Congratulations, as a marketing professional you’ve successfully recruited a qualified customer base: people who audited your product and ultimately chose you above the competition. It’s no small feat, but there’s no time to rest on your laurels – you’re only halfway there.
As your prospects cross the threshold and transform into customers, they continue to demand a certain level of nurturing, attention and engagement, dictated by need and identified through usage. With an understanding of your customer’s lifecycle profile, product consumption and usage, you can launch the right Lifecycle Marketing programs to reach out and expand customer value across your entire customer base.
What is Lifecycle Marketing?
Lifecycle Marketing refers to marketing and sales campaigns that address your customer’s needs and requirements as they evolve over time.
These programs offer great rewards because of two simple marketing principles:
- You can often generate more revenues from existing customers (as compared to prospective customers); and,
- The revenues you generate come at a much lower investment cost (so you enjoy much more profitable revenues).
With these two principles at play, activating Lifecycle Marketing campaigns to an existing and continually growing customer base significantly increases your chances for generating more revenues, over time.
How to be successful with Lifecycle Marketing?
Your customers’ needs run the gamut: newbies have different needs than veterans; small businesses require different attention than enterprise. By using the knowledge you have about your customer’s profile you can launch Lifecycle Marketing campaigns that serve each client’s individual needs. If you engage a broad spectrum of client needs with generic emails, at best your success rate will be hit-and-miss, at worst, just miss. Directing marketing campaigns to specific users based on who they are (their profile) and where they are in the customer lifecycle (their actual usage of your product) will transform your marketing campaigns into meaningful and engaging initiatives. Whomever the customer may be – timely, topical and encouraging emails will help your clients use your product successfully, as needs and requirements change over time.
3 Steps to Lifecycle Marketing Success
Lifecycle Marketing relates to marketing programs that are anchored to your customer’s needs and usage. Here are some basic steps for conducting Lifecycle Marketing programs with your customers. The first two steps can be implemented immediately with your existing e-mail marketing or marketing automation system, whereas usage-based campaigns can be configured with Totango’s capabilities.
Step 1: Value Communication
First and foremost, communicate with your customers regularly about the value you are generating on their behalf. This form of communication not only acts as a testament to your company’s and product’s ongoing improvement, it also expresses your dedication to continually deliver value to your customers.
Value-based Lifecycle Marketing Campaigns could include:
- New features you have added, improved or bugs you have fixed
- New content you have generated such as presentations, videos, white papers
- Events that you are organizing or attending where customers might meet you
Many companies roll-up all of this information in a weekly or monthly newsletter on behalf of the customer.
Step 2: Product-based Upselling
Upselling works best when you offer additional products that speak to your customer’s needs and usage. You can learn a lot about your clients, based on which product they have purchased and how long they have been paying customers.
Product-based Lifecycle Marketing Campaigns:
- Focus upselling campaigns on customers who have already purchased at least one product; customers who have already purchased a product from you are more likely to purchase another.
- Offer a special purchasing opportunity based on seniority to customers using a paid product for a prolonged period of time
- Generate a special complimentary bundling offer for a purchased product with a product not yet purchased.
Step 3: Usage-based Programs
If you know exactly how customers are using your product in relation to their usage cycle, you know exactly when to send them what message in regards to content, events, features or other offers. Totango monitors this type of product and feature usage and can trigger e-mail marketing campaigns to optimize your Lifecycle Marketing.
Usage-based Lifecycle Marketing campaigns:
- Trials phase: customers who registered for a free trial but never logged in should receive a different value e-mail than those who are actively engaged during the trial. Those that started a trial and abruptly left should receive yet another message. By seeing exactly where a trial user gets stuck you can send helpful tips to move the prospect along. Very active trial users could receive content related to pricing or purchasing of paid licenses.
- Onboarding: Regardless of how user friendly your product is, every user feels like “the new guy” when they start using your product. Some of your users may have trouble getting acquainted with your feature set, while others may not understand the best ways to the get the most value from your product. You can always stay one step ahead and recommend the next best action for your customer. If you pickup where new users are getting stuck you can e-mail helpful tips and assistance before distress signals are sent out.
- Land & Expand: upselling campaigns are more successful if you can send the right offer at the right time. If you monitor how actively a customer is using particular features or the product as a whole you could identify the best time to initiate the conversation about additional purchases.
- Customer success: identify a decline in usage as a preemptive measure for alerting you of customers at risk of abandoning your product. Use this knowledge to reach out and proactively retain your customer base.
Rallying in your customers and generating a customer base is more than half the battle. Once they’re in your domain, Lifecycle Marketing programs help you optimize revenue potential by engaging customers as their relationship with your product builds over time. Start with the basics of value communication and build up your programs to product and usage-based initiatives. Your customers will feel that you’re catering to their needs, and your business will reap the rewards.