While most businesses have shifted their focus to customer retention and loyalty — and for good reason — that doesn’t mean we can ignore customer acquisition if we truly want our business to grow.
Over the last six years, customer acquisition costs have risen by 60%.
If you truly want to save as much cost as possible while still reaping the rewards of new customers that are flocking to your brand, you’ll want to make sure all customer acquisition efforts make sense and make sales.
So in this blog post, we want to show you 7 customer acquisition management strategies you can use in your small business to win next year.
7 Customer Acquisition Management Strategies to Use
- Set Customer Acquisition Goals and Benchmarks
- Determine (and Stick) to Your Budget
- Clearly Understand Your Target Market
- Invest in the Right Tools
- Create a Customer Acquisition Team
- Document Your Customer Acquisition Process
- Evaluate, Adjust the Process Based on Results
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1. Set Customer Acquisition Goals and Benchmarks
The first step to effective customer acquisition management is setting clear goals and benchmarks you want your strategies to achieve.
If you’re going to hit your revenue goals, make sure to account for important metrics like current customer growth and customer churn.
Take a look at existing metrics you might already have access to, including your customer lifetime value (CLV), customer acquisition costs (CAC), churn rate, and monthly recurring revenue (MRR).
When you know where you currently stand in each of these, set some benchmarks and goals to increase or decrease these metrics.
Note that you might also need to base your goals and target benchmarks using existing ones in your industry. For example, the customer acquisition cost (CAC) per industry differs.
For a marketing agency, CAC is about $141, a far cry from a consumer goods business whose CAC is $22.
Look into what your industry’s typical benchmarks are, then aim to be within those goals. If you’re already well within them, set a goal to improve your own internal benchmarks.
2. Determine (and Stick) to Your Budget
When you know what goals and targets you want to reach, it’s now possible to think of specific steps and tactics to help you hit those goals.
But before you shoot for every strategy out there that seems viable, do this first: set your budget.
Knowing what you know about your existing metrics and performance, how can you make the most of your limited resources? How much are you willing to spend on customer acquisition and customer acquisition metrics?
Answer this question clearly with a fair budget in mind. Then it’ll be easier to identify which strategies or tactics will fit well into that budget.
You might find that some strategies will be too out of budget right now. Or you might even find a way to try each tactic together, but with a specific budget allocated for each one.
Track your expenses as you implement different customer acquisition strategies, so you can also see if they’re giving you the return on investment you’re aiming for.
3. Clearly Understand Your Target Market
Many customer acquisition strategies exist. But it’s no secret that not every tactic will work for your business. One of the best ways to figure out what will? A crystal clear understanding of your customer.
When you’re able to clearly understand who your customer is, you can identify several things that will dictate which strategies are best for your business.
For example, if many young professionals in your market use ad blockers, you can carefully weigh if doing paid ads is worth that risk.
Or if you find that your target customer always frequents the same kinds of establishments, what if you could invest in a partnership with these brands?
Let your customers’ current habits tell you which customer acquisition strategies will have the most return on investment for the least cost.
4. Invest in the Right Tools
When you’ve identified which tactics are worth your time and effort, sometimes the right tools can make or break your implementation. Given that, we can’t stress enough the importance in investing in the right tools to execute your chosen customer acquisition strategies.
Did you decide to implement a referral marketing system so that loyal fans can recommend your brand to others who are like them?
Or maybe you’ve decided to level up your social media marketing game to appeal to your market of young adults to professionals.
If you know that eye-catching social graphics are the way to stand out and catch their attention, then you’ll want to invest in tools that help you create those standout graphics.
For instance, Motionleap by Lightricks is an app that lets you turn boring static images into thumb-stopping animations and videos.
An example of animated photos that really catch people’s attention on social media.
Finally, maybe you’ve identified that your customers don’t always purchase from your online store because you’re missing out on some important conversion tools.
You can implement a countdown timer or a simple notification bar to alert them of expiring deals and sales. Do customers often have questions before they buy? Add a chatbot so customers can get information or ask questions right from your product pages.
Boost conversions by offering that personal touch. Let customers interact with your brand via Messenger so they can learn more, ask questions, and turn into hot leads ready to purchase.
5. Create a Customer Acquisition Team
Next, for a growing business, one great idea is to create a dedicated customer acquisition management team.
This team, as the name suggests, is responsible for brainstorming customer acquisition strategies and roadmaps, as well as reviewing performance and implementing changes to current tactics and executions.
Your customer acquisition management team is responsible solely for helping the business grow by getting more and more new customers.
In order for this team to operate at its best, make sure that they’re always aligned with your sales and marketing teams.
Your sales teams should inform the customer acquisition team about motivations that people have when purchasing, together with other insights they have for making more conversions.
Meanwhile, your marketing team and customer acquisition management team will work hand in hand to properly execute the strategies that your customer acquisition management team comes up with.
6. Document Your Customer Acquisition Process
As you experiment with new tactics and strategies, you need to document everything that you’ve done, implemented, and learned about your existing executions.
Keep your business organized and track assets you might have created, reports from your analytics tools, and notes from all your teams involved in the customer acquisition process.
Here are a few guide questions that might help you as you document your processes:
- What goals did you set for your customer acquisition strategy?
- When did you begin to execute a specific customer acquisition tactic? (If you implemented more than one, note that for each.)
- What were the steps you took to properly execute this strategy?
- What tools and resources did you need to execute this strategy?
- How much did each step of the customer acquisition process cost?
- What result did each strategy gain for your business?
Hold on to the things you document because you’ll need them for our final tip in the next section.
7. Evaluate, Adjust the Process Based on Results
Finally, now that you have all the data and information from any and all customer acquisition strategies that you’ve implemented, you can evaluate which strategies are working well, and which ones need a little more help.
Always base your evaluations on specific results. After all, the proof is in the pudding. To make sure that you’re always able to identify the best next step for each strategy, dig deep into the metrics and goals you’ve been tracking.
Look back at your documentation to figure out if there were any gaps in your strategy. Don’t worry about getting all your new customer acquisition executions perfectly the first time. Chances are you’ll need more than a few tweaks to really make things perform better.
Because of that, commit to making actionable tweaks and adjustments to your existing strategies before you decide that they don’t work. You might find that you only need to adjust a few things before they really start to show you that return on investment.
Customer acquisition and customer retention should always be treated equally. Just because, historically, we know that we’re more likely to earn from retained and loyal customers more doesn’t mean we should stop trying to get new customers in the door.
Use all these small business tips we talked about above to help you make more sales, convert leads into customers, and create a customer acquisition management strategy that pays your business back in dividends.
Other related articles worth reading:
- What Are The Five Stages of Small Business Growth?
- Lead Generation Strategy for Small Businesses - 8 Tips
About the Author:
Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.