Lifecycle marketing (i.e., contacting customers based on where they are in the contact and purchase process) is getting lots of attention in many businesses. In fact, it’s so important that at VerticalResponse we created a brand new Customer Lifecycle Marketing team. And it’s not just about email marketing, although that’s what we’re focusing on here, it’s about how you move your customers through the purchase process and then retain them for hopefully a very long time.

That said, you want to send very timely, targeted and relevant emails to these recipients whether they’ve just signed up for your newsletter or they’ve been a customer for a long time. Here we’ve put together some simple ideas (and examples) for you.

The Welcome Email

Every business should send a welcome email. It’s the perfect time to reach out to new customers or email newsletter sign-ups, and even reward them for the action they took with your business. And you don’t need to get fancy, a simple “thank you” and “welcome” will do the trick.

Here’s an example from Ace Hardware. What I really like about this email is they welcome new newsletter subscribers, set expectations about what they’ll receive, and encourage a purchase by offering a discount.

  • Subject Line: Welcome to Ace! Save $10 today


Here’s a welcome email from Target which also does an excellent job of setting expectations. The dog is also adorable and adds a nice “cute factor.”

  • Subject Line: Welcome to!


Conversion Emails

Conversion emails are also important for any business trying to get more paying customers. You can target non-purchasers and send an email encouraging them to make their first purchase.

Here’s an example from Trubates offering a $10 credit after the first purchase is made. It’s also effective because they break down the purchase process and remove barriers by providing three easy steps.

  • Subject line: Make your first purchase on Trubates, Earn $10


Winback Emails

Many businesses spend tons of time focusing on getting new customers, but not as much time on keeping existing ones. This is a missed opportunity because it’s generally less expensive to retain current customers than acquire new ones. If a customer hasn’t engaged with your business in a while, send them an email encouraging them to do so. Here are a few good examples of winback emails.

  • Equifax: Come back to Equifax and take charge of your credit


  • Crowdsavings: We Want You Back Offer


Soup to nuts – from welcoming new customers into your business, to converting them to a paying customer to making sure they are active – these are all great examples of how you might want to try to inject “lifecycle emails” into your bag of marketing tactics.

Are you sending lifecycle emails? If so, what touch-points are working for you?

© 2011 – 2012, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

Related Blogs

Ready to apply what you've
learned about Email