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Tips & Guides — 09 May 2023

Guide to Digital Acquisition Marketing

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  • Marketing 101: Everything You Need to Know About Digital Acquisition Marketing

Marketing 101: Everything You Need to Know About Digital Acquisition Marketing

You know as well as anyone does that attracting and retaining customers is the lifeblood of your business. With this in mind, we’ll be exploring the inside and out of digital acquisition marketing. Which is the very essence of attracting and retaining customers. 

If you’ve ever wondered what digital acquisition marketing actually is, you’re in for an electronic treat. This article is dedicated to the different techniques to choose from. Learn about the benefits of digital acquisition marketing for your business. Not to mention how to create your bespoke digital acquisition marketing plan. 

Last but by no means least, finishing off with marketing strategies and best practices. 

If you think digital acquisition marketing is for other businesses, and too tricky to contemplate, think again. You’re about to be guided through this digital marketing process (hand holding optional). 

Sounds good? Let’s go. 

What is Digital Acquisition?

Put simply, digital acquisition is the means of acquiring and retaining new customers using digital marketing strategies. Acquisition marketing sets its sights on prospects that are already warm leads. They’re prime and ready to be sold to. This is why a digital acquisition marketing strategy is something all businesses should strive for – it’s much less effort than trying to effortlessly convert cold prospects.  

Digital acquisition channels include a variety of engagement tools and digital media to generate new customers. But it doesn’t stop there – oh no. The overarching goal of digital acquisition is to generate a continuous stream of new customers and encourage repeat purchases. 

Digital acquisition marketing is a process that constantly evolves and adapts to new market trends and available technology. Customer acquisition strategies focus solely on prospects who are in the research phase of the buying cycle. This article isn’t about the attraction stage of the buying cycle. These prospects are firmly in the funnel, and the only way is up. Or possibly down – depending on which way your funnel is facing. You’ll note the included cyclical diagram below to avoid any unintentional funnel bias…

Digital Acquisition

Types of Digital Acquisition Techniques

We’re going to look at the different means that potential customers come across your website. Acquisitions can find your business through:

  • Organic
    The old classic. An organic click from an organic search engine result, straight through to your wonderful website.
  • Direct
    This route is your standard type business name into the browser and lands on the website method.
  • Referral
    Another website has links to yours (thank you!) and this generates a click-through from their site to yours. Very nice indeed. 
  • Paid
    An advert you’ve paid for appears in search engine results, a user spots it, and clicks through to your site. 
  • Email
    A marketing mail (probably automated) appears in a prospect’s inbox including your website link. They click on it (great decision).
  • Social
    Somewhere on socials, someone clicks on your business’s social post which leads them merrily to your website. 
  • Display
    A paid banner ad appears on a prospect’s feed that interests them, so they click. Yay.

How to Compute Digital Acquisition Cost

Before we get ahead of ourselves, we need to establish your business’s digital acquisition cost. This figure is your baseline to work from and try to decrease as much as you possibly can. 

Working out your customer acquisition cost (also known as digital acquisition cost for software and digital products) is not too complex a formula. Basically, divide how much you’ve spent on marketing by the number of new customers said marketing has generated. 

Marketing Expenditure ÷ No. of New Customers = CAC

This figure gives you your customer acquisition cost. For example, say a business spends $300K on digital marketing in a six month period. In this time, said business generates 300 new customers – their customer acquisition cost is $1K.  

When calculating your business’s CAC, factor in all costs that relate to marketing spend – things like overheads, salaries, SaaS, bonuses, etc. Whatever you’ve done to acquire those customers, add it in. You get the idea. 

The lower your CAC, the higher your bottom line. Winner. 

Compute Acquisition Cost

Benefits of Digital Acquisition

  • Increased revenue: this point probably doesn’t need too much explanation, but more revenue equals more money to reinvest into the business. Promoting business growth and future opportunities.
  • Showing stakeholders that the business has traction and is financially healthy: it’s always a good idea to show how healthy your business is, in case you need to pick up new investors and marketing partners
  • Identifying new market niches or demographics: digital acquisition marketing allows your business to explore uncharted niches – essentially you’re exploring any acquisition channels that your customers may be hiding. 

How to Develop a Digital Acquisition Marketing Plan

Each business’s digital acquisition marketing plan will look a little different. Although, the principles remain the same. Let’s have a look.

Define a  Business Strategy

The first task is to identify your business’s overall strategy. Analyze historical data using marketing tools to determine where past growth occurred and align these periods with marketing efforts. Be realistic with goals when creating your strategy, and consider important factors such as high customer churn.

