The eCommerce explosion has become the driving force behind the evolution of consumer behavior. While online shopping has got everything that consumers need at their fingertips, it has also triggered drastic changes in their main touchpoints that brands must not miss to consider. Consumer behavior analysis has always been the most relevant out of the checklist of eCommerce marketers. With a sudden dramatic boost in revenues of the eCommerce retail industry that we are seeing in 2020, it has become even more imperative for brands to carefully look at their customers and respond to their changing behavior.

Know What is Lifecycle Email Marketing

Global eCommerce leaders affirm time and again that email marketing is the fastest and best way to experience a spike in revenues for companies that sell online. It is way more effective than all other marketing tactics generally used for reaping profits from existing customers and real-time traffic. However, what all of them emphasize is sending out the right emails to the right people at the right time, which firms up your chances of running successful email marketing campaigns. This is where lifecycle email marketing comes into play. It is based on a simple principle that brands must meet their customers as well as prospects exactly where they are in their buying journey.

Consumers rarely purchase from brands right on their first visit, no matter they shop online or offline. However, some tactics can definitely keep these consumers associated with you, with increasing chances of purchase each time you interact with them. Strategically sending the right kind of message has the power of triggering positive consumer behavior. With a personalized approach used as a key to achieving this, it is possible to push them to the next milestones in your marketing funnel faster and build lasting brand relationships. It all boils down to increasing the likelihood of purchase, improving the odds of customer retention, and achieving customer loyalty that lasts a lifetime.

Dig Deeper into Lifecycle Anatomy – the Old and the New

One-size-fits-all is a thing of the past and email marketing campaigns do not work like that anymore. Behavioral segmentation analysis, the bedrock of lifecycle email marketing, has unlocked a completely new, rational window of opportunities in front of marketing teams. As a marketer of an eCommerce brand, a basic four-stage customer lifecycle might be familiar to you, i.e. customer engagement, discovery, purchase, retention.

There is, however, much evolution observed here too. The engagement has to be now preceded by awareness and followed by consideration. After the actual stages of purchase and retention, it has become necessary to invest efforts in expansion, brand advocacy, and re-engagement of cold leads.

Communicate with Customers, More Effectively

When it comes to communicating with customers, a sizable number of retail companies still prefer SMS marketing and push notifications. YouTube is also among the most popularly used marketing channels on account of its ever-expanding audience and cost-effective outcome. However, email is evergreen, as it can serve as the most effective and highly personalized means of communicating with your customers if done right.

Gone are the days when emails coming in from eCommerce companies used to be spam or be dumped right in junk folders. It is high time that you save your business emails going to spam folders of potential customers, which makes it necessary to draft more relevant emails that are based on their real-time behavior. Such emails are highly compelling and thus do the job effectively. They tend to provoke customers into taking action immediately.

With tightening restrictions on spamming, a huge opportunity arises for those businesses that prefer to go by rules and always play the game authentically. Emails that are specifically tailored considering individual stages of the customer lifecycle can work wonders and hold the potential to influence conversion rate like never before. Lifecycle email marketing, in essence, has the power of truly engaging your audience and finally converting them. Trust us, the strategic possibilities are endless.

Here are some of our favorite (needless to mention, tried, and tested) tactics that you may want to try during your next lifecycle email marketing campaigns

  • The Quick Click Strategy

It is a fact that short and crisp emails are most likely to garner loads of clicks. Leveraging this, you may draft email copies that would develop curiosity within potential customers. The content of emails, when kept shorter than usual, tends to instantly catch the attention of the audience. Leaving the communication open-ended is one of the most popularly seen ways of writing emails that can trigger favorable customer behavior.

Asking questions to check what exactly their needs are is a recommended engagement tactic to be used in this quick click strategy. However, let us also be clear on the fact that you may experience a higher bounce rate than ever, initially, as these readers are yet to know your brand well and thus deserve some time to be aware of the same. After all, brand awareness and consumer trust both build up over time and not overnight.

