An Ultimate Guide to Creating a Customer Acquisition Funnel Strategy

Nidhi Kala
10
min read
November 9, 2023

Here's a hard pill you may need to swallow: your business may be losing customers😟

And if the customer churn for your organization is constantly rising, it's worrisome. But the good news is that you can decrease the churn and acquire new customers by creating a customer acquisition strategy.

There's no rule book to create this strategy but there are different stages in the customer acquisition funnel that you must understand. Only then you'll be able to create the right strategy for each stage and witness customer retention.

Ready to learn about the customer acquisition funnel and different strategies?

Let's get started.

What is customer acquisition?

Customer acquisition is the process of turning a potential customer into a paying customer. Additionally, customer acquisition focuses on customer retention and provides a positive experience to customers. This ultimately delivers customer satisfaction and in turn creates a loyal customer base for your B2B business.

What is customer acquisition funnel?

A customer acquisition funnel is the process of converting, capturing and retaining prospects and turning them into customers. The funnel breaks down into three stages: top-of-the-funnel, middle-of-the-funnel, and bottom-of-the-funnel. 

At the top of the funnel stage, you aim to create awareness about your company and reach a wider audience. The goal is to get people to know about your company, who you are as a brand and what kind of work your brand does.

In the middle of the funnel stage, leads have started entering into this stage through the TOFU funnel. They are reconsidering whether they should purchase your solution or not. This is the stage where you need to nurture them extensively and push them down to the BOFU stage.

At the bottom of the funnel stage, the prospect is one step away from purchasing your product and becoming your customer. This is the stage where you need to hammer the nail and give the final push to prospects to complete the purchase. This is where you’ll send social proofs and content assets that boost your credibility. 

What are the different stages for customer acquisition funnel strategy?

The customer acquisition funnel covers everything from creating brand awareness to purchasing the product.

Here are three stages and six customer acquisition strategies based on funnel stages to create a delightful customer experience:

Different stages in the customer acquisition funnel

Top of The Funnel (ToFu) — Awareness Stage

The top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) funnel focuses on delivering valuable content to its audience. At this stage, you’ll not sell your products and services to your ideal customer or talk about your company for executing marketing campaigns.

Instead, you’ll solely focus on:

  • educating your target audience about pain points
  • providing relevant solutions to solve their problems

And how to create a ToFu strategy? Here are two ways to do so:

Strategy 1: Create Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is a highly relevant content marketing strategy that always stays relevant to your target buyer persons — whether they search for the specific topic a month later or a year later. Blog posts and e-books are a great example of evergreen content

According to Anton Konopliov, the founder of Redline Digital, one of the customer acquisition strategies they've implemented to enhance our top-of-funnel engagement is the sharing of evergreen content that directly addresses our target audience's pain points. Konopliov says,

“We don't gate or hide this valuable content behind a paywall. Instead, we make it freely accessible to anyone interested in the topics we cover. This approach serves as a top-of-the-funnel tactic, designed to empower customers from the awareness stage and beyond.
The goal of Redline Digital is to create evergreen content for its customers

How to implement: Define your top-of-funnel users, and define the demographics by focusing on the target audience’s characteristics, preferences, pain points, and needs. Once you have defined your top-of-the-funnel users, conduct keyword research and topic ideation.

Next, select keywords and topics that align with the pain points and needs of your target audience. Once you’ve chosen the keywords and topics, craft high-quality and informational content. 

Strategy 2: Produce Podcast

With podcasts, you can educate your audience about the different topics that emphasize their pain points.

The different podcasts by Refine Labs are a great example. The company has three podcasts:

  1. B2B Revenue Vitals: It talks about everything from optimizing demand generation strategies to building a high-performance team.
  2. Stacking Growth: It breaks down how B2B companies dominate their categories and unlock growth.
  3. Talent Destination: It breaks down how you can build a people-first company.

Through these podcasts, the company gives away free value to its target audience, which is the sole key driver for landing clients for their business. In fact, according to a LinkedIn post, by Cassey Shield, the Chief Revenue Officer at Refine Labs, 6 out of 25 people (from Book the Strategy Call Analysis) who booked the call came via the podcast.

One thing that you must note here is that they never sell or upsell themselves through their podcasts. Instead, they focus on sharing everything they know about the topic and bring in internal and even external experts to share knowledge.

