Are you looking to grow the customer base for your new startup, and so looking for the best customer acquisition and retention strategies to use?
This post is for you.
Truth be told; acquiring a new customer isn’t a walk in the park. It costs money and is downright time-consuming.
Nonetheless, with the right strategies, tools, and, of course, grit, you can acquire as many customers as possible while keeping your acquisition cost very low.
And you know, for your business to thrive and stay afloat, you need a lot of customers.
In this post, I will be showing you 35 infallible, sustainable strategies for acquiring new customers for your startup, and without eating into your profit margins.
But before that, let’s have a pep talk about customer acquisition costs. How is it calculated and why should you care?
Customer Acquisition Cost: How Is It Calculated and Why Should You Care?
Customer acquisition cost, in the simplest sense, is the average amount it would cost you to get a new customer. It is sometimes called user acquisition cost, though.
Or in another context, it’s the expenditure you would incur in convincing a potential customer to make a purchase from you.
This cost takes account of everything from advertising cost, wages and salaries, maintenance cost, and every expenditure that goes into getting a new customer.
To calculate your startup’s CAC, you simply add up all these costs and then divide it by the total number of customers you acquired over a given period of time.
Take for instance company Doe, a fictitious SaaS company. Over a 6-month period, the company spent a total of $1,000 acquiring 200 customers.
The CAC of company Doe will come out as $1000/200, equalling $5.
Of course, this is a quick and dirty approach for calculating CAC as there are still many more variables that go into it.
Going deep into details would be going beyond the scope of this post.
But at least you got the point.
Why Should You Care About Your Startup’s CAC?
When you are able to precisely calculate your CAC, projecting your profitability over a long period of time becomes easier.
Moreover, when you know for certain how you spend on each marketing channel to acquire new customers, it makes it easier for you to also know where to double down your marketing efforts.
It’s that simple.
What’s more, you will know how to reduce and keep it at the barest minimum.
With all that said, let’s go over cost-effective strategies any new startup can use to acquire new customers.
15 Cost-effective Customer Acquisition and Retention Strategies for Startups
Acquiring new customers is key to succeeding and staying profitable in business.
To this end, here are 15 ideas you can use to get new customers for your business, and without hurting your ROI, and at the same time keeping your CAC low.
1. Convert Your Website Visitors into Leads
What better place to start acquiring customers for your business than your website? The best part is that visitors to your website are people that have taken interest in your business. Think of them as warm leads.
How do you capture and convert them into customers?
Adoric makes creating these opt-in popups super easy. Even if you’ve never done anything web before, with our drag-and-drop builder, you can easily build an attention-grabbing email opt-in popup in a matter of minutes.
Better yet, you can bootstrap the popup creation process by starting off with any of our premade templates, and then customize them however you wish.
Then when you’ve collected the emails, you can choose to save them on your favourite CRMs like SalesForce, HubSpot, MailChimp, etc.
Ready to try out Adoric and see how many customers it can help you acquire?
2. Get on With Content Marketing
Content, they say, is king.
That maxim still holds true till today – and for a reason: content marketing still works.
In fact, statistically speaking, 91% of marketers say that they use Content Marketing to reach their customers.
The good thing about content marketing is that it offers lots of benefits. One, it can give your startup the exposure that it needs to get off the ground.
Second, content marketing is very cost-effective.
And third, it gives you a chance to prove your expertise to potential customers. In doing so, you build trust with prospects.
Content marketing often takes different forms. But the most common is blogging.
So, if you haven’t started sharing insightful content on your blog yet, it’s about time you did.
3. Attend Events and Tradeshows
Sometimes, you have to get offline and make real connections with people by networking. This is because the customer that you are looking for can just be a friend or a contact away.
What better way to start building your network than by attending events and tradeshows?
Maybe you have a shy personality, thus striking up and keeping a conversation going makes you shiver in your pants?
Those are quite understandable but should not hold you back from trying to connect with people.
Asking questions, giving genuine compliments, etc. are good ways to start a conversation.
In short, try and step outside of your cosy cocoon and you’d be surprised at how many meaningful connections you’d make. From those connections, you can drum up lots of customers for your business.
Not sure how to find events and tradeshows that you can attend?
Online directories like Events Eye can help.
4. Run an Affiliate Program
Ever thought of recruiting others to market your business? Affiliate marketing is where to look.
Now, the good thing about this setup is that you don’t get to pay salaries to the affiliates that you recruit to promote your business.
They only get paid a percentage commission for every successful referral they send your way.
That way, you won’t incur costs on wages in getting customers for your business. This means lower CAC and a higher profit margin for your business.
Do bear in mind, however, that running a successful affiliate program requires grit and dedication.
Consequently, you need the right set of tools to make your workload lighter.
Not to worry, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you.
5. Master the Art of Creating Converting Landing Pages
One mistake that many business owners make is driving traffic to just about any page on their website in the hope that that traffic will somehow magically transform into sales.
If you’ve been doing that, stop it right now!
What to do?
Master the art of creating high-converting landing pages, and, then, send traffic to them. Only then will your client acquisition strategy be more successful.
But what are landing pages by the way?
Basically, any page that you drive traffic to – that is, a page visitors arrive at after clicking your link – is a landing page. However, all landing pages aren’t the same.
