Customer acquisition strategy is all about gaining new customers. Isn’t that what business is about?

Customer acquisition is key to creating leads that could possibly become customers. It’s even more important to acquire quality, long-term customers.

In this guide, I’ll take you through all the steps and strategies of customer acquisition.

Disclosure: This content has a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

What is Customer Acquisition?

The process by which you bring new clients or customers to your business is customer acquisition. 

The goal, for any company, is to create sustainable and systematic acquisition strategies that keep up with industry trends.

Why is Customer Acquisition Important?

Regardless of the size of your business, this is a very important aspect of running a business besides helping you turn a profit. 

It also acts as evidence of traction for your business to the outside world of partners, investors, influencers, and prospects.

But what’s the catch?

Mind you, customer acquisition shouldn’t be confused with lead generation. 

In the world of business, we often visualize the customer journey in the form a funnel, as shown below.

Marketing Funnel Customer Acquisition Strategies
Image via Marketing Funnel

As part of their journey through the customer acquisition funnel, consumers:

  1. Gain awareness about your brand and interest in your offerings
  2. Add your products or services to the list of alternatives they’re considering, and
  3. Decide to become a paying customer of your business

Lead generation makes up the top part of the sales funnel. Lead acquisition is the middle section. 

And lead conversion is all the way at the bottom. Customer acquisition, however, is the entire end-to-end process that involves all of these stages.

Customer Acquisition Strategies

How to Create a Customer Acquisition Strategy

Creating a strategy for acquiring customers is important. Any goals that you have, whether they are customer related or not, need clear, mapped out steps to succeed.

Here’s how to create a customer acquisition strategy:

1. Find Your Target Audience

To start your customer acquisition strategy, you’ll first need to know who your potential customers are.

A great way to figure out who your audience is, is by using tools like Semrush.

Semrush can offer you customer insights that can help you create a better profile of what a potential customer looks like. This can be gained from location, age, time spent on page, and gender.

Some other important things to remember when defining your target audience:

  • Day-to-day problems your customers have to deal with
  • The reason your potential customers will purchase your product or service
  • Where most of your potential audience will find out about your business
  • Peak shopping hours of your target audience
  • Reasons they might not purchase your product

2. Set Clear Goals

You cannot achieve a successful end result without having achievable goals to get there. 

That’s why it’s important to constantly assess your goal, make sure that it’s realistic and that you are working towards it at a steady pace.

If it seems that a goal is unachievable at the current time, figure out why and if there is a solution to speed up the process.

When it comes to customer acquisition, setting goals isn't too difficult. 

There is plenty of measurable data you can use to assess whether goals are being achieved. 

You can measure weekly or monthly metrics of your customer lifetime value, customer acquisition costs, and monthly recurring revenue.

3. Define Which Channels You Want To Use

There’s a plethora of different channels you can utilize related to customer acquisition.

It will be easier to choose the right channels to use if you already have the ideal customer in mind. Simply ask yourself which channels they most frequently use.

Here are some examples of channels you can use to acquire new customers:

There’s a plethora of different channels you can utilize related to customer acquisition.

It will be easier to choose the right channels to use if you already have the ideal customer in mind. Simply ask yourself which channels they most frequently use.

There’s a plethora of different channels you can utilize related to customer acquisition.

It will be easier to choose the right channels to use if you already have the ideal customer in mind. Simply ask yourself which channels they most frequently use.

Here are some examples of channels you can use to acquire new customers:

Organic Lead Generation

Organic leads come from search engines. It’s the purest way of getting new customers but is also the most difficult to master. The good thing about it is that it’s free, in a way.

Getting organic traffic to your website through search engines requires your website to rank high in the search results of search engines like Google. 

To get Google to rank your content higher, it needs to be optimized for search engines.

While it’s true that potential leads searching for a term on Google and finding your article costs nothing, creating an article and website that ranks high on a search engine can still be costly.

You’ll need to hire SEO specialists, writers, and UX teams to help create articles that are SEO-friendly, and even then, it could take a while before you get a high traffic volume.

Paid Search Marketing

This is done through advertising on search engines.

Some PPC (pay-per-click) platforms will allow your ads to be displayed on partner websites as well. 

Instead of trying to optimize your page to get a high SEO score, you pay for your ad to be displayed on search engines and websites that use a PPC platform.

Social Media Organic/Paid

Social media is by far one of the best customer acquisition channels you can use. 

59% of people worldwide use social media, that’s over 4 billion people.

There are 2 channels to choose from when trying to acquire customers on social media. Either organically or paid.

