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9 Customer Acquisition Tactics For Smart Marketers


There’s nothing better than a new customer, right?

And the sudden rush of blood to the head when you get a new sale notification is often the best reward.

But no sale happens by itself. You need to work your bones off to acquire customers and gee, you must know this well already.

But while some marketers struggle to scale their businesses, others have no problems in doing so. You could argue that their product is better or they operate in an easier niche. None of this makes anyone a better marketer though.

What does is often their ability to focus on strategies that put people first (after all, it’s people who buy your products, right?)

Strategies like these:

1. Using Big Content to Generate Buzz

A typical blog post is unlikely to generate much buzz. Big content on the other hand, one designed to, as Michael Stelzner puts it in his book “Launch”, give your business a powerful boost, can allow you to reach out to more prospects.

Buzzstream used this strategy with their “Linking Outside the Box”ebook presenting favourite link building strategies from top experts in the field. Needless to say, it worked better than anticipated. Just check out results they achieved.

2. Focusing on Long Tail Keywords

SEO is a foundation of many customer acquisition tactics, true. But instead of focusing only on your main keywords, target long tail ones as well. The aim with this strategy is not to increase traffic from search engines though. It’s to increase conversions by targeting phrases that will result in sales.

Yes, there mightn’t be that many visitors searching for those keywords. Those that do however can convert pretty well.

My former competitor, Bike Racks Shops uses this strategy with their resource centre, targeting users with a very specific problem or question relating to products they are selling.

3. Creating Beginner Guides

Developing guides can be a huge investment, both in time and money. This strategy however allows you to tap into a pool of customers deeply interested in the area you work in and looking for authoritative resource to learn from.

Even though typical guide can take up to few months of work, between data gathering, writing and development it’s worth it though. If done well, guides are hugely powerful from the growth perspective.

One example is QuickSprout’s “The Complete Guide to Building Your Blog Audience”, a powerful guide that needless to say, always ranks for many content marketing searches I use.

Positionly uses this strategy too with their Knowledge Base. So does Distilled educating their audience with DistilledU.

4. Building Helpful Tools

Nothing in marketing beats being helpful. It doesn’t matter what you sell, there is always something you could do to make your clients lives easier while gently pushing them to the top of your sales funnel. Just look at HubSpots Marketing Grader. It’s free, fun to use but also, tells you exactly what’s wrong with your site and offers a solution – their software. Ingenious if you ask me. Another example is Positionly’s Search Rank App, which helps users with traffic estimation from search engines.

RitzCarlton does the same with their simple wedding cost calculator helping couples to work out the best way to allocate their wedding resources.

5. Engaging in Forum Marketing

I first heard of forum marketing tactic while starting my old ecommerce company. Dan Rhodes, the guy I picked it up from wrote at length about it so let me just summarize it for you here.

In this tactic you find specialist forums and conversations you can join. You begin to monitor them for mentions of your product or any related term you choose and join in when you can add something valuable to the discussion. And when the opportunity arises, you plug your product or service.

Now, I am simplifying the process here of course. But you can get the idea how it works. I wrote more detailed explanation of it here. Or just check Dan’s original piece for a full run through.

Forum marketing works because you talk to people where people like to talk to others. You answer their questions and offer advice and build relationships with them. Simply.

6. Tracking and Reacting to Competitor Mentions

This is another tactic I used successfully in my store, often together with forum marketing.

In this strategy you need to monitor the web for mentions of your competitors, their brand or their products. Each such mention is an opportunity to build a relationship with that person which can result in exposure and mentions for your brand as well. Not to mention that it can also help you develop media relationships, resulting in additional PR for your business.

7. Developing Online Partnerships

Partnerships thrive in the offline world. Businesses build relations with one another offering supplementary services or products, becoming resellers, agents or helping each other in many other ways. And, it works.

It’s no different online. You can develop similar partnerships on the web, with one major advantage though – you can do it on a much larger scale.

For example, you could launch an affiliate program and allow web masters to resell your product. Or develop strategic partnerships with other companies who could use your product as part of their offering or offer it as a perk to their customers. In either case, you can gain exposure to new audiences at a fraction of what it would cost you to achieve with any other marketing strategy.

8. Networking

I am amazed how many online marketers overlook one of their greatest asset – people they already know. Current customers, personal connections, business connections can greatly help in scaling customer acquisition. They can be your doorway to new markets. People know people, and you never know when a personal connection could lead to a mention in a national press for instance.

9. Reviving Old Customers

Every business has stale or former clients. These are people who no longer buy from you. And unless they had a negative experience with you, they offer a huge potential for helping you acquire new customers.

How? Because they could become clients again. You could try to revive them with an offer they simply can’t refuse. Not all of them will pick you up on it but some will. Meaning only more sales for your business.