Customer Lifecycle Communication: Maximise the lifetime value of your customers

Email has a powerful role in driving and maintaining customer loyalty, but this means you need a focus on consistent and regular Customer Lifecycle communications to get the real value from it.

Now, more than ever marketers are under pressure to grow and nurture our customers to…
• drive subscriber growth
• reduce churn
• increase value per customer
• maintain loyalty to increase profits

In order to be successful, as savvy email marketers you should be adopting Customer Lifecycle communication (CLC) strategies to help maximise the lifetime value of your customers.

How often do you communicate with your customers?

A vital component of marketing is consistency. Consistent email marketing is necessary to keep your customers engaged and interactive with your brand. If you fail to communicate with your customers regularly over a period of time, you will lose them. But you want your email subscribers to stay engaged with your brand.

A tactic to help achieve consistent and relevant communication is to implement a CLC strategy, as it will allow you to effectively communicate with each customer on their journey with your brand. This type of email communication needs to be relevant, personal, timeous and will ideally drive interaction and engagement with your brand.

What is a customer lifecycle?

A customer lifecycle can be thought of as the length and nature of a customer’s relationship with your company or brand. As the customer engages with your brand they will move through a series of stages and milestones. It is imperative that you communicate with your customer at these relevant milestones to encourage activity and engagement with your brand as it nurtures the relationship, enhances the lifetime value and increases profitability.

Typically, it is less expensive and more profitable to grow your business with existing customers than to attract new ones and for this reason you should manage all the milestones during the entire lifecycle of the relationship you have with your customer.

Customer Lifecycle communications over time

At the start of this article is an example of typical customer lifecycle communications over a period of time. It indicates where a customer can interact with a brand and includes some examples of possible triggers.
This should help kick-start your thinking about your company or brand lifecycle, so you can design your own triggers relevant to your customer’s specific journey.

Sending out triggered email communications makes good strategic sense. But, to get this right you need to engage with a vendor that understands your:
• business model
• customer data
• client base
• segmentation processes, and
• the journey and possible milestones that a customer will go through

The benefits of adopting a comprehensive Customer Lifecycle communication plan include:
• Regular engagement with your customers at relevant milestones through triggered communications
• Retention of profitable customers
• Increased revenues for your company
• Extension of the life time value of your customer

Let your customers know they count – send regular, targeted, personalised email communications to them throughout their ‘lifecycle’ with your organisation and they won’t turn their back on you.

Ross Sibbald

Ross spent 11 years educating the next generation on marketing strategy. He was deputy HOD in the marketing department at the Durban University of Technology. Ross Sibbald is Head of eMarketing at Striata, South Africa, where his main focus is business development, client strategy processes and effective implementation.