Strategies to Optimize Customer Lifetime Value at Every Stage
While most marketers focus on filling the top of their funnel with leads, they lose sight of where the true impact of their efforts (and money) lies. More marketers need to be focusing on the long game by investing in their customer base for revenue growth instead of focusing almost exclusively on filling their lead count. This means that focusing increasingly on your customer's lifetime value (CLV) at every stage in the marketing funnel will ultimately create long-term, meaningful gains for the business.
Let’s walk through a few strategies for each step in the customer journey that will begin to drive real impact, improve the ROI of your acquisition campaigns, and most importantly, delight your customers now and in the future.
Strategies For Every Stage of The Funnel
Let’s review strategies for each stage of the funnel, starting at the top!
1. Top of the Funnel (TOFU) Strategies:
Once a visitor lands on a website, it’s crucial to have a lead capture promotion in place so that you can turn them from an anonymous visitor into a known contact. This gives you the ability to continue the conversation after they leave via your owned media channels, which is far more cost-effective than running paid ads to reach them again. From getting their social handle, email, SMS, or two-step (which combines SMS & email in one), get an opt-in in place that works for your strategy and target audience best.
We often see clients opt for the two-step, but it can sometimes be more effective to split the opt-ins into two. First with email, and upon their return (or at checkout), an SMS lead capture. Since SMS is a more intimate channel, it can be better to build a relationship with potential customers before asking for their number (just like in real life).
With a lead capture collecting email and/or SMS in place, acquisition campaigns will see an improved ROAS as you’re actually capturing the information of the visitor driven by paid ads. Plus, this allows for the opportunity to re-target them with owned media via the channel they opted into. Justuno’s Audience Sync feature automatically sends these email lists to your Facebook and Google audience managers to improve your campaign retargeting with personalized creative, messaging, and more. By prospecting new audiences based on profitable traits, it makes all things acquisition more effective and efficient.
At the top of the funnel, the most important element to focus on is getting the email or phone number. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t go for the same session conversion. Effective strategies for encouraging same session conversions include:
- Using auto-apply coupons paired with the incentive in your lead capture: Auto-apply coupons are great at reducing user friction as once a visitor adds a product to their cart, the discount is automatically applied. No work, no checking their email for a code. By removing this initial barrier, you’re encouraging them to use what they just earned by filling out your lead capture promotion.
- Add to cart CTA’s: If you’re using product recommendations on your site, add a “Add to Cart” button directly within them to reduce friction in the customer journey and streamline the browsing process. If that promotion takes them to the product page, you may risk losing them with slow load speeds or inadvertent distractions. A few seconds saved can go a long way towards conversion.
2. Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) Strategies
Now, say they didn’t convert on their first session. Let’s investigate the middle of the funnel to see where opportunities lie.
The middle of the funnel is the in-between from when they’re aware of your brand and becoming interested. For example, they’ve received their welcome series email or SMS flow, seen a retargeting ad on social, or even just followed your social media accounts and seen your posts. Ultimately, they’ll return to your site to continue their decision-making process and, since you’ve been able to expose your brand over time, you now have more data with which to personalize their experience.
Use product recommendations, these are a great tool at every stage, but can be honed in on here. Base these on what they browsed previously, the email or ad they may have clicked through to get there, or other targetable traits. You're making it easier for them to find & engage with the products most likely to lead to a conversion for them.
If they put something in their cart on their previous visit, you can retarget them with a reminder promotion. Dynamically pull the item into it to remind them, plus, include a handy "buy now" button in it to take them directly to checkout.
If you provide BNPL options, make sure you've been informing customers of that option, especially if you sell big-ticket items where financing is likely a deciding factor in their purchase. 31% of consumers who use BNPL said they would abandon their cart entirely if it wasn't an option--make sure they don't bounce for the wrong reasons!
Other options include trying to opt-in email-only subscribers to SMS with a higher-value incentive, loyalty program based incentives, etc.
3. BOFU (Bottom of the Funnel) Strategies:
This is where the last stand is made, rescuing abandoned carts before they happen (again maybe), and the focus is all on making the checkout process as easy as possible.
Don't require making an account to checkout, provide adequate payment options, and make sure there are no surprises when it comes to shipping. That is the main reason for abandoned carts. To counteract that use banners throughout the shopping process to either: promote your free shipping or show them the order $-threshold needed to unlock that.
Once they've purchased your CLV journey is just beginning. You've laid the groundwork and now it's time to scale. On the order confirmation page, you can collect their Instagram or TikTok handle using the Gatsby Influencer CRM to expand the relationship via the Justuno & Gatsby integration.
Use something like "Tag us on Instagram when you get your order for a chance to win a year-supply of X." This is where you can continue to build on the relationship starting the process of becoming a part of your brand's community.
Other options are: sign up for SMS shipping notifications, create an account now to get double points on today's order etc.
Once they receive their order, you can reach out to collect a review/UGC for your website/campaigns, send them automated flows for products they may like, reminders to restock, etc. Repeat customers spend 17% more per order and 31% more on purchases--find the most profitable segments within your customer base and focus on crafting campaigns around their interests.
Inside your CRM, you'll want to create segments around low, average, and high CLVs to drill-down content in your campaigns to appeal to each. The lower/average CLV segments your goal is to move them into the next bracket through your campaigns--that can mean: extra incentives, personalized product recs, UGC, etc. You'll want to build trust and give them a nudge to buy again.
The top tier is your highest CLV segment, these are your best customers and rather than trying to encourage their next purchase (you know they will), your goal is to keep them happy and engaged. VIP access, special discounts, exclusive products, etc. are all great ways to reward your VIPs and show your appreciation.
Combine these campaigns with a corresponding onsite experience for each segment that reinforces relevancy and personalization. There's no one-size-fits-all secret to increasing CLV but a continued effort to segment and personalize your marketing both on and offsite will go a long way to retaining customers for longer and encourage them to spend even more!
Interested in creating dynamic onsite experiences like the ones we listed above? Reach out to Justuno for a demo or start a free 14-day trial to get started converting and see why our customers see an average 135% increase in revenue during year one!