Unless they change their thinking and their behaviors.

Take a look at the ugly / simple chart above. Notice that a 5 day gap exists between each email in the campaign. Now consider that this drip campaign has 8 steps in the series. Simple math tells us that 40 days will pass before the prospect or customer passes through the entire series...

Years ago when I first started in direct marketing, one of the companies I studied was Reader's Digest. As I recall they used a 37 step renewal series. That's right, 37 steps! And they weren't mailing every 5 days. It took years to complete the series.

Why did they do this? Simple. They knew that it cost less to obtain an order by mailing their house file 37 times than it did to find a new customer that would buy that first time...

Sometimes marketers act as if the only answer they know is "more is better" and "faster" must be best of all.

This is foolishness...

But even more so, if the marketer is steeped in traditional campaign practices where they view the world as a singular campaign that can be dropped today and measured over the next 72 hours only to make a decision based on the number of responses, the response rate and the very short response curve of that single campaign.

Didn't get enough responses to keep your guys busy on the phone? Pull another list, let's mail again.

This is a very expensive process and counter productive - especially if the marketer works for a company that has embraced the idea of life cycle marketing.


Here are three simple reasons why lifecyle marketing is more productive and less costly than traditional campaign management:

  • Life cycle marketing happens over time. Sometimes long stretches of time. It is not a singular event.
  • Life cycle marketing is much easier to manage once it is setup. Load your list segment into the series and let it run. Using the example above, load the list once and the system will drop 8 emails to your customers or prospects over the next 40 days.
  • Creative efforts shift from always creating the next new promotion to monitoring, measuring and improving what the market is responding to
As marketers we love the practice of life cycle marketing - and not just for the three reasons noted above. The biggest reason is this: we're focused on the customer instead of trying to push things out the door in order to get a response. Yes, we want responses, but we want those responses to be driven by the customer. We know this is what creates life-time value... and that creates long-term profit.