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Ultimate Guide to A Successful Customer Acquisition Strategy

  • What is customer acquisition?
  • Difference between customer acquisition and lead generation
  • How to create an effective customer acquisition for your business
  • Example of successful customer acquisition strategies
  • What methods could you use to improve your customer acquisition plan?

Digital marketers should aim to create end-to-end user experiences that meet the needs of their customers as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Businesses will struggle to thrive without new customers, so it’s important to find new prospects and convert them into loyal paying customers.

However, customer acquisition is a significant pain point for many business owners, and it’s common for marketers to face hurdles when creating successful acquisition campaigns.

Customer Acquisition Funnel

The digital explosion also means it has become more challenging to develop a consistent way of acquiring new business as there are more channels to cover and increased competition.

Marketers should aim to create a system that acquires new customers without the need for much manual work – this guide should help you get started.

What is customer acquisition?

Customer acquisition refers to the process of bringing in new customers or convincing prospects to purchase your product.

While easier said than done, every business should develop a systemised and straightforward process of bringing new customers down the funnel. However, for small businesses and self-employed individuals, this can often be difficult as you might not have the financial capacity or resources to capture the attention of potential customers.

When trying to bring in new business, owners should measure their customer acquisition costs, often referred to as cost-per-acquisition of CPA.

Once you determine the spend per customer, it should become much easier to scale up your marketing efforts and increase your chances of acquiring new customers.

How will customer acquisition benefit your business?

Without customers, there’s no business; without consistent customers, there’s no stability. Customer acquisition will support your business by boosting retention levels and keeping existing customers instead of going through vicious cycles of constantly reacquiring new ones.

The CPA shouldn’t be the only metric measured for customer acquisition as increasing retention level by just 5% could increase profits by as much as 95%.

Combining customer acquisition with retention will help you cover the costs of the campaign and pay employees. Profits can then be reinvested into the business to drive better results for your clients and improve the user experience (UX).


A HubSpot global report of over 6,000 marketers found that 69% prioritised converting prospects and contacts into leads at the top of their list. Stead

While customer acquisition is not the end goal, driving new business to your company shows steady growth and success to investors and partners – keeping everyone happy.


Difference between customer acquisition and lead generation

Customer acquisition and lead generation are two closely related terms, but it’s important to distinguish between the two.

Lead generation refers to the process of filling your pipeline with sales-ready prospects. In contrast, customer acquisition focuses on managing prospects and inquiries that may have been acquired via lead generation and nurturing them until the point of sale.

How to create an effective customer acquisition strategy

When trying to convert leads into clients, it is important to develop a comprehensive customer acquisition strategy. To have good customer acquisition, you will need to identify your customer avatar, their pain points, set a CPA budget and determine your goals.

We’ve outlined a few of the most effective ways to go about acquiring new business successfully.

Identify your customer buyer persona

A buyer persona is a research-based description of your ideal target consumer and should include information about:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Goals
  • Challenges they face
  • Common objections

Creating a customer profile or buyer persona should be the first step for every business. It will help ensure that any activity undertaken to acquire and serve your customers is tailored to their needs.

Businesses should seek to find out who their ideal customers are as early as possible as this will help you stay focused on your customer’s needs and show a genuine understanding of their pain points. 

You’ll also have a much easier time acquiring new business as you can use these buyer personas to prioritise changes to your offerings based on their needs and ensure your promotional and marketing material “speak” their language.

Determine your marketing goals

Once you have created your buyer personas, determine what you want to achieve through your marketing efforts and write down your goals.

Suppose your goal is to improve brand awareness or shed light on a cause. What strategies can you employ to expand your reach to new networks? 

Do you require people to come into a brick-and-mortar location, or will you need to reach out to customers via the telephone? Alternatively, you might want to provide customers with a contact form to complete if they are still in the early stages of learning about your business. 

If your main goal is to drive conversion, you should be considering methods that will help convert prospects into customers. Still, regardless of your dream, make sure you convey a clear message to your audience to get them to do what you want them to do.

Choose your marketing channels and avenues

Now you’ve determined your goals and identified your customer persona; it’s time to choose the methods you want to use to reach your audience.

There are several online and offline customer acquisition channels available to marketers. Here are some of the most popular:

Content Marketing

Content marketing is an integral part of advertising and an effective customer acquisition method for all businesses, attracting users by providing exciting, new and original content that answers their queries.