Organic traffic is gained directly from your brand’s social media accounts. This could be through posting content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok. 

There are various content marketing strategies for social media to get users interested in visiting your website or store.

Paid social media content marketing is when you pay to promote a post or video about your brand on social media platforms.

If you need help with channel alignment or picking the right KPIs, you should get in touch with Selling Revolution. They build selling systems that can help you get more quality leads.

Want a pro tip?

If you exist in a hyper-competitive market like real estate, harness the power of paid channels to increase your lead volume. 

An experienced Google AdWords agency can help you acquire better leads than organic channels like Google Search.

4. Create Strategies Unique To Each Channel

It’s important that you don’t create one blanket customer acquisition strategy. Each channel will not only have different goals to attain and keep track of, but also need a different strategy to achieve those goals.

For social media marketing, you will most likely track likes, shares, number of comments and the click-through rate of each separate post, to gauge which posts perform better.

A lot of social media posts will have their own special landing page, specifically created to help lead users down a funnel towards a purchase. This social media landing page will also be part of your customer acquisition strategy.
Organic traffic will be about optimizing your website and articles for SEO. There are plenty of tools that can help you improve your website’s SEO.

5. Collect Feedback

After all is said and done, and you’ve gained new customers, make sure to collect their feedback and opinions.

Customer feedback can be collected through surveys after purchase, email contact forms, social media comments, in-person interviews, and even review sites like Trustpilot, Amazon Customer Reviews, and Google Reviews.

6. Assess and Improve

All successful businesses and brands are constantly striving to improve every part of their business. This includes customer acquisition. 

Once you’ve implemented your customer acquisition strategy, it’s time to assess whether your goals have been achieved, or whether it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

There are plenty of small things that could be working against your customer acquisition goals, which is why feedback and assessment are important parts of your strategy.

Things to bear in mind when assessing and improving your strategy are:

  • Where customers heard about your product or service
  • How satisfied they are about your product or service
  • Reasons why they were/weren’t happy with your product or service
  • Other factors like gender, location, and age

For instance, according to Invesp, SaaS companies can double their paying customers by simply offering a free trial without asking them for their credit card info.

Image via Invesp

Such knowledge can only be gained by doing your due diligence in market research. It forms the foundation without which any of your other customer acquisition strategies wouldn’t work.

The Best Customer Acquisition Strategies

Now that we’ve touched upon how to create a customer acquisition strategy, let’s take a look at some of the best customer acquisition strategies. 

1. Leverage Video Content

Video marketing is on the rise. 81% of businesses leverage it, up from 63% from last year. That’s because 97% of marketers have found video content useful to increase customer understanding of their offerings. Another 76% have found it helpful to increase web traffic and sales.

People tend to be visual learners, and videos are one of the best ways to inform prospects about your brand and your products. 

You should try to find a good balance between informative and interesting videos. Leverage influencers to create such videos, and share on social media, and on your website.

What’s more, you ask?

Explainer videos and customer testimonials are another good way to go about this. Not only are they engaging, but also provide users the information they need to make that final purchase decision.

Companies like Okta have benefited a lot from customer acquisition strategies like video marketing.

2. Do Giveaways

Often, customers need more than just words or promises to convince them to pay for your products and services. Some of the more persistent consumers won’t even be swayed by influencer or word-of-mouth marketing.

In order to win over these consumers as loyal customers, you should consider doing giveaways. Offering them a chance to experience your products, first hand, is a great way to give them that extra push they need to seriously consider you as an option.

The easiest way to implement such customer acquisition strategies is to run giveaway campaigns on social media.

So, how can you launch giveaways?

To create a giveaway, you can use tools like VYPER. It lets you create stunning landing pages for your giveaways using its drag-and-drop page builder.

All you have to do is select one of their templates and customize it. Once traffic starts coming to the page, it provides you all the details that were entered in the forms as well. Thus, helping you ramp up your lead generation efforts.

Here’s what Forever21, the women’s fashion apparel brand, does in order to drive users through the sales funnel. This way they even to gauge the market, if any, for any new styles they want to try selling.

3. Create High-Quality Content Regularly

Content marketing is easily one of the most effective and evergreen customer acquisition strategies there are. 

Let’s think of it this way: it helps you establish your thought leadership in your industry or niche. Getting consumers to trust your brand is half the battle and content marketing helps you win that battle.

From a lead generation perspective, content marketing is thrice as effective and 62% less expensive than typical outbound marketing. 

Starting a blog for your business, sharing content on social media, and publishing white papers are all great ways to establish yourself as a trustworthy expert in your industry.

