Customer Lifecycle Marketing

Customer Lifecycle Marketing: How to Use it to Increase Engagement

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Spencer Coon
Sep 15, 2021 | Last Updated Sep 16, 2021

Many businesses feed on one-time purchases, but SaaS companies are different. A successful SaaS product needs not only to attract new customers but to keep them engaged and active for the long run. 

From the first point of contact to complete brand loyalty, the road that customers travel is long and has many stages. That’s where a Customer Lifecycle Marketing strategy (or CLM) can help you track and target your users according to where they are in the customer journey. A map directly to your current and future customers’ heart! 🗺️ 💘

In this article, we’ll define what Customer Lifecycle Marketing is, how it can benefit your SaaS company, and how to implement it successfully.  

How to use Customer Lifecycle Marketing to Increase Conversions and Engagement 

What is Customer Lifecycle Marketing?

Customer Lifecycle Marketing or CLM is a way to integrate all your marketing communication channels to guide your prospects and users through the customer journey. That is, defining strategies that will attract, convert, support, and retain customers, helping them with every interaction they have with your brand. To implement a Customer Lifecycle Marketing strategy for your SaaS company, you’ll need to:

  1. Understand and map the customer journey. That means the whole process from the first point of contact through the entire relationship between customer and brand, with its many entrances and possible exit points. 📍
  2. Identify the different stages in that map. You need to recognize each possible interaction and how it connects with the next steps. That’s the customer lifecycle!
  3. Personalize your communication and marketing strategies to target customers in different stages and provide the highest value in each lifecycle stage to move them forward.

customer lifecycle marketing: Understand and map the customer journey

The main goals of Customer Lifecycle Marketing

If you follow a Customer Lifecycle Marketing strategy, you’ll be able to guide your customers from awareness to purchase. Improve loyalty and long-term retention while avoiding the usual pitfalls that lead to users quitting or churn. 

In practice, that means engaging customers most efficiently and profitably according to where they stand on their journey; smoothly guiding them into a deeper and closer relationship with your SaaS product and brand: 

  1. Attract customers and lead them into making their first purchase.
  2. Turn those one-time customers into long-term subscribers or entice them to repeat purchases through upgrades, upsells, and cross-selling.
  3. Retain repeating customers and increasing brand loyalty with an evolving product, frictionless user interface, and quality.
  4. Interact with users to get better and insightful feedback to improve your SaaS product.
  5. Reactivate lapsed customers or users at risk of churning before they quit.

Customer Lifecycle Marketing it’s all about keeping them interested, engaged, and moving forward!

engaged long term customers

What are the benefits of Customer Lifecycle Marketing?

Customer Lifecycle Marketing may seem like a lot of work. Study the whole customer journey instead of narrowly focusing on a given campaign, metric, or communication channel. So is it worth it? 💰💰💰

As noted before, the main benefit of CLM is better customer engagement, which brings lots of retention, loyalty, and monetization opportunities. It’s all about a better brand and product experience.

Data shows that the cost of attracting a new customer is over 30 times more expensive than that of holding a current one. So moving your customers forward to increased brand loyalty is a sound business strategy.

benefits of Customer Lifecycle Marketing

Identifying the lifecycle steps and creating strategies

Customers move through a series of steps in their relationship with your SaaS product. Customers in different stages in the lifecycle have specific needs. So, you’ll need to devise different strategies to appeal to each one of them. Let’s examine approaches for customers at various points of their journey:

Awareness

At this stage, you still don’t have a relationship or a customer yet. The goal is to attract prospects by actively promoting your SaaS product and showing its value. How does it solve the real issues your potential customers may have? 

