Client acquisition strategies Blog Feature

10 Customer Acquisition Strategies to Drive Business Growth

New client acquisition strategies are like the superheroes of successful marketing and business growth. They help you unleash the power of effective client acquisition to attract potential customers and skyrocket your long-term retention.

This guide has everything you need to know about the basics of client acquisition strategies. Plus, we’ve spiced things up with a look at different client acquisition methods, inspirational success stories, and how to overcome potential challenges. 📈🏆

What is Client Acquisition?

Client acquisition refers to attracting and gaining new customers or clients for a business. Likewise, a client acquisition strategy is designed to obtain new paying customers and drive business growth.

Here are the three basic steps found in the most effective customer acquisition strategies:

  1. Lead generation: The business attracts potential customers from their target market using market research and tools like customer profile templates
  2. Lead nurturing: The business nurtures leads and builds trust with careful email marketing and implementation of tools like lead management software
  3. Lead conversion: The business converts potential customers into new customers, at which point it may implement the use of tools like customer retention software

While there are other specifics to consider within each step, that’s the basic process.

Client acquisition strategies: editing Sales Pipeline automation in ClickUp
Organize new leads and keep them moving through your sales pipeline with ClickUp automations

Of course, you’ll see several variations on each of these steps depending on the marketing strategies a company or professional chooses to use. It’s all about leveraging the best new client acquisition strategy for your goals, audience, and product or service. 

The Role of Customer Acquisition Funnel in Business Growth

The customer acquisition funnel, aka sales funnel, refers to the journey potential customers take on their way to becoming paying customers.

It’s marketing specifically designed to drive action. 🏃

A person enters the customer acquisition funnel when they become aware of the product or service and leaves it the first time they make a purchase. From there, they enter the post-purchase experience, but we’ll save that topic for another guide.

Here are some of the benefits of a quality customer acquisition funnel:

  • Improved brand awareness to expand reach and recognition
  • Increased company growth
  • Revenue to invest in new ideas and existing resources
  • Demonstrated value and traction for external stakeholders (e.g., investors, partners, or influencers)

Long story short: Client acquisition strategies reach your target audience and improve your bottom line.

Client acquisition strategies: ClickUp's Dashboard
Stay informed on the effectiveness of your sales and client acquisition strategies with ClickUp Dashboards

The strategies and tools required to reap these rewards will vary from business to business. Likewise, there’s a wide range of different customer success software and tools that marketing professionals may use to improve the customer acquisition process.

Types of Customer Acquisition Methods

There are several customer acquisition methods—you don’t have to choose just one. Sometimes, including two or more methods in your new client acquisition strategy is more effective.

You’ll find both in-person and digital options highlighted below; the effectiveness of each depends on your business, industry, and audience. 

Now, let’s look at some of the most common ways to attract and convert new customers, plus which types of businesses they might be best for. 

Digital content marketing 

Best for the following industries: Service, manufacturing, technology, financial, education, energy, retail, e-commerce

Focus on publishing and distributing content that is relevant to and useful for your target audience. High-quality content attracts and engages potential customers, creating an emotional connection that will ultimately drive potential customers to make purchases.

Here are some digital marketing ideas to get you started:

  • Social media: Publish social media posts that’ll engage your audience, whether that’s memes, industry news, something in between, or all of the above
  • Videos: Create video content that provides education, entertainment, or product highlights on platforms like YouTube 
  • Podcasts: Host an ongoing podcast with valuable information that’s relevant to your target market; bonus points if you collab with influencers while you’re at it
  • Infographics: Produce informative infographics; customers often like and share high-quality infographics to revisit them later 
  • Blog posts: Publish trustworthy, practical content on your company blog or news section

Search engine optimization 

Best for the following industries: Service, food and beverage, technology, real estate, construction, transportation

Search engine optimization (SEO) improves how your business appears on search engine results pages (SERPs).

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Use ClickUp Whiteboards to connect Mind Maps to tasks and create a powerful SEO planning space

SEO professionals do this by optimizing landing pages, blog content, and social media posts to rank content higher when your audience searches for related keywords. 

For businesses, this translates to appearing in organic searches more often, generating organic traffic, building credibility, and increasing brand awareness. 

Paid advertising 

Best for the following industries: Technology, transportation, education, retail, service, food and beverage, manufacturing, financial, hospitality, automotive

Paying for traditional, display, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has the potential to increase visibility for any business. 

By choosing the right marketing channels for your industry and audience, you’ll increase the number of customers entering your customer acquisition funnel. And that’s always a good thing. 

