something special. With the click of a button, we were back to being a loyal customer and utilizing the product.

Don’t: let assumptions dictate your testing/marketing strategy

There’s word going around in the marketing community that the only effective win-back program is an “escalating call to action” (i.e., each win-back offer should have a progressively larger discount).

Though this is usually found true but many retailers have achieved greater results by running a larger promotion campaign so that their buyers will not feel compelled to try other retailers; instead they would choose to stick with the retailer for longer. Avoid rigid, preset assumptions. What works for one company might not work for yours so it’s worth testing tactics and offers out for yourself.

Do: Ask how you can improve

When nothing else works, marketers should simply ask their customers for feedback or information in a winback or reactivation campaigns such as, “What happened? We Have missed you” or “Please tell us How and what can we do better for you.” invites your customers to reply with the reasons why they left or are leaving your business (Pro tip: Including a survey is a great way to do this). Asking these questions will help you know what issues to solve so that your customers don’t continue to leave and can ultimately turn those situations or issues into a positive experience.

Likewise, not only will you be showing customers that their satisfaction is your top priority, but also you’ll be able to uncover key insights in order to focus on re-engagement. You can craft your win back campaign with questions asking them “what kind of improvements do you want from us?” The answers to such questions will help customers feel important and business will have insights to make more informed decisions based on these insights in future.