It’s rare for customers to come across a product online and then simply click the buy or add to cart button.
In most cases, people go through a long process or a journey where they search for content, do research, interact with a business, and only later do they make an actual purchase.
If you’re aware of the customer’s journey to buying your product, you’re in a strong position to improve their experience at every step.
In this post, we’ll break down the major steps in your business’s customer acquisition journey. This knowledge will help you figure out ways to optimize each milestone and convert users faster.
What is the customer acquisition journey?
In simple terms, the customer acquisition journey includes a series of steps that go from when a customer learns about a brand to when they buy from it. However, many marketing professionals and schools also think of the journey as going beyond getting a sale.
It can also include retention strategies and even getting customers to be ambassadors for your brand.
The key to optimizing your customer acquisition journey is to create content and show it at the right time and at the right place. Here’s how.
Critical steps in your customer acquisition journey
Note that in this post, we’re looking at this journey from the perspective of a business rather than the consumer.
From the perspective of a buyer, a customer acquisition journey consists of:
- The awareness stage: Here, the buyer identifies a problem
- The consideration stage: Your customer starts doing their research on ways to resolve their problem
- The decision stage: The final stage where they’re comparing vendors and solutions and will pick one that works for them
However, here we’ll consider the customer acquisition journey to be a framework that helps you understand the progress a customer makes from getting to know you to becoming a loyal customer.
Here’s your breakdown of what the acquisition process will look like for a typical business.
This is the first step in your customer acquisition journey. Here you take steps to reach out to customers who haven’t heard of you – making it the first time your target audience learns about your brand.
The most important thing you should focus on in this stage is identifying the right audience. Always focus on a clear buyer persona and reach out to them in the right place.
For example, if you’re a wholesale supplier then reaching out via ads to a general audience on Facebook won’t help. But if you identified retailing and reselling groups on Facebook, you’d find it much more effective to build leads.
At this stage of the journey, your potential customer starts interacting with your business in earnest.
They may download an ebook, join your email list, browse your product page, or interact with customer support.
At this stage, you need to induce customers to engage with your business as much as possible. Create free downloadable templates on your website, build podcast content, and create optin popup forms to capture leads.
You can also offer free demos, free online workshops, and other interactive content where you get customers involved and familiar with your brand.
This is the step where customers make an actual purchase on your website or online store. You need to make this step as easy as possible by optimizing your sales pages and your checkout process. Remember to do the following:
- Create clear pricing tables
- Enable social login so that people can use their existing online accounts to check-in
- Offer multiple payment options that are convenient for users
- Build trust by featuring testimonials and case studies
- Add a risk-free proposition where you offer a 30-day money-back guarantee or something similar
Track conversion metrics such as new visitor conversion metrics, customer lifetime value, return customer conversion rate, and more to gain clarity on your efforts over the long run.
It’s well known that retaining a customer saves you more money than finding a new one every time you want to make a sale.
Once you’ve generated a lead and made a sale, you need to increase the value of your sales and get customers to buy from you again.
Here are a few ways to build loyalty:
- Create a loyalty program where returning customers get rewards, discounts, and points
- Send personalized emails to customers on how to get the most out of your products
- Make suggestions for related products and complimentary items
- Upsell during the checkout process
- Offer free customer support for a year
- Give a substantial discount to people who renew a subscription
At the end of the day, you do need to have a solid product and fantastic customer support to keep customers loyal. And if you do, you can bolster customer loyalty with the ideas given here.
Once you’ve come to the point where you’ve built customer loyalty, you can also create strategies to turn customers into ambassadors. And you can do this by engaging customers who are also influential on social media or in some other network. You can even build brand ambassadors by offering them unique rewards.
You need to be aware of each stage of the customer acquisition process so that you can build the right content and present it at the right time. With this post as a guideline, you’ll be able to pick up on important areas of your business where you can engage customers more.
Get started with boosting customer experience and engagement and you’ll see growth through increased sales and loyalty.