Ashley Lipman June 21st, 2019

Effective Lifecycle Email Marketing in 2019 (Strategies + Examples)

Is your email marketing campaign effective? Even if you’ve had success with email marketing in the past, your strategy might no longer be effective in 2019. We all know that email is evolving.

This year, there’s expected to be over 5.6 billion email accounts. That’s almost the entire human population on Earth. 

With that in mind, you need an email marketing strategy that’s designed for the entire customer journey or lifecycle. Lifecycle marketing is about influencing user behavior so they know, like, and trust you. 
More importantly, those users will be willing to make a purchase, recommend your brand, and purchase again in the future. If you want to have a digital transformation strategy, you need to know the right emails to send. In this guide, we’ll share what you need to create an effective lifecycle email marketing campaign in 2019 as long as some strategies and examples.

Email Marketing Lifecycle Breakdown

First, let’s take a closer look at what we mean by lifecylce. A customer “lifecycle” is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the critical points customers take along their journey from the first introduction to becoming a dedicated customer. Here are some of those key points you’re likely to recognize:

  1. First time visitor to your website
  2. Browses website for key products or blog posts
  3. Visits website for a second time 
  4. Adds product to a cart or considers making a purchase, leaves again
  5. Returns a third time
  6. Makes their first purchase
  7. Returns to the website in the future to make an additional purchase
  8. Leaves a positive review or recommends the product/service to others

While each industry and brand will have their own unique customer journey, in general, lifecycle campaigns have all of the following elements:

  • Welcome email 
  • Brand or product information
  • Discount or nudge to purchase
  • Last chance for discount/deal
  • Request for review

Now, let’s look into what each of these types of emails is referring to as well as some successful examples of businesses that use these emails themselves. 

1. Welcome Email

The welcome email is a chance to introduce yourself to your email subscribers. How do you get users to signup in the first place? Most people start with some kind of freebie, also known as a lead magnet. This could be a free download or even a discount. Welcome emails generate 4x more opens than regular emails, so this is not something to be overlooked. 

To see an example of this, let’s look at Chick-fil-a, a well-known fast food restaurant. Once you sign up for their rewards program, you get a welcome email like the one below. This is a successful welcome email because it’s friendly and it makes it clear the value users get from being a part of this program.

2. Product Information

Now, your customers know a bit about your brand and what you’re about. It’s time to fill in those gaps that are getting in the way of them making a sale. They might have pain points that need to be addressed or common questions. This is the time to direct them to your top products, blog posts, customer reviews, and more. 

Let’s look at the Chick-fil-a example again. In their informative email, they let customers know how to make the most out of their rewards program. While they’re not pushing any salesy language, they are encouraging users to learn more about all of the benefits of this new rewards program in a constructive way.

3. Nudge to Purchase

It’s time to start selling. Now that users know more about your brand, they might be ready to make a purchase. This is the time to show off your best products and deals and try to nudge a sale. 

In this example below, Burrow, an online furniture retailer, encourages users to make a purchase for this limited-time sale. The discount won’t last long, so customers should hurry up to make a purchase while supplies last. This urgency is key when encouraging users to act fast.

4. Final Sale

Sometimes, users need a bit more nurturing to make a purchase. Depending on your audience, this might mean a follow-up discount code or even just more information. Remember, even if you don’t convert these users right now, you can still retarget them down the road. 

For the first example, let’s look at a discount offered by Alien Valley, a creative design resource platform. After nurturing leads with informative how-to guides, they attempt to seal the deal with big savings.

In another example, see how Buzzsprout, an online podcast host, offers an informative seminar for users who might be on the fence about purchasing their hosting package. They’re offering the value that will help move users closer to making a purchase. 

5. Follow Up Reviews

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to follow up after a sale has been made. You want your customers to leave positive feedback, and you want an opportunity to remedy the solution if things didn’t go over well with your customers. Most importantly, you want to give customers an opportunity to speak out about their positive experience with your brand.

Finally, let’s look at Valvoline, a car service center. After a user visits for an oil change, they send a follow-up email requesting instant feedback. From there, users are reminded of their recent service and offered a discount if they complete a short survey.

How Effective Are Your Lifecycle Emails?

This breakdown of the different lifecycle emails will help you understand any gaps in your own email strategy. Knowing when to send the right emails is the first part of the process. From there, you need to anticipate customer needs to always be ready with value and service. 

If you haven’t yet created an email marketing strategy, let this guide shape your first steps. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain, so get started today.

Ashley Lipman

Ashley is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing creative solutions for building brands online. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches.

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