customer acquisition strategy

Remember Aretha Franklin’s iconic song, “Respect”? Well, in business, respect isn’t just earned, it’s acquired. Attracting new customers who rave about your brand is key to business growth, and the good news; is that it’s not a guessing game.

Did you know that acquiring new customers can cost 5-25 times more than retaining an existing one? (Source: [Link to Study]).

That’s why smart businesses focus on proven customer acquisition strategies to bring in their target audience, from the start.

In this guide, you’ll discover 11 cutting-edge customer acquisition strategies that take the guesswork out of acquiring customers, building customer loyalty, and converting potential customers into satisfied customers.

No more throwing spaghetti at the wall – uncover actionable tips to gain respect to attract paying customers and watch your business thrive.

“Let’s dive into the strategies…”

What is Customer Acquisition?

We all know that in business nothing happens until someone pushes the buy button, doors swing open, and the cash register rings.

So, how do we attract and keep potential customers moving through our funnels? It’s not as hard as you might think.

Even though, today’s customers are being bombarded with whispers, “pss… pss… over here,” and yes, you may get lucky…

A well-oiled funnel is needed to capture new leads and keep existing leads moving through the customer acquisition funnel. This means to offer quality content or to provide products or services that address your potential customers’ needs.

So, what is customer acquisition? In simple terms, customer acquisition means to acquire new customers and to keep coming back. The better you get at attracting and retaining customers the better your conversion.

Customer acquisition is the lifeblood of any business and doing it right can boost your profits exponentially (yep, you read that right!).

  Marketing Efforts

A simple customer acquisition definition … it’s about achieving buying customers and nurturing them to become raving fans, who transform into brand advocates.

This guide equips you with 11 actionable tactics to turn heads and attract your target audience.

We’ll even reveal the most effective customer acquisition strategy with the highest returns and share a sneaky technique to reduce customer acquisition costs by 5-25 times!

how to find business marketing  acquisition ideas

Finally, we’ll break down the customer acquisition costs formula to empower you with customer base data-driven decisions.

But before we jump into tactics, let’s understand crucial customer acquisition metrics: This shows how much you spend to acquire each customer, and understanding it is key to maximizing your return on investment.

Remember, it’s not just about getting customers in the door. It’s about keeping them there and turning them into raving fans.

Keep reading as we show you how!

Customer Acquisition Cost

If you’re wondering what CAC or customer acquisition cost is, or if it’s important, my simple reply is: watch Shark Tank.

“Shark Tank” is a popular television program where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of successful investors hoping to secure funding and expertise. Mark Cuban is known for crucifying business owners who dare to enter the tank without knowing how to calculate customer acquisition costs.

 Why is Customer Acquisition Important?

I know, just putting it like that, now you have a better understanding or appreciation of how important knowing how much new customers cost.

 Not knowing how much you can spend on a customer, how would you know if you‘re overspending or missing opportunities by not purchasing the maximum number of customers your business can afford?

So, what is CAC?

Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) is an important metric that measures the cost of acquiring new customers. It is calculated by dividing the total sales and marketing expenses by the number of new customers acquired over a specific period.

customer acquisition cost formula

The importance of customer acquisition costs lies in its ability to help businesses analyze their marketing efforts or Return on Investment (ROI). The importance of understanding the cost per customer and its relationship to the return on investment (ROI) from acquiring them.

In fact, according to a report by User Pilot, the average customer acquisition cost (CAC) in the SaaS industry is $702. The highest customer acquisition cost is in the fintech industry, where businesses incur an average of $1,450 to acquire a new customer.

 In contrast, the eCommerce industry has the lowest customer acquisition cost, with an average of $70 to acquire a new customer.

 I dare say that online marketing businesses’ customer acquisition cost is even less from my experience. I started a search engine optimization company in 2007 and my CAC was zero. (Just good old sweat equity.)

Knowing your marketing spend cost is just the first step. What you want is to acquire new customers who not only convert but become loyal brand advocates. In the next sections, we’ll explore actionable strategies that help increase your customer lifetime value and boost your bottom line.

What are Marketing Channels

In short, marketing channels are the road you take to get your message in front of your ideal customers. Decades ago, we would have had just a few options, today is a new day and we are presented with a diverse range of customer acquisition channels.

The good news, is some require investment while others offer free options”

 However, there are paid advertising and free acquisition channels. Since I like free, we’ll cover free first and briefly explore paid channels, next.

Paid advertising gets quicker results… organic customer acquisition strategies take longer, but it’s long-term sustainable results, especially with search engine optimization (SEO).  

