A value ladder can help you build a whole suite of products to sell, targeting customers by the value of your products. Imagine a system that lets you create several high-value products. You can use this system for upselling and cross-selling. You can also use this system to recommend higher-value products to your existing customers.
This helps marketers increase the overall value of every customer. Businesses can offset the cost of customer acquisition when they use value ladders. It fuels returns from email marketing campaigns as well.
A Value Ladder also gives a solution for single-product businesses to grow their email list quickly. All they have to do is release a free, moderate-value product (called the "lead magnet") and share that with their visitors in exchange for their email address.
This way, a Value Ladder is one of the most important foundational concepts of running a successful online business.
Technically, a Value Ladder is a mapping of all your products / services, each one priced higher than the previous one.
At the level 0 of this ladder, you give out an important (but free) product or service of moderate value in exchange for your lead or website visitor's email address. This way, you get to grow your contacts and leads database.
The real advantage of Value Ladder? When you use a value ladder, you offer products for all kinds of budgets, hence capturing all kinds of customers.
For example, consider having just one product / service. This is an example of a flat business model without a value ladder. If a customer has a lower budget than the value of your single product / service, you will lose the sale. If the customer has more money to spend, the price of your product / service can be considered too low for their budget.
With a value ladder, you ensure that leads of all budgets are served with products that they find value in. It also gives you something to up-sell to customers already purchasing something of low value from you.
As clients climb up the value ladder, they pay more and your revenues go up.
Your Value Ladder is the backbone of all your email marketing campaigns.
At the bottom of this ladder are visitors who are not on your email list. They have just expressed interest in your brand by visiting your website.
However, to make them climb the value ladder, you need to first turn them into leads (i.e., get them on the first step of the ladder). At step 0 (bottom of the value ladder), you create something called a “Lead Magnet”.
Once they're on your email list, you start them off with a welcome email campaign from your drip series. After the welcome campaign, lead nurturing emails of different kinds are sent to inform, educate, and attract the customers to your higher value products.
At each step, you have to send a different set of emails that are designed to up-sell products on the next step of the ladder. As they read your emails and click through them, your leads can keep climbing the ladder.
This ladder is immensely helpful in sales and marketing. First, customers who are not ready to buy still have to be on the email list to receive updates on discounts. You just have to impress them with your content and make them aware of these offers. Once they're on the list, you can keep sharing great content and advertise higher-value products at regular intervals.
Secondly, customers who have already bought something from you can receive regular product updates from your email list. You can market other products that are in the same price range.
Finally, customers toward the top end of the value ladder are already invested heavily in your brand. They know your business inside out and they trust your brand. You can use these customers as beta testers to collect feedback for new features (and pricing) of your products / services.
Once they share their feedback, you can work on it, make changes to your product / service, and open up the features to the rest of the customers.
Also, this third class of customers can be great candidates for brand evangelism, and may even be turned into affiliates.
Every organization must sell more than one product, each increasing in value. This list of products with increasing prices is called the company's value ladder.
The lowest priced product or service will be at the bottom of the ladder; the highest priced one will be at the top. The steps will comprise of mid-value products arranged in increasing order of their price.
If your organization sells only one product, it's high time that you created a complete value ladder.
Both Value Ladders and Email Marketing are complementary to one another. The first step of this ladder is usually a free product. Once the visitor becomes a lead, we can use email sequences to make the customer curious about the next level of products.
Customers at different levels of the value ladder can be served with different types of email campaigns. Read our next chapter to learn about the various types of lead nurturing email campaigns.
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