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A Complete Guide to Customer Acquisition [Expert Tips and Tactics]


Customer acquisition is needed to prevent stagnation and regression in business. All businesses have natural churn rates, even if your product is excellent and your customers are happy.

If you are not acquiring new customers, your business will quite simply struggle to improve and succeed.

This is where active customer acquisition comes in – it can lead to significant growth for your business and allow you to scale more effectively.

  • What is Customer Acquisition?
  • User Acquisition Starts with Your Audience
  • Customer Acquisition Strategies
  • How to Determine the ROI of Your User Acquisition Strategy
  • When to Outsource Customer Acquisition
  • How Will You Grow?

How Do You Get More Customers?

Customer acquisition can be very time-consuming, but with the right strategy, analytics, and optimization tactics, getting new users can be much easier.

Your first step is learning how to get more customers to grow your business – at a cost you can afford.

Some of the strongest minds in marketing have provided their tips for you here, but let’s first define customer acquisition in this context.

What is Customer Acquisition?

Customer acquisition is the process that businesses use to attract new customers via a variety of tactics.

It often involves inbound and outbound marketing to reach new audiences, and nurture them through the customer acquisition funnel until end-goals are achieved.

Why is Customer Acquisition a ‘Process’?

Multiple stages are involved in reaching and then connecting with a single customer. It is not a single step.

When you see an ad on Facebook for the first time, you might not be willing to convert, even if the product and price are right. Brand trust is absent. It has to be built over time.

This is why the customer acquisition funnel can prove to be very useful. It breaks down the stages individuals go through before they are ready to become customers by making decisions easier along the way.

There are multiple versions of the customer acquisition funnel, but the key stages are usually:

  • Awareness: When a customer discovers and becomes interested in you.
  • Consideration: When a customer begins research with the intent to buy.
  • Conversion: When a customer makes a purchase.
  • Retention: When a customer buys again and a loyal relationship is developed.Truly successful customer acquisition can require multiple campaigns and touchpoints for users at each stage of the funnel. They can combine to nurture them through to the point of conversion.

    User Acquisition Starts with Your Audience

    The first step of your customer acquisition strategy is to fully understand your target audience.

    That means understanding each audience segment, and even developing buyer personas for them.

    Everything from the messaging you use on every platform to the pain points you focus on needs to be based on audience insights.

    Some brands may struggle to connect with B2C clients on LinkedIn, for example, while B2B businesses can thrive there.

    Take some time to look at your existing customers and the types of people you want to attract in order to refine the targeting for your ads.

    Customer Acquisition Strategies

    Customer acquisition strategies consist of both paid and organic tactics. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, so many businesses tend to use a tactical combination of the two.

    Understanding the facets and variety within each is key. Let’s take a deeper look:

    Paid strategies with a direct cost include:

    • Pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns
    • Affiliate marketing
    • Referrals

    This form of acquisition can be faster acting and wider reaching than the organic alternative. They allow you to reach hyper-targeted audiences who may never have otherwise discovered you.

    Rob Watson explains why paid advertising can be valuable for niche products:

    “The more niche the product, the more likely you will have higher repeat customer rates. Then the PPC strategy can become more aggressive, as we can accept making minimal profits on that initial sale.

    “I have utilised this approach the most with my experience in the sports supplement world. Where often the first sale will be at a loss, but then the customer is re-engaged across a variety of other channels including email, social, and video.”

    Tracking is of critical importance, too, as Amy Bishop explains:

    “It is essential to have conversion tracking set up to get as much visibility into campaign performance as possible. If the sale happens offline, it is important to be able to connect the dots from lead to sale in a back-end system (usually a CRM).

    “Monitoring multi-touch attribution models, assisted conversions, and conversion paths help you monitor whether campaigns are meeting their performance goals within the stages of the funnel they are designed to support.”

    Here are a few of the most effective kinds of paid strategies:

    PPC Ad Campaigns

    Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns allow you to bid to show your ad to certain individuals, and you will pay for specific actions. These actions might be views of your ad, clicks, or conversions.

    There are two primary types of PPC ads: display ads, and search ads.

    • Display ads are shown to users as they browse online – banner ads on news sites, for example. They are great for retargeting, reaching users who are in the consideration stage of the funnel, and generating demand.
    • Search ads are shown to users in the search engine results pages (SERPs) when they search for a keyword you are targeting, typically, through a campaign with Google Ads or, perhaps, Microsoft Advertising (Bing). They are great for harvesting demand, allowing you to capture high-intent users who are looking for products or services like yours.

    PPC campaigns allow you to reach large audiences very quickly, even if they have no connection to you.

    Close monitoring is important to make sure they are cost-effective and productive in terms of results.

    Read more:A Complete Guide to Customer Acquisition [Expert Tips and Tactics]

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