Customer Acquisition 9 min read
05 Mar 2024

Ultimate Customer Acquisition Plan for 2024

Ultimate Customer Acquisition Plan for 2024

Every company needs customers to survive. But customer acquisition is the most important goal for new businesses that don’t have an established brand yet.

However, experimenting with every possible strategy and seeing what works is costly. New businesses can’t afford to try and fail and waste time and resources.

That’s what a well-defined, research-backed customer acquisition plan can help.

So, how can you create a plan, and why do you need one?

Read on to find all the answers, starting with what customer acquisition is. 

Here you go.

What is Customer Acquisition?

What is Customer Acquisition?

In simple terms, it is the process of acquiring new customers for a business using sales and marketing tactics. This involves convincing prospects to try your products or services by giving them solid reasons for the same.

It differs from lead generation, which doesn’t take into account the number of people who converted from prospects to paying customers. Instead, customer acquisition deals entirely with the number of actual customers, not leads or prospects.

What is a Customer Acquisition Plan?

A customer acquisition plan is a strategic framework that outlines a business’s strategy for acquiring new customers

It includes details on the various sales and marketing activities a business plans to undertake to reach out to and win new customers.

It should also have details on your target audience, customer acquisition channels, marketing, goals & metrics, sales funnel, and more.

Why Do You Need a Customer Acquisition Plan?

Why Do You Need a Customer Acquisition Plan?

Customer acquisition is probably the most important goal for any business, especially new business, and having a plan can help make the process easier.

Here are some reasons why you should have a well-defined customer acquisition plan. A customer acquisition plan:

  • Acts as a roadmap to streamline the process and keep you on track.
  • Helps everyone in your sales and marketing teams stay on the same page in terms of what needs to be done and by whom.
  • Enables data-driven decision-making to run targeted and high-converting marketing campaigns.
  • Allows for better resource and budget allocation as you have a clear idea of the strategies and platforms you will focus on.
  • Helps you focus your efforts and bring down customer acquisition costs.

What is a Customer Acquisition Funnel?

A customer acquisition funnel is a visual framework that shows a buyer’s journey from when they first heard about your product to when they made a purchase.

Here are the three broad stages of a customer acquisition funnel:

  • Awareness: At this stage, a prospect learns about your brand or products. Use various customer acquisition channels like your website, social media, and paid ads to reach as many prospects as you can and get them to enter your funnel.
  • Consideration: Once leads enter your funnel, you need to engage with them and convince them to make a purchase. At this stage, prospects evaluate various options and learn more about your brand to decide if they want to buy from you. Use content marketing and email marketing to drive them further down the funnel.
  • Decision: This is the stage where you have qualified leads in your funnel who have a high purchase intent. Using a mix of conversion rate optimization and content marketing strategies, you can turn these leads into customers.

You should break these stages into sub-stages to create more sophisticated customer acquisition funnels.

Here’s a sample customer acquisition funnel showing how consumers turn into leads and then customers.

Customer Acquisition FunnelSource

How to Create a Customer Acquisition Plan in 2024

How to Create a Customer Acquisition Plan in 2024

Creating a customer acquisition plan requires in-depth research and strategic planning. Here is the step-by-step process you can follow to create a solid plan for your business.

1. Define Your Target Audience

To create a solid customer acquisition plan, you first need to understand who your customers are and what they want. 

Answer these questions to understand and define your target audience:

  • Who is your ideal target customer?
  • What is their gender, age range, location, and other demographics?
  • What are their pain points and challenges?
  • How do they search for products, and where do they shop?

You can use a good customer relationship management solution to collect customer data from various sources. Social media and web analytics tools are also helpful in collecting audience data.

Once you have all the data and have answered the questions above, you should create ideal customer profiles (ICPs) or customer personas. There are numerous free and paid customer persona templates available online, which you can use. Here’s an example.

Customer Acquisition FunnelSource

2. Clarify Your Objectives

Before you make a customer acquisition strategy, you should be clear on what you want to achieve. Of course, you want to win new customers, but that’s a vague goal.

More specific goals could include:

  • Increasing website traffic by X% within Y duration
  • Boosting revenue to reach X within the next quarter
  • Reducing the customer acquisition cost by X % within Y duration
  • And more

These goals are quantifiable and measurable. So, use the SMART goals framework and set specific goals for your customer acquisition strategy.

Here’s a simple template you can use.

Nifty SMART Goals TemplateSource

3. Choose Customer Acquisition Channels and Prepare a Strategy

The most important step is choosing the right customer acquisition channels and preparing a targeted strategy for each.

Your choice of channels will depend on whether you’re interested in lead capturing or demand generation. 

Lead capturing involves attracting leads who are already looking for your products and know of your brand. Demand generation involves creating brand awareness and attracting prospects who don’t know about your brand or products.

