Lifecycle Marketing Guide for Small Business Owners

What’s the difference between businesses that thrive and those that seem to just survive? Successful businesses have a sales and marketing plan that brings in a constant stream of new prospects and maximizes the value of existing customers. This is done by understanding the principles of Lifecycle Marketing for Small Business.

So what is Lifecycle marketing? Well, the easiest way that I can think to explain it to you is to just show you the seven steps thriving businesses are using to grow, nurture and retain valuable customers.

Lifecycle Marketing

Lifecycle Marketing

The 7 Stages of Lifecycle Marketing

  1. Attract Traffic – use content like free reports, webinars, blog posts, podcasts, and videos to attract traffic to your website.
  2. Capture Leads – convert the traffic to your website into subscribers by giving them something for free as an incentive for them to give you their contact information via a web form.
  3. Nurture Prospects – provide your subscribers with an ongoing series of educational information that is automated, yet highly personalized.
  4. Convert Sales – turn your prospects into customers with eCommerce tools and a well defined marketing strategy.
  5. Deliver and Satisfy – Fulfill your orders on time, and then provide additional unexpected value that surprises and delights customers.
  6. Upsell Customers – Determine your longer-term strategy for ensuring that your customers continue to buy more of your products and services so that you can generate additional recurring revenue.
  7. Get Referrals – Encourage your customers to refer more customers by creating incentives.

These seven steps are at the core of every successful business. Without them in place, you have holes in your business and you are leaving money on the table.

Lifecycle Marketing is a concept that isn’t terribly new, per se; however, for most small businesses, the challenge of consistently executing this concept across their entire database of prospects and customers is one that is often elusive.

To help agencies and small business owners overcome this challenge, has published our very own Lifecycle Marketing Guide for Small Business Owners and it is our hope that the information you find in the accompanying sections of this guide proves invaluable to your business.

Section One: Attract Interest

What are you doing to let people know about your business? You can do this either online or off-line.

Off-line options would include traditional advertising such as print, radio, television, direct mail, and others. These options tend to me fairly expensive and make it much more difficult to track your results than the newer online methods that are proving so popular today.

Online options would include email marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), pay per click, blogging, social media and so much more. The reason that these methods have become so popular is because they work! Not only do they generally cost less (or are free), but with online methods, you can track every click, page view, video view, etc…

In aggregate, all this data is incredibly valuable because, armed with it, you are able to immediately assess whether or not what you are doing is getting the results you want. Plus, you are also able to run A/B tests, which are like GOLD for marketers.

If you are going to succeed in attracting interest, there are a few very basic things that you must have in place if you are to build your online marketing on a solid foundation. These things include:

  • A target audience
  • High quality, relevant content
  • A modern website to display that content
  • Website analytics

But the question I always ask is what are you doing to get people to consume your information or to come into your business or to look at your website?

Additional Resources

Section Two: Capture Leads

The next step in lifecycle marketing is capturing leads. Now that you have generated all this traffic to your business, it’s important that you capture contact information from the people that have visited your website, your brick-and-mortar store, etc.

Every time somebody visits your business and you don’t capture their contact information, it’s like fishing with a net that has a gigantic hole in it. The fish swim in the top of the net and swim right out the back of the net. It doesn’t make much sense, doesn’t it? You need to have easy way to capture this information.

Some of the best ways to capture leads is with

  • Online web forms
  • QR codes
  • Events
  • Networking activities
  • Walk-ins
  • Referrals
  • Call ins

Each one of these examples can be used to capture simple contact information for every person that visits your business.

When I talk about simple information, I am talking about something as simple as their first name and their email address.

Please remember that the more information you ask for, the less likelihood of people providing it. If you decide to ask for a phone number and a street address, people might be too uncomfortable to provide that information. By asking for something as simple as a first name and an email address, most everyone will do that.

Additional Resources

Section Three: Nurture Prospects

What do you traditionally do with the leads that you capture? I am assuming that most of you will call them or send them an email. If they don’t respond, you will call them again or send them another email. If they don’t respond again, you will probably call them again or send them another email.

Now, here’s the real question. What do you do next?

If you are like most small business people, you stop trying to contact the prospect and it ends up in the trash.

Do you realize how much business you potentially throw away every single day? Imagine the impact on your business if you could convert an extra 10% of the leads that go in the trash.

Have you ever wondered why it’s so important to nurture your prospects?

It’s because 81% of your sales happen after you make seven or more contacts to your prospects. Seven contacts! How many of you can honestly tell me you attempt to make seven or more contacts to your prospects.

Please don’t feel bad because 85% of the time, we stop after 1 to 2 contacts.