  • The Long-term Storytelling Strategy

While we agree on the fact that the customer is the ultimate king, we also must take into consideration that none of them would like to read pages that talk only about you. Branding is a tricky job and can get even trickier when to be done through emails. Telling a brand’s story is not a new concept but the way it should be done in an email definitely has to be different.

We believe that if you have something worth communicating about your brand to both existing and potential customers, it must be told in the most indulging way. To keep readers engaged and hooking their attention till the end of mail is the key to win here with your brand story acting as a lead gen tool for you. A relatable story with meaningful, potent content can certainly engage the audience. The practice of this long-form storytelling strategy also shows that those customers who intentionally click long emails are more committed to you and maybe your lasting loyal customers in the future.

  • The Magnetic Email Strategy

Whether or not all your email marketing experiments succeed, the one that definitely works well is sending emails that work like a magnet! Communicating holiday discounts, festive offers, new product launch offers, brand anniversary sales, premium bonuses, and similar announcements through emails has been a proven tactic for improved CTR (click-through-rate).

If you set attractive offers for a limited validity period, it most of the time makes sure that customers are compelled to act on it right away (before the validity ends). Though for a limited span, this one strategy gives a clear boost to your sales. You may keep some rocking reusable templates of emails handy to ease up your job during various sale periods. Flash sale is another excellent strategy that definitely works, especially with those who constantly keep checking out your products.

  • The Serial Email Strategy

A step ahead of storytelling, this particular way of marketing involves a series of strategically drafted emails, each of which leaves your audience wanting more. Capturing the pulse of the target audience, emails that are sent here are meant to develop and stretch the curiosity of customers about whatever you are discussing. This eventually tends to increase engagement, improves the chances of their commitment with you, and ultimately builds up possibilities of them purchasing from you.

The serial email strategy takes a lot of thoughtful planning around an impactful storyboarding strategy that intends to create strong, valued touchpoints for establishing a better connection with both existing customers and prospects. If done right, this can be a complete game-changing point in your email marketing strategy that delivers results like never before.

  • Choose the Right Emails for the Right Customer Segments

Trigger-based emails usually lead to favorable responses. Emails that are wisely combined with push notifications also help you ramp up the CTR and thereby, improve the conversion rate. In cases where customers exit the buying process and checkout in the middle leaving behind a loaded or half-filled cart, smart placement of positive customer reviews in your emails to such customers can deliver great results. Such mails would help customers complete their checkout, mostly after purchasing from you. A casual yet personalized follow-up after a week or two of their purchase would certainly add value to this overall brand experience.

It is important to identify what email strategies can be best used within regular contact lists and loyal customers who are well aware of your brand. On the flip side, it is of paramount importance to be extra careful with overall language and content used in emails to avoid landing in the junk folder of new people (spam testers or online spam checkers can be of great help) who you see to be potentially associated with your brand. Brand awareness should be your very first objective in such cases. Another important tip here is that the use of text-based emails rather than image-based emails can prevent you from landing into the promotions tab in the inbox of customers.

Measuring the success of your recent email marketing campaign? Pay attention to open rates and click rates.

If you find out that it did not work as much as you expected it to, here are a few pro tips to get going with it for the next time.

  1. Be ready to make changes in your emails as well as strategy
  2. Re-evaluate the compelling quotient of your email copies
  3. Make sure you include a clear CTA (call-to-action)
  4. Work a little more on visually appealing email designs
  5. Make sure you create succinct subject lines
  6. Ensure that the email content layout is mobile-friendly

In a Nutshell

It is all about luring exciting prospects who are most likely to turn into your loyal brand advocates later. Your lifecycle marketing strategy should reflect an omnichannel experience for potential customers, which makes them feel like being nurtured through each stage of the purchase process, and that works like a unique selling proposition for each of the buyers. Customers are free to enter and leave your funnel at any stage but it is high time that marketers develop an effective strategy that specifically focuses on the individual lifecycle stages of an individual customer, and delivers great results in the form of lasting brand relationships.

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