Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the ultimate business metric. No matter how killer you are at acquiring customers, it won’t matter if you can’t make a return on your investment.

A focus on boosting your CLV is even more important than ever before. That’s because customer acquisitions costs are soaring, making it extremely hard for many online businesses to survive.

Then, there’s competition. More and more businesses are popping up daily which in turn means competing for the same customers. In fact, studies show that customers are exposed to over 5000 advertisements a day.

customer lifetime value

Put simply, if you can’t retain your customers and maximize your ROI, the fate of your business may not be so bright.

Customer onboarding is the most important part of boosting your retention rates. It’s the first experience as a customer instead of a prospect and if done correctly, it leads to the next purchase and builds customer loyalty.

Onboarding emails are a critical part of that first experience. In fact, your emails are your onboarding strategy. Here are a few tips for doing it right.

The Opt-In Email

For many small businesses, opt-in emails are a necessity. In many marketing campaigns, they begin your customer’s onboarding journey. Make sure they’re simple, clear, and to-the-point, with a clear CTA. Such as this example from Dropbox.

customer lifetime value

You can get creative here, but the main purpose of opt-in emails is to be sure a subscriber is ready to be added to the list and to confirm that your customer submitted the correct email address. On top of that, you’re also legally required to get everyone to opt-in. Technically becoming a customer can classify as a “soft opt-in” if you’re hoping to eliminate this step from your onboarding campaigns, but the opt-in email is a great way to ensure that you have the right customer information and prepare them for the emails to follow.  

The Welcome Email

Welcome emails are the real first impression email that (once all of the legalities are out of the way) you can send out to your subscribers or customers. According to a study by Experian, welcome emails have four times higher open rates and five times higher clickthrough rates than any other bulk email you’ll send out. So you better make it count.

customer lifetime value

Make your welcome email personal and to the point. Start by reminding them what your product can do for them and what the next steps are. If successful, the welcome email can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

The Aid + Advice Email

Another onboarding email you should send out is one that offers customers help with using your product. The ultimate goal is to make sure users get the most value possible out of your product (and to remind them why they signed up in the first place).

customer lifetime value

To maximize that value, they need to use it first. It can take a while for new customers to get to that AHA moment, when they fully realize the value of what your product can deliver – especially if your product is a web-based product or SaaS.   

Likewise, you want to make it easy for customers to reach out for help by including a clear link to access your customer support offerings. Research shows that nine out of ten customers are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service.

The Action + Incentive Emails

Similar to offering a helping hand, you want customers to start using your product. The idea here is to determine what the first minimum action is that leads to the AHA moment.

For example, Dropbox found out that new subscribers are most likely to start using the service after they save the first file. So their onboarding strategy is built around incentivizing users to take these steps.

customer lifetime value
Source: RocketReach

That, by the way, is a great way to motivate your customers to take their first actions. Offer incentives and points for taking the first few steps required to take them from signing up to getting to the AHA moment.

The Re-Engagement Email

Some users lapse. They try your product or website and don’t show up again. The purpose of re-engagement emails is to get them back on the horse as painlessly as possible.

customer lifetime value

There are several ways to re-engage users. You can offer them an incentive, show a new exciting feature or product, or provide them with a helping hand if they abandoned the product too early.

These emails can be challenging. Be helpful and personal. Be clear, avoid a generic tone, and, if it makes sense, try to create a dialogue, as your users may be confused about your product or service. And did we mention that you can automate all of this with the help of marketing automation and CRM software?