Lifecycle Marketing Takes a Big Step Forward

Lifecycle marketing — i.e., a customer’s relationship with a company or brand over time which allows marketers to reach them on multiple levels — is quickly becoming the next big trend, according to the 2011 Lifecycle Email Marketing Survey conducted by StrongMail. The survey was conducted this month and consists of answers from more than 1,000 email marketing executives.

According to the survey, 46 percent of businesses already have some type of lifecycle email program in place, while 58 percent plan to adopt one within the next two years. The travel and hospitality industry leads the way in terms of adoption (63 percent), followed by retail (62 percent) and technology (58 percent). The financial sector lags way behind at 37 percent adoption of a lifecycle email program. For the companies that don’t have a program in place, 38 percent cited lack of budget and resources as the reason why, while 26 percent cited a lack of tools and technology.

The most popular type of lifecycle email marketing programs are welcome programs, used by 78 percent of the companies surveyed. Postpurchase comes next, used by 45 percent, followed by cross/upsell programs with 44 percent. Twenty-six percent of respondents run shopping cart abandonment programs, but that number increases to 57 percent within the retail industry.

Seventy-five percent of respondents said that lifecycle email programs outperform batch-and-blast and outbound email programs. Subscriber engagement was cited by 67 percent of respondents as the biggest benefit of an event-triggered lifecycle program, followed by by lift in campaign performance (55 percent), increased customer satisfaction/retention (54 percent) and increased revenue (46 percent).