  • Search Engine Optimization or SEO will rank you higher on your potential customer’s searches. It will also help you reach the specific customers you’re looking for instead of just any visitor.
  • Traditional advertisement and a social media presence cast a wide net but with little to no accuracy. To improve the success rate of your ad campaigns, you need to rely on targeted ads that perform better.
  • You can use targeted ads for remarketing. That means engaging users that interacted with your brand before (through another ad, a landing page, or a blog post) but didn’t convert to customers. Win-back email campaigns and ad retargeting are great ways to reignite that flame 🔥🔥🔥. Most services like Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer remarketing tools.
  • Direct mailing campaigns and phone calls create a positive and personal bond with your potential clients. You’ll need to invest in a dedicated and active sales team; you can prioritize and reserve this approach only for large customers to put less strain on your budget.
  • Studies say that word-of-mouth influences 20 to 50% of purchases, so don’t underestimate the power of brand ambassadors, satisfied customers, influencer outreach, and tapping into the enthusiasm of early adopters.

awareness

Research

Potentials don’t just go and subscribe to a SaaS product! They first look for information to be sure. You need to provide an easy way to communicate with them at this stage, answering their questions and convincing them of your SaaS product value. More than 50% of buyers will abandon the purchase process if they can’t quickly find answers to their questions, so information is fundamental!

Here are some of the most commonly used strategies to help your potential customers find the information they need:

  • Blogs: Besides being a great way to attract new leads, you can present your product as the solution to your lead’s problem. You can also use content to solve immediate questions that can delay your users’ lifecycle. For example, how to install your product or how to use a complex feature.
  • Comparisons: Make sure to provide direct pricing information and a well-described feature list. You can make comparative tables with your different plans to show the specific value of each tier. Many companies also use this kind of table to demonstrate how their product is better than the competition. Promoting yourself as “a better alternative to…” is a common practice among SaaS companies.
  • Special offers: Probably one of the oldest tricks in the marketing world! Be creative. Sure, special offers and bundles provide additional value to your customers, but they also need to be profitable in the long run. You can do so by using them to promote more expensive plans or long-term contracts, for example, annual versus monthly subscriptions. Some companies give their limited-time offers a sense of urgency by using live timers.
  • Demos and trials: Demos and trials show the value of your product directly. Make the process to request or start a trial easy by using call-to-actions and prompts. As the user tests and experiences your product live, you can transition them to purchase inside it with little friction. For that, you’ll need to provide a clear and smooth onboarding process that shows the value of your product and guides users to the purchase.
  • Reviews: Even reviews usually are the end of the journey users read them before making a purchase. The data suggests that seven out of ten consumers changed their minds about a company that replied to a user review. Don’t think of reviews as a final and unchangeable judgment! Even a bad review with a helpful response on your part can change the mind of a potential customer.

research

Acquisition

Once you have closed the sale, you still need to keep users engaged. A SaaS companies’ central source of revenue is continued subscriptions and not single purchases. Providing excellent support and usability are the best ways to bond with your users to keep them interested and active.

  • Chat support: Chat widgets are all the rage among SaaS companies and not by chance. They provide a direct channel between users and your product, and they can be in any place, embedded on your site or inside your app. The customer is right there and can give you valuable feedback instantaneously, unlike with forms or emails.
  • Online forms: Many consider forms a dead form of the internet (pun intended), but there are still here. Publishing a contact email may grant you enormous amounts of spam and user emails hard to filter and answer. A form may simplify that process. You can improve that old device by adding user-friendly features like allowing them to choose who they want to contact (sales, billing, marketing, technical support). You can also send them confirmation emails and provide estimated response times to assure them that their messages matter.
  • User interface and user experience: A frictionless user interface (UI) and experience (UX) make a better product. That’s a given! But it also helps to guide users to conversion.
  • Personalized communication: Personalization can be a very effective strategy for Customer Lifecycle Marketing and produce long-term and high-value customers. By implementing personalization strategies, you can improve engagement, heighten retention, recommend features to increase discovery, and show your customers (potential and current) that you see them as individuals. 
  • Documentation and help: That means providing users with ways to solve their issues and questions by themselves; documentation pages, help centers, FAQs, and knowledge bases. Detailed and comprehensive information reduces the demand for communication with human employees and your budget.

An increasing number of SaaS are using the self-service because –among many other motives– as it doesn’t require a human to close the sale, it reduces waiting times while increases the revenue per employee (or REP).

You can implement a self-service model in different ways, and we have written about that before. The easiest way is to provide opportunities for your users to find the information they are searching, and to take by themselves the next step: purchase.

