How do you make sure that you can use video at every stage of your customer lifecycle? When we talk about retention marketing, we are mainly talking about a long-term relationship that we build by using a repeating message. How do you do that without driving people crazy? This is the topic of this blog. You have plenty of options to consider.
And while there is no uniform approach for life cycle marketing and funnel for customer retention, there are strategies where you should and should not use video during the customer journey. But before we discuss those strategies, let’s talk about the customer lifecycle. To start at the beginning, what is it actually?
At MakeSense we call this the journey that someone takes when he or she communicates with your product. This includes everything from the first welcome email they receive, to their in-app experience as they explore your product, to the pleasure they experience to measurable results.
The marketing funnel versus the customer lifecycle
While a traditional marketing funnel goes far beyond typical brand interactions, the customer lifecycle focuses on what happens as soon as someone enters the (digital) door, plus everything that comes after. Think of it as a mini-funnel, with the only focus being on retaining those customers, where other teams worked hard to attract them.
Although every company is different, there is still a way to design a lifecycle of your customers that applies to everyone. Whatever company you work for, your customers and your company still have certain core needs:
- Understand the service
- Know how your product helps them reach their goals
- Teaching your customers something
- Keep your customers and let them come back
Translate needs into actions
Group each customer lifecycle retention campaign based on its purpose and then re-assign it to one of five groups: activation, engagement, retention / optimization, recovery / retention and recovery.
Each campaign always falls into one of these groups. You can also use a few groups at a time, such as in-app notifications and email, to promote a campaign and get the most out of it.
Some examples of the types of campaigns that fall into each category are:
- Activation: emails that tell customers everything about your product and how you can use it.
- Involvement: a model on your site that uses an algorithm to recommend blog posts on topics that your customers find important.
- Optimization: sales reaching out after someone has completed a free trial period.
- Recovery / Retention: a proactive email series that reminds customers of the benefits of your product.
- Recovery: an email sent 30 days after the sale to remind them of the benefits of your product, with the ultimate goal of having them buy again.
Take the time to get it right
We can imagine that it might sound a bit strange to link all your campaigns to these five buckets, but it is worth it: it is really important to determine what your team should work on.
One way to organize the process is to plan using a visual graph. You can understand the status of your current program in a single overview and you gain a better understanding of what your goals are in the coming months. By creating a visualization of the customer lifecycle, you can easily describe your customer journey. Moreover, it is also an excellent way to explain it to the rest of your company why you choose to work on which projects.
If you look at your diagram and think: “How do I adjust all my data in four words?” Then I have good news: you don’t have to! Details are important to get your campaign going. Google Docs or Airtable are excellent for storing all that information, and if you want, you can link each bubble to your program-specific documents.
So you have your sheet, what now? You probably want to tackle all gray bubbles right away. But let’s be honest, that is not going to happen unless you have a team of 50 marketers who work with you who are all crazy about the customer journey.
Too often we promote content because it meets our goals, while it doesn’t really meet the goals of our users. By dividing campaigns into this model, you can determine what is best for both parties and you can reassure your target customer. Then, once every element is right, you can set your priorities and get to work!
Create an omnichannel campaign
The best campaigns are omnichannel, which means that they use multiple media to create the most impactful customer experience. However, omnichannel campaigns can also include omni project management. If you are not the designer, writer, developer and seller of your company, some coordination skills are undoubtedly required to successfully execute your campaign. GANTT cards, Trello signs and weekly check-ins are life-saving for your team. Whatever tools you choose, finding a way to work together is great for everyone.
Where does video fit in?
That is a question we ask ourselves every time we create a new campaign. Although video can do wonders for your brand, it is not always the right medium for every initiative. Yes, this idea may sound shocking from a video marketing company, but that’s why you don’t always see video in every part of our lifecycle marketing.
When thinking about the customer journey, it is important to remember that people have extremely short attention spans. According to an article published by Time, the average time of human attention is less than 8 seconds. That is very little!
If you have a specific goal and you need to get something across in a short time, video may not be the solution. An example of where video may not make sense is your activation content. Although video can be a great way to introduce your brand, it can be a distraction if you need your customer to take action (such as making their first video or entering their credit card details). Instead, have them go directly to the page they should visit and try to use a video after the transaction to create a beautiful moment that lingers in their mind.
If you still want to improve your activation content, GIFs can be a good way to introduce movement and life. If you don’t want to distract the message with a long video, you can instead add subtle movements to your e-mails to make the content more attractive and attract people’s attention while remaining true to your brand identity.
But you are a video company. Are you saying I don’t have to use video in my retention marketing?
Absolutely not! Video can be hugely successful for your engagement, retention and optimization. Think back to the beginning of this message: your customer success manager wants to give you a virtual high-five to achieve a certain goal. Would you choose a boring e-mail with text only, or a personal video message from her that smiles?
We have seen success using video in the outreach to potential customers who may be ready for the next step. They are not trained video experts – all they do is record simple, professional and personal videos, add them to their emails and voilà! The result creates a personal connection that helps the MakeSense brand stand out.
Do you still not know where to use video in the customer lifecycle? Test it! As marketers in the digital age, we fortunately have access to automation tools that make testing very easy. Whether you want to add a video to your email or chat tool, the world is within reach. Try it, find it out, and let us know how it goes!