A good online business starts with a loyal customer base. A great online business has a strategy to attract more customers to their loyal base.
Developing a concrete plan for customer acquisition can feel like it’s a big project. But it’s worth it. Once you develop a strategy that works, your hard work will bring in a continual stream of new people who are excited about your brand and what you’re selling.
To answer all your questions, we’ve put together some information on what customer acquisition is, why it matters, and 10 customer acquisition strategy examples that will inspire you to take the plunge.
Customer acquisition is the process of finding new customers and converting their interest into buying what you’re selling. A customer acquisition strategy is a must in any modern business optimized for success.
Advice from the Experts
Top Tip: Your Customer Acquisition Cost (the money it takes to get a new customer) will vary depending on the nature of your business but it can be calculated.
Find Out More
Struggling to get visitors through the virtual door to your website? Our guide on Attracting Customers To Your Online Store is a great place to start!
A customer acquisition strategy matters for three reasons:
- It gives you solid footing in your market
- It brings in long-term income
- It allows you to capture the hearts and minds of the customers that your competition doesn’t have a strategy for
But, there’s a right way to do customer acquisition to get the best results. Fortunately, you’ve got plenty of customer acquisition strategy examples to choose from. So grab a coffee, and let’s get to work!
These customer acquisition strategy examples will give you a wide range of strategies that can suit the nature of your business, your talents, and skills.
#1. Influencer Marketing
The first of our customer acquisition examples is a big one. The impact of influencer marketing is undeniable – it outperforms other social media ads by 20-50%. Though it costs money at the top, influencer marketing delivers an incredible 11x return on your investment.
To build an influencer marketing strategy, you first need to find an influencer whose audience is similar to yours. If you want to be immediately thrown into a big online buzz, find a big influencer who can spread your name fast. Mid- and micro-influencers start conversations and get their followers and collaborators interested in your brand.
Chipotle teamed up with Trixie Mattell to promote a new range for Pride that benefitted LGBTQIA+ organizations. Its Insta and YouTube campaign featured competitions and an in-person drag lunch to bring in new customers.
#2. Email Automation
If you want to get back 42 dollars for every dollar you spend, email marketing is the one. Email automation has advanced so much – gone are the days of sending out a mass email with the same message at the same time to everyone.
You can send personalized messages containing what your subscriber wants, when they want to read it. New customers won’t be bombarded with the “BUY THIS NOW” messages your longer-term customers respond to.
Zoom offered new free-account sign-ups and multiple webinars about how to make the most of Zoom. This added value by showing Zoom is a tool to improve users’ lives. This content converts free customers to paying customers.
#3. Website Chat
Chatbots and live chat can double your leads because they answer the questions new website visitors have, which encourages them to stay on the site right at the top of the funnel. Website chat can run multiple conversations simultaneously, 24/7.
National Geographic used an Einstein chatbot to both entertain and coax thousands of new viewers with science and math questions into watching a special on Einstein’s personality.
You can maximize a chat bot by asking your current customers questions, or encouraging people to ask their questions about your business and the website. It’s important to learn from this data – their questions will tell you about pain points, what your competition is doing wrong, and how you can do things right.
#4. Paid Search
What do you do to discover a new product or service? You go immediately to Google or YouTube, or another search engine. But your search results aren’t just the most popular relevant pages. They’re ads that can be really effective too – for example, paid campaigns drive 65% of the clicks on Google Ad alone.
Ads feature at the top of the page in the same format as the organic search results, and work best for businesses local to the user.
They give a huge opportunity for conversion because the customer already has a want or need. The right wording is important because you have to capture a reader’s attention in a couple of seconds. The site’s analytics will help you adjust the ads to get the best results too.
Upwork took advantage of multiple ad offerings with a great headline question to grab attention. It then gave four different offerings to the customer.
Advice from the Experts
Top Tip: Google offers options Pay-per-click, mille (thousand), and engagement depending on which suits you best.
#5. Instagram Ads
It’s always important to know your audience and then act on that knowledge. Instagram ads are more expensive (around .70 cents to $1.00 a click) and you’ll be competing for the top ad spots at ideal times. So you’ve got to target your visual-loving audience with stunning and interesting imagery and stories with the same types of principles and interests they have.
