The prospects that you coveted and nurtured have finally made a purchase. They are customers now! But don’t do the jig just yet. As an enterprise brand, your work has just started. What comes next is what makes-or-breaks your marketing ROI.
Most marketers focus on the initial stages of a customer’s journey leading up to purchase. The AIDA - attention, interest, desire, and action – phases. After that, they just put all the subsequent phases into a box and label it ‘Post-purchase Stuff’. And put it away to look at on a need-to basis.
As a result,
- They end up losing customers to competitors
- They let go of brand loyal customers who, if nurtured well, could become brand advocates
- They lose out on word-of-mouth and referrals business
- They incur additional costs on new customer acquisition
- They seriously damage brand recall and brand salience
So now that you have a customer, it’s time to get down to work. On retaining them. Building a relationship. Even shooting for increasing their lifetime value to the brand.
So, let’s focus on the how.
By making a purchase, your customer has already helped achieve one of your marketing goals - Customer Acquisition. Now how to nurture existing customers so they help achieve all your other marketing goals?
Start lifecycle campaigns.
What are lifecycle campaigns?
Lifecycle campaigns are aimed your existing customers. They run across all stages in the customer lifecycle. The objective is to maximize their value to your brand.
Customer lifecycle are progressive stages travelled by an individual based on the interaction with the brand. Stages such as – awareness of your brand, consideration of your brand among alternatives, purchase, to retention- staying with the brand, possibly making multiple purchases, and finally advocacy – when the customer speaks well of your brand experience to others.
The objective of a lifecycle campaign is to meet specific marketing objectives. Such as engagement, cross-sell, up-sell, etc. As mentioned earlier, the campaign itself is tailored to the stage the customer is currently in.
In this article, we will take you through different types of lifecycle campaigns aimed at different customer points in the customer journey. And how they can be leveraged to enhance their relationship with your brand.
Campaigns for every stage
1. Onboard new customers
Someone purchased your product. You’ve just earned yourself a customer. Good for you!
Now be nice. Thank them! Make them feel welcome.
You do this by running ‘Onboarding Campaigns’.
An onboarding campaign is aimed at first-time customers to thank them for their purchase and welcome them to your brand community.
You draft a zestful message, thanking them for choosing your brand, and welcoming them to your brand community with open arms!
Now, the customer feels nice and pleased that you have acknowledged their purchase.
Wondering what a difference doing this would make?
If it’s not welcome, it’s farewell. An unwelcome customer will flee.
2. Get them started on your product
Whatever happened to that customer who made a purchase on your website or store last week?
Did she start using your product? Is she using it right? Does she need help getting started? Are you on top of this?
Here is the conundrum. It’s easier to track the status if customers were few. But if you had to choose, you’d rather go with more customers and wing the tracking. Turns out, you don’t have to.
As an enterprise brand with millions of customers, you run an Activation Campaign to track what each of your customer needs help with.
An activation campaign intends to help your recent customers figure out how to use your products well, so that they are satisfied with the purchase.
Show your customers your intention is not just to sell the product. Show them it’s important to you that they make the most out of your product. Show them you care and take your customers seriously.
This way, you sustain the relationship with your customers. And not end at the purchase stage.
3. Know your customers
As an enterprise brand, it’s paramount to know your customers’ preferences. But you won’t really “know” if your customer database has limited or incomplete information about them. And if you don’t know their preferences, you can’t target them in any of your campaigns.
For want of a horseshoe, the kingdom was lost.
Solution? Profile Enrichment Campaigns.
Profile Enrichment Campaigns are aimed at enriching your customer data by gathering more information about your customers that can be used to target them better.
With the help of profile enrichment campaigns, you avoid the risk of using misleading or half-baked customer data that reveals just half the story. Otherwise, you’ll end up mis-targeting them. And then all the attendant woes will follow.
4. Promote your product usage
You designed your product, developed it, promoted it, and sold it successfully. Now imagine your customer has completely forgotten about it.
This happens a lot. Especially if your product or service doesn’t occupy much room or is intangible. Or is not of essential day-to-day use.
So why is this your problem? You’ve sold the product or service. End of story. How it’s used and how frequently, is the customer’s prerogative, right?
Usage frequency impacts the customer’s relationship with your brand. If your customer’s usage frequency decreases, she is likely to turn into a dormant customer and eventually forget you. And possibly lapse to other brands. And then you need to jump through hoops to get a dormant or lapsed customer back.
What’s the point of investing all the time and effort in promoting and selling a product when your customers aren’t even using it enough?
Getting a customer to purchase your product is one thing; getting them to use your products regularly is another. Take measures to enhance product usage frequency. It’s your karma.
Usage campaigns do this. Usage campaigns prompt your customers to keep using your products regularly.
Usage campaigns help improve customer engagement, retain your customers, and increase their customer lifetime value.
5. Prompt your dormant customers
So, your customer did not respond to the Usage Campaign. She is dormant now.
Be it a volcano or a customer, dormancy is dangerous.
A dormant customer could have forgotten your brand. Or even moved on to other brands. She is not even responding to your communications because he is no longer using the product. And all the while, you’re under the happy impression that she is still your customer.
First, the frequency of product usage goes down. Then they become inactive. Then they forget. And then they move on. You do not want the sorry cycle to play out.
When a customer becomes inactive, it’s a heads-up for you to take immediate action to stop them from leaving your brand.
A ‘Reactivation Campaign’ is what you need to re-engage your dormant customers.
A reactivation campaign targets your dormant customers. Defined as those who haven’t used your products for a specified period. The objective is to make them restart using your products.
Don’t let your dormant customers go. Reactivate and re-engage your customers with a campaign that triggers them to take immediate action. Throw in an offer that is hard to resist.