In addition to measuring customer churn rate, analyze other key metrics such as customer acquisition costs (CAC), customer lifetime value (CLV), and monthly recurring revenue (RVV). Knowing these figures allows you to create an acquisition strategy that matches your business’s goals.   

Create Your Target Market

Now it’s time to create your intended audience for your acquisition plan. Different target markets reside on different channels, and of course, some of the same prospects frequent different platforms for different reasons. 

For example, your historical user data may show that there’s a segment of customers searching for Cashmere jumpers that tends to frequent LinkedIn, browse ecommerce stores on their mobile devices and probably bought from a specific brand before. 

Their buying behaviour data suggests that this customer segment is not too price-conscious but seeks quick and easy buying experiences.   

You can use this valuable data from your marketing channels to create strategic acquisition campaigns to focus on this section of your target audience. In this example, you could tailor content to showcase the luxuriousness of the cashmere jumpers on offer. Integrating lifestyle images to inspire, with simple purchase buttons for ease of navigation.  

Some key questions to ask when creating your target market audience:

  • What problems do your customers have?
  • Where do your customers find information?
  • Which benefits of your products do your customers find the most value in?
  • What are your customers’ demographics?
  • At what stage do your customers buy your products?
Business Strategy

Choose the Right Acquisition Channel

Customer acquisition channels are places where your customers interact with your business. There are so many channels, it can be tough to know which relate best to your business. A huge 83% of global businesses report social media as their go-to marketing strategy channel – meaning that it’s crucial your digital acquisition strategy is prevalent on social channels. 

As part of your digital acquisition marketing plan, thorough testing of channels is necessary. Once you’ve pinpointed your target market, it’s time to find them. Examine acquisition channels to uncover where your customers hang out. 

Different acquisition channels contain varying content, so your approaches to individual channels must vary. It’s no good pushing out the same content on different channels, as different platforms favour specific types of content. 

Check out the following acquisition channels, and their primary content types:

  • SEO: keyword dense written content designed to rank on search engines 
  • Facebook: advertising and live video streams
  • YouTube: absorbing videos and clips providing valuable information
  • Instagram: video clips and engaging imagery
  • Referrals: special offers and loyalty schemes 

Aim to target no more than five channels based on your customer profiles rather than an omnipresence approach for maximum effect. 

As well as testing potential acquisition channels, why not delve into the world of online forums and blog comment sections to learn more about your target audience? Another idea is to create a social media survey to request preferences from users.

Incorporate customer service techniques like HEARD (hear, empathise, apologise, resolve and diagnose) to communicate that you want to offer them better digital experiences. You’ll be surprised at the wealth of valuable information freely available for your acquisition plans.

Once your target market and acquisition channels are set, you can start creating acquisition campaigns. Conduct A/B testing and experiment with different strategies and analyze the best ROI and conversion rates. 

Some strategy mixes to enhance your customer reach include:

  • Social media marketing – Customer participation engagement strategies, viral campaigns, links to informative webinars
  • Interactive ads – Behavioral target campaigns, ad networks  
  • Email marketing – Opt-in email campaigns and partner marketing opportunities 
  • Search marketing – PPC campaigns and SEO 

We’ll cover some of these strategies in more detail shortly, so sit tight. 

Hire Trained Staff

The right marketing team is paramount to the success of your acquisition marketing plans. Key roles include customer service soft skills such as customer empathy. Strive to recruit the best team that can handle responsibility, be vigilant in finding out what your customers want, and provide the best support possible for loyal customers. 

Hire Trained Staff

Strategies in Digital Acquisition

The success of each digital acquisition strategy depends on your research, current brand awareness, acquisition channels and target market. Here are some ideas for your business to explore.  

Refresh Old Content

Recycle existing content and give it a new lease of life. You’ve probably got reams of old content that a bit of a spruce up and optimization will do wonders for. This is a great method of enhancing your organic traffic and audience reach. 

Invest in using someone’s audience

Search platforms to find a great industry partner for your business. Your best bet is to seek a comparably sized and targeted reach. Once you’ve established contact, set up an email campaign using your partner’s contacts and watch the new customers roll in.  

Co-branding and Collaboration

In addition to partnering with businesses in similar industries to your own, seek collaboration with different business models. Again, a high audience reach is key for good partnerships. Done right, co-branding partnerships promote both businesses and drive customer acquisitions. 

Referral Program

Fun fact: 63% of US investment advisors cited referral programs as a marketing strategy to explore in 2020. 63% of investment advisors aren’t wrong. Referral programs and partnerships are a great strategy to boost customer acquisitions.   

