CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)?


What Is CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a way for businesses to understand how much money they can expect to make from a customer over the time they keep buying from the business. It’s not just about one sale, but all the purchases a customer makes from the start to the end of their relationship with a company. 

CLV is important because it helps businesses figure out how much a customer is worth in the long run. This helps them decide how much money and effort they should spend on keeping their customers happy and coming back.

Knowing the CLV can also guide businesses in making marketing plans, deciding where to spend money to attract new customers, and how to keep their current customers satisfied. It’s all about making smart choices to keep customers for a long time and make the most money from those relationships.

How to Calculate CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)

To calculate Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) with a straightforward formula, you can follow these steps, incorporating a basic mathematical equation:

  • Average Purchase Value: Calculate this by dividing your company’s total revenue over a set period by the number of purchases during the same period.
  • Average Purchase Frequency Rate: This is found by dividing the total number of purchases over a set period by the number of unique customers who made purchases during that period.
  • Customer Value: Multiply the average purchase value by the average purchase frequency rate.
  • Average Customer Lifespan: Estimate the average number of years a customer continues purchasing from your business.
  • CLV: Finally, multiply the customer value by the average customer lifespan. This gives you the Customer Lifetime Value.

The formula looks like this:

CLV = (Average Purchase Value × Average Purchase Frequency Rate) × Average Customer Lifespan

This formula offers a basic approach to calculate CLV, giving you a general understanding of a customer’s worth to your business over the entirety of their relationship with you. For a more detailed analysis, you might consider adjusting this formula to reflect margins, discount rates, and other factors specific to your business model.

Good and Bad CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)

Understanding Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is crucial for businesses to differentiate between profitable and less profitable customer segments. 

A “good” CLV indicates that a customer segment is generating significant revenue over their lifetime, outweighing the costs of acquisition and retention. For example, a subscription-based streaming service might find that customers who sign up for premium, annual subscriptions have a high CLV because they stay subscribed for several years and regularly upgrade their plans. This is a sign that marketing efforts and resources spent on acquiring and nurturing these customers are well-invested.

Conversely, a “bad” CLV suggests that a customer segment costs more to acquire and serve than the revenue they generate over time. An example might be a fashion retailer who spends heavily on social media ads to attract customers who only make a single, low-value purchase before churning. These customers have a low CLV, indicating that the retailer’s marketing strategy might need adjustment to focus on higher-value customers or improve retention strategies.

Both examples highlight the importance of calculating CLV in shaping marketing strategies, resource allocation, and ultimately, in driving sustainable business growth. High CLV customers are often a focus for loyalty programs and personalized marketing, while customers with a low CLV might prompt a business to reevaluate its customer acquisition and retention tactics.

How to Improve CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)

Improving Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is essential for maximizing profitability and fostering long-term customer relationships. 

One effective strategy is enhancing the customer experience through personalized marketing, which involves tailoring your communications, offers, and product recommendations based on individual customer data and behavior. This approach can significantly increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and the likelihood of repeat purchases. 

Another key tactic is implementing a loyalty program that rewards customers for their ongoing business, encouraging them to continue choosing your brand over competitors. 

Additionally, focusing on customer service excellence can turn one-time buyers into loyal customers; quick, helpful, and friendly support can make a big difference in customer retention rates. 

Investing in quality and innovation within your product or service offering can also lead to a higher CLV, as customers are more likely to remain loyal to brands that consistently meet or exceed their expectations. 

Lastly, regularly collecting and acting on customer feedback shows that you value their input, which can improve your offerings and customer satisfaction over time. By employing these strategies, businesses can effectively increase their CLV, leading to a more sustainable and profitable operation.


Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a pivotal metric in digital marketing, signifying the total revenue a business can expect from a customer throughout their relationship. It’s fundamental for evaluating the long-term value of customers, guiding strategic decisions in marketing, customer acquisition, and retention. 

A high CLV indicates a profitable customer relationship, justifying greater investment in customer satisfaction and loyalty programs. Conversely, a low CLV suggests a need to reassess and potentially reallocate marketing efforts to enhance customer value.

Understanding and improving CLV is crucial for businesses aiming to maximize profitability, allocate resources efficiently, and build lasting customer relationships. Through personalization, quality customer service, and continuous product improvement, businesses can significantly enhance CLV, driving sustainable growth and competitive advantage.


Viktoria Arsenteva

Marketing Manager at Lira Agency. I enjoy creating valuable and informative content for our clients and visitors. I spend my free time reading books on marketing and psychology.