There are many ways to acquire new customers:

Here are a few examples, for improved clarity.

Customer Referral programs. You are encouraging your existing customers to refer to their network.

Social media platforms. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be great tools for reaching new customers and building brand awareness.

 Paid ads on these platforms target specific audiences and increase your chances of acquiring paying customers.

Content marketing strategy creates content that establishes your business as an authority, tailored to your potential customer needs and interests.

While these are effective strategies, there are additional tactics. Read below as we dissect all eleven tactics.

Customer Acquisition Strategies

repeat purcashers

1. Customer Referral Programs

Why use fancy ads when your satisfied customers can shout about your awesomeness for free?

Referral programs are glorified word-of-mouth marketing, the best form of marketing ever. Add a reward, and you’re cooking with grease, as they say in NC. 😊

Through the incentivized program, reward existing customers for spreading the word to potential customers about your amazing product or service.

The massive benefit is the decreased customer acquisition cost; it’s been recorded to save up to 80%.

Imagine a fitness studio rewarding referrals with free group classes or personalized training sessions.

This encourages existing members to bring their friends, boosting attendance and potentially leading to additional memberships.

The massive benefit? Acquiring new clients at a fraction of the cost. It’s a win-win: you get new customers who already trust your brand, while your loyal fans feel valued and earn rewards.

Successful customer acquisition strategy

Tesla’s referral program is a standout success. Tesla’s referral program plays a significant role in its incentives such as free Supercharger miles and the chance to win a free car.

Reports indicate that Tesla generated over 40,000 referral sales, showcasing the program’s effectiveness in boosting new customer acquisition, customer engagement, and sales figures.

2. Customer Retention -Customer Loyalty Loop

One-hit wonders are OK in the music industry… But not in most others. You can produce one song or album and earn income for decades… Franky Beverly and Maze….

Why Customer Retention is Vital

Compare that with traditional businesses… hmm… that won’t work.

The benefits of strong customer retention are that it increases a positive feedback loop, turning fleeting transactions into lasting repeat purchasers.

 Imagine a community of excited customers, returning repeatedly because you understand their needs and shower them with value.

Think personalized recommendations like Netflix or curated playlists like Siri, that’s the magic of customer retention. Studies show personalization can boost repeat purchases by 90%, making it a no-brainer for sustainable growth.

So, although we are taught to ABC (always be closing) we also want to focus on nurturing our existing to keep them happy.

Ditch the constant search for new customers! Studies show retaining existing ones is 5 to 10 times cheaper than acquiring new ones, making customer retention a goldmine for sustainable growth.

customer acquision stratgies- image showing clients

3. Email Marketing- Nurturing Leads into Customers

Do you ever wonder how other brands keep growing their customer base? The secret lies in effective email marketing campaigns.

Despite existing for decades, email marketing remains one of the most potent marketing strategies. Remember the “seven touches” rule for customer conversion?

Email marketing excels at nurturing leads toward that goal. Businesses foster engagement, establish authority, and drive conversions by sending personalized emails.

Email marketing is nurturing potential customers and transforming them into paying customers. The process is vital for any business’s growth and sustainability.

4. Customer Acquisition Funnel Convert Prospects to Buyers

Benefits of search engine marketing

Do you ever feel like something is missing? How often have you viewed a competitor’s business and wondered what you might be doing wrong?

Their business has blossomed into a thriving garden, while yours feels stuck in barren soil. That’s because what you don’t see is their behind-the-scenes act.

Unlock the key to your future success, and gain insights from this often overlooked or unfamiliar customer acquisition strategy, described as the customer journey.

What is a customer acquisition funnel?

A funnel is a customer acquisition journey unbeknownst to the customer that companies strategically take potential customers through.

Think about the hiring game. It’s not just about hiring the first person that responds to your inquiry. Employers normally take potential employees through multiple interviewing processes before deciding. 

The chances of success minus the funneling process would be significantly lower. However, if a company hires the best candidate after going through its process, the chances of hiring the right person increase considerably. 

The customer acquisition funnel is another acquisition process for converting prospects to purchasers. It involves four stages: awareness, consideration, conversion, and retention. By understanding each stage and optimizing it, businesses can attract, convert, and retain potential buyers.

5 Key benefits of using a customer journey strategy.

  • Attract: Reach targeted leads effectively.
  • Engage: Nurture leads with relevant content.
  •  Convert: Guide leads smoothly through purchase.
  •  Retain: Build lasting customer relationships.
  •  Optimize: Improve results with data-driven insights.

Now, let’s explore how you can grow even more using search engine optimization customer acquisition strategies to attract qualified leads and drive sustainable growth.

