Customer Acquisition: How to Get New Customers for Your Business
Whether you are selling products or services, the number one factor to make your business work is getting customers. However, acquiring customers isn't as easy as it seems. In these times, where competition is tight and everyone having access to a massive amount of digital marketing channels, the cost of acquiring customers has become more expensive. With marketing costs increasing and customers being less trustworthy of brands, it is safe to say that all businesses need a fresh, creative, breakthrough strategy to obtain and retain customers.
If you are looking to develop strategies to win customers and achieve a higher ROI consistently, you are on the correct page. In this article, we will dig deeper into what customer acquisition is, the different channels that we can utilize, and how you can use the different channels to your benefit.
What Is Customer Acquisition?
Customer acquisition is the process of obtaining new potential clients to purchase from your business. The goal of this process is to gain customers consistently and systematically instead of being random. Businesses usually relate the customer acquisition process as a funnel that represents the potential customer's process to purchase from your business.
A funnel is divided into three main stages:
- Leads or often called awareness is the stage to generate awareness and leads to your brand. This stage usually targets a broad audience who might be interested in your product and brand, although they might not have an intention to purchase. The main goal in this stage is to let consumers know that your product exists and to spark any interest from your target audience.
- Prospects or also called the consideration stage starts when your target audience has shown any sign of consideration to purchase, such as visiting your website, signing up to your mailing list, or following your social media. In this stage, you have already made a connection to your potential customer, and it is up to you how to persuade them to purchase your products/services.
- Customers stage or purchase stage is the final stage before the customer finally purchases your product. This stage takes place when potential customers show a very strong intention to buy your product, such as adding a product to their cart or signing up for a free trial. In this stage, businesses may give customers more incentives to purchase the product, such as a promo code.
Each business has its own way to track the position of potential customers in the funnel. Nowadays, the presence of digital marketing makes it even easier for businesses to know where their potential customers stand, such as using Google Analytics and other analytics platforms.
Customer Acquisition Channels
There are many different customer acquisition channels, but we would like to discuss these four channels that are highly popular and effective in acquiring customers:
- Social Media (Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, etc...)
In this age and time, everyone around the world uses social media to communicate and to have fun. In fact, in the first quarter of 2020, there are 2.6 billion monthly active Facebook users around the world. With the massive amount of time people spend on social media, it is wise that a business also uses it to introduce and promote its brand.
- Paid Advertising
Paid advertising gives you fast result and reliable outcomes when marketing your brand/products. To be fair, 68% of marketers stated that paid advertising is "very important" or "extremely important" to their overall marketing strategy. This shows how much paid advertising helps to boost brand awareness in the market.
- Search (SEO)
SEO allows customers to find you on search engines when they are looking for a product. In a survey done in 2019, 51% of shoppers surveyed say they use Google to research a purchase they plan to make online. When you improve your SEO, chances are, you make it easier for your potential customers to find you before finding your competitors.
- Word of Mouth
Word of mouth (WOM) advertising is triggered by customer experience. A potential customer will most likely believe his friend more than traditional advertising. Your company is able to encourage WOM marketing by serving great services/product as well as providing excellent customer service.
Why SEO is The Best Customer Acquisition Channel
When a potential customer is interested to purchase a product, he/she will search for the product/service intrinsically. When they first find your brand on Google, this is a great benefit for you. If you take a look at the customer acquisition funnel, these potential customers easily fall into the second stage of the funnel: interest. Thus, you are already one step ahead rather than when you are using other channels. Because people are searching for the product out of their own interest, SEO usually has higher conversion rates than social media or display advertising. The chances that people purchase your product and convert into loyal customers are higher. The average click through rate in Google Ads across all industries is 5.06% on the search network, while 0.50% on the display network.
Impact of Blogging on Other Customer Acquisition Channels
A blog is often viewed as no primary customer acquisition channel. Well, you may very well use blogs as your primary acquisition channel. Having a blog will also have a big impact on all other customer acquisition channels:
- Search (Organic Traffic): when a potential customer is looking for information, they will look it up on the internet, and they might stumble upon your blog. When a blog has good content and is interesting, it will garner many views from potential customers. As these people read and enjoy your article, they will start to dig deeper into your website and eventually be aware of your brand or even buy your products/services. You can actually promote Amazon products with your blog.
- Word of Mouth: If your article is impactful, unique, and creative, it might encourage viewers to share your content on their social media. The more content you create, the more shares you'll get. Accordingly, you'll also get more followers and email subscribers which has a positive impact on your marketing ROI.
- Advertising: Instead of promoting your actual product, you might also promote the content about your product. In most cases, the content that promotes your product has a higher conversion rate than the actual sales page.
The Importance of Retargeting your Customers
When promoting your product, you will run ads on Amazon, post on social media, or improve your SEO rankings to get more people in front of your product. But your first customer acquisition efforts might not reach your audience at the right time. Most of your customers will leave your site without purchasing anything. This is not because your products are not interesting, but because they are not ready to purchase yet. Only 2.86% of website visitors buy something from an online store at their first visit. And just like that, the rest will be gone forever, unless you remind them that your wonderful products still exist. Retargeting reminds your audience about your products/services. This can be done through email marketing, Google ads, Facebook (and other social media) ads, and many other platforms. In most cases, you get the most bang for your buck with Facebook Ads, with average conversion rates of 9-10%. This process is critically important to connect to both your potential customers and existing customers to increase customer loyalty.
Why do you need Email Marketing?
As mentioned above, many of your website visitors will leave your site without purchasing anything. And although there are other ways to reconnect to your audience, email marketing is the cheapest, most effective way to retarget them. Email generates $38 for every $1 spent. If you can obtain a customers' email, it simply means that the visitor is interested in your product or service! Once you get their email, you can contact them again and again, forever. And even better, you can connect with them, directly to their private email addresses. When you acquire the email addresses of existing customers, you also need to make the most of this information to increase their loyalty towards your brand. On top of it all, email marketing is very cheap, so acquiring customers via email marketing will definitely give you a high ROI.
Customer acquisition is the first most essential process in any business. No matter how big or small your business is, you should never stop acquiring new customers. With the variety of customer acquisition funnels, choosing one that will connect to your target audience best will enable you to obtain and retain customers consistently. As you generate new customers, it is just as important for you to treat your existing ones nicely. Customer is king, and it is just right for you to treat every single customer as one.
This guest article was written by Moritz Bauer who started his first online store when he was 16 years old. He studies business management in Constance, Germany and continually improves his ecommerce skills. Check out his content hub on Fulfillment by Amazon.