Need more sales? Clicks? Engagement? If you want to improve your digital marketing, you need to understand the Customer Value Journey (CVJ).
The Customer Value Journey is about turning strangers into super-fans. While other templates have been created, none are in-depth as the map we’re going to lay out for you.
The CVJ stands out among the crowd because it gives you a step-by-step process for attracting, converting, and keeping your best customers.
And because we want to give you a jumpstart on implementing this digital advertising strategy into your own business, we’ve made this explanation short and sweet (without cutting the important bits).
Keep reading for a quick overview and how to build the ideal Customer Journey for your brand.
The Customer Journey Defined
The Customer Value Journey is an 8-step path that people travel as they discover your brand, build a relationship with you, and become buyers and raving fans.
If you were to map it out, it would look like this:
But here’s the thing…
No one finishes this Journey alone. Left to themselves, customers will get lost along the way, stall out, or forget they ever started on a path with your brand.
That’s why you need to create a strategy that walks people through all 8 steps, giving them a boost when they get stuck and encouraging them every step of the way.
Let’s look at each step of the Customer Journey to see how you might do that.
Step 1: Make Them Aware
The first step is obvious. You need to be on your prospects’ radar.
For this, create top-of-funnel content that gets people attention, and then entertains or informs them.
Step 2: Get Them to Engage
Merriam-Webster defines engagement as emotional involvement or commitment. It’s about being in gear with someone, building or deepening a relationship with them.
As a digital marketer, this stage begins immediately after your first touch (or interaction) with a prospect and continues through their entire experience with your brand. It’s an ongoing conversation you have with them in multiple channels: blog, online community, email, customer support, etc.
Step 3: Ask Them to Subscribe
When someone likes their experience with your brand, trust begins to build. Once that happens, it’s time to ask for a small commitment—subscribing and giving you permission to email them.
There’s just one problem. Today, people are careful about giving out their email address. You have to offer something valuable that makes it worth their while. Think webinars, free samples of a product or chapters of a book, demos, reports, and guides.
You offer something they want, they fill out a form to get it. It’s that simple.
Step 4: Make Them a Customer
If your free offers have enough value (answering questions and solving problems), your prospects are often eager to deepen their commitment. They just need to know how.
The best way to do that is through an entry-point offer—a high-value, low-risk offer that lets them sample your wares without putting too much skin in the game.
To be clear, an entry-point offer is not designed to make you a profit. Its only purpose is to create a smooth transition from subscriber or follower to paid customer. You can focus on profits later in the Journey.
Now, you only need to ask for small commitment: say, $8–$20. Aim to cover your costs in acquiring the customer.
Step 5: Get Them Excited About Your Brand
Buying generates warm fuzzies. It’s a scientific fact. The dopamine from a new purchase gets people excited—which is why the fifth stage of the Customer Journey is to build on that excitement.
How do you do that? By giving your new customer a memorable experience.
Consider offering a quick-start guide… bonus features that surprise and delight… quick wins… any content that makes your new customers happy.
Step 6: Make Them a Multi-Buyer
At this stage, your goal is to generate repeat buys and real profits. While your entry-point offer was designed for conversions, your ascension offers should be geared for profits—because if you’re serving your customers well, they’ll want to buy again and again.
Ascension offers may be simple upsells made after that initial purchase… bigger, better solutions… or “done for you” add-ons.
Step 7: Ask Them to Spread the Love
Happy customers love to share their experience, but sometimes they need some encouragement to do so. The cool thing is, once they do, they become even more loyal to your brand.
So, at this stage of the Customer Value Journey, ask people to share their positive experience with your brand by writing a review or sharing a social media post.
Step 8: Make Them a Promoter
Up until now, any “promotion” your customers have done has been passive. But in the promotion stage, your customers actively spread the word about your brands, products, and services. They tell stories, make recommendations, and share your offers because they truly believe in them.
Active promotion may be an affiliate or commission relationship—or just a free offer for sending some new customers your way. The point is, it’s a win-win for both of you.
How to Help People on Their Journey
Digital marketing is about helping customers move along this journey faster. That’s why you can’t use just one tactic or an ongoing series of unfocused marketing campaigns.
You need a plan that addresses every stage of the Journey. And you need to think in terms of optimizing that journey.
To get started, take another look at your Customer Journey. Find the gaps. And start putting together a strategy that gets people excited about being your customer.