For example, instead of hiding premium features, allow your users to find them and get interested. If you add a prompt or call-to-action, they can arrive at the billing page to unlock new features. Upselling or cross-selling but done by the users themselves!

cusrtomer journey: acquisition

Engagement

Attention is the currency of this era! 👀  Keeping your users engaged is securing long-term revenue. Any fix or improvement you make to your product is an opportunity to improve your relationship with your audience, but how to keep them updated? 

For that, you’ll need a changelog or a notification system. The way you communicate your updates is not unimportant. Do it in context (like inside your product itself), use visual feedbacks to catch the eye, and make it actionable. Don’t just inform your users but take them directly where they need to go to try the new features or read the whole story.

communicate product updates

 

Beamer is a tool designed precisely for that. With Beamer, you can create a changelog, embed it in your site or app, and start publishing updates in just a few minutes. Your users will see a visual reminder each time there’s news they haven’t read.

With a simple click, your users will be able to read, share, react, and comment. You can even lead them to a fuller version of the update, to your blog, or to the new feature you want them to start using.

With in-app notifications, you can highlight important updates and tease them with a sneak peek of what they’ll find, and with push notifications, you can keep them informed and engaged even when they are outside your site.

You can target all your content, announcements, and notifications with segmentation to tap into your users’ particular interests, previous in-app behavior, or even their purchase history. Ideal for upselling and cross-selling! For example:

  • Target users to upgrade from a basic plan to a higher tier.
  • Entice users that haven’t used a new feature to discover it and start including it in their workflow.
  • Promote add-ons for those customers who use a specific tool or product regularly.
  • Offer discounts on a product for those who have already purchased one in the past.
  • Give loyalty discounts to users that have spent longer using your product.
  • Send encouraging messages to users who return after a long hiatus.
  • Rekindle the interest of users that have created an account but haven’t logged in a while.

Loyalty

As we established before, Customer Lifecycle Marketing is powered by loyalty.⚡ To sustain loyal customers is not only cheaper than finding new ones, but they are also capable of bringing new potentials right to your door. How? With NPS.

Net Promoter Score or NPS is a measurement of user engagement, loyalty, and enthusiasm. Using a straightforward survey, you can identify who among your users is a promoter and who’s a detractor. And you can use that information to improve your Customer Lifecycle Marketing.

Promoters –those who rate you high on the survey– are most likely to keep using your product, give you positive reviews, and recommend you with their peers through word-of-mouth. Once you have identified them, you can contact them to tap into their enthusiasm and loyalty for your brand to turn them into ambassadors or evangelists.

customer journey: loyalty

Nurture that relationship with rewards like one-to-one communication, early access, or an affiliate program. They will be inclined to keep supporting you, share your content on their social media and even produce user-generated content, one of the best –and according to some most honest– forms of publicity in the current times. Your promoters can give you a signal boost that many advertising firms wish they could.

Detractors, on the other hand, are not a curse but a diamond in the rough. They may be less than enthusiastic now, but if you take their feedback seriously, improve your product and then report back to them, they can quickly go from hate to love. 💎💗 By understanding your detractors and improving your Net Promoter Score, you’ll increase the growth and sales of your SaaS company.

Beamer is not just a changelog. It’s a full suite of tools, including NPS! With Beamer NPS, you can create surveys, embed them in your site or inside your product, and start measure engagement right away.

With Beamer’s powerful analytics and segmentation features, you can engage your promoters and detractors and close the feedback loop. Use their insights to keep improving your SaaS product and their experiences to promote it to new users. 🔁 That is the ultimate goal of a lifetime marketing strategy!

NPS

 

Understanding the customer lifecycle is the best way to identify your users’ pain points, implement strategies to improve user retention, and even change the minds of those who are close to quitting. Customer Lifecycle Marketing takes the customer journey and puts it to work, a must-have for any successful SaaS product. Lifetime loyal customers! 🎖️

If you’re looking for a tool to communicate better with your prospects and users and implement a Customer Lifecycle Marketing strategy, think of Beamer. Beamer is a changelog that can help you communicate updates, improve feature discovery, personalize your marketing strategy, target your users in each stage of the lifecycle and collect insightful analytics. For all of that and more, try Beamer for free today.