The lifecycle of a customer's journey with an eCommerce business is like a symphony orchestra. Just as the conductor of an orchestra needs to understand how each instrument works and how it fits into the overall composition, so too must email marketers in eCommerce understand their customers' journey through each stage—from acquisition to retention—and how best to use email campaigns to engage them at each step.
This is what lifecycle email marketing is all about: creating a personalized journey for each customer that leverages the power of data-driven insights and targeted messages to maximize conversions and build lasting relationships.
To help you get started with lifecycle email marketing in your eCommerce business, let's take a look at the different stages of the customer journey and the types of email campaigns that can be used at each stage.
The acquisition stage is all about finding new customers. This is where eCommerce businesses capture leads and nurture them into becoming customers. It's important to have a strategy in place that drives people to your website, generates interest in your products, and encourages sign-ups for your newsletter or other offers.
Email is one of the most powerful tools for lead generation. It allows you to target potential customers with highly relevant offers and content. To maximize your success, it's important to create sales magnets that will attract people to your website and generate leads. Examples of sale magnets include discounts, free shipping, or free samples when signing up for a newsletter.
When it comes to creating effective acquisition campaigns, there are a few key best practices you should keep in mind.
Offering discounts is one of the most effective strategies for acquiring new leads. Discounts provide an incentive for potential customers to sign up and commit to a purchase, which can be especially useful when launching a new product or service. By offering discounts, businesses can create excitement around their offerings and encourage people to take action.
Additionally, discounts can help build loyalty by providing existing customers with an extra incentive to continue purchasing from your business over time. For example, within your welcome email, you can offer a discount code that customers can use on their next purchase
Studies show customers tend to be more receptive to free shipping offers compared to dollar-off discounts. Offering free shipping is a great way to increase the perceived value of your product, as well as build trust and loyalty with customers. Additionally, free shipping can be used as a sales tactic to encourage customers to increase their average order value (AOV).
Everyone loves to be made to feel special, and personalizing your email campaigns is one of the best ways to do just that. Personalized messages show customers that you know them, understand their needs and can provide tailored solutions to fit those needs. Personalization also helps capture the attention of potential customers and makes them more likely to engage with your emails.
A few examples of personalization of email marketing include:
Sephora shows a perfect example of a birthday email that allows customers to feel cherished on their special day. Plus, it encourages them to return to make a purchase.
By using personalization alongside other acquisition tactics, you can nurture leads and turn them into customers.
Offering incentives such as discounts or cash rewards to customers that refer their friends and family to the site can be an effective way of acquiring new leads. However, studies show that it should be used interchangeably with price promotion. However, when this strategy was combined with price promotion, it brought up questions about the quality of the products. We recommend using this acquisition strategy selectively to acquire high-quality leads and customers.
Content continues to reign supreme in the marketing world, and it's no different when it comes to lead acquisition. Using relevant and targeted content is an effective way of generating interest in your product or service, resulting in the capturing of leads. Additionally, content can be used to educate potential customers about the features and benefits of your offering, which will help nurture leads into paying customers.
You can also send various helpful content in your welcome email as shown below by Moisture Love, who opted to send a warm welcome video directly from the CEO.
Contests and sweepstakes are fun and engaging ways of acquiring leads. They can be used to generate buzz and interest, while also providing customers with an incentive to take action. Additionally, contests and sweepstakes are great for increasing customer engagement, as customers will be more likely to share the contest/sweepstakes with their friends and family if they have a chance to win something.
For example, you can run a contest where customers submit photos related to your product or service for the chance to win a prize. Not only will you be fostering a positive commotion on social media, but you also get beautiful user-generated content in exchange.
By utilizing these best practices, businesses are more likely to acquire high-quality leads and customers that will be loyal to their brand over time. Additionally, it is important to continuously monitor the success of your lead acquisition campaigns and adjust them according to your customer's needs so you can continue to scale your eCommerce business.
After the initial acquisition, the next step in the customer journey is engagement. Engagement is all about nurturing leads and building trust so that they are more likely to purchase from your business. It also includes staying in contact with existing customers and providing them with personalized content and offers.
Engagement campaigns should focus on delivering value to your customers, so they understand why they should choose your product over the competition. To do this, you need to ensure that you have content that is relevant to their needs and interests. Content such as blog posts and customer testimonials offer the perfect opportunity to showcase your expertise and educate potential customers on why they should choose you.
Engaging with your customers via email marketing takes work. Here are five best practices to help you get the most out of your engagement campaigns:
Email automation is like a reliable tour guide on your customer's journey. It helps to navigate the winding paths of customer acquisition and engagement, guiding them to where they need to be. Email automation can be used to send personalized and timely emails that will help nurture leads and build trust with your customers. It can also be used to send out promotional offers or discounts that will help increase sales.