5. Search Engine Optimization- Key to Organic Customer

SEO marketing for small business

You don’t have to believe it, but the facts are clear: SEO reigns supreme in targeted search marketing! It’s not magic, but a strategic process where Google ranks search results based on specific guidelines.

While adapting to updates is crucial, the core principles remain. Ready to unlock organic traffic’s power and improve customer acquisition with more qualified leads?

Get started with on-page optimization, building backlinks, and ensuring technical SEO soundness.

Learn more about these key elements to learn how to use SEO as a viable customer acquisition strategy, to fuel your customer base.

You don’t have to believe it, but the facts are clear: SEO rules in targeted search marketing! It’s not magical, but a strategic process where Google ranks search results based on specific guidelines. While adapting to updates is crucial, the core principles remain.

Three Key SEO Elements

On-page optimization: Craft compelling content, optimize title tags and meta descriptions, and structure your website for user-friendliness.

Backlink building: Earn valuable links from high-authority websites to boost your credibility and search ranking.

Technical SEO: Fix broken links, optimize website speed, and ensure mobile friendliness for peak performance.

When optimizing web pages and content for search engines, businesses can improve their visibility and ranking in search results. It’s about attracting the right audience.

By ranking higher for relevant keywords, you connect with users actively searching for what you offer.

This targeted organic traffic is more likely to convert into paying customers, offering long-term growth potential compared to other traffic sources.

6. Social Media Magnet: Engage & Convert New Customers

Who needs paid ads when you have social media’s organic reach? Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter offer powerful tools to connect with potential customers and build brand awareness. But it’s not just about posting and hoping for the best.

Engaging content, targeted interactions, and community building are key.

The benefits of social media are numerous. It allows businesses to acquire customers, build brand awareness, and nurture excitement and trust. One of the most overlooked perspectives of social media is that it provides a platform for creativity and self-expression.

Leveraging social media’s organic reach businesses can attract and engage new customers without busting the budget.

As an example: Think of Dollar Shave Club’s hilarious tweets or GoPro’s awe-inspiring stories – they attract new customers organically, fostering excitement and building trust. GoPro’s awe-inspiring stories are another example of how social media can be used to build brand awareness and foster excitement.

Social Media Benefits

Reach & Target:

 Find new customers across diverse platforms & target them based on interests.

 Brand Awareness:

Build recognition & trust through engaging content & community building.

Organic Growth:

Attract customers through valuable content & interactions, no paid ads are needed.


Compared to traditional ads, social media offers budget-friendly acquisition options.

 Real-Time Engagement:

 Directly interact with potential customers, answer questions & address concerns.

Customer Insights:

Understand your audience through social listening & feedback, tailoring strategies.

Viral Potential:

Content can reach massive audiences organically, driving exponential customer acquisition.

 Influencer Marketing:

 Partner with relevant influencers to tap into their established audience.

7. Paid Customer Acquisition Strategies

lady pointing to the impact of marketing

Are you tired of waiting for customers? Paid customer acquisition throws rocket fuel on your growth. Think laser-targeting ideal buyers across social media, search engines, and display networks.

Imagine reaching niche audiences with ads so precise they feel like personalized invitations. But wait, there’s more! Paid ads are measurable, letting you track every click and conversion, optimizing campaigns for maximum impact. Did you know Facebook ads boast a 3x ROI?

Think ‘Casper’ targeting insomniacs with sleep-promoting content.


Casper Bot Call Incomnobot

How Casper uses AI to create a bot for insomniacs

 The article explains how Casper launched a free chatbot called Insomnobot3000 that works via text from your phone and provides friendly and humorous conversation to keep you company when you can’t sleep.

The article also discusses how Casper uses AI to generate personalized and engaging responses for bot users.

The article claims that the bot is a clever marketing strategy that builds brand awareness and loyalty among potential customers who suffer from insomnia.

8. Content Marketing Strategy

Imagine creating content so valuable, customers flock to you like moths to a flame. That’s the magic of content marketing.

Instead of shouting “I’m the greatest, buy me!”, you create informative, engaging content that builds trust and positions you as an expert. Blog posts, social media posts, videos – the possibilities are endless!

The best part? It’s cost-effective, attracting qualified leads organically over time. And content marketing boosts search engine optimization, making your website a magnet for Google searches. Did you know businesses with blogs generate 67% more leads?

9. Paid Ads that Pay Off: Target & Reach Ideal Customers

Have you ever felt like throwing money at paid ads as an effective customer acquisition channel? Fear not! Targeted paid ads are the Robin Hood of marketing, taking your budget and delivering it straight to your target market or potentially new customers.