The latter is the more difficult process and requires the use of multiple channels to cast a wide net. As such, you should be clear on this before you choose your customer acquisition channels.

Here are some popular customer acquisition channels and methods you can use:

  • Search Engine Optimization: The most sustainable and organic way to acquire customers is through your website. Use good SEO practices to boost search visibility and rankings for your product and service pages.
  • Social Media Marketing: This is a great way to engage with consumers on channels where they’re most active. Post relevant, targeted content consistently to build a loyal following and generate leads from social media.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns: If you’re looking for a quick way to boost your lead-generation efforts, then you can consider PPC campaigns.
  • Content Marketing: Greate content can educate and inform your target customers on the benefits of your products and services. Use internal linking and CTAs to direct leads from content to your product or service pages to drive conversions.
  • Influencer Marketing: Partner with influencers in your niche to reach their loyal audience. By organically promoting your brand, influencers can help you win new customers quickly and efficiently.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Create an affiliate program and provide lucrative incentives for affiliates to promote your brand. Since affiliates promote brands on multiple channels, this opens new avenues for customer acquisition for your business.

Choose a mix of customer acquisition channels based on who your audience is and where they’re most active. 

Also, use good strategic planning software to create a comprehensive strategy. Such tools also help streamline the planning process by giving you a clear picture of all the tasks involved.

4. Set Competitive Product Prices

If you’re making a customer acquisition plan for a new product or service, then it’s important to price it right.

The success or failure of your strategy will depend on how competitively you’ve priced your offering.

Conduct in-depth competitor research to analyze the features of competitors’ offerings and their pricing. 

Choose the pricing model that works well for you and set a price that’s profitable for you but also provides a good deal to your customers. If you want to use premium pricing, then you must differentiate your offering from that of your competitors and showcase its premium features.

5. Track Your Performance on Key Metrics

Your customer acquisition plan should also include details on the key performance indicators you’ll use to measure the success or failure of your efforts.

These KPIs should align with the goals you set at the first step. For example, if your goal is to boost website traffic, then the growth in monthly traffic is a good metric to track.

Some common metrics you should track include:

  • Customer Acquisition Cost: This is the average cost of acquiring each customer. Divide your sales and marketing costs for a period with the number of customers acquired to calculate this.

Customer Acquisition Cost FormulaSource

  • Cost per Lead: This is the average cost of acquiring a lead using your lead generation efforts. To calculate this, you need to divide your marketing costs by the number of new leads generated in a period.
  • Customer Lifetime Value: It is an estimate of the total revenue you can earn from a single customer throughout their association with your brand. Here’s the formula you can use to calculate this.

Customer Lifetime Value calculationSource

  • Conversion Rate: In a general sense, conversion rate refers to the percentage of leads who take a desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter. However, in terms of customer acquisition, this refers to the percentage of leads that entered your funnel and turned into paying customers.

You also need to decide which tools you will use to track your performance. This could be a mix of free and paid analytics tools.

6. Identify Gaps and Optimize Your Strategy

Your work is not done after you’ve made a customer acquisition plan. You also need to execute it and measure your performance to find areas for improvement.

By tracking the above-mentioned metrics, you can get insights into which strategies are working and which aren’t. This will help you improve your customer acquisition strategy.

Remember, this is an ongoing process that helps you keep your customer acquisition plan updated and optimized.

Customer Acquisition vs Retention

Customer acquisition and customer retention are two different marketing strategies. The former focuses on casting a wide net, reaching new consumers, and converting them into customers. The latter, on the other hand, aims to retain existing customers and increase their lifetime values.

Since it’s easier to convince your existing customers to buy from you again than to win new customers, customer retention is cheaper.

Think about it:

If someone has chosen to buy from you after evaluating various products, then they trust your brand. And if you deliver consistent quality and good customer support, the buying decision becomes easier for them, and they will make repeat purchases.

However, convincing someone who has never bought from you before is another ballgame altogether. It requires multiple sales and marketing tactics to build awareness, engage customers, and drive conversions.

The gist: while it’s important to acquire new customers initially, focus more on boosting customer loyalty and retention as your business grows.

Wrapping up

Hopefully, by now, you have a clear idea of what a customer acquisition plan is and how to create one.

The important thing is to do your research well and create a solid plan that can be successfully executed. Don’t set unrealistic targets or be too ambitious and try too many things simultaneously.

Use this guide as a reference to create your customer acquisition strategy and drive business growth. All the best! 

Aditya Agrawal

Aditya Agrawal

Aditya Agrawal is a marketing associate at Nifty. He is an SEO enthusiast who is making his way into the B2B marketing world. When not learning, he likes to go out for a walk.

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