Long-term business success requires a commitment to both types of customers – new and returning. The key lies in robust lifecycle marketing, where the pursuit of new customers doesn’t interfere with customer retention efforts and vice versa. And the magic bullet for this marketing strategy? Automation.
Here’s how to build an automation strategy for your customer lifecycle marketing efforts across all engagement channels using CleverTap’s complete mobile marketing platform.
The three stages of lifecycle marketing
Although different marketing teams may add more nuanced components to a customer lifecycle process, it boils down to three primary stages:
The first stage is all about attracting new customers. During this stage, the most important step is to define the target audience. Unlike casting a wide net, getting clear on the ideal customer improves marketing efforts and provides guidance for developing products or services.
This initial stage requires data. Gathering data from interactions with the site as well as things like location, source, age, and other relevant information helps companies understand more about their customer and how to reach them.
Make the sale
Once potential customers find your company’s product or solution, a period of interest follows. Tailoring marketing to the ideal customer makes it more likely that customers are warm leads, but many customers aren’t ready to click the buy button just yet.
This is the stage to educate and follow up as well as to build unforgettable experiences. Ideal customers need to know about the product and service but about the company as well. Use the data from the attract phase to create a positive first impression, making it likely that customers will ultimately choose your company’s product or service over other options.
After the sale, nurturing relationships with existing customers provides a solid foundation for success. Personalization plays a key role in building positive customer experiences, as well as improving customer lifetime value.
For potential customers that don’t pull the trigger, companies can offer incentives to sweeten the deal. For both hesitant potential customers and returning ones, companies can leverage push notifications to offer value and create nudges – think returning to an abandoned cart to complete a purchase.
Five steps to automate lifecycle marketing
Focusing on the stage a customer resides in as well as the customer persona provides a treasure trove of possibilities for building marketing campaigns that convert, upsell, and bring customers back. Automating the process frees up marketing teams for higher-order tasks and ensures the entire process goes smoothly.
1. Gather data
Plan what data you’ll gather from that automation. This data becomes a virtuous cycle, driving insights that help make decisions for the next steps. As customers interact, more data is generated to further enhance personalization and engagement.
2. Segment your audience
Intelligent segmentation provides the basis for personalization at any stage of the game. New customers receive messages based on their interactions with the app or site, and returning customers receive valuable incentives to come back for more.
The first step of gathering data flows into this step. As people interact with the app, data capture provides automatic segmentation based on common markers like location or age. In addition, deeper level segmentation includes things like in-app activity.
3. Decide the strategy
Keep it simple and choose measurable actions. For example, companies might focus on moving customers from “unhappy with service/product” to “happy” based on data and segmentation from previous steps.
CleverTap offers two guided frameworks for lifecycle optimization, helping companies outline the different stages. Once companies have a clear framework, teams can establish where bottlenecks or mistakes happen and look at automation strategies that provide the biggest value.
4. Create your messaging across channels
After the strategy, building the right messaging helps bring automation to customers. Companies can:
- Enable triggers: A series of personalized experiences based on user behavior
- Deploy email or SMS messages: Messaging with clear value based on audience segmentation and user behavior
- Master push notifications: Bring deeper value to those who’ve opted into push notifications with targeted messaging and exclusive deals or experiences.
Even more important, investing in an omnichannel experience allows companies to capture leads despite the channel source and continue to nurture the relationship through seamless brand experiences.
5. Connect your people
The last step is making sure each team connects smoothly. Messages should move seamlessly and automatically from one department to another. It’s vital to remove silos at sales, marketing, support, and delivery, so leveraging automation for the movement of essential data ensures a frictionless customer experience. With resources like a/b testing and other data capture, teams can access the information they need to work together.
It’s also important to build a compelling customer journey. The CleverTap platform, for example, helps teams automate a great deal of the customer journey by moving customers out of the acquisition sequence once they complete a purchase. It also allows businesses to specify time limits on certain campaigns to prevent customer fatigue. Without connected teams, however, it’s tough to know where to leverage this campaign automation.
Building the right automation with CleverTap
Small automation such as moving customers from one stage of the journey to the next based on triggers provide businesses the opportunity to scale marketing efforts. In fact, it’s only through this automation that companies can unleash personalized experiences no matter how many customers are acquired.
Marketing teams can use CleverTap to handle things like data capture and analytics, omnichannel customer engagement, and campaign testing and optimization, while retaining the full expertise of team members for higher-order tasks such as planning and optimization. See what customer retention can look like with the power of CleverTap – schedule a demo with their mobile marketing experts for your app.
Guest author: Apoorv Bhatnagar is a Digital Marketing Manager at CleverTap. He is a power user who writes about marketing automation and everything about the customer engagement sphere. He previously worked as a Digital Marketing Analyst at Freshworks