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What’s Missing In Your Customer Lifecycle Journey?

As online marketers, we can often become shortsighted; blind to the full customer journey. We get fixated on that dynamite lead generation strategy or the progressive ecommerce experience. Don’t get me wrong – those are necessary pieces to helping an online user convert – but what about the touch points afterward?

I’ve heard many different reasons – it’s not my department, the sale is already complete and out of my hands, I don’t have the staff…Yes, all of this can be true but there are simple online tactics that you can put in place to help overcome these obstacles and really make an impact on the customer experience – especially for the mature-market customer.

What tactics you ask? Email messages after the online conversion.

Sounds straightforward, right? But surprisingly few organizations take advantage of post-lead acquisition or post-sale emails. In the 2013 Marketing Sherpa Email Marketing Benchmark report, only 40% of marketers reported that they email to confirm an online form completion or sale. We refer to these types of messages as Transactional emails. Unlike Commercial emails (newsletters, promos, etc.), Transactional emails are confirmations; customers expect to receive them based on the action they took online. Transactional emails are an important part of completing the brand experience and fulfilling the online customers’ expectations.

In this day of message bombardment, any time a customer expects to interact with your brand is an opportunity not to be missed.  Engagement experiences beyond the point of conversion, including confirmation emails or e-receipts, pay off. Experian Marketing Services research found that transactional emails significantly outperformed commercial or bulk email messaging for four key performance metrics – open rate, click-through-rate, conversion rate and average revenue value per email. Yes, commercial emails definitely play an important role in acquisition and nurture efforts. But when an online customer completes a critical point in the buyer’s journey, there is a huge opportunity for up-selling and cross promotion.

Look beyond the online conversion.

In the service industry after a lead becomes a customer, there are several opportunities to send transactional emails – appointment details, service notes, follow up recommendations, etc. All of these touch points are valuable for both your company and the client.

Looking at where you can use email in your customer lifecycle is mission-critical for mature market product and service businesses. According to The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, email use continues to be the basis of online communications for older adults with 86% of internet users 65+ using email and 48% doing so on a typical day. Boomers are also outspending younger adults online 2 to 1 on a per capita basis. Overlooking the subtle yet impactful touch points in Transactional emails would be a major loss. And if you’re not already using it, the good news is that most online technology supports the setup of transactional emails.

So when you’re getting ready to evaluate how to best optimize the dollars you spend on online marketing, don’t forget about the transactions throughout your customer lifecycle.

Engage older adults online through the power of email. Contact us today for a consultation on your brand’s email strategy.

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