Customer acquisition is an all-encompassing term we use to encapsulate the processes, tools, strategies, and talent we use to generate leads, nurture them, and convert them into paying customers.
On the other hand, customer retention is yet another complex term used to describe all of the above, but for the purpose of keeping customers at your side, inspiring trust and loyalty, and incentivizing repeat purchases.
It should go without saying that both are crucial for long-term business growth in a competitive market. Retention usually costs less than acquisition—but to be able to retain customers, you first need to acquire them. This is a challenge many small business owners find themselves facing nowadays.
We’ve got you covered with a set of strategies and tips you can use to not only acquire new customers without breaking the bank but to turn them into loyal brand advocates over the long term. Here’s what you need to do to inspire conversion and loyalty:
To start, one of the most important steps toward better and more affordable acquisition is to stop wasting sales opportunities generated by enquiries and interested replies. Whether you’re focusing on email marketing, social media selling, or advertising, every marketing action you take is bound to generate either enquiries or interested replies.
When people reach out with an interested reply, that’s when you have to jump on the opportunity to close the sale. To do this, you need to identify where the lead is on the buyer’s journey and in the sales funnel.
Depending on where they are in the funnel and on their journey, your marketing and sales experts can tailor their messaging and content to the customer’s unique needs. If the intent is still informational, then you can nurture the lead with educational content. If, however, the intent is transactional, then you need to communicate offers, personalized deals, and price comparisons as you guide the customer toward a seamless purchase.
Social media is a sales powerhouse as much as it is a marketing goldmine. Too often, SMBs will focus on the marketing side of things and lead customers from social media to their websites and product pages. That’s great—keep doing that—but also consider allocating your resources toward turning your social channels into powerful sales touchpoints.
Social selling is in full swing nowadays, and this is your opportunity to not only close a sale but to also boost repeat purchases and customer retention. Allowing your customers to make a purchase directly on social media is a great way to shorten the conversion process and reduce customer effort.
If you are looking to leverage social media for client acquisition, then you need to create truly inspirational social accounts. On Pinterest, for example, creating a client-magnet Pinterest account means creating share-worthy pins and understanding exactly what your ideal clients are looking for—this requires research, proper branding, and a proactive approach to brand-client communication.
The same basically goes for all of your other social channels. It’s not just important to allow a quick and easy purchase, it’s also important to create amazing brand experiences that will keep people coming back for more.
Understanding your target demographic is essential when it comes to acquisition, but keeping up with your customers and evolving your marketing and sales approach alongside them is essential for retention. People change over time—and so do their habits, goals, needs, and aspirations.
If you want to inspire people to keep coming back for more, then you need to keep presenting them with relevant content, products, and brand experiences. And to do that, you need to turn your attention to business intelligence.
Business intelligence is all about collecting and collating as much internal and external data to drive efficient decision-making, minimize risks and financial waste, and boost operational efficiency. In the context of acquiring and retaining customers, leveraging BI is a great way to optimize all your messaging and strategies.
When it comes to tools, however, it’s usually between Power BI vs Looker as the two most popular solutions for growing businesses, but any tool will require testing to figure out if it’s the right one for you. Once you set up a solution to automatically collect customer, market, and behavioural data, you will be able to truly personalize your approach to acquisition and retention, giving every customer exactly what they need.
For many businesses in both B2C and B2B, and in almost every industry in the world, their website is their key selling point. But it should also be an important retention point for returning customers and for inspiring loyalty, repeat purchases, and referrals.
Without a doubt, having an optimized, UX and CX-driven website is important, but for customer retention, it’s vital to start focusing on dynamic pages and personalization. Dynamic web pages are the pages that display unique content to every customer based on their browsing and behavioural data.
Needless to say, you can optimize your website using dynamic web pages to provide truly relevant content to your visitors. During optimization, make sure to scale your visuals and imagery and increase the resolution of images to boost user experience, as you want to not only present relevant content but also leverage high-quality visuals to inspire action.
With personalized offers and products, your existing customers will always have a reason to keep coming back to your website.
Lastly, keep in mind that customer service can and should be one of your most powerful acquisition and retention tools. When people reach out to you via email, your website chat, or social DMs, your support staff should be ready to engage with them and guide them toward a positive outcome.
Whether they’re making a sale or warming them up with value-driven content and promotional products, your support department is instrumental in boosting retention.
They can also start offering personalized products or services based on the unique need of the individual. This will show customers that you know and understand their needs, and even if they don’t upsell, they will appreciate the amazing treatment they get.
Both customer acquisition and retention represent the foundation of business success, and you need to focus on both if you are to create a sustainable growth model for your business. One does not work without the other, and even though you will shift your focus slightly depending on your current position and goals, the fact remains that you need to acquire new customers and then transform them into loyal brand followers.
Instead of thinking of acquisition as a way to make a new sale and move on to the next prospect, always think of it as an opportunity to generate a new loyal customer who will keep coming back for more. This is how you’ll grow your brand’s presence and popularity—and how you’ll pretty much automate acquisition in the long run.
After all, news of satisfied, lifelong customers travels fast, so go ahead and double down on retention to ensure effortless business growth in the years to come.
Contact our team to learn more!4