How One Company Increased Their Lifetime Customer Value from $50 to $500

What is your lifetime value for a customer? Not sure?

Let’s start with the definition. Per Wikipedia, the customer lifetime value “is the present value of the future cash flows attributed to the customer relationship.” So you want to know, What will this customer be worth to me over the entire time I sell to him or her? When you know this information, you can determine how much to spend acquiring new customers, and on advertising and marketing.

Yesterday I was thinking about one of my absolute favorite customers, Jeannie Krause-Taylor of We have been working together for years, first in one of my classes, then for individual coaching, and we created her blogsite.  Right now Jeannie is in my TLCforYourWebsite live course. Obviously, she has a tremendously high lifetime customer value for me (in addition to the fact that I love working with her)!

So which one of your clients has a high lifetime customer value for you? What could you do to convert more of your current clients to this level?

I’m reading the first chapter of a new book, Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business.  The book is written by the gurus from one of the most successful information marketing businesses ever, Agora, Inc.  In this chapter, the author explains how the business started using direct mail to sell information products, and how they started using the Internet… and had disappointing results with profits going down!

But then they switched their approach, adding an email newsletter which educated its readers AND advertised the Agora products.

The authors explain how the buying curve shifted dramatically for two reasons: lots of free education/information in the newsletter and messages sent much more often. It used to cost them 50 cents to contact a customer; with the Internet and their e-mail newsletter, they could now contact them for a fraction of a penny.

As a result of this new process, the lifetime value of the customer increased almost tenfold in ten years, from $50 to $500!

What can you take away from this example?

  • What is the lifetime value of your customers? If you haven’t started tracking it, start today.
  • Do you have an email newsletter?
  • Does it give out outstanding education and information for your readers? If not, make some changes with the goal to be the best resource for your readers.
  • How often do you send your messages? It’s an interesting balance between determining how much contact is enough and how much is too much.
  • What other ways could you increase the value each customer provides?

Oh and if you want to read the book, you’ll get details on the 12 marketing channels Agora uses, along with their secrets for successful information marketing. Buy it here. I’m getting the Kindle version for my iPhone.

Do you have a favorite part of the book?

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Ask Julie – Tell me about domain name registration…

First, let’s start by explaining what a domain name registration is. Your domain name is what people type into their browser to get to your website.  When you register your domain, you buy the right to use that name from a “domain name registrar.”

I’ve had several people ask me about buying the domain name for their website, and in case you are interested also, here is my response:

So Julie, do you use “Godaddy” to establish new website or do you have another favorite?

GoDaddy does a great job, and I have some of my original domain names with them. I actually am a reseller for their service and sell domain names at

At the time, this post was written, my domain names cost $8.95, and I think GoDaddy is $9.99.

Also, if we set up and host a site for you through, you only need to buy the domain (don’t buy hosting or email or the other add-ons.  We provide that for you).  Make sure you buy the domain for two years (some theories think Google gives a domain more weight if the owners are committed to them and buy at least two years right away).

One quick thought though about domain names — you want to think about what people are searching for and make sure your domain name matches the keyword phrases they are using.

Why?  Because it’s much, much easier to rank for a phrase in your domain name (for example, one of my clients is and she ranks really well for the keyword phrase “wellness coach”).  One of the best places to search for commonly used keyword phrases is

Google will tell you how often a specific keyword phrase is searched for online.

So when you are picking a domain name, there are several things to consider:

1) What is the purpose of your business?  Does your domain name make that obvious? Or could people be confused by your name?

2) Do people search for the name you are considering?  If not, is there a better keyword phrase to use?

3) Is it easy to spell?  I came across at least two sites this weekend that were impossible to spell.  Don’t use a domain that people may misspell!

4) Make sure you can get the .com.  Why?  Because if you have any other domain extension like .net, .info, etc., your customers will forget and send your email to the .com address.  I had this happen with my website.  Someone else purchased and now I get a lot of her email because it’s so automatic to use .com.

Hope that helps you pick out the best domain name!


What’s Your Website Marketing Plan?

What’s up for your website for this year?

