The marketer’s guide to customer acquisition

Over the past six years, the cost of acquiring new customers has increased by 60%.

However, the need for new customers is still as important as ever for many brands.

This means that marketers have to get smart with their customer acquisition. They need to fine-tune their strategy to ensure it is as targeted and cost-effective as possible. Only putting resource into the best performing channels and tactics, to convert and acquire the right kind of audience.

In this guide, we will explain what customer acquisition is, key acquisition channels, and how to execute your own successful customer acquisition strategy.

For marketers, better starts here.

What is customer acquisition?

In a nutshell, customer acquisition is the process of generating new customers for your brand or business.

Customer acquisition can often be confused with lead generation. Where the two differ is that customer acquisition encompasses almost all stages of the sales funnel  and buying cycle, which are working towards generating the new customer. Whereas lead generation is just one stage within the customer acquisition process.

There are a variety of channels that marketers can utilise for customer acquisition:

Key customer acquisition channels

Most marketing channels are aimed at acquiring new customers in some shape or form. Here are some of the most popular:


SEO (search engine optimisation) supports customer acquisition by increasing traffic to your website through organic search.

This is achieved through optimising your website to rank better within SERPs (search engine results pages), such as Google or Bing. A massive 75% of online users don’t venture past the first page of search results. Meaning that it’s pretty essential for brands who rely on their online presence to rank as high as possible to obtain new customers.

SEO is particularly effective for customer acquisition as it enables consumers to find your website without even knowing your brand name. Instead, through best practice SEO, your website is optimised to appear in SERPs for relevant keywords such as “children’s clothing” or “best dog food”.

SEO, however, is a long term customer acquisition strategy. It requires an ongoing commitment to optimising the website and creating content, as well as keeping on top of regular algorithm updates (especially from Google).

Therefore, it does take time to see results. And doesn’t offer an immediate increase in customer acquisition.

SEO and Customer Acquisition

Paid advertising

Paid advertising, or PPC, addresses a similar stage of the customer journey as SEO. Namely, research via search engines such as Google.

PPC, however, offers a shorter-term solution for acquisition.

Instead of requiring the long term commitment of optimisation to rank for specific keywords. PPC offers the ability to bid for higher rankings. Therefore, the more you are willing to bid, the higher you are likely to rank.

Of course, this can become costly. And it doesn’t come without its challenges. Ranking isn’t the only factor in encouraging consumers to click through. Paid ads can be competitive, so you also need to ensure your advertisements are well written and entice the customer to click through to your landing page.

Additionally, some consumers are becoming savvy to paid advertisements. And will skim them entirely, instead opting for organic results. Which can be considered more trustworthy.

Paid Advertising and Customer Acquisition


Events can come in various stages of the funnel. For instance, brands exhibiting at a trade show can engage with potential customers who weren’t even aware of who they are.

However, by hosting events, brands can engage with customers further down the funnel who know who the brand is, have already made some form of initial contact, and want to know more.

Events offer a way for potential customers to directly engage with the brand and the people who work there. Whether they are online or offline, they offer brands an opportunity to showcase their skills and customer experience. Something that cannot be shown using many other marketing channels.

However, events can be costly. Trade shows and exhibitions will involve the design and build of a stand, event goodies, collateral, and the fee for attending.

And hosting your own event will include much of the above, as well as the rental for the event space or online event service. And additional resource for managing and executing the event.

Events & Customer Acquisition

Social media

Social media offers an outlet to promote your latest content, products, and offers to an audience who have specifically opted in to receive your updates. Whether they have liked your Facebook page, follow you on Instagram, or have added you on TikTok.

Whilst brands can ensure they are discoverable on social media networks by optimising their accounts and posts with keywords, images, and hashtags. Much of the engagement will begin once a consumer begins following the brand. So there will already be an element of interest from the consumer.

The majority of posts on social media will direct users back to the website. However, social selling is on the increase. With networks such as Instagram offering shopping-enabled photos which highlight products directly in the post.

Social Media & Customer Acquisition


We’re not going to lie, we may have saved our favourite acquisition channel to last.

For starters, 66% of consumers have gone on to make a purchase due to receiving a marketing email.

And there are so many approaches to customer acquisition that you can take with email marketing.

Firstly, email marketing enables brands to highly personalise their communications based on demographic, behavioural, and purchase data. This leads to a highly relevant experience that is unrivalled by other channels.

And the types of campaigns that you can run are always extensive. Consider product recommendations and promotions based on items that they have previously browsed. This could include one-off promotions and offers, or abandoned basket and browse emails.

Or, to keep potential customers engaged, brands can run nurturing campaigns to keep these contacts warm and ready to purchase. Including subtle promotions and offers along the way.

Email Marketing and Customer Acquisition

The glue that holds all channels together

As well as being a successful acquisition channel, email is the glue that holds all of the above together.

No matter what channel you decide to focus on, you will come across one key challenge: keeping in touch with the potential customer.

No matter how well your website ranks, how engaged a consumer is at your event, or how many likes and follows you have. If you aren’t able to continue to keep in touch with the potential customer, then you may never acquire them.

That’s where email comes to the rescue.

