Customer acquisition is a crucial aspect of any successful business strategy. It's important for marketers to stay ahead of the curve and continuously adapt their approach to attract new customers. In this blog, we'll explore the top 10 customer acquisition strategies for marketers and delve into why customer acquisition is so important in 2023.
What Is Customer Acquisition?
Customer acquisition refers to the process of identifying, contacting, and nurturing leads through a sales funnel. When businesses begin looking for new customers to increase sales, they go through a customer acquisition process. A successful customer acquisition process will result in product sales or service sign-ups.
Customer Acquisition Process
The specific elements of a customer acquisition process vary based on the industry and approach. However, a customer acquisition effort's core elements remain the same across the board.
Identify Target Audience - To reach an audience, you have to know who you are targeting. The initial steps in this process usually involved market research, sales trend analysis, and collaboration between team members to identify a target customer base.
Identifying Pain Points - This step goes hand-in-hand with target audience identification. Teams should put their finger on the issues their audience needs a solution for, or an audience need they can fill. It also requires a company to determine its value proposition. At the end of this step, a business should be able to state who they are targeting, what problem or need they are solving, and what they are offering as a solution or unique value.
Create A Marketing Plan - At this point, a company should begin establishing a marketing plan designed to reach its target audience. The previous step's research comes in handy when determining the most effective advertising vehicles and strategies to reach target clients. This plan should include
- Customer Acquisition Channel - What is the best way to reach a target audience? That determination will help decide if a company should put budget and resources into social media ad spend, PPC advertising and Google ads, billboards, event advertisements, or other customer acquisition channels.
- Campaign Goals - A successful customer acquisition campaign will have clearly defined goals and customer acquisition metrics. These measurable goals may be a certain number of sales, product revenue, or new leads.
- Lead Acquisition - At this point, you should be focused on acquiring new leads. Your successful marketing campaign should produce qualified leads that will move through the sales funnel for an increased conversion rate. These leads could be in the form of email lists, social followers, or even in-person traffic.
- Lead Nurturing - If your company employs a sales team, they should be working to move leads through the sales funnel by establishing relationships with leads. Companies can also warm leads by sending out emails, texts, or social media content to engage leads through various customer acquisition channels.
- Acquire Customers - Leads will turn into customers through sales. Encourage leads to buy with unique value propositions, remarketing campaigns, or testimonials. Whatever customer acquisition channels you use should appeal to potential customers and result in conversions.
- Evaluate Results - The last step in any customer acquisition campaign should be an evaluation of customer acquisition metrics, ROI, conversion rate, and other results. Identify what worked well and what didn't. Determine if you met your stated goal. This last step in the process helps ensure you continue to learn and improve your future campaigns.
10 Effective Strategies for Customer Acquisition in 2023 and Beyond
There are many customer acquisition techniques, and the effectiveness of a given tactic depends on various factors. You will need to utilize information gathered in the early parts of the customer acquisition process to identify what strategies are most likely to yield the results you're looking for.
Search engine optimization is an excellent customer acquisition strategy for companies in various industries. By making sure your content and website are easy to find when local customers search for a business like yours, you're much more likely to gain customers than you would be otherwise.
Similarly, high-ranking pages for products on a national or global scale will result in significantly more sales from interested consumers than a page that ranks very low. An extra benefit to this customer acquisition channel is that customers drawn to your website by SEO are already looking for a product or service - making them a much warmer lead than a potential customer who may not be ready to buy.
An example of a successful SEO customer acquisition campaign is a potential customer using a search engine to query "mulch companies near me." A local company with good SEO and a high-ranking page shows up on the first page of search results. The customer clicks their website link and hires them to mulch their property - become a customer.
Future customers are more likely to trust the opinion and reviews of fellow clients over Google ads or even organic search results. Ensure you're utilizing positive testimonials of your product or service on your webpage, social media, and other appropriate customer acquisition channels. Requesting reviews and feedback from established customers can be a great way of gaining more positive testimonial content to share.
An example of successful testimonial customer acquisition techniques include a man who needs a plumber. He may be wary of hiring a plumbing service just based on their website or other advertising. After seeing a glowing testimonial from a local homeowner, he is reassured and decides to call the plumbing company.
3) Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing combines the trustworthiness and authenticity of a customer testimonial with the success of viral social marketing. Even the most successful corporate social media profiles typically have nowhere near the followers of successful influencers, and they certainly do not garner the same level of trust and social influence. Partnering with a well-known influencer your target audience resonates with is an excellent customer acquisition strategy for increased conversion rates.
A classic example of influencer marketing customer acquisition is a potential customer following a specific Instagram influencer. After seeing a video where the influencer uses and recommends a new brand of vitamin - the potential customer takes the plunge and purchases the vitamin supplement. They have then been successfully converted into a customer.
4) Text Message Marketing
For many demographics, text messages are more likely to be seen and opened than other forms of advertisement messaging. Depending on your industry, it may be worthwhile to utilize text message campaigns for customer acquisition and lead nurturing. Much like email marketing, you should be sure that you include engaging content and value to potential customers you market to via text message.
Text message marketing examples include any text message sent from a company to a potential customer. If the lead follows the call to action and converts, the campaign has been successful.
5) Direct Mail
Direct Mail campaigns are just as popular today as they have been in the past. When properly executed, Direct Mail campaigns can produce excellent results that rival digital marketing campaigns. Make sure to maximize your ROI by using website intent data to personalize your direct mail content and retarget website browsers within 24 hours of their website visit.
An example of an effective Digitally Powered Direct Mail campaign that acquires new customers is a postcard with a discount being delivered to the website visitors of a women’s apparel brand site. Recipients of this direct mail who ends up purchasing an item from the company would be a newly converted customer.
For some industries, event marketing is an effective way to gain qualified leads and new customers. Make sure local individuals in your target audience are well informed on your event before it happens to maximize positive results for your brand. You'll want to invest in giveaway swag, sales, or other value propositions to entice potential customers to attend.
Depending on your target audience, you may want to expand beyond a physical event location. Digital events available via video conferencing can be an excellent way of hosting accessible events without limiting potential attendees. It can also help cut down on customer acquisition costs.
Events can be as simple as a booth set up at a local craft fair, advertising services, and giving away free swag. If a fair attendee sees this booth and later ends up making a purchase - the event campaign converted them.
7) Billboards and Foot Traffic Ads
Your target audience might be best reached with local billboards or foot traffic advertising. Utilize your market research information and demographic preferences to target potential clients in an organic, accessible manner. It is imperative to make sure your messaging and creative is direct, eye-catching, and simple enough to be easily conveyed via a physical sign. While billboards aren't the answer for many customer acquisition campaigns, some can be well served by physical sign advertising.
A typical example of this type of campaign includes someone driving on a long road trip. They see a billboard for gas in 10 miles and pull over to make a purchase when they reach the exit. The campaign has then successfully converted a new customer.
8) Product Placement and Sponsorship
Most people associate product placement campaigns with television or movie placements. However, you don't have to have a huge budget and national partners to get exposure for your brand. Consider sponsoring or partnering with local sports teams, community events, or schools to expose your target audience to your product or service without a large customer acquisition cost. Of course, big-budget television shows and box office hits are incredibly effective options when you have the budget - but local product sponsorships can be an affordable option with an excellent return on investment.
A classic example of this type of campaign is a TV character mentioning their favorite soda brand in an episode. However, a local news personality wearing a t-shirt for a restaurant in town could also count.
9) Customer Referrals
This marketing strategy is similar to testimonial marketing in that it relies on happy current or former customers to target new clients effectively. With customer referral program campaigns, a business offers a discount or other perks to current customers in exchange for referring a new customer. This strategy is a concentrated way to make word-of-mouth marketing work for you in a more formal, targeted fashion.
Gyms and fitness clubs commonly implement this marketing strategy. If you've ever signed up a friend for a gym membership in exchange for a discount - congratulations, you're a successfully converted customer.
10) Industry Referrals
Industry referrals are different from customer referrals. Typically they rely on a partnership with an adjacent or related industry business. Some examples of this strategy in action include offering a large property management company a discount on service for locations that use your lawn service. Similarly, a wedding photographer and event planner may suggest each other to their client, thus generating new business for each of them.
