The concept of mapping out your customer lifecycle is often discussed in relation to email marketing, due to the effectiveness of the channel for nurturing customer relationships. The customer lifecycle is key to email marketing success.
The aim of a customer lifecycle map is to plot the key touchpoints within customer journeys, which represent opportunities to engage with subscribers and deliver relevant content. This begins the nurturing process and helps to maintain customer loyalty and build lasting customer relationships.
Here's Enchant's 4-step plan for mapping out your customer lifecycle for your email marketing strategies and campaigns:
Establish a customer-led engagement strategy
When mapping out your customer lifecycle, it’s crucial to identify the touchpoints when and where subscribers are most receptive to communications. This is a customer-centric marketing process, so your strategy should have your subscriber needs at its heart.
Carry out extensive research into your audience and seek to understand your subscribers desires, pain points, behaviours and preferences. Research should include defining your buyer personas, implementing social listening and using internal contacts (marketing, sales and customer service teams) to reveal key insights to apply to your customer lifecycle map.
Use research to reveal meaningful insights
Insights gained from your research and data will enable you to plot your customer lifecycle map with touchpoints where you should deliver relevant content to your subscribers. Here are some of the questions that should shape your research and insights:
- What are the common reasons for negative feedback?
- What are the common pain points found in your FAQ?
- How often do your subscribers want to receive your emails?
- What are the most important things your subscribers are looking to get from your content?
- What problems are your customers looking to solve?
- What types of emotions are your customers expressing?
- Which channels do your subscribers most commonly reside on?
- Which seasonal events do your subscribers commonly engage with?
- What are your brand’s weaknesses for solving customer problems?
Address these questions and fix any shortfalls with customer service before refocusing your strategy according to your insights.
Apply findings to your key personas
Your buyer personas are semi-fictional profiles of your ideal customers. Flesh them out and align them with your business goals and objectives. They should contain profiling criteria, such as demographics, background, job titles, emotions (like fears and desires), problems they are looking to solve, goals, challenges and channel preferences. Your customer research should reveal identifiers for your personas and help you plot the touchpoints on your customer lifecycle map and build trigger-based workflows.
Carrying out a SWOT analysis is good way to establish your brand's current ability to meet your customers’ needs.
Set up automated workflows
A customer lifecycle map enables marketers to define the most suitable times to send different types of content. It removes guesswork in your email marketing strategy and enables marketers to build pre-defined processes, automated segmentation and trigger-based targeting.
Here are some of the ways that marketing automation can drive your email marketing success:
- Nurturing customer relationships
- Repeat transactions
- Integrating channels
This following example customer lifecycle framework will help you visualise a self-sustaining ecosystem for your email marketing strategies:
Marketing automation is a powerful nurturing tool, which allows you to segment your subscribers, according to their behaviours, preferences and actions, helping you to target the right people with the right messages. Trigger-based emails take subscribers on more tailored customer journeys.
Your customer lifecycle should be agile. Regular testing and optimising will help you to build a richer and more intricate customer journeys, whilst increasing conversion rates and improving customer retention.
Want to learn more about enhancing the customer lifecycle? Download the slides from my recent talk at BrightonSEO on customer lifecycle strategies: How to Revolutionise Your Customer Lifecycle with Email Marketing and start making waves with email!
Enchant is a UK customer lifecycle marketing agency, specialising in email marketing, which enables brands to create quick impact and lasting success through customer-centric marketing strategies. Get in touch with our email experts to get a free consultation to chat through any problems or questions you have about email marketing. Go make waves with email!