It’s no secret that customer acquisition is the lifeblood of a business. Without new customers, your business will die. And with marketing becoming more expensive and difficult than ever before, it can be hard to know where to start with developing an effective customer acquisition strategy.
But don’t worry! In this guide, I’ll walk you through what steps are involved in creating a plan for acquiring new customers and how to execute on them effectively so that your company can thrive.
What is customer acquisition?
Customer acquisition is a business’s ability to attract new customers. This includes both organic and paid strategies for acquiring new people, either by word of mouth or through marketing campaigns that target potential consumers on the internet or in other media platforms. Customer acquisition often means seeking out leads who have not been previously contacted by your company in order to entice them to actually buy products and/or services.
Customer acquisition strategies are crucial if a company wants to thrive, but they can also be very costly and difficult to execute on properly – which is why it’s important not only that businesses learn how customer acquisition works in general, as well as the basic principles behind developing an effective strategy for acquiring new customers, but also how to implement the strategy itself.
What are the benefits of customer acquisition?
The benefits of customer acquisition can vary from company to company, depending on their particular needs and goals. However, having a strong understanding of what it takes for businesses to attract new customers – as well as why this is so important – should be beneficial no matter who you are or what your business is all about.
Here are some of the many benefits of customer acquisition:
- The success and growth potential of your company is directly related to how well you implement a strong customer acquisition strategy, which in turn leads to increased sales revenue and an improved bottom line – if not for your company then at least for shareholders or investors who have invested in your company.
- Customer acquisition strategies are crucial for companies that want to expand their business and grow, which is of course a goal most businesses should have if they hope to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.
- If you’re looking to compete with other larger competitors who already have an established customer base, acquiring new customers through marketing is often the only way to go, or at least one of your best options.
- You can acquire new customers through inbound marketing strategies like quality content and social media posts that are specifically meant to attract leads on their own without any prompting from you.
- Customer acquisition is also important for businesses that want to attract a new generation of customers because the demographic they target might be growing up and establishing their own preferences, which means they’re less likely to buy products from brands or companies who have been around for decades.
- It’s possible for customer acquisition strategies to increase brand loyalty among a company’s existing customer base, which can be a very useful marketing tool.
- Customer acquisition also leads to an increase in the number of referrals your business will receive – after all, happy customers spread good word about their experience with you and your products or services to other people because they have such a great opinion of it.
How do you create a customer acquisition strategy?
The first step in developing a customer acquisition strategy is to understand the type of customer acquisition strategy that would work best for your business. This will depend on a number of factors, such as how much capital you have available and what resources are at your disposal – whether it’s money or time or other valuable assets like people who can help with marketing campaigns.
A good general rule of thumb is to start small and grow from there. This might mean that you have a limited budget, so your customer acquisition strategy will be centered around inexpensive marketing tactics like social media posts or infographics for SEO purposes.
The next step after identifying the type of customer acquisition strategy that works best for your business is to outline what goals you want to achieve with your customer acquisition campaign.
The goals you set for yourself should be realistic and within the realm of possibility, such as acquiring a new customer every day or winning over at least five new customers in one month. Goals that are too lofty might end up hurting more than they help if you can’t meet them – which will result in embarrassment and a feeling of failure.
The last step in creating a customer acquisition strategy is to identify your target audience, which will be the people who you’re looking to attract with your marketing campaign or any other type of customer acquisition tactic.
Each demographic has different needs so it’s important that you tailor your message accordingly – even if it’s just through the type of content you post on social media or what types of offers are available to them.
Examples of successful strategies to acquire new customers
It can be difficult to develop an effective customer acquisition plan for your business if you don’t understand the different strategies available and what might work best in certain circumstances.
Here are some examples of successful customer acquisition campaigns that other businesses have used:
- Giving discounts to customers who are referred by current customers.
- Giving away free samples or gifts with purchases in order to build credibility and encourage people they know to buy a product.
- Offering incentives for referrals, like giving $25 off their next purchase.
The success of customer acquisition strategies can vary from one business to the other because what works well for one company might not work well for another – and vice versa.
It’s important to keep in mind that the strategies listed above are just some of those available, so there is plenty of room to include new customer acquisition tactics if needed or desired.
Other strategies that are available for customer acquisition include contests, giving away coupons or vouchers with purchases and pop-up stores.
What does it cost to acquire new customers?
The cost to acquire new customers can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of customer acquisition strategy you decide to go with and what resources are at your disposal.
For example, if you choose an expensive marketing campaign that relies heavily on television ads or billboards in order to attract more people – like campaigns for big-name brands – then you’ll need to have a lot of capital available and it will cost more.
But if you decide on an inexpensive marketing campaign that relies heavily on social media or infographics for SEO purposes, then the costs are minimal because there is no major outlay needed in order to get started.
What are customer acquisition channels?
Customer acquisition channels are where businesses get new customers.
- Social media: This is an inexpensive way to put your message in front of potential customers and give them the opportunity to sign up for offers or subscribe via email or social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A successful strategy might be to create a regular schedule with posts about new products, new content or tips.
- SEO: Blogging is one way to attract potential customers through search engine optimization (SEO). You can also put your website in front of potential customers by having it rank higher on Google’s SERP and other major engines like Yahoo! Search and Bing. This strategy includes using the right keywords for optimization.
- Referrals: Find a way to reward customers for referrals. This can be as simple as giving them $25 off their next purchase or something more elaborate like running contests with prizes that include trips and gift cards. The idea is to thank your loyal customer base by showing appreciation when they refer new people who make a purchase from you.
How to reduce the cost of acquiring new customers
The following are ways you can reduce the cost of acquiring new customers:
- Give discounts to customers who are referred by current customers. For example, if a customer refers someone and that person makes their first purchase from your business, then offer them $25 off their next purchase.
- Enter contests with prizes where people have to refer others. For example, if they refer five people who make a purchase and their name is drawn to win the prize of $100 gift card from your business, then the cost per customer acquisition goes down for you because you are paying less cash up front in order to get new customers.
- Give away free samples or gifts with purchases in order to get people in the door who then might buy something.
Tips to improve your strategy for acquiring new customers
- Test different marketing strategies to see which ones produce the best results and then stop using those that don’t work.
- Create a customer acquisition plan in order to strategize when, where and how you will be acquiring new customers on an ongoing basis. This should include goals so you know what success looks like for your strategy as well as how you will measure it.
- Find out what your competitors are doing and then do something different or unique. This might involve investing more in low cost customer acquisition channels like SEO, social media or word of mouth marketing rather than going all out with expensive strategies that target a broad audience because the latter is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve for small businesses.
- Focus on customer acquisition channels that offer the best return for your investment. For example, social media might be a good option because it offers real time interaction with potential customers and is relatively inexpensive to maintain if you are managing it yourself.
Learning how to acquire new customers
There’s no shortage of online training programs that teach businesses how to acquire new customers. One of them is Six Figure Funnel Formula, a course by Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income.
The program walks you through the steps of how to acquire new customers, starting with figuring out your customer acquisition goals and then moving on to developing a strategy, learning marketing tactics like SEO and social media that can help you get more leads at an affordable cost, creating offers that will entice people to buy and making sure you have the right systems in place to manage your customer acquisition efforts.