Lifecycle Marketing Strategies: A surefire way to keep customers engaged is to differentiate user experience, to both old and new customers. This can bring returns quickly: when customers become brand advocates, they recommend your business to acquaintances or through social media for free.
For that to happen, you must first have good lifecycle marketing strategies. Have you ever heard of it? It’s simply the approach of providing your target audience with the experience they are looking for, helping and satisfying their desires at every stage of the buying journey.
Keeping a satisfied customer base loyal to your brand is less work (and cheaper) than attracting new customers from scratch. You need to understand the five key lifecycle marketing strategies for that to happen.
Before you go out like crazy looking for new customers, you need to define and target the right audience for your product or service. If you sell stoves, for example, you shouldn’t just target housewives but also chefs, culinary students, and anyone about to move out of their parent’s home to live alone.
These are some tips to do it:
- Try to identify which audience your marketing strategy fails to reach and target future campaigns to reach them.
- Analyze the behavior of your current customers to find out what they think about your products and services.
- Analyze what your competitors are doing.
- Define who is NOT your target audience, and stop wasting time trying to reach them.
The simplest way to build awareness is to go after your target audience wherever they are. You should invest in social media ads if you’re after a younger audience. If you’re targeting an older, more traditional type of customer, old-fashioned marketing and word of mouth should be your priorities.
But remember that your ads should speak directly to the type of audience you are targeting. Forget generic messages or campaigns.
You’ve already completed the most difficult step when you manage to get a potential customer to visit your business website. Now it’s time to create tools to capture their attention continually. In other words, turn that sporadic visitor into a customer.
One way to do this is to build communication channels with them. For example, the user enters your website, and you ask for their email or phone number, offering something in return – a newsletter, discount opportunities, inside information, etc.
Some people are not ready to buy at this point. However, as you maintain open communication channels with them (emails or SMS with details about your product, exclusive promotions, etc.), you can create a future customer step by step. But, plan the approach very well because no one likes abusive or invasive communication.
Some businesses are not prepared to receive feedback, fearing a negative review. But you must provide customers with the easiest ways to evaluate your products: digital forms on your website queries on social media, and so on. This practice is important because some customers measure your product against your competitors and make you stand out in the comparison.
In this step, an SEO software like Ahrefs Tool Guide: Using Content Explorer for E-Commerce would make a great tool. Ahrefs’ Content Explorer feature can help you reverse engineer your competitor’s content marketing strategy to assess where you can improve yours.
Your approach needs to be different also at the time of sale. In e-commerce, you must support online customers to complete their purchases, preventing them from leaving abandoned carts/purchases.
It may seem elementary, but the problem is chronic. According to recent data, the average cart abandonment rate is in the range of 70%. That means seven out of 10 shoppers leave a website without finishing the transaction for one reason or another.
To try to reverse the situation, create the most simplified and least bureaucratic environment possible. The more fields the customers have to fill in to complete the purchase, the more likely they are to give up halfway through.
Moreover, invest in strategies to follow up with the customers after the purchase to find out if they are satisfied with the product, if they received the order on time if they need anything else, etc.
Even the laziest business owners manage to sell some products now and then. The problem is that by offering a bad experience to the customer during the process, this person’s probability of doing business with them again is practically zero.
Selling is important, of course. But you must think of ways to nurture customers, so they become loyal to your brand – even become advocates of your business. A customer who comes back to buy again can be even more profitable than new customers.
Some simple strategies to retain customers include:
- Talking to customers about the most effective uses of their purchased product, including special features and upgrades.
- Provide multiple service channels to assist customers with queries or complaints.
- Offer some advantages on a second or third purchase, such as free shipping or discounts.
- Create a customer loyalty program and offer exclusive benefits to customers who reach a certain number of purchases.
- Customize your communications, so customers feel like you’re talking directly to them instead of spamming them.
The Best Brand Ambassador Is a Satisfied Customer
Some businesses are happy to sell once in a while and prioritize new customers over retaining old ones. There’s nothing wrong with that: each has its priorities.
It’s important to understand that by keeping your customers loyal, you cultivate the opportunity for them to buy again rather than having to chase new potential customers. The five key lifecycle marketing strategies detailed above can help you turn one-time customers into loyal ones who stay loyal to your brand for a long time and even advertise it for free.
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