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All business owners should know how to acquire new customers and retain their current clientele to grow their business. With the proper customer acquisition techniques, you can attract the right leads, nurture them to push them down the sales funnel, and convert them into customers.
You will want to start with identifying your ideal customer and using the best means to grow brand awareness.
Many newbie entrepreneurs believe they can build their businesses from word of mouth and personal referrals. But this only means that they don’t want to do the work but outsource their marketing plan to strangers.
Terms such as “hope” and “words as strategies, aka personal referrals,” are nothing but the fruit of laziness.
So, what you will want to do is to work on real customer acquisition techniques, including a marketing plan, lead generation, lead capturing, a conversion strategy, and a sales funnel – this entire process from nothing to paying customers is customer acquisition, and it deserves your focus.
Customer acquisition refers to getting new consumers. Simply put – a business’s process of reaching its ideal customers and converting them into leads by making them purchase its products or use its services is known as customer acquisition.
Despite being a critical aspect of a business, the customer acquisition strategy is constantly overlooked. Yet, for many businesses, it can be the most important thing to focus on – because – in reality, if you cannot acquire customers, your business is still an idea or a hobby but not a real business.
According to statistics, whether small or small, nearly one out of five businesses in the USA fail within the first year. Now, if you make it past three years, your business will be amongst the 20% winners and not the 80% losers.
So, if you don’t want to be dead in the water, you will want to cover some serious concepts on your business radar.
And the Holy Grail to business numbers that you have to know is all about your business acquisition strategy.
Before you integrate the best customer acquisition techniques in your business framework, you will have to define your customers. Determine the following aspects when defining your customers:
Acquiring and retaining customers can be challenging, especially as a business startup.
As mentioned before, customer acquisition is getting new customers on board, whereas customer retention is all about keeping and maintaining existing customers in your business.
Holding onto the existing customers will boost your sales and profit. With customer retention, you want to encourage your clientele to repeat their purchases.
Customer acquisition and retention are the two key drivers of business growth.
The customer acquisition channel is a journey that will take a customer unaware of your business all the way into a lead, a buyer, and eventually a loyal buyer who buys more and more again.
So, a customer acquisition channel indicates the different stages that a potential customer goes through before making a purchase.
Understandably, not all people will end up buying from you, so you will have to create awareness with the most efficient marketing strategies, such as the following:
To get your ideal client’s interest, you should present your brand as the solution to their potential problem. This way, you can also establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
Once the potential client is aware of your business’s potential solution, your brand will be one of the wide range of options they are considering.
At this stage, they might make a purchase, but they are still considering their options.
At this stage of the customer acquisition channel, your prospective client is showing signs of buyer intent, including the following:
Your product is in the spotlight at this point of the customer acquisition channel. Your potential customer might have tried a demo and is actively assessing the pros and cons of your product/ service.
This is the final stage that all businesses want to reach in the funnel. However, in a b2b customer acquisition strategy, only 25% are ready to purchase – the rest has to be convinced.
You need to find a way to get your products in front of your customers.
The question is – how do people discover services and products online? Here are the essential means online consumers discover products/ services:
Of course, nothing can beat a recommendation from friends and someone you respect.
Great services usually create loads of hype on social media channels, attracting customers and generating sales like a charm.
Pleasing your current customers is all you need to generate word of mouth.
Whenever you are looking for a solution to a problem, the first place you go to is the internet – Google – to be more specific.
Subsequently, if there is a product/ service that can solve your problem, it will pop up in the SERPs.
An advertisement is a classic and proven way to get products/ services in front of one’s target audience. We see countless ads every day.
Here are some of the best customer acquisition strategies to earn more clients:
The first method is all about your network. Everyone has a group of friends, family, colleagues, and co-workers – people they have regular communication with and people in their world who need what they have to offer.
Everyone has a group of people who could benefit from their skills. And if you have a skill that you want to provide or a service/ something that you can provide – you can do something that someone you know would pay for.
