In this article, we explore the challenge of increasing customer acquisition in a growth context, which is about attracting and closing customers for your product or service. We’ll introduce various acquisition channel and strategies and cover topics such as how to implement an acquisition strategy in your business and measure KPIs so you can identify how to improve acquisition performance. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- What Is Acquisition And Why Is It Important?
- Customer Acquisition Channel
- Customer Acquisition Strategies
- Creating Compelling Messaging and Content
- Optimising Digital Acquisition Channel
- Utilising Data
- Content Syndication
- Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
- Gated Content
- Email Retargeting
- Engaging on The Right Social Acquisition Channel
- Engaging Content
- Personalised Experiences
- Omnichannel Marketing
- Steps to Implement an Acquisition Channel Strategy
- Measuring Success With KPIs
What Is Acquisition And Why Is It Important?
Acquisition in a growth context is the process of attracting and converting new potential customers or users into paying customers or users of a product or service. It is an important part of any growth strategy and involves optimizing channels, monitoring analytics and metrics, and understanding the target audience.
Customer acquisition is critical for startups because it provides them with a source of revenue and a user base for their products and services. It also gives startups an opportunity to increase brand awareness and build relationships with customers. By focusing on customer acquisition, startups can build a loyal customer base that will help them to scale and grow their business. Additionally, customer acquisition can provide valuable insights into customer behaviours and preferences that can be used to better tailor products and services to meet customer needs.
Check out our article on how to improve conversion rates to learn more about how this fits into the entire customer journey.
Customer Acquisition Channel
Acquisition channels are the platforms and mediums used to reach target customers and drive acquisition. The two main categories are paid acquisition channels and organic acquisition channels. Below you’ll find the most important channels for any business.
Paid Acquisition Channel
Paid ads are a form of online advertising that involves paying for ad space on websites, search engines, and social media to promote your products, services, and brands.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is a type of paid ad that is triggered by specific keywords or phrases and is typically used to generate leads. Paid search is a subcategory of PPC that involves using search engine ads to generate leads. which is about running search engine ads to generate leads. Both are popular acquisition channel to reach potential customers by increasing brand visibility, driving website traffic, and generating leads.
In order to use paid ads effectively, it is important to understand your target audience and create ads tailored to their needs and interests. Use keywords that are highly relevant to them and optimise ads for different devices and platforms. It’s also critical to track the performance of your ads to ensure that they are reaching the desired audience and generating leads.
Influencer marketing is an acquisition channel that involves leveraging the influence of people with a large online presence. Companies leverage them to create content that promotes their products or services. This can be done through sponsored posts, ads, reviews, and more.
There are some differences between B2C and B2B approaches that you should consider. B2C companies typically focus on influencers with large followings, while B2B companies may focus on influencers with a smaller but more targeted audience.
Besides that, B2B companies may focus more on creating content that is tailored to their industry, while B2C companies may focus more on creating content that is entertaining and engaging to create virality.
Content Acquisition Channel
Content marketing is about creating and sharing content to attract and educate potential customers. It’s a strategic communication process used to provide valuable information to both prospects and customers. You can use content to build relationships with potential customers, engage existing customers, and increase brand awareness.
Content marketing is an organic approach to generating traffic and leads, and measuring customer engagement. Content is typically distributed across multiple acquisition channel to maximise reach and conversion. These channels include social media, email, blogs, video, and podcasts.
Email marketing is a direct communication channel that allows companies to send personalised messages to their subscribers. It can be used to promote products and services, build brand awareness, and drive website traffic.
Email marketing is often used to make personalised offers to incentivise them to purchase again. This works for both existing customers as well as re-engage dormant customers. Ideally, email marketing enables you to build relationships with your customers and drive loyalty.
Additionally, email marketing allows you to be data-driven as you can track customer engagement, and therefore measure the ROI of campaigns.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a process of optimising websites and content to rank higher in search results. You can use SEO to make your website more visible to potential customers and drive more traffic to your website. Higher visibility results in better reach and allows you to attract potential customers.
