The cost of acquiring new customers continues to increase and it's becoming more and more difficult to prove the ROI (return on investment) of marketing efforts.
But, that doesn't mean marketers should give up. There are ways and means of reducing customer acquisition costs while leveraging loyal customers to help you win new customers and achieve your business goals.
Read on to discover the 10 time-tested customer acquisition strategies to grow your business.
1. Focus on Content Acquisition
In today's information age, content-based customer acquisition is one of the most important strategies to consider if you want to win new customers and grow your business.
Here are the three main areas to focus on:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Your first step in using content to acquire customers is to align your content strategy with search intent. Optimize content around search intent and make sure you provide complete, in-depth, and fast answers to your audience's immediate needs.
- Update and Republish Old Content: Using content as part of your customer acquisition strategy doesn't mean that you must continually be creating new content. You can also dig into your blog archives to find posts that you can update and republish for better rankings, and ultimately more effective customer acquisition.
- Create Compelling Content Offers: Another effective strategy is to produce different types of content upgrades and offers, including gated content, ebooks, worksheets, templates, etc. You can use them to entice potential customers to give you their emails in exchange for free, high-quality content. Just make sure that you align search intent to each content offer you create.
2. Partner with Influencers
You can boost your customer acquisition strategies by partnering with influencers in your industry. The objective here is to help you generate new users through incentivized referrals.
Influencers hold sway over their audiences and they can influence their buying decisions. By partnering with the right influencers with relevant audiences, you'll be able to not only generate new customers but also increase your customer retention rates.
There are a lot of different influencer marketing strategies to choose from, including:
- Contests and giveaways
- Social media mentions
- Guest posting on influencer blogs
- Sponsored content
- Brand ambassadors
- Partnering with influencers to co-create content
...and many more.
But, one of the most commonly used influencer marketing strategies involves affiliates.
This is where you provide a unique code that gives influencers a commission on each sale they generate.
Setting up an affiliate program can expose your business to brand new targeted audiences and help you significantly scale your customer acquisition efforts.
3. Resend Unopened Emails
Email marketing is among the most valuable ways for brands to routinely engage with leads and keep their products top of mind. Whether you're an individual freelancer or a fortune-500 company, the concept is the same.
You can send your business proposal by email to get in touch with your future customers and let them know more about your product. Email is a channel you can tap to get your products and brand in front of your target market. Of the many email marketing strategies, one of the most effective ways to acquire new customers is by resending unopened emails.
You can increase the number of subscribers who read and engage with your emails by targeting the people who failed to open them and sending them the same email with a completely new subject line.
This will increase the chances of the email being opened without making it seem as if you are spamming the subscriber’s inbox with the same email. Moreover, with the help of some free tools like open and response rate calculator, you may estimate the chances of your campaigns being opened and thus plan them more carefully.
4. Leverage Other Existing Products
Another great way to acquire customers for your business is through integrations with other products.
You can leverage the existing user base of your other products, or you can partner with complementary businesses that you integrate with and offer an improved user experience (UX) in the process.
The tricky part here is to find the right integration partner.
This strategy is more likely to succeed when you have integrations that fill the gap in another product offering.
The integration also has to be mutually beneficial to both partner companies and add more value for customers compared to when they use the two products independently.
Zapier is a brand that offers a great example of this strategy in action.
The company's entire business focuses on leveraging integrations, which is how they managed to scale their business in such a phenomenal way.
Another effective way to benefit from these types of business partnerships is by co-branding content and sharing leads.
This involves a mutual agreement where two brands create a piece of content together and each brand then proceeds to promote it. This strategy offers a massive scale of success since your content will be viewed not only by your own customers but also by the customers of the other brand.
If you can find and collaborate with a brand with a substantial customer base, who is not your direct competitor, as in the example of GoPro and Red Bull's "Stratos" campaign, you and the other brand are likely to experience huge success in your customer acquisition efforts. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
5. Build Viral Components into Your Business
This strategy involves creating a mechanism that allows existing customers to bring new ones into your product. To do this, you need to build inherently viral mechanisms into your product.
The main advantage of infusing virality into your product is that you can get more customers without increasing customer acquisition costs. This is very different from other channels where you have to spend more money to get more users.
With virality, your acquisition costs remain constant while user acquisition increases significantly since the existing user base is responsible for acquiring new users.
All you have to do is figure out what your business can use as an incentive to entice existing customers to bring in new users without having a significant impact on your customer acquisition costs.
Dropbox is an example of a brand that uses this strategy effectively to generate new customers while keeping customer acquisition costs down.
The company built virality into its products with the referral system where users received 500 MBs of additional storage for every friend they referred.
6. Run Marketing Ads on Your Preferred Platform
Running ads doesn't have to break your budget as long as you have an effective strategy to follow.
You can create a successful customer acquisition strategy and still keep the costs low while maintaining a high quality of visitors.
Here are two ways you can go about that:
Run Highly Targeted Ads
One of the best ways to make sure that you generate more of the right types of customers for your business is to run highly targeted ads on your preferred platform.
