We all need to acquire new customers to make our products and businesses work. It does not matter if you need just a few people spending lots of money or thousands visiting your website for free, what is important is that you get and retain customers.
Here we guide you through what customer acquisition means and how you can implement your plan.
Having spent months or years developing your product, you need to decide when you are ready for customers. This is best done after customer validation so that you know your product makes sense to people outside your company. Check that your servers can manage increased activity at launch and make arrangements for customer support for any questions from new customers.
For start-up companies the customer acquisition process is unpredictable, but planning is essential to mitigate risk and improve your chances of success as this will give direction and help measure progress.
In your plan, give details of the platforms you will use, the metrics that will measure success, your time-lines, and the manpower required (in-house or outsourced) to do it all effectively.
All the players in the organisation need to be able to react quickly to challenges that arise. All must have a clear understanding of who to turn to when problems occur. Should a bug appear unexpectedly in the sign-up process, the development team needs to react swiftly to fix the problem. At the same time, the communications and marketing people need to swiftly respond to customer complaints on social media and communicate pro-actively about efforts to fix the bug.
Decide the baseline product that you are willing to launch. Alienating users by producing an inferior product can mean losing customers for good as well as risking your reputation.
Estimate the cost to acquire customers (CAC) before beginning the customer acquisition process. This will be the cost of all of sales and marketing expenses over a given period of time, divided by the number of customers acquired in that time period.
You need to let your customers know that you exist, explain why they should care, and sometimes hold their hand guide them through the conversion process. This means creating the brand and the demand to generate a steady, growing stream of leads each and every month. A focus on blog content that ranks well for search and has significant value to the reader can be a guide.
A focus on community over monetisation in the short run may be integral to your early success, turning customers into powerful advocates and word-of-mouth advertisers.
Consider your current audience and your ideal audience. Your ideal audience is the group you would like to reach eventually. Your current audience is your baseline that can be defined with a range of analytics tools.
Define what your ideal audience is. The first step is to determine where your ideal audience spends the most time on social media, Google searches and Facebook. It is from these places that you drive traffic to your website and acquire new customers.
Your landing page should include a compelling image, an attention-grabbing headline, a strong message about the benefits, plus proof or endorsement and a call to sign up. The less information you ask for, the better. Include a demo video to increase conversions by 10-20 percent. For button text use ‘Get Free Trial’ or ‘Subscribe via Email’. Make sharing as easy as possible, by integrating social sharing with your customer acquisition process.
New and exciting content can send social traffic to your website. You need to first start creating high-quality content. Regularly adding new content will keep you connected to customers without them feeling as though they are being spammed. Content marketing whether written, audio or video is 20 percent content creation and 80 percent content promotion.
PR is critical in building your network and customer acquisition, even before scaling. It helps tell your story and gets people to become a part of it, including potential investors. Build credibility as early as you can. This also includes journalists. Get to know them now.
Build your PR media kit, founder biographies and team photos early on, before things become overwhelming. Ensure your media releases include a unique hook. Focus on why your product is newsworthy and less on what the product is.
No news is not an excuse. Continuously pitch your brand. Pitch guest submissions to third party sites or blogs and be open to other ideas. Use metrics to see what works best in converting PR into customer acquisition.
If advertising has proven to be successful in your industry, there are several options that will help drive traffic to your landing page.Tips for Entrepreneurs in Product Design and Development Hacks for Any Crowd-funding Campaign