To increase the chances of retaining customers for email campaigns you must get to know as much as possible about them. One thing they will have in common is that they will go through a set of stages during their stay with you. Some parts will be missed, taken out of order or even ignored altogether.
Any series of headings will be just a guide, so here is a simple way of describing them which is as valid as any.
- They visit the website
- They return
- They register
- They buy
- They stop buying
The first approach will be via a browser in more ways than one. The visitor comes to your website for the first time. You can look on this procedure as similar to a potential customer coming to a shop, either for a casual look around or in an attempt to find a specific product. The website should function in the same way as the display. They will want to pick up items, examine them and perhaps ask your staff for further information.
With a website, the browsing history from cookies will give certain specific information and the statistics from your website hosting will provide more general ones.
A returnee shows you are doing something right. Given the ease with which comparisons in prices or products can be made on the internet, a first time visitor buying will in all probability not be the norm. Therefore a return visitor has got to be good news and viewed with some excitement. The website should encourage the transition to purchaser by making it as easy as possible
Whilst for most online sales the majority of customers would register when they buy, some, those with a bit of savvy or experience perhaps, might hold back to wait for the offers. These need special treatment to move them on to the next stage. You should have systems established to stroke these, to encourage them to make that all important step.
The first purchase is just that: the first. A customer who actually buys something should not be seen as a success story but as a potential regular, that most precious of items. Processes should be planned into your systems to reward them for that first purchase.
Sooner or later the vast majority of customers will become inactive or dormant. But this is not so much a disaster as a signal for a change in the way you are dealing with them to get them back into the fold.
The mindset of the customer will differ at each stage of their progress through the lifecycle. It is vital that they are not allowed to follow their own route. You should establish systems to encourage them to become or return to being a regular customer. Email marketing has the resources to do just that.