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customer acquisition

Customer Acquisition Strategy for Small Business Owners

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Customer acquisition is no easy feat. Today’s marketplace is extremely competitive, and the truly small business owners, entrepreneurs and startups face increased competition and rising costs. In fact, the cost of acquiring new customers has increased by 60 percent over the last five years.

As a small business owner, you may have already done the research. You know that staying competitive, relevant and profitable requires much more than being “good.” Your business must be extraordinary at attracting new customers and keeping existing customers happy.

It’s all about balance.

But as great as you may be at customer retention, customer attrition is still inevitable.

Customer Acquisition

What is customer acquisition?

Customer acquisition refers to bringing new clients to your business. The goal of this process is to develop a systematic and sustainable acquisition strategy that is repeatable and can evolve with new trends and changes.

The weird, but wonderful world of sales comes with its downside though. Prospecting is likely the single most challenging part of the sales process, says over 40% of salespeople. But, it’s also one of the most important steps to finding qualified leads—which directly impact customer acquisition.

To make matters worse, a HubSpot survey revealed that only 3% of buyers trust reps—along with other less credible professions like car sales, politics, and lobbying.

These issues make it clear that having an effective, scalable customer acquisition strategy is critical for sustained, long-term business growth. A scalable acquisition strategy is one that results in a steady increase in customers and revenue, while requiring relatively smaller and smaller operating costs overtime.

And that’s why you started your business in the first place, right? To eventually grow it from a small, budding business into one with many happy, loyal customers!

If your small business is currently facing a difficult time gaining new customers in a cost-effective manner, then this article’s for you. Here are key areas to start tackling when creating a scalable customer acquisition strategy:

Define Your Target Market

Do you know your target market, their needs and pain points? Possessing a clear understanding of the customers you are marketing to is critical to your customer acquisition strategy. After all, everything starts with identifying your ideal customer profile—from finding who they are and how to reach them, to how to talk and sell to them.

✅ How to get started

Knowing the basics of your customer’s demographics like age, gender, income, and marital status are important. But really getting to know your customers actually means drilling down to the more telling, personal information. Things like interests, preferences, and most importantly—buying habits.

This knowledge will help you gain a clearer picture of what your target market actually looks like. From that vantage point, you can tailor your product or service to better meet your prospective customer’s needs and wants. Knowing your target market will also help you craft and deliver a more personalized marketing message!

Give Your Leads the Speed and Quality They Deserve

Did you know that personalized and targeted messages tend to result in better B2C and B2B lead generation? In fact, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. Email is the single most popular communication channel for businesses to reach out to prospects. How well you craft your emails plays a huge role in attracting and holding your prospect’s attention!

The quality of your response to those prospects also matter a lot. After all, they have taken the time to contact you.

How you respond back and when you respond back are two critical factors when converting them to customers. In the theme of “the sooner the better,” a Lead Simple study have shown that calling a lead within five hours is 40% more effective than calling after 24 hours. Whether it’s a “I’m busy” or operational problem, your leads deserve high quality responses (fast) every time to help solidify that close.

✅ How to get started

The key is to get to the point, aka pinpoint their problem. Spell out exactly how your product or service can solve your prospect’s problem, and include a simple “call-to-action” to move your prospect to the next step in the sales funnel. Use crisp, concise language in your emails with compelling subject lines. Hard to decipher communications will only make it harder for prospects to understand your message. It also goes without saying that your emails shouldn’t have any spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors as this can decrease your brand’s credibility.

Leverage Social Media Channels

In today’s day and age, you’ll notice that most of your customers are connected, informed, and engaged in social media. So why not start scaling your customer acquisition strategy by building a social media presence?

✅ How to get started

Provide quality content (i.e. blog posts, webinars, videos, case studies, white papers, etc.) that is received by prospective customers as relevant, engaging, entertaining, and useful. Content that comes off self-promoting can do damage to your social marketing campaign and your brand credibility. Focus instead on creating social content that is simple, helpful, and easily digestible by your prospect customers.

Here are some ways to get started:

Leverage Video Content

Tik Tok has been blowing up the social media community since the pandemic began, With its advanced algorithm, Tik Tok pushes your content out to millions based on interest and “likes”. Not only does the Tik Tok algorithm make your brand more “discoverable” through the For You Page, but it also compounds your following as a result in a way that traditionally, Instagram feeds alone, could not at the same pace.

In response to Tik Tok, Facebook also introduced Instagram Reels. An addition to the existing Instagram Platform, Reels allows you to record, edit and share 15-second video content that gets added to Instagram’s Explore Feed. When used correctly and with well-planned content, both platforms are a fantastic tool to engage your audience with.

Conduct Giveaways

Giveaways are a fun way to show your brand’s personality, share its products, and most importantly, engage with your audience. The best part about conducting giveaways is the reach that it gives your brand. Both existing and prospective customers can enter a giveaway, and the more shares and comments, the more new faces meet your brand.

Giveaways are most successful when it’s well thought-out. Be sure to:

  • Set your goals and budget beforehand (e.g. to grow following by X with a budget of X)
  • Choose a product or a package of product(s) that’s exciting and makes the most sense in terms of timing (e.g. is there a new product release that you want to feature?)
  • Choose your social media platform—the one where majority of your audience is tends to surface
  • Identify the contest entry structure (e.g. follow your account, tag X amount of people, repost on your story)
  • Determine the length of your giveaway
  • Promote and engage (ongoing)

The competitive marketplace can be an intimidating realm to navigate, but utilizing the above tips will help you scale your customer acquisition strategy for sustained, long-term growth, and profitability—giving you a healthy, competitive edge. Check out the rest of our blogposts for more small business tips to give you a head start—and to save time!

Conclusion: Building the Right Customer Acquisition Strategy For Your Business

Offering an amazing product or service that customers like and that drives referrals will definitely get you started. But that’s not what a scalable customer acquisition strategy is for. As soon as the organic growth plateaus, you’ll need to identify other ways (or channels) besides word of mouth to keep customers flowing in. Start by tackling the strategies listed above to begin developing a customer acquisition strategy that works for you and your business.

Once you’ve acquired your customers, the next step is to do the work, invoice and get paid! TrulySmall Invoices is a great first tool for budding business owners who have just began acquiring customers and are now in need of an invoicing tool to manage all the moving parts.

Curious to see how it works? Send out your first invoice for free and let us know what you think!


Did you know that using invoicing software not only helps you to get paid faster but also reduces your invoicing costs by 29%? Start sending invoices free today with TrulySmall™ Invoices!