Consumers are more and more informed these days. By empowering your prospects to make informed purchase decisions, you’ll gain their trust and in all likelihood convert them. 

Creating valuable, informative, insightful, and engaging content will, ultimately, help drive your customer acquisition.

But coming up with high-quality content regularly, especially for social media, can be a challenge.

So, what can you do?

You can leverage tools like ProWritingAid

This tool helps you write or rewrite your content with ease. All you need to do is key in a few words that describe your content, and the tool will create the article for you. 

Alternatively, you can paste the text from your content and the tool will rewrite it for you.

4. Focus on SEO

After you've established your online presence by producing insightful content, you need to work on SEO. Doing so will help improve the rankings of that very content on search engines. Thereby making your content more visible and discoverable by your target audience.

Improving search rankings and your brand’s visibility has a lot to do with the first stage of the customer acquisition funnel. Some of the more basic SEO tactics include using industry-related keywords, backlinks from authority websites, etc.

Another effective SEO tactic you can use to gain more customers is to optimize your site for mobile devices. Close to 50% of the internet traffic last year came from mobile devices.

Providing prospects with an excellent mobile experience can prove to be the trick in converting customers, especially for social media platforms.

So, how can you manage your website’s SEO?

For this, I recommend using Semrush. This all-around SEO tool provides everything you need for your website’s SEO.

Starting from keyword research to on-page SEO and competitor research, this tool has got it all. It even helps you track your keyword rankings and has a built-in link-building tool through which you can build backlinks for your website.

5. Run a Referral Program

Referral programs often serve as the basis of many acquisition strategies to find new customers, especially when you’re a fledgling company. 

You can offer current users incentives like extra features or discounts to incentivize them to refer your services to others. 

And you can also offer these new customers similar discounts to give them an extra nudge to leverage your services.

So, how can you launch your referral program?

To create and run a referral program, you can use InviteReferrals

This easy-to-use tool lets you create a referral program for your website, app, and social media platforms and can help you track its progress with ease.

It provides detailed analytics that can help you filter your traffic based on different channels. From shares to sales, you can track it all using this tool.

Dropbox runs a pretty sweet referral program where they offer users an extra 500mb of storage when they invite a friend to sign up. 

The deal is sweetened by the fact that your friends also get an extra 500mb of storage. They maximize the value to be gained from the referral by offering both parties something.

Dropbox Customer Acquisition Strategies
Image via Dropbox

6. Create Optimized Landing Pages

Among other customer acquisition strategies, optimizing your landing pages is definitely one of the most effective ones. 

Landing pages help direct consumers to your product or service. An effective landing page doesn’t just offer up valuable information but also includes a compelling call-to-action that facilitates conversions.

What’s more, you ask?

Running an A/B test can help you optimize your landing pages and improve them drastically. 

It goes back to knowing what your customers expect from you. You need to be able to anticipate their needs and then deliver on those.

You can use tools like Unbounce to create and test your landing page designs. 

Using its simple drag-and-drop page builder, you can seamlessly create your landing page without the need to know to code. It also allows you to create sticky bars and popups that can help you convert visitors with ease.

Try pages with no navigation bars, ones that do, try different fonts, CTAs, and elements. This is an iterative process, and you should keep experimenting to figure out what is helping win more customers.

Unbounce Customer Acquisition Strategies
Image via Unbounce

7. Improve Website and Email Engagement

While this may be a tactic that’s as old as the internet, it’s still one of the most effective customer acquisition strategies there is.

It helps you stay in front of your target audience, promote your content, discounts, and product information. It’s also the easiest way you can connect with and acquire new customers.

A great way to go about this is to send customized emails to people depending on which stage of the customer acquisition process they are. 

So, someone in the first two steps is probably better suited for content that might initiate that customer engagement.

What about the others?

Ones in that have you in their consideration pool would be more interested in emails with product information. 

This enables them to make a more informed purchase decision. Similarly, people in the final stages can be tempted into making that purchase with a promotional email that offers them a discount.

Amazon, for one, does a good job of this. They’re always sending out customized emails to their audience. 

Be it to remind them about the items on their wish list or an abandoned cart. Or perhaps something like this when you’ve just made a purchase.

Amazon Customer Acquisition Strategies
Image via Amazon

8. Blogging

Blogging is an organic form of customer acquisition since it mostly involves articles written on a blog on your website. 

Blogging is an excellent way for your website to show your expertise and create authority among your readers and customers.

That’s not all.

