Building a lifecycle marketing campaign can be intimidating for a small business owner if they haven’t made one before. You don’t want to lose your prospects or disappoint your customers, so quality is king when it comes to building an effective customer lifecycle campaign. After implementing nearly hundreds of successful lifecycle campaigns, we’ve discovered several recommendations to ensure your lifecycle marketing campaign is successful.

  1. Start with the end in mind. While some lifecycle marketing solutions guide you from the top of the campaign, we recommend designing your customer lifecycle campaign from the bottom up. This approach helps you stay focused on the objective and the critical actions that lead to the objective.
  2. Map out all possible outcomes. This tip sounds easier than done because it requires you to think objectively through all possible outcomes than only the desired one. For instance, a marketing campaign might assume that all people came in through one lead source — what if someone didn’t enter through that lead source? Or, what if they did not click a specific link or visited a particular page on your website? The goal here is to design your campaign for maximum reliability and compatibility with your prospect and customer behaviors.
  3. Keep it simple. It might sound neat to have the most complex customer lifecycle campaign with all the bells and whistles, but trust me; it can be a beast to maintain. The most effective lifecycle marketing campaign is the one that scales with the business and moves prospects to customers. That’s it. You don’t have to place your entire business operation into one campaign; in fact, you shouldn’t. But you should have a series of more straightforward campaigns tied together to help educate leads, so they become customers; delight customers, so they refer and welcome those referrals into your marketing funnel.
  4. Always test. Once you gain more comfort with developing lifecycle marketing campaigns, it’s easy to neglect to test because you “know” your campaign and “how” it should operate. The reality is that no matter what marketing automation software you use, there can be unexpected outcomes or technical issues with it — and you need to test and verify that contacts receive the information when they need to receive it. Don’t get arrogant and forget to check your campaign. You will find yourself a month later discovering people were not correctly segmented out of one campaign and placed into the next. It might also be a good idea to test any past campaigns to ensure they are functioning so you can identify and fix any issues with it promptly.
  5. Know when to get help. It’s terrific that you had built and launched your customer lifecycle campaigns on your own. However, after some time and growth in the business, they can become quite unwieldy to modification. If you haven’t adjusted your customer lifecycle in more than a year, it’s probably due for an audit to identify new opportunities and improvements. To take this on yourself, it will require time, dedicated focus, and a lot of learning about the latest in lifecycle marketing methodologies. Ask for help from a lifecycle marketing expert who can either guide you through the process or simply get it done. You have more important things to do than configure your marketing automation software.

These tips help newcomers to lifecycle marketing as well as trusted marketing automation professionals. The reality is that your customer lifecycle does age over time and you should be monitoring it for decay so you can fix it before significant issues crop up. The good news is, candidly, there are no correct answers or silver bullets; you need to be open to testing and validating unique approaches to staying in touch with customers and prospects.