10-MINUTE READ · By Tina Arnoldi.

Your brand’s offers and messaging should vary based on where people are in the customer journey. The newbie who just heard of you will – hopefully – receive a different offer and messaging than the long time customer. And what you measure will also vary. Below are examples of messaging, offers, and metrics across the customer journey.

For the New Visitors

Message: Assure them they are making the correct choice by choosing to do business with you. Highlight what you do that’s different from your competitors and share some testimonials from satisfied customers. This is the time to show some warm fuzzies and welcome them to your community. Invite them to love you back by connecting on your social channels and sharing your content.

Offer: How do you get that newbie? It can be tough, especially if they already have some loyalty to another brand. A common offer is a free trial of your service or introductory rates for a product. Once you have that initial buy-in, show them other items they can buy during a limited time period, perhaps as part of a prelaunch. It’s okay to have some “asks” while you still have their attention. The ask may include inviting them to tell a friend about you. Offer a promo code for both the customer and the prospect if the prospect completes the CTA, whether it’s to subscribes, buys, or like.

Metrics: For all steps, a signup or purchase is a conversion to measure. With prospects that did not buy, drill into where they were in the process when they dropped off. If you have a three-step signup process, and you lost people at step two, see if you’re requesting more info than you really need. Track too whether they shared your offer.

Deals for All

Message: Everyone wants a deal that is especially for them. Segment your customers and include special offers for those long timers who may feel neglected. I am a great example of this with my cable company. I see lots of great deals for new customers with no love for the long-timers. Those deals for TV and internet are not for me as a long-term customer which is very frustrating and does not inspire loyalty. I only stay with them because I do not feel like making the change. (Another common complaint with cell phone companies.)

Offer: With a today only offer, you encourage people to buy by appealing to the scarcity principle. Or do the reverse and offers teasers for products or services that are not yet available. Special offers for the big days, such as Black Friday, are obvious, but why not build excitement for what’s to come during a slower season or the mid-week slump. Test what people respond to with deal. Some may want a percentage off. Others are attracted to saving a specific dollar amount. And everyone loves free if you can offer a freebie with a purchase. 

ProFlowers is one example of a company that plays with their pricing to appeal to different deal-hunters. They have free standard shipping offers or discounted items with paid shipping, clearly appealing to different segments.

Metrics: Use campaign tagging to track which offer people respond to, whether that’s auto-tagging with AdWords or manually adding tags for other marketing channels. Knowing that people bought flowers is good, but you want to differentiate whether the free shipping or discounted price drew people in.

The Time of Purchase

Message: Offer more than a confirmation at the time of purchase. Although you hope people do not want a refund, it is good for them to easily access that information before they make a purchase. A customer who is annoyed with an initial purchase is not coming back. A customer who needs to return a product and can do so easily may be back. For physical products, include tracking information so customers can track shipping date.

Offer: What else can they buy right now that complements what they just purchased? This may tie into the deal option by offering a discount that is only available that day.

 The offer could be the You may also like… phrase we see on ecommerce sites. And of course we’re all familiar with the frequently bought together. As a business, even if your frequently bought together items do not offer a discount, they can still appeal to customers who don’t want to think about what else they may need with an item recently purchased.

Metrics: You could do a Cohort Analysis to see if an offer launched for a segment of people had an impact and check the day and time dimensions to see when customers responded.

News & Announcements

Message: Both loyal customers and prospects are primed for anything new. Our brains respond to new information, especially if it’s visually compelling. Information is inherently rewarding to our brains. Is there a new feature for your product or service that you want to publicize? Or perhaps you’re launching a new add-on for something your customers already own. Get this information out there across channels, highlighting the newness of it.

Offer: The offers with news and announcements are similar to the deals. Hopefully you stay in touch with interested customers and prospects with an email newsletter so they remember you when it’s time to buy – or buy again. But if your newsletter does not provide anything other than what’s already on your website, you may lose some subscribers. Include information that is only available to subscribers such as updates and trends about the industry or a special tip for using what they already purchased. Similarly, you can push out offers only on certain social media channels to build your audience in multiple ways.

Metrics: Go beyond the metric people for the people who opened it and track what they clicked on. Your email marketing campaigns should be tagged, just like your other sources. If you want to limit how long your deal is available for, you can do that with an ad customizer countdown.

Re-engaging with Customers (and Almost-Customers)

Message: Come back. We miss you. Don’t forget us. Whatever the exact message is, with remarketing, you want to bring people back to your site to make a purchase. This is where a segmented list is important because the message and offer should be different for purchasers versus those who abandoned their shopping carts.

Offer: For the abandoners,you can invite them to read reviews praising what you offer. This social proof may lead them to make the purchase. A “free shipping” coupon may also be just what they need to come back but could also lead to a problem down the road. Once they discover a way to get free shipping, they may expect it for future purchases so decide if you are prepared to offer that again. Remarketing offers are an opportunity to address the biggest obstacles based on a history of purchases and returns for products. With services, if you want people to sign up for a year of something, realize that’s a pretty big commitment so it’s not a surprise when people skip out instead of signing on the dotted line. Can you offer a one-month trial instead to get that initial commitment?

Metrics: If you offer a promo code, you can add that as an ad extension. You may want different codes for ads versus email, etc., to make it easy to report on where the code was applied.

Whether someone purchased from you for the first time or is coming back as a loyal customer, be creative with the messages and offers you put out there, measuring behavior along the way. As people move through different stages of their customer journeys, meet them where they are, provide what they want, and track what they do.

About Tina Arnoldi


Tina Arnoldi is Analytics and AdWords Qualified and one of the few people in the United States recognized as a Google Developer Expert(GDE) for marketing. Her agency, 360 Internet Strategy, is also a Google Partner. You can learn more about her on LinkedIn


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