email lifecycle programs

The Three Email Marketing Lifecycle Programs You Can’t Live Without

With all of the shiny objects out there that constantly have us distracted, I wanted to take some time to chat about the 3 lifecycle programs that your B2B, DTC, or eComm company simply cannot live without. And if you have them in place – GREAT! Perhaps there is a tip or two you can learn from this blog.

The beauty about lifecycle programs is that these programs trigger at key stages of the customer journey. So while yes, we are sending emails, we are actually meeting the customer where they are. Let’s break them down.

First and MOST IMPORTANT – Your New Customer Welcome Program!

I cannot emphasize this enough. Having an in place welcoming program is key in building a new relationship with your new customer. 

This program is NOT to be confused with a lead opt-in program. When a lead comes and gives you their email address to “subscribe” to your community, you may also welcome them, but this kind of email has a very different intention. (We’ll be going over this in another post, or I’m also happy to chat about it one-on-one.) 

Let’s focus on what should happen over the first few weeks when a new customer, not a lead, has made a purchase. 

  1. Typically, new customer welcomes have about 3-5 emails in them. Some go a little longer if the company has a need to onboard the customer a little longer, for example a company that wants them to exhaust their features/benefits.
  1. The first emails should focus on connecting your brand with your new customer – which leads to brand loyalty and higher LTV
  1. As you go on, you should be setting expectations – what will it be like for your customers to be a part of your community?
  1. Finding everything – this is your chance to condition them to know what to expect. 
  1. Getting in the know – Going to be sending key emails on Fridays? Let them know and why they need to pay attention. Need them to use their dashboard to self serve? Great – show them how.

Pro Tip: Make sure that if you have a referral or loyalty program, you show it off here. And if you want some feedback, this is a perfect series to add a CSAT survey (typically with 75% response rates).


Next – Abandoned Cart…or if your company has a sign-up process, Abandoned Sign-Up. 

This program has been around a long time and typically has a very methodical structure that you definitely should set up exactly if you are not already.

Typically, this should consist of 3 emails.

  1. Email #1 within an hour of abandoning (timing is key for relevance here), 
  2. Email #2 comes 24 hours later 
  3. Email #3 should be 48-72 hours later.

The biggest mistake of most abandoned cart programs is that they are too pushy. While the company is looking to highlight urgency, they come across way too pushy and the program suffers because of this. 

Try this formula:

  1. Email #1 – Helpful, not selling. You have already risked irritating the user by sending this email right away so being pushy is not an option. Take a moment – highlight benefits, layer in some fear of missing out, etc.
  2. Email #2 – A sense of urgency – Let your shoppers know their carts will expire soon and any discounts associated won’t be guaranteed later.
  3. Email #3 – increased sense of urgency. The third email should incentivize the shopper to complete their purchase – why not offer a limited time discount or free shipping?

Finally, you need a Customer Win-Back program in place. 

In the email world this program is often confused with a lead re-engagement program – They are so different! The key word here is customer. 

We want to think of a customer winback in 2 phases – pre-churn and post-churn. So every company should have churn indicators. 

These could be a purchase lapse within XX days or they are unresponsive to renewal communications. Whatever it may be, once these behaviors are identified, you better pause all other communications and get these folks into a “let’s get you back on track we’re listening” kind of program.

In about 60% of cases, we’re going to get them back engaged. But what about the others? Well, once we know they have churned, it is time to move them down a very personalized path to 

a) understand WHY they churned and

b) try to see what we can do to help win them back. 

These programs are life-changing for organizations – happy to chat more about these in the comments.

So, if you don’t have these programs running, now is the time to get to the drawing board or get some help mapping these out. If you do have them running, time to look for optimizations. These are so important and will make or break those lifecycle programs.

Let us know if we can answer any questions – and as always, happy emailing!!!

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