How To Raise Your Customer Lifetime Value. (The Easy ABC's of Amazing Customer LTV's)

marketing Apr 13, 2021

In this post, I cover how to raise your customer lifetime value by knowing three customer archetypes. 

These archetypes are across the board, in every industry, no matter what market you're in. These are universal categories that describe a customer's purchasing behavior and psychology. 

Knowing which archetype your customer is can build a better relationship with them and create a pretty exciting business for yourself.

Knowing the ABC's of customer value will also give you a macro strategy for your whole company.

These archetypes should help empower every marketer when developing new products, conducting customer research, formulating marketing tactics/strategies, etc.

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I like to consider myself a customer LTV strategist.

So before jumping into each archetype, let me explain why it's essential to understand customer value.

If your marketing math is above a 9th-grade learning level, it's too complicated. All you need for your business to be successful is to obsess over having a higher customer LTV than your CPA. 


If your customer's lifetime value (LTV) is higher than what it cost you to acquire them (CPA), you win every single time. If your margin is razor-thin, you just lower your overhead. If you can't do that, consider getting into a different business...  

Get that LTV as high as you can and that CPA as low as possible. I won't go into all the details on how to do that in this post, but if you want the best business model for this, you should read my book. :-)

But the best way to raise your customer LTV is to first get acquainted with the three archetypes I'm about to dive into and then simply make the right offers more regularly to your customers, depending on their archetype.

Alright... Let's flip the ABC's around and look at this as an acronym:

  1. Consumers.
  2. Buyers.
  3. Ascenders.

 

Consumers

Everyone in the world fits into the consumer archetype. Depending on the society or culture we live in, there are product offerings of all kinds that appeal to our natural propensity to consume. There are four areas of consumption: 

  1. Survival
  2. Convenience
  3. Entertainment
  4. Growth

Survival: We all have to drink, eat, and sleep. Sleeping is free, but not the comfortable or the secure kind. Eating and drinking have never been free (though some would like to magically change this somehow with UBI).

Convenience: Various technologies have spoiled us modern folk. Some people are just plain addicted to the widgets that make their lives easier.

Entertainment: With the rise of social technologies and the speed of information transfer, we are more stimulated every day—which means we are more easily bored when the stimulation is absent. Mindfulness and minimalism can solve that problem, but there's still a place for enjoying the thrills of life. Some of those are free, but many get very expensive throughout a lifetime.

Growth: Every human has an innate desire to grow and expand, though unfortunately for many, it's often overshadowed by the basic need for survival and desire for convenience and entertainment. Once consumers begin to discover that growth means a better and healthier way of life, they will look for ways to make those investments in themselves—education, personal development, etc.

Here's the point. Everyone is a consumer. We all fit into each of these categories at some level. But the key thing to understand here is that a consumer is one of two things: Either a buyer or a non-buyer. Understanding this next archetype is going to significantly impact your marketing.

 

Buyers

Research suggests that a customer in your business is 12 to 16 times more likely to purchase from you again in the future. And if you have a product offering that helps people, your existing customers will continue coming back.

But some people are simply never going to buy from you. And I'm not talking about people who don't match your avatar demographic. I'm talking about people who fit your ICP on paper but still will never purchase anything. These people are consumers but are not buyers (they have been called freebie-seeking tire kickers by more jaded marketers). 

Obviously, non-buyers still purchase things. They have to. Remember, if they are humans, they are consumers. So I'm not saying they never buy anything. I'm saying that they would rather not if they had the choice because they have a different mindset than a buyer. They're always looking for discount coupons, asking for refunds, complaining to customer service, and leaving one-star reviews when something isn't exactly like they want it. In short, they are a drain on businesses. And you don't want them.

This is why we aren't fans of lead generation that gives something away in exchange for someone's contact info. i.e., lead magnets... Yes, on the surface, the cost to acquire a lead tends to be cheaper than the cost to acquire a customer, but the sales process for turning that lead into a customer is expensive.

Why would we pay those costs when we can liquidate our advertising costs on the front end? You can virtually break-even, generating customers for free when you present low ticket offers to buyers (use SLOs for this... see this post about what we call The Magic Three).


If your goal as a business is to generate customers (it should be if it's not), then you should look to create sales transactions at the very top of the funnel because we only want buyers in our database.

These buyers purchase things from your competition all the time at the top of the funnel. Why not throw your hat in the ring too?

I could spend way too much time talking about this archetype, but I'll make one final point. Buyers are believers. They often have blind trust and are more easily sold than non-buyers. They tend to be more optimistic and are less likely to have all of the other tendencies listed above.

If a business has excellent marketing and sales processes but doesn't deliver on its promises, it may fill its bank account with its buyers' money, but only momentarily. A burned buyer will just go somewhere else to keep buying until they're happy. 


Buyers believe one simple fact: The money in their hand is less valuable than what they exchange it for.

These are the types of customers you want to be acquiring as high up in the funnel as possible. You need to be targeting buyers. You do this by making transactional sales offers to audiences with low-ticket products.

Don't give away things in exchange for someone's contact information just so you can keep bugging them with more content (that's too much work for you). Let the 'free line' be drawn at the top of the funnel where there is no friction to receive the value. Information marketers can learn a lot from ecom businesses in this regard.

Give as much value as you can upfront for free through content that isn't gated—unless it's gated at a paywall. In other words, don't ask for an email optin; ask for a credit card number optin!

And now for the last archetype:

 

Ascenders

This is where you make the most of your money. 80% of your income will come in from 20% of your customers. These customers are your ascenders. They are your super fans. They continue buying from you in the future, and they enroll in your highest-priced offerings.

But the way to create these types of customers is to make offers that intentionally weed people out. If all you do is offer lower-priced products or services, you will never create ascenders in your business. Russell Brunson calls it a value ladder. Remember, 80% of your customers won't do it, but those who do will drive the lion's share of your profits into your bottom line.

This is how your raise your customer LTV.

 

Let's boil this down now to three simple action steps:

 

1) Create valuable content at the top of the funnel.

Don't ask for an email option in exchange for some freebie. Create content that goes out to 'consumers' for free every day—use social media, blogging, podcasting, yada, yada

2) Make more low-ticket offers.

Do CTA's to your audience of consumers to purchase something from you for a low price. Acquire buyers!

 

3) Offer those buyers ongoing, higher-ticket opportunities.

You will be successful when you offer premium products and services over and over again. Your economics will be strong. These customers are the 20% who make you rich.

 

 


This makes your business scalable and peaceful. If you've read this far, go ahead and check out this post about "The Magic Three." These are the kinds of offers you should make that put the ABCs of LTVs into action.

Oh... And purchase my book! It's all about these principles and specifically covers a method that will give you a dream business you never want to retire from. 👇🏼

 

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