What’s customer lifecycle marketing?

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
7 min read

Create a co-ordinated ‘always-on’ contact technique for the complete customer lifecycle to improve conversions and retention

It’s no secret that engaging your visitors is essential to achieving continued sales, and it’s well known that it’s usually in an easier way and costs less to obtain repeat business from existing customers than it really is to obtain new ones from scratch. Customer relationship management (CRM) is more developed as an activity to attempt to accomplish that, but this ‘relationship’ begins today with the initial contact with the client when they are simply just a contact or prospect. We think that the simplest way for an organization or brand to create relationships is by way of a planned always-on marketing approach of integrated communications across multiple digital channels.

To enable this, we’re fortunate today to possess many martech options for Marketing Automation, so we are able to develop a co-ordinated contact strategy to activate audiences through:

  • Automated e-mail marketing like welcome, nuture and win-back sequences
  • Display ad retargeting, e.g. via Google AdWords Display network remarketing
  • On-site personalization recommending next best-product, offer or content to convert
  • Social media retargeting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Traditional channels like direct mail or phone contact

This renewed focus by marketers on prospect and customer engagement, conversion and retention has resulted in the looks of a fresh phrase in the digital marketing lexicon: Customer lifecycle marketing, or sometimes just lifecycle marketing.

We define lifecycle marketing as:

Creating a managed communications or contact technique to prioritise and integrate the entire range of marketing and sales communications channels and experiences to aid prospects and customers on the path-to-purchase using techniques such as for example persuasive personalised messaging and re-marketing.

The McKinsey consumer decision is one of these of the lifecycle, nonetheless it doesn’t supply the information on the channels, so here we present a visual tool to assist you review the gap between your lifecycle activities you will be working on and those you’re currently, so that you can make improvements. You will get more descriptive advice on guidelines via our lifecycle marketing toolkit.

What will be the lifecycle marketing activities?

To help show the significance of lifecycle marketing to managing communications, this visual highlights a few of the many internet marketing channels you need to integrate to obtain the very best results from digital marketing today. Although some channels such as for example social media and SEO are popular we discover that some always-on marketing techniques such as for example remarketing and influencer outreach are employed less widely.

This visual shows typical lifecycle marketing activities that require to be managed by retailers and Ecommerce over the lifecycle for across the Smart Insights RACE planning framework.

Customer lifecycle marketing framework

I also have created this summary of the lifecycle for B2B digital marketing activities since B2B marketing differs, with content marketing a lot more vital that you demand generation. Article marketing for different personas pays to as section of demand generation at Top-of-funnel and lead nurturing in underneath of the funnel. Other marketing activities such as for example retargeting through email, Google AdWords and LinkedIn may also be integrated within B2B. Yet, I find when training, that often companies are passing up on a few of these activities that ought to be ‘always-on’.  It could be useful to develop a ‘gap analysis of one’s lifecycle’ comparing the entire lifecycle against.

Full B2B customer lifecycle activities

Gap analysis showing actual B2B always-on activities used

What may be the origin of the word ‘lifecycle marketing’?

Originally coined as a term to describe their services by the CRM provider Infusionsoft, customer lifecycle marketing promises absolutely help design a marketing intend to attract customers, grow sales and deliver great experiences. They break it into three stages: ‘attract’, ‘sell’, ‘wow’.

attract sell wow We think Infusionsoft’s customer lifecycle model is ideal for taking into consideration the value of one’s customers over longer periods, instead of reducing everything right down to a straightforward conversion of every contact, it is quite light on details such as for example what exactly the various steps entail. We’re not complaining – Infusionsoft certainly are a great CRM – we have to know, we used to utilize them (Full transparency, we since moved to Salesforce / Pardot) – we consider we can then add additional insights.