You must define and redefine the target market down to the finest details so you can show ads to qualified customers.
For instance, you might consider the following about your target audience:
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What do they do for a living?
- What are their likes and dislikes?
- Was their family makeup?
- What are their goals?
- What are their problems?
- How can your product or service help them?
Without answers to these and other questions, you'll find it hard to target the right customers for your business which will ultimately result in wasted ad spend.
Create Ads with High Engagement
Ads that attract high engagement, such as comments, reactions, likes, shares, etc., are typically clicked on much more than ads with very little or no social proof.
But how do you get lots of engagement on your ads?
Here are a few ways to consider:
- Seed initial engagement by targeting your ads to countries with extremely low cost per click (CPC), such as Brazil, the Philippines, etc.
- Get more comments by running your ad only to the fans or followers of your brand and use a compelling call to action (CTA) within the copy for your audience to comment.
- You can also use a custom audience to run your ad only to your website visitors as a way to get more engagement.
7. Maintain a Strong Presence on Social Media
Being present on social media is no longer an option but a necessity if you want to grow your business online. Whether it’s being active on Youtube, Tik Tok, Twitter, Instagram, or elsewhere, social media will help propel the growth of your brand.
And, if you want to outpace your competitors, it's no longer enough to simply be seen, but you must find ways to strengthen your presence so you can boost brand awareness and generate more customers on social media.
The majority of your customers are already on social media, and if you aren't active there, then you are missing out on a massive market that your competitors are currently taking advantage of.
Time spent on social media platforms accounts for almost a third of all the time spent on the internet.
And with over 3 million businesses investing in creative Facebook ads alone, it's easy to see how this marketing channel can be effective in helping you acquire new customers for your business.
The good news is, maintaining a presence on social media does not have to be expensive. Creating business accounts on all the major platforms, including Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter is free.
You can advertise on the different platforms, or you can join groups and discussions relevant to your industry, offer helpful answers and advice, share insightful posts about your industry, and build a reputation for yourself as an expert in your space.
One thing that’s really taken off in the last year or two is live streaming. Even better, there’s a lot of streaming software options that allow you to stream yourself onto multiple social media platforms at once. This is great because it allows you to record one stream, but appear in many places which will help you engage with your audience across multiple platforms at one time.
This will also help you stay top of mind so that when customers are in need of a product like yours, you'll be the first person they think of.
8. Create Optimized Landing Pages
Among the many different customer acquisition strategies, one of the most effective is optimizing your product landing pages.
A well-optimized landing page will help direct more new customers to your products or services by offering up valuable information, as well as a compelling call to action to facilitate conversions.
But, in order to find the best-performing version of your landing page, you need to run A/B tests and improve different elements, such as images, headlines, copy, etc.
The key to winning more customers is to keep tweaking and optimizing until you know exactly what your customers want from you so you can deliver on those needs.
9. Use Multiple Channels
There are dozens of outlets that you can use to communicate with your customers. But, some of these channels are more effective for your business than others. You must use multiple channels but choose carefully to find the ones most preferred by your target audience.
Blogs and email newsletters are some of the most common examples, but with the rise in video content consumption, more and more businesses are starting to focus mainly on video channels like TikTok and YouTube as part of their marketing strategies. Thanks to many online video editors, we’re able to create beautiful videos in a couple of clicks.
Here's a list of the most popular channels to consider for your customer acquisition campaign:
- Organic search marketing
- PLR Courses
- Virtual live events
- Paid social media
- Organic social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Customer referral programs
- Email marketing
- Affiliate marketing
Depending on your type of business, you might even consider using off-line customer acquisition strategies, such as event marketing, banners, billboards, stickers, and QR codes.
10. Don’t Forget About Customer Retention
Customer retention isn't the same as customer acquisition. However, it's still important to focus on retention even while you build and launch customer acquisition campaigns for your business.
Focus on delivering superb service throughout the customer's lifecycle. By creating a great experience from the first touch, you'll be able to retain more customers which means you won't have to constantly spend tons of money on acquiring new customers.
Retarget Old Customers
A great place to start when focusing on customer retention is to retarget old customers. This can significantly boost your customer acquisition efforts, particularly if it has been years since that customer last purchased from your business.
For the most part, that person can no longer be referred to as an existing customer. Re-engaging them and getting them to become active in your business again is a lot like acquiring a brand-new customer.
You can do this easily if you have data integration tools to sync multiple systems with customer information, but if those aren’t available you can use something as simple as an email address to target them on Facebook and other social media platforms.
These are 10 of the most effective customer acquisition strategies that you can use to win more customers starting right now. Remember when you’re trying to acquire more customers, perfect is the enemy of good. Meaning, try different things, adjust your strategies, and see what works as much as you can.
Ron Stefanski is an internet business expert and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market online businesses. You can learn more from him by visiting OneHourProfessor.com You can also connect with him on YouTube or Linkedin.