If you need help getting started, we’ve highlighted some potential places to pay for ads below: 

  • Traditional: TV, radio, and print media 
  • Display: Social media platforms, websites, and apps 
  • PPC: Search engines and social media platforms 

Email marketing 

Best for the following industries: Retail, financial, entertainment, nonprofit, service, retail, e-commerce

Sending targeted emails to potential customers on your email list nurtures leads and encourages them to take action. 

Sure, we all get a lot of marketing emails that we delete every day, but email marketing is a low-cost way to increase opportunities to engage with your audience. You never know when one of your subject lines will set a potential customer in motion to make a purchase! 💡🤑

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Make emails easier with ClickUp AI—generate personalized emails in seconds and keep your business connected to your audience

Influencer marketing 

Best for the following industries: Food and beverage, hospitality, entertainment, automotive, retail

Partnering with influencers in your industry builds credibility and extends your marketing reach to larger audiences. It also increases your chance of going viral, which has enormous benefits, all with minimal work on your end. 

The right influencer can help you build credibility, increase your social media following, generate sales, and elicit feedback to help your company improve.

Affiliate marketing 

Best for the following industries: E-commerce, hospitality, financial, technology, entertainment, marketing

Working with third-party affiliates who promote your products or services for a modest commission generates sales, expanding your reach to a broader audience. 

Some businesses choose affiliate marketing over PPC marketing and other avenues because it’s another effective strategy that doesn’t interrupt your cash flow. Affiliates get paid when a customer makes a purchase, so you only pay if it works. 

Events and sponsorships

Best for the following industries: Manufacturing, education, entertainment, energy, food and beverage

Participating in or sponsoring events increases brand visibility and the number of potential customers who connect with your business. These events don’t have to be in-person; webinars and other online events are effective, too.

ClickUp's task view, checklist, and chat box
Make sure everyone knows what to do when planning and executing your event with ClickUp’s task view, priorities, and checklists

You’ll want to choose events that are actually relevant and interesting to your audience to see results. That might mean conducting some surveys with existing customers to get an idea of where to start or if it’s a good idea for your brand. 

Partnerships and collaborations

Best for the following industries: Food and beverage, hospitality, entertainment, automotive

Collaborating with other businesses or organizations is a straightforward way to cross-promote and reach a wider audience. 

Working with another organization to achieve a common goal doesn’t just boost visibility. It increases the chances of reaching your goal in a timely manner while divvying up finances and tasks to benefit both (or all) parties.

Free trials and samples

Best for the following industries: E-commerce, SaaS, entertainment, subscription boxes, education, hospitality, financial

Free trials and samples aren’t just marketing tactics; they’re bite-sized appetizers and interactive showcases of what you’re offering. 

It’s like giving potential customers VIP access to the magic of your product or service before they commit, effectively sparking curiosity and excitement to become paying customers. 🎉

Loyalty and referral programs

Best for the following industries: Service, e-commerce, hospitality, financial, subscription boxes

You’ll often see loyalty and referral programs in customer retention strategies, and with good reason—they work! 

Most of us have made an extra purchase or taken action to get rewards from a favorite brand at least a few times. So try rewarding existing customers for repeat business and referrals with incentives like discounts on future purchases, plan upgrades, or exclusive products. 

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Manage customer data, personal tasks, and communication in ClickUp List view

Customer reviews and testimonials

Best for the following industries: E-commerce, healthcare, transportation, construction, subscription boxes, financial

Encouraging or incentivizing satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and testimonials influences and builds trust with potential customers. 

So many savvy shoppers spend hours scouring reviews and testimonials from different brands before spending their hard-earned cash. You want your company to be the one that stands out with delighted customers, honest feedback, and high ratings. 

Common Customer Acquisition Challenges

You’ll likely encounter some speed bumps on your path to effective customer acquisition, and that’s okay! 

It’s how you respond to each challenge that matters. We’re here to help with that. Below, we’ve highlighted common challenges you might face and potential solutions to get your client acquisition strategy back on track. 

Study them now or bookmark this guide and revisit it when you know what you’re up against.

Identifying target audience

Challenge: Define your target audience, develop accurate customer personas, and tailor marketing efforts accordingly. 

Solution: Execute a thorough market research campaign to identify customer behaviors, preferences, and demographics. Analyze this data to identify your target audience. 🔍🎯

Competition

Challenge: Stand out from competitors and effectively compete for attention and differentiation.

Solution: Focus on niche markets, highlight what sets your company apart, and develop a unique value proposition. Monitor the competition to stay ahead.

Rich formatting and slash commands in ClickUp Docs
Easily organize information about your competition with rich formatting and slash commands in ClickUp Docs

Customer acquisition cost 

Challenge: Balance your customer acquisition cost (CAC) and the lifetime value of each customer to improve your bottom line. 