Defining contacts in lifecycle email marketing

In reality, lifecycle communication involves a wide array of touch points over the customer journey to attain different goals with various kinds of emails, as shown by this visual from Kath Pay, consultant at Holistic Email Marketing.

lifecycle marketing

Looking at the potential of the entire lifecycle above implies that it is important to ‘mind the gap’, to examine all contacts also to think where one can use new forms of comms or improve existing ones.  Kath covers guidelines for these inside our new resource to greatly help businesses enhance their lifecycle marketing.

The chart below also shows how different channels can be employed across different stages of the buyer’s journey. Critical to take into account when formulating a lifecycle marketing plan.

customer lifecycle touchpoints

Defining lifecycle marketing

Lifecycle marketing, as its name suggests, involves studying the complete customer journey within an integrated way, from first contact to customer relationship management instead of narrowly concentrating on confirmed campaign, channel or metric. Rather than concentrating on separate campaigns, you need to use an ‘always-on’ method of marketing look as your customer’s entire journey, across all devices and channels, and optimise your messaging to align with the many touch points along that journey. Because lifecycle marketing works across platforms, it really is key the various teams running different facets of one’s marketing can collaborate and all pull in exactly the same direction when applying a  lifecycle online marketing strategy. To begin with, everyone must be on a single page and understand just what customer lifecycle marketing entails. Here are some definitions of lifecycle marketing from different departments/business types.

Email Marketing:

“Lifecycle marketing intergrates your ecommerce and email databases to create highly personlised messages for the customers” – Kath Pay, E-MAIL MARKETING Expert


“Customer life cycle is really a term used to spell it out the progression of steps a person goes through when contemplating, purchasing, using, and maintaining loyalty to something or service” – Margaret Rouse, Tech Target


The customer life cycle describes the points in the continuum where you: 1) Claim someone’s attention. 2) Bring them into your sphere of influence. 3) Turn them right into a registered and/or paying customer. 4) Keep them as a person. 5) Turn them right into a company advocate. – Sterne and Cutler, aurthors of the paper introducing the idea of the client lifecycle back 2000


“Customer lifecycle marketing (CLM) can be an method of customer communication that recognises that different stages on the journey to learning to be a loyal, active customer require different marketing messages and strategies.” Ometria, Ecommerce analyitics software


The definitions differ slightly in one another due to the different angles the many writers have attacked the issue from. However, virtually all point to some type of personalization being key to effective customer lifecycle marketing. This it imperative to get right, as effective personalization brings a bunch of benefits that may assist you to increase sales and retention, which in the end will be the objects of any customer lifecycle marketing plan.

personalisation problem

One key good thing about personalizing messages is that it recognizes the clients as individuals. By marketing one method to prospects,  another solution to people with already purchased something and another solution to long-term, high-value customers you may make your marketing messages a lot more compelling and effective. Customers may also appreciate the non-public touch, and you will stop them driving them away by bombarding them with messages which aren’t highly relevant to them.

A second key advantage of personalizing messages with a customer lifecycle model is they can align with the idea in the lifecycle that the possible client happens to be in. Marketing messages from the brand which recognize where in fact the customers come in their individual lifecycles and therefore can tailor messages a lot more effectively. Going for a SaaS business for example, it’s no good asking anyone who has just registered to a email list for more information to purchase your ultra-premium business level product right away, and similarly its most likely not worth attempting to push customers which have shown fascination with the advanced business product towards your free basic trail option.

Email Marketing

Customer lifecycle marketing pertains to every area of marketing, nonetheless it is particularly vital that you consider e-mail marketing, because email supplies a unique capability to contact your visitors at given moments with personalized messages.

When done correctly, personalized electronic mails combine all sorts of data to provide mails which are really relevant and beneficial to the client. Below can be an exemplory case of a personalized email right done right.

personalised e-mail marketing message

It’s vital that you consider ways to optimize your email messaging at certain key touchpoints over the customer journey, and for that reason going for a step back and looking the complete customer journey is crucial. To learn more on applying customer lifecycle marketing ways to your e-mail marketing campaigns, have a look at our new guide.

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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