Customer lifetime value tells you what your customers are worth to you. And we’re not just talking about how much they spent with you last week.

Customer lifetime value (CLTV) is the total value of the relationship you have with your customers. It is a prediction of how much and how frequently your customers will spend and how profitable those transactions will be.

The goal of the savvy marketer is to grow CLTV and spend less on new customer acquisition strategies. Smart marketers simply retain customers and make those existing relationships more profitable.

In this blog post, we take a look at how your business can increase its CLTV. What tactics can you use to encourage your customers to buy more frequently and spend greater amounts with you? Read on to find out.

1) Prompt a return

Instead of playing the waiting game, prompt the customer to return.

Keep your brand top of mind with a timely, automated replenishment email. This reminds customers to come back when they’re mostly likely to buy again.

Here’s a great example of this tactic in action from Lancôme.

Replenishment CLTV tactic

2) Focus on second-time buyers

According to Adobe, if you can get a customer to buy for a second time, they are up to nine times more likely to repeatedly purchase in the future. So, put all your efforts into getting first-time buyers to purchase a second time.

3) Reward loyalty

For a customer to return there’s got to be something in it for them.

Incentivise an additional purchase with a free gift, discount, or better service to make sure they choose you over your competitors.

4) Make it easy

Convenience is king. So, make buying from you the easiest option.

Present personalised suggestions and pre-populate your customers’ address and payment details. This makes buying from you faster and simpler than other options.

5) Cross and upsell

Build the average value of your orders by suggesting other suitable items when a customer buys a product.

If you can get them to add another item to their order it will make their transaction more profitable for you.

Upselling and cross-selling in this way increase average order value.

6) Personalise your approach

Show customers you know what they like by displaying personal recommendations on your website and emails.

This saves the customer time searching around and shows them that you understand their needs.

Here’s an example of a personalised recommendation email from Clinique to inspire you.

Clinique Product Recommendation Email

7) Be useful

Customers are looking for brands who make their lives easier.

Offer them reminders, gift wrap, and other added extras. This means they don’t get distracted by the need to buy from other websites and rely on your brand to help them out.

8) Surprise them

Don’t just provide customers with what they expect. Go above and beyond in unexpected ways.

Invest in a long-term relationship by going the extra mile and making sure they remember your brand. Surprise them with a free gift, sample, or upgrade.

9) Incentivise free delivery

Customers don’t like to pay for delivery. Bizarrely, this is even true if it means paying slightly more to get delivery for free!

Offer free delivery at an amount just above what the typical customer spends. This helps to increase your average order value.

10) Ditch the discount

Smart brands don’t rely on discounts to generate business.

Focus on making more profitable sales by getting people to buy from you because they like your service or product. Not just your price.

11) Use the power of popularity

Inspire your customers to buy again by showing them what’s popular. Show them your bestsellers, what other customers like them bought, and crowdsourced suggestions.

Popularity acts as form of social proof and makes the decision to buy easier for your customers.

Here’s an example of how to use the power of popularity from Banana Republic.

Banana republic best sellers email

12) Don’t always make it about sales

Make sure your communications aren’t all sales focused. Customers get bored and aren’t all ready to buy.

Offer them value instead. Make each campaign relevant and enjoyable by providing useful and entertaining content.

13) Value them

Show customers you value them.

A simple thank you or token of appreciation will go a long way to securing their longer term custom.

14) Catch them while you can

Do everything you can to get lapsed customers to re-engage—even if it may not appear profitable to do so. It is still cheaper than acquiring new customers.

It costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than keep an existing one. Do everything you can to retain yours.


Try using a combination of these fourteen tactics and watch you CLTV steadily rise.

The tactics we’ve explored are designed to encourage the average customer to return frequently, and spend more with your brand. They should form the basis an engaging customer journey. One that’s made up of timely email automations that take customers from first purchase to becoming a repeat customer.

And remember, your CLTV is the most powerful indication of the health of your brand. Focus on it and you’ll spend less budget on chasing elusive new customers.

Ready to increase your CLTV? Our eCommerce solution puts you in the driving seat of building value and long-term custom. Book your demo.