Marketers can collate the information they collect through customer acquisition channels to build an email list of their potential customers. This offers marketers a direct line to communicate with them, nurture them, and acquire them.

Improving your customer acquisition

To begin improving your customer acquisition strategy, you first need to establish who you want your customers to be.

This is based on identifying your target audience, and managing their data effectively for the smooth running of campaigns.

Identify your target market

First things first, let’s identify which consumers are most likely to buy from you in the most cost-effective way possible.


The best place to begin when identifying and understanding your target market is your own data

Who are the people who browse your website most regularly? How old are they? Where are they based? What products do they browse?

Aim to discover whatever key identifiers you need from your audience through your data. And if you don’t have this information, then ask for it through audience surveys and questionnaires.


You can then use this data to build personas based on who your ideal customer would be.

Personas are a representation of your ideal customers based on the data and knowledge you have. Personas can include name, age, gender, profession, favourite brands, and even hobbies and family life.

The goal is to tailor your customer acquisition strategy directly to these personas. So that no resource, budget, and time is spent creating campaigns that don’t appeal to these individuals.


Segmentation of your data is also a useful way of splitting out different audiences and target markets for your campaigns.

Segmentation can be based on any attributes that are useful to your business and the personalisation of campaigns. Such as age, profession, or location. Or based on their behaviour, such as how often they visit your website, or the product ranges they regularly browse.

Focus on your best channels

One size fits all marketing can be a drain on resource and budget. Instead, it is better to focus on the channels that you know will acquire the customers you want.


Key to acquiring customers is spending your time, resource, and budget on the channels that actually convert and acquire your customers.

As we mentioned previously, email is the glue that holds many attribution channels together. Therefore when planning an acquisition strategy or campaigns, email is always one of the key channels that should be focused on.

And of course, your website is another element of your campaigns that is tied to almost all of your attribution channels. For many brands, it is the last stage of the conversion journey that a customer visits before making a purchase. Therefore, the website should be as optimised as possible for acquisition.

Other than email and website, we recommend looking at your data to identify your top-performing channels for acquisition. And continue to monitor the results of these channels, long term, to identify if you are putting your time and resource into the correct place.

Resource and budget

Attribution isn’t the only element that should dictate the channels which you choose for your acquisition strategy.

Your resource and budget you have will also have an impact.

For businesses on a tight budget, you will want to get the most out of your marketing, without spending a fortune.

This may mean that paid advertising and events aren’t the right channels for you.

Instead, focus on channels such as SEO and social media, which whilst taking longer to generate results, don’t require significant spending.

Email marketing is also an ideal channel that doesn’t require high ongoing spend. This is especially true with the use of email automation. Once emails are created and set up, they can be left to run in the background without costing additional budget, or taking up lots of extra resource.

Work through the buying cycle

Now you have identified your target audience and your customer acquisition channels, you will need to determine the campaigns and communications that you choose to run.

To ensure that you are moving consumers through the buying cycle to becoming a customer, we recommend shaping your plan around the following stages:


Awareness is the stage where consumers understand they have a problem, and they are beginning to research solutions.

This is when you need to shout about your brand.

Appearing on searches using PPC, SEO, and social media, as well as attending and hosting relevant events which they will find, are ideal channels to build brand awareness,

But what should also be key is catching their information at this stage, ideally their email address.

This means you now have a direct line to the consumer, enabling you to move them through the following stages of the journey more smoothly. 


At this stage, consumers are really starting to consider your brand as an option to purchase from.

This is the stage when you want to provide information about your brand and product offering in the most engaging way possible.

Again, email is essential to achieving this. Once they have signed up to receive email communications from you, you can send out welcome campaigns, product recommendations, sales, and offers. All with the goal of turning the consumer into a brand new customer.

And even better, email can utilise the data that you capture on each consumer on an ongoing basis, such as the products they regularly browse. This enables you to send out highly relevant and personalised emails, recommending the products that are most likely to convert.

Email Marketing & Customer Acquisition

Email Marketing & Customer Acquisition


During this stage, consumers will begin to compare your brand and products to others.

This is the point where you really need to prove yourselves, your offering, and your solution to their problem.

So instead of focusing on just products, now is the time to share information. Useful content, delivery times, reviews, and ratings. All of this information will build trust between your brand and the potential customer. And reassure them that it makes logical, financial, and emotional sense to choose you.


Finally, you are at the last stage of the buying cycle. Purchase.

This is the stage where you acquire your new customers and start to make some money.

At this stage they are well aware of your brand. They are convinced that you offer the best product and service on the market. But, they may just need that final nudge into making a purchase.

Therefore, you want to promote your latest sales, promotions, and discounts. Whether that be for all consumers, so promoted on your website and social media. Or, maybe it’s just for those consumers who have been engaging with you, but have yet to purchase. Which are perfect for personalised discount codes via email marketing campaigns.

Email Marketing & Customer Acquisition

Are you looking to improve your customer acquisition?

At Pure360, we specialise in helping brands acquire new customers using our all-in-one AI email and web marketing platform alongside our Customer Success Team.

We can offer endless tactics and personalisation options for your email and website marketing. Ensuring that all of your acquisition channels are connected. And that the consumer data you collect is being utilised properly.

Get in touch with our experts to find out more.

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