How to implement: To deliver valuable content through a podcast, first decide the theme and style of your podcast. What topics will you talk about in your podcast? Will your podcast be solo, interview-based, or hybrid? If you’re hosting an interview-based podcast, decide how you’ll get experts for your podcast.

Next, choose the podcast hosting platform where you’ll host your podcast. Now, decide the name of your podcast and set your podcast up. Once you’re done setting up your podcast, launch your first episode.

Middle of The Funnel (MoFu) — Consideration Stage

Middle of the funnel (MoFu) focuses on nurturing and guiding the customers to become qualified leads. This is the stage where your target audience knows about the specific solution you offer to solve their problem. Here, your goal is to keep the prospects engaged with your brand so that they choose your brand or company in the future when they decide to purchase the perfect solution for their needs.

There are two ways you can leverage the MoFu funnel:

Strategy 1: Creating Lead Magnets

According to Mohamed Abd Elkhalek, the marketing executive at Accessware, creating a lead magnet, such as an e-book or whitepaper, provides valuable information to potential customers in exchange for their contact information. 

Why creating a lead magnet is an effective customer acquisition strategy?

How to implement: Create a landing page that promotes the lead magnet and encourages visitors to download it by filling out a form with their contact information. The landing page should be optimized for conversions, with a clear and compelling headline, persuasive copy, and a strong call to action.

Once a visitor downloads the lead magnet and provides their contact information, the business can follow up with them via email and nurture them with additional content and offers. This can help build trust and establish the business as a thought leader in their industry, which can ultimately lead to more conversions and sales.

Also Read: What's a Lead Magnet (10 SaaS Examples for Inspiration)

Strategy 2: Leveraging Interactive Product Demos

Using interactive product demos is a great way of turning visitors into customers. By embedding an interactive guide or product tour on your website, you give a sneak peek of what your product looks like, and what value it offers to prospective customers. This way, the prospect will have ample information about your product without having to schedule a demo with your sales team — which is a good way to qualify them and nurture them further.

For example, Pulley, a fundraising software embedded the product demo on its website to increase their signups and gained 1,000+ free users and 10K+ impressions in a year.

Upland Software, an RFP and proposal management software embedded a gated product demo on its website to improve the leads captured and saw a 5X uptick in sales velocity and 3X increase in the leads captured.

Upland Software embedded a gated product demo on its website
Image Source

sevDesk, an accounting software created a demo with multiple flows to convert more visitors into customers and gained these results:

  • 25% visitors signed up
  • 150 minutes of watch time in 3 months
  • 9.7K impressions in 3 months
sevDesk embedded a product demo on its website
Image Source

Also Read: How sevDesk generated 527 leads with a 28% conversion rate?

How to implement: To embed a product tour on your website, you need to plan your demo. Do you want to gate your demo or should it be ungated? Our tip is to test both and find out which works for you. Next, decide the product features you want to emphasize, and how long or short the demo would be. Now, use demo software like Storylane and create your demo.

Here, you’ll capture product screens, customize them to your preference for brand colors, personalization, and so on, and publish them.

Once published, you get an embed link. Copy the link and paste it on your website. And voila, now your visitors can view the product tour on your website.

Also Read: How to Build a Guided Demo in 10 Minutes

Bottom of The Funnel (BoFu)— Conversion Stage

The bottom of the funnel (BoFu) is where you’ll convert potential buyers into paying customers.

At this stage, you’re likely to face blockers from customers in terms of credibility, and pricing. And that’s why, you need to double down on ways to gain the customer’s trust and showcase the value of your product in detail.

Here are two ways to do so:

Strategy 1: Customer Studies

Case studies work like a charm when sales reps want to support their statements and showcase to potential customers the results they have achieved. It highlights the challenge the customer was going through before using your product, and how their challenges were solved by using your product.

For example, Storylane’s website houses case studies of several clients it has worked with. Under the Customers page, you’ll see a section called Customer Stories where we have mentioned all the case studies. In each case study, we have highlighted 3 elements:

  1. Challenges the customer faced before using Storylane
  2. How Storylane offered them the solution
  3. Results the client achieved
Storylane created a library of customer success case studies 
Image Source

In some of our case studies, we also added a section called ‘Why did this demo work?’ to help potential customers understand how they take inspiration from our existing clients and use similar tactics in their product demos.

How Storylane writes case studies
Image Source

How to implement: To write the case study, observe the data and metrics of your existing customers. Highlight important information and details about the customer journey.

