Customer acquisition is the process of bringing new users or players to your mobile app or game. The goal of this process is to create a systematic, sustainable customer acquisition strategy that can evolve with new trends and platform changes, such as with product changes on Google’s or Facebook’s acquisition platforms.
Acquiring new users involves persuading them to try our and then make a purchase or register with your app. Publishers consider the cost of customer acquisition as an important measure in evaluating how much value customers bring to their businesses. Customer acquisition management refers to the set of methodologies and systems for managing customer prospects and inquiries that are generated by a variety of marketing techniques. Some successful customer acquisition strategies include referrals, reward or loyalty programs, and the like. One way to think about customer acquisition management is to consider it the link between advertising and customer relationship management, as it is the critical connection that facilitates the acquisition of targeted customers in an effective way.
All forms of advertising and marketing are designed to attract users to an app or game with the hope that they will eventually become loyalists that evangelize their love for your app. Above-the-line advertising, such as billboards, television and radio spots, posters, print advertisements, and cinema spots do a great job of getting a brand in front of millions of eyes, but they rarely close a sale or include methods to track customer conversion.
Mobile advertising takes a much more scientific and informative approach. Google and Facebook, in particular, have proven to be reliable resources for customer acquisition campaigns. Both platforms allow you to target specific user segments and engage them with compelling creative that converts users into app subscribers or purchasers of in-app items.
The expense of bringing in customers is known as the customer acquisition cost (CAC). It’s a simple calculation that divides marketing costs by the number of customers acquired. For example, if you spend $5,000 on a marketing campaign that attracts 500 new customers, your CAC would be $10.
Cost per install (CPI), the most basic CAC for a mobile user acquisition campaign, is significantly lower than the cost of acquiring new customers through other advertising channels. Recent industry changes have driven mobile advertisers’ costs even lower.
In 2018, Facebook and Google UAC introduced machine-learning advertising algorithms that can take over basic user acquisition campaign functions and automate workflows. The changes have come through a series of updates, best practices, and new features. Following all those changes can make ad platforms seem complex and even overwhelming. But once you step back, and use the new framework, it all makes a lot more sense.
These changes have also been a big plus for customer acquisition managers. Not only do small, medium, and large advertisers have more time to devote to creative development and creative testing, but they can also drive up app installs and profits with reduced advertising spend.
(To learn more about Facebook’s latest feature updates, see our blog post, “Facebook Ads Keep Evolving. See Facebook’s NEW Simplified Campaign Structure Recommendations.”)
Mobile customer acquisition campaigns are among the easiest to track because you can see just how many users viewed your ad, how many are clicking through, installing your app and then completing a registration or purchase.
To better calculate your CPI, you’ll also want to capture the lifetime value (LTV) of your users. And for the overall health of your CAC and campaigns, you’ll want to also capture other related metrics such as monthly revenue growth, customer churn, and customer growth (number of customers acquired month over month).
Building brand loyalty is also important. Acquiring customers is a good first step, but those customers will be most valuable if they come back again and again. Hopefully, they’ll even tell their friends, helping you to acquire new customers through word of mouth, which can even be part of your strategy.
By marketing your products heavily to influencers in your community, you can more rapidly build a loyal following that can grow through referrals from trustworthy sources. Another way to build brand loyalty is for you to be visible in your community by putting together a calendar of local events and highlighting those most likely to attract your target market.
For example, if you are selling a product or service that would benefit parents of school-age children, target events geared toward youngsters that age. Look into sponsorship or partnership opportunities.
For many forms of advertising, repetition is the key to success. When it comes to customer acquisition campaigns, however, repetition drains ad performance and advertisers’ budgets. Users will start to tune out an ad they’ve seen too many times—usually within days of the ad’s launch.
To combat creative fatigue and ensure an efficient ad spend, advertisers must have the capacity to generate and test new ads on a regular basis. Small and midsize companies used to be at a severe disadvantage on this front, having limited or no access to quality creative services. Fortunately, tiered managed services (introduced January 2019) have eliminated barriers by lowering the cost of creative ads at scale.
Knowing which channels will work as a customer acquisition tool for your mobile app involves continuously testing new creative and new approaches, allowing you to find out what works best for your unique app and prevent you from being too reliant on a single source.
A customer acquisition strategy that draws on in-depth social marketing expertise and world-class creative talent has the best chance of success. After all, ad creative is now the biggest competitive advantage advertisers have. With these capabilities and strengths, companies can respond nimbly to changing consumer and industry trends while preserving resources and maximizing gains.
Want to know more about developing, executing, and scaling a customer acquisition strategy on a limited budget? Contact us today, and we’ll help you get started.