It’s important to create content that is relevant to your target audience and is optimised for the keywords that they are likely to use. Creating content that is well-written and provides valuable information is key to improving SEO. Optimising content for keywords can help to increase visibility and generate organic traffic.
Sales Acquisition Channel
Outbound sales is an acquisition channel to contact potential customers using traditional sales tactics such as cold-calling, email campaigns, and direct mail.
A typical outbound sales motion typically consists of five steps: Researching leads, contacting potential customers, building relationships, closing deals, and tracking customer engagement.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy where companies pay affiliates or influencers for generating leads or sales. It can be used to reach new audiences and drive website traffic.
Affiliates are typically given unique links or promotional codes to share with potential customers. When a customer clicks on the link or uses the promotional code, the affiliate is credited with the sale. You should offer incentives such as discounts or rewards to affiliates for referring new customers. Giving incentives makes affiliates an effective way to increase customer acquisition.
Offline events involve attending industry events and conferences to engage with potential customers and build relationships. Companies can use events to reach a larger audience, create engaging content, and increase their visibility.
Offline events are physical events that allow companies to connect with prospects and customers. They can be used to introduce new products, host seminars, and conduct customer research. Events are often used to drive brand awareness and build personal relationships with prospects and existing customers.
Virtual events are online events that allow companies to connect with prospects and customers. They can be used to launch products, host webinars, and conduct customer surveys. They’re a popular way to build relationships with potential customers, engage existing customers, and increase brand visibility.
The advantage of virtual events over offline events is scalability. Being on the ground at conferences doesn’t scale, but you can distribute webinars across multiple platforms for example.
Viral Acquisition Channel
Referral marketing is an approach that encourages existing customers to refer new customers. It can be used to increase brand visibility, generate leads, and drive website traffic. Referrals can be a very effective and cost-efficient acquisition channel using the power of word of mouth.
The key to the success of referral programs is incentivisation. Offering incentives such as discounts or rewards to customers for referring new customers can be a powerful way to drive customer acquisition. We have seen two-sided referral programs to be the most successful ones, where you offer incentives to both existing customers as well as to those who are referred.
Customer Acquisition Strategies
Customer acquisition strategies are the overall plans and approaches to reach and convert target customers. Similar to customer acquisition channel, there are paid acquisition tactics and organically driven ones. We’ve summarised the most important customer acquisition examples below for you. In the chapter after we’ll then walk you through how to implement an acquisition strategy in your business.
Creating Compelling Messaging and Content
To create compelling messaging and content it’s critical to understand your target audience and create content that is tailored to them. Research your target customers to understand their needs, interests, and preferences. This will enable you to create content that is relevant and has a greater likelihood of success.
On top of relevancy, we recommend using a variety of content formats, such as videos, infographics, and blogs, to capture the attention of your target audience. Focus on creating valuable content that provides solutions to their problems and challenges. Finally, you should use experiment with different approaches to identify what content works best.
Optimising Digital Acquisition Channel
Optimise your existing digital acquisition channel to drive more growth by creating high-quality, engaging content and optimising it for SEO (see below for more details). Utilise A/B testing if possible to optimise your online presence and content to identify what works best for your target audience.
You should also focus on using social media and email marketing to reach and engage potential customers and build relationships that lead to sales. It’s important that you create a seamless user experience across all digital acquisition channel, as this will help to increase conversions and drive growth.
Tracking and analysing customer data is essential to segment customers, understand their behaviours, and identify trends. Ultimately, this should enable you to create targeted and personalised experiences that increase engagement and conversions.
To be able to analyse data at scale, you need to have access to large amounts of data and the right tools in place. At the very least, you should have the following software tools in place:
- Data Warehouse: Data warehouses are databases that store large amounts of data and provide a platform for businesses to analyse it
- Data Visualisation: Data visualization software is used to create visual representations of data, which makes it easier to understand and interpret
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): A CRM is used to store and manage customer data, which can be used to create targeted campaigns and track customer behaviour
Public relations (PR) is a strategic communication process used to build relationships with stakeholders, influence public opinion, and generate positive exposure for products, services, and brands. PR can be used to create positive stories about your brand, establish relationships with industry influencers, and build trust with your target audience. Ways to achieve that are press releases, interviews, and events.
