My head-scratcher this week is about…

How I burned $479k on ads back in 2011. 

Only in the first 3 quarters. Exactly back then, we also got the bad news that the market leader in almost all the verticals (eMAG) is after our niche, launching in Q4.

I was an eCommerce entrepreneur. I had 2 little kids, and my friends that had jobs at various corporate companies were taking home 3 times the money that I took and worked 2 times less than I did. 

No peace of mind for you, Valentin! :)

We explored the idea of getting a loan.

Or to quickly find an investor.

And continue to burn money.

Instead, I made the thing that you do when you’re in pain. 

Tried to get to the root cause.

I wanted to understand the real growth levers and fix what’s broken. That’s when I first understood that I was using the wrong e-commerce growth formula to grow my business.
(here’s the updated one, that I use now) 

So, I started to build different growth scenarios.

At that time, our customer retention was quite low. And some specific segments of customers were really profitable. 

So, we shifted our attention from acquiring bad-fit customers to acquiring the right customers.

And from losing the right customers to keeping them.

We ran surveys, monitored NPS, changed the positioning and we focus to acquire the customers that deserved our attention (we sold car insurance, so we focused our acquisition on customers insuring luxury cars, or truck drivers + we have dramatically improved our customer services) 

That led to doubling the business in just 2 years, after 5 slow growth years before that.

And then to an exit.

Soon after, I started Omniconvert.

Now we help hundreds of eCommerce companies to improve acquisition AND retention.

FYI: Omniconvert Reveal now calculates the revenue impact of better customer retention automatically.

Here’s the catch: 99% of the marketers are acquisition marketers. 

It’s like they think they are in an assembly line and they only need to work at the first part of it.
They pour money, talent, and campaigns on the first part of the customer journey.

The company should take care of the rest, right?

Well, actually, no. 

“Marketing” is a word that derives from “market”, right?

Marketing means to understand, analyze, address and even change the market. Not only to throw products at customers, without looking at what happens with the customers after. Are they happy after? No? How can they get happy?

I think that happens because the marketers don’t understand how the full assembly really works.
Acquisition marketing is the first part. Retention marketing is the second. 

It takes 2 to tango.

And no, retention doesn’t mean bribing customers with a 10% discount before their first order has not been delivered or before the product has not been used.

I’ve been there, as well. 

10 years ago, I was like Pavlov’s dog, checking Google Analytics three times a day, to see how many orders we got. 

But once I understood that I need to nail the full customer lifecycle, not just the first part of the assembly line, I finally got it right and transformed the $479k into a worthy investment. Eventually!

Want to get access to my methodology to do it, too?

Here’s how:

> Get the Customer Value Optimization Guide (free) 

> Get access to the free introductory course in CVO Academy (free)

> Become a certified CVO expert – get access to the CVO Academy Full Course (20h of content from 8 instructors, paid)

The hidden gem I’ve found for you this week

Frederick Vallaeys’ article about why container shipping delays are a big deal for eCommerce PPC. 

Shipping costs are calculated on a per-container basis, not on how much the container weighs. This year shipping a 40-foot container may cost $25,000 > after last year was $4.000.