lifecycle marketing stages

The 3 Stages of Lifecycle Marketing Explained

Lifecycle marketing is a term heavily popularized by InfusionSoft that describes how companies transform their sales and marketing activities to expand their business.

With it, you can maximize your efforts to attract and convert customers, increase your customer lifetime value by reselling to them and generate referrals to grow your company.

In this post, we’re going to describe in detail the 3 stage of lifecycle marketing and how you can implement them for your business.

Stage I: Attract

In the first stage of your lifecycle marketing campaign, you should work on defining your audience, and on generating traffic and leads.

The purpose is to get the attention of your customers and to connect with them so you can build a relationship in the later stages.

Here’s what you should focus on:

Target

The key to successful marketing these days is to narrow your focus and have a very specific audience you’re going to target.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to appeal to everybody. You can’t please everyone, and if you try to do it, you will create marketing campaigns that don’t resonate with people.

They want to feel like your message, your offer, your content has been created especially for them. That helps them fulfill their needs, solve their problems and accomplish their goals.

The best way to achieve this is to create a very specific target audience.

And you should also know everything there is to know about that audience.

You should know about your audience’s main challenges, needs, goals, motivations, interests, favorite places to hang out, etc.

You can do this by:

  • talking with your audience directly – in person or on the phone
  • doing a survey
  • looking at your analytics data and identify things that interest them
  • reading industry reports

Attract interest

Once you know exactly who your audience is, you should think about how to attract these people to your website.

You can do this by creating amazing content such as blog posts, videos, infographics and ebooks, and promoting all of it to your target audience.

Your content should resonate with your target audience and provide value to them. It should do any or all of the following:

  • help them solve a problem
  • achieve a specific outcome
  • provide valuable information
  • be entertaining

The next thing you should think about is how to drive traffic to that content.

You can:

The method does not matter, as long as you reach your target audience and you deliver your content to them.

It is best if you use more than one traffic acquisition channel. That way, you’re more likely to reach the largest percentage of your target audience.

Some people might not be using Facebook, but they might be actively searching on Google, and vice versa.

College leads

The next step is to convert your traffic into email subscribers. The way to do that is by placing attractive opt-in offers in the correct places on your website.

The idea is that you offer relevant premium content to your audience that is guarded behind an opt-in. This content can provide even more value to them.

This content could be:

  • ebooks
  • content upgrades/cheat sheets
  • PDF or audio versions of the blog posts
  • webinars
  • free trainings
  • free consultations
  • free trials

Be sure to place the opt-in forms in the correct places on your website.

On your blog you can a have:

  • a side-bar
  • a top bar
  • a slide-box
  • exit-intent popup

You can build all of these opt-in forms with MailMunch.

Be sure to check out our guides on:

Stage II: Sell

In the second stage of your lifecycle marketing campaign, you should focus on converting your leads into customers.

This is when you should educate them, make them a clear offer and close them. Here’s how to do it:

Educate

Your customers don’t know your products and services as well as you do.

They certainly don’t know as much about how you can solve their problems and help them achieve their goals. It is up to you to educate them and let them know about that.

Some customers might not even be aware they have a problem. In that case, they won’t even consider buying your product.

It’s important to understand that each type of customer might have a different awareness when it comes to his problems, ways to solve it and your offerings.

In the book Breakthrough Advertising, the author, Schwartz, categorizes each prospect into one of these 5 levels of awareness:

  • The most aware – they know about your product and they only need to know about the deal these are the easiest to convert to customers).
  • Product aware – they know what you sell, but they are not sure yet they want to buy from you (here, you need to nurture them with content to prove your credibility and show that you can get them results).
  • Solution aware – they know about the result they want, but they don’t know you have a solution.
  • Problem aware – they sense they have a problem, but they are not aware there is a solution (this is where you can educate them by offering them how-to guides and showing them how to solve the problem).
  • Completely unaware – they don’t know that there is a problem at all.

Your email subscribers will be at least problem- or solution-aware. They opted in for a guide that teaches them how to solve a problem and achieve specific outcome.

Your goal should be to constantly engage your subscribers with content that educates them on how to solve their problems and achieve their goals.

For that, you can set up an automated email campaign and offer them content such as blog posts, videos, webinars, etc.

That way you will achieve the following:

  • Establish yourself as an authority in their eyes and as someone who can help them.
  • Build their needs and make them realize the seriousness of their problems even more.
  • Let them know how your product can help them so they become product-aware.

Your end goal should be to move everybody up to the most aware stage so they are ready for you to make them an offer.

Offer

The best time to make an offer to your prospects is when they’re actively searching for a solution to their big problem.

In other words, when they reach the most aware stage, they know they have a problem, they want to solve it, they know the solution and they know that you offer one (or several).

This is the time you should present them with a clear offer about your product or service.

How you do that can vary – you can do that with webinars, within email, using a sales page or using a video.