Have you set any goals for your website yet? Since multiple choice options are so much easier than essays, here are a few goals to choose from:

* Get more traffic to my website. (How much?)
* Get more leads from my website. (How many?)
* Convert more leads into buyers. (How many $ sales do you want?)

Perhaps you need to expand your reach online either for the search engines or for your prospective clients. You can-

* Add Web 2.0 with sites like Twitter or Facebook
* Get a blog or even post to the blog you already have!
* Add audio or video to my site.

Or if you are just getting started with your business, your goal may be to:

* Just get a website.
* Send an email newsletter.
* Create my follow-up system (both online and offline).
* Create raving fans who tell their friends about my website.

Your next step is to determine how your website work fits into the rest of your business life.

What can you outsource, and what will you do yourself?

Tell us your website goals in the comments below, and we’ll feature your site in an upcoming post.

Need help with any of these? We have the perfect program to fit into your busy schedule. TLC for Your Website(TM). Broken into month-by-month activities, the program provides you (or your staff and assistants) with a step-by-step method for improving your website for a phenomenal year. Get the scoop at

Social Media – Effective But Difficult to Track?

Which social media tactic do you think is most effective? According to a new report at, user reviews or ratings, and blogger or online journalist relationships are the two most effective social media tactics–and two of the most difficult to track.

The MarketingSherpa chart compares how effective a tactic is considered with how accurately it is measured. Obviously many of the latest and greatest social media tactics are so new that the tracking systems haven’t yet caught up with the technology.

The other side of the issue is that connecting with your prospects and buyers “socially” is much less scientific than tracking how many click-thrus you get on your Google ad.

Reputation, word of mouth and recommendations can be difficult to measure. However, here are a few tools to keep tabs on how you are doing:

  • Google Alerts.  Make sure you know when and where your name, products and websites are mentioned online with this free tool from Google that emails you.
  • TwitBeep.  This site helps you keep track of who is tweeting about your products, websites or name on Twitter.

You can also find some less direct numbers to track, for example,

  • Are your Facebook friends increasing naturally?
  • Do you get more comments on your blog this month than last month?
  • How many Twitter followers do you have?

While these numbers won’t tell you exactly about your ROI, it does give you a good idea if your reach is spreading.

And if you were wondering what was the least effective social media tactic? Advertising. Imagine that.


Two Ways to Use Video on Your Lead Generation Pages

Are you capturing your visitors when they get to your site?  It’s getting more and more challenging to get someone to give you their email address.  One of the newest ways to snag more subscribers is to be even more personal — with video.

As laptops have started to include web cameras, more and more people are using video BUT these may not be the best solution.  Why?  Because the resolution is often poor and the backgrounds can be painful to look at (just take a look behind your back.  What would your visitors see?).

This lead capture page uses a very effective high-definition video:

You’ll notice that Michelle McPhearson, the owner of this site, is very engaging, the background is neutral, and the resolution is very high so it feels like she is sitting in your office with you.

As a bonus, she even explained how she created this video cheaply, what video camera and software she used, and how she got an unbelieveable 67% conversion rate on her lead generation page:

What lessons can you take from this example and apply to your site?

If you’re not quite ready for Michelle’s HD savvy presentation, I also recommend for quickly and easily creating lead generation pages with your webcam.  One of the biggest challenges with video is that it uses up a LOT of bandwidth on your site (bandwidth measure how much traffic you have to your site and most of the time, you have a limit on how much bandwidth you can use in a month).

Because video files can be really large, you can go use up your bandwidth in a hurry. Michelle used Amazon’s S3 service to manage her video bandwidth. also takes care of the bandwidth for you so it won’t impact your regular site.

So how will you add video to your lead generation pages?  Can you test video to see if it adds to your conversions?


10 Internet Tools You Gotta Use

If you had to pick ten Internet marketing tools that were your essentials, what would they be?

Suppose the success of your business depended upon how well you mastered these tools… because they would save you time, money and frustration.  You would know what marketing was working (and which were not!).  You’d know what keyword phrases your competition is using (and whether you should use them).  You would be able to find your potential prospects, track them down and get their attention to turn them into long-term clients.

So what are these magic tools?

