Online stores are always looking for ways to find new customers, right?
The thing that everyone forgets about customer acquisition is that it doesn’t just have to be about paid advertising. There are many organic ways you can start bringing more visitors to your store, converting them to make a purchase, and build a long-lasting relationship.
Although customer retention is an important strategy to focus on (especially since the cost of retaining customers is significantly cheaper than acquiring new ones), you should never stop trying to bring in new visitors to your store and converting them. Let’s look at some of the top customer acquisition strategies that we’ve seen successful brands use this year.
The customer acquisition definition: customer acquisition is the marketing and advertising method your brand uses to bring new visitors to your store to purchase a product. It’s the strategies you use every day to build demand for your store, get eyes on your products, and turn new prospects into actual customers.
If you think about the marketing funnel and how it’s built, the point of customer acquisition is to move your prospects from the top of the funnel (at the awareness stage) to the bottom of the funnel (decision stage) where those prospects decide they need your product as a solution they’ve been searching for.
Essentially, if you’ve got great customer acquisition strategies in place, you’ll have an easier time converting website visitors into actual customers, increase your purchases, and continue seeing value by driving people down the funnel.
It’s important to measure your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because you need to ensure you’re seeing a positive return on investment (ROI) for your efforts. If you don’t have a positive ROI, you’ll need to think about your acquisition methods and how you can change them to lower your acquisition costs. Your goal is, ultimately, to achieve a high lifetime value (LTV) to CAC ratio. A 3:1 ratio is seen as a good level.
To measure your CAC, you’ll need to have your marketing costs and your total number of customers acquired. Simply divide your marketing costs by your total number of customers acquired to get your CAC.
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Before you dive into all your acquisition strategies, there are a few organizational tasks you’ll want to do first. These will help you ensure your acquisition methods are working for the best audience, so you aren’t wasting your time, money, and effort reaching the wrong audience or working on the wrong strategies.
Clearly define what your target customer profile looks like. If you think your customers are everyone, you’re going to have a hard time acquiring them. When you narrow down exactly who your customers should be, what their pain points are, and why your products can help them, you’ll have a much easier time focusing on the right people to acquire.
Create a budget for your cost of acquisition. How much are you willing to spend on ads (or how much can you afford?), how much time can you spend toward every acquisition strategy? Do you have the right people to help you build demand? You’ll want to answer all these questions and know what your business can and cannot afford for acquisition costs before you begin.
Set up any accounts you’ll need to build demand. What social accounts is your business running? Are you where your customers would expect to find you? Based on your customer profiles, make sure your business lives on the marketing channels that your customers would expect to easily find and engage with you. Set up the proper accounts accordingly.
Communicate your plan with your entire team. A big mistake that many businesses make is they expect everyone to automatically know who the targeted customer profiles are and the strategies the team is working on to acquire them. Don’t expect your entire team to know the company’s plans. Communicate your budget, strategies, and goal so everyone knows how they can work together to achieve the same thing.
So we’ve looked into the acquisition meaning, how you can calculate your customer acquisition cost, and what you should do before you start working on your customer acquisition strategies. But what are the exact strategies that are working for some brands? Let’s find out next.
1. Work on your value-added content marketing
What are you doing to build demand? Creating a variety of value-added content is a great strategy to get new eyes on your brand and products for the first time. Think about the type of content your customers would be interested in seeing regularly, and where it is they spend the most time. Knowing that the average user spent 153 minutes on social media every day in 2019, social media is a great place to start. Here are a few ways to leverage value-added content:
- Create short videos featuring your products, staff, or behind the scenes of your store. People find these videos super interesting, and it’s a great way to be discovered as more people see and share the video.
- Write and share blogs consistently. Not only can this boost your website SEO and increase organic traffic, but your ideal customers will be genuinely interested in reading what your brand has to say. Share fashion tips, recipes, and more so that customers know how to use your products best.
- Maintain a social media presence. Don’t let your social media fall through the cracks. This is where your customers spend the majority of their time, so share all your great content with them here regularly.