PR can also be used to manage reputation and respond to negative press. With the right PR strategy, you can effectively reach your target audience and increase customer acquisition.
Networking can be used to generate leads and acquire new customers by leveraging the connections of professionals. By attending events, joining networking groups, and engaging with industry professionals, you can build relationships and expand your reach.
Besides that, you can use social media to connect with potential customers and create engaging content. Good practices for networking include attending industry events and conferences, engaging with influencers and industry professionals, and presenting content that is targeted to potential customers. It’s therefore important that you should stay up-to-date on current trends and topics in your industry to ensure that your content is relevant.
Partnerships in the context of customer acquisition refer to collaborations between two or more companies to promote their products or services. You can use partnerships to reach a wider audience, build relationships with potential customers, and increase your visibility.
By partnering with other companies, you can tap into their networks. Create content that appeals to their audience or offer special deals for their customer base. This can help to drive lead generation and customer acquisition. Additionally, partnerships can be beneficial for both companies, as they can share resources and benefit from each other’s strengths.
Other types of partnerships that could help with acquisition include partnerships with industry organisations, content creators or influencers.
Content syndication involves distributing content to multiple sources. For example, you can republish your content on other websites with the goal of reaching new audiences, creating brand awareness, driving traffic, and generating leads.
Let’s say that your company created content such as podcasts, webinars and videos. Content syndication in that case means that you distribute those across several platforms, e.g. YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Spotify.
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to a website who take the desired action, such as signing up or making a purchase. As a business, you not only want to drive traffic to your website or shop, but you also want to convert that traffic into subscribers or paying customers. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of improving that percentage.
We have written a detailed guide on how to improve conversion rates and drive acquisition funnel optimisation, check it out here.
Gated content is content that is only accessible after a customer provides their contact information. B2B companies can use gated content to capture leads and drive customer acquisition. You can use gated content to provide valuable information to potential customers, such as case studies, white papers, and e-books. If you offer valuable and relevant content to potential customers it can encourage them to purchase your products or services.
For example, you could create a gated case study that provides detailed information about how your product or service helped a particular customer with a similar problem.
Pricing can be used to improve customer acquisition by creating an incentive for customers to purchase. By offering discounts, bundling deals, and special promotions you can encourage customers to purchase. This can be especially effective for customers that are on the fence about a purchase, as it provides them with an incentive to make the purchase.
Additionally, you can use pricing to differentiate their products or services from competitors, giving customers a reason to choose them over the competition.
Check out our guide on pricing models on how to define the right pricing strategy.
Email retargeting involves targeting potential customers who have previously engaged with your email campaigns. You can then retarget them by sending personalised emails with tailored content that is relevant to your customer’s interests.
This helps to increase click-throughs and conversions, driving customer acquisition and increasing sales. This is an effective way to engage with potential as well as existing customers and build relationships that can lead to sales.
Engaging on The Right Social Acquisition Channel
Which channels to choose for your acquisition efforts depends on the context you’re operating in. If you’re driving a B2B acquisition strategy you might want to focus on professional networks whereas consumer businesses can utilise social ones more.
B2C Social Channel
Instagram is a highly visual platform, making it an ideal social channel for B2C companies. With its large user base and expansive reach, Instagram is great for engaging with potential customers, increasing brand visibility, and creating a positive customer experience. Instagram provides e-commerce features integrated into their app, giving consumers a seamless shopping experience. It can also be used to run paid ads that show in users’ timelines or stories.
YouTube is the leading video platform and nowadays even the go-to place where people go to search instead of Google. It’s become invaluable for companies to create video content of various lengths and formats to engage with customers and prospects. This, besides paid ads, can boost your visibility, and traffic and helps drive customer acquisition.
TikTok is a social platform that has quickly become a leading destination for younger demographics and therefore a powerful tool for consumer companies. You need to create creative and engaging content to win there but there’s also a strong upside to going viral. Companies can also use paid ads to build brand awareness, generate leads and drive customer acquisition.
