Tips For Mapping A Customer’s Email Marketing Journey

The ever-so-increasing number of email users across the world makes email one of the most powerful tools for a brand to connect with its customers. The trend is similar across all businesses — whether it’s a B2B business marketing its services to C-suite or a B2C brand marketing to its consumers (or end users). In fact, for eCommerce companies, emails even drive sales directly.

But using emails to engage, acquire, and retain more customers takes careful planning. To send the right emails at the right time (and to the right subscribers) needs an understanding of the entire customer journey, as it relates to email marketing.

Let’s now look at a typical email lifecycle and how you can create touch points at every step to engage with your subscribers meaningfully throughout their buying journey.

Understanding the Stages

Any person who has subscribed to your list (let’s call these subscribers “leads”) is at some point in their buying journey.

To start with email marketing for these subscribers, you need to understand the different stages in your buying cycle because at each stage in the buying cycle, your leads are looking for (or will find) only a certain type of content (or email) relevant.

For example, if you send a product case study to a person who has subscribed to your blog updates, you’ll end up annoying them because your product case study is NOT RELEVANT to them (at least not at this point). They probably don’t even know what your product does – maybe they just like your blog content.

Without understanding your customers’ buying stages, you risk sending irrelevant emails, resulting in more unsubscribes and SPAM complaints.

So let’s look at the five typical stages of the buying journey and how you can map your emails to it.

The Awareness Stage

This is the first stage in a customer’s journey where a customer is just aware of their problem.

They know they need a product or service to take care of their problem.

At this stage, you should make your subscribers aware of your products and services by educating them about it.

Your emails at this point should only focus on sharing educational content.

To educate its traveler subscribers about its suitcase, AWAY (a luggage store), designed an email that focused solely on explaining its subscribers all the features and benefits of it.

Notice how the email content is highly educational at this awareness stage:

Email content for awareness stage

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Here’s an example of another email for leads in the awareness stage. It’s from a premium hosting provider, Flywheel, offering its users some educational content they’ll find valuable.

educational content for awareness stage
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The Consideration Stage

The second stage in a typical customer lifecycle is the consideration stage where a customer is already considering your product or service (or a set of products/services).

Your email subscribers (or leads) who are at the consideration stage have very different content needs from your leads on the other stages of their buying journey.  At the consideration stage, they’re typically “exploring” your product and they seek information on how your product works, its features and more.

So, at this point, your emails should share case studies or product videos or anything else that could help your lead get onboard.

In the email below, Adobe shares in its email a video explaining how a legendary photographer uses Adobe for creating iconic photography for his business:

Email example for Consideration Stage

The Decision Stage

At the decision stage of the customer lifecycle email, a lead is ready to make a purchase.

So, at this point, your emails should give your leads any content that might help them convert such as social proof like testimonials, discounts, exclusive offers and more.

Pepperfry, an online furniture seller, shares a testimonial of its customer while offering its other products to the buyers along with pricing.

Email example for decision stage

If you’re a B2B business, you might just send an email inviting the lead for a live demo at this point.

Or, you can send them an email offering an exclusive free trial.

At this stage, you can also send emails that trigger a purchase such as limited time offers or discounts.

Titan Raga Viva used an email to invite its leads to buy with a limited time sales offer.

Such email nudges can be very useful for convincing the decision stage leads to convert.

email example to send emails at decision stage

The Retention Stage

Once a lead turns into a customer,  you need to keep them engaged so you don’t lose them to your competitors.

Getting repeat business (like more product sales or service renewals or cross-sells/upsells) from existing clients is way easier than attracting, engaging, and converting fresher leads.

You can use a lot of ways of engaging your leads once they convert — for example, by sending a feedback email, you can show your customers that you value their opinion.

Further, you can use all the positive feedback you receive to fuel your emails in the consideration and decision stages.

For example, the Thompson Chicago Hotel asks its customer to share their experience by taking a quick survey through emails:

Email example at retention stage

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The Advocacy Stage

Once your leads become customers and are happy with your product or service, it’s time to recruit them as your brand advocates.

Simply put,  you should now offer a very high standard of service (or quality of products) and encourage your customers to spread the word about your brand with their social circles and peers.

So, at this point, your emails must seek referral business.

Take for example, how Ticktail offers a 10% discount on the next purchase both to its customer (and the friend they get onboard):

Email example at advocacy stage

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Wrapping it up …

Now that you’ve just read about the different stages your leads go through while converting, you can imagine how frustrating irrelevant email content can get.

Seriously, just consider how much more likely you’ll be to buy a service you’re considering if you suddenly get a great offer for the first year? Likewise, even your email subscribers or leads are responsive to well-timed emails with relevant content.

As an email marketer, it’s your job to understand your subscribers’ content needs all through their buying journey. Your email marketing strategy (and your email content) must be modeled after the stages of their buying journey.

This won’t just get you better results from your email campaigns, but will also bring down your unsubscribes. An email marketing service like Juvlon can go a long way in helping your build powerful email campaigns that you can automate and scale across your entire email lifecycle. Check out how we can help