Customer Acquisition – A Definition
Customer acquisition encompasses all measures and processes a company takes to win new customers. As part of their customer acquisition, companies approach potential new buyers and convince them of their products’ quality so that a deal can be concluded. Furthermore, companies ideally bind their customers to their offers over the long term in this way. The acquisition process thus includes the entire customer or buyer journey.
Customer acquisition is part of sales and relevant for all companies – regardless of whether they are self-employed, freelancers, SMEs, or large companies. When it comes to customer acquisition, it is not about defining the target group for one’s products or services, but rather about marketing these services.
Customer groups companies primarily address their products and services should be clear to them in the run-up to customer acquisition. To reach potential buyers and convince them to buy, companies need to develop a strategy.
Sales usually use this strategy as it is the person who conducts the sales calls. Companies develop advertising materials for online or offline use as part of customer acquisition in close cooperation between sales and marketing.
Cold calling or warm calling?
The acquisition of new customers takes place as a cold or warm acquisition. In the case of a cold call, the company has not previously maintained any contact with the people, companies, or institutions to which it is submitting its offers.
Therefore, it proactively contacts. Instruments for cold calling are, for example, letters, flyers, mailings, or telephone calls. In a broader sense, the website or the company’s conventional advertising presence are also part of this new customer acquisition.
With a warm acquisition, a company has already contacted the targeted buyer beforehand. As a rule, these are people or companies with whom a customer relationship existed in the past but who have not made a purchase for a long time. It is considered to be easier and often more promising than cold calling.
Especially if the experience with a company’s offers is good, the chances are high that previous buyers will decide again for a product or service. The warm acquisition also includes reactivating business contacts that have arisen at trade fairs or conferences. It is possible to send such an email a few days after the meeting with further information on the company’s offers.
Note – With both acquisition constellations, it is important to proceed strategically and develop individual instruments for addressing customers.
Is cold calling still permitted?
The legislature has severely restricted the tools for cold calling. About addressing private individuals, the Act against Unfair Competition prohibits companies from contacting them by phone, letter, or email if the addressee has not given their express consent.
For legally unproblematic e-mail acquisition, customers must complete a so-called double opt-in procedure by agreeing twice that their contact details may be used for advertising purposes.
The first consent is usually given by potential buyers entering their contact details on a form. You will then receive a link by email that you can click to accept and confirm the contact. Even with other variants of cold calling (letter, Telephone) in the private customer segment, the written consent of the person contacted is required.
Companies that buy address data must ensure that the persons’ consent to be contacted for advertising purposes is available. Cold calling is a little easier in the B2B business. For example, a telephone acquisition is possible without the prior consent of the person contacted if the person is likely to be interested in their own offers.
An important criterion is that your own range of services is relevant to the potential customer company’s business activities. For example, a telephone acquisition is possible without the prior consent of the person contacted if the person is likely to be interested in their own offers.
An important criterion is that your own range of services is relevant to the potential customer company’s business activities. For example, a telephone acquisition is possible without the prior consent of the person contacted if the person is likely to be interested in their own offers. An important criterion is that your own range of services is relevant to the potential customer company’s business activities.
Tips for successful customer acquisition
1. Know your own target group
In order to win new customers or to address previous buyers, companies should know their target group (s) as well as possible. The target group’s requirements and needs make it possible to strategically design the instruments for customer acquisition.
For example, it is advisable to contact business customers personally. For private customers, age plays a role, among other things, when it comes to addressing them appropriately. In this way, companies can reach younger target groups on the Internet and via social media channels.
2. Apply the KISS principle – Keep it short and simple
Potential buyers expect focused information. Companies are particularly successful in their customer acquisition if they manage to convey the advantages of their offers in a few precise statements during the opening of the conversation (according to the KISS principle). If this approach is convincing, the potential customer will likely ask for more information.
3. Use a CRM system – build the customer database.
By using a CRM system and constantly updating it, companies always overview their existing customer base. This allows targeted warm acquisition and individualized service offers.
4. Structured customer approach
A structured customer approach has a convincing effect on the addressees. It also enables you to implement your own acquisition strategy in a targeted manner. It is ideal if the sales staff use structured guidelines for such a sales talk.
5. Digital instruments for new customer acquisition and customer loyalty
Shaping customer relationships within the framework of new customer acquisition and long-term loyalty to the existing customer base have been shifting heavily to the Internet for several years. In the meantime, the mobile Internet plays a prominent role in this.
By using digital tools, companies optimize their customer acquisition and reach their target groups where they communicate. Essential aspects of the digital customer approach are a professional design of your own website, including search engine optimization and responsive web design, search engine marketing, individualized communication, and a strategic selection of digital communication channels.
6. Using influencers for customer acquisition
In the social media area, so-called influencers are becoming increasingly important for marketing brands and services. It should be noted that influencers and their fan communities match their own brand and targeted customer groups.
Depending on the product and brand, micro-influencers often offer better opportunities for a successful acquisition, as they appear authentic and develop personal relationships with their followers.
By carefully selecting contacts to acquire new customers, companies avoid wastage. In this way, you optimize your chances of success and reduce acquisition costs.