Benefits of Good Customer Acquisition (Especially Today)
The benefits of successful customer acquisition are innumerable. Some great end results include:
Company Growth - With more clients, your company growth increases exponentially. This allows opportunities for expansion, new projects, and advanced development for your business. If you've ever wanted to expand your services, franchise your company, or move into new markets - customer acquisition is the key to supporting your goals.
Revenue - Increased sales means increased revenue. With each new customer, you gain more profit flowing in. This results in more money for employees, bigger budgets for company resources, and more money in your pocket. Customer acquisition costs from a successful campaign will pay for themselves. Whether you choose to reinvest your growing profit for continued company growth or simply want to increase the money in your bank account - customer acquisition can make it happen.
Increased Sales - Customer acquisition tends to be exponential, in a literal sense. That means that the more customers you gain, the more customers you are likely to gain in the future. The increased revenue means you'll have more money to launch new ad campaigns, more resources to deliver exceptional service or products, and better qualified and more motivated employees due to a high salary. For every customer you add now, you are more likely to add one or more customers in the future. Increased sales now lead to increased sales later.
Brand awareness - With more customers, your company will naturally enjoy more word-of-mouth marketing, brand recognition, and exposure. You can increase your brand's recognition among consumers without spending any additional money simply by increasing the number of clients frequenting your business.
What to Know about Customer Acquisition Strategies
Not One Size Fits All - Customer acquisition strategies are not one size fits all. The most effective, productive, and successful customer growth method for your business will be entirely different from a company in a different industry or with a different target audience. It is essential to recognize the various factors that can influence strategy outcomes and choose the best methods for your business.
- Bad Campaigns Can Backfire - A poorly executed customer acquisition campaign can actually hurt your business and lose your customers. That is one reason following a proper customer acquisition process is so important. Take your time in developing and executing a strategy in order to avoid negative results and wasted customer acquisition costs.
- Research Is Key - As stated above, research is vital in achieving successful customer acquisition. Ensure you have a firm grasp of who your target audience is and what their demographic's preferred communication methods are. Middle-aged male deer hunters in the rural American south will not respond to a campaign in the same way as teenage female ballet dancers in France, for instance. A solid understanding of audiences and tactics is vital to achieving your desired results.
- Don't Rush - Allow yourself adequate time to formulate and implement your chosen strategy. A rushed campaign usually won't result in faster success. It will result in a lack of success and failed marketing efforts.
- Flexibility - The best strategy for your company now may change over time. Especially as your company grows and changes, the techniques and approaches that achieved results in the past may not work best in the future. Don't run Facebook ads or organic search campaigns just because they worked a couple of years ago. Be bold and deviate from past strategies if your research indicates it is a good idea.
- Don't Limit Yourself - There is seldom one single marketing strategy that will achieve all of your customer acquisition goals. Combining consumer growth strategies is an excellent way to improve overall ROI and achieve your desired outcome.
Learn More with NaviStone
Customer acquisition campaigns are complex to understand and even more challenging to implement correctly. If you're interested in maximizing your audience growth and boosting sales - consider working with a proven expert in customer acquisition. NaviStone offers cutting-edge technology and innovation to help you implement the strategies you need to grow your business and achieve your goals. Reach out today to learn how our digital remarketing and direct mail customer acquisition efforts consistently convert.
What is a customer acquisition strategy?
A customer acquisition strategy is an approach or method used to gain new clients. Customer acquisition strategies are employed by large companies, small businesses, and freelancers alike to attract new clients. These strategies can vary in approach, but they all have an end goal of customer growth.
How do you develop a customer acquisition strategy?
To develop a successful customer acquisition strategy, companies should follow a proven customer acquisition process. This process usually involves identifying a target audience, identifying pain points, creating a marketing plan, lead acquisition, lead nurturing, and customer conversion or acquisition. Your customer acquisition plan will vary based on your target audience and industry.
What is a customer acquisition example?
There are many different customer acquisition strategies. One example is a customer referral strategy. In this case, a happy current customer is offered a discount or other benefit in exchange for referring a friend. When this friend signs up for the service or purchases the product, they are now a new customer that has been converted.
What are acquisition strategies?
Customer acquisition strategies are approaches or methods used to gain new clients. There are a wide variety of customer acquisition strategies, and they are employed by all types of companies, both large and small. Some common customer acquisition strategies include SEO, direct mail, referral programs, and influencer marketing.