By: Jeremy Brochue

Date: August 3, 2016

Creating great customer experiences all along the path to purchase is a key to online success.

Creating a vibrant sales pipeline for your brand depends upon your multiple digital touchpoints working together to nurture and engage your customer wherever they are on their purchase journey.

Whether they have only recently become aware of your brand or are a die-hard fan or a buy-every-time-an-email-goes-out loyalist, your content must resonate with them in that moment you have their attention.

Depending upon where your customers are on their purchase journey will dictate the type of content that will ultimately move them from a potential customer to a loyalist.

To help create a customer engagement and nurturing plan, here are three key customer types and how to move them along the path to purchase.

Potential Customers

Someone who has visited your website or retail store but has yet to buy your product or service.

Converting potential customers into engaged customers requires identifying and testing content for motivation triggers.

This can be done using targeted remarketing campaigns with unique offers specific to the campaign. Test campaigns can also be used across social channels, email, and paid search efforts.

The majority of time and testing will go into this part of the customer purchase journey as you work to determine your customers’ interests, identifying what prompts a purchase, and study their behavior to inform future marketing initiatives.

Once potential customers are on your website, it is important to stop overtly marketing to them and present them with the content they are seeking. Understanding what this content is and where and when to present it will require optimization, but with testing and patience, you will see your potential customer conversion rate improve rapidly.

Engaged Customers

A customer who has purchased your products or services at least once, but is not otherwise loyal to your brand.

To encourage engaged customers to become loyal customers, refine and optimize your customer experience using objective data and user testing. Your website or email analytics are a great place to begin looking at usage patterns and trends.

Use this data to help develop unique and useful content and promotions that will help build a strong sense of loyalty to the brand.

For customers who have purchased your products or signed up for your services, finding ways to increase their brand advocacy and engagement can be as simple as a post-purchase email requesting a product review. Such emails can further engage the customer with the promise of discount codes or entry into a sweepstakes.

Rewarding engaged customers via social channels can offer a low cost option to further encourage their advocacy. A simple “like” or retweet of a positive post related to your brand simultaneously fosters good will while increasing brand visibility.

Sometimes the simplest interaction can make an engaged customer a loyal one.

Loyal Customers

Customers who actively purchase from you and advocate on your behalf.

Loyal customers can be a brand’s best marketing resource. These customers’ advocacy through repeat purchases, positive endorsements, and engagement on social channels sets them apart. Finding ways to encourage deeper engagement can be your brand marketing’s secret weapon.

Help deepen the relationship with your loyal customers by providing them with customized online experiences and offers.

Here are some additional ways to successfully nurture and engage your loyal customers:

  1. Provide access to exclusive products, services or free upgrades
  2. Invite them to be product tester
  3. Create ambassador programs specifically for them
  4. Invite them to special events or product launches
  5. Seek out their feedback and implement it with credit to the customer

The effort of weaving a unique approach to each type of customer group in your digital campaigns will have short-term sales and long-term brand benefits. Focusing on your customers’ experience, wherever they are on their journey, will always pay dividends.

Subtext is a digital agency that focuses on building and optimizing online customer experiences for our clients. While we spend a lot of time talking about our clients’ customers every day, we also spend a great deal of time talking about our own customers and how we can build better relationships that support doing the best possible work together. To learn more about how Subtext works to build better relationships with clients, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!