By Natalia • 1. February 2024
New Customer Acquisition that works.

The first customer is the most difficult to win. But even after that, you constantly need new customers to make your business profitable in the long term. New customer acquisition is therefore an important prerequisite for the success of a company.

What measures can you take to win new customers in a targeted manner? How do you turn a potential customer into a real one? Maybe even a regular customer?

In the following article you will find the best of all possible measures of new customer acquisition and learn about their advantages and disadvantages. Secure and increase your profit by introducing the measures that are best for you and your business!

What does new customer acquisition mean?

The term new customer acquisition or customer acquisition includes all strategies that serve you to win new customers. It starts with the first contact and ends with the purchase of your products or service.

How do you introduce yourself to a new customer?

First impressions count. He decides whether we like someone or not. This also applies to you and your potential customers. So what do you need to do to attract nine customers to you and your business? 

Get to know and understand the target group

Who do you want to reach? Where can you find these people? What moves them? And above all:

What problems does your target group have and what goals does it pursue? 

Only when you have clarified these questions, you know with which solution and in what way you address your potential new customers. 

How do you present yourself and your company at the first contact?

No matter which methods of acquiring new customers you choose, remember the following tips:

  • People like people.

We do not communicate with companies, but with people. So always stay authentic. Listen carefully and show understanding. This makes you approachable and therefore likeable. 

  • People think about their own advantage.

Show them how your business will solve their problem. 

  • People don't have time.

Listen and answer all questions. But get to the point quickly and clearly.

  • People love gifts.

A small gift to start with is a real door opener. It shows your commitment, highlights your expertise and builds trust.

A sought-after lead magnet is therefore an essential part of new customer acquisition. 

Which measures for new customer acquisition are right for you?

As a decision-maker about strategies for acquiring new customers for your company, first answer the following questions:

What's the best way to get new customers?

  1. What is your budget for customer acquisition? (Can you afford external help for sales? Can you pay for ads?)
  2. How many staff do you have available for acquisition? (If you don't have new customer acquisition departments, who should take care of acquisition?)
  3. Who is your target audience?
  4. What are the needs of your target group? What problem?
  5. Where do you find your target audience? Where do you pick them up? (Is she sitting on the phone/computer? Does she walk through the city? Is she sitting at the hairdresser?)
  6. Are you looking for your customers in the B2B or B2C sector?
  7. What legal provisions do you have to observe?
  8. Who are your competitors?
  9. Why should the customer buy from you? What solution to the problem does your company offer?

Depending on which niche you are in, which products you offer, and which customer groups you want to reach, you will use different methods of new customer acquisition. 

New customer acquisition measures at a glance

  1. Cold-calling
  2. Use and expand your own network
  3. Mailing by post
  4. Print Ads
  5. TV and radio advertising
  6. Online marketing
  7. Email and newsletter marketing
  8. Referral Marketing
  9. Events and Fairs

9 Measures for customer acquisition

Both the traditional new customer acquisition methods, as well as the diverse online marketing, both have their justification.  It is the interplay of specifically selected measures that increases your chance of acquiring new customers immensely.

1. Cold-calling

Customer acquisition by telephone is a classic cold call. This strategy requires a lot of empathy, patience and enthusiasm. However, this form of new customer acquisition is prohibited by law by the UWG§7 (Act against Unfair Competition) in the B2C sector without the express consent of the called person. 

In the B2B sector, the presumed consent of the other person must be available for telephone acquisition. For example, as a producer of packaging material, you can assume that a shoe manufacturer may need your services.

This method for acquiring new customers is a rather difficult patch. However, depending on the industry, the products offered, and the skills of your sales, it can make you a lot of money. 

Important tips on telephone acquisition from our own experience:

  • Call only potentially interested customer groups.
  • Talk to the decision-maker as much as possible.
  • Have a short pre-qualification interview. 
  • Use a script.
  • Have answers to all sorts of questions and objections ready.
  • Stay tuned! (Winning a good new customer at 100 no's is worth it.)

2. Use and expand your own network

Whether you're just starting your business or already have access to a customer base, each of us has an existing network. This starts with friends and acquaintances and extends to our social media contacts and existing business relationships.

Use it to attract new customers:

  • Actively address your friends and acquaintances.
  • Get to know contacts at meetups and events. The larger your network, the easier it will be to acquire customers directly and indirectly. 
  • Be active on social media, get involved in groups, comment, etc... 

3. Mailing by post

In contrast to email marketing, the normal postal service seems a bit old-school. However, he has some advantages over online marketing for new customer acquisition:

  • No active consent of the recipient is required.
  • Addressed mailings will also be delivered to the mailbox with "Please no advertising".
  • They do not end up in the spam folder.
  • They are noticed, even if they end up in the trash can (brand awareness).
  • With the paper quality and the presentation, you can draw attention to the quality of your products or services.
  • When opening mail, potential customers have a haptic experience. Unpacking is associated with positive feelings (gifts, shopping, etc.).
  • If you call or write an email later, people already know you.