Once you have evaluated the case, get consent from your customer to include their case study. In case you need more valuable insights on how the customer reached a specific goal, consider interviewing them.

 Next, decide the angle you’ll take for your case study. And how to do this? By identifying the problems the customer was facing. This way, you’ll be able to build the narrative and move towards the solution.

 Your case study will focus on the following elements:

  • title;
  • sub-title;
  • introduction;
  • problem;
  • solution;
  • conclusion

And finally share the result that you’ve achieved for the customer. However, the result achieved can be sprinkled in different places like the headline of the case study and even in the beginning before the introduction.

Strategy 2: Onboarding email sequence

One of the biggest turnoffs for paying customers is not getting enough educational resources for them to self-learn about the product and use it. Although there are multiple ways to offer educational material to your customers, sending a product-focused email marketing sequence works well. This way, you can engage with the customers while providing them with ample information about your product while making your emails interactive.

Let’s take a look at how Mixmax uses product-based emails to educate their customers about the product.

Educational emails the brand sends after the customer is onboarded

Once a customer signs up for the free trial, Mixmax starts sending them a drip email campaign consisting of the different product features in each email. 

For example, in one of their emails, the brand emphasizes how the customer can make up their sales process and the newly added features that they should use in their workflow.

How to implement: First, define the number of emails that the sequence email will contain. Next, decide on the product features you’ll highlight in each email. Then, decide whether you’ll add bite-sized videos or GIFs in your email or static images.

💡Pro tip: Create a product demo with Storylane and use it as GIFs in your email sequence.

Create the copy for each email and add compelling subject lines. Now, use an email marketing platform to create an email list and segment customers. Send them the email campaign.

Also Read: Personalize Email Campaigns with Interactive Product Demos

Important customer acquisition metrics

By tracking customer acquisition metrics, you’ll know the success of your customer acquisition funnel. It will help you analyze which strategies to tweak and optimize to increase your customer acquisition efforts.

Below we have listed 5 customer acquisition metrics that you should track:

Customer acquisition metrics that you must track
  1. Customer acquisition cost (CAC) — This metric evaluates the cost of acquiring a new customer. By tracking this metric, you can determine a cost-effective way to acquire customers, fully analyze per-customer value, and improve the profit margins.
  1. Customer lifetime value (CLV) — This metric measures the total revenue generated by the customer throughout your relationship with them. By tracking this metric, you’ll know how much the customer has spent on your brand and you’ll be able to predict how much the customers could spend on your brand in the future.
  1. Average revenue per customer (ARPC) — This metric measures the revenue your business earns from each customer. By tracking this metric, you’ll understand your business’s health and provide insights on improving your offering.
  1. Customer churn rate — This metric indicates the percentage of customers who canceled or downgraded their subscriptions. By tracking this metric, you’ll understand how well your business is retaining customers and whether or not your customers are satisfied with your products and services.
  1. Customer loyalty rate — This metric indicates how many times a customer buys your products and services. By tracking this metric, you can analyze the level of engagement the customer has with your company or brand.

Start Acquiring Customers

Before you start acquiring customers using these customer funnel strategies we shared above, here are our two cents: create sustainable strategies you can use in the longer run. Instead, the efforts you’ll invest in creating a new strategy every other time, save them for retaining these acquired customers. After all, the best deal to running your SaaS business is not just acquiring new customers every time but retaining them too!

Q1. What are the four main stages of the buying funnel?

The four main stages of the buying funnel are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Decision
  4. Action

Q2. What is the top-of-funnel strategy?

Top of the funnel (TOFU) strategy focuses on creating awareness among their target audience to help them become aware of their pain points and challenges. The goal here is to provide all the necessary information the target audience needs to learn about the solution that can solve their problem.

Q3. What is a funnel in CRM?

The CRM funnel is a pictorial representation of the journey of your leads from when they entered your sales pipeline to when they became customers. It is because of this funnel that you can nurture the after-sales relationship with your customers to retain them and provide them with an excellent customer experience.

"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."
—CHRIS LANCASTER, SUPPLY CHAIN PROJECT
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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."
—CHRIS LANCASTER, SUPPLY CHAIN PROJECT

"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."

—CHRIS LANCASTER, SUPPLY CHAIN PROJECT

Stay ahead of the sandbox curve with a superior demo environment
Try Storylane
Stay ahead of the sandbox curve with a superior demo environment
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