I’ll give you one of my favorites:  Google Analytics. Google provides an amazing tool to let you track how much traffic your site is getting by day, week, month, etc.; what keyword phrases your visitors used to get to your site; what website referred them to you; and on an on.  It’s free (double bonus!) and you can even get these reports sent to you by email.  Go here to sign up for Google Analytics and then add the tracking code to your website.

List your favorite tools below, and if you want to know my other nine favorites, join me on Tuesday, March 17th for a special event, 10 Internet Tools You Must Use for a Phenomenal Year. Only 20 seats are available for this class so make sure you get registered here.

Email Marketing with Email Newsletter Services – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I shared my favorite email newsletter services.  Here are the 12 questions you should ask before you sign up for any service:

1. Does the email newsletter software offer a free or low-cost trial version, a demo version or a money-back guarantee? You want a chance to experiment with the software to see if you like the way it works or not.

2. Does it offer free newsletter templates? Especially if you are setting up your own newsletter, you want an easy-to-design newsletter that lets you incorporate your business logo or book cover.

3. What does the email newsletter cost, and even more importantly, what does it cost as your list grows? Your goal should be to have 10,000 subscribers, and several of the services, while inexpensive at the beginning, start rising in a hurry once you have 500, 1,000 or just 2,500 subscribers.

4. Can you send unlimited messages? Many of the email newsletter programs will charge you per message sent rather than per user. We never recommend these services because we want you to feel confident sending messages whenever you want to (especially when you want to announce something new).

5. What does the service do to ensure deliverability of your newsletters? It can be difficult to get email delivered. Many of the largest services create relationships with the major internet service providers to help track their deliverability. They also require double opt-in which means that when an email address is entered, a confirmation link is sent to the new subscriber to ensure they did want to subscribe (this stops spammers who use email addresses without permission).

6. Do you have unlimited sequential autoresponder services? An autoresponder is a special kind of email functionality that lets you set up a series of messages (for example, a message a week for the next 52 weeks) and then each time someone subscribes, they will receive the messages in order. It doesn’t matter when they subscribe, they always get the first message and then each one in order.

This can be an easy additional revenue stream if you can reposition your content into a weekly or monthly “course” delivered by email (Want to know more? Check out Membernaire here. I’m a member and it’s a thorough step-by-step course.)

7. Does the newsletter service automatically convert your RSS feeds into newsletters? An RSS feed is the technology that automatically notifies readers of your blog that you have new contents. Some of the services automatically create email newsletters from your RSS feeds.

8. Can you personalize the messages? Most services let you collect your visitors’ names and then let you put the names in the newsletter so you can say, “Hi Julie” at the beginning of each message.

9. How long has the service been around? The real challenge for email newsletter services is staying power. Many of the free services, especially, started out strong but then their policies prevented them from being a long-term solution, and they shut down leaving their publishers without a way to reach their subscribers.

10. Does the service support CAN-SPAM requirements? The CAN-SPAM legislation has some very specific requirements for email newsletter publishers, and many of the services handle the requirements for you.

11. Can you schedule your messages to go out sometime in the future? This feature is really helpful when you plan to go on vacation. You can schedule your newsletter so it will continue to go out without you.

12. Is your newsletter archived for you? One of the best ways to get new subscribers is to share past issues with them. Some of the email newsletter services will set up archives for you.

Another common question is whether instead of paying for a service, can you just use one of the free services, like Yahoo Groups, for your newsletter? Can you? Yes. Should you? No, and here’s why….. most of these services put unrelated advertising in your newsletter. Do you really want to send your visitors to someone else’s site–and not even get paid for the advertising? It’s also a challenge to get yourself off these services because you have to resubscribe everyone to your new service (and lots of people won’t take the time to resubscribe). You don’t want to know how I know this (one of my sites is still using Yahoo Groups because of this!)

My number one piece of advice about email newsletter software is to get started with the right service from the very beginning. Moving around later will cost you subscribers. It’s much better to pay a little more now and have a long-term solution.

Bonus Question #13 – How easy is the software to use? You’ll be able to determine this from the free trial versions and the demo.  If you will be doing your newsletter yourself, I’ve found and aWeber to be the easiest to use (yes, we’ve tried all the programs listed in part 1 of this series on email newsletter services, and those two are my picks for the easiest to use.  Others have more functionality but these two have interfaces that make it easy to navigate and send.)

