Advanced LifeCycle Marketing Strategies & Tactics

Your customers and prospects are not the same. They each have a different relationship with your brand. 

To create the best experiences for each of them, you need to implement lifestyle marketing. 

Unfortunately, most posts are too simple and limited. This guide details advanced lifestyle marketing strategies and tactics that will directly benefit your store. We pull examples from Southwest, Tula, Mercari and more. 

With these strategies, you will be able to treat each customer as an individual. You will provide the perfect offer in the perfect way, at the perfect time. 

Let's begin.

Step 1: Creating a Framework for LifeCycle Marketing

InfusionSoft was one of the earliest companies to adopt a lifecycle marketing framework. They divided the buying journey into three stage. Each stage was prescribed a series of actions for the company to engage the customer with. 

You can see their original framework below.

Lifecycle Marketing Example

Today, I encourage you to think about buyer journeys in a much less linear way. The truth is, buyers oscillate between these broad stages. 

The best approach is to react to their behaviors as you see them, and give them clear reason to move onto the next stage. 

The first step to creating a lifecycle marketing campaign is having a clear mental model for how it works. 

Each lifecycle marketing campaign is made of three core parts. Triggers define when a campaign is launched, and followed up on. A message defines what is communicated. Finally, the channel defines where this communication takes place. 

1. Lifecycle Marketing Triggers:

A lifecycle marketing trigger is a signal from your customer.

Most often it is an action they take, like opting into a form. A trigger can also be an absence of action. For example, you might use a lapse in contact with a customer as a signal.

Triggers represent a core difference between lifecycle and traditional marketing.

Traditional marketing is initiated by a brand.

Lifecycle marketing is initiated by the customer.

Below are a number of common lifecycle marketing triggers. However, do not be limited to this. In reality, triggers can be any customer engagement.

  • Date & Time a prospect fills in a form
  • Date & Time a prospect does not complete a purchase
  • Customer birthdays
  • Customer anniversaries
  • Customer purchases
  • Customer’s browse behavior
  • Changes in customer accounts

2. Lifecycle Marketing Messages

The second component of lifecycle marketing are the actual messages you send.

The goal is to provide relevant, contextual messages related to whatever action your customer just took.

Like triggers, messages take many forms.

Common types of messages include specific content (blog posts, white papers, testimonials), product guides, various offers, and solicitations for feedback. 

Unfortunately, many brands limit the types of messages they send. 

There is a swath of content that you can create to help educate and motivate clients to action. The difference between a basic and advanced lifecycle strategy often includes a significant difference in types of messages communicated. 

3. Lifecycle Marketing ​Channels

Channels are the final component of lifecycle marketing.

The channel defines where you will engage the customer.

In 2018, email remains the most prominent channel used by eCommerce stores.  However, there are a multitude of channels you should consider. 

LIfecycle marketing meets the customer where they are. It is a true omni-channel strategy that selects the right channel based on the last customer interaction. 

Below is a short list of channels. 

  • Email
  • Social
  • Push notifications
  • Website personalization
  • Website messaging (pop-ups, live chat)
  • Direct mail

Activation Lifecycle Marketing Strategy #1: Integrating Recommendations Into Welcome Series

Trigger: Prospect signs up to newsletter or creates an account.

Message: Introduction to brand, articulation of USP, and personalized recommendations.

Channel: Email, Facebook Messenger, in-App Push Notifications.

Welcome sequences are among the most common lifecycle marketing strategies used today.

However, you can dramatically improve the quality of your welcome messages through personalization. Our favorite way of doing this is by incorporating recommendations.

Before prospects opt-in, they are engaging with your site. Connecting this browse behavior to the anonymous session gives you a great opportunity for contextual followup. 

The image above shows Mercari doing this beautifully. They open with an enticing subject line: "10 items from your recent search." and dynamically insert recommendations connected to the brand that was searched. 

Dynamically inserting these recommendations in your welcome series, either influencing the type of content your present or actual product recommendations, will immediately improve your email engagement.  

Free Resource : See how Barilliance empowers stores by integrating personalized recommendations with emails. Click here.

Activation Lifecycle Marketing Strategy #2: Use Personalized Recommendations in Abandoned Cart Follow-up Emails

Trigger: Prospect abandons purchase, and does not respond to initial abandoned cart message

Message: Offers related to the initial product placed in cart

Channel: Email

Cart abandonment emails work. In our last study, we found that our customers average an 18.64% conversion rate on these campaigns. 

However, how do you followup when a customer declines to complete their purchase? If your platform is able to create personalized recommendations, you can present multiple offers based on their viewing and cart placement history.

The image above shows an A/B test we performed, testing how personalizing recommendation widgets within emails performed against standard recommendations.

In this case, personalizing these recommendations on a 1:1 level increased clicks by 289% and purchases by 189%!

Activation Lifecycle Strategy 3: Implement Browse Abandonment 

Trigger: Prospect abandons session without placing any items in their cart.

Message: Offers related to customer's session activity, including content read, products viewed, and categories visited.

Channel: Email, Push notifications.

A study conducted by YesLifecycleMarketing found that only 5.3% of eCommerce stores leveraged browse abandonment. 

Most companies sabotage themselves by only responding to customers after they abandon a cart. We found a powerful way to engage customers during browse is through customer service.

"Most companies sabotage themselves by only responding to customers after they abandon a cart."

Some of the most effective browse campaigns we perform for customers are "Email My Cart" and "Visit Summary" campaigns.

Barilliance customers achieve up to 22.73% conversion rates on email my cart campaigns, and 14.13% conversion rates on Visit Summary triggered emails. 

Free Resource : Discover how Barilliance recognizes anonymous visitors through Booster Pixels. Click here to view.

Retention Lifecycle Strategy 1: Leverage Replenishment Reminders

Trigger: Date and time since last purchase

Message: Questions and reminders about replineshing stock, with clear CTA to purchase.

Channel: Email, FB Messenger

According to Ometria, replenishment emails garner a ridiculous 60% open rate. 

Understanding the natural product lifecycles gives you an opportunity to reach out and inspire action. Even industries as slow moving as housing can reach out for maintance on HVACs, furnaces, roofs, and more. 

You can maximize your effectiveness by reaching out early, and following up with incentives. I like bundling complimentary products to discounts, but both work. 

Here, Tulia is trying to convert a one-time sale to a subscription.

They call out three major benefits for signing up:

  • Product Price Savings - "Save up to 15% on skincare essentials"
  • Free Shipping - "Score free shipping every time"
  • Bundled Gifts - "Enjoy a free gift on us with each order"

Retention Lifecycle Strategy 2: Integrate Personalized Upsells & Cross-Sells

Trigger: Date and time since last purchase, Product Purchased

Message: Complimentary offers personalized to last purchase

Channel: Email, FB Messenger, Push Notifications, Social Retargeting

We've discussed before the power of returning customers. 

Despite converting 74% more often, and spending 17% more per transaction, most eCommerce stores do not have a personalized follow-up campaign. 

The example above is from Southwest. 

They start with a highly personalized subject line, injecting the location of the trip and confirmation number. They pair it with a great prompting question: "Have you booked your hotel?".

The rest of the content is personalized to the trip, with strong call to actions that underline the added benefits of extra points. 

Next Steps...

In order to properly execute these strategies, you must connect your customer data to your marketing. 

While many technology partners claim to be able to help, they often do not address some of the most significant challenges in lifecycle marketing and personalization. 

Before you select a technology partner, make sure you understand the 4 major challenges you will face connecting your data

Then, see if Barilliance is the right solution for you. Request a demo here.