Personalizing your content isn’t just professional, it’s profitable. In a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), more than half of the respondents say they are expecting a 6 percent increase in revenue just from personalization. These efforts could include anything from personalized newsletter headers and footers to purchase modes like automatic replenishment for subscription-based goods and services, among other forms of convenience.
Who Can Personalize Their Customer Lifecycle?
A study by Kissmetrics found that more than half of respondents from different industries agree that content personalization is more effective than unpersonalized content.
Personalizing your customer lifecycle is important because it not only allows you to measure content consumption and engagement, but it also allows businesses to measure their ROI and gain richer intel around sales and lead opportunities.
Generally, customer lifecycle personalization enables brands to usher more customers toward payment or subscription in the best way possible. There are many ways to incorporate this in each stage of your customer lifecycle, regardless of industry.
Step 1: Identify Your Customer Lifecycle Stages
Every customer lifecycle is different. Depending on your business, you can even create subcategories for your lifecycle stages to create a hyper-targeted strategy within each stage. There’s no shame in using a general lifecycle, but creating your own allows you to have full control of your marketing techniques and makes it easier for you to identify weak links.
- Acquisition: This is the point where the customer hears about your brand. You rely on ads, maybe a free trial, to get your customer to subscribe to your service or buy your product. You can use landing pages, deliver free content in the form of informative blogs, ebooks, and whitepapers to get them interested.
- Subscription: Congratulations, your customer is already in the bag! Most companies offer a free trial period to introduce the brand’s key features. The marketing tactics at this stage should focus on convenience and utility.
- Usage: At this stage, it’s crucial that you maintain credibility by being flexible with the business solutions you offer in order to successfully reach the next step, which is retention. In this phase, understand their problems and find ways to mitigate or eliminate them.
- Retention: The retention stage is the most vital part of the customer lifecycle, particularly for subscription-based businesses. Repeat customers are high-value and can generate more profits than new business. The strategies you employ here should focus on addressing problems in subscription and usage, which you can then use to improve the acquisition stage for other clients.
Step 2: Define Your Buyers
Not all clients are the same, which means you can’t use the same strategies for each of them. You can categorize your clients according to how they behave or their customer lifecycle stage, and use their movements to ease them through the sales funnel.
Common categories include:
New customer: Those who haven’t heard of your brand
Free-trial: Those who have shown intent and are undergoing your free trial
Subscribed: Ongoing customers
Regular Subscription: Repeat ongoing customers
You won’t share the same resources with Subscribed clients and Free-trial clients. You might want to create separate rewards for clients under Regular Subscription and New Customer. By separating your customers into categories, you get a clear picture of what they need, what material they are currently exposed to, and what it takes to usher them toward the end of the lifecycle.
Step 3: Create Content According to Your Categories
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can only deliver personalized content for a certain stage or buyer. Every stage and every buyer is ripe for potential. Here are some things you can do to personalize according to different stages and categories:
Create hyper-personalized newsletters: Hyper-personalized newsletters are the perfect example of cross-stage personalization. They have an 89 percent click-through rate and get 43 percent more opens than mass newsletters.
For example, this newsletter from HubSpot was designed for a Repeat Customer. This can be sent in both the Subscription and Usage stage, and is a great way to motivate the user to turn into a Repeat Customer.
Create events, both big and small: The stages in the customer lifecycle hold different degrees of importance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make an event out of each one. What this is means is that you should always find ways to connect with your customers, no matter what stage.
Make a big deal out of their trial beginning and expiration or when they first subscribe to your newsletter. Is it their second time subscribing? Send them a discount code they can use for future transactions. Always create something to look forward to, and each step of your customer lifecycle will feel more exciting.
Interact through text: From capturing a client’s attention to closing a deal, you can use text messaging to provide immediate solutions, updates and suggestions to clients who want to get in touch with you.
Set up milestones: Doing this accomplishes two things: first, you are able to track their movement through the customer lifecycle. Second, you can increase the chances of retention and referrals through rewards and other interactions.
You can personalize rewards for first-time subscriptions, monthly subscriptions, and annual subscriptions. A rewards-based or discount-based system is a great incentive that encourages customers to keep using your service.
The road to personalization is easy. Following these three easy steps, you can start leading your business to success:
• Identify the stages that best fit your business and industry
• Define your customers according to their behavior and stage in the customer lifecycle
• Create content according to your stages, or mix it up and repeat strategies for varying stages
Those who personalize their content enjoy the capability to scale their business’ growth at each lifecycle stage. This includes:
• The ability to create hyper-targeted campaigns that complement every stage of the customer lifecycle, making it easier to usher customers toward a purchase
• Satisfying customer needs and understanding their needs according to their buying stage, and using this data to predict and improve future customer interactions
• Testing and optimizing each marketing campaign to see what works and what doesn’t
More importantly, personalization helps identify you apart from your competitors. And in a saturated business world, every distinct feature counts.
Anastasia Sviridenko is a content marketing manager at TextMagic, a bulk SMS solution for business