Not Another Typical Lifecycle Email Article


Andrew Kordek, VP of customer engagement at iPost, discusses how the lifecycle emails help your program become more personalized and customer-centric. He further discusses how four forgotten emails develop long-term customer relationships to aid conversion points in their journey with your brand.

Lifecycle emails help your program become more personalized and customer-centric. They also help develop long-term customer relationships to aid conversion points in their journey with your brand – said every lifecycle marketing article ever.

For the sake of argument, I will assume that you have not had your head buried in the marketing sand for the last 13 years and understand the importance of email and life cycle marketing in your respective organization. Second, I am also going to assume you have a base level definition of lifecycle marketing and that you are executing that concept at some level.

Most articles written about the must-have lifecycle emails in a program focus on “The Big Six”, which are:

  1. Welcome or onboarding
  2. Abandon cart
  3. Birthday
  4. Re-engagement or re-activate
  5. Browse abandon
  6. Anniversary

Any organization that implements and optimizes these six emails will always see the ROI and the value that lifecycle emails can produce. The data and technology have advanced quite a bit over the last few years, almost to the drag and drop point of simplicity.

Learn More: 5 B2B Email Marketing Best Practices You Can’t Afford to Miss

“The Big Six” are the sexy lifecycle emails that everyone likes to talk about because, well, they are comfortable. They make us feel good as lifecycle marketers when we have them in our program, and they are performing well. We experience joy when we see a $5 RPE (revenue per email) in a cute or funny birthday email. We high five one another in the office when we can re-engage an inactive subscriber with a cool subject line and a sad dog “we miss you” face.

It is fair to say that “The Big Six” have been blogged, talked, debated, webcasted, whitepapered, and conferenced almost too much in recent years. So, if you have come here wanting a silver bullet from the above list, look elsewhere as this post is all about the “The Forgotten Four.”

The Forgotten Four

“The Forgotten Four” (TFF) are emails not talked about at CRM or Lifecycle meetings. They are often at the bottom of the pile to be optimized because they are not sexy, and they certainly do not make email designers jump for designing joy. TFF do not win awards at conferences, and they sometimes can be called out by lifecycle purists as “not a part of the customer journey.” While some of it may be true, “The Forgotten Four” play an essential role in just about any program, and they are most certainly part of a “journey.” Let us explore them:

Password reset

Password reset emails have often been disregarded because of the practicality of their real intention. They are usually not branded, owned by a technical team, and not given much credence to producing revenue.

A few years ago, I consulted with a brand around their email program and took on a skunkworks project for the password reset email. It was a standard plain-text email with no branding. And it came from a rogue email address that was not associated with the brand but still managed to produce almost $8 RPE (revenue per email). We ran an A/B test for three months against a new piece of creative that was branded and had products promoting at the bottom of the email. The test beat the control two to one over the test period, and the RPE went to $16. The good news was that testing ended right before the Holiday Season. The brand was able to capture an additional $500K in an email attributed revenue all because we enhanced the customer’s lifecycle in a utility email.

The password reset email is more valuable than you imagine.

Preference update

Organizations spend quite a bit of budget capturing preferences upon sign up. Some organizations use the data that is captured, while others do not. During the regular course of marketing emails, the “update your preferences” link typically sits at the bottom of the email in 2pt font, often next to the unsubscribe button.

We all know that things change during the customers’ life cycle. But brands do not regularly send out dedicated communications to have subscribers update their preferences. Why not? They would instead leave it to chance and feel that capturing behavior is better than explicit preference updates. If your organization does not have a dedicated preference update email, please consider one.

Re-welcome email

You cannot call it a re-engagement program if subscribers you have recently acquired have done nothing in your program. A re-welcome email re-introduces someone to the brand which has never converted or engaged, and the messaging has to be uniquely different.

Sometimes you want to focus your efforts on lifecycle email to those that engage and offer up behavior to do so. But a re-welcome program is focused on the exact opposite. This email’s primary goal is to nudge and nurture those that offer any to little value to date.

Learn More:  Top 10 Best Email Marketing Services Software Platforms for 2020

Order/download/conversion confirmation

Whether you sell subscriptions, software, or socks, they are typically sent a confirmation email when someone converts. That email should highlight what they just bought or downloaded in a way that gives them ample opportunity to want to come back and do something again. That email reflects your brand and a critical lifecycle communication because of the resources and money spent to get them to this stage.

The confirmation is a beautiful opportunity to showcase other parts of your organization, from products to social justice. People want to feel more connected to brands these days. This type of email might have the highest engagement rates out of your whole program. If you limit your content to confirming something, you are potentially leaving brand equity and revenue on the table.


There is more to lifecycle email marketing than “The Big Six.” Sure, there are more than four in the forgotten stack, but know that every single email sent is a chance for your brand to engage and convert. The technology is there, but the will and motivation need to come from you.