The Complete Guide to Customer Acquisition

August 7, 2017

The Complete Guide to Customer Acquisition

The acquisition of new customers is the lifeblood of any company large or small. Finding potential customers who may not be aware of your product or service is crucial to building a successful company. Online advertising is a proven channel for generating large-scale new customer acquisitions. However, when you do a Google Search on the subject I personally feel a little bit let down, because the articles you find are not really telling you whole story In some ways they appear to care more about being politically correct. Well, I’m not that interested in being “politically correct”. I’m going to tell you what I have found out to work when it comes to customer acquisition in the real world.

The New World of Customer Acquisition

The process of customer acquisition starts out with the goal you are trying to achieve. This goal normally consists of finding a group of customers that could potentially be interested in your product or services. Customer Acquisition solutions include using marketing techniques that find clients that will be attracted to your products or services and putting your advertisements in front of only interested consumers. I’m going to concentrate on how start-ups and small businesses can get new customers in ways that they might be able to afford.

Before I go into the platforms, methods and tools that you might find interesting I’m going to start with some key advice which I wish I had at the beginning of my own journey of customer acquisition.

WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS?

When you have some clear understanding on who your customers are and why they buy from you, you are already in a better position than a lot of businesses. I got to tell when I started my own online business I thought I had some understanding in this area however the truth I was 100% blind to who would be using my services this makes it quite hard to market effetely and it took me much longer then I thought it would to really understand who were my customers and why they used WP-Tonic’s services.

When you have some clear understanding on who your customers are and why they buy from you, you are already in a better position than a lot of businesses. I got to tell when I started my own online business I thought I had some understanding in this area however the truth I was 100% blind to who would be using my services this makes it quite hard to market effetely and it took me much longer then I thought it would to really understand who were my customers and why they used WP-Tonic’s services.

accelerate-customer-acquisition-tips

Customer Acquisition Methods

1 – Content Marketing

2 – Paid Advertisement

3 – Email Marketing

4-   Social Media

Content Marketing

Content marketing is still probably the number one method that will allow you to attract new customers to your company’s products and services however landscape on what is content has dramatically change over the last couple of years. See content no longer needs to be written content it could be videos on YouTube or a podcasting however, for most people content marketing is still linked to written content.

Looking back at on my own journey into written contact marketing it has been filled with frustration and high learning curve. What I tell you from experience is that just writing something on a gut feeling or just producing an article of high quality and thinking that people will just find the article because its “quality” is living in a semi dream world however this is what I basically did for an extended period of time until I realized that doing the same thing and expecting a different result is a sign of basic madness. So read learnt the hard-way that you got do basic competitive research an excellent article that give some great information on how you should do this research and tools can be found on Brian Jackson’s blog “Stop Obsessing Over Backlinks, Quality Content First” and “How I Took My Niche Site to 100k Visitors/Month + $1k/Month in 365 Days” another recourse that I used heavily to educate myself in this areas can be found on Brain Dean’s Blog.

Brain is famous for his “Skyscraper” SEO (search engine optimization) techniques. I have learnt from theses experts is that if you want any successes for you content marketing materials you got to do some basic SEO research and the basic two tools that I use for this is KWFinder Maggools tools which is a great value research tool and the much more powerful but much more expensive SEMrush

Content Marketing Recourses

Brian Jackson

Stop Obsessing Over Backlinks, Quality Content First

How I Took My Niche Site to 100k Visitors/Month + $1k/Month in 365 Days

Brain Dean

http://backlinko.com/blog

SEO Tools

KWFinder

SEMrush

Paid Advertisement

Online advertising is a great way to acquire new customers for any business and I personally feel that to get the best benefits from paid advertisement is to combine it with a strong content marketing strategy.

For me there are only four major platforms that you should consider connected to paid advertisement?

1 -Google AdWords
2 – Facebook
3 – YouTube
4 – CPA Networks

Google AdWords

Is a great platform connected to getting new clients however the main advice I would give in this area is you probably be best to hire a specialist consultant to managed your campaigns.

However, be careful you really need somebody that has clear experience in your particular area trading also there are a number of national AdWords companies however I have found that they won’t touch you unless you can guarantee to spend at least $3.000 per month for a 6 to 12 month contract period.

But there are a number of quality smaller consultants firms that should be able to help you.