Contact us here if we can help you get your email newsletter set up and incorporated into your site.

P.S. Do you use another service  you are considering or really like? Post it in the comments and we’ll review it for you.

Email Marketing with Email Newsletter Services – Part 1

Ready to get your email newsletter up and running? Picking the best software is critcial, right from the start, because transferring your account later may result in you losing some of your subscribers.

Here are some of my favorite services along with reasons for using each one:

Aweber – Easy-to-use, good deliverability, pricing structure based on the number of subscribers – 500, 2,500, 5,000, 10,000 and 25,000, supports RSS and includes HTML templates. Find out more about aWeber here. – Extremely easy-to-use, includes over 300 templates, archives, pricing varies with number of subscribers. Get more info on EasyEmailSoftware with iContact here. – Useful if you will be selling downloadable items or doing teleseminars/webinars where you would like your buyers added to an email list once they buy. Bit more complex to use, and may be more than you need. We typically set up the system for our clients, and then train them on the pieces they need to use. Try the trial version here. or – These two solutions are specifically for bloggers and will notify your subscribers automatically each timen you’ve made a new post.

ACT! with Swiftpage – If you are an ACT user, Swiftpage provides some outstanding tracking and setup features. It’s a little more pricey but worth it if you can take advantage of all of the features. – This online service lets you put video on your lead generation pages, test headlines and track results of visitors vs. signups (conversion tracking). The emailing functionality isn’t as robust, but it makes creating lead generation pages easy.  You can also link in with the other services like Aweber and Trial for $1.

I’ve used all of these services and recommend different ones depending on the stage of my clients, whether they will be doing it themselves or hiring it out, and what long-term functionality is needed.  Let us know if we can help you get your email newsletter service set up.

In Part 2 of this post, I’ll share the 12 questions you should ask before you pick a newsletter service.

Seminar – Secrets to Using the Web During a Recession

Join us for a special seminar

Secrets to Using the Web During 2009

Your Web Marketing Plan for a Phenomenal Year

Join Julie Hood to:

  • Learn about our proprietary method, TLC for Your Website
  • Get your 2009 Year-Long Internet Marketing Plan
  • Analyze (and copy!) the Strategies of Successful Websites


Tuesday, January 20, 2008
9:30-11:30 a.m.
Java G’s – just off Page Extension
2031 Old Hwy 94 South
St. Charles MO 63303

Only 25 Seats Remaining.

Only $20. Payable at door. Cash or check to Finally Organized LLC.

To register: Call Julie at 636-946-5148 or fill out the form below.

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Website Marketing – Where do you learn all this stuff?

One of my clients asked me recently, “Where do you learn all this stuff?” We were talking about blogging, email marketing, website marketing, how to get more traffic… the standard stuff any website owner needs to do.

And my answer was that I do a lot of surfing!

One of the goals for is to share my favorite resources with you. Especially for those of you who like to learn, and not just get told what to do, the Favorite Website Marketing Resources will really help you.

Let me start by sharing one of my all-time favorite resources for cutting edge research into what’s new and what’s working with website marketing, the Thirty Day Challenge.

The goal is of the Thirty Day Challenge is to make your first $10 online.

The official challenge is starting August 1, 2008 (it’s usually repeated every year on in August) and right now people are signing up and getting started with the “Pre-Season.” (Yes, it’s a lot like pre-season football, getting to the know the tools, getting organized, etc.)

A couple things you should know about the Thirty Day Challenge:

  • You will be using cutting edge tools and techniques. This is not for the faint of heart or the technophobe. The team really works to make it simple for you, but sometimes it can be fairly techy.
  • A lot of the material is presented by (sometimes long) videos. If you’re like me, this is not your favorite way to learn, but it is effective for what the Thirty Day Challenge team is trying to share with you.
  • The best part — it’s FREE! The staff who put this together do have some additional coaching programs they will encourage you to join, but the core Thirty Day Challenge is free.

So check it out at Thirty Day Challenge and post a comment below to let me know what you think!