The ‘4 categories’ for communicating with your customers

Such communication should be grouped into four main categories:

1. Acquisition

2. Retention

3. End-of-life

4. Re-market

“Identifying which customers fit in each of these categories is key to formulating an effective engagement strategy,” according to Michael, who will be one of 70+ speakers at the 10th Digital Innovators’ Summit in Berlin, Germany (19-21 March 2017, with the main agenda on 20 and 21 March). His session will focus on “digital diversification and the search for new revenues”).

Here, briefly, is Vindicia’s guide for designing the communication strategy in each customer category:


The acquisition stage is focused on attracting visitors and trial members and converting them into customers. Defining characteristics of an effective acquisition stage include attractive promotional offers, strong marketing efforts, and smooth sign-up of new users. 

Promotional offers, especially payment-method-required free trials come with a unique set of communication requirements. 

First, provide clear messaging on your site that conveys the value of the product or service offered. Segment the trial sign-up process so that users enter their email address in the first step and then complete the trial registration in subsequent steps. This lets you continue marketing to the prospective customer whether or not they complete the trial registration.


As the customer lifecycle transitions from acquisition to retention, a parallel communication process starts around billing notifications, receipts, and failure messages. 

Other forms of communication at this stage include upgrade and “sidegrade” (when a user switches to a different but comparable product or service) messages, as well as marketing communications about new product offerings and increased product functionality. 

The main goal in the retention stage is to increase the average customer lifetime by providing value and helping customers use your product. 


Two of the most important pieces of your communication strategy come into play when a customer leaves: the exit questionnaire and retention offer. 

The exit questionnaire provides critical feedback for optimising your business, while the retention offer will reduce the number of customers who choose to leave. It’s a chance to be creative with pricing and packaging to increase the average customer lifetime.


The last stage of the customer communication lifecycle focuses on how you re-market to past customers. Maintaining a list of your “alumni” and periodically notifying them of new features or targeted promotional offers will enable you to gain more customers with minimal acquisition costs. 

The best customers you have are the current ones, but past customers — who have already seen the value of your service—are more likely to respond to a well-crafted offer or new functionality.

Hear much more from Michael at the 10th Digital Innovators’ Summit in Berlin, Germany, taking place on 19-21 March 2017 (main agenda on 20 and 21 March).

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