When used effectively, content marketing is also a great way to drive traffic. Using keywords and synonyms to create user-friendly content will boost your site’s performance in search engine results pages (SERPs).

However, keep in mind that content marketing is not as simple as writing articles and posting them to your website. To add value to your blogs, you need to have a basic understanding of on-page and technical SEO to help increase your exposure to new prospects and clients.

Content marketing is a long-term strategy that takes perseverance and experimentation, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t see immediate results.

Social Media

When acquiring new business through social media, it’s essential to research the platforms your audience frequent most to ensure you’re reaching out to the right market.

There are several different avenues you can take to acquire business through social media, such as:

If you’re using social media to build up a following, it’s important to post regularly and actively reach out to your followers by starting conversations with them.

As the name suggests, social media is about being “social”. Therefore, offering high-quality content at the right frequency could be vital to scaling up your efforts and acquiring new customers.

A study by Marketing Insider Group found that over 52% of marketers believe that social media positively influences company revenue and sales.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is an effective way to build brand exposure and place your products in front of the right audience.

Although you would need to understand how to create paid ads properly, when crafted effectively, they generate good results, with Google Ads boasting a 100% return-on-investment (ROI).

Compute the cost to acquire new customers

Evaluate the costs of acquiring new customers and set a budget to avoid overspending and racking up a huge bill.

Start with a small budget and increase it gradually as your acquisition grows and your business begins to see success.

You can continually optimise and tweak your budget as you learn more about your audience. For example, you might want to allot more ad spend to prospects using social media and away from those who aren’t converting on other media channels.

Examples of successful customer acquisition strategies 

If you’re still struggling with implementing and measuring customer acquisition successfully, look at the success of other companies such as Shopify and Swagbucks and ride on their coattails.


Shopify is a subscription-based software responsible for thousands of e-commerce businesses. It comprises several helpful tools to increase exposure, drive conversion and manage your online store.

One great way that Shopify drives customers towards its site is with interactive content, offering services such as business name generators, quizzes and product choice suggestions.

However, the digital boom has made the internet a highly competitive environment, so the content you publish must be original and unique.


Turbotax offers customers a convenient way to store and manage their tax files online from any computer or mobile device with Internet access and is free for all individuals to use.

“Free” is the buzzword here. How can you offer value to customers in exchange for what you’re asking them to do for you?


Swagbucks is a free online reward membership service that allows members to earn tangible rewards for everyday things done online, e.g. answering surveys, watching videos, shopping and searching the web.

Swagbucks offers the referrer 10% of the referral’s earnings for each new person referred to the site. It is one of the most powerful marketing methods available. It is low cost and works by rewarding existing customers by bringing new business, which helps maintain retention levels and autopilots your customer acquisition.

If you’re new to customer acquisition, this method is beneficial as it’s a surefire way to build your audience and establish credibility. Offer your customers a reward for every referral they make to help expand your client base.

How to improve your customer acquisition strategy

Figuring out how to acquire new customers is challenging, so here are some tactics you could employ to increase your bottom line and scale your business.

Create a powerful CTA

Your call to action (CTA) needs to create a sense of urgency, so use words that provoke emotion or enthusiasm to give your audience a reason to take action.

Don’t be afraid to get a little creative and take advantage of the fear of missing out (FOMO) to ensure you stand out. 

Here are some helpful tips for creating a killer CTA include:

  • Use a commanding verb to start your CTA
  • Give your audience reason to take your desired action
  • Include numbers where possible
  • Ensure it is high value, low risk
  • Create a sense of urgency

A perfect CTA contains a combination of persuasive language and style.

Track your prospective customers

It’s important to constantly track information about your prospects when creating a customer acquisition campaign so that you can make changes accordingly to optimise your ads further.

You should track data such as:

  • Demographics
  • Abandoned carts
  • Heat maps
  • Retargeting ads 
  • Interests

Focusing on the right metrics will help with the success of your campaign by ensuring you understand and stay attuned to your customer’s needs.

Refine and improve UX

Are you generating traffic but struggling to convert? In that case, your ads might be working, but other factors prevent prospective customers from purchasing, such as site speed, mobile optimisation and the site’s navigation system.

Diversify and persevere

If you want to expand your reach, make sure you’re targeting as many people as possible. If you think that some member of your audience will react better to different methods of customer activation, set a budget and experiment.

Whatever you decide, persevere – it could take weeks to build up data to support your marketing efforts and see any results as Google won’t recognise your content immediately.

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