Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Kristina Pototska who is CMO at TriggMine

Before developing an effective marketing strategy based on the customer lifecycle, it’s important to have the complete understanding of all the stages your customers go through from the moment they visit your website.

A sound understanding of how your customers behave at every stage of their lifecycle will let you work with them effectively, provide them with the needed support, offer related products, and thus increase both your sales and the number of loyal customers.

The ways you should communicate with those, who do nothing but surf the website, and those, who make their purchases on a regular basis, are absolutely different. Therefore, it is extremely important to develop a specific marketing strategy for every stage of the customer lifecycle.

Below, you’ll find the five main stages of the customer lifecycle and the marketing strategies based on each of them.

Stage 1: Visitors

Who are they? These are potential customers that registered on your website or reviewed some products but didn’t make any purchase.

According to data from Optimove, 80% of your clients make their first purchase the day they register on a website. Another 7% of clients make their purchase during the first week after they have been registered. As soon as seven days are gone, you have almost no chances of winning new customers.

At this stage, you have to do everything possible to encourage your customers to make their purchase during the first seven days of their registration.

customer lifecycle purchasing habits

What to do:

  • An effective welcome series. Don’t forget to mention about a welcome bonus on the first purchase and a selection of top products and great deals.
  • An abandoned cart email. Remind your customers about the carts they have abandoned, and make sure to include some great deals to maintain their interest.
  • A reengagement email. Craft this email to remind your customers about their welcome bonuses expiring soon and recommend another good selection of products.
  • A recommendation block. On the website, use a recommendation block that will consist of the specific products a certain customer may want to purchase.
  • An email with reviewed products and alternative recommendations.

Stage 2: New Customers

Who are they? These are customers who have made their first purchase on your website.

Unfortunately, more than 50% of these clients won’t buy from you again. However, those customers who will make their second purchase are likely to buy from you again and again.

The number of products your clients have in their carts shows whether they are going to return or not. Those customers who buy more than 6 products at once are twice as likely to make the second purchase as those who order one product.

percentage of customers by order made

What to do:

  • A post-purchase series. Mention the bonuses your customers get for another purchase or inform them about a secret sale.
  • Cross-selling on the order confirmation page. It will let you sell more products at once.
  • Cross-selling by post-purchase emails. In your post-purchase emails, inform customers about different cross-sell complementary products.
  • A reengagement email. To make your customers make another purchase, offer them some great deals that may be interesting for them.

Stage 3: ACTIVE CUSTOMERS

Who are they? These are clients who have made several purchases and are not considered as “lost” ones (read more about lost customers at stage 4). 

To work with customers effectively, it is important to group them by the purchase date, purchase frequency, and the average purchase size.

Thanks to these groups, you will be able to determine which clients are likely to become your loyal customers and which ones are likely to become lost.

Below, there is an illustrative example of customer groups:

customer groups

What to do:

  • Craft a series of emails for you customers depending on their purchase frequency and purchase size. Inform them about new offers, deliver sale invitations or give bonuses for their loyalty.
  • An email for repeat sales. Depending on the lifecycle of the products the customers bought from you earlier, you can remind them to replenish their stock.
  • A “We miss you” email. Send this email to those customers that are likely to become lost.

Stage 4: Lost Clients

Who are they? These are those clients who haven’t made any purchase for a long period of time.

If you know your clients’ purchase dates and frequency, it is easy to find out who had to make a purchase but failed. If you have no such data, then initially divide your customers into three groups: those who have made their last purchase 90, 180 and 360 days ago.

20% of the clients who have made their last purchase 4-6 months ago are likely to make another purchase during the next three months. Moreover, the longer time the customer is inactive, the harder it is to bring him or her back.

reactivation of churned customers

What to do:

  • A reengagement email for those who have made their last purchase more than 90 days ago. Give them a small bonus for the next purchase.
  • A reengagement email for those who have made their last purchase more than 180 days ago. Offer them a bigger bonus for the next purchase.
  • A reengagement email for those who have made their last purchase more than 360 days ago. Give a client a great bonus for the next purchase to make him or her back.

It is important to tell the clients that you miss them and want them back. Make them feel valued. Don’t forget to remind them about the positive experience they got when they bought from you, mention about your excellent guarantee policy, and tell about your advantages over other competitors.

Stage 5: Returning Customers 

Who are they? These are clients who had once been lost and then came back by themselves or with the help of your marketing campaigns.

Taking into account their buying potential, these customers are very similar to those who made only one purchase. While the new clients’ buying potential is about 36%, the buying potential of return buyers doesn’t exceed 35%.

The main difference between them is that you have to work hard especially in the first month to make return clients active ones, otherwise, you are likely to lose them for good.

lifecycle migrations

What to do:

  • An email with complete information on unique bonuses, hot offers, and great deals.
  • An email with a selection of specific products. Craft it taking into account all the information you have on the client.
  • Give useful information in a post-purchase email. Provide customers with the manual, manufacturer’s secrets, tips, and recommendations on how to use the product.
  • Greetings emails. For example, congratulate your customers on being with you for a year.

When you learn the way your clients behave on every stage of their lifecycle, you can develop an effective communication strategy to turn them into your loyal customers.

Personalized marketing is an effective tool in running a successful business, increasing sales and winning more loyal customers. There is nothing difficult about running a personalized marketing campaign. All you need is to collect as much information on your clients as possible to group them properly.

About the author

Kristina Pototska started as a Sales manager at the biggest Bank in Ukraine then came to TriggMine as a Marketing manager and became CMO in 6 months. In 2015 she spoke at 100+ different events in Europe & Asia and has launched 50+ successful email campaigns for e-commerce websites.

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Guest Blogger

This is a guest post written by one of our contributors.