Facebook

Facebook is also a great platform connected to getting clients however it a very similar situation to using Google AdWords I would highly recommend that you hire an expert consultant. However, the situation is slightly different to Google AdWord.

The main reason is that I feel you can use small amounts that are targeted to small Facebook audiences and still get some great results. However when it comes Google AdWords I personally feel the situation is very different and unless you are in a very specialized area you are going to be looking at between $1.000 and $3.000 per month with AdWords However you will have to educate yourself on how Facebook paid advertisement works. Here some training recourses that I have used myself. You also have the whole area of retargeting and Facebook.

Facebook Recourses

John Loomer

Adespesso

Rick Mulready

YouTube

A lot of people forget that YouTube has one of biggest audiences on the Internet and is the third larges search engine in its own right. Also you can dramatically increase your audience by tagging your videos correctly. Obviously you got to have quality content and also do your SEO research. Here is some recourse that I use myself to educate myself and get some better results for my own videos.

YouTube Recourses

TubeBuddy

Robert Blake YouTube Channel

CPA Networks

The pay for performance model allows you to extend your online advertising budget while generating revenue from new customers at the same time. Online advertising, lead generation, and brand awareness are great ways to reach the ever-growing consumer base forming on the web. Several affiliate marketing networks are available to help you accomplish your customer acquisition needs as well, look for CPA networks as a good partner as they only charge you for specific actions such as a sale or a lead that is generated. CPA Networks give you access to thousands of online publishers who will serve up your ad via permission email, display or through search engines.

Customer acquisition benefits

Using a well-known CPA network for your customer acquisition needs can only result in a positive outcome. There really is no downside because you are only paying for online advertising on a performance basis, which is similar to cost per click model of only paying for what you get. Ask any Internet marketer and this gives your business the best return on investment. If you don’t get the new acquisition, you don’t pay, it’s that simple.

By partnering up with a good affiliate network it takes all of the marketing problems out of the equation and allows you to focus on running your business. Affiliate networks do the research on every online publisher they have in their network, and if a bad publisher appears, then the affiliate network takes responsibility for it immediately. Customer acquisition through online advertising is a low-risk proposition that can provide massive results.

CPA Networks Recourses

Brian Dean

Email Marketing

Email marketing is still an effective method of getting new customers however its getting harder and harder to build an effective list and also use the medium in the correct way.

I going to say something quite controversial here if you going to get any results in a period of time that realistic you going to have to buy lists.

On almost all the blogs connected to given advice on email marketing you going to be told how you shouldn’t buy lists, all I can say is don’t listen this because almost all of it comes from email services provider, yes in a perfect world it would be best to develop your own lists based on offering quality content and special offers on your own website.

It’s in someway it’s a very situation to the relationship between nature organic SEO and paid traffic. Also email marketing is getting a lot more technical with a number of new powerful tools on the marketing, which have the ability to using tagging systems to automations that can send different emails based on customers actions.

Breaking down your emails lists into sub lists is really important and is something that a lot professional email systems don’t do.

I’m listing four email services that I have used over the years two are for basic email marketing and other two can be used for more automatized email campaigns.

Landing Pages

The other area that you really got to understand that works well with your email campaign is landing pages I personally don’t feel that it’s a good idea for your email or paid traffic campaigns to go to your home page. It best that they go to one key message one purpose landing page. This is the opposite of what a normal home page.

Mailchimp

Campaign Monitor

Active Campaign

LeadPages

ThriveThemes

Social Media

Social media has become an important part of customer acquisition and I have already touched how important paid advertisement using Facebook is connected to getting new customers. However, social media can also be an enormous time waster for an organization of any size. I personally feel a key word connected to social media is “balance.”

The idea that any organization can be producing original high quality content for social media 24/7 is nonsense however this storyline is push by a number of what are called social media experts, its to my mind a very similar situation to what you see being said connected to email marketing.

Also one of the biggest mistakes that we have all done is seeing social media as a “one thing” the truth is that we are dealing with a number of different platforms that have totally different internal cultures plus we have to deal with the physical limitations that are constructed into each individual social media platform which gave it “uniqueness’ a perfect example of this is Twitter with it limitation of 140 characters which at the beginning of the platform was a physical limitation of the technology used however this limitation has become a key part of what Twitter is. You can also see this clearly with a image based platform like Instagram.

This basic fact makes it quite hard for us to make content that’s really usable on a number of different social media platforms and keep its value however its is possible however you need to think and plan plus also fully understand the different cultures of each platforms.

