The Best Customer Acquisition Strategies for Startups

Customers are king for any business; they are the sole of an enterprise and decide its profitability and popularity. Having a strong strategy for customer acquisition is thus quite important for any business so as it direct it in a meaningful way.

But at the same time, figuring out which channel is more sustainable in bringing in new customers for a business is a little tough. Here we will discuss some of the ways in finding the right acquisition channel for a business to help it enhance its roots across geographical borders.

The Process of Customer Acquisition:

The process of customer acquisition involves a number of strategies and there are different strategies that are used by businesses based on their business model. Some strategies are considered more effective than another based on the type of clients they target. Nevertheless, there are a few steps to be followed in any strategic plan.

The first step is to identify potential customers of a business. It is possible to reach out to potential customers of business with the help of mailing lists and call centers. This would not only help in identifying those who are interested in business but also to figure out if they use products that are similar to that of the brand of the business.

The second step is to validate these leads using research metrics, so as to understand the viability of the lead. If the lead passes the test, he is then promoted to the position of a prospect and then considered for further interaction.

The third step is to establish a positive relationship with the prospects and to identify their needs so as to offer them the products and services based on their needs. The business also needs to calculate the cost of acquisition of new customers as it is an important metric to consider across the lifetime value of a customer. It is important to get a decent return on investment from the cost spent on acquiring new customers.

Best Customer Acquisition Strategies to Get New Buyers:

There are a number of theories that have been postulated to help businesses identify the right acquisition channel, but it is purely a business of trial and error to find out which theory works best for a particular business.

The first step before narrowing on an acquisition strategy is to set rough goals for a business, so as to test if the channel is working or not and if that particular channel has the potential to bring in a large volume of new and quality customers to a business.
We can divide these channels broadly into Online marketing channels and offline marketing channels and explore the possibilities of both of them in detail

I. Online Marketing:

Online marketing is one of the most refined channels that are available for customer acquisition because it offers only targeted marketing to the general audience. Some of the online marketing strategies are,

  • Paid marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Organic marketing ( social and search marketing)
  • Affiliate marketing (best for startups

Paid Marketing:

Paid marketing is essentially important for a business as it holds high conversion rates, transforming traffic into leads and customers. Paid marketing is mediated by dragging an engaged post to the targeted audience of a business. General Blogs and posts have to be created for social media platforms and they have to be boosted with ads to get likes and comments. This holds great user engagement and successive high conversation rates even in low CPC cost countries such as India, Philippines, and Bangladesh.

Businesses could show the same ads to the same audience who initially liked the content again through a marketing strategy called remarketing through emails, website links or social media portals. Such ads could also be shown to that audience who have previously visited the website but on a different landing page. Remarketing ads seems to have a higher conversion rate and at a lower cost; as the leads are already accustomed to the products of a business in some of the other ways.

Another strategy to enhance audience for a business is to search for the audience who mimic those who have already visited the website and made a purchase. This strategy works best when a target audience is chosen and the ads are tested on them. If the conversion rates are high for that particular set of ads, then the same could be applied to look like an audience group as well. Marketers have to explore the entire set of ads on this audience to choose the best fit in customer conversion.

For a successful paid marketing strategy it is important to segment the ads based on geography and demographics. Test the strategies adequately and remove those who have not performed well. Test the ads that have good conversation rates with audience lookalikes so as to enhance the customer base of a business.

Email marketing:

Email marketing is another form of remarketing and is an age-old method with significance even at modern times. Email marketing campaigns are most beneficial for a business as it helps by reminding its existing customers about a product or a service that they have long forgotten.

It has been proved that people buy products when they are been reminded through emails as they take it personally that a business has taken all the efforts to reach them personally. Here is where customer loyalty and passion for a brand are created.

It is also possible to read the minds of the customers through email analytics and it is easy to track down when a consumer opens the email, visits the website etc. Also, it is possible to target the customer who has not opened the email with another email of the same content and different subject line after a gap of few days. It has been proven that the majority of them opened the email with the different subject line sent for the second time and somehow engaged with the business.