From the marketing perspective, landing pages serve one sole purpose: to capture the contact details of anyone that interacts with them.
So, they are distinctively different from other regular pages like your website’s home, about, contact, and even sales pages.
Have a look at these two pages:
Which do you think will convert the most? The one on the left most definitely – because it was well set up to capture leads
Not sure how to create a landing page?
6. Forge Partnerships with Complimentary Businesses
Partnering with businesses and organizations that align with yours – but not competing of course – can help expand your network. Not only is this strategy efficient, but also cost-effective.
Now, let’s say that you are into Real Estates. The businesses you could partner up with include flooring companies, roofing firms, gardening and cleaning services, etc.
They can point you to potential clients that will need your services.
But for this strategy to work, you have to be willing to give something back in return. Financial incentives, sales commission, return referral can all work.
7. SMS Marketing Works
Isn’t SMS marketing old-fashioned and outdated? C’mon, there’s email marketing, PPC, and the likes – they are sexier and sleek. Why something old-schooled?
Well, the simple truth is, SMS marketing still works – no matter how archaic it might seem to appear.
For one thing, it enjoys an astonishingly high open rate: 98%
This is to say, for every 100 people you send texts to, 98 will open it. Email doesn’t even come close at a paltry 21.33% open rate.
Second, SMS marketing, on average, has a 45% click-through rate. That is to say, 45 out of 100 people that open your text will click through to your website or landing page if there’s a link in it.
With all that said, it’s about time you started sending texts to the right people, the right frequency, and the right time – if you haven’t already.
Check out our comprehensive guide on SMS marketing below
8. Promote your Business on Facebook
Have you ever wondered how Facebook makes money? Simple. Through ads!
And not just Facebook, but other social media platforms as well.
If Facebook is still in business to date, it means many businesses are still advertising on the platform. That also means Facebook ads work – if done properly, of course.
To this end, running Facebook ads can help you win new customers for your business. Thus, it’s about time you gave it a shot if you haven’t already.
Now, before shelling out your hard-earned money on Facebook ads in the hopes of acquiring new customers, keep in mind that you need to be strategic about it. Else, your advertising dollars would go down the drain without anything to show for it.
Hence why you need to do your due diligence to check out our guide on advertising on Facebook
9. Create a Google My Business Page
If you are on a shoestring budget and still want to succeed at acquisition retention, setting up Google My Business Page is your best bet.
Google My Business is a free listing tool that lets you take advantage of local SEO Services. Google My Business is a free listing tool that lets you take advantage of local SEO Services. To use this tool effectively you can take a help of an SEO agency as well to outrank your competitors.
And in case you are wondering local SEO connotes online search that is limited within a particular geographic area.
For example, let’s say that you run a restaurant and your business is located in, say, Boston.
If someone in Boston searches for something like “restaurant near me”, if you have an active Google My Business profile, your business would show up. That’s a new business for you.
Setting up a Google My Business page isn’t that hard, and thankfully, we have a comprehensive guide on it as well.
10. Send Cold Emails
All the strategies shared so far in this post require planning, time, and patience. But not everyone can wait that long. In fact, patience isn’t particularly our virtue as humans.
So, if you are pressed for time and want to get instant results, cold emailing could be it for you.
To start, all you need to do is to find the contact emails of potential prospects, craft an attention-grabbing email copy, and send.
Simple, right? Definitely!
But certainly not easy.
11. Open a YouTube Channel
Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and also the second most visited website on the internet?
This means a lot of your potential customers are on YouTube. So, if you are good at creating video content, open a YouTube channel and start sharing your videos.
What kind of video content should you share? Tutorials, hacks, and entertaining videos all work.
The good thing about it is that you don’t need to own a professional camera to get started. Your smartphone will do. You can also make a promo video for your products or business or can collaborate with other popular brands for business promotions.
12. Partner With an Influencer
Do you know anyone with large followership on social media, and aligns with your niche? Why not reach out and ask for a partnership?
The goal is to ask them to promote your business, and in return, you offer something of value in return. Could be a financial incentive, free products, etc.
13. Look Into the Newspapers
Have you ever wondered why newspaper publications are still thriving despite the plethora of digital technologies available today? The reason is, people are still reading newspapers.
As such, you can always find potential customers if you search for them in newspaper publications.
A good way to start is by hunting down publicized newly established businesses and organizations. Send congratulatory messages first, and then let them know what value you can offer.
You could even do the same for older organizations that have their contact information published in a newspaper.
14. Entice New Buyers With Coupons and Discounts
Who doesn’t love a discount?
Using discounts to entice customers can help you get lots of sales for your business. To make it interesting, add gamification to your coupon marketing efforts by using a spin-to-win popup like the one below:
15. Try Transit Advertising
One surefire way to give your business the exposure it needs to get new customers is to place ads on public transit systems: buses, trains, and even if possible taxis. In marketing, this is known as transit advertising.
The key to succeeding with this type of advertising is understanding your target audience. So, do some research before getting on with it.
Acquiring new customers can be a herculean task, particularly for new businesses and startups. But with the strategies shared in the post, you can grow your customer base without spending so much that it hurts your business.
Ready to see how Adoric can help you get new customers? Sign up for a free account right away