‘It’s all about the long term’ said Jeff Bezos as he laid out his strategic vision for Amazon in his 1997 letter to shareholders. It was vital for Amazon to attend to customer loyalty by helping its users to recognise value from their offerings.
For all businesses that use the Internet to grow their business, it is important to drive website traffic, grab the visitor’s attention, turn them into a lead, nurture them, and make/keep them as customers in the same way as Amazon but just on a smaller scale.
What is Customer Lifecycle Marketing?
Customer Lifecycle Marketing combines prospect and customer engagement, conversion, and retention.
Creating a strategy to prioritise and integrate the full range of marketing communications channels to support prospects and customers on their path-to-purchase is vital.
When Do Buyers Want to Talk with Sellers?
The different points at which buyers want to talk to sellers are:
- When they’re looking for new ideas and possibilities to drive stronger business results
- When they’re actively looking for a solution to fix what’s broken or to solve a problem
- When they’re analysing a situation and its causes
- When they’re identifying and evaluating possible providers
- After a provider has responded to a request for proposal or quote
The Different Stages of Customer Lifecycle Marketing
Regardless of the length of the sales cycle, multiple stages will make up every customer lifecycle marketing strategy. Understanding these stages will help you target the specific needs of your audience at each phase. Here are the six stages of the lifecycle, which you will use in your digital marketing.
The key thing is that after a person becomes your customer, you need to keep them engaged. You can’t just stop communicating after they have made their first purchase.
Benefits Of Customer Lifecycle Marketing
Lifecycle marketing helps companies appeal effectively to their customers at all phases of the lifecycle. Some of the key benefits of this form of marketing include:
- Longer lasting customer relationships
- Enhanced brand image
- Larger return on investment (ROI)
- Improved customer service and customer satisfaction
- A better understanding of the market
- Increased customer lifetime value (CLV)
Always-On’ Digital Marketing Strategy
A co-ordinated ‘always-on’ digital marketing strategy for the whole customer lifecycle will aid customer conversions and retention.
Engaging with your customers is crucial to achieving continued sales, and it is usually far easier and cheaper to generate repeat business from existing customers than it is to acquire new ones.
Customer lifecycle marketing involves studying the whole customer journey in an integrated way, from first contact to customer relationship management rather than narrowly focusing on one part of the process.
The ‘always-on’ approach to marketing is targeted at your customer’s entire journey, across all devices and channels. The customer life cycle has the following steps:
- Attract visitors to your website.
- Claim their attention.
- Persuade them that you can solve their problem or requirement.
- Turn them into a registered and/or paying customer.
- Keep them as a customer.
- Turn them into a company advocate.
Increasing Your Lead Conversions
Though an increase in website visitors is a good start, you want to make sure that you are also seeing an increase in your lead conversions.
Only 2% of new website visitors become customers on their first visit, so it is vital to capture their contact information so that they can be contacted in the future.
These are the main reasons your leads are not increasing even though website traffic is up:
- You are acquiring the wrong type of traffic.
- Your content is not compelling enough to persuade the visitor to become a customer.
- Your reputation is not good enough or you do not have enough social proof.
- Your lead conversion pages are not strong enough.
- You have no conversion funnel in place.
- You’re not nurturing your leads to become customers.
Here we will study these reasons in more detail.
You Are Attracting the Wrong Type of Traffic
It could be the case that the keywords you’ve targeted in both SEO and Google Ads have a different search intent to what your visitors are looking for.
This could happen when you’re too focused on users who are almost ready to buy, rather than capturing potential customers at the very first stage of the buying journey and then nurturing them until they are ready to buy.
Your Content Is Not Compelling Enough
The content you produce must serve the needs of your target customers at every stage of the buyer journey. Ensuring the right content matches the needs of your target audience is one of the biggest challenges that marketers face.
With many buyers reviewing several sites before even contacting a supplier, you need to have information, in the appropriate format, that persuades the visitor that you can solve their problem.
Not Enough Social Proof for Your Business
Here are several ways to influence what people are saying about you online and make sure that you are showing consumers why they should choose your business:
1. Manage your online reputation.
Ensure you control your sites by keeping all your business information accurate, responding to new reviews, and encouraging your customers to provide feedback.
2. Make collecting and responding to reviews part of your business process.
70% of consumers say they’ll leave a review if asked, so give them the opportunity.
3. Do not get put off by a bad review.
Negative reviews can make your business seem more authentic. When you get a negative review, respond accordingly, take it as constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve the situation.
4. Reward your loyal customers.
Reward loyal customers with loyalty programs, discounts, etc., to encourage repeat business.
5. Ask for referrals to build social proof.
Make asking for referrals a part of your business marketing process and build up social proof.
Your lead conversion pages are not strong enough.
