How to use personalization to attract and retain customers over time
What is the customer lifecycle?
When a customer lands on your site for the first time, they have just stepped into the first part of an important process: the customer lifecycle. Marketers do everything they can to get customers to progress as quickly as possible through the stages, resulting in high conversion, increased revenue, and overall customer satisfaction
But what is the customer lifecycle?
There are a wide variety of definitions for this term, but the one that fits the best for our purposes is as follows:
You can break this down into stages. First, you get the customer’s attention. Then, you show them what you have to offer. With luck, this converts them into a paying customer. Then, they return to your store, and finally become customer advocates, so happy with your goods or services that they’re out there, persuading others to give you a try.
Clearly, not every customer completes the lifecycle. A big goal for many marketers is to try to retain as many customers, and there are several strategies for doing this. One of the most effective ways, without a doubt, is by using personalization.
Personalizing the customer lifecycle
There’s no one-rule-fits-all for life, no single strategy that works perfectly for everyone. In fact, it’s fair to say that no two people go through life in the same way. Why then do many companies prefer to use a one-size-fits all approach when trying to persuade customers to stay and come back?
It’s no surprise that by personalizing each stage of the customer life cycle, both B2C and B2B companies have seen increased engagement levels, higher recovery rates, greater initial conversion rates, higher average order value. When it comes to the customer lifecycle, almost every stat you can think of is improved with personalization.
How can you leverage personalization to get these results?
Now that we’ve established that the value of personalizing the customer lifecycle is undeniable, how can you effectively use personalization to get first-time visitors to become loyal, returning customers?
Determine what the lifecycle stages are for your customers
Every business is different, and lifecycles may vary across B2B, B2C, and other kinds of businesses. You can even create different lifecycles for subcategories of your business. This can help you pinpoint weak spots to shore up and determine which strategy is most effective for which potential new customers.
Determine what kind of customers you have
Not all customers are alike, and it pays to think about what it takes to get each different kind of customer from each different stage in the lifecycle.
Start creating custom content across all different stages, for all different customer types
For example, consider the first-time visitor. Where did they come from? Were they referred, or did they come from a certain search term? How can you make sure your landing page is most relevant for them?
What about customers who have purchased from you, returned to your site, but not bought form you again? What might be stopping them from making more purchases? How can you anticipate and address those potential concerns?
Think about your VIPS: your customers who have been with you and buying from you regularly. What rewards might they enjoy? How can you entice them to spread the word?
Do you have any customers who used to be regular big spenders, but have fallen out of touch? What content do you have that would persuade them to come back?
Building the relationship
Look for a personalization solution that allows you to customize each step of the customer lifecycle, across all facets of your online store. Whether they are searching on your store, being exposed to marketing campaigns, receiving emails from you, they should see content that satisfies them and convinces them to take that next step in their journey with you. Although it’s called a customer lifecycle, it may be more conducive to consider it more like building a relationship with each customer. By using personalization, it allows you to find and use the right techniques to make every potential visitor to your site a VIP.