5 Startup Customer Acquisition Strategies That Work In 2023

startup customer acquisition strategies
Table of Contents

Are you a startup? Do you have an awesome product?

Also, are you looking for more channels to acquire new customers?

If yes, you are in the right place.

We will cover 5 startup customer acquisition strategies that are bound to work in 2023 & beyond.

But first, let’s discuss what customer acquisition actually is.

Customer Acquisition: How it Can Work for Your Startup!

Customer acquisition is any process taken to bring a potential customer down in your funnel and finally make him pay to use your product or service.

So, how does it all start?

It all starts by bringing awareness to the masses about your product so the ones that are really interested in your product start engaging with you.

5 Startup Customer Acquisiton Strategies That Will Start Working for You Right Away 

Publishing Beginner-Friendly Guides Around Your Product

Generating content for your advanced prospects won’t help you much especially when you are just starting out. 

However, generating guides or comprehensive content that covers all the aspects of your product will get the ball rolling in your initial stage. 

This means you have to work your heart out to create great content. This content not only teaches but also helps your potential customers to level up their skills using your product or service. 

Generally speaking, there are a lot of beginners in every field, so when you start creating user-friendly tutorials, you definitely get eyeballs to it.

And when engagement increases with your content, you get users at the top of your funnel.

For example, Canva is a great tool for designing for non-designers. They made beginner-friendly guides to help their users start off with Canva itself as part of their customer acquisition plan.

Startup Customer Acquisition Strategies

Using SEO to Your Advantage

As a startup, it will be difficult for you to burn a lot of cash in inorganic streams of marketing. And although Search Engine Optimization is a long-term game, it gives you better conversion when done right.

Analyzing your customers’ pain points in your domain and answering their questions within your blogs will help you with your customer acquisition efforts. 

Target long tail keywords with specific answers. There will be too much competition for short tail or head keywords. But, when the query becomes specific there is less competition for it.

When you target keywords with specific search queries, it is most likely to have a low search volume with a difficulty level that is easy to rank for. A keyword search for “adorable home cat food bowls” has 30 volumes with a difficulty of just 6% in Semrush.

Startup Customer Acquisition Strategies

Hence, identifying these types of keywords will give you a boost in organic traffic & decrease the customer acquisition costs for your startup over a period of time.

Use tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Ubersuggest to identify the long-tail keywords that pertain to your target audience. You can also use web scraping tools to collect keyword results, identify opportunities for guest blogging, develop a content marketing strategy, and more.  

SEO is made up of multiple elements & knowing what they are and how they work is key to understanding why SEO is important for your startup. It is a valuable customer acquisition channel that helps with brand awareness, building relationships, and thus positioning your brand as a trustworthy and credible source in your domain. 

In short, SEO is important as it makes your website more visible, which means there is more potential to convert prospects into customers.

Building a Free Tool 

Go out of the box and create a tool that is going to convert traffic into customers over time.

I mean who doesn’t love free things? 

Be the Santa in your domain!

Ok, so you might be thinking about how giving a free tool can help me in acquiring new customers through the traffic I generate.

Here’s an example:
Nutanix is a SaaS-based cloud company that lets you host applications on the cloud. They provide a VDI calculator to help users with planning ahead before actually using their service.

This tool helps organizations make business decisions in terms of investment and infrastructure.

This tactic works great for them as they are helping their potential users finalize their decision before actually using their service. And they do all this for free!

Startup Customer Acquisition Strategies

You can also think of providing something for free before your customer actually uses your product or service. Over time this may be one of your go-to customer acquisition channels for your startup. 

With customer acquisition strategies like inside sales and paid acquisition, you have to constantly burn dollars to acquire more customers. 

To then scale the acquisition, you invest in sales or ads. Over time these marketing strategies diminish because the incremental cost of adding new users increases.

Instead of making the baseline product free, you can release a separate tool that is meant for lead generation. This tool generates qualified leads at a much lower cost. 

Over time, It’s much more money efficient, because no more sales or marketing expenses are on the top to scale your main product. 

Free tools are a CAC (customer acquisition cost) hack that can help you lift up the curve in favor of you. Patrick Campbell, CEO of Price Intelligently, explains why they released a better product for free.

Reaching Out to Social Media Influencers

This is a widely used strategy for startup acquisition. 

Influencer marketing is an effective marketing strategy used by almost 90% of marketers today.

Startup Customer Acquisition Strategies

Credits: Influencer MarketingHub

Look out for top influencers in your niche. Make a list of influencers who use or promote products like yours on social media.

Getting word of mouth from those will get you the credibility you need for your startup. And can boost your sales in no time!

Influencer marketing can help when your focus is on both brand awareness and acquisition. You can engage influencers to create buzz and increase brand awareness with strategies focused on getting your product/brand name mentioned and shared. 

This helps increase brand followers and engagement. 

When you have good followership and engagement on your brand, the focus can be shifted to converting the followers by giving out coupon codes or unique swipe-up links or can even affiliate influencers so as to get good sales and thus increase the ROI.

Influencer marketing remains the only channel that can allow startups to implement brand awareness, increase referral traffic, and help in acquiring customers via visual content.

Email Marketing

With all those newer platforms coming into the market, the top marketers still consider email marketing as their top performing channel.

Startup Customer Acquisition Strategies

Source: Oberlo

Building an email list, further nurturing the prospects, and finally converting them into clients is still the go-to targeted customer acquisition strategy for many startup companies.

Keeping your email list informed about any product updates, coupons, discounts, events and everything else that is related to your business or product will help you build your relationship with the prospects.

Your business should definitely use email drip campaigns as an effective communication channel with your customers. 

Even if you don’t have a long list of emails. 

Now, basic parts of email acquisition are:

  1. Building an email list
  2. Running an email campaign on the list
  3. Optimizing the campaigns to increase CTR and conversion 
  4. Adding more email addresses to your list as you go

As soon as you start building your email list, start to plan out the campaigns. It all starts with the perfect emails that people would love to open!

Basic strategies to expand your list:

  1. Promote it on your website
  2. Use your brand’s social media pages
  3. Create shareable content

There are a ton of ways through which you can increase your email signup, like popups, static forms, landing pages, new promotion offers, etc.

Invite followers from social media pages to join. You can also send direct invites to people. If people follow you on social media they are likely interested in knowing the product and market updates that come under your domain. 

You can also consider different services and programs, such as an email automation tool, to get emails to your customers. 

But the biggest secret to email marketing is personalization. The more personalized your emails are, the higher your conversion rate will be.

Final Take on Startup Customer Acquistion Strategies

Customer acquisition is not only increasing the number of users for your product/brand but it is also about acquiring the most valuable customers that will stick around with you and your business and ultimately will become the brand advocates who convert even more people.

The basics of every startup customer acquisition strategy start with defining the customer persona, and only then you can create a targeted and diversified strategy that over time gets on auto-pilot mode and brings in the conversion for you. 

The key though is consistency, be specific with whatever you are presenting to your potential customers, and your brand messaging should leave an impact on your audience. 

Lastly, it is important to monitor your strategies and optimize them whenever required. We all know that the customer acquisition process is an ongoing and demanding one.

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Picture of Divanshu Khatter
Divanshu Khatter
Divanshu is an engineer turned marketer. As SEO Manager, he is responsible for implementing strategies that help Scrapingdog to increase brand awareness, generate leads and acquire new customers. When he isn't working you'll find Divanshu reading, watching thriller shows, or playing online games.
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