Imagine, without hours to conduct market research, you can know your target audience – demographics, interests, and even online behavior – and reach them with laser-focused ads. This granular targeting leads to higher engagement and conversions, increasing your chances of acquiring paying customers.

Did you know that targeted paid ads convert 2x better than untargeted ones? Think Nike retargeting website visitors with personalized shoe recommendations, or Spotify suggesting music based on listening habits.

10. Inbound Strategies: Attract, Engage, Convert

growth marketing , phone with icons showing

Are you tired of the customer chase? Flip the script with inbound marketing! No more hunting, just attracting your ideal customers naturally.

Imagine creating valuable content – like blogs and social media posts – optimized for search engines. This magnetic approach attracts qualified leads already interested in what you offer.

Why inbound marketing?

  • Inbound: They’re looking for what you have.
  • Outbound: You’re trying to convince them to buy.

This builds trust and positions you as an authority. Nurture engaged leads to targeted emails and offers, guiding them down the customer acquisition funnel for higher conversions.

11.  Lead Generation Machine: Fuel Your Sales Pipeline

Is your patience running thin waiting for customers? Imagine a never-ending stream of qualified leads, ready to buy. Lead generation makes it happen!

It’s all about attracting prospective customers interested in your product or service. Think social media, gated content marketing, downloadable eBooks, or webinars offering valuable information in exchange for contact details.

Once captured, nurture leads with quality content and offers, moving them closer to purchase. Remember, qualified leads convert 3x faster than generic website visitors.

Think ‘HelloFresh’ offering free recipe eBooks to capture foodies, or Evernote attracting productivity enthusiasts with time-management tips.

How to Improve Your Customer Acquisition Strategy

Customer acquisition is attracting and converting prospective customers into paying customers. It is a vital part of growing a business and is challenging and costly if done wrong.

Remember, a successful customer acquisition strategy goes beyond initial purchases. It fosters connections that fuel repeat customers and lasting success.

Common mistakes to avoid in the customer acquisition process:

Not establishing a clear strategy for customer acquisition plan. Operating without a plan wastes time and money on ineffective or irrelevant marketing efforts.

Develop a clear goal, target audience, value proposition, and budget for your customer acquisition strategy. Regularly measure and optimize your performance.

To not produce quality content tailored to your target market. Content marketing is a powerful way to attract and engage prospective customers.

Distribute your content through various customer acquisition channels, including social media platforms.

Neglect to optimize your website for conversions. Your website serves as your online storefront and should be designed to convert website visitors into leads and paying customers.

Ensure a clear and compelling message, a strong call to action, a simple and intuitive user interface, and a fast and secure website.

Do not use search engine optimization (SEO) to boost organic traffic. SEO improves your website’s visibility and ranking in search results and can help you acquire new customers actively searching for your products or services.

Enhance your customer acquisition strategy by avoiding these common pitfalls.

Establish a strong customer acquisition strategy, create compelling content, optimize your website for conversions, and leverage SEO to maximize your online presence and attract valuable customers.

customer retention and acquisiton

FAQ – Customer Acquisition Strategies

What are the main types of customer acquisition? 

The two main effective customer acquisition strategy types are: inbound and outbound.

Inbound strategies attract new customers through valuable content and organic search, while outbound strategies involve directly reaching out to prospects, through paid advertising or email marketing.

What is the formula for customer acquisition?

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is calculated by dividing your total marketing spend by the number of customers acquired during that period. So, CAC = Marketing Spend / Customers Acquired.

What is the average customer acquisition cost?

The average customer acquisition cost varies widely across industries and business models. However, a recent study found that the average CAC across all industries is around $385.


Ready to create an effective customer acquisition strategy that attracts buyers, but repeat purchases for your brand. Below is a quick summary of just a few strategies

Several effective strategies can be employed in this lead-generation process,

Let’s explore these key approaches with a summary:

  • Email marketing
  • Customer acquisition funnels
  • Search engine optimization

Email marketing:

Craft personalized email campaigns that build relationships and drive targeted sales.

Customer acquisition funnel:

Design a frictionless journey that guides potential customers towards conversion.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

Harness the power of organic search to attract qualified leads to your website.

By implementing these key customer acquisition strategies, you can attract more leads, convert them into customers, and fuel your business growth.

Get more small business marketing strategies and insights from to fuel your business growth journey. #customeracquisition #growthhacking #marketingstrategy #pytalkbiz

Now it’s your turn. Share your biggest customer acquisition challenges in the comments below, and let’s discuss!

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