All people are created equal, but that doesn’t mean they’re all equally likely to become an email subscriber. All email subscribers are also (presumably) people, but they’re not equally likely to share your content or purchase your products. What’s the difference? What sets people apart, when it comes to your platform? How should you treat people differently at each level?
The Three Stages of the Customer Life Cycle
In marketing lingo, there only three groups of people that come into contact with your platform. Everyone starts as a prospect when they first hear your name, visit your website, or see your post in their Facebook feed. Many people drop off there, but some people will move on to become a lead when they join your email list. Many leads stay leads for a long time, but some people move on from there to become a customer when they purchase your product. This framework is best illustrated, and described, as a funnel:
At each stage of your funnel, you have a different objective. When visitors first see your website, you want to craft their experience so they have a clear & compelling opportunity to say “yes” and opt in. Once they do opt in, your objective is to provide people with helpful, informative content that eventually leads to a sale. Once they’re a customer, your objective is to continue providing transformational products to help them succeed, so they come back and buy from you over and over again.
Your Online Marketing Funnel
With this model in mind, you need to take a close look at each stage of your funnel, and how you treat people differently as they interact with your platform.
- How do people first find your website, and what do they see?
- Is there a clear & compelling opportunity for new website visitors to opt into your email list?
- Do your email subscribers have an option to make a purchase that leads to transformation?
Don’t forget, once you have customers the life cycle funnel is over but your opportunity to change lives (and grow your platform) has just begun. At that point, think: how can you continue to serve your customers, so they keep buying products from your platform again and again?