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Every gesture of the business that offers the customers comfort or a feeling of welcome takes them closer to purchasing your product. Starting from the first impression to every interaction that follows, businesses should connect with the customer's personality and pain points.

There are numerous customer acquisition tactics and 'hacks' that promise to give quick wins. But these might seldom pay off in the long term and even eventually end up hurting the brand image. Only an intimate understanding of the target customer can help close in on desired results.

Allocating a customer acquisition budget in competitive markets is another challenge. Under dynamic conditions, there seldom exists an ideal budget per acquisition. Numerous studies state that a firm's acquisition cost per customer is more sensitive to market position and competition than retention cost per customer - market leaders tend to have a substantial cost advantage in acquiring customers. Wherein, attaining and retaining a market niche is easier said than done - even leaders are at war for that position.

How to Increase Customer Acquisition?

Customer acquisition is a necessary fuel to keep the revenue engine running - balancing its cost and efficiency is crucial to make it profitable. Let us look at a few tactics that are beyond the comfort of volume discounts and daily deals to help crack customer acquisition efficiently - mostly leveraging technology:

1. Customer referrals using gifts and messaging

Promotional gifting technology helps track and seamlessly implement customer referrals. If not for technology, customer referrals would have otherwise been a complicated promotional tactic. The gifts can be physical gift items, electronic gift items, service agreements or redeemable gift instruments such as gift cards, gift certificates or gift codes.

For instance, a referral campaign can be initiated by enabling the existing customer to purchase a gift and send it with a custom message to their contact. This tactic even leverages the gift recipient's desire to receive a personalized gift message from an existing customer.

2. Customer Promotions run on technology

Digitizing customer promotion gives the organization advantages on multiple fronts. Technology solves the problems of tracking the effectiveness of such a direct market campaign by calculating the actual promotional expenses and collecting other marketing information. It even helps take proper consent to use personal information for direct marketing purposes. It also helps legally collect critical data on cross-selling recommendation opportunities, product registration opportunities and opportunities for the gift recipient to indicate his or her marketing consent or preferences.

3. Promotional tactics based on predictive consumer behaviour

New customers can be targeted based on predicted loyalty or customer behaviour. Based on the rich data generated by new-age marketing software, customers can be offered an incentive to create a direct response.

4. Tactics to acquire customers of the competitors

In regards to customer acquisition, direct marketing communication channels allow contacting direct competitors' clients, partners' customers, or prospects identified by a thorough analysis of the existing customers' profiles. These are rich sources of qualified data. The key to approaching this target group is not to be upfront about selling a product and be clear of the product differentiations.

5. Using technology for multi-stage contact programs

To reach clients, direct marketers can create multi-stage contact programs that help address different pain points of the target group at different purchase decision stages. Direct marketing allows combining various media within complex, multi-stage contact programs.

Within the context of customer acquisition, the purpose of communication via integrated direct-response media is to cost-effectively provide a stimulus for prospects to trigger a response and persuade them to buy.

6. Dynamic marketing communications

Direct marketing provides a possibility to control and continuously adjust communications with the target prospects, test and tailor messages. This kind of marketing also receives fast and measurable responses, collect customer-related data and build highly segmented databases, establish individual long-term relationships, and form new direct distribution channels. In particular, the organizational databases can be used to store both quantitative and qualitative data regarding the strategic decision-makers and influencers, details of the decision-making units' buying processes and specific choice criteria, sales volumes, media options, and assessments of relationships.

7. Getting into conversations with customers

To manage and guide relationships, companies have to communicate with new customers via multiple one-to-one communication channels in a cost-effective manner. As a result, a particular conversation can be initiated using direct multi-channel communication to induce an immediate response or a call to action. Consequently, a direct response from clients can be utilized ‒ as a valuable and applicable evaluative criterion ‒ to measure the efficiency of the company's marketing communications.

8. Back to basics

Marketing communications aimed at customer acquisition need to be profoundly designed and consistently financed. The Internet and email ‒ like media ‒ need to be utilized for communicating with clients and prospects via a web page and email box. The direct-response advertisements of the company's offerings were placed in the industry-specific free online directories. Ensuring that the business cards, advertisements and the web page transmitted the company's slogan is essential to have integrated communications.

9. Use of Social media as a promotional channel

Social media is an essential channel for promotions and leveraging; it is critical for business success. For MSMEs, Facebook is the most popular social media when it comes to presence, and the least essential players turn out to be Google+ and Snapchat. The majority of the users on Facebook and Instagram have an average response time of 1-6 hours after receiving feedback in form of comments, replies and likes. Twitter has seen a faster response time by the companies to their followers on social media. Regarding social media marketing budgets, more than 50% of companies feel that at least 10% of the overall marketing budget should be assigned to social media marketing. Over 70% of global companies have organized weekly deals/promotions for online users.

Rani Joseph

Rani Joseph

Rani Joseph comes with a decade-long experience across the value chain of content and brand marketing. She currently is the Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Xoxoday.