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5 steps to create a successful customer lifecycle marketing strategy with Cristina Mendes, Lifecycle Marketing Manager


What is the story you tell your customers? What makes sense for them? Can you really solve their problem?

These are some of the questions, Cristina Mendes, as a Marketing Manager is seeking the answer to while mastering lifecycle marketing. 

In this article, she reveals that there are no secrets to creating a successful customer lifecycle marketing strategy. It all comes down to experimentation based on data.

  1. How Telling Stories Can Transform a Career Journey
  2. Absolute Morning Motivation
  3. Relying on Data
  4. Getting the Product to Sell Itself/a>
  5. Building a Retention Process From Scratch
  6. Finding the Problem
  7. Sizing up the Problem
  8. Focus Groups
  9. Improving the Email Structure
  10. How Browze Is Shaping the Shopping Experiences

How Telling Stories Can Transform a Career Journey

As time has been passing by, I started thinking more of myself as a marketeer. I love telling stories. I found that in marketing, I can tell customer stories through email and push notifications. 

What is the problem we are trying to solve? What is the story we are telling? What makes sense for them? 


I almost fell into CRM. I used to work in visual merchandising and interned in a small marketing business. There, I ended up being the person who did absolutely everything related to Digital Marketing. 

I was just thrown into the fire and needed to get things done. There was no one there to help. However, it was so much fun and I ended up specializing in digital marketing. Learning how to write articles and present sales became super important and foundational for me.

I was turning into someone who talked to customers a lot. This was one of the most significant things for me. 

Absolute Morning Motivation

Coffee – if we are being honest! I also love the ability to make something that people are going to see. It is so much fun for me when people will see what I have done and react to that.


Relying on Data

In my previous role, I worked a lot with merchandisers and engineers. One thing that I learned from them is that you can’t rely on data 100% of the time. Data should inform your decision but you need a person who helps you understand how it relates to our product. 

If a lot of people click on something doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a relevant experience for them. 

When I was working as a marketing manager at Rakuten Kobo, I found a lot of noise and data but no one had the customer point of view. It was crazy cool to talk about the customer approach. 

Getting the Product to Sell Itself

Selling books is very different from selling any other product. Books already have a story so it becomes about, how do you showcase that story? What does a customer want to see? 

People always assume it’s the young audience that buys things online. Well, older people are also digital now and shop online. So you need to understand your customer base and how they engage. 

Some people didn’t have access to books previously. Now they can read them with eReaders because they are lighter and have accessible fonts. Most books don’t exist in large print format.


Building a Retention Process From Scratch

I joined the team to create and grow the retention program. We have a big focus on retention. We need to get return purchases and get customers to have pleasant experiences. 

Sometimes customers wait a while before getting their products. How do you make sure they are happy during this period and keep the brand in mind? 

So far, we’ve put in some of the low-hanging fruit campaigns: onboarding, reminders, abandoned cart. Now we are working on figuring out what roles we need to add. Everything we are building is foundational. Basically, we are building from scratch. 

Creating a Culture of Experimentation

Email and the web were the biggest areas where we noticed that nothing was working. In CRM, you want these super smooth journeys and experiences. At this point, you start seeing the problem areas.

One of the most significant things for me was seeing how quickly people were listening to audio for example. We did accessibility testing of our app with people with vision impairment. We discovered they are using screen readers to navigate at very high audio speeds. They were listening at 20X speed. The amount of information they’re parsing in a second was huge.

Finding the Problem

We had an audience with a lot of accessibility challenges linked to disabilities of technology savviness. It started with us trying to improve our experiences for older customers. Very often they were on the web because of their disabilities to find a better experience than the real world.  

Sizing up the Problem

You want to help a demographic that genuinely can’t be part of the experience. We reached out to charities and foundations for insights on volumes and demographics. We realized that simple things like dyslexia-friendly fonts go a long way to improving experiences. 


Focus Groups

We got people with disabilities trying to navigate our website and emails. When you see people struggling to go from email to the web you can’t help but fix things for them. Although this could have been done remotely, it was even more powerful getting them in the offices.

We were able to see the gestures they were using. This was helping us inform things like menus. We got them to explain every step they were going through and what thoughts they were having while doing the activity.

Improving the Email Structure

Accessibility is not just usability. You need to be able to navigate emails and digital experiences as well. Optimizing email for mobile and accessibility is very similar actually. 

If you think of multiple columns, you realize that when that is read on a screen reader, it jumbles up the message. You want to make sure that the email structure is crystal clear and stacked vertically with a clear call to action. 

This works a ton better for mobile. It really helps customers understand what are the main messages and key calls to action. 

We also ended up making our buttons massively bigger. For accessibility, a button should be thicker than the recommendation. This way, you clearly see where that button is. 


How Browze Is Shaping the Shopping Experience

Browze is a new startup expanding super fast. As a curated cross-border shopping experience, we sell things directly from manufacturers across seas at a super discounted rate. 

Additionally, we perform quality assurance (QA) for all the products and take pictures in-house. If we see that the products are not great, we don’t promote them. The idea is to take advantage of the great prices and to be able to purchase instantly and safely. 

There are a lot of out-of-the-box solutions that will sell you at a cheap monthly rate to make your site accessible. They are not helping your customers. Speak with the people having the issues because once you see the problems it’s very very different than just alt text.  

Cristina Mendes, Lifecycle Marketing Manager

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[…] Everyone knows the saying “The customer is always right”, but it’s more than that. You have to genuinely understand the customer by taking a holistic approach towards the customer lifecycle. […]

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