Customer Acquisition Strategy for Startups [NYC Edition]

Customer acquisition is a marketing corner stone and can be the single most important element in your small business or startup. It can be the difference between you growing your business or watching it fail. Online customer acquisition is a high-risk proposition, but it has potentially massive rewards and many deem it necessary for every business today to have a presence online. Here is a that can help your business’s customer acquisition process. It can be world wide, country wide, city wide or just targeting small area.  You need to know what is your digital objective. If you are a business in NYC, you’ll should have a clear idea on  how to create your digital marketing plan. Here is how you can do it.

Perfecting your Product:
Firstly, your content and/or product has to be good and desirable, making the viewer want to give you their business. This seems simple, but there is a big difference between a good product or service, and a good product or service that people will spend money on. Before you make a serious push into customer acquisition, make sure that people will buy what you are trying to sell.

Target Audience NYC tech advice startups

Identifying your Target Audience:
-Who is your target audience?
-What are their habits on the internet?
-What else do they do?
Getting answers to these three questions can maximize your efforts and minimize mistakes. For the majority of people, regardless of whatever demographic they fall in, they use Google as a lens through which to view all sites on the internet. This means that your Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to reach your target audience, regardless of their other qualities. SEO is discussed in the next section.

By identifying your target audience’s habits on the internet and other interests, you can acquire customers outside of the normal SEO route. Much of this has to do with social media.

The social media that your target audience uses (or doesn’t) can be a great place for you to reach them. However, if your target audience is senior citizens living in assisted living homes, perhaps trying to use Facebook or Twitter to your advantage may prove fruitless. Creating sharable content on any social media platform that your target audience uses allows for customers to do your advertising for you by sharing your business with their friends.

Bringing the Customers in:
For many companies, this can be the most challenging aspect of customer acquisition. SEO plays a critical role in this. Being the top result in your desired search terms gives your business a huge boost. Additionally, the difference between being on the bottom of the first page of results and towards the top of the first page is massive. For tips on how to improve your website’s SEO, read this article from Entrepreneur.

Making your Customers stay:
Once a potential customer has landed on your website, the most important part is keeping them there and getting them to come back. This is your one opportunity to sell your product to the customer. Make it count! However, this can be deceptively hard.

Firstly, the main landing page of your website has to pull the viewer in and make them want to buy whatever you are selling.

Using inviting words and have a flashy headline that not only informs the viewer of what you are selling, but also excites them. This first page they see is where you must sell them on your company.

Next, create a call to action. This can be anything from getting them to sign up for a newsletter to offering them a discount if they share your website. A well-curated newsletter can cause the overall viewer base of your website to increase, and it also incentivizes customers to become returning customers, who can be huge assets to your company.

Creating a refer-a-friend system can also be very fruitful, depending on what your company is. If you make it beneficial for the person referring their friend and/or that friend, you give up barely anything and increase your customer base, while making your current customers happier.

Customer Retention nyc advice startup tech

Refining the Process:
The customer acquisition process is never done. In order to keep building your company’s customer-base and retain those that you have already gotten, you must analyze everything that your customers do and see.

Analyze the statistics of your website. If you are getting a lot of viewers but not many purchases, figure out why. For example, if your home page gets significantly more views than your product description page, that home page is not captivating enough. Look at your acquisition funnel.

If there are easy points for potential customers to walk away before making a purchase, eliminate them or improve upon them so that there are no leaky parts in this process.

You should have many custom acquisition strategies in your arsenal. No strategies are optimal at every point in your company’s growth, so mixing and matching them to figure out what works best at any point in your company’s lifetime is key. For example, using refer-a-friend is better suited to a company looking to take off, while keeping a well-curated newsletter running is more suited to a company with a much larger customer base.

Final Thoughts:
Much of perfecting your company’s customer acquisition comes down to trial and error. However, this article can help limit the amount of time devoted to it. Customer acquisition is not a one-step process, and it is much more about crafting the user experience from start to finish than just simply getting your company’s name out there. There is one final thing to discuss, and that is pace.

Most people assume that the best thing for a business is to get as many customers as fast as possible.

However, too much growth too quickly can be disastrous. In fact, a recent study from the Startup Genome Report finds that 90 percent of startups fail primarily because of “self-destruction rather than competition.”

If your company has more business than it can handle, there can be significantly more demand than supply. In this case, you will lose the excess demand, as well as some demand that you would normally be able to handle.

Pace yourself, use strategies that are appropriate for the size and trajectory of your business, and continue to analyze, edit, and refine your customer acquisition process. Customer acquisition has come a long way since a simple sign in front of your small shop, and learning this new (and more complicated) way of acquiring customers can give your business a big edge over the competition.

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Jonah Gaynor

Staff Writer

Jonah is a Staff Writer at Silicon NYC’s advice section. He is a native New Yorker, with a passion for technology and he has experience working with startups in New York City.