There are three different types of mailing by post:

  1. Unaddressed mailings, such as brochures, flyers, weekly offers as direct mail, etc. Here you only roughly filter your target group by zip code and region.
  2. Partially addressed mailings with the inscription "To the residents of the house". Here you select consumers according to age, purchasing power, family structure and consumption habits.
  3. You address addressed mailings or direct mailings to a specific person in the household or company. They usually include an individual cover letter and offers that are tailored to the recipient.

4th. Print Ads

The acquisition of new customers via the good old print media is one of the more conservative methods. The reach of print media is decreasing more and more. Users are increasingly switching to the online editions of newspapers, magazines and trade journals.

Nevertheless, there are various ways to acquire new customers in this type of customer acquisition:

  • Ads in trade magazines work well with B2C customers in regional newspapers and in the B2B section in industry-specific trade magazines. Older customers are great here.
  • Flyers are a quick to implement and cost-effective method of customer acquisition. Especially for small businesses with a low budget. However, this only makes sense if this advertising measure is locally and specifically tailored to your target group. As a small example: You are a fitness trainer and display your flyers in the gyms of your city.
  • Posters: These are well suited for local customer acquisition, as they are installed in strategically optimal locations. This makes sense especially when announcing promotions and special events (e.g. open day). 

5. Radio and TV advertising

This form of winning customers is only interesting for the B2C sector on the regional market. Your advertising will then be shown on the local radio or TV station, possibly in the local cinema.

Here is another example: You have a local craft business. There will most likely be some people in the radius of the transmitter who need your services and know-how.

6. Online marketing

Whether your business is B2B or B2C, everything happens online today. An appealing website and strong social media presence are simply part of a business. These are the flagship of your company and often the first point of contact for customer acquisition.

Your website, your social media channels, your email list: this is your real estate on the Internet. 

This gives you a variety of different options for new customer acquisition and lead generation. But also the opportunity to keep existing customers up to date and thus continue to bind them to your company.

But what does online marketing involve?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Google is the most used search engine in the world. In Germany alone, almost 90% of all online queries are made via Google . So you can assume that your future customers will also be looking for the solution to their problem here.

But how do you make sure they're finding your business in their search?

One of the most important methods for this is SEO (search engine optimization).

SEO refers to all optimization measures of a website so that it is found for selected keywords in search engines such as Google and Co. These include:

  • Content building and optimization
  • Backlink building (links to your homepage on other websites)
  • User journey optimization (the path and experience of your website visitors)
  • Technical optimization (e.g. speed of the website or its mobile capability)

The goal of SEO is to get into the top three in Google search.

SEO measures are a long-term and sustainable investment.  They therefore also need a lot of patience. With paid ads, you can reach your desired goal acutely faster.

SEA (Search Engine Advertising) - paid advertising in Google

Are you just starting your new business? Do you have a lot of competition? Are your keywords difficult but not dispensable? 

Then you can use Google ads to get your business talking. 

With sales or lead generation as the main goal and a little initial capital, Google Ads are the perfect tool for customer acquisition. 

Google ads are chargeable. The costs vary from less than a cent per click to several dollars, depending on the number of competitors and the popularity of the keywords.

In Google Ads Manager, you can easily create your own ad and reach your potential new customers immediately.

However, attracting customers only works well if you:

  • do extensive keyword research.
  • choose the right advertising campaign for your goal (collect leads, sell directly, expand reach...).
  • constantly analyze and optimize the displays.

If you don't, there's a high risk of just losing a lot of money. But if you are committed, you will be rewarded with successful new customer acquisition.

With paid ads, you can get fantastic results quickly. But you pay for it. SEO, on the other hand, is a long-term investment that works for you permanently.

So a combination of SEO and PPC is optimal.

Social Media & Influencer Marketing

The job of social media marketing is to build a relationship with your potential new customers. Actively bringing your product and company into the conversation is only part of it. Reaching your target groups through helpful content, exciting stories and influential influencers builds trust and loyal fans.

Depending on the target group, you will use other channels as a company and/or person. Whether LinkedIn or Xing (especially in B2B), Facebook (target groups of older semesters) or Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and TikTok - the possibilities for lead generation and new customer acquisition are immense:

  • Produce relevant and exciting content.
  • Communicate (comment, like and share posts from others).
  • Be active in groups and start your own groups.
  • Organize events and start discussions.
  • Work with influencers (more about influencer marketing here).
  • Get your employees on board as corporate influencers.
  • Use targeted social media advertising (e.g. for brand awareness and lead generation).

Successful social media marketing is time-consuming and costly (employees for content production and channel maintenance, partnerships with influencers, advertising...) 

This makes it all the more important to turn the fans into leads and bring them further into your universe via email and newsletter marketing.

7. Email & Newsletter Marketing

Email marketing and cold calling via email are two different things. However, the rules of the GDPR apply to both. 