- Collect contacts into a CRM and engage with them. Use email marketing, SMS marketing, and Messenger marketing to send all of your great content to your contacts. This will keep every new customer engaged, and bring old ones back for a second purchase. Win-win!
Speaking of Messenger and SMS marketing, we happen to be experts in that field. Want to learn how you can increase your revenue by thousands like some of the brands using Octane AI? Book a demo now!
2. Start a referral program
Affiliate marketing is one of the strongest ways you can acquire new customers. Think about a time when one of your friends or family members told you about a new product they love. When this happens, typically, you’ll go and look up the brand. Sometimes, we’ll even purchase the same product just because we heard it was good. This is the power of referrals. Here are a few stats to help emphasize the point:
- 28% of millennials won’t try a product if their friends don’t give approval first.
- 20-50% of purchasing decisions are directly attributed to word-of-mouth marketing.
- 49% of U.S. consumers say friends and family are their top sources of brand awareness.
There’s no doubt that referral marketing is a great way to acquire new customers. When you take it one step further by incentivizing customers who refer others, you’ll have an extremely strong word-of-mouth marketing strategy. This is why it’s a good idea for your business to consider signing up with an affiliate marketing software. By boosting your referral marketing, you’ll have a much easier time growing your network and driving more sales.
3. Use A/B tests with the tools you use
Improving your conversion rate optimization is important for ensuring your website is offering the right experiences for your visitors. A/B testing is one of the best tools to ensure your design, messaging, structure, and more are working the best way possible to convert. It’s true that 1 out of 8 A/B tests have driven significant change for an organization, so ensure you're testing the things that you can. From emails, pop-ups, call-to-action buttons, messaging, and more, you’ll learn a lot about your website visitors and what works best to make them opt-in to marketing automation or purchase a product.
4. Include multiple ways for customers to opt-in to your marketing channels
Just because you’re focusing on acquisition doesn’t mean you should forget about collecting emails, phone numbers, and other information from contacts for your marketing automation. In fact, this is a great way to acquire new customers while collecting opt-ins at the same time.
One of Octane AI’s features is the exit-intent pop-up. This is for when website visitors are about to exit out of the site. When a visitor indicates they’re going to leave, the pop-up appears and usually offers a discount to get customers to continue shopping. Not only have businesses seen a high conversion rate with this pop-up, but it also gets visitors to opt-in to Messenger marketing so the brand can follow up with Sponsored Messages, sales updates, product launches, and abandoned cart messages too. All of these messages are valuable for getting a subscriber to make a purchase. In fact, this pop-up has helped one brand make an additional $80,000 in just 30 days.
If you want to increase opt-ins so you can send messages to drive a sale, some features you should consider are pop-ups, an on-site Messenger widget, add-to-cart checkboxes, and comment capturing.
You can learn more about all this in our recent case study with DOYOUEVEN. Check it out!
5. Find new ways to leverage paid ads
Did you know that TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms available today? We’re serious. In fact, users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app, and 90% of the total users are interacting on the platform every single day. It’s social media platforms like these that become an opportunity for your paid ads to skyrocket your sales.
Facebook and Google ads will always be extremely strong outlets for advertising, especially because of their great targeting system. Try finding new ways to use ads on Facebook, like Sponsored Messages. But also look into other platforms, like Snapchat and TikTok, where the ad space is currently an untapped channel. Finding new ways to run ads along with the traditional methods will help you maximize sales.
Also, don’t forget about influencer sponsorships. 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities: if there’s an influencer who’s audience perfectly matches yours, you’ll have an extremely strong word-of-mouth advantage when the influencer tells their entire audience that your product is something they should try. When the influencer also shares a unique discount code, that helps give their followers a better reason to go and make a purchase.
Now that you’ve got some new tools to start acquiring every new customer, don’t forget about the importance of customer retention too. Just because you’ve acquired a new customer doesn’t mean the work stops there! Customer retention strategies will ensure you’re bringing those new customers back again and again for repeat purchases.
With strategies in place to acquire new customers and retain them for their lifetime, you’ll see your business start to grow an incredible rate as your customer base soars!
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This article originally appeared in the OctaneAI blog and has been published here with permission.