Research is continuing to show that lifecycle campaigns are highly effective in any email marketing strategy. A study recently conducted by StrongMail showed that 46% of companies worldwide are utilizing these types of campaigns to keep subscribers in-tune with their message. 44% of those companies said they use them to drive cross-selling and up-selling initiatives, while 76% said they use them to power their welcome programs.
Driven by automation, a lifecycle campaign refers to a type of email marketing program that delivers messages at predetermined intervals. For instance, you may schedule a message to be automatically sent whenever a subscriber responds with an inquiry for more information. These campaigns are often used to carry a sequence of messages designed around a specific event. A perfect example would be creating an automated series that aims to build anticipation and increase attendance for your next convention.
Lifecycle campaigns are powerful, no doubt about it. Following are some tips on how you can use your email marketing software to make the most of that power:
Pick Your Triggers
A lifecycle campaign can run on a number of different triggers, which in this case, refers to the events that prompt the delivery of your messages. As the StrongMail study showed, one of the most common triggers is a new subscription. Someone visits your website, likes your offer, and decides to join your mailing list. Once they do, your predesigned welcome message is instantly delivered to further the process. Other examples of good triggers include purchases, service renewals, and subscriber birthdays.
Stay on Track
The importance of relevance is stressed on a regular basis in the email marketing community. It is arguably even more important when you are using lifecycle campaigns to drive your message to your audience. It is very possible to personalize your program to make each message relevant to each individual subscriber, but your ability to do it effectively will depend on just how well you know them. Gather as much information on your subscribers as you possibly can, because the more you know, the better your lifecycle campaigns will perform overall.
Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Ironically, the automated aspect of lifecycle email marketing is perhaps its biggest disadvantage as well. If you are not careful, your prescripted messages could easily start to sound mechanical and rather impersonal. When this happens, you run the risk of lulling the reader to sleep, instead of keeping their interest high. This is why it is important to follow up whenever possible with direct messages that maintain the human component of your marketing strategy.
Lifecycle campaigns definitely work, and more data is being revealed to illustrate just how effective they can be. With that said, it is imperative to realize that while they allow you to easily put your efforts on autopilot, having a careful balance of automation and direct communications is a must. Understanding this is key in growing closer to your audience.
Sakura is a writer, and advocate for leading web and permission based email marketing software.