Solution: Focus on optimizing high-converting marketing channels and implementing strategies to improve customer retention. Regularly assess and adjust your CAC strategy.

Effective marketing channels

Challenge: Identify the best marketing channels to reach your target audience and use your resources effectively.

Solution: Experiment with different marketing channels, analyze data based on your existing audience’s preferences, and invest accordingly. 

Conversion rate optimization

Challenge: Converting more potential customers into paying customers. 

Solution: Continuously test your website and landing pages using A/B testing and similar strategies to identify what resonates with your audience. Provide clear calls-to-action (CTAs) and refine your customer journey.

Editing a flowchart using ClickUp's Whiteboard
Use the flexibility of ClickUp Whiteboards to map out your customer journey and adjust to optimize your conversion rate

Building trust

Challenge: Creating an emotional connection and sense of reliability with potential customers (a common challenge for small or new businesses).

Solution: Establish a robust online presence, use social proof (e.g., customer reviews), provide transparent communication, and offer guarantees or trials to reduce perceived risk for potential customers.

Scaling strategies

Challenge: Scaling customer acquisition efforts while maintaining efficiency.

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Set and track goals for your business with ClickUp Goals, so you know when and how to scale

Solution: Implement scalable marketing tools for small businesses, expand successful strategies, and invest in technology capable of handling increased customer volume. 

Adapting to market changes

Challenge: Adapting to ever-changing customer behaviors and preferences. 

Solution: Keep up with industry trends, review customer feedback, and adjust your strategies when needed. Be willing to evolve your approach and innovate as needed.

Effective & Successful Customer Acquisition Strategies in 10 Steps

Now, for the part we’ve all been waiting for! Allow us to introduce you to our step-by-step guide to successful customer acquisition strategies. 

1. Define your target audience

Identify your ideal customers based on demographics, behaviors, and preferences. Use this data to create customer personas and adjust your marketing to their interests and needs.

Comprehensive client management tools like ClickUp simplify this step, providing extensive data and analytics on current customers.

2. Create compelling content

Compelling content that offers value while resonating with your target audience is marketing gold. Use blogs, videos, infographics, and other content to showcase your expertise and attract potential customers. 

Using ClickUp's AI tool to generate a blog post
ClickUp AI streamlines your content creation process

3. Implement an SEO strategy

Create an SEO strategy to improve visibility and organic web traffic. Use relevant keywords and build backlinks to enhance your search engine rankings.

4. Leverage social media marketing

Engage your target audience and existing customer base on social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Share engaging content, interact with followers, and use targeted advertising to reach more people.

Want to make social media marketing easier? ClickUp Automations takes the work out of scheduling and tracking social posts. 

5. Launch email marketing campaigns

Engage and nurture relationships with potential customers via targeted email campaigns that provide valuable content, exclusive offers, and personalized communication. Bonus points if you use a tool like ClickUp!

Creating a new email template in ClickUp
Create and save email templates in ClickUp to make your marketing a breeze

ClickUp and similar tools allow you to leverage project management features to better strategize customer acquisition. You’ll also get access to handy features like marketing and sales funnel templates.

6. Invest in paid advertising

Allocate a budget for marketing costs on channels like Google or Facebook ads. ClickUp for Sales Teams improves your marketing campaign success rate thanks to integration with today’s top marketing tools, detailed analytics, and budgeting tools.

Targeted ads based on demographics, interests, and online behavior are effective, especially when you include retargeting. Retargeting refers to paid ads targeting customers who have previously visited your social media profiles or website.

7. Encourage referrals

Implement referral programs to motivate loyal customers to refer family, friends, coworkers, and social media contacts. 

Offer incentives like discounts, giveaway entries, loyalty points, or exclusive access to unique content or products.

8. Offer free trials or samples

Let potential customers experience your product or service with free trials or samples. This reduces the perceived risk and provides a firsthand look at the quality of the goods or services you offer, which entices potential customers and leaves them wanting more.

9. Focus on customer relationship management

Customer relationship management (CRM) improves retention and trust. Effective CRM for startups often includes loyalty programs, personalized offers, and quality customer service.

ClickUp CRM makes it easy to message clients and improve customer experience. It has everything you need to manage customer relationships, letting you:

  • Update and organize customer data
  • Track leads 
  • Improve customer interactions
  • Automate workflow management
  • Boost success using data and analytics
Client acquisition strategies: ClickUp's List view
Visualize your pipeline, streamline customer workflows, and collaborate on opportunities with your team in ClickUp’s CRM

10. Monitor and analyze data

Use metrics and data analytics tools to get insights from customer behavior to make informed decisions, refine strategies, and identify areas for improvement.

