Lifecycle marketing is the process of tailoring your marketing efforts to meet the changing needs of your customer base. The lifecycle refers to where customers are in their relationship to you: are they new, current, or old customers? Your marketing should talk to where you customers are in the lifecycle so you can engage them and make your message stick.

Sometimes it can help to break your customer base down into three different categories when it comes to a lifestyle marketing approach:

  1. Prospective Customers
    Those people who have demonstrated some desire for interaction. Signed up for your email list, liked you on facebook, etc., but have yet to engage much beyond that.
  2. Current Customers
    Those who have bought what you are selling, are actively involved with your business and expect to receive emails and promotions from you.
  3. Lapsed Customers
    Those who aren’t opening your emails anymore, aren’t clicking through, and haven’t interacted with your brand in the recent past.

Breaking them up into these three groups will help you narrow your focus and address their needs on a much more individualized basis. You can set different goals for each group and tailor your messaging accordingly.

Send The Right Messages To The Right People

  • Email campaigns are a great way to utilize lifecycle marketing since it’s easy to tailor your message and content towards a specific group or audience. Don’t make the mistake of sending out a generalized email blast, you miss the opportunity to personalize the message you’re sending and increase your connection.
  • For prospective customers, make it a goal to simply get your emails opened. Do some research on writing appealing subject lines and have a place on your website and other social media platforms where visitors can opt-in to receive emails and offers from you. Once this goal is met and you make it past the point of initial contact, do your best to win them over with relevant messaging and content to give them that push to become current customers.
  • For current customers it is helpful to take what you know about your clients and improve upon it. Make it a point to let them know about new products and services. Have special offers available only to existing or return customers which can be tailored to their purchases in the past. Acknowledge that you value their business and wish to continue to earn it in the future. You want to build that loyalty and encourage them to recommend your services to others.
  • Lapsed customers sometimes need a reminder as to why they showed interest in your business in the first place. Personalize your messaging to acknowledge their lack of interaction and express a desire to win them back. Take the time to understand and address any concerns.

It can also be beneficial to keep the following in mind: current customers are the group of most value to you since they’re the ones actually making purchases and contributing to your success. This is not a reason to ignore the other two groups, but a reminder to continue building the relationships that matter most. You should also pay attention to your analytics. Know what and when your customers are clicking and know their purchasing habits as well. Use this and the above information to make your content relevant to their needs.

Lifecycle marketing isn’t rocket science, it’s simply understanding that the needs of your clients change over time, and adjusting your messaging and offers to fit those needs and to win their business. This flexibility in your marketing approach can make all the difference in motivating prospective clients to become current clients, and to ensure that current clients never become lapsed clients.

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletterhere. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert onLinkedIn and Twitter