A comprehensive guide to customer acquisition

What is customer acquisition?

Customer acquisition is the act of attracting leads or potential customers to purchase your product or service. The purpose of the customer acquisition process is to create a well-organized, sustainable customer or client acquisition strategy. A strategy that can be transformed with changing products or platforms and evolve with the latest trends. New customer acquisition simply means gaining new users for your app or making them purchase from your website.

Companies admit that customer acquisition cost is vital in evaluating customers’ value in their business. At the same time, customer acquisition management is a kit of strategies and practices in order to manage leads or interested customers that are generated by several marketing methods. If we peep into the kit, we will see some strong user acquisition strategies including loyalty programs, referrals, special offers, email marketing, etc. To put it in simple words, customer acquisition is acknowledged as the bridge between marketing and customer relationship management. It is the decisive link that facilitates effective ‘acquisition’ of the targeted audience or customers or clients.

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What is the customer acquisition process?

The value of customer acquisition diversifies according to the business needs. The goal of it is to gain as many customers as possible at less cost. The process allows for acquiring indigenous and business-oriented customers. 44% of companies focus on customer acquisition these days. (Source) The customer acquisition process must focus on the below considerations:

  • Principally it is vital to focus on the behavior of buyers. For example, businesses need to be mindful of how they are feeling and what their thoughts are while presenting the product in front of them.
  • Focusing on how shoppers are affected by things like the business environment, culture, media, technology, etc.
  • Review of consumer tendency and habits while purchasing a particular range of products.
  • Concentrate on creating a demand for your product.
  • Analyzing the consumer’s deficiency of knowledge processing ability which impacts the decision making.
  • Engaging the most suitable approaches is important for convincing leads or potential customers and enhancing marketing campaigns.

User acquisition strategies evolve with technological advancements.

The traditional ways of available marketing channels need to be upgraded and optimized always. In order to achieve a high acquisition rate and remain in the competition, it is pivotal to explore new strategies to attract customers.

Customer acquisition depends on the comprehensive relationship between the customer and the brand. Once a business builds a healthy relationship with the lead, they invest more in the product or related products and therefore, the revenue increases. For example, if you sold a life insurance policy to a customer, there is a chance that they will buy car insurance from you as well. This is how it results in growth.

Here is a pro tip: While acquiring new customers, it is crucial for businesses to be with them at every step of the purchase and even after the sale is made. Take follow-ups and make them know how much you care about them. Customers like the fact that you are proactively trying to meet their expectations.

The bigger challenge is to make them aware of your brands’ existence to the consumers. You can use various channels to do so.

What are customer acquisition strategies?

There are two types of customer acquisition strategies: paid and organic.

A paid customer acquisition strategy or a user acquisition strategy simply means that a business is actively spending money to attract leads. Let’s find out some of the most common paid customer acquisition strategies.

Social media promotion

This refers to boosting your product or service through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter posts or feeds. The charges vary from channel to channel and also depend on the number of views, likes, clicks or sometimes, how many leads registered in your advertisement.

Affiliated marketing

Affiliated marketing is a practice of paying different websites to promote and recommend your product/service.


The referral programs are the act of paying or rewarding your existing customers or users to recommend your product/services to their family and friends.

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads

It is a short and text-based advertisement on search engines like Google to get direct response through brand promotion or awareness. If your content on the website is not ranking well, you can use this cost-effective method to promote your brand.

Display ads

Much like pay-per-click advertisements, display ads are used for brand promotion or awareness. The only difference is display ads run on various websites instead of search engines. Businesses pay different well-performing websites to view their ads so that interested customers can click and know about their product or services.

Customer acquisition in an organic way doesn’t cost you in promoting or marketing your product or services. It is also called ‘inbound marketing’. Inbound marketing activities give you more control, genuine leads at a low cost.

Let us now look at some of the organic customer acquisition methods to refer for customer acquisition.

Content marketing

Content marketing is a simple way of putting videos, blogs, infographics, guides, eBooks, Q&A and podcasts on your website to introduce and attract readers or viewers to purchase your product or service. Content marketing is found to be 3x as effective and 62% less expensive as compared to paid strategy or outbound marketing. (Source)

Social media marketing

To put this simply, social media marketing is the method of posting, engaging and responding to potential customers on several social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. to drive awareness and customer loyalty.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is a process of boosting your website content to get high rankings on search engines for ‘relevant searches’.

Email marketing

Email marketing refers to the practice of sending emails to promote your product or service to leads or potential clients or customers.


Organizing events is the face-to-face brand awareness or marketing tactic in order to attract, educate, convert nurture and delight your potential customers.

Which is the best customer acquisition strategy?

Both paid and organic methods are equally useful depending upon the kind of business you run and the type of target audience you have. These two methods also vary in cost.

How to measure customer acquisition?

It’s essential to track and evaluate client acquisition strategies to manage cost and as well as effectiveness. Below we have discussed a few commonly practiced customer acquisition metrics to drive better results.