You’ll also be building a large library of content that can be linked to from other websites that might use your articles as a source. This is especially true if you spend time creating custom graphs and sourcing original data.

A lot of blogs use information, pictures, and graphs from other sources. If that other source is your website, search engines will quickly notice and rank your website as a higher authority, bumping you up the search rankings significantly.

Blogs will also help you with customer acquisition by increasing your keyword search volume, in turn increasing your visibility in the search engines. 

That means that your website will show up for a larger number of searches and that more people will see your website in search results.If you’d like to know more about blogging, read how to start a blog in 2022.

9. Customer Spotlight

Nothing beats good old word-of-mouth when it comes to marketing.

72% of people get word-of-mouth news from family members and friends, making it highly likely that if a family member or friend really likes something, they’ll tell them.

What’s even more impressive is that 74% of those people believe word-of-mouth is a key influencer when deciding whether or not to purchase a product or service.

So, how do you, as a business, take advantage of word-of-mouth?

It’s quite simple, actually.

Turn your customers into promoters!

oracle customer spotlight
Image via Oracle

Oracle has some of their biggest and most famous customers do customer spotlights. In these videos, people talk about their experience using Oracle, their story as to why they chose Oracle, and what makes Oracle their preferred choice.

FAQs

  • Q1. How do you acquire customers?

    A. You can acquire customers using:

    – Social media marketing
    – Video promotions
    – Giveaways
    – Content marketing
    – SEO
    – Referral program
    – Landing pages
    – Email marketing

  • Q2. What should you include when creating a customer acquisition strategy?

    A. When creating a customer acquisition strategy, you should consider:
     
    – Audience demographics of your ideal customers
    – Your business goals
    – Products and services you want to sell
    – Discounts or giveaways you can afford
    – Marketing budget

  • Q3. How do you find your first 100 customers?

    A. To get your first 100 customers, you should:
     
    – Ask your friends and family to see if they need the products or services you’re selling.
    – Ask people to spread the word about your business.
    – Design and print business cards. Give them to potential clients you may visit during events and other networking sessions.
    – Create social media accounts for your business.
    – Set up an online store on Shopify, Instagram Shops, and your own ecommerce website.
    – Offer referral discounts to encourage customers to help you get more orders.

  • Q4. What is a good customer acquisition cost?

    A. Customer acquisition cost varies based on your industry and the strategies you use to market your business.
     
    The best way to evaluate if your customer acquisition cost (CAC) is good is to compare it with customer lifetime value (LTV). 3:1 is considered an ideal ratio for LTV:CAC.
     
    The value of a customer should be three times the cost of acquiring them.

  • Q5. What is a customer acquisition process?

    A. The customer acquisition process is the process of bringing in new customers. It includes everything from generating brand awareness to creating demand and persuading prospects to make purchase decisions.

  • Q6. How can I advertise without spending money?

    A. You can advertise your business without spending money in the following ways:
     
    – List your business on Google My Business and other local business directories.
    – Create social media accounts for your business and start posting about your products and services.
    – Build a website using WordPress or other free website builders.
    – Start a blog on topics related to your business. Include keywords in the title, headings, and content of your blog posts.
    – Promote customer referrals.
    – Send emails to tell people about your new products or services.

  • Q7. Why is a customer acquisition strategy important?

    A. The main aim of any business is to find and acquire customers and start making money. That’s why a customer acquisition strategy is very important for every business.
     
    It can help you create a roadmap to reach, attract, engage, and convert prospects and encourage existing customers to bring you more customers.

  • Q8. What are the best practices for customer retention?

    A. The best practices for customer retention include:

    – Deliver good customer experiences.
    – Sell high-quality products.
    – Deliver orders on time.
    – Offer great support.
    – Listen to feedback and respond positively.
    – Offer discounts to loyal customers.

Ready to Get Started Acquiring New Customers?

There’s no one magical customer acquisition strategy that can guarantee your business a steady flow of new customers. 

While customer acquisition efforts like market research are a must, you need to build from there. It’s an experimental process, trying to figure out which strategies are best suited for your business.

For the most part, though, the nine listed above are evergreen and are guaranteed to work for any business when done right.

What are your thoughts on these customer acquisition strategies?

Let us know in the comment section.

15 Comments

    1. Hi Gyanendra, It is so exciting to know that my post about Customer Acquisition Strategies was helpful for you.

    1. Hi Fatima, thank you. That’s so nice of you to say. I’m excited to know that you liked reading my post about Customer Acquisition Strategies.

  1. Dear Shane,
    Your post especially on customer acquisition has been very helpful and I just want to thank you for your insightful publications.

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