Netflix’s Bridgerton Awards campaign roped voters into the story world. Both Bridgerton and Instagram have a visual appeal, so they’re naturally complimentary.
#6. Customer Referrals
Word of mouth is no joke, so it’s effective to create incentives for customers to refer their friends and family. Referral marketing can bring businesses 86% growth in revenue over two years. That’s long-term growth we’re all about!
If someone comes to you because their friend recommended you, they are four times more lovely to buy from you. So reward referrals but be certain the timing is right – like when they’ve made repeat purchases from you or tweeted about how great your product is.
The Fortnite referral program is tailor-made for their customers – friends play and earn rewards together. That’s great branding.
#7. Blog Content
Website blogs build trust, offer high-value content, and spread info on products, customers, workers, or the brand.
Foreign-language-teaching legend Rosetta Stone blogs useful cultural and geographical tips for world-wide destinations. This is the content needed by people who might want to learn a foreign language.
You don’t have to just write your own blog. Guest blogging also grabs attention from a new market. Which businesses and organizations compliment yours? Could their customer base appreciate your knowledge or products? Choose a platform and in a writing style that appeals to them too.
Not all blogs are about the products – sometimes it’s about sharing knowledge the audience would appreciate, and creating the curiosity that leads them to check you out. Make sure your content is SEO-driven, and includes pain points of your target customers.
Advice from the Experts
Top Tip: If you’re not sure where to guest blog, check out a free guest site list. It’ll save you a lot of time.
#8. Facebook Advertising
Facebook costs about 50% of businesses $5-10 to acquire each new customer but gives a chance to meaningfully interact with people. You can create content for a Facebook audience or use the platform to pull together your email list and reward them with special offers or competitions.
Taylor Swift recently promoted her new album on Facebook – she gave a challenge to people to create a video about their anti-hero traits. The campaigns got 8.2k comments and 5.9k shares.
Look for special groups focused on your product/service genre or your customers’ pain points. They’ll give great leads. Facebook lead ads let potential customers learn about you without making them leave Facebook. Facebook also lets you give special offers to people who have visited your page or looked at your products. That’s a lot of long-term growth for the price.
#9. Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the Great Grandmama of customer acquisition strategies. Used right with a complementary website gives you as an online business owner a huge leg up. Though it takes time to gain momentum and move your brand up the ranks, SEO drives long-term organic growth because it pulls a variety of people related to interests or problems that need to be solved.
Space Camp’s advertisement for Space Academy used keywords that draw in different people with one big thing in common – fascination with space.
It can be a little technical to get your head around but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to apply SEO to everything and cash in. With SEO your would-be customers find what you have. And another tip – the more specific the keywords used, the closer the searcher likely is to buying.
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Worried about optimizing your website for search engines? Check out our list of the Best Website Builders for SEO for a helping hand.
#10. Video Content
If you love to make video content for loved ones, you know how to make videos that interest your audience. Video content reigns supreme on most platforms because it allows you to emotionally connect with people. And it’s very popular – 96% of shoppers use video to learn more about products before buying, and 78% of marketers say video has increased their sales.
This Go-Pro advertisement about a firefighter finding and rescuing a dying kitten might be nearly 10 years old, but it’s still iconic. Is it any wonder it’s had 45 million views and counting?
There are a few formats that work really well:
- Customers filming their own feedback
- Showing how products can be used
- Behind-the-scenes operations
- Things that help solve a problem in their lives
Grab their attention in the first few seconds. Don’t rely on sound because customers often start watching video content before they decide to turn on the sound. Just don’t forget audio descriptions for your visually-impaired audience!
Advice from the Experts
Top Tip: Most of these platforms will help you calculate your customer acquisition cost, so you’ll know what’s working and what isn’t.
Find Out More
Make sure your video content packs a punch and is properly optimized – our Video Optimization Guide For Your Website will help you make sure your videos are the best they can be!
Getting people to pay attention to your brand can be tricky because there’s so much noise online. That’s why it’s important to keep your ideal customer front and center. When you know what they want, you’ll know how to reach them.
Fortunately you have many options of customer acquisition strategy examples, and at least a few will complement your brand and skills. Once you decide to give it a try, once you hit your stride, you’ll find what works for you and makes your customers happy.
It’s a win-win for everyone.