It is your job to find out who can benefit from your service. So, asking your network about who needs your services is a simple matter.
Believe us – there is a lot of money in your existing network.
We all know what cold traffic is – it is not knocking on one door from another – it is running Facebook ads, placing ads in the paper, and running Google ads.
Cold traffic is a way to find people, and there will always be a certain percentage of people you don’t know but who find you through random means.
And this way, you will be able to get these people as clients – but- you are required to have a great position, products, and testimonials.
People will eventually find you with cold traffic, but you have a much greater chance of getting cold traffic if you first take care of the other customer acquisition techniques.
Another customer acquisition plan you can integrate into your business plan is warm canvassing, which is the exact opposite of cold canvassing.
An example of cold canvassing is cold sales, where you knock on doors hoping people will buy from you.
When it comes to warm canvassing – it is going to people who are working with you already.
Think about who you are already paying or doing business with. The goal is to find people you are already working with and assess where your services can complement them.
Here is the deal – if you are a service provider, especially when you are just starting off – people won’t know who you are.
So, it will be very easy for you to get discouraged because you will not know whether or not people will pay to work with you.
For instance, if you are a personal trainer – one easy way for you to start getting clients is to find a group of people who already need your help. In this case, you might offer to train them for free.
And you might tell them that you only ask in exchange if you deliver the promise; they have to send three or more friends who could use your service.
Now, if you look at it, you see that it is the easiest way to build your referral network.
At first, it might look like you are losing money because you are providing service but not getting paid for it.
Nonetheless, the idea here is that this is a lost lead in the beginning, as you lose a little bit of time and money because you are putting time and money into someone.
But what you get back is that you acquire more leads by providing a free service, and agreeing that this free service will result in you getting quality referrals makes it much easier for you than getting more clients in the door.
This is how you build your network as a fresh business startup.
Now, this is as much of a mindset as it is a technique. You will need to realize that everyone you work with isn’t just a spoke – but – they are a hub. Every person you work with is a potential connection to three or four more clients that could be working with you.
As a newbie entrepreneur, you might be afraid of asking for business as you might think that people are going to reject you because you think that people wouldn’t want to refer to you. But – in reality, your customers do want to refer to you.
So, what you will want to do is that as you start getting clients, you don’t just hope that they refer you. You literally go out of your way and ask for a referral.
So, when you sign a new client, you will want to take up the challenge and tell them that you will do great work for them as they are paying you, but you would also tell them to refer you to other people who might be able to use your great service.
Sit down with your current client and ask them who in their network they know and you go through their contacts with them and find curated recommendations from their database/ network/ list to send to you.
Meanwhile, offering referral bonuses can take this advanced referral technique a notch higher. You can also send them gifts and ensure that they are well-taken care of at their favorite restaurant.
You get the point – you actually actively incentivize the process of building referrals into your business as part of your process.
Similar to warm canvassing, all businesses need other businesses to help them.
If you are already familiar with the marsupial, you know that this animal raises its young inside a pocket to develop this little baby until it gets big enough to walk on its own.
When it comes to customer acquisition, the goal of the marsupial method is to find bigger businesses that have a complimentary service to your business.
Once you have found those businesses, you can work with them and partner up with them, and it is a guarantee that this will be one of your quickest ways to make money as a service-based business provider.
Customer acquisition cost, also known as CAC, is the average cost to drive new customers over a given time period.
CAC takes into account the following aspects:
Divide the accumulated number by the number of new customers for the period, and you will figure out the CAC for the period.
Let us have a look at the typical costs associated with customer acquisition:
You can see how CAC plays out in the following infographic:
Customer acquisition is the Holy Grail of any business – small or large. While you cannot ignore integrating the best customer acquisition techniques in your business framework, the key to growth lies to a great extent in your customer service team.
So, you should integrate a customer-first policy and treat all your customers as gold – for both – acquisition and retention.