Five Lifecycle Programs You Probably Don't Have, But Should

Email marketers that put data to action by leveraging technology and automation realize a sizable profit. Many of them listen to customer behaviors and already have several programs running, such as an abandoned cart program, a welcome program, etc.

However, when tasked to come up with new programs outside of a standard vertical blueprint, they tend to fall short. These types of programs take time and planning on top of an already intensive daily schedule, so no wonder that the creative juices stop flowing.

Fear not, though. Here are six programs that could provide incremental revenue and build satisfaction among your client base, but leverage data you probably already have access to.

1st to 2nd purchase
Welcome programs often include some offers and follow-up reminders of pending expirations of those offers to drive a customer to make the first purchase. Beyond that, though, brands depend on typical promotional emails to drive subsequent purchases. Why not cement the relationship by more actively working to drive a second purchase? Lifecycle programs, set on a timer to send a special promotion X days out from the first purchase, can be very lucrative in driving a second purchase. Many verticals have customers that only purchase once and never return, so don’t be the brand that spends more to acquire the customer than it will make from that customer. Get a return and do it earlier in the relationship by driving that second purchase.



Other Variations of Birthday
Any reason to celebrate the customer in a relevant way is a slam dunk in driving revenue. You’re probably already sending birthday and anniversary emails, so why not extend that experience by sending a half birthday email? That’s definitely unexpected.

What if you don’t have customers’ birthday info? Send an email to them on your brand’s birthday with an offer for providing their birthday information now, and then send that offer again later when it’s actually their birthday.

Does your brand have a loyalty program that tracks points or some other value? Maybe you don’t have a loyalty program at all, but want to send a surprise-and-delight email to customers after X number or $X worth of purchases. Any trackable event is an excuse to reach out to the customer to state the milestone with some offer to celebrate the moment. If it’s something that the customer can be proud of, such as a number of hours volunteered or fitness goals reached, make it shareable across social media to encourage brand ambassadors.

Brands obviously don’t like returns. Why not turn a negative into a positive, though, by sending a post-return apology email? Consumers appreciate an authentic sentiment from brands that show empathy. Why not send a very brief survey along with a free shipping coupon or some other offer to show the customer that you want to make it right? Isn’t this less expensive than spending advertising dollars to get this customer to return?

Creative Profile Update
During the welcome and onboarding process, brands do a great job of asking customers to fill out profiles and preferences. It’s rare, though, to see a brand check in and proactively ask for updates on a regular cadence.

This tactic could be used, for example, during baby purchases. Brands love it when they think a customer is about to become a parent, because that event may signal the potential for a good deal of spending and an opportunity to host a registry.

What if that customer was just buying a gift for someone else, though? Rather than inundate the customer with baby emails, why not send an email asking if the purchase was a gift for someone else vs. a purchase for his/her own expanding family. You can give an offer specific to the category or promise a series of exclusive content if that customer is, in fact, about to become a parent to drive a response to change in profile.

By listening to the data and inquiring about any profile/life changes, brands can leave assumption-based and potentially problematic targeting out of the equation.

What are some lifecycle programs you have tried that are outside of the box in terms of creativity?  Would love to hear about them in the comments.

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