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Indian Startups’ Guide To Lifecycle Marketing For Retention: Everything You Need To Know

Indian Startups’ Guide To Lifecycle Marketing For Retention: Everything You Need To Know

There is a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer as opposed to a mere 5-20% chance of closing a new deal

However, 61% of companies cite customer retention as one of their biggest challenges

It requires meticulous planning across all stages of your customer acquisition funnel. Read this article to know it all

Did you know that 80% of your future revenue will come from existing customers? You might also be amazed by the fact that you stand a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer as opposed to a mere 5-20% chance of closing a new deal

That’s enough to say that loyal customers are worth a lot more and cost a lot less than new conversions. 

But building a loyal customer base is no cakewalk. You have to strategise and develop a complete system to appease your existing buyers, nurture a strong relationship, and keep them hooked to your brand. Given the time, effort, and resources it takes to create this system, it’s no surprise that 61% of companies cite customer retention as one of their biggest challenges. 

What if there was an easier way to retain customers and build a loyal community? The answer you’re looking for is — lifecycle marketing. 

Simply put, a lifecycle marketing strategy is about engaging with your one-time buyers, influencing their behaviour, and turning them into brand advocates. This article will offer a deep dive into lifecycle marketing and how you can leverage it for your business. 

What is lifecycle marketing? 

Indian Startups’ Guide To Lifecycle Marketing For Retention: Everything You Need To Know

Lifecycle marketing aims to create positive communication with customers throughout their purchasing process. It’s a blend of strategies intended to nurture a long-term relationship with your buyers. 

So, the customer journey doesn’t end at the point of sale but continues long after to win their loyalty. Here’s what the customer journey looks like through several lifecycle marketing stages:

Window Shopper — Interested Prospect — First-time Buyer — Returning Customer

Why Do You Need A Lifecycle Marketing Strategy?

Lifecycle marketing offers many benefits from expanding your customer base and increasing your sales from repeat buyers to maximising your revenue with a higher customer lifetime value (LTV). 

Here are some of the main reasons why you should leverage lifecycle marketing:

Increase Sales Through Customer Retention

With its focus on personalised communication throughout the customer journey, lifetime marketing helps you build brand loyalty and decrease customer churn. 

Brand loyalty and low churn = customer retention

A higher retention rate would mean you’re saving up on acquisition costs and simultaneously selling more to your loyal buyers. Just a 5% boost in customer retention rate can boost your profits up to 95%

Indian Startups’ Guide To Lifecycle Marketing For Retention: Everything You Need To Know

Improve Customer Lifetime Value

The longer a customer sticks to your brand, the higher the LTV numbers can soar. Lifestyle marketing allows you to increase your LTV value by aligning your marketing funnel with the customer’s journey.

According to a study on the lifetime value of a Starbucks customer, if a customer’s average weekly value is $24, they may be worth nearly $15,000 over 20 years. This highlights the impact LTV can have on your revenue and the importance of retaining customers. 

Provide A Better Customer Experience

Your average customer’s experience buying from you sets the tone for your lifecycle marketing efforts. By delivering a hassle-free buying experience, you stand a chance of getting repeat purchases from them. 

Shaping your customer experience is all about building a solid relationship with them instead of forcefully selling your product/service. 

Indian Startups’ Guide To Lifecycle Marketing For Retention: Everything You Need To Know

Apple is the best example that shows the importance of customer experience for better retention. The tech giant has emphasised customer retention as an integral part of its ecosystem — offering top-notch products, impeccable customer service, and a lot more. This has helped the brand maintain a customer loyalty rate of 90% for the past several years.

How To Create Your Customer Lifecycle Strategy

While the idea of lifecycle marketing sounds appealing, it’s not the easiest to implement. It requires meticulous planning across all stages of your customer acquisition funnel. You have to understand your target audience’s needs to shape your strategies. 

So, let’s take a deeper look at these stages and understand how you can cater to your customers’ needs at every step to turn them into loyal customers. 

Awareness

In the first stage of your acquisition funnel, the customer would hear about your company for the first time. You aim to grab their attention and pull them deeper into your conversion funnel.

Remember: People are not looking for you; you have to appear in their searches. 

So, you have to create a buyer persona first and then attract your target audience through carefully crafted strategies. This is where content marketing comes into the picture. Generating value-adding and shareable content can help spread the word about your brand. 

Besides, consuming tailored content makes 82% of customers feel more optimistic about any brand. That means tapping into your buyers’ paint points and giving them a feasible solution can get more eyes to your content. 

