Lifecycle email marketing is a strategy that involves sending targeted and personalized emails to customers based on their specific stage in the customer lifecycle. It is important for your business for two key reasons:
- Enhancing Customer Relationships: Lifecycle email marketing helps to build a stronger and more personalized connection with your customers. It allows you to engage with your customers based on their unique interactions with your brand, helping you build long-lasting relationships.
- Improving Conversion Rates: By sending personalized messages that resonate with your customers’ current needs and expectations, lifecycle email marketing increases the chances of converting these emails into actual sales. Therefore, leading to higher revenue for the business.
Here are some fascinating data you can consider to further understand the importance of email marketing:
- There are 4 billion daily active email users! That means one out every two customers will actively check their emails at least once a day.
- As of 2023, 37% of brands are increasing their email marketing budget.
- 77% email marketers have seen a rise in email engagement from their target users. (Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-stats)
In order to build an effective email marketing strategy and campaigns, understanding your customers isn’t just an advantage—it’s a necessity. You must put ourselves in your customers’ shoes, understand their paths as they interact with your brand in various capacities, and build personalized content for them. To dive deeper into this customer-centric approach, you can use the following three steps:
Creating customer persona
User personas serve as imaginary representations of your customers, allowing you to better understand their motivations, preferences, and behaviors. This knowledge is invaluable when it comes to crafting personalized email campaigns. To create user personas for your fashion ecommerce business, follow these steps:
- Conduct market research to identify your target audience.
- Gather demographic information such as age, gender, location, and income level.
- Analyze psychographic factors like interests, values, and lifestyle choices.
- Utilize data from previous customers and conduct surveys to gain insights into their behaviors, preferences, and pain points.
- Consolidate this information to create detailed user personas that represent your target customers.
A sample user persona for ecommerce fashion store:
- User Name: Sarah
- Traits: A 32 year old Banker based in New York. She is affluent and tech-savvy, often shops online from her smartphone.
- Goals: She prefers e-commerce platforms that offer a wide variety of quality products, fast shipping, and excellent customer service.
- Pain points: Finds it challenging to discover new brands that align with her values. Dislikes poor customer service and slow delivery times.
- Preferred Communication: Sarah prefers email for shopping communication, appreciating personalized recommendations and deals. She also enjoys engaging with brands through Instagram, where she can visually explore products and their usage.
Building customer segments
Sometimes it can be confusing to identify the difference between customer persona and segments. To make sure we are on the same page, let’s look into important differences between them.
Customer Persona is detailed characterisation created to represent the different user types that might buy from your brand. Each persona sketch includes demographic details, interests, lifestyle choices, preferences, and sometimes even narratives about their daily life. They are typically well detailed, based on user research and can be mapped to a single user.
On the other hand, Customer segments are actual groups of existing or potential customers defined by shared characteristics. User segments are less detailed than personas and represent larger portions of the overall customer base.
Once you have created user personas for your fashion ecommerce business, you can use them to create customer segments. Here’s how:
- Analyze the common characteristics and behaviors shared by customers within each user persona.
- Group customers with similar characteristics into segments, ensuring that each segment is distinct and identifiable.
- Identify the different stages of the customer lifecycle, such as awareness, consideration, purchase, and loyalty.
- Map the user personas to the different stages of the customer lifecycle, creating a visual representation of how customers move through each stage.
Some examples for customer segments can be:
- “Newbies”: These are customers who have recently made their first purchase.
- “Discount Hunters”: By analyzing your existing customer data you can identify a group of customers who primarily shop during sales or use discount codes.
- “Brand Loyalists”: These are repeat customers who regularly engage with our brand.
While detailed segmentation can be valuable, it is important to note that overly specific segmentation can dilute our focus and complicate our marketing efforts.
Developing a customer lifecycle map
A lifecycle map can have different stages depending on your business model. A good starting point for an ecommerce business is to have the following four stages in the customer lifecycle:
Loyal customers: These are the customers who have a strong connection to your brand and consistently make purchases. They are highly engaged and often promote your products through word-of-mouth or social media. Common characteristics of loyal customers include:
- They often purchase from your online clothing store.
- They regularly recommend your brand to their friends or have used referral code campaigns.
- They follow your social media account and often engage with your content.
Active customers: Active customers are those who make regular purchases and engage with your brand, but their level of commitment may not be as strong as loyal customers. Examples of active customers include:
- Customers who purchase from your online store every couple of months.
- Customers who frequently browse your website and add items to his cart.
Lapsing customers: Lapsing customers are those who have made purchases in the past but their engagement and frequency of purchases have decreased over time. Examples of lapsing customers include:
- Customer who used to be a regular customer but hasn’t made a purchase in the last six months.
- Customer who added products to the cart but did not purchase and has not visited the website since then.
Inactive customers: Inactive customers are those who have not made any purchases or engaged with your brand for a significant amount of time. Examples of inactive customers include:
- Customer who made a purchase over a year ago but hasn’t interacted with your brand since.
- Customer who signed up on the website but never made a purchase or engaged with your email. Now that you have identified customer segments and lifecycle maps, you can create email campaigns to engage with your audience. There can be a diverse range of email campaigns according to the specific target persona, their associated segment, and the lifecycle stage they are in. Therefore, it’s challenging to categorize all potential email campaigns into fixed buckets. Each campaign is often a unique blend of these factors, designed to match the recipient’s needs and preferences, enhancing the probability of conversion or engagement. Here are some common campaign types for the fashion e-commerce industry:
- Welcome Emails: Send personalized welcome emails to first-time customers, offering a warm introduction to your brand, the brand story and your mission. Include customer testimonials to build trust with the new customer.
- Abandoned Cart Emails: Remind customers who left items in their cart to complete their purchase, offering incentives like free shipping or a limited-time discount.
- Upselling and Cross-selling Emails: Recommend complementary products based on customers’ past purchases to encourage additional sales.
- Re-engagement Emails: Send targeted emails to customers who haven’t visited your store or made a purchase in a while, offering exclusive discounts or previews of new products to re-engage their interest.
In conclusion, lifecycle email marketing is a crucial strategy for small fashion businesses. By creating user personas, segmenting your customers, and mapping out their journey, you can send targeted emails at each stage of the customer lifecycle.
Furthermore, you can leverage existing customer data
Start implementing customer lifecycle email marketing for your fashion business today and watch your customer engagement and revenue soar. Happy emailing!