Avoiding Email Purgatory: The Secret to Successful Lifecycle Marketing

@Wendy | Conversion Optimization

Lifecycle email marketing campaigns can be the most effective methods of marketing despite the fact that email as a marketing channel is being challenged by social. That’s why it’s even more important for marketers to know their email recipients and tailor the message and content to their needs or find their campaigns in a holy state of unsuccess. A customer-oriented strategy is in order – delivering the right message at the right time.


Where to Begin – Developing a One-to-One Strategy

A basic email campaign will be tailored for the masses – treating everyone the same, regardless of their interest level and lifecycle stage. Understanding the needs of your audience can strengthen your return on investment by up to 9 times. Begin by identifying your targeted audience and segment them into 3 buckets:

  1. Leads: are interested prospects who have expressed some desire for communication about your product or service; you may have captured their email address at a tradeshow or from your website or search landing page; your campaigns should provide introductory educational information, customer testimonials and case studies, and incentives and reasons for purchasing (ROI, success stories discounts, promotions, etc.).
  2. Engaged Customers: are already aligned with the brand and want to stay current with company communications and/or promotions; they may be  a new customer so campaigns should be useful and about building a relationship such as products/services details, feature benefits, etc. to help further engage them with your business.
  3. Un-Engaged Customers: are customers who have lapsed and are no longer making an attempt to communicate or engage  with your brand – or potentially who no longer purchase your product/service; in this case, send a series of emails that encourage them to re-engage offering opportunities to understand their concerns so that they do not switch to a competing brand.

Lifecycle Campaign Examples

There are many types of lifecycle campaigns to utilize. Knowing the who, what, and when can be a bit trickier. There are basic tactics that can be employed involving the education and enlightenment to allay their fears, asking them to spend more, making them feel urgency, and/or rewarding them for loyalty. Here are some types of campaigns to consider that do just that:

The Welcome Campaign

Involves referencing recent download or purchase activity and the source of the opt-in. Additionally, it applies tailoring content around the product/service engaged with, including relevant educational or cross sell content.

The Urgency Campaign

Involves an email subject line that conveys a sense of urgency to email with a time-sensitive offer to take action right now with an effective call to action.

The Teaser Campaign

Involves a “tease” that’s clearly described in the opening email that something big is coming to grab your subscribers’ attention. This gives them a heads up as to what is coming their way. The follow up emails should provide a bit more information each time, but ultimately maintain as much mystery around the teaser to foster more curiosity for the subscribers. 

The Up Sell Campaign

A time sensitive tactic that involves a give and take – asking for more money in exchange for a benefit typically works if the recipient can execute seamlessly (with a single call-to-action click if possible).

Campaign Construction & Measuring Success

It’s getting easier all the time to develop one-to-one marketing campaigns using cloud technology. Our favorite is Klaviyo because it integrates with the ease of use of MailChimp. Data integration is built in so metrics can be measured, shared and analyzed to track ongoing campaign performance that are part of a lifecycle program. Basic metrics can include:

  • Conversion Data: correlating email activity with all your other data so you can see how your email influences behaviors (break down when people are reading your emails and when they’re taking action).
  • People Data: tracking behaviors of recipients allows for re-targeting campaigns for people who don’t take the desired actions based on particular preferences.
  • Time Data: track open rates and click-throughs to optimize what and when to send campaigns to increase engagement.

Additions & Feedback

If you have additional links, sources or ideas that you think would be helpful, please comment below.

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