Social Media Marketing:

Otherwise known as organic marketing is one of the latest and proven ways of attracting customers towards online business. There are a number of possibilities to market a business in the social media platform. Some of them are,

Running a question and answer website where users are allowed to answer questions on an array of topics that are been raised by fellow visitors. It is possible to promote a brand by answering relevant queries by the users and by creating a backlink to the website landing page.

The next proven way to attract customers through social media is by bringing in influencers into marketing. Influencers are social media pages that have a huge fan following and are ready to promote the products and services of a business for a very nominal fee. Benefits of taking advantage of influencers for business promotion is that they easily enhance the credibility of a business and help in converting website traffic into leads.

Promoting user-generated content on the social media pages of business when users post something relevant to the business, would help in enhancing its reach. Customers would start re-sharing it within their circle and this would improve the reach of the business.

Search Marketing:

In search marketing, it is not required to pay for marketing the products or services of a business. Searching for keywords that best describe the core of a business and enabling to rank these keywords in search engines would enhance conversion rates and decrease the money spent on ads. Just a little idea of search engine optimization is what required to succeed in search marketing customer acquisition strategy.

It is important for any business wanting to be successful to have an attractive website that is easy to use by its potential clients. Enhancing user experience on the website would help in engaging them better and longer. It is possible to track these metrics by analyzing bounce rates and the time duration a customer spent on the website during a session.

For businesses who want to gain through search marketing, they need to create fresh and new content on a constant basis. Else, search engines would decrease the ranking of the website and reduce its traffic. Sharing content at different portals and in different forms and refreshing it frequently is important to fall in the eyes of search engines.

Affiliate Marketing:

A number of successful e-commerce giants have been successful online primarily through affiliate marketing. This strategy offers a solid edge for businesses to acquire more customers. It is possible to set up an affiliate program for a business with the help of software, and the next step is to convince bloggers to promote the products of business on their blog pages for a commission.

II Offline Marketing Strategies:

Though online marketing channels are considered to be a superpower when it comes to customer acquisition strategies, the role of offline marketing strategies could also not be underestimated. Also, businesses have to target at multichannel strategies so as to narrow at a prospering customer attracting strategy. Some of the offline marketing strategies are,

Local event marketing:

This is one of the best and proven ways to attract and acquire real customers for a business instantly. Hosting an event in the local area, or participating in the event that is been organized in the region are important ways to take the business directly to the eyes and hearts of the people.

It is possible to link the people with the brand instantly by offering free samples, free credits, discount coupons etc. for those participating at the event. Conducting competitions and offering vouchers and promo codes as compensation would help in engaging customers towards the brand.

Displaying QR codes of business at the retail stores would help it in taking its customers directly to their web portals. This is the best-proven way for startup businesses to flourish as well.

Displaying banners, stickers and billboards of business in retail stores and on the streets are the best tools for creating brand awareness and to improve the credibility of business among consumers and build brand loyalty.

There are other proven ways to enhance the lifetime value of the customers who are hard-earned through all possible acquisition strategies. The first way is to develop a loyalty program and offer incentives for customers to attract them back to the website. Such incentives could be in the form of discounts, coupons, vouchers, and memberships.

Cross-selling and upselling products to the customers would help in avoiding boredom and help them explore the complete potentialities of a business they are associated with. The next powerful tool is to keep retargeting them with the products they searched on a website but never bought from it.

Having a sound Business Partnership:

Referrals are one of the best-proven ways to generate new customers for a business. Building the best and a robust partnership program for business seems to be one of the efficient ways to scale the business at a greater level.

It has been proved that selecting partners for business from other growing companies would complement the parent business in the industry. It would also help in attracting more customers and help a startup to establish itself in the industry. Partnership programs would also help in building the referral base for the business and no doubt takes a long time to build.

Word of Mouth referral system:

Word of mouth referral is a very powerful tool and could be never being estimated of its potential in bringing in more referrals for business. There are a number of tools available to track down the word of mouth referrals that the brand receives and make needed changes if the comments are negative for business.

Final Verdict:

The best way to enhance the entire customer acquisition process is to test all the ways available and leverage on the best one that actually works for a business. It is important to keep monitoring the performance of that strategy and change it periodically based on the needs of the business and the tastes of the consumers.

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