The format that you use is not as important as what you include inside your offer.

1. Value proposition

The important part is your value proposition, or your big claim. You should explain to users exactly what they will be able to achieve with your product.

For example: “You will double the amount of inbound leads you generate within 30 days” or “You will be able to remove any stains from your carpet.”

The more specific you are, the better.

2. Relevancy

The other thing is that the offer must be relevant to the prospect. You should take the time to research and understand exactly what he wants, and your product offer should meet his needs.

3. Explain all details

Your prospects should know all details there are about your product – how to use it, what features it has, how long you can use it, the cost, etc.

You don’t want to miss anything that might be important for the user. If a piece of information that is important for him is missing, he might not buy from you.

4. Deal with objections and take away the risk

People might like what you offer them, but they might still not fully believe that you will fully deliver what you’ve promised.

This is when you can use things like social proof and testimonials to show that there are other people who bought your product who have received value from it.

Another big step is to offer them a “money back guarantee” if they are not happy with the product. That way, you fully eliminate the risk for them and they can take advantage without losing anything.

Close

This is the moment the prospect agrees to buy from you and he is ready to provide you with his credit card details in order to take advantage of your product.

Be sure that your website is secure and that you communicate that to the customers. They expect you to take good care of their personal data and not share it with others.

Also, take the time to protect yourself against hacker attacks.

The next thing you should know is that your order form should be easy to fill in. Don’t ask for details you don’t need, as you might discourage the prospect from completing it.

Use autofill to make things easier for the customer.

Remember: not everyone will complete the order form for one reason or another. If that happens, send him an abandonment email campaign to recover him and convert him into a customer.

User scarcity in your marketing – limited time offers that expire and that will be no longer available after a certain time. This will motivate prospects to take action.

Stage III: Wow Phase

The third stage of the lifecycle marketing is extremely important because it allows you to grow your business based on what you already have – your current customers.

To execute it successfully you should:

Deliver and wow

The customer has paid you money for your product, so be sure that you have sent it to them and they have received it.

If it is a digital product or service, be sure that they have access and can start using it.

Remember that your product must really help the customer solve his problems and achieve his goals. Only that way can you make him happy.

Marketing offers that don’t deliver on their promises fall flat. Customers will request refunds and write bad reviews, which will ruin your image.

In this case, you should not only deliver on your promises but overdeliver. That way, you will earn higher customer loyalty and people will like you even more.

A loyalty program can be a handy tool on this phase. Its all about rewarding customers and creating incentives them to come back. Read more about it from Timi Garai on Antavo.

Don’t forget about your customer support, which must be exceptional as well. People might need help and they will want to contact you for that.

Always have well-educated people ready to help them at any time. This will make a huge difference when it comes to wowing your customers.

Offer more

Some companies are so focused on generating customers that they totally forget to sell more products to their existing and past customers, which is the single biggest mistake they can make in their business.

Selling to your existing customers is way easier. These people have already tried one or more of your products and they got results.

You already have credibility in their eyes. If you present them with more things that they need, they will be much more likely to buy from you than from someone new.

It’s important to remember that you still need to offer them things they need. So the product must be relevant.

This could be anything from:

  • An upgrade (better or newer product with more features)
  • Related product to the one they’ve bought before (if they’ve bought a notebook, you can offer them a mouse, a cooling pad, etc.)
  • A product based on their interests and browsing behavior

Referrals

Customers are four times more likely to buy a product when referred by a friend.

That’s why it will be crazy if you don’t ask for referrals from your current clients, as this will help you grow your business much faster. In fact, 65% of the new business for companies comes from referrals.

You’d think that asking for referrals is hard. Actually, that’s not true at all, as 85% of customers are ready to make a referral after a positive experience.

So as long as you deliver and wow your customers, they will be ready to make referrals.

The simplest and easiest way to get more referrals is by asking your customers. You can even implement a referral program or affiliate programs using tools like ReferralCandy and Post Affiliate Pro.

In conclusion:

The real value of Lifecycle marketing is having an integrated system that allows you to attract and generate customers and later expand your business by getting referrals.

It is a strategy that allows you to monetize every opportunity. As a result, it will bring you the highest ROI.

It also makes things way easier. So there is no reason why you shouldn’t try it yourself.

Martin Zhel

Martin Zhel helps startup companies grow traffic, leads and revenue with the power of content marketing. Download his free ebook How to use quality content to rank in Google.

  • http://sowmayjain.com Sowmay Jain

    Wow! First Post received from Mailmunch. Great read!

    • http://www.oriorcreative.com/ Martin Zhel

      You’re welcome, Sowmay! We’re working on some really good ones right now.

  • http://www.paleomantic.com Angelina Brazzale

    Fantastic post! Love the clarity and the actionable steps. Thanks for this one!

    • http://www.oriorcreative.com/ Martin Zhel

      I’m glad you liked it, Angelina! I hope you find our other posts helpful as well.

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