The most frequently asked question in advertising and marketing is: What’s the ROI?

ROI, which stands for return on investment, is what the corporate finance world describes as “the amount, expressed as a percentage, that is earned on a company’s total capital calculated by dividing the total capital into earnings before interest, taxes, or dividends are paid”.

If that’s a bit of a mouthful for you, basically ROI is how much you make relative to your investment.

But there’s a problem with focusing on what your ROI is. It becomes a tough question to answer, especially when you’re trying to justify it over time.

There is no ROI when you send a survey or ask your client a question so you can help them.

There is no ROI in sending a free solution to solve your client’s problems.

There is no ROI in maintaining high-end client support for your email list.

There is definitely no ROI in making it a point to reply every message you receive.

…or at least, the “ROI” of these actions is not something you can directly calculate and probably very hard to measure.


Here’s why you need to shift your focus away from ROI

Consider this case study.

A few months ago, we turned the tables around a tad bit and asked a different question.

We started asking: “What’s the value of a lead over a year?”

When we think ROI, it’s mostly immediate. It doesn’t consider the value generated over time. When we began emphasizing value over time, our systems evolved to create stronger relationships with clients instead of just looking for that ROI transaction.

Want to know what the best part was?

Our clients noticed. They could feel the “care” and, as we found, they responded with:

  1.     More transactions, more frequently
  2.     More trust with the company, opening the door for us to be their trusted advisor
  3.     Increased awareness of the Brand


Building the heart of a long-term value system with your clients

Here is an example of a system that we created to build long-term value with our clients:

We put together a dedicated team that was solely responsible to

  1.     create epic content in the space we operate,
  2.     get celebrity/authority interviews,
  3.     create fresh unique original posts,
  4.     bring free solutions that people can use in their lives, and
  5.     present great deals and irresistible offers to clients.

We created a system around it.

Unique to our markets we created a system that will allow us to create quality content consistently, easily and inexpensively—and then we would send it out to relevant clients through various channels like Facebook and Email.

 We hit a home run.


While still working on the nuts and bolts of the system, we began experiencing results. There was a surge in open and click-throughs to our emails. Our Facebook gained traction. Most surprisingly, revenues shot up.

You see, while trying to create a system for loyalty, we accidentally stumbled on a system that increased the value of our clients.

By giving clients great value, they were coming back to our websites and purchasing more.

We found a model where now:

  •       We only do permission marketing
  •       Our open rates and CTRs are above industry standards (for the list size we maintain)
  •       Clients love us and there is an increase in love emails we get
  •       Our Facebook pages are more responsive
  •       Value per lead has gone up
  •       And so have our revenues 🙂


5 Steps to Increase Your Customer Value

So here are action steps to translate it back to your business:

Step 1:

Create a cadence for sending out valuable material for your list (Hint: you want to be their trusted advisor, not all content has to be yours)

Step 2:

If you don’t have time, then find a team who can do this for you. At the very least, you’ll need to implement content generation.

Step 3:

Deploy a small team dedicated solely to this task (it can be a one-person team to start with).

Step 4:

Put tracking in place to measure results. It’s important to validate the idea for your list. Your follow through will be stronger when you KNOW that you are creating more value.

Step 5:

Go all out!

While you’re at it, remember that creating a client is hard—real hard.

But to wow a client that you already have is much easier. That’s why an existing client is many times more valuable than the one you haven’t gotten yet. And that’s where your focus needs to be.


Share this article and also share your thoughts with us. How are you serving your clients, and what have you done that accidentally or knowingly created more sales?


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