Phillip Stutts

The holiday sales season is here (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, etc.). I look at this time in your sales cycle a bit different — your outcome should not be to just make a small profit, but to use your discounted products and services to capture new customers and build long-term buying relationships.

How you ask?

Stick with me because if you implement these 5 Steps successfully, you will increase your sales by at least 50% — frankly, I expect you will do MUCH better than that.

I’m going to highlight the eCommerce market — but even if you are a non-eComm B2C seller, this will apply to you. And if you are in the B2B market, trust me, you can still tailor the lessons below for BIG growth.

Here is how you can do it in 5 easy steps:

Step 1

Answer this fundamental question — What is the average lifetime value of your customer?

Once you know this, you can better gauge how much money you are comfortable spending. For example, we work with an eCommerce food company that has an average customer lifetime value of $237. When they entered into the eComm space a few years ago, they were hesitant to run a competitive marketing campaign that broke even on the first sale (the average first sale was $61) or even lost money.

Before understanding the lifetime value of their customer, this company’s amazing CEO didn’t realize how breaking even (or even losing a little money on the first sale) was going to have a big return in the long-run.

Step 2

Now that you’ve figured out the average customer lifetime value, you must get this next step right, or you will 100% fail.

What is it?

Your marketing messaging and creative have to stand out from your competition.

The average consumer sees up to 10,000 ads per day (and this stat is a few years old!). 10,000!!!!

No one cares about your product or service because they are overwhelmed by all the ads. This is why I push my clients to invest in customer data before we create content. Understanding customer data and creating content based on their needs is the difference between your marketing making you money or your marketing losing you money.

So, what kind of creative should you use to break through the clutter?

Let me answer that question with a question — Have you personally clicked on a banner ad lately? No.*

*I believe banner ads are great for testing the messages that we learn from customer data, just not for converting many first-time customers.

If you want to run successful online marketing campaigns, you must use video. Every social media and advertising platform has made this decision for you. It’s not up for debate. If you don’t understand this, you will lose before you even start the game.

Before we move to Step 3, I need you to repeat after me: “Content is king.” It is the most important thing to realize before you start spending $$$$.

Step 3

Now that you’ve created data-backed, attention-grabbing creative content and videos (based on your customer data) for your eCommerce campaign, it’s time to convert the customer.

BUT, the conversion you should be going after is NOT the sale.

Say what?

That’s right, the first conversion is getting the customer from “recognition” of the ad to “discovery” (clicks). The more creative your content, the easier it is to reach this outcome. If you can get your target to take the first step in the customer journey, you’re on your way to long-term sustained conversions.


Because, in today’s “10,000 ads-per-day” consumption world, you must stand out from the crowd. You need to build a real relationship with the customer, and that takes time — and trust.

The key to Step 3 is not to convert customers (consider a conversion in Step 3 a bonus), it is to move a potential customer into your “retargeting pool.”

Write that last sentence downvbecause it’s the most important sentence in this post.

What’s a retargeting pool?

Once the potential customer clicks on your ad for the first time (and moves into the “discovery” zone), your marketing team must put them into a “pool” and continuously deliver ads to them.

How many times should you serve an ad to a potential customer once they hit your retargeting pool?

I like to hit the retargeting pool a minimum of 6 times in the span of the ad cycle. This should be enough saturation to move a potential customer (that is in your retargeting pool) from “discovery” (first click) to “acquisition” (first purchase).

What percentage should you expect to convert once you get a potential customer into a retargeting pool?

Every business is different, but if you lack a substantive brand identity, it’s going to start really low. Our food company client started at .0025% conversion rate, but it grew over several months and is now optimizing at 1.19% (this current rate is very profitable for them, but our outcome is to get them to a 1.5-2% conversion rate).*

*A great well-known brand should convert customers in their retargeting pool at 1–2%.

Step 4

Now that you’ve followed Steps 1–3, and your customer has made their first purchase, you must double down your efforts for customer repurchase. This is the second highest ROI in the game (the highest ROI is in Step 5).

To quote my friend Jay Abraham:

 “It’s guaranteed to bring you bigger buys, better buys, more profitable buys, no-cost buys, more consistent buys, more loyal buyers, more referring buyers, each and every month — from NOW on.”

But that’s not all!

A great company will employ Step 5 to achieve the highest ROI possible.

Step 5

You must take the customer journey from “acquisition” (or “re-acquisition”) to “advocacy” (raving fans). Great companies create loyal fans. Loyal fans are your free marketing machine.

How can you implement this step?

You need to use the data from your customers and marketing campaigns to create a “Raving Fan Marketing Strategy.” I could write a 6-part series on Step 5 alone (let me know if you are interested in this too?) but in the meantime, I’m willing to give you 4 easy tactics — for free — that we’ve utilized with our clients. These cost little $ but have a massive ROI.:

  1. Write every customer a hand-written thank-you note of appreciation after each purchase.
  2. Create an exclusive club for great customers. The more they buy AND the more new customers they refer, the more they are rewarded.
  3. Recognition! Run a social post recognizing your “Customer of the Week.” Make the story about the customer, not you. They will absolutely re-share it to all their friends and family (another idea — allow them to gift their friends an “exclusive” discount code for your products) and this costs you NOTHING!
  4. Instead of using actors and models for your creative videos, use real customers to tell a heart-felt authentic story about themselves and your product. When the customer is the hero, you will win. Need an example of this? Click here to see how Orange Theory successfully executed this by telling their “Strong for Audrey” story

Marketing in this day and age is complicated — it’s both formulaic and scientific. It has to use messaging that is data-backed, smart, engaging, and creative. If you are committed to following this formula you can grow your bottom line by up to 50% (truthfully, I’ve seen our clients grow much bigger than this).

If you are out there “hoping” an ad campaign will work by throwing up ads that have no rhyme or reason, YOU WILL LOSE. And your holiday season will suck. Don’t do that.

Follow the 5 Steps above, and you will win every time.

Happy holidays!


P.S. — TJ Hoisington has an impressive resume — he’s an author, a motivational speaker, and he sits down every week to inspire his listeners on the podcast Unleash Your Greatness Within. Our discussion touched upon the customer relationship building I just wrote about above. Give it a listen here.

P.P.S. —  If you know of a friend or a colleague that would enjoy my bi-weekly updates about incredibly cool, funny and idiotic marketing ideas, please have them email me ( or sign up below:

Subscribe (Plus Download Free Gift)