Reddit is an online forum where users can discuss topics, ask questions, and share content. It’s a popular platform for growth marketers, as it allows them to engage in real-time conversations with potential customers. Reddit can also be used to gain valuable insights into customer needs and preferences, as well as to build relationships with customers through engaging content. Additionally, Reddit can be used for paid ads to promote products and services, build brand awareness, and drive website traffic.
B2B Social Channel
LinkedIn is the go-to B2B social platform. With its extensive network of professionals, it’s the perfect platform for businesses to engage with potential customers, build relationships, and increase their visibility. LinkedIn offers a comprehensive suite for marketing and sales professionals to find and nurture leads via their Sales Navigator.
Twitter is an excellent platform for companies to engage with potential and existing customers for their diverse audience. By creating engaging content and engaging with industry influencers, you can increase your reach and create relationships with prospects. You can also run paid ads that show up in peoples’ timelines.
Quora is an online forum for individuals to ask questions and provide answers. Even though promoting products or services directly is not allowed as per their terms and conditions, company representatives can chime in and provide valuable answers, engage in conversations and therefore establish themselves as experts and build relationships with potential customers. Quora also offers paid ads.
AI can be used to help with content marketing in a variety of ways. It can be used to help identify relevant topics for content, create personalised content for target audiences, and even optimise when and where content should be distributed.
For example, AI can be used to analyse the topics that are most popular and engaging to your target audience, allowing you to create content that is tailored to their interests. It can also be used to analyse data from social media, search engines, and other sources to identify trends and topics that are most likely to be successful.
AI can also be used to optimise the timing and distribution of content. AI can analyse user data to identify when users are most likely to engage with content, allowing you to ensure that content is delivered at optimal times.
Engaging content for acquisition marketing should be tailored to the target customer and include images, videos, infographics, and other interactive elements. Content should be optimised for search engines and be easy to read and understand.
Finally, content should also be optimised for mobile devices and have calls to action that encourage customers to take desired actions. By creating engaging content, companies can increase their chances of driving acquisition and building a loyal customer base.
Personalisation can be used to drive acquisition by creating tailored content and experiences that cater to target customers. This can be done by leveraging data and analytics to identify customer preferences, interests, and behaviours, as well as using AI and ML to optimize customer experiences.
An example of this could be that based on a person’s demographics or interests, the landing page would take this into consideration and automatically highlight products that the person could be interested in.
Omnichannel marketing is a strategy that uses multiple channels and touchpoints to reach customers and drive acquisition. It involves creating a unified customer experience across all channels, including online, offline, and mobile, that is consistent and tailored to meet customer needs. Omnichannel marketing also involves leveraging data and analytics to track and optimize customer journeys, as well as creating content that resonates with target customers.
Steps to Implement an Acquisition Channel Strategy
If you want to implement an acquisition strategy in your company or you’re looking to improve your existing notion, we recommend the following steps:
- Identify and align your goals and objectives with relevant stakeholders
- Identify your target customers by conducting research
- Leverage customer feedback to improve your value proposition and brand and marketing messaging
- Track and understand your current acquisition performance to identify areas of improvement
- Utilise a mix of paid and organic channels to ensure maximum reach
- Build relationships with relevant influencers and partners
- Define a budget and timeline
- Define success metrics to track the impact of certain activities (see next chapter)
- Run small tests and iterate to understand channel potential and ensuring maximum efficiency
Measuring Success With KPIs
To understand whether your acquisition initiatives are successful and worth it, we recommend tracking these 5 metrics:
- Cost per Acquisition (CPA): This metric is used to measure the cost associated with acquiring new customers
- Conversion Rate: This metric is used to measure the percentage of visitors or leads that convert to customers
- Lead Quality: This metric is used to measure the quality of leads generated by an acquisition initiative
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): This metric is used to measure the value of a customer over the duration of their relationship with the company
- Retention Rate: This metric is used to measure the percentage of customers that remain active with a company over time
Ultimately, you want your CLTV to be higher than the CPA to ensure a profitable business. For more relevant company growth metrics check out our guide here.