That’s exactly what Buffer did in its content marketing efforts. The social media management platform blew up its traffic and reached 100,000 users in nine months because of its high-performing guest blogging strategy. The brand’s goal was to bring more visibility by sharing knowledge and solving common problems. 

Indian Startups’ Guide To Lifecycle Marketing For Retention: Everything You Need To Know

Consideration

Once your buyers are familiar with the brand, you have to dig deeper into their problems and offer more valuable solutions. 

It takes an average of 5 to 7 impressions for people to recall your brand after they’ve learned a little about you. The easiest way to increase this recall value and win over their trust is to offer actionable and in-depth solutions for their biggest problems.

The consideration stage is also when potential consumers are thinking of a buying decision. Showing how your products can solve their problems is a great way to simplify their decision and accelerate their buyer journey. 

Here’s how you can optimise the buyer experience in the consideration stage:

  • Create value-packed middle-of-the-funnel content. 
  • Prepare personalised email campaigns to establish a direct line of communication.
  • Present case studies showcasing your brand’s strong suits.
  • Make instructional videos to explain what your product/service offers.

Zylo shows how it’s done with its detailed and appealing customer stories. The brand explained all the challenges its customers faced alongside the solutions Zylo offered to tackle them. 

Indian Startups’ Guide To Lifecycle Marketing For Retention: Everything You Need To Know

Purchase

The purchase stage is where you offer the final push to persuade a lead to buy from you. At this point, your potential customer has the right level of trust in your brand and is planning to purchase the right solution. This is where you have to clear all their concerns and nudge them towards this purchase. 

Here are some tactics you can use to ensure your customers are sure about their decision:

  • Provide transparent pricing and feature information for them to compare options.
  • Add a customer testimonials section to spotlight the post-purchase experience.
  • Offer a free trial or demo period to build their confidence.
  • Send personalized emails and follow-ups that resolve any potential concerns.
  • Share a glimpse of your customer support in the trial period. 

Look at how Heap mastered the purchase stage with clearly defined pricing plans. The SaaS brand also offers weekly live demos to create user confidence and increase sign-ups. 

Indian Startups’ Guide To Lifecycle Marketing For Retention: Everything You Need To Know

Support

Fact: 70% of customers choose to stay loyal to brands based on their level of post-purchase customer service. This is where most businesses make a mistake by keeping limited budgets on customer servicing and support.  

Flawless customer service is the key to greater retention and better word-of-mouth marketing. It’s a win-win with existing customers buying more from you and encouraging others to do the same! 

Let’s look at some customer support strategies you can bring into action:

  1. Create easy-to-use and accessible support channels — live chat, email, calls, and forums. Databox allows its customers to contact them in multiple ways.Lifecycle Marketing For Retention: All you need to know
  2. Build an exhaustive knowledge base that covers all possible user queries. Take a cue from Mailchimp’s library of resources to help its users. Lifecycle Marketing For Retention: All you need to know
  3. Make your user onboarding process are as straightforward and seamless as possible. Allow users to ease into your product/service instead of getting lost in action.
  4. Share constant updates to keep your users in the loop of what more they can do with your offering. Here’s how Intercom announced some significant updates about its product.

Lifecycle Marketing For Retention: All you need to know

Ensure you’re not leaving your customers in the dark after closing the sale. Your lifecycle marketing efforts rely heavily on the quality of your customer support.

Retention

Abandoning consumers after you’ve invested so much time and resources to get them to this point would be a foolish move.

The ultimate goal of retention is to convert one-time buyers into long-term consumers. So, after you’ve converted a customer, focus on retaining them for the long run. 

Use these tactics to make the best out of the retention phase:

  • Create a loyalty program to incentivise loyalty and reward those who stick by your brand. For example, you can give a user a discount on completing six months with you.
  • Run referral-based campaigns encouraging existing users to spread the word about your brand and get rewarded for it. Here’s how Trello did it.Lifecycle Marketing For Retention: All you need to know
  • Share social media shoutouts for loyal customers to make them feel special.
  • Create engagement opportunities with your users—like hosting a webinar or planning a community meeting. 

Your marketing efforts shouldn’t end with conversion. Only when you show a customer how much you value them will they stay loyal towards your brand. 

Conclusion

Your customers are your finest asset, and building long-term relationships gives you the chance to maximise retention and increase revenue. 

On top of simplifying your buyer journey, you should also focus on nurturing a strong relationship with them. Lifecycle marketing helps accomplish this by optimising touchpoints at every stage of a customer’s journey, covering both — before and after the sale. 

You can use this quick guide to create your own lifecycle marketing strategy and increase your customer retention rate successfully. 

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.