A major problem for most businesses is that when new visitors reach your website landing page they do not take the required action. These are the general rules for the design and creation of lead conversion pages:
- Keep the contact forms short
- Be consistent in your messaging
- Write easily scannable copy using bullet points
- Use high-quality, relevant images and videos
- Implement a chat system
- Include trust and privacy signals
- Remove all other distractions such as links
- Include a clear call-to-action button to lead a user towards the required action
Lack of a Conversion Funnel
There must be a clear conversion funnel in place that begins when a visitor discovers your brand or a specific product and ends when the visitor abandons the process or “converts” into a paying customer or buyer.
Conversion funnel stages
Conversion funnels are divided into distinct stages:
- The “top-of-funnel” is the broadest part of the funnel because it represents the greatest number of potential customers. This is where users begin to research products or brands. They might be unsure about what they need, or whether a company is right for their purposes.
- The “middle-of-funnel” includes most of the stages of the consumer’s journey and is the place where a visitor or considers whether to make a purchase.
- The “bottom-of-funnel” (or “BOFU”) describes the endpoint of the funnel when a visitor converts into a paying customer or abandons the funnel for one reason or another.
The goal of every company is to maximise how many people proceed down the conversion funnel from start to finish. Certain factors, such as brand awareness, company reputation, or a brand’s relationship with a consumer, may shorten the funnel journey.
When you use a marketing conversion funnel, you can determine what stage of the buyer’s journey is most problematic. If most of your visitors abandoning the conversion funnel at the top it may indicate a problem with your website landing page or brand reputation.
Alternatively, maybe most of your users abandon the conversion funnel near the bottom could mean there’s a problem with the checkout conversion process or that your product copy isn’t converting users into customers effectively.
The best way for a company or brand to build relationships is through an always-on marketing approach of integrated communications across multiple digital channels. This will include:
- Automated email marketing like welcome, nurture and win-back sequences
- Retargeting, for example, Google Ads Display Network remarketing
- On-site personalisation recommending next best product, offer, or content to convert
Automated Email Marketing
Automated email marketing is a series of emails you automatically send to your prospects or customers. Using an autoresponder, email marketing offers the ability to contact your customers at given moments with personalised messages.
Automated email marketing allows you to create email series that are perfectly tailored to your audience’s needs and send them out at a specific time. Rather than spending all your time writing and sending out individual emails, you can focus on creating the perfect copy that inspires your audience to act.
It’s important to consider how you can optimise your email messaging at certain key touchpoints across the customer journey, and therefore taking a step back and looking at the whole customer journey is a must.
Using targeted ads or emails, remarketing campaigns offer marketers the unique opportunity to reach out to visitors who have left a website without registering or buying.
These remarketing messages can increase the likelihood that your visitors return to your post-click landing page and perform an action. This form of marketing helps you drive sales activity on your webpages, promote awareness for your brand among engaged audiences, and ultimately increase your ROI.
Personalisation is key to effective customer lifecycle marketing as effective personalisation brings a host of benefits which can help you increase sales and retention.
One key benefit of personalising messages is that it recognises the customers as individuals. By marketing one way to prospects, another way to those that have already purchased a product and another way to long-term, high-value customers you can make your marketing messages far more compelling and effective. Customers will also appreciate the personal touch, and you’ll stop them driving them away by bombarding them with messages which aren’t relevant to them.
A second key benefit of personalising messages via a customer lifecycle model is that they can align with the point in the lifecycle that the potential customer is currently in. Marketing messages from the brand which recognise where the customers are in their individual lifecycles and thus can tailor messages much more effectively.
What a Brand Advocate Is and Why Your Company Needs One
It is essential to invest in building brand advocates to get new supporters. Influencers can be very important; however, customer loyalty is stronger when someone supports a brand without incentives.
Brand advocates are people who know your brand and spread the word about it. Most of the time, they are loyal consumers, employees, and business partners.
How to build brand advocates?
First, it is necessary to find brand advocates. In some cases, companies must encourage people to become their representatives.
When you find those people, keep a close relationship with them to ensure they see an advantage in playing this role.
Brands need to track potential brand advocates. Those people usually post feedback about companies on the web, giving positive opinions that generate a good brand image.
Tracking company mentions allows you to find out who these people are. Next, you can contact them to make the relationship with the brand official.
Engagement and visibility are two key factors in having brand advocates committed to your company.
Every brand advocate program should offer rewards. As much as people are fans of your brand, they expect something in return, which is part of the relationship.
Several types of incentives could help you keep these consumers engaged. Discount coupons are a good example once they are attractive and make brand advocates keep buying.
You could also send some products to your brand advocates so that they can test them and offer feedback to the public.
Business partners should negotiate actions in which both brands commit to promoting each other.
Brand advocates usually post UGC on social networks. That is a great opportunity to share a moment with people who are showing up to support your brand.
Encouraging UGC is a great way to create brand advocates. Thus, more consumers will create content related to your company, increasing their engagement with it. That helps you reach a broade