Customer acquisition sounds very fancy when you hear it come from sales and marketing people. If you take away the fanciness you’re left with the process of gaining more customers for your business. However, it’s easier said than done.
Most businesses struggle with customer acquisition due to a lack of an effective acquisition strategy. There’s a bit of irony here because customer acquisition directly affects your growth. The slower you are at doing it, the less likely you are to succeed.
Which is sort of why we want to cover why customer acquisition strategies are important and how you can find the best channels for it. We’ll add how you can reduce the cost of customer acquisition too. So let’s get to it!
What does customer acquisition mean?
As we’ve mentioned, customer acquisition is the process of racking up more customers. So where does it actually start?
The acquisition process starts at the first contact a customer makes with your business. From there it’s the buyer’s journey that ultimately leads to them becoming paying customers. This is part of the reason why most experienced marketers consider the buyer’s funnel part of the customer acquisition process.
It’s important to note that after you’ve turned potential customers into paying ones, the challenge is to keep them on board. That’s where retention comes in. The sad part is no retention strategy works 100%. You can expect to lose a percentage of customers due to lackings in your retention strategy.
Customer acquisition is the only process that will make up for the lost customers by creating new ones. So if you think retention isn’t working as expected, you need to up your acquisition game.
How do you acquire customers?
Like most business goals, customer acquisition needs a clear strategy and understanding. We like to think of it like this,
To efficiently acquire customers you need to first understand the concept of the acquisition funnel. Once you’ve got that down, the next step is developing a strategy. This process is undeniably hard because you need to know and evaluate a load of factors before you have a customer acquisition strategy worth implementing.
The Customer Acquisition Funnel
If you’ve been working with businesses the Funnel is a very familiar shape. A lot of the general strategies for customer initiation is visualized in this manner. The customer acquisition funnel is no different.
At face value, a customer acquisition strategy is more or less a buyer’s journey. In this funnel, you’ll find prospective leads coming in at the top and paying customers coming out from below. Each step in the funnel is designed to move the customer forward.
Here’s a clean visualization that might help,
Each step of this funnel needs to have some basic characteristics, call them funnel characteristics if you will.
a. The content needs to be customized according to the steps needs
b. It needs to prepare the customer for the following step
c. Each step should have minimum redundancy
In order to craft this funnel and develop a strategy follow the next section.
Developing a customer acquisition strategy
We’re finally ready to get into developing a customer acquisition strategy. We’ve streamlined the whole process to make it efficient and as accurate as possible. So let’s begin,
Identify your ideal customers
For developing the acquisition strategy first you need to find your ideal customers. It’s important to remember that not everyone is cut from the same cloth. Even if many people are buying from you doesn’t necessarily mean they are the same kinds of people. The same product or service can offer different benefits for different people.
This is why you need to execute customer profiling to find these differences. Customer profiling lets you create an accurate image of what your ideal customers look like. Having accurate profiles can help you develop an all-encompassing acquisition strategy that works.
Define your goals
After finding your ideal customers you need to determine exactly what you’re offering to them. That is to say, what your product/service intends to achieve. Along with that, you need to be able to quantitatively measure the outcomes of your goals.
So basically, first determine what your product is supposed to solve, and what it looks like when that goal is achieved. More importantly, you need to know how to measure the success of goals and how they benefit your business both in the long and short run.
Communicate with your customers
We’ve already said this a couple of times already. The feedback you get from customers and even free users can have a huge impact on the acquisition process. Checking customer feedback helps you evaluate how well your product is performing and what needs to change to make it better.
Having this information lets you develop a strategy that caters to the people who have actual experience with your product. You get to know about inconsistencies in your product and acquire customers that aren’t misled but rather guided.
Acting based on customer feedback eases the process of acquisition and retention alike. So there’s no way you can skip this. Remember, one constructive customer feedback can mount up to more than a year’s worth of research.
Measure and improve your strategy
Lastly, you’ll have to measure the outcomes of your existing strategy. This will tell you what the gaps in your strategy are. For instance, if your strategy is racking up a lot of leads but the leads aren’t converting there could be a problem in your funnel content.
