Grow Customer CLV This Holiday Season (And the Next One, Too … )

This article by Todd Garcia originally appeared on Medium.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday are, without a doubt, some of the best times to get a large number of new customers to your site and hopefully signed up for your subscription product.

People are searching for deals right now, and your traffic will increase substantially. In some cases, sites will see over 100 percent increases in their traffic during the holiday season.

With all that traffic, it stands to reason that you’ll get quite a few new signups.

But here’s where things get interesting — what happens next year?

Let’s say you give a discount for your subscription during your Cyber Week promotions. Will a newly-acquired subscriber receive the same discount next year?

If not, and you provide another discount the following year, will the subscriber churn and repurchase to get the new discount? How do you retain your holiday consumers while ensuring higher Customer Lifetime Value?

Don’t Get Caught Chasing Your Customers for Higher CLV

We all remember the classic children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, a circular tale that illustrates that there is no end to the vicious cycle of caving into demands. So here are a few ideas to avoid reducing CLV during this holiday season and the next.

Extend the value

Most subscriptions renew annually, and typically your customers are set to renew on the anniversary of that first purchase.

In an effort to push those holiday consumers off that schedule, why not offer an additional six months with the holiday discount? This way, when it comes time to renew the customer will no longer be in the holiday mindset and less likely to expect a deep reduction.

This will also help to prevent customers from churning early to receive a new holiday discount as they’d be forfeiting their free months.

Monthly over annual

In most cases, monthly subscriptions are more expensive for the consumer when compared with the total cost of an annual subscription paid up front. To protect your CLV during the discount-happy holidays, don’t reduce the (already lower) cost of the annual plan; discount your monthly plan instead.

If you offer $10 per month or $95 per year, you can discount your monthly subscription to $8 per month and still earn the more revenue than you would with an annual subscription. This will also make it easier to up-sell new subscribers to your annual subscription a few months down the line, since they’re already used to paying slightly more than that amount.

Customer experience

As always, the best way to grow customer lifetime value is by providing a superior customer experience. If you consistently remind customers of your value, when you communicate the cost of your next renewal you’ll have a better chance of renewing them at a higher price point. Not to mention win future opportunities to up-sell your customers to new and better products.


There are lots of ways to increase CLV in spite of holiday discounts. The important thing is to be smart and avoid devaluing your solution in the long term.

Todd Garcia is a customer experience nerd and a Senior Account Executive at cleverbridge.

Follow him on Twitter!

Or read more of his musings on optimizing ecommerce on Medium.