Decrease Email Inactivity by Understanding Your Customer Lifecycle

December 23, 2014
By Phil Davis

decrease email activity by understanding your customer lifecycleOnce customers stop engaging with your messages, it’s easy to pass them off as inactive. In an effort to preserve your sender reputation, you likely pluck these addresses from your lists and leave them to gather dust within your inactive file. Often, though, there is more to the story than meets the eye.

You customers’ interests and needs will change over time. While prospects may eagerly open sales messages early in your relationship, their engagement may dwindle post-purchase. Why? Because you’ve satiated this initial need, and you need to target your messaging toward other desires. If your email messages don’t correspond to the particular lifecycle stage your customer is in, your customers will have little to no motivation to read your emails.

Email Activity Scoring and Lifecycles

One way to determine inactivity versus disinterest is to look at email activity scoring results. With this service, you’ll receive a score for each address on your list based on information such as email open activity, social media engagement, website registration and more. A high rank indicates an email address that is actively engaged across the TowerData’s network, while a low score indicates an inactive and likely abandoned address.

Armed with this ranking, you gain insight into which email addresses are not engaged at all, with any marketer, and which email addresses likely belong to customers who simply aren’t interested in your marketing emails. In those cases, it’s time to turn a critical eye inward and make sure your messages match the customer lifecycle. Essentially, the name of the game becomes lifecycle email segmentation.

Segmenting Lists by Lifecycle Stage 

When contacts first subscribe to your list, they may not be customers yet. In fact, this prospect may be window shopping solutions, and comparing your offerings against your competitors. Rather than inundating the subscriber with offers, focus on interspersing high-level, broadly appealing content into your messaging. Include information that educates rather than sells. 

For example, if you’re an automobile dealership, new subscribers might not be ready to act on your new car promotions. Instead, also send information that educates the subscriber on the latest vehicle safety ratings or on the differences between types and sizes of engines.

Once a customer makes a purchase, it may be a while before the customer is ready to make a second purchase. For the dealership, recent customers would probably rather see emails with maintenance tips or coupons for oil changes. Of course, as time goes on, the customer will eventually be back in the market for a new car—and that will be the perfect time to start sending out those new car offers once again.

The idea here is to understand your customer’s lifecycle and track content to match each stage of this process. Meet your customers where they are, and show you understand their needs. As customers transition through the various stages, you’ll be confident that you’re sending the right messages and the right times, and enjoy greater engagement and higher rates of retention.

Looking for more ways to use subscriber data to optimize your email marketing? Download our Email Intelligence Guide now.

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