Knowing exactly where the potential customers are lost is crucial to reimagining the acquisition strategy. A good place to start is deciding what metrics you want to track in the first place. We recommend the following,
1. Customer acquisition costs (CAC)
2. New acquisition rate
3. Customer lifetime value (LTV)
4. Churn rate
5. Ratio of LTV and CAC
5 best customer acquisition channels
Now let’s check out the channels you can use for customer acquisition. Keep in mind a strategy for one will not work on the other. To develop a unique strategy for each channel. That being said, there needs to be consistency among the channels too.
For example, if your website and email copies do not align in any way, acquiring customers is going to be a hell of a challenge. Mostly because customers won’t feel you are reliable and honestly that’s reason enough.
So here are the channels we recommend,
If there’s one thing we can say for sure it’s that content marketing is here to stay. It’s an exceptionally good way to acquire customers because it’s a form of marketing that you don’t have to push on to the customers. Rather customers will come looking for relevant and genuine content.
Content marketing is perhaps the most simple yet multi-faceted channel on this list. Because for one, content marketing has a lot of moving parts. You need to have complementing formats of the same content to engage a variety of audiences. Even though it’s tough, if done right, it offers the most value compared to any other channel.
Yes, we know SEO is part of what makes content marketing work. But hear us out.
Content isn’t just blogs, videos, and images. Your website and the stuff you host on it are just as important for SEO as content.
The search bar is your best friend when it comes to acquisition. Although it’s not an exact reproducible science there’s still a lot you can do by following a recipe. For instance
- Find and use relevant keywords
- Add alt text to your images
- Include transcripts for both video and audio formats
- Links, links, and more links
Next, we’ve got social media. There are a lot of channels that you can try like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (that’s just the holy trinity.). Apart from that, there’s Linkedin, Quora and some even kill it on Reddit.
The key difference to spot here is organic and paid social media content. While organic creates value and distinction for your brand image, paid ads to push sales and conversions.
A great way to pick the best method is to check what your audience interacts with the best. If your social media posts and images are racking up engagements, paid ads will be an overkill. On the other hand, if your organic engagement isn’t good enough it may be a good time to create unique adverts.
You’ll also have to factor in the budget that’s needed for both methods. Paid ads are not cheap and neither is a social media manager. So decide wisely before investing in one or the other.
Email is by far the best among these channels for 2 reasons. One, it has the highest ROI, and two, it lets you communicate broad ideas without constraints.
The prime benefit of using email as a customer acquisition channel is that it’s cheap. That’s kind of why the ROI is so absurd at 4200%. The other benefit is customization on an individual level. SEO, social media, and even content aren’t catered to one individual. Email is.
The only drawback to emails is that you can’t push emails the way you can push ads or content. Your audience needs to specifically agree to get emails from you and even then it might not pan out for a number of reasons.
If you can balance these out, email is by far the best channel. As for best practices, here are a few email tips that you should follow
1. Keep the emails relevant
2. Avoid jargon
3. Offer value in the email itself
The past decade has been all about video marketing. Tiktok, YouTube, and Twitch have revolutionized the video marketing landscape. Video as a form of acquisition has seen immense success.
The main reason behind this success is convenience. Your audience would rather watch a 3 min video than read a 2000-word article. No point in judging that because we’re all guilty of this. Hence, the best thing to do right now is to create content in all forms and distribute them according to the platform’s guidelines.
Video has the incredible power of driving a narrative better than Content and Emails combined. Considering how successful these channels already are, that’s saying a lot.
Best practices for customer acquisition with video are,
- Keep the content in line with your brand
- Repurpose content as much as possible
- Invest in awesome scripts and effective equipment
- Offer transcripts as an alternative
Wow! We’ve finally covered customer acquisitions. Let’s hope you take what you’ve learned and start developing right away.
After considering the prospect and scope of your business, create a strategy that prioritizes your offerings first. That’s the most steady way of driving customer acquisition. Acquiring customers in a way that sets you apart from the rest makes and saves more money. Don’t forget to prioritize your support team in this whole process. Because more often than not people check out support before making the final decision.
Until next time, happy serving!