Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lifetime Customer Value - LVC - Harder to Calculate that you'd think

I justt read an article on Lifetime Value of a Customer and agile marketing. Like so many articles, they make it sound so easy to calculate.  I'm so tired of hearing that. As far as I can tell, anyone who writes that article has never actually tried to figure out the lifetime value of a customer with real data...

We measure LVC and find it a very difficult exercise.  We tend to think others who measure it easily are either full of it or simpletons. Or maybe they have an easier exercise than we do.

If it were a question for a monthly subscription business of profit per month x average number of months, it would be easy.  If we could segment by marketing channel or another customer aspect, we could then compare  the segments. EZ peasy

Here's the problem. Our customers often sign up, try it, then quit and take their money back within the two weeks trial. But this same customer might sign up months later and stick around for a long period of time.

Our core service is an online subscription educational service for kids.  It turns out that the first sign up might have been just a trial for later.

Customers also quit after six months but come back six months later.

In both of these cases, they might come back through a marketing effort which means putting PPC ads in front of them. Do you assign the value of the second signup to the first case? Treat them separately?

Some customers add a child. Or remove a child.  Others refer friends. Others refer lots of friends.  It turns out that the arithmetic behind a meaningful calculation is tricky and involves lots of assumptions. Am I the only one with all these questions?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Domain Business - Want domain X Inquiries?

I have a few domains, maybe 500 to support the business. 

Most days, I get an inquiry like this one:


Tracy S****man tracy****

1:50 AM (12 hours ago)
to john

I think that you are the owner of a similar domain name and I am wondering if you would like
to obtain the mytime4learning dot net from me?

Thank you for your time and have a nice day.

What do I do with these emails?

I often ignore them but then they keep emailing for awhile.
I sometimes am interested and then my first step is to see if the domain that they are offering is available. Often it is. So I ignore the approach and go get the domain directly from a registrar for $7 per year.

In rare cases, I go back to the vendor and try to agree upon a price. In some cases, we've done a deal. But in most cases, they hold out for what I think are absurdly high valuations so we negotiate for awhile and then it falls apart. I try to NEVER talk to them on the phone or let them get my direct line since many of these people are like mosquitoes, once they find you, they just keep at it.

There's another email that I get less frequently (which I can't seem to find a copy of right now).Typically, it's from a major foreign country and they say that someone has tried to register a name like mine ( and to help me protect my copyright, they would offer it to me first. So for $xyz, I can have it but I need to act fast.

I've never ever answered any of those emails.

Your experiences with this?