Customer acquisition takes center stage for businesses this year, as revealed by our State of Customer Experience survey. Although 74% of businesses have the same or increased budgets this year, paid ads won’t be taking dibs on marketing plans. CPCs and CPAs are rising and digital marketers are becoming wary of having no guarantee of an effective ROI. Instead, they’re turning to first-party data to learn about their customer’s behavior and drive customer acquisition.
Having customer data by your side enables a deep understanding of customers to improve your customer experiences. Ideally, you can use it to identify high-value prospects, create lookalike audiences to expand your reach, and improve customer segmentation. From there, you can personalize and optimize your digital marketing efforts to deliver engaging customer experiences that bolster your customer acquisition strategy. In essence, this is the start of insight-led marketing.
By keeping your interactions consistent across the customer journey, you’ll not only acquire new customers but turn them into loyal customers too. But it all depends on leveraging the right tactics to focus your efforts on. That’s why we’ve written this guide—to help you discover the best tactics to give your digital marketing strategy the uplift it needs with minimal effort. Because, let’s face it, we all need results, but we’re short on time!
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the first category—creating an actionable customer acquisition strategy.
A successful customer acquisition strategy systematically attracts and converts new customers to maintain a healthy bottom line. To do this in the most effective way possible, you need a CDP + Automation + Analytics solution to constantly evaluate your performance across all marketing channels, be it social media, email marketing, cross-channel marketing, and more.
But remember: the customer acquisition process serves as the first step that ultimately leads to your end goal of growing loyal customers that return time and time again. However, 61% of marketers say that generating traffic and leads is their biggest challenge. On top of this, the average customer acquisition cost (CAC) is increasing. It’s why it’s vital to work out how to optimize your customer acquisition strategy at lower costs. Here are 15 methods to supercharge your all-important customer acquisition strategy.
74% of consumers expect a welcome email moments after they subscribe to a brand’s newsletter. Greet new newsletter subscribers with a tailored welcome email or series of emails, giving them an easy way to learn more about your company, including its products and services. With an average open rate of 50% (making it a whopping 86% more effective than standard newsletters), the welcome email gives you the opportunity to engage customers instantly.
Speed is crucial here—45% of first-time purchases by new subscribers happen within the first 24 hours of sign-up, so make sure your welcome email reaches their inbox as quickly as possible! To maximize impact, we recommend including new subscribers in a 7-day nurture sequence aimed at encouraging purchases based on their behavior.
As foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores continue to climb, consider offering customers digital receipts if you haven’t already, as these can be a highly effective way of engaging new customers. 34% of consumers prefer digital receipts, driven largely by millennials who are keen to reduce their impact on the environment.
But that’s not all—digital receipts also give customers peace of mind should they lose their physical receipt or if they decide to return items. This can be done directly through your POS or with a digital receipts vendor that provides a straightforward plug-and-play solution.
On average, 34% of new customers are acquired through contests. Giveaways and contests are highly effective in acquiring customers due to their interactive nature, and they often outperform other content types. Run giveaways and contests that incentivize customers to engage with your brand across multiple channels, including selecting a favorite product, registering a product, participating in a social media campaign, sharing user-generated content, and more.
Making the most of social media is a crucial element of an effective customer acquisition strategy. Don’t ignore Twitter when it comes to planning your social media marketing strategy, especially if your target audience is mainly millennials, as users aged 18 to 34 tend to enjoy Twitter the most out of all generations.
Capture leads directly from Twitter with Twitter Cards—dynamic ads where you can attach rich photos, videos, and “media experiences” to Tweets that drive traffic to your website and enable you to push your customer’s email address to your chosen marketing automation platform (such as Mapp Cloud) as part of your communications strategy.
Tip: Twitter Cards are recommended for high-value products to justify the premium cost per lead charged by Twitter.
If you haven’t already, consider incorporating surveys into your customer acquisition strategy. Surveys give you the opportunity to not only acquire new customers but collect valuable zero-party data, which can be used to learn more about customers and enhance digital marketing campaigns. By sending surveys to newsletter subscribers or creating survey-based competitions, you can gather rich insights about newly acquired leads, including their behaviors, needs, and pain points.
The insights gathered from survey responses will help you better personalize the customer experience from the outset, tailoring your cross-channel marketing efforts to align more closely with your customer’s personal needs and interests. As many as 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant recommendations— and it’s pretty clear that taking steps to understand your customers pays off!
Leverage data overlay capture techniques to gather anonymous web visitor data in real-time during crucial stages of customer journeys, ideally with the help of a Customer Data Platform (CDP). Online forms are a fantastic lead-generation tool—74% of companies employ web forms, and almost half report them as their top-performing lead-generation tool.
We recommend employing data overlay capture techniques during the key moments in the customer journey where the intent to complete a goal is substantial, yet the visitor’s identity remains unknown. For instance, when a customer first visits your website, you could instigate a pop-up window asking them to sign-up for your newsletter to receive 10% off their first order. This helps you to identify your customers and activate your cross-channel communications to nurture them into a new customer.
