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Written By Chris Giddins
4 minute read

The internet brings brands closer to customers. On-demand resources allow individuals to seek out information and control their own buying decisions. Two-way channels of communication are open.

However, the internet has brought competition, and has created expectations for personalisation. You need to stand out to succeed. Getting new customers is not nearly as easy as just setting up a website, throwing out a few paid ads and waiting for success. 

To get new customers online you need to be proactive, deliver value to new shoppers and entice them with deals. Increasingly, the key to customer acquisitions online revolves around promotional campaigns. New technology is making the logistics of that easier than you might think. What we want to address here is the cutting edge of online customer growth in 2019.


Understanding customer acquisition strategies

Successful ecommerce customer acquisition strategies are your best chance of both growing brand awareness and showing traction to outside parties like investors and influencers. Whether your company is just starting or looking to grow, methods like these are vital for achieving your bottom line. 

Sadly, the reality for any company selling to new customers is a success rate as low as 5%-20%. Existing customers, however, have a 60%-70% chance of making a repurchase. To make matters worse, new customer acquisition costs around five times more than customer retention. Despite that, 44% of companies focus on acquisition compared with 18% who target retention, and there’s a good reason for it. 

The simple fact is that ongoing customer acquisition is vital for keeping your company current and growing. But, how exactly can you guarantee that those higher costs lead to increased profits?

For one, you need to make sure your acquisition method is:

  • Sustainable
  • Flexible
  • Targeted
  • Diversified

Then, you need to think about the individual efforts you’re putting into growing your audience.

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The power of personalisation

The power of personalisation is the first thing to note when entering any online customer acquisition efforts. The statistics reveal that an average of 31% of customers want more personalised shopping experiences with companies online. What’s more, we know that 90% of customers appreciate personal recommendations over the 33% who trust standard ads and acquisition efforts. In other words, your customer acquisition budget is wasted unless you’re personalising. 

By targeting acquisition towards individual shoppers, you can both make sure that those elevated customer acquisition costs (CACs) pay off, and also that you can retain your acquisitions. That’s the best of both worlds, and it’s guaranteed to lead you to the best results. With the power of personalisation in mind, then, let us consider the best online acquisition methods in 2019 and beyond. 


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Unique promotions

We already know that personalised promotions are some of the best for how to retain customers in ecommerce, but offering first-time buyer discounts can also work wonders for creating new and loyal customers. Of course, getting this right isn’t as simple as sending personalised promotions to a customer list you already have. Instead, acquisition through promotions must be a concentrated effort. 

Note that a widespread online discount to appeal to new customers is likely not the way to go here. “Virality” can help a select number of brands just getting started. However, what you will suffer is promo code misuse. The wrong people will end up using your codes, and you won’t get the targeted results you are looking for.    

Instead, you want to keep the importance of personalisation in mind when embarking on the following unique promotion efforts.

  • Social media influencers: Social media influencers are one of the most vital acquisition tools on the market at the moment. That’s not altogether surprising in light of the fact that 40% of millennials feel their favourite YouTubers know them better than their friends. By using an automated unique promo code software, you can provide one-off codes for influencers to share with their followers. That allows you to tap into an existing audience, and also guarantees much higher rates of conversion. 
  • Turn existing customers into influencers: It’s also possible to turn existing customers into influencers using the power of word of mouth marketing. Unique gamification codes like ‘Recommend three friends and you’ll all get X-amount off your next shop’ are guaranteed to get tongues flapping and boost your acquisitions no end. 
  • Coupon sites: 97% of shoppers look for a deal when they shop, and many of them do so on standard coupon sites. By making sure your promotions appear to the people who use these sites, you can tap into that existing audience. This is fantastic for appealing to consumers who never would have come across you otherwise. The fact that users have to sign up to here before access also helps you to avoid code misuse. By working with the coupon site in question, you may even be able to develop those all-important unique codes with their audience in mind.

Targeted advertisements

In this modern marketing age, standard online advertisements are no longer liable to lead to acquisitions, but targeted efforts are a different story. By tailoring your adverts using platforms like Facebook or Google ads, you can make sure that the people you’re appealing to are more liable to convert. It may sound like magic, but simple efforts like keywords and in-market ads can make it happen. 

Again, techniques like in-market advertisements largely come down to personalisation with the help of advertising networks, cookies, and more. By getting your head around these basic principles, you can even begin to advertise to customers who've previously searched for similar products.

Keywords, too, can be invaluable when it comes to using Google ads. This way, you guarantee that your website appears as a top listing in relevant searches. That can lead to a 33% click rate compared to the 18% of the website that appears second. 

Take your efforts here even further with the help of promotional codes like those we’ve already discussed. If a customer is already interested in your products, after all, an advertisement containing a one-time unique promotion code is just the thing to set you apart and seal that deal.


Scarcity marketing

No one can resist a limited offer. It adds increased value and provides an incentive for customers to act fast, thus reducing those notorious, sales-losing ‘second-thoughts.’ That’s why scarcity marketing is also a wise move for online acquisition. Whether you pair this with promotional codes or your tailored advertisements, you can guarantee that it goes some way towards increasing your acquisition.

The top scarcity methods to consider in your acquisition efforts include - 

  • Limited-time offers: Offering a limited promotional code to new customers has been proven to increase conversions by as much as 226%. That’s an astounding increase in conversions, and it all comes from something as simple as a countdown next to a targeted promotion code advertisement. You could even put time limitations on social influencer promotion codes, and sit back to enjoy increased traffic in a shorter period. 
  • Diminishing discounts: Diminishing discounts can also work their scarcity acquisition magic. Something as simple as providing an influencer code that allows 50% off for the first 5,000 people and 30% off after that can work here. Or, you may want to offer coupon site promotions that start at 50% and lose 5% every half an hour. You can bet acquisitions would soon come flooding. 
  • Limited stock scarcity: Offers or not, advertising limited stock can also have a huge impact here, especially on the perceived value of your products. Putting a red ‘only 3 left in stock’ warning on a targeted advertisement, for example, could work wonders for the traffic your efforts drives right to your site.

A final word on acquisitions

Increasing your online acquisitions with concentrated effort is undeniably vital in 2019. And, once you have customers on board, you can start to focus on the retention efforts that will keep your profits and your products soaring for a long time to come.

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