The key to a successful marketing strategy is not just to attract new leads and customers. In fact, existing customers tend to be more profitable as they are more likely to make a repeat purchase. Also, marketing to these customers is a lot more cost-effective than acquiring new leads. On average, 40% of ecommerce revenue comes from repeat customers.
To make the most out our your existing customers, it’s vital to keep communicating with them and nurturing your relationship. Marketing automation enables effective communication with your customers at all stages of their lifecycle.
Automated marketing techniques such as email autoresponders enable you to build and maintain relationships with all current and prospective contacts. It also helps you to manage the entire customer lifecycle. More effective management helps you to achieve an optimal return on every contact and maximise your profits.
What is a Customer Lifecycle?
The customer lifecycle begins when a contact is sourced from your wider and less-targeted marketing activities such as television and print marketing, SEO, and content marketing. The customer will then continue through an education phase where they learn more about your business and your products and services.
Hopefully, this stage will lead to a purchase, after which you should focus on customer retention and loyalty building.
Marketing automation helps to bridge the gap between your marketing and sales teams and close the loop of the customer lifecycle, ensuring leads are not lost due to lack of education or lack of nurturing.
Your marketing automation platform measures customer engagement at every stage of the process so you can immediately see how well your campaigns are working. It ensures targeted and effective communication with each of your customers.
The Stages of the Customer Lifecycle
Marketing automation not only speeds up tasks and helps you create an effective marketing strategy with fewer resources, it’s also integral in allowing you to design a marketing plan to attract customers, grow sales and deliver great experiences.
Marketing is no longer about generating leads of various quality and passing them over to the sales team (whether they’re ready to buy or not). Instead, marketing automation allows you to think about the value of your customers over longer periods and how you can move them through the lifecycle.
There are four main stages of the customer lifecycle:
- Reach– the first stage of marketing in which you’re trying to grab as much attention and as many different leads as possible from several different channels. These may include television advertising, print advertising, events, PPC, SEO, and content marketing.
- Act– once you’ve hooked some interested leads, they’ll move onto the next stage of the customer lifecycle where you can teach them more about your products and services via social media, content marketing, and retargeting. Marketing automation is used here for managing email and social campaigns. In this stage the customer may make a first purchase.