The Ultimate Guide to Customer Acquisition Marketing

Customer Acquisition Marketing


Sure — everyone could use a bigger customer base — but few businesses have a clear plan to create that growth. Those who do often use a customer acquisition marketing approach, which transforms the sometimes chaotic process of finding new customers into a straightforward science. 

This article explores the entire world of customer acquisition marketing, key concepts to best practices, so you can see if the systematic methodology could be a good fit for your outfit. 

Let’s go! 

In this post, we’ll cover the following:

What is customer acquisition?

How do you measure customer acquisition?

What is CPA marketing?

What are the best mobile customer acquisition marketing tactics?

Top ways to diversify your customer acquisition marketing plan

Finding a customer acquisition marketing partner

What is customer acquisition?

Customer acquisition is when businesses transform prospects into customers via planning, tactics, and strategies. By distilling core aspects of revenue generation into a repeatable process, customer acquisition strategies enable companies to create sustainable and long-term growth. Because customer acquisition is a process that follows the entire buyer’s journey, it’s commonly represented as a funnel with three stages: awareness, consideration, and purchase. Let’s explore what happens in each of those stages: 

  • Awareness: This stage exists at what is known as the top of the funnel. During the awareness stage, companies create a general knowledge of their offerings within a target market to generate leads. 
  • Consideration: This stage is in the middle of the funnel. During the consideration stage, companies seek to cultivate leads into potential buyers through nurturing tactics.
  • Purchase: This stage is at the bottom of the funnel. During the purchase stage, companies seek to provide their highest probability leads with everything they need to commit and make a purchase.

How do you measure customer acquisition?

Measuring the impact of customer acquisition strategies enables companies to improve their effectiveness. The most common unit of measurement is the customer acquisition cost (CAC), which is how much it costs for a company to capture a new customer. The CAC is calculated by dividing marketing spend by the number of customers those promotions generated. Advertisers can use CAC to assess the overall efficacy of marketing efforts or understand the value of particular channels. When used in a channel-specific manner, CAC can help companies optimize their marketing spend.

Customer acquisition marketing is focused on finding new target audiences and converting them to customers. Customer acquisition marketing plans often use a variety of tactics to accomplish their stated goals, including the use of paid and organic channels. With the rise of mobile gaming over recent years, many customer acquisition marketing strategies tap into these audiences by partnering with mobile gaming advertising companies like Tapjoy

To keep exploring this topic in more depth, read What Is Customer Acquisition?

What is CPA marketing?

The acronym CPA has two meanings: cost per acquisition and cost per action. In this context, an acquisition is a specific type of action, capturing a new customer, whereas an action encompasses many other events, like subscribing to a newsletter. While CPA marketing means Cost Per Action marketing, companies can use the performance marketing model to only target acquisition actions. 

Although CPA marketing costs are higher than formats like cost per click (CPC) or cost per impression (CPI), the advantage is that the approach guarantees a high-value interaction will occur. If that interaction doesn’t happen, you don’t have to pay. This means that CPA marketing guarantees ROI. 

To understand more about the world of CPA marketing, read Cost Per Acquisition: CPA Marketing Explained. 

What are the best mobile customer acquisition marketing tactics? 

To build a successful customer acquisition strategy in 2022, you must include mobile. From using innovative advertising models to embracing authenticity, here are some of the best mobile customer acquisition marketing tactics. 

Meet them where they are

No matter how good your message is, it won’t be effective unless the right people hear it. To ensure you don’t whiff on this core component of your customer acquisition strategy, do a deep dive into your customers to understand where they like to spend their time. Different age groups, for example, tend to gravitate to different platforms. TikTok is particularly popular among Gen Z, on Instagram it’s Millennials, and Facebook has cornered Gen X and Boomers. While it’s certainly easier to go with the usual suspects when it comes to marketing channels, doing your homework can help you find exactly where your ads can have the best impact.

Use ads that inspire action

Most advertising is a one-sided affair, with customers passively consuming content that showcases an app’s features regardless of their actual viewing preferences. But there are models — like rewarded advertising — that use an incentivized, opt-in approach to create robust engagement. Tapjoy’s Offerwall rewards players who choose to interact with an ad with in-game currency, producing sky-high ROI. 

Don’t bait-and-switch

Mobile advertising has become notorious for bait-and-switch advertising, which is when the ad displayed doesn’t accurately reflect the experience of the app itself. This tactic can generate healthy-looking initial metrics but backfires in the long run as consumers become disappointed. There’s a line between enthusiastic promotion and deception, and advertisers should air on the side of authenticity to create real growth. 

For more tips and tactics for mobile success, read Customer Acquisition Strategy: 5 Tactics That Win in the Mobile Era.   

Top ways to diversify your customer acquisition marketing plan

Putting all your eggs in one basket is not a good idea, and neither is depending on one marketing channel to deliver on all your customer acquisition goals. Here are a few tips advertisers should use to add some variety to their customer acquisition marketing plan.

Find new channels

The first step towards diversifying your strategy is to understand your options, which means brainstorming new acquisition channels. With your audience and goals in mind, compile a list of all potential lead sources. Here’s some of the most important: 

  • Paid ads enable you to show your message to precisely the audience you care about. 
  • Social media accounts for four of the top five websites on earth, so it’s a good idea for any customer acquisition marketing plan to include the channel. 
  • Influencers can help you build credibility and capture new customers. 
  • Content can be used to answer customer questions and explain the power of your offering. 
  • Email is one of the most effective customer acquisition channels and can produce an ROI of 4200%
  • Search optimization can help your company own the information on critical topics when prospects use search engines. 

Use testing to mitigate risk 

Testing is critical to understanding which available channels are worth your marketing dollars. To succeed in customer acquisition marketing, you’ll want to use Javascript tags or server to server postbacks to track your CPA advertising results. This can be done through your analytics platform like Google Analytics or by partnering with a 3rd party tracking solution like Everflow or Tune. 

It’s also important to note that you don’t just want to use the minimum amount possible per channel as you test. To get a real sense of the potential of each channel, dedicate enough resources to give each a real shot at proving value. 

For two more diversification tactics, read Diversify Your Customer Acquisition Plan With These 4 Tips

Finding a customer acquisition marketing partner

Customer acquisition marketing is a powerful approach to marketing that maximizes ROI by focusing on what matters most to businesses: getting new customers. As with most areas of business, success in this area is mainly about building the right team to help you get to where you want to be. 
With an audience of over 1.6B consumers and a team of experts ready to answer your every question, Tapjoy is a seasoned customer acquisition marketing partner with the network, the tools, and the experience to help you succeed. But don’t just take our word for it: Sign up to run a test today.

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