The Complete 10-Step Guide to Customer Acquisition

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur trying to win over your first 10 customers or a seasoned veteran acquiring your 10,000th, customer acquisition never stops being relevant.

But for many business owners, sales can be unpredictable, and gaining new customers can feel like a game of chance.

If you want to grow your business consistently and profitably, you need to think of customer acquisition not as an outcome but as a process—one that considers how you can systematically acquire new customers, the cost to get them through your door, and how much money each one will spend with your business.

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Customer acquisition is the process of finding and persuading prospective customers to buy from your business in a way that is both measurable and repeatable—not random.

Whether you’re selling wholesale or direct to consumers, you need a customer acquisition strategy. Customer acquisition happens in stages, which are often visualized as a customer acquisition funnel:

The customer acquisition funnel visualizes the journey a potential customer takes. Marketers and entrepreneurs often discuss the funnel as having three main stages:

There are many different ways a business can go about finding and converting these new customers, especially online. With digital marketing, it has become easier to track exactly how your business acquires new customers, discover and test new marketing tactics, and scale those that work.

What is customer acquisition? Customer acquisition is the process of finding and persuading prospective customers to buy from your business in a way that is both measurable and repeatable—not random. Whether you’re selling wholesale or direct to consumers, you need a customer acquisition strategy.

Customer Acquisition

Why is customer acquisition important?

Customer acquisition is important for every business. It allows the business to:

What is customer acquisition?

Customer acquisition is the process of gaining new clients and customers for your business. The goal for businesses is to create a sustainable customer acquisition strategy that evolves to changes and trends and systematically attracts new potential customers to the brand.

10-step customer acquisition process

Here is a basic look at the steps in the customer acquisition process:

1. Identify the target customers

The first step in the customer acquisition process is to identify your target audience, the people who are most likely to purchase your products and services. Unless the product or service your business sells meets a universal need, the best way to promote your products and grow your business is by identifying one or two of the best market segments for your business.

2. Identify where your target audience is

To enhance your customer acquisition process, you need to know where to find your customers both online and offline. Once you identify the places your target audience frequents, you can then develop strategies to target them there. As an example, if your ideal audience frequents a particular social media site, you may want to consider advertising there.

If youre unsure where your target audience spends time, consider polling your existing audience. You could also reach out to potential customers individually to learn more about them, their interests and what sites they spend the majority of their time on.

3. Start a blog

Blogging on your website is a highly effective customer acquisition method that allows you to discuss different topics, demonstrate how much you know about the industry and establish yourself as a source of authority. It also allows you to regularly engage your audience, providing them with a resource they can go to for information related to your niche. You could write for the blog yourself, task a member of your team with doing the writing or outsource to a freelancer.

4. Create video content

Video content is very popular online, which is why you should consider creating videos as part of your customer acquisition strategy. Create a mixture of educational and entertaining videos. Your educational videos should provide your target audience with valuable information about your industry, topics that are relevant to your industry and your products and services. Your other video content should focus on entertaining and engaging your target audience online.

5. Optimize your website for the search engines

Search marketing is also another important strategy that you should prioritize. Also referred to as search engine optimization (SEO), this strategy involves modifying your content to increase the likelihood that it will rank in the search engines. While this strategy takes longer to grow than some of the others, once you optimize your content, you can see a steady flow of clients into the business.

6. Build an email list

Email marketing is an effective way to maintain contact with customers as well as potential buyers who have expressed interest in your products and services. As you email your list, its important to monitor the behavior of your subscribers. For example, take note of the links that your subscribers are clicking on within your emails.

Also, pay attention to the emails that have the highest open rates or unsubscribe rates. This information can help you create better content that your audience is interested in, which can help you to increase customer acquisition and conversions.

7. Produce quality content frequently

Another effective customer acquisition strategy is to establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information in your industry or niche. One way you can accomplish this is by creating high-quality, useful content on a regular basis. Many companies use social media, blogs or even email newsletters to establish themselves as a reliable source of information and build trust for their brand.

8. Create gated content

Gated content is a different type of content marketing strategy that typically involves creating an in-depth and highly valuable piece of content that potential customers can access in exchange for personal information like their name and email address. Relevant, gated content is an important part of a customer acquisition strategy since it can help you grow your email list and generate more leads and, ultimately, sales.

9. Create a referral strategy

Referrals are a great way to increase the profitability of your business while keeping marketing costs low. For this reason, a referral program is a powerful method for acquiring new customers. The easiest way to encourage customers to refer your products and services to your family and friends is by offering some kind of incentive. Many businesses, for example, offer extra features or discounts to customers who successfully refer other people to their products and services.

10. Track your customer acquisition

Once you have different types of content in place, its important to monitor incoming leads to identify the acquisition channels for your new customers. Monitoring will make it possible for you to determine which channels are most effective for generating quality customers. It also helps you monitor word-of-mouth referrals and determine whether the feedback from customers is positive. This can guide your company decision-making to ensure any word-of-mouth referrals you receive are positive.


What is customer acquisition example?

7 best customer acquisition techniques
  • Content marketing. …
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) …
  • Mobile marketing. …
  • Social media. …
  • Email marketing. …
  • Referral program. …
  • Paid advertising.

What is a customer acquisition strategy?

  1. Paid advertising. One of the most common ways to acquire new customers is through online advertising. …
  2. Influencer sponsorships. …
  3. Email. …
  4. Referral programs. …
  5. Traditional advertising. …
  6. Search engine optimization. …
  7. Audience building. …
  8. Content marketing.

What is the purpose of customer acquisition?

A customer acquisition strategy can be deployed on a variety of fronts. Some examples include SEO optimization, content marketing, affiliate marketing, digital advertising, and traditional advertising (print, TV, radio). Also, trade shows, direct mail, email, and/or social media campaigns.

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