6. Push complementary products
When there’s an opportunity, sell more. Sell more only when there is an opportunity. Roger that?
This is the mantra for cross-selling.
To be more specific, track your customers' behavior keenly. Identify opportunities where you can sell more. Don’t overdo it, though. Sell only when you find an opportunity. Or you’ll end up annoying your customers.
A cross-sell campaign is aimed at selling complementary products to customers in addition to the products they intend to purchase.
Research by McKinsey reveals cross-selling increases profits by 30%. However, it is important to recommend the right product, to the right customer, with the right message - to make your cross-sell campaign successful.
7. Recommend high-end variants
An Up-Sell campaign aims at encouraging customers to purchase higher-value products instead of those that they intended to purchase.
Up-Sell campaigns with high response rates boost your revenue. But it’s not just about the money.
Up-selling leads to win-win situations when done right. When you sell a product that offers your customer better value than they expected, they are likely to be pleased. The price shouldn’t matter if it offers value for the money spent.
Up-Selling has other advantages as well. For instance, it widens your customer’s brand relationship through a better brand experience.
Moreover, as their profit contribution increases, so does their customer lifetime value.
8. Increase engagement
Don’t be an opportunist. Don’t focus all your brand-customer interactions on making a sale. Every now and then, engage with your customers just to make them noticed and nice. Improve their customer experience of your brand, and all it stands for.
This is what your customers expect as well. But rarely get. So, surprise them pleasantly.
Based on a study conducted by Salesforce, about 76% of customers expect brands to engage with them, with the right message, and on the right channel. Engaging with your customers is an opportunity to connect with them at an emotional level.
The perfect tool for this is? Engagement Campaigns.
An engagement campaign aims at encouraging customer interaction with your brand in order to inspire brand salience.
Engagement campaigns help keep you in touch with your customers, enhance their brand experiences and strengthen your relationship with them.
9. Focus on retention
No one wants to lose customers. Especially enterprises that expend much effort and money on acquiring them in the first place. Harvard Business School research reveals a 5% increase in customer retention rate increases revenue by 25% to 95%. Also, by retaining an existing customer, you stand to save five times the expense of getting a new one.
A retention campaign aims at retaining customers who seem to be inactive or churning out.
Keep your eyes open for red flags indicating customer churn. Typically, a decrease in product usage, poor customer engagement, and dormancy. When these symptoms appear, you know it is time to conduct a retention campaign.
10. Bring them back
Despite your best efforts, you’ve lost valuable customers to a competitor. Don’t beat yourself up. Roll up your sleeves. Time to win them back.
A win-back campaign intends to bring back customers who have switched to other brands.
Winning back your lapsed customers is a challenge. But it is still easier than acquiring new customers. Win-back campaigns have a better conversion rate. Because you are targeting people who have already purchased your products. You are not wooing someone new to the brand.
So, use your customers’ past experiences to personalize your win-back campaigns. Be sure not to miss lapsed high-value customers.
Apply a bit of psychology here. Remind them of all the good times, their positive brand experiences. Show them you’re a good catch, brand-wise.
It’s never too late. If you have a history, you can have a future. You were on a break, that’s all.
11. Measure customer satisfaction
All things measured, improve. Customer Satisfaction is one such metric. No arguments there.
Dissatisfaction is easier. The question is, how to get your customers talk about their satisfaction with your products?
The answer is Customer Satisfaction Campaigns.
A customer satisfaction campaign gets your customers to provide feedback about your brand in order to measure their satisfaction.
These campaigns provide insight into how satisfied your customers are, how effective your brand is in meeting their needs, and the areas of improvement.
12. Identify brand advocates
You have a few highly satisfied and brand loyal customers. You have earned them. Now, mark them. These people are your brand advocates. They will evangelize your brand, and bring in more customers.
You could extoll the virtues of your brand to the ends of the earth. But people listen to, and trust what their peers have to say a lot more. Peer reviews carry a lot more weight than all your spiel.
Advocacy campaigns are designed for this purpose.
An advocacy campaign aims at identifying customers who are likely to be your brand advocates by recommending your brand to others.
According to a survey by Annex Cloud, about 65% of new deals are brought about by referrals.
So, identify and cherish your brand advocates. They have a huge impact on the growth of your brand.
13. Leverage brand advocates
Word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the best things that can happen to your brand. Get a lot of customers to do it, and growth is inevitable.
You can do this through Referral Campaigns. Referral Campaigns encourage brand advocates to share their brand experience with others, and invite them to see for themselves.
Referral campaigns target your brand advocates, to encourage them to spread the word about your brand.
Statistics by Social Media Today reveal 78% of B2B marketers agree that referrals bring high quality leads. Referral campaigns are very cost-effective strategies for customer acquisition. They bring in valuable customers without the need for any great investment.
Your customers all have unique requirements. Their behavior and engagement with your brand are based on their needs. While some customers actively engage and respond immediately, others remain inactive; some customers remain loyal to your brand, while others switch to competing brands.
When needs vary, so do expectations. According to Salesforce, about 66% of customers expect brands to understand their unique needs and expectations. And herein lies the opportunity.
Do make the effort to micro-segment your customers based on their individual preferences. Before targeting them through marketing campaigns.
Post-purchase campaigns help you accomplish multiple objectives. Retaining existing customers, increasing customer lifetime value, finding brand loyal customers, and so on.
You’ll be excused if the thought of managing campaigns that target millions of segmented customers overwhelms you. You’re not alone. It does require a lot of effort, expertise, and experience to do this.
How about letting the pros handle this for you?
We at Xerago have been doing this for a long time. 15+ years, in fact. We have helped several enterprise brands conduct successful campaigns that ultimately align with their marketing goals.
Your business could just be a few campaigns away from hitting the big times!
Talk to us today. Let’s figure things out.