Have you ever wondered the cost of not making the additional 4 to 5 contacts to each of your prospects?

Additional Resources

Section Four: Convert Sales

The next step in lifecycle marketing is converting sales.

Most people want me to spend lots of time on this step because they want to learn lots of new ways to convert sales. However, I traditionally spend the least amount of time on this step. Why?

Because, if you are putting in the amount of effort necessary to attracting more traffic, capturing more leads and nurturing those leads, converting more sales become simple.

The same is true with offline selling. If you don’t do a good job determining that your prospect has a need, building trust and rapport, and then presenting a solution that solves their issue, there isn’t a “closing technique” on the planet that is going to help you.

With that said, I do have a few ideas on how you can convert more sales.

The easiest way to convert more sales is create better magnets and better education of your prospects. The more they know about your product or service before they buy, the greater likelihood of you converting the sale.

You also need to spend more time nurturing your prospects until they are ready to buy.

Always remember that not everybody is going to buy your product or service the first time they see it. Some people need a little bit of nurturing before they see that your product or service is the answer to all of their problems. This is why list segmentation is so incredibly important. You want to give people who are ready to buy now the opportunity to do so, while allowing those that need more time to be continually nurtured until they are ready.

I also recommend that proper target marketing will always convert more sales. The more clearly you know your market, the easier it is to find them and to sell to them.

However, the best way to convert more sales is to have better qualified prospects. If you know that every person you’re talking to needs your product or service or will directly benefit from your product or service, you will start converting more sales. It’s just that simple.

Additional Resources

Section Five: Deliver and Satisfy

The next step is deliver and satisfy. Many of you are so happy that your prospect has bought your product or service that you really don’t care how your product or service is delivered or how satisfied your customer will be. An attitude like this will kill any possibility for repeat sales or referrals. Let’s take a closer look at this step.

As you can see, this step is called deliver and satisfy. If all you had to do was deliver your product or service, this step would be no big deal. However, you also need to make sure you completely and totally satisfy your customer.

How do you do this? You need to identify what is your WOW!

Your wow is that something extra that separates you from your competitors. It’s that thing that makes people want to talk about your business. It falls into the category of under-promise and over deliver.

What can be your WOW? Make sure you deliver their product or service more quickly than they expected. If they ordered a quantity of something, include a little bit extra for free.

Right after you deliver their product or service, pick up the phone and call them to make sure they are 100% satisfied.

As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot to completely satisfy your customer.

Just remember that if your current customers are not completely satisfied with your product or service, the chances of them doing business with somebody else increases greatly.

Additional Resources

Section Six: Upsell Customers

The next step in lifecycle marketing is up selling your customers. This step focuses on the idea of selling more of your products or services to each one of your customers. Let me share with you an example.

If you go to a clothing store and buy a men’s suit, do they typically only sell you a men’s suit? Of course not. They try to sell you a tie, pocket square, belt, shoes, and more.

At the same clothing store, you attempt to buy a dress. Do they just sell you the dress?

Once again, of course not. They will try to sell you shoes, a purse, belt, a scarf and more accessories then you could possibly need.

The same goes with your product or service. Are you getting the maximum dollars added each of your customers. Are there things that you sell that your customers would like to buy after their initial purchase from you? Of course there are. All you have to do is ask them to buy from you.

Do you know which company is the world’s greatest at up selling?

That company is McDonald’s. Every time you buy something from them, they will typically say to you, “would you like fries with that?” Do you have any idea how many fries, soft drinks, apple pies, and more that McDonald’s sells just because they ask you?

It’s a very big number. If it wasn’t, do you really think they’d keep asking?

Additional Resources

Section Seven: Get Referrals

The last step in lifecycle marketing is, quite possibly, the most important step.

Take a look at your business. Are you bringing in the amount of referrals that you would like? Do you wish more people would think about referring your business to others? Ever wonder why you’re getting so few referrals?

One of the easiest ways to close more sales is by generating a constant flow of referrals in your business. Unfortunately, most small business owners don’t know how to generate this consistent flow.

Here at BrightIdeas, we have spent massive amounts of time and resources into creating what we like to refer to as our Advanced Referral Strategy. This strategy is extremely deep and complex and some of you might have trouble understanding it the first time you hear it. Before we share this strategy with you, we recommend that you grab a pen or pencil and a piece of paper to write down the details of this advanced referral strategy.

Are we ready? Here is the advanced referral strategy developed by BrightIdeas.


Yea…it’s really that simple…BUT…the key is not to ask for them in a way that make you and the person you are asking feel awkward.

Additional Resources

[xyz-ihs snippet=”footer”]