Follow the customer lifecycle with your email marketing campaigns to turn prospects into subscribers, leads, customers, and finally, fans.
Email Marketing Campaigns
Email is an extremely useful tool for marketers because a customer’s inbox is their private space. Moreover, it is separated from the distractions of the Internet and social media. For a marketer, obtaining permission to send a prospect emails is both a privilege and a responsibility because it sets up an informal relationship between you and your potential customer. It is your responsibility to make sure that the timing and content of emails matches up with your organization’s goals and the customer lifecycle. So, not only must your email marketing campaigns accurately reflect your services and products, but also show an understanding of your customer’s needs and wants at different stages. In each of the five lifecycle stages, a different sequence of emails eventually leads the customer to make a purchase and even become a fan.
In the first stage, the potential customer is not yet aware of your company or its products and services. The email marketing campaigns during this stage focus on building awareness and offering the prospect to subscribe to future emails. To begin with, the introductory email is sent to all new contacts in your customer database. You can collect new contacts at networking events, trade shows, or through social media. This is probably the person’s first contact with your company, so you want it to be a positive experience. Start off with a simple invitation to read a blog article, view a podcast, or answer a brief survey on your website. Require that the prospect give their email address and basic information to access the content. Give the option to sign up for a newsletter or blog.
At the second stage, the prospect has become a subscriber to your newsletter or blog. They are open to learning more about your company and they will expect to receive emails on a regular basis. The frequency of emails should not be so high that they decide to unsubscribe. In short, once a week should be enough to keep the customer’s interest. Provide valuable content to your customers about subjects that interest and entertain them. Generally, make the emails worth their time. After your subscribers have opened several informational emails, offer them a consultation, trial, or other free service. At this point, the relationship is becoming more serious, and the subscriber will need more information to make a decision.
In the third stage, the subscriber has decided to evaluate your company and compare it against other companies that can provide the same product or service. To continue, they will ask for more detailed information related to their specific needs. You are tasked with emailing relevant data and promoting the reasons that your company can provide the best services or products. Communication may move beyond emails to phone calls and in-person meetings, but emails will still play an important role in making sure that the lead will finally want to become a customer. Include satisfied customer testimonials and good reviews with measurable results that show how your company is prepared to do the job well.
Fourth, established customers will expect regular communication to reassure them that all is well and that they have made the right choice. This is where a newsletter becomes critical to maintaining relationships with customers. Including press releases about company news, employees, and customers creates a sense of community. Also, the newsletter may invite guest columns from customers so that they feel engaged. Other types of email campaigns at this stage include options to purchase an item again or buy similar items. If a customer has not visited your website in a long time, you may send an email asking them to return or reminding them of a previous purchase.
In the fifth and final stage, your customer has become a true fan of your company. They loved your product or service, and they want to let everyone else know about it. Fans will also enjoy receiving newsletters. However, they deserve something more. Offer your fans the opportunity to write a recommendation on Facebook or give a customer review on your website. This will only increase the fan’s loyalty by making him or her feel special for being selected. In addition, other fan emails include offering a referral bonus for encouraging others to subscribe or become customers.
In conclusion, customers will easily go back and forth between the different stages of the lifecycle. So, putting them in the right category may be difficult. However, there are specific events or landmarks that will help segment your email list according to where customers are in the lifecycle. Enlist the help of email management and data tracking services to make the process easier to plan, implement, and analyze. Even better, ask a marketing company like Adexma to segment your email marketing campaigns according to the customer lifecycle. Your customers will thank you for taking the time to listen to their needs and for making your marketing efforts more relevant.
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