You'd think businesses would've mastered the art of customer acquisition by now. Unfortunately, brands still make the mistake of throwing everything at the wall and expecting their prospects to convert and stick around (popularly called spaghetti marketing).
Something might stick on the wall, and the results would be satisfactory for you now. But remember, when the glue dries, stuck customers peel off the wall. For businesses, that would be churn. Churn is when your customers stop paying and leave your product/service.
You can run your business only if your acquisition strategy adds more customers than your churn percentage. If not, you will start bleeding money.
Hence you should have customer acquisition strategies that convert and make them stay.
Even if you're comfortably attracting more than your churn rate, wouldn't you want to refine your acquisition strategies for better results?
This blog covers exactly these two scenarios. Let's dive in.
What is customer acquisition?
Customer acquisition is a group of strategies companies have in place and the activities they do to get new customers. Many might use the terms lead generation and customer acquisition interchangeably. Let us clarify the difference. Lead generation is the activities/process we set up to identify and capture those interested in our offerings. Meanwhile, customer acquisition is a collective term that includes all the stages of a sales funnel—lead generation, nurturing, and conversion.
Customer acquisition strategies play an important role in every customer’s journey with your brand because the content you put out as a part of the acquisition is the first your potentials get to see. Remember, first impressions last. Whether the customer is willing to stay with you after making the purchase is determined by many factors. But when you make a first good impression with your acquisition strategy, it’ll help them oversee some of the minor issues they may face in their journey.
How to create a customer acquisition strategy
Selling online is getting tougher, with every brand developing its own marketing style. Acquiring customers while simultaneously trying to grab the attention of new leads is a long process. So how do we create a sustainable customer acquisition plan?
Attract the right audience
When people talk about creating an acquisition strategy, many suggest identifying the profile of your target audience. To do that, they recommend you study your prospects and the market to design your content.
While creating your customer acquisition strategy, identify your target audience. But to do that, you don’t have to study your prospects, market, or competitors. Observe and learn how your existing customers are using your product. Ask them how they perceive your product and what problems you’re solving for them. Enquire where they were before coming across your product and how they’re doing today.
Your customers are your strength, and you can get first-hand information on what they looked for, why they came to you, and how they use your product. From that data, start working on your ideal target audience and build your customer acquisition strategy.
Why should you do this first? If your product/service is suitable for people with cars, you should market to people with cars. You won’t get any conversions if you push your marketing materials to people who don’t have cars. On top of non-conversion, you’ll attract unfit customers, and they’ll leave after realizing you’re not what they thought they needed.
So identify who your target audience is and craft your strategy accordingly.
Engage at every intersection
After figuring out your target audience, design a customer acquisition path where you can engage with your prospects at every intersection and vice versa.
As your prospects go through your content on the acquisition journey, they might have questions and they should be able to get the answers. That’s why it’s crucial to have a channel open for them to get in touch with you.
For dormant customers, you can answer their questions even before they ask by using proactive triggers.
You can solve both of the above scenarios with a live chat widget on your pages. Sure, everyone uses email as a contact channel. It works. But when you have a live chat widget, it’s a gateway to offer instant solutions. Your prospects don’t have to wait. You can also set up the live chat to trigger messages that will answer what prospects are looking for in your product/service.
As prospects go through the acquisition journey, follow up with them at every intersection to let them know what to do next. Nudge them to take the next action. Enhance your customer engagement.
Find where your prospects are and be there
Similar to identifying your target audience, finding out where your prospects are hanging out and how you can reach them is crucial.
What do we mean by this?
When identifying your target profile, you identify the needs of your prospects so that you can design your strategy around how you’re addressing that need. But your content will reach them only when posting on the relevant channels where your prospects hang out. If not, as we discussed earlier, you’ll be attracting unfit customers you don’t need.
For example: When you’re in the ecommerce domain, Instagram and Tik Tok are where most of your target demographics hang out. Even though it’s possible to post ecommerce content on Twitter, it’s not the best platform as it’s used primarily for knowledge sharing.
So when you identify who your target audiences are, decode where they hang out and be there so they can find you. If not, all your efforts will go to waste without serving you any benefits.
Tell them why they need you
While laying out their customer acquisition strategies, many make the mistake of listing their features thinking or hoping that’s what impresses prospects.
Don’t get us wrong. It might.
But when you design your marketing materials to talk about quantifiable measurements, like how you’re saving your customers money, time, and human resources, it speaks more volumes than when you talk about your features.
Don’t assume your prospects understand what you mean by your feature listings. Most of the time, they don’t. Not everyone will be willing to go to the fine print to understand the finer details of what your product/service can do for them.
Prospects glance at it, and you have to convey what’s most important in just a few seconds. While you have their attention, it’s better to talk about the benefits they get instead of making it about you.
For example: At Zoho, when interacting with one of our customers, they said they were able to save 35-40% of their support agents’ time using Zoho SalesIQ bot automation. We picked up that information and used it in our materials to add weight to our features. Instead of saying, “Automate your support with SalesIQ’s custom chatbots”—ie. what the feature does—we’re instead saying how we’re saving our prospects time—ie. how the feature benefits the user.
Show your prospects how they’ll be treated
Not everyone has the luxury of having a customer community, but introduce your prospects to your community when you have one.
You may have all the glittering blitz in your customer acquisition materials, but when you introduce prospects to your community, they get to see who you are. They get to see how other customers interact with you, how their issues are resolved, and how you treat them.
It also gives you an opportunity to connect your customers to your prospects and let them interact and exchange information about your product. It helps a great deal and convinces prospects to go for a sale when they hear from your customers.
If you don’t have a community, it’s time to build one. We recently did a session on how you can go about setting up your community. If you’d like to learn, you can check out the recording.
Get feedback – Refine – Repeat to improve your customer acquisition
So you’ve got a customer acquisition strategy in place to attract prospects, and you were able to get decent numbers. Don’t settle for that.
Ask the converted prospects about what worked and how they perceive your acquisition strategy. Get feedback, incorporate those elements to refine your strategy, and repeat the process.
You can try these acquisition strategies to improve your customer acquisition and a lot more for your acquisition process. Try out Zoho SalesIQ to help track your customers along the journey now!