Acquiring customers is often the most challenging part of running a successful business. You can have the most amazing product in the world but if you can’t land customers then that product is really null and void.
Some people extol the virtues of product-market fit, and the fact that once you achieve this customer acquisition will be a seamless process. At Contentellect we don’t completely agree with this notion. What product-market fit will do is remove much of the friction in the customer acquisition process, but you’ll still have to actively seek customers.
A quick customer acquisition win for most small businesses is to run ads, be it on social media, Google Adwords or across an ad network. The challenge here is ensuring that your ads are ROI positive. Many small businesses are not able to crack this formula, and their ad campaigns end up being an ephemeral endeavour.
Many small businesses also rely heavily on tried and tested customer acquisition channels such as email or LinkedIn outreach. Both of these channels have worked exceptionally well for us at Contentellect, with email outreach accounting for around 70% of new customers.
But what are some other clever ways of landing your next customer? We reached out to a number of SaaS founders and marketers to find out the most obscure customer acquisition strategy they’ve ever employed. Without further ado, here they are.
Customer acquisition stories
Brian Clayton is co-founder of GreenPal, a SaaS marketplace that connects homeowners with local lawn care services. He shared an interesting method with us.
“Our most obscure customer acquisition strategy that we implemented in recent years is mailing dog bones to all of our customers who indicate that they have a dog when they sign up. This has spurred all sorts of word-of-mouth and social media posts from homeowners that use our SaaS product.”
We think that’s an ingenious way of getting your customers to talk about your business.
Justin Nassiri of Captivate.ai told us how a dedicated approach to content marketing on LinkedIn eventually paid dividends.
“My favorite recent SaaS customer acquisition story is a recent $30k contract I closed through top-of-mind marketing. I made a habit of posting once per day on LinkedIn about how to use podcasts as a content marketing engine. Each post focused on providing value – usually in a video – to any business looking for a scalable approach to content marketing.
After three weeks of this, someone in my network messaged me, and they became a client two weeks later. This person had never once liked my posts or commented on them. However, he saw my expertise, agreed with my approach and reached out when the time was right for him.”
Although this approach may not be that obscure, it’s certainly not used enough. One of the essential attributes of effective content marketing is consistency. Justin not only followed this precept but also maintained a high velocity which kept him front-of-mind to many prospects on LinkedIn.
Josh Brown, the Marketing Manager of knowledge-based software company Helpjuice shared interesting guest posting strategy.
“I write several guest posts per month and typically try to target blogs whose audience intersects with users that I believe could benefit from our knowledge base software.
Lately, I’ve been looking to include my LinkedIn profile as part of my bio when writing guest posts. Anyway, I’ve had a couple of people who have looked to connect with me on LinkedIn after reading one of my guest posts. Two of those connections worked at companies that then became customers of Helpjuice.”
Matt Star the co-founder of Narrator.ai got quite creative when he employed this customer acquisition tactic.
“When we first launched our data platform we were struggling to find folks at the perfect moment in time. We are best for companies that have outgrown their existing analytics solutions and need to explore more robust data platforms.”
“I posted myself as a ‘Data Platform and Analytics Expert’ for hire on a few freelance marketplaces and started closing deals almost immediately. Even though we’re a startup, and not consultants, we were solving the same problem these folks were looking to hire for. As a bonus, before speaking with them I already knew exactly what they needed because it was all there in the freelance job descriptions”
We’ve adopted a similar approach at Contentellect, but instead of posting a profile we’ve responded to job postings on different portals where an SME is looking for a content writer.
Coming up with some novel ways to acquire customers can really help move the needle when it comes to revenue. We hope that some of the above-mentioned tactics, however obscure they are, have motivated you to do the same. Good luck in your pursuit to land your next customer using an unconventional method!