Use Content Marketing to Acquire Customers

Explore different types of content marketing to engage customers. This can be in the form of blogs, videos, resources, or downloads. Experiment with strategically placed calls to action to drive customer participation. Analyze your digital content using Google Analytics tools to measure success.

Social Media Marketing

Experiment with your chosen social media platforms to market to your audience. Create engaging social content that showcases your business’s personality. Think about the kind of posts that will prompt sharing for maximum engagement and reach.


Make sure your search engine optimization is top-notch by creating content that attracts your target audience to your website. Play around with keywords, and don’t forget meta tags, descriptions and alt tags. This SEO strategy is doubly effective as your SEO rankings improve and customer reach increases. 

Email Marketing

Regular email campaigns and business newsletters engage customers successfully. Keep your audience up to date with special offers, incentives and company news. Ensure your website has a sign-up customer form to capture lead generation emails and build an exclusive email campaign list. 

Beauty giant Sephora nails its email marketing campaigns. Check out their special offers for their customers in an automated marketing email shot. Who would resist the chance to win a trip to Paris? Unless you live in Paris, of course.

Strategies in Digital Acquisition

Create your product demand

Continually promote your brand by delivering key messages about the benefit of purchasing from your business. Follow up with customers and deliver great post-sale experiences to reinforce customer loyalty. 

Utilise Popups

Although not everyone’s cup of tea, popups can be incredibly effective in the right environments. For the best chance of popup success, use precise targeting analytics to drive enhanced customer experiences. Trial offerings such as new product launches and tailored offers to deliver value to your customers.    

Customer Stories

Ask your loyal customer base for stories about their purchase decisions to pass on credibility messages to referrals. Social proof stories are invaluable for referral marketing opportunities. 

Best Practices in Digital Acquisition

We’ve covered some great strategies to kickstart your acquisition marketing plan. Let’s recap on some of the best practices to reinforce your brand’s message and leverage digital acquisition to your advantage. 

Clear Vision of Your Customer

Number one in acquisition marketing is a no-brainer. Before you can start acquiring customers, you need to know who your customers are. Spend significant time on this part of your acquisition plan to clearly define your target audience before you do anything else. 

Choose the Best Channels

Remember to focus your marketing efforts on the acquisition channels that your customers use. Once you’ve pinpointed your target audience and chosen channels, have confidence in your strategy and don’t deviate from your planned acquisition route. 

Captivating and Consistent Content

An augmented reality shopping experience offers customers the option to ‘try before you buy’ when considering digital purchases. This style of retail offering captivates and engages customers, promoting increased conversions. 

Strategic Variety

Mix it up on your acquisition channels. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different visuals to drive engagement and measure success. Why not try completely posts of random badger images eating honey? 

Encourage your customers to talk about your brand by giving them something to talk about. Continue to spread the message that your brand cares about its customers and wants to deliver valuable information to them. 

Sustainable Relationships With Customers

An integral part of acquisition marketing is retaining customers. The deal isn’t done when the purchase is made. Continue to provide value through the customer journey and post-sale to reinforce strong customer relationships and establish a loyal following for your brand.

Best Practices in Digital Acquisition

Compile and Analyze Data

To ensure acquisition success, analysis of your acquisition channels and campaign results is crucial. Sophisticated analytics tools facilitate data analysis from different digital channels to determine what works and what doesn’t. 

Build Optimisable Web Pages

If you run an ecommerce store, optimize your product web pages with online visual merchandising techniques to deliver highly relevant customer shopping experiences. Online visual merchandising is successful in converting users to customers by making visitor journeys more pleasurable.  

A quick note here to mention that your landing pages must be mobile responsive to be fully optimised. But we’re sure you know that already.  


Phew, there’s a lot of information right there. Hopefully, you’ve retained enough to get you started on your own digital acquisition marketing plan and campaigns. There’s so much scope for success with acquisition marketing, and the beauty is that there are so many ways to capture new customers. 

Use all the digital tools at your disposal to drive successful acquisition strategies. Automated processes are your friend to save valuable time. For example, if your business model involves numerous marketing partnerships, explore tools to reduce partnership pressure and transfer data easily. 

Effective customer acquisitions happen when you focus on your customers and their experience with your business. Begin tailoring engaging acquisition campaigns to lure customers to your digital offerings. Your business will benefit from it.

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Joanne Burman - Head of Strategic Marketing, PureClarity

Written by

Jo is the Head of Strategic Marketing at PureClarity⁠— a fast-growing AI-based ecommerce personalisation SaaS solution driving revenue and conversions through personalised shopping experience. She is an expert with over 20 years experience in Marketing, ecommerce, and Project Management. Jo dedicated her career to empower online retailers and propel their ecommerce growth.

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