Conversion rate

It is common to evaluate the growth of customer acquisition. It assesses the percentages of people who started and finished the process and became your leads. While measuring conversion rate, be clear on what is the ‘start’ and ‘finish’ of the process in order to get the fullest benefit of this metric. For instance, you are evaluating the conversation rate for the product demo registration through content marketing. Pre-decide which two steps are the start and finish. You can also break down steps and measure them. Suppose you can measure who many have viewed your content on the website from there how many have clicked on CTA (click to action) and how many have started filling their details for a product demo. Last but most important thing to note here is that how many have people have completed their registration. From viewing your website content to completing the registration process, the percentage will here will be your conversation rate.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

CAC is an effective metric used to evaluate the efforts of your customer acquisition process. It calculates the cost of marketing on each potential customer acquired. It depends upon the time period of the lead and used marketing method. This metric determines your overall customer acquisition success as well as which methods are delivering the best results. The formula to calculate customer acquisition cost is to divide marketing costs by the number of customers acquired.

New customer acquisition rate

This metric enables you to compare and analyze customer acquisition rates for multiple timeframes. Therefore, you can check if your results are increasing or not over previous results. You can calculate your new customer acquisition rates by dividing the number of acquired customers over a timeframe by the duration of the same timeframe.

Rate of visits to particular pages

This is a metric to evaluate the interactions with the potential customers in the very first buying process. It empowers businesses to monitor the effectiveness of these landing pages and identify potential scopes for improvement.

5 Pro tips to improve customer acquisition

A customer acquisition strategy is a method to attract prospects and convince them to purchase your product or service. This requires time, effort and money. A successful customer acquisition strategy embraces customers to lead prospects and then, to the ultimate stage of making a purchase. It involves several channels and nurturing your leads well will help you increase revenue. We have provided 5 pro tips that can help you to improve your customer acquisition.

Target prospects with exclusive offers

For this, you have to notice customer behavior or patterns, once you master that you will find it easy to pitch your product/services to the prospects. The more you understand your customer, the better your approach is. The best way to analyze it is through CRM software. It will show you customer purchase history and from there you can determine what to offer and how much to offer to customers so that you get their attention. Identify their patterns and offer them personalized exclusive discounts. This will increase relevance, add additional value to your product and keep your brand in customers’ minds. This method can be used on customers who haven’t purchased from you from a longer period. Email or SMS them about your special offer and make them feel that you haven’t forgotten them.

Personalize follow-ups

In the business, trust and relationships are the two most important things. CRM software makes it easy for businesses and allows you to see a customer as a person rather than just a number. You can ask customers about their preferences and likes, and keep it with you with their consent in the CRM. So, for future interaction with that very customer, you can personalize the follow-ups; provide those special offers or any type of interaction. Personalization based on customer preferences and purchase history, typically stored in CRM software; delivers a high impact ROI. The more relevant the customer information you collect, the better you can personalize your follow-ups.

Keeping the follow-up promises is most important for business as it shows ultimate professionalism. Always track your follow-up, set an email or call or text the schedule for appointments to the leads in advance. Missing out on a follow-up probably means missing out on a sale.

Unique strategies for each channel

Some businesses start to show their presence at every possible channel or touch points but soon, this strategy falls flat. Suppose your targeted age group is 15-20 and you will find this group mostly on TikTok or Instagram. In such a case, spending heavy resources on Google or Facebook ads will be a really bad idea.

Consider these followings while planning a marketing strategy for individual channel

  • What content do your customers like?
  • What is your competitor doing for the same channel?
  • What do your KPIs tell you?

Analyze and find out the best approaches for each and every channel you use in order to get the maximum out of your customer acquisition efforts.

Use live chat on websites

Too many online businesses are using live chat on their website these days. It is a great customer acquisition strategy and promotes customer support as well. If you put such tools on your website, you will find that many visitors are spending idle time or clicking on different pages to understand the product or service or any discount offers. Now, if you do not entertain these visitors with the proper information; you are definitely missing out on sales.

In such instances, live-chat comes into picture. Businesses put the option on the website to chat with live agents if they are facing any issues. They are taking advantage of this dormant time and helping customers to educate about the product/service or guiding them to purchase by applying the special discounts. By applying user insights, live-chat agents personalize their interaction with the prospect and convince them to invest in the business.

Besides customer acquisition, it enhances brand reputation, earns better customer satisfaction rates and an increase in the sales.

Use video marketing

A survey says 81% of businesses leverage video marketing to attract customers. (Source)

Video marketing is on a rise because it helps any brand to understand their customer’s view about their product or service. Thus, it helps to increase traffic on the website and sales. Scientifically humans tend to be visual learners and brands are taking advantage of this fact but they should have a balance between interesting and informative videos. This way brands not only attract the prospects but also educate the customers better which impacts positively on their decision making.

You cannot find a magical formula that ensures consistent customer acquisition. You always have to start from ZERO with each and every prospect. Only by experimenting, you will find the right fit customer acquisition strategy for your brand.

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