You might have the best product or service on the market, but that means nothing if you can’t acquire customers for it. Customer acquisition is the process of expanding your customer base. Sometimes that involves reaching out to a brand new audience, and other times it involves converting existing leads into sales. Acquiring new customers is vital to the longevity of your business, as there’s no guarantee that your current customers “no matter how loyal they are now” are still going to continue patronizing your business in the future. Ongoing customer acquisition ensures there are always people to buy your product or service, essentially preventing the well from running dry.
While large businesses often focus more on customer retention, newer small businesses need to keep new traffic coming through in order to continue expanding. Effective customer acquisition strategies also target ideal customers who are more likely to stay loyal and act as brand ambassadors among their peers. Customer acquisition is important for driving sales, but it’s also a powerful marketing tool.
When it comes to customers, quality matters. While you may be tempted to try to reach as broad a market as possible, the reality is your efforts are better spent reaching out to people who are involved in your company’s niche. Create a profile of your typical customer using factors such as age, gender, location, interests and income. Once you have an archetype of your ideal customer, marketing to them becomes far easier.
Next, reach out to people who fit your customer profile. Cold calls and mailing lists are obvious, traditional methods, but today’s savvy businesses have plenty of other options. Social media is a powerful tool in your kit, as you can create targeted ads that you can filter directly to people with relevant interests. You can also gain new customers by offering promotions, referral programs, loyalty programs, freebies and contests.
After initiating a new marketing campaign, pay attention to your sales figures. If they climb, you know you’re doing something right, and you can elaborate on those strategies. Even failed customer acquisition campaigns have value, as they help you to better understand what does and doesn’t make your potential customers tick. Follow the latest market trends, pay attention to your competition and don’t be afraid to try something new.