What exactly is lifecycle email marketing?

Ecommerce has emerged to be one of the biggest saviors in these difficult times. Not only has it kept businesses running, but it is also probably the strongest ray of hope to restore normalcy as we move towards a post-COVID-19-era. Generating new leads and converting them into customers is a different game altogether.

The customer or potential customer, for that matter, needs to be educated and targeted at every step of their buyer journey, and this is where lifecycle email marketing comes into play. If you see some common Ecommerce email examples you will be able to catch the user journey from scratch. But first, let me clear the air around this often-ignored yet substantial aspect of email marketing. So, what exactly is lifecycle email marketing?

As the name suggests, lifecycle email marketing is the science of understanding the different phases of an average customer’s buying journey and sending them relevant emails accordingly. It is the science of understanding the customer behavioral patterns, decoding them, and making the most out of them by using emails. Most importantly, lifecycle email marketing plays a decisive role in hand-holding the leads and taking them to the following stages of their respective customer lifecycles until it results in a purchase.

So, what these ‘phases’ of an average customer journey are we talking about? It begins when someone comes across your brand and visits your online store for the first time. The lifecycle email marketing may vary within the industry and the customer base, but it largely remains similar throughout the e-commerce ecosystem.

The typical lifecycle ends at the stage when a one-time customer has become a recurring shopper. Here are all the crucial steps in-between and the respective lifecycle email marketing strategies you should deploy accordingly:

First visit to your store

First visit to your store

Being in the e-commerce business can make you feel restless, but it’s unfair to expect a first-time visitor to make a purchase. This sort of online traffic will not boost your conversion rate immediately. Instead, if appropriately nurtured throughout their lifecycle, this first-time buyer can be potentially converted into a recurring customer.

At this stage, your email should revolve around the concept of making the customer with your brand and its offerings. This would garner their attention and would get your brand some recall value. This email should also contain your differentiators and why you should be their preferred choice to purchase something.

Checks out products but leaves the store

Digital marketing

Well, this hurts, isn’t it? But hey, you don’t propose someone on just a couple of dates, right? Be optimistic as the first email you sent has worked, and this made the potential buyer have a look at your products.

A primary reason behind them leaving your online store can be the hesitation in sharing their name, email address, or other data that you might have asked. This is the time for image building and creating a credible vibe around your brand. You need to send a mail containing the positive reviews that your brand has received in the past from fellow customers. This would boost their confidence and tempt them to make a purchase.

However, they might also be looking for a discount or a waiver on the delivery fee. Mention these offers in your email since this is the make-or-break point as you have the visitor’s attention at this point.

The below-mentioned email from Noom is an excellent example of luring a potential buyer to become an actual one. The email’s subject line stated: “Come back to get your Custom Plan for up to 90% Off”

Makes the second visit to your store, adds products to cart but leaves again without buying

Cart abandonment is e-commerce gone wrong. Well, in most cases. At this stage, you have a potential customer who was about to pay for the product after getting funneled through all your previous efforts. There could be many reasons behind an abandoned cart, and as a business owner, you should tackle each one of them.

It can be the lack of trust while buying from an alien brand, especially for expensive commodities, or it can be the lack of cash on delivery options or even free delivery, for that matter. You need to identify your respective customer’s concern in this scenario and go all guns blazing to convert them. Abandoned cart emails are proven to be one of the most effective ways to get that ‘almost lost’ footfall back to your store.

Here’s how Nomad nailed their abandoned cart email in this below-mentioned example. Notice how they understand the customer sentiment and highlight their exchange and return policy to gain brand credibility.

Visits your store for the third time and makes their first purchase

Visits your store for the third time and makes their first purchase

Mission accomplished! You have closed a deal successfully, but what’s next? The next step is to welcome your new customers into your brand’s community and make them feel that they have made the best choice when buying from you. As soon as you shoot the sales memo, this welcome email should reach out to them. You can also explore some cross-selling opportunities in this email.

Wrapping up

E-commerce is a complex landscape, and lifecycle email marketing is that thin line that differentiates a business from being successful and succumbing. You just need to understand your brand and its target customer and tweak your messaging accordingly.

Author Bio

Kevin George is the head of marketing at Email Uppers, which specializes in crafting Professional Email Templates, PSD to Email Conversion, and Mailchimp Templates. Kevin loves gadgets, bikes & jazz, and he breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on the email marketing blog.

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