Cold customer acquisition by e-mail

This type of acquisition is not allowed. Unlike telephone acquisition, you may not write to anyone by e-mail without prior consent with the aim of selling him something. Neither in the B2C or B2B sector. Nevertheless, many entrepreneurs successfully use e-mails for new customer acquisition.

Automated email campaigns

Classic email marketing is still one of the most effective methods of customer acquisition. As soon as you have received the consent of your subscribers in accordance with the GDPR , you may contact them. But how do you get email addresses of potential customers?

Both on your website and on your social media channels, you invite you to subscribe to your email list. Either via the simple newsletter registration form or with the help of lead magnets. 

The average email conversion rate in 2021 is over 15%!

Here's an example: You have a company that offers fairly produced wedding rings. So your target group are environmentally conscious people who want to get married and want a sustainable wedding. On your website, you could now offer a wedding guide for sustainable weddings for free as a lead magnet. Interested parties will receive this as a thank you as soon as they have subscribed to your newsletter list. 

Once subscribers have confirmed their registration, you have gained a new lead. Now it's your job to make him your customer.

However, each lead is in a different phase of its customer journey. For example, some are just dreaming of a big trip around the world, but are still far from planning it and buying something for it. Others are already looking specifically for a waterproof backpack.

This results in various marketing campaigns and sales funnels in which potential or existing customers with different content are picked up by e-mail or newsletter.

A regularly sent newsletter supports these measures accordingly. In order to be able to use this type of lead nurturing efficiently and purposefully, there is the possibility to automate it. 

The more email lists and subscribers you have, the more emails you send, and the more different marketing campaigns you run, the more important it becomes to have a reliable marketing automation tool (which is also gentle on your wallet).

8. Referral marketing via rating portals

Studies have shown that Germans prefer to choose their service providers on the recommendation of acquaintances and friends. 

Recommendation by Word of Mouth

The best advertising is always when a satisfied customer in his circle of acquaintances recommends your company via word-of-mouth. Even if the person doesn't need your services or products at that moment, they will remember that recommendation at the right moment.

Affiliate Marketing

On a large scale, referral marketing is done online with affiliate marketing. The affiliate partners of a company are financially rewarded when a purchase is made on the basis of their recommendation. Both small bloggers, influencers or large test platforms (such as one of our customers, can become your affiliate partners and recommend your products to others.

Recommendation by reviews

In the next place is the selection based on Internet recommendations. So if you find comparable providers in terms of price, buy from the one with the best customer rating.

For this purpose, there are review sites and comparison portals (such as Trustpilot or Google Reviews) on the net for almost every area, where you can register with your company. On your own website you can and should also present references. Show here satisfied customers, customer quotes, etc. Your social media channels are also a wonderful platform for reviews.

9. Events and Fairs

Trade shows or other events in your industry are always a great way to network. Be it as a visitor or exhibitor, you should never show up for such an event without preparation. 

Almost even more important, however, is the follow-up.You now want to use your newly acquired contacts. You send them emails, call them as soon as possible. Remind you of the meeting and your conversations. So you make yourself sympathetic once again. And you remember: Customers prefer to buy from sympathetic companies and people.

Here, too, there is a certain sales funnel behind it. So that no contact slips through the rags and you do not lose track, an e-mail marketing and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool is advisable.

Which campaigns for new customer acquisition are suitable for you?

Acquisition strategies in the areas of B2B and B2C do not always make the same sense.  For a better overview, all measures are briefly summarized here. 

Telephone acquisitionlimited usefulnessnot useful
Mailing by postlimited usefulnessmeaningful
Print Adslimited usefulnesslimited usefulness
Online marketingmeaningfulmeaningful
Email & Newsletter Marketingmeaningfulmeaningful
Referral Marketingmeaningfulmeaningful
Trade fairs and eventsmeaningfulmeaningful

Turn new customers into returning customers

The acquisition of new customers only really makes sense if it becomes satisfied and returning customers.The first sale of your products or services usually covers the advertising costs, not to mention the amount of work. Only the further sales bring the real profits. 

Acquisition of new customers brings the most profits only when they become regular customers.

All these processes; From traffic and lead generation, to the first sales funnel, to recurring sales campaigns, you can and should automate it all. So you won't forget any of your contacts or lose sight of them due to lack of time or organization. 

In this way, each person only receives the content relevant to them and is picked up exactly where they are. If one customer does not feel courted, not picked up, not informed, someone else does so and you have lost him.

By automating marketing and sales efforts, you can make every customer feel like they're the only one and special. This creates customer loyalty and he will certainly recommend your company. And already you have new customers again, without having to actively do anything yourself.

Win new customers and retain existing ones with marketing & sales automation

Regular customers are the jewels of our company. But unfortunately they do not fall from the sky. For this reason, it is important to constantly make ourselves interesting for new customers with targeted measures, and to take care of our existing customers. Then they will enthusiastically recommend us and bring us new customers again.

It is impossible to do all this manually and to constantly write to and maintain each customer individually.  Therefore, automation of many of our marketing and sales strategies is almost inevitable.

Now it's up to you to find the right strategies for your company.

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