For example, nurturing email automation will create personalized content that is tailored to the customer's needs and interests. Blog posts can be used to educate customers about the product or service, while testimonials can be used to show the benefits of your product with the help of social proof. Case studies can also be effective in the B2C industry. With the help of case studies, you can offer your customers a more structured report on how a prior customer used your product to obtain success.
We already covered how personalization can make your emails more effective, but you can also use it to provide customers with personalized product recommendations. By gathering customer first-party data such as purchase history, you can make product recommendations that are tailored to their interests and needs.
A comprehensive pixel tracking software such as Triple Pixel offers you attribution data across various platforms. With this data, you can visualize your customer's interests and movements on their various devices and across different marketing channels. Then armed with this knowledge, you can deliver content and offers that customers will be more likely to respond positively to. Utilizing Triple Pixel opens up a wealth of data-driven insights on the customer journey that can be used to your advantage.
Mobile eCommerce is known as the future of online shopping, and, as of 2022, nearly a third of US online shoppers purchased an item via their smartphone each week. However, while this figure still lags behind desktop purchases in the US, it's important to adopt a mobile-first mentality when creating engagement campaigns.
Start by making sure your email campaigns are optimized for mobile devices and also ensure that you have a good mobile checkout flow. Then consider adding push notifications to your campaigns to increase engagement and keep customers updated on new product sales or launches.
Now that you’ve mastered the acquisition and engagement stages, it’s time to focus on retention. Retention is geared towards converting customers and encouraging repeat purchases. The goal of any successful email campaign should be to build trust with your customers so they will want to come back again.
The retention stage tends to be overlooked by various eCommerce businesses. However, according to the Harvard Business Review, merely increasing the customer retention rate by 5% can translate into a drastic jump in profits by 25%- 95%. With that said, investing time and effort into customer retention is paramount to your long-term success.
To do this, you need to create campaigns that nurture relationships and provide customers with personalized content and offers. Here are some best practices for creating effective retention campaigns:
When customers make a purchase and then subsequently run out of the product, they may forget all about it until you remind them. This is where inventory notifications come in handy. Send an email when their favorite products are back in stock to encourage customers to make repeat purchases.
Studs show a prime example of using engaging email marketing to inform customers about restocked products.
As of now, the customer loyalty management market is estimated to be worth more than 5.5 billion US dollars globally and by 2028 it is projected to grow exponentially up to 24 billion. Loyalty programs are an effective way to reward customers, build trust and encourage them to purchase more often.
Creating loyalty programs with incentives such as points, discounts, and exclusive offers is a great way to reward customers and keep them coming back for more.
For example, SHEIN US, one of the leading eCommerce companies, incentivizes customers with its SHEIN VIP membership program and rewards members for making purchases.
Creating loyalty programs and making sure customers are aware of them is a great way to convert customers and encourage repeat purchases.
Building on the point of loyalty programs, VIP experiences are a great way to reward customers and make them feel special. Offer exclusive events, offers or discounts for your most loyal customers to show them that you appreciate their loyalty. These events can be virtual or in-person, depending on the situation.
Cross-selling occurs when you offer related products or services to existing customers. Up-selling happens when you encourage customers to upgrade their current products or services to more advanced versions.
Both tactics play a vital role in the engagement stage and help to increase your customer's average order value (AOV) and customer lifetime value (CLV). Leverage dynamic content to deliver personalized cross-sells and upsells that are relevant to each customer.
Customers who are inactive or haven't made a purchase in over sixty days or so should not be forgotten. You must implement win-back campaigns to reactivate these customers and bring them back into the fold as they represent a large pool of potential customers.
Use personalized, data-driven emails to reach out to these customers and offer them an incentive to come back and purchase again. For example, you can send an email with a limited-time offer or discount, free shipping, or a surprise gift.
This customer segment can be hard to win back, but it's worth the effort.
Customer lifecycle marketing is a critical aspect of any business’s success as it ensures that customers are retained and engaged in the long run. Implementing loyalty programs, exclusive VIP experiences, cross-selling and up-selling, and win-back campaigns will help to increase customer retention rates, AOV and CLV.
By leveraging dynamic content and incorporating data-driven strategies into your marketing approach, you can create effective campaigns that resonate with customers and keep them coming back for more. With a little bit of time, effort and luck, you can maximize the customer lifetime value of your business.
To get the data you need to create effective customer lifecycle email marketing campaigns, use Triple Pixel. With its powerful data-gathering capabilities, you can easily identify customers and their preferences to target and drive conversions.
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