Stop me if you’ve heard this before ... lifecycle messages drive revenue. Retailers are constantly looking for simplistic, automated messages to not only contribute to their bottom line, but also re-engage subscribers. The usual suspects, birthday and re-engagement messages, are often spoken of, but the anniversary message is often neglected. When people think of anniversary messages, they tend to think in terms of wedding anniversaries, but this message can actually take on several different forms.

Purchase Anniversary

Using only the first order date, you can automate an anniversary message to customers one year from the date of their first online purchase. This message should explain the anniversary, thank the customer and invite them to come back with a special offer. These contacts are your valued subscribers. Not only did they purchase from you, but they remain an email subscriber one year later. This is also a great opportunity to ask if their tastes or preferences have changed and ask them to manage their preferences as a secondary call to action.. If so desired, you can continue to send this message in subsequent years. If you do, be sure to change the creative and offer. You can even use past order info to determine how valuable these contacts are and provide incentives based on AOV, lifetime orders or dollars spent. Here is a great example from Paul Fredrick:

Paul Fredrick example

Wedding Anniversary

A more traditional example, a wedding anniversary is a great lifecycle message for many retailers. Yet, I am amazed that it is executed so little. Do you sell lingerie gift baskets, flowers, jewelry, traditional anniversary gifts (leather, paper, etc.), or other relationship-related products? If so, you should be collecting and using this info. This is an opportunity to message someone who has shared intimate information with you. They trust you. Provide them value for that. With a wedding anniversary, be sure to send this message before the actual date so the customer has time to shop, compare items and have the gift delivered. The Ferns N Petals message below does a good job of reminding the recipient of the upcoming anniversary and offering a call to action to begin searching for that special gift. If you offer white glove service, gift wrapping or other valet-type services, offer those either as add-ons or as part of a wedding package. If you have the ability to customize product suggestions by price point or by something such as traditional anniversary gift (year 3 is leather), do so. You can always send a goodwill anniversary message on the actual day, but if you do, don’t include a call to action to shop. I would either link the message directly to your site as Ted's Montana Grill did below, link to an unrelated social callout or simply omit any CTA altogether.

Wedding Anniversary

Sign-Up Anniversary

Send this email on the anniversary of a subscriber’s subscription date.. This message can be triggered yearly, and it should treat the recipients well. Show them how much you appreciate that they are still active members of your email program. Offering an incentive based on their purchase history is a perfect strategy to use here. Have they made zero, one, two, or many purchases? Do they have a low average order value (AOV)? Based on their history, you can include incentives to reward customer loyalty, attempt to increase their AOV by setting a minimum spend, or drive a first purchase by reinforcing your brand’s value. If you don’t want to wait a full year before sending a non-purchaser a dedicated message, check out this blog post on creating a never purchased message at a much earlier point in their subscription lifecycle. While you can send this message every year, be sure to factor in purchase behavior when sending it the first time. If the subscriber opted in at point of sale, do not send the sign-up anniversary message. Instead, defer to the purchase anniversary. If these dates are within a few weeks of one another, however, you may want to defer to the purchase date. Use your best judgement here. Zulily and Klean Kanteen both offer great incentives for their subscribers:Sign-Up Anniversary

There you have it! Three incredibly simple automated messages that can help drive revenue and/or re-engage subscribers with your email program. Have fun, be creative, and nurture your valued email subscribers.