So how in practical ways can you deal with the pressure of producing quality content for different social media platforms i.e. feeding the beast?

Curation

Curation has been the key method that I have used connected to handling social media I use this to promote other people and my own content. If you have any sizable numbers of people following you on Twitter or Instagram it almost impossible to over post a article “however there are limits” when it comes to Facebook you got to slightly under post compared to Twitter however also a if you posting on your Facebook page very small amount of people are going to see the post. I was a heavy user of Buffer and I love Buffer, and always will. But I needed something to save me more time.

The problem with Buffer is that the queue eventually runs out they had a beta library functionally which I loved but suddenly they decided to removed this beta functionality.

I then looked at using Edgar which is one of the most popular curation/scheduling tools with the social media experts however if you have limited social media accounts that you are managing it can seem to be a littlie bit on expensive side. In the end I found a really great tool called DrumUp.

Buffer

Edgar

DrumUp

Summary

Every business wants to maximize productivity for greater ROI, and you may be left wondering how to create a long-term successful strategy when there are many customer acquisition methods to consider. Even after you’ve picked a method, how do you ensure its success? Following these tips can help you avoid failure and lead to generating more qualified customers for your business.

1. Customer value: Think long-term and forget about focusing on the cost of new leads. Buying cheap leads initially can hurt your customer acquisition plan in the long run. Instead, think about the value of the customer over time. While the up-front costs may be more expensive, your business will reap the rewards of thinking strategically. Maximize your ROI by thinking long-term.

2. Track and review: You’ve invested the resources for bringing in new business, now how do you evaluate if it’s working? Research marketing services and programs that will allow you to measure the effectiveness of your plan, but some things you should track are keywords, referring domains, and organic traffic. This is the great insight that will increase your conversion rate and provide you with a stream of customers.

3. Engage: After you’ve spent so much time and effort attracting new customers, don’t let it go to waste. Continue to make your now ‘old’ customer feel as special as a new customer. Reward them for being loyal and ask for their feedback, which will help you improve your business. Consumer insight is incredibly valuable and can help you avoid losing customers to a competitor. When new customers aren’t coming through the door, you will want to turn to your loyal fan base.

4. Think like a customer: Of course, you think like your customers. Wrong. It’s easy to forget what it’s like to be on the other end of the buying cycle. Spend time researching how customers use your product or service and how they go through the buying process. Know what hurdles potential customers encounter and address these issues in your customer acquisition strategy. The easier and more pleasant the buying process is, the faster customers will come to you.

How to apply customer acquisition in day-to-day running for greater success

1. Don’t set your marketing budget free: There are many managers and business owners who are under the impression that advertising is like any other investment–it’s money that will almost always come back to you in the end. This isn’t the case. You should be aware of, and hold your marketing and advertising activities accountable.

2. Test: Increasingly, there are more and more marketing venues which will allow you or your business to track the effectiveness of the efforts and the resources you’ve put in–it is always wise to use these resources.

They will not necessarily bring in an increased number of customers, but it will reduce your new customer acquisition costs, and allow your campaign to last longer, and gain more results. Even businesses who employ less measurable methods of advertising themselves should determine some strategy by which to measure these campaigns’ success.

3. Be flexible: Okay, so maybe grabbing a new customer isn’t always the best solution. Some marketing professionals feel that a strategy, which overly focuses on new customers, can alienate “old” (aka “returning”), customers. Choosing to appeal to your existing customers to return, and create loyalty can often prove more cost effective than seeking out and courting new business.

4. Walk in your customers’ shoes: Regardless of what stage your marketing campaign had reached, your customers should have a variety of ways to gain access to your business. It is important to know these pathways, which your customers are taking. Be aware of how customers may be using your website to make purchases, or whether there may be challenges in using your business’s automated phone system. Having an understanding of issue, which your customers are having, and knowing about your customers’ habits can significantly boost your ability to bring in those new customers.

Final Conclusions

Customer acquisition is essential for every business organization to promote its service or product. But attracting and convincing the customers to purchase your product or service is not easy at all. Special infrastructure and expertise are required for building up a potential customer base. A business organization needs to concentrate on many activities other than the promotion of its brand. To release themselves from the tremendous work pressure, the business enterprises resort to the business process outsourcing companies. These companies help them in acquiring customers within less time as compared to what they would have taken in doing that on their own.

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