ClickUp’s capabilities to monitor and analyze customer data make everything easier. It has what you need to:

  • Collect and organize data
  • Track tasks and activities
  • Automate workflows
  • Monitor performance metrics
  • Protect customer data

How to Measure Customer Acquisition

Once you’ve launched a client acquisition strategy, it’s time to see how effective it is. With the ever-changing consumer landscape, making improvements based on current metrics is an ongoing necessity for continued success. And we’re here to help. 

Here’s a breakdown of some metrics you might want to track:

Customer acquisition cost

CAC refers to the total cost of one new customer based on marketing and sales team costs.

Here’s a simple formula to calculate your CAC:

  • CAC = (total costs of marketing and sales) / (number of new customers acquired)

Conversion rates

Conversion rates measured at different stages of the customer journey enable you to identify what’s working and what isn’t. 

You’ll track how many leads or website visitors progress to the next phase of the customer journey from each source (e.g., website visits to newsletter signups).

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Here’s a quick formula to calculate your conversion rates:

  • Conversion rate = (number of conversions / number of visitors or leads) x 100.

Customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value (LTV) refers to the revenue a customer is expected to generate from the beginning to the end of their relationship with your business.

Here’s a basic formula to calculate customer LTV:

  • LTV = (average purchase value x average number of purchases)

Return on investment

Return on investment (ROI) measures the profitability of your new client acquisition strategies.

Here’s a simple way to calculate ROI:

  • ROI = (net profit from customer acquisition – cost of customer acquisition) / (cost of customer acquisition) x 100

Customer churn rate

Customer churn rate refers to how many paying customers stop purchasing your product or service within a given period. The lower the churn rate, the better the impact on the success of your client acquisition strategy.

Viewing a pie chart breakdown in ClickUp's Dashboard
ClickUp Dashboards are fully customizable to give you insights into customer behavior, churn rates, and everything you need to know about your business 

You can calculate your churn rate using this easy formula:

  • Churn rate = (total customers lost during the given period / total customers at the beginning of the given period) x 100

Customer acquisition channels

Tracking the performance of different customer acquisition channels highlights the effectiveness of each method in your client acquisition strategy.

Comparing conversion rates and ROI from each acquisition channel makes it easy to identify where you’re finding the most (and the most valuable) customers.

Real-life Examples of Successful Customer Acquisition Strategies

Another way to refine your strategies is by learning from case studies and success stories. 

Below, we’ve highlighted some of the best real-life examples of successful client acquisition strategies to inspire your marketing team. Ready to get inspired (and maybe a bit envious)?

1. Airbnb

Highlighted method: Referral program

Airbnb significantly boosted its growth with referral programs, setting a new standard. The brand incentivized existing users to refer friends by offering travel credits they could use to reduce the cost of booking a location, and it worked. 

Their winning strategy encouraged existing users to promote the platform, providing word-of-mouth advertising that attracted new users, built trust, and sparked excitement.

2. Dollar Shave Club

Highlighted method: Viral video

Dollar Shave Club gained international attention, boosting its customer base and skyrocketing its success with a viral video that did a great job of highlighting the benefits of its product. 

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With ClickUp Integrations, you’ll combine top-notch project management software with the tools you already rely on, putting viral content within reach

In other words, they made a fun and frank video that showcased unique selling points while making customers laugh. In doing so, it generated millions of new customers and even more views.

3. Warby Parker

Highlighted method: Home try-on program

E-commerce giant Warby Parker disrupted the eyewear industry by bringing the try-on-and-buy experience to online shopping with a new home try-on program.

It might not sound like much now, but it was a bold move that let the company compete with designer brands. Warby Parker sweetened the deal with free shipping and the option to try on several frames before committing—all without customers having to leave home.

4. Casper

Highlighted method: Content marketing

This now famous mattress-in-a-box company rose to fame by investing in good ol’ digital content marketing. Their success is a testament to the power of useful, relevant content. 

Casper published entertaining, lighthearted content that educated consumers about the benefits of quality sleep and (of course) their mattresses. This positioned the company as an authority in the industry and built trust with consumers. 

The brand even had a print magazine called Woolly for a while before shifting focus back to digital content.

Attract New Customers for Better Business Growth

Whether you’re just starting or you’ve been at it for a while, every company can benefit from a solid new client acquisition strategy to bring customers in.

The secret sauce is happy customers. That means nailing your customer relationship game and delivering top-notch products or services.

 Pro tip: When you find something that works, double down! ✅🙌

Ready to boost your business, slash your CAC, and boost your customer LTV? We’ve got you covered with the best tools in the game!

What are you waiting for? Jump on the ClickUp train—it’s free! 🚂

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