Discover potential customers who closely resemble your current buyers to increase the likelihood of user acquisition. Create lookalike audiences based on customers who interact with specific products featured in your email marketing campaigns and target them with relevant promotions to appeal to their tastes. For example, if a product had a high-click through rate, promote this product on Facebook by targeting users with similar profiles to those identified users who engaged with the email promotion.
SMS marketing is growing in popularity. In fact, 52% of marketers plan to increase their SMS marketing budget in 2023 because it is a key revenue driver and it drives incremental customer retention. Incorporating SMS opt-ins into your omnichannel marketing strategy allows you to engage potential customers quickly and effectively.
SMS opt-ins are particularly valuable when you only have a short window available to capture a customer’s attention, such as advertising on bus stops, trains, taxis, or on TV. Yet only 9% of businesses connecting SMS with their CDP, indicating that there is a huge opportunity for brands to strategically connect with their customers across SMS and other various channels.
In-store data capture is a crucial tactic in a successful customer acquisition strategy. By collecting customer details in-store during interactions with sales representatives, you can link offline customer activity to your online channels for a truly omnichannel experience.
One of the best ways to do this is to install in-store tablets for customers to use as they browse, which allows for easier customer data collection, with the added benefit of providing you with more details about the products customers are interested in. This information can then be used to send personalized messages to customers containing tailored product recommendations – or even sending an exclusive in-store discount!
Optimizing goal completion rates is vital in your customer acquisition strategy, and that’s where form analytics comes in. Analyzing customer interactions with forms provides you with information about how customers are using forms, such as which fields might be causing significant drop-offs. This can help you to optimize these frictional points for an even smoother customer experience. Additionally, you can gain insights into popular field combinations to optimize forms for maximum conversion rates.
Synchronize onsite behavioral data across all channels, including email and paid media, to ensure your customers receive relevant and personalized content. Retargeted ads are highly effective, with click-through rates (CTR) on average x10 times higher than display ads! But that’s not all—91% of marketers surveyed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), who have used retargeting, found that it performs the same as or better than search, email, and other ad types.
By using your CDP for advanced segmentation across all channels (including email and paid media), you can re-engage customers using the most cost-effective channel. This stops you from wasting budgets on targeting irrelevant customers who may have already purchased the products you’re displaying in your retargeting ads.
Gain deep insights into the performance of your products on your website and how they impact the customers’ journey. For instance, one common issue is promoting out-of-stock products through paid media campaigns. This results in a poor customer experience and wasted ad spend that could have been used to promote high-value in-stock products that customers can purchase.
Product analytics has many other uses beyond identifying out-of-stock products. It’s essential to analyze products based on a wide range of metrics beyond conversion rates, such as organic traffic generation, the average time users spend on product pages, and customer product reviews.
Did you know that 92% of people trust word-of-mouth recommendations? Brand advocates wield considerable power. That’s why it’s important for you to encourage customers to introduce their friends and family to your products and services by offering referral incentives, such as discount codes, cashback rewards, gift cards, free products, loyalty points, and other incentives.
A significant portion of your customers will have been acquired through word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers. It’s vital to take charge of these referral activities by recognizing and rewarding loyal customers for their advocacy.
Another must-have tactic in your customer acquisition strategy is smart coupons. Leveraging smart coupons correctly can drive conversion rates and increases cart value – but only if you’re targeting customers who are likely to convert in a session. To boost conversion rates and see a high return, use your customer data to identify “more likely to convert customers” to send time-sensitive offers and personalized discounts.
However, you should avoid offering coupons to customers who are likely to complete transactions without even needing incentives, as this could decrease your profit margin unnecessarily. Instead, focus on the customers that need an extra nudge!
Utilizing LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms allows you to streamline the process for potential customers to complete desired goals, such as subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a whitepaper, or registering for a webinar, without leaving the LinkedIn platform. By auto-populating form fields with information from users’ LinkedIn profiles, LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms reduce friction and make engaging with your brand more meaningful and significantly easier.
The transition to digital marketing can be challenging, there’s no doubt about that. However, there are ways to make it more manageable. Start by implementing small, low-effort tactics using the resources and tools that you already have at your disposal. Over time, these incremental and low-effort changes can yield significant results!
The 15 customer acquisition tactics outlined above are just a few examples of how you can improve your digital marketing efforts. As customer acquisition costs continue to rise, you need to also focus on nurturing new customers post-purchase and fostering lasting relationships that boost retention.
We’ve put together a list of easy-to-implement digital marketing tactics that deliver results for marketers in various industries. Simply puck your objectives for the coming months, and our Digital Marketing Playbook will guide you through the strategies you need to focus on to Acquire, Nurture, Grow, and Retain customers.
*Updated in May 2023