3 Tips to Ensure Lifecycle Marketing Success
By Julie Graham / February 25, 2016

It’s no secret lifecycle emails outperform promotional emails. Let’s take off our marketing hats and get into the mindset of the consumer. When looking through your own inbox, what would make you grin from ear to ear – the surprise of a birthday email containing an offer or a Tuesday “gotta have it now” email? When brands invest in us as consumers, we feel understood and appreciated, are more inclined to establish a connection, and ultimately convert.
Despite the proven ROI of triggered lifecycle email programs, a small percentage of marketers are actually implementing them successfully, due to the all too familiar challenge of data.

At MarketingSherpa Summit 2016, Jen Ewell, CRM and Retention Manager of Ecommerce at Columbia Sportswear, shared an amazing story of the brands’ two year lifecycle messaging journey including implementation plan, testing strategies, and results. Across three of Columbia’s brands, Jen runs a variety of lifecycle campaigns. From welcome and anniversary, to cart and browse abandonment – each message carries an underlying theme that all marketers can leverage to ensure campaign success.

Here are the 3 key, easy-to-implement, tips any marketer can use to accomplish their lifecycle messaging goals:

No matter your list size, implement something now – Start with the data you have today, build a plan to grow, and optimize later. As your database grows and your understanding of our consumers’ changes and improves, so will your lifecycle messaging strategy. Start small, and start with what you know. This will provide a foundation for growth. No matter how many customers you are speaking to, elevating your messaging strategy with relevancy will increase engagement and conversion.

Make a little data go a long way – Acquiring the data needed to power highly targeted emails can sometimes be difficult. Get creative with the data you do have to provide the most value. This can be as simple as sending a birthday email. Nothing is more personal than celebrating your consumers on their special day! Don’t have birthday? Use the anniversary of their email subscription or purchase date to send a yearly anniversary email to thank them for being a fan of your brand.

Don’t stop learning about your customer – Don’t get stuck in the black hole that is every marketer’s blindspot, self-interest. Keep your customer’s needs, wants, and challenges top of mind while continuing to build and optimize your lifecycle programs. Use behavioral data such as click behavior to deliver more relevant content. In addition, use the email channel to acquire more data from your subscribers from birthday, to gender, and beyond!

Want to learn more about Columbia’s lifecycle journey and the numbers that are blowing their promotional campaigns out of the water, download the presentation from MarketingSherpa Summit today!

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