Email is a powerful channel for driving one-to-one connections and retention amongst customers. In fact, 59% of consumers say that emails influence their purchase decisions after receiving promotional content. Email is prime for driving customer acquisition efforts, especially as brands look to diversify their acquisition channels beyond social and search and sink their teeth into other platforms that provide reach amongst real, engaged audiences.
To help you make the most of your customer acquisition efforts, this blog post will dig into:
- The importance of diversifying customer acquisition channels
- Considerations for building a customer acquisition strategy
- How to use email newsletters to expand your customer base
What is customer acquisition?
Customer acquisition is the process of gaining new customers for your brand. You just need to know where they’re active online, what they want to see, and how to reach them.
Advertisers can use a range of channels to acquire customers, including email, social media, search, print, and direct mail. They can also employ different advertising tactics and formats across these channels, such as native, display, or sponsored advertising in addition to influencer and affiliate marketing.
The importance of diversifying customer acquisition channels
When it comes to customer acquisition, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. That is, you don’t want to invest in just one customer acquisition channel. Here’s why.
For starters, customers are active on multiple channels. According to McKinsey, more than half of customers use three to five channels on their journey to making a purchase. By diversifying your acquisition channels, you’re more likely to reach your audiences where they are with a message that is relevant to them at that point in their journey.
Now, many advertisers and marketers look to channels like Facebook and Google for the immense scale they promise. So, going outside of those channels may feel unnecessary, but here’s why that approach may hinder rather than help. Aside from the fact that customers use various channels on their path to purchase, walled gardens don’t enable advertisers to extract data to use outside of their walls. So, if you’re hoping to inform campaigns across other channels with data acquired from Google and Facebook, you’re out of luck. Furthermore, having multiple acquisition channels allows you to remain nimble and adaptable when major changes arise (like the adpocalypse back in 2017, Facebook’s newsfeed change, or the deprecation of the third-party cookie). Remember folks, it’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket.
What to consider when building a strong customer acquisition strategy
Now you know why it’s important to diversify your acquisition channels. But before you run off and start adding loads of new channels onto your media plan, it’s important to consider if these channels can deliver on critical criteria. Let’s take a look at a few elements you’ll want to examine about your acquisition channels to ensure you’re making the most of your time and budget.
Performance and Scale
Whichever channels you decide to incorporate into your acquisition strategy you’ll want to ensure that channel will help you meet your business KPIs, whether it’s clicks, email sign-ups, sales, or downloads. And, with the kind of scale that email offers, you’d be remiss to overlook it. There are over 4.1 billion email users worldwide, which is expected to reach 4.6 billion by 2025. With LiveIntent, advertisers can reach 200 million opted-in email newsletter readers in the U.S.
It doesn’t matter how many customers you reach if they’re not going to respond to your messaging. Your strategy and acquisition tools should be equipped to deliver high-quality leads and conversions, so you know you’re only getting in front of people who will ultimately contribute to your bottom line today and in the future.
Privacy and Security
Customers are losing trust in social channels like Facebook — and in media companies altogether. That’s why it is critical that you choose customer acquisition channels that audiences trust and that allow for transparency and privacy in data collection and targeting.
With third-party cookies set to be disabled on Google Chrome browsers, advertisers need to build their first-party data ASAP. It’s important to leverage channels that will help you build your first-party data footprint, so you’re better equipped to face a cookieless world and deliver premium ad experiences.
Luckily, email newsletters can help marketers across verticals to drive their customer acquisition efforts. With LiveIntent’s unique offerings and solutions, marketers can meet their business goals with greater ease and efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at how.
Email delivers high-quality leads because it connects your brand to newsletter readers who’ve opted into interest-based content. Since you’re reaching audiences via email, you’re also reaching them when they’re already in a mindset for learning and engaging with new content. They’re not drive-by impressions, but high-quality customers with the potential to drive long-term value for your brand.
Given the opt-in nature of email newsletters, they enable brands to reach prospective customers with relevant, less disruptive advertising experiences. As we learned earlier, consumers named email their preferred marketing channel and many indicated that they are more likely to trust a channel if it offers relevant messaging and information that’s clear and simple to understand.
The email address is one of the most valuable pieces of first-party data that advertisers can obtain. Consumers use it to sign in to websites and apps across the web, and it’s the key to reaching them in a one-to-one, opt-in environment, a.k.a. their inbox. By launching email acquisition campaigns, advertisers are tapping into a wealth of this data, which they can then use to retarget and reengage customers along the path to purchase.
Customer acquisition with LiveIntent
LiveIntent offers people-based audiences to help advertisers run personalized, data-driven customer acquisition campaigns. Simply put, we take your first-party data and match it to the data from our vast email network to help you create audience segments that you can use to target, reach, and serve ads to those who want to see them the most.
Audience Manager is a one-stop-shop for creating and managing your first-party audiences to be targeted in an email ad campaign across the LiveIntent network.
There are three different types of audiences you can create to in your customer acquisition campaigns by using Audience Manager: Custom, Dynamic, and Lookalike Audiences.
Custom Audiences are the most common type of segment used for acquisition. An advertiser onboards their data of existing customers and email addresses, and LiveIntent matches them to email addresses in our exchange to build an audience segment.
Instead of targeting these audiences who are already customers, the advertiser can suppress that audience segment in its acquisition campaigns. The advertiser can ensure their budget is allocated to only reaching new, potential customers.
Here’s how one client used Customer Audiences. Embr Labs, a direct-to-consumer company that makes wearable wellness devices, was ready to diversify its paid advertising beyond search and social. The company ran an email acquisition campaign across LiveIntent’s entire exchange, suppressing existing customers so none of its budget was wasted. The campaign generated almost 1,000 post-click conversions and delivered a 183% return on ad spend (ROAS) — outperforming its social campaigns.
Dynamic Audiences are built from activity tracked by our LiveConnect tag on advertiser’s websites and apps. The LiveConnect tag tracks customers who are visiting your website, clicking, and buying products.
LiveIntent uses these activity signals to create Dynamic Audiences of potential customers, such as people who visit often but haven’t made a purchase or people who’ve put items in their cart but haven’t checked out. Advertisers can then retarget those audiences with relevant campaigns, like abandoned cart reminders or recommendations for products that match their interests.
Furthermore, with Dynamic Audiences, LiveIntent automatically suppresses all customers who’ve made a purchase so that you only target new prospects with your remaining budget.
With Lookalike Audiences, an advertiser can select a specific group of users, such as high-value customers, and build an audience of similar people in LiveIntent’s audience network. This allows advertisers to target potential customers who are most likely to convert, since they share traits with best-performing customers.
In fact, LiveIntent defines these audiences using over 300 unique attributes, including location, age, gender, devices, and email newsletters they’ve already engaged with.
So, if you know your high-value customers are largely men aged 30-50 who are interested in politics, located in urban areas, and active on their desktops, you can use Lookalike Audiences to reach new people who meet those criteria and would be likely interested in your brand or product.
One direct-to-consumer retail brand, for example, used LiveIntent’s Lookalike Audiences to reach people who behaved like their highest-paying customers and suppressed current customers. As a result, the brand saw a 147% increase in ROAS and 57% decrease in CPA compared to previous acquisition campaigns.
Supercharge your customer acquisition efforts with email
Especially as third-party cookies are phased out, it’s critical that advertisers have a go-to solution for making the most of their owned data. And that solution is email.
In a world of walled gardens and untrustworthy platforms, email has emerged as a privacy-safe, data-rich channel that’s made for acquiring new customers and nurturing audience relationships.