Customer Acquisition & Growth
August 17, 2023

Ultimate Guide: Top 19 Customer Acquisition Channels Analysed

Customer Acquisition Channels

Welcome to our deep dive analysis of 19 different types of customer acquisition channels. In this blog, you’ll find a detailed overview of each channel including:  

  • Pros and cons
  • The industries they work best in
  • Cost effectiveness
  • ROI

At the end of this blog you’ll have a better idea of the best customer acquisition channels for your business. 





How to Choose Your Customer Acquisition Channels

Choosing the right customer acquisition channels involves understanding your target audience, analysing your business goals, assessing channel effectiveness, and optimising for the best results. Here's a structured approach to help you make informed decisions:

1) Understand Your Target Audience:

Define your ideal customer personas based on demographics, preferences, behavior, and purchasing patterns. Understand where they spend their time and how they consume information.


2) Set Clear Acquisition Goals:

Establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for customer acquisition. Determine the number of new customers you want to acquire within a given period.

3) Consider Your Budget and Resources:

Determine the budget you can allocate to customer acquisition efforts. Different channels have varying costs, so choose ones that align with your financial capabilities. Also, consider the human resources and expertise required for each channel.



4) Evaluate Existing Channel Effectiveness:

Research and analyse the effectiveness of each existing channel in reaching and engaging your target audience. Consider factors like cost per acquisition (CPA), conversion rates, and potential reach


5) Assess Alignment with Your Audience and Goals:

Evaluate how well each channel aligns with your target audience's preferences and behaviours. Choose channels that resonate with your audience and are likely to convert based on your goals.



6) Research Additional Available Channels:

Identify various customer acquisition channels listed in the next section such as digital (social media, email marketing, PPC, SEO), content marketing, partnerships, events, referrals, influencer marketing, and more.



7) Test and Experiment:

Conduct small-scale tests or pilot campaigns on different channels to evaluate their performance. Use A/B testing to optimise strategies and identify the most effective channels.



8) Track and Measure Results:

Implement tracking mechanisms to monitor the performance of each acquisition channel. Analyse metrics such as customer acquisition cost (CAC), conversion rates, and customer lifetime value (CLV) for each channel.

9) Prioritise Based on Channel Performance:

Prioritise channels that have historically performed well for your industry or that match your audience's preferences. Also, prioritise channels that align with your budget and goals.


10) Optimise and Refine Strategies:

Regularly review the performance data and make data-driven decisions to optimize strategies for each channel. Allocate resources to high-performing channels and adjust strategies for underperforming ones.



11) Leverage Multi-Channel Approach:

Implement a multi-channel strategy to diversify your customer acquisition efforts and reach a broader audience. Utilise a mix of channels to maximise exposure and effectiveness.



12) Stay Updated with Trends:

Keep yourself updated with industry trends and emerging channels. Adapt and incorporate new channels that align with changing customer behaviours and preferences.


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B2C & B2B Customer Acquisition Channels

1) Brand Partnerships

Brand partnerships enable businesses to target previously untapped audience segments. The number of businesses that implement it as an acquisition channel continues to rise as it makes acquisition of new customers that much easier. 

Your partners’ customers will trust their recommendations. By being associated with a brand people love could convince them to give you a chance. Even the notion of co-created value is a huge incentive for consumers to purchase from brands.  


68% of consumers make a buying decision with brands that are in joint campaigns.



  • Similar to affiliate marketing, brand partnerships grants you access to new audiences.

  • Association with well-known or beloved brands boosts your brand’s credibility. Establishing trust with consumers is essential for acquisition channels.

  • Allows for tapping into partners’ resource and talent pool (if the terms of the partnerships allow it).

  • Co-promoted offers of complementary services and products also enhance their uniqueness in the eyes of consumers. This feeds into creating a compelling point of difference that helps brands stand out in competitive markets. 

    For more info see our blog: How Can These Top 10 Benefits of Brand Partnerships Revolutionise Your Marketing?.




  • Without expert advice from brand partnership managers or third parties who specialise in them, misalignment of values could be a source of conflict between partners.

  • Ultimately, there’s little control over one’s partner to commit to the brand alliance. They may fail to invest equal amounts of resources and personnel.

  • Partnerships are complex and present logistical challenges. Decision-makers on both sides may bog down time-sensitive promotions.

  • Bloated bureaucracies could undermine efforts to coordinate and collaborate.

  • Should a partner lose face through poor ethics or upset their audience, just by association your brand could also be caught in the fallout.


Use case: Industries


Brand partnerships work well in most industries. Regardless of product or service, another brand with similar strategic alignments, will offer something seen by consumers as complementary to what you provide, e.g., gyms and businesses that sell protein products. 


Cost effectiveness


Partnerships, in comparison to traditional acquisition channels (such as PPC), are effective money-saving alternatives.

The main reason is due to the types of partnerships available. For example, barter partnerships see the exchange of products or services between brands. For that reason, a barter partnership is an ideal alternative for businesses with limited budgets that want to leverage an acquisition channel that has huge reach.





Highly dependent and specific to each and every partnership. There’s no agreed industry average. However, businesses that use brand partnership platforms as an acquisition tool, report online that they see huge ROI. Including some of our clients!



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2) Referral Programmes

Referral marketing and acquisition are synonymous and practically walk hand in hand. As an acquisition channel, referral programmes are undeniably one of the most effective methods. Although we’ve placed it firmly in B2C, this could also work in a B2B model. But the rate of referrals is typically more prominent in a B2C setting. 


90% of consumers trust referrals from friends and family more than advertisements from companies. 




  • Increases trust and credibility.

  • Improved rates of conversion of high quality leads.

  • Automates lead qualification by leveraging personal relationships between brand advocates and leads they know.

  • Enhances customer loyalty.

  • Boosts customer retention and customer lifetime value. 




  • The chance of successful referrals are only as good as your incentives. Scaling rewards for continued referrals requires expertise.

  • Referral programmes take time to gather momentum.

  • Referrals are extremely circumstantial; the right person needs to be asked at the right time with the right incentive.

  • Will never convince all your customers. Such segments need to be identified and referral efforts abandoned with them. 


Use case: Industries


  • Referral programmes work well in most industries especially retail and ecommerce - B2C


Cost effectiveness


 Referral programmes are cost effective due to:

  • Generating higher quality customers without the expenses of traditional advertising.

  • Brand advocates generally have higher customer lifetime value.

  • As an acquisition tool, referral programmes are very cost effective because generated leads trust recommendations, and are therefore much more closer to first time purchases.




Companies that successfully implement a referral programme (86%) reported a growth in revenue within 2 years



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3) Loyalty & Reward Programmes

Loyalty programmes are a great acquisition and conversion tool channel due to being a compelling reason for consumers to buy your product or service when they could easily go elsewhere.

Customers receive tangible benefits and rewards for consistent purchases – including exclusive offers, discounts and special perks. 


Loyalty & reward programmes influence first time purchases of 66% of consumers, proving just how effective they are as an acquisition channel.




  • Gives brands a compelling point of difference over competitors. As an acquisition marketing tool that’s essential. 

  • Not only generates leads and has great conversion rates also drives engagement, retention and referrals. 

  • Proven to increase customer retention rates

  • There’ll be a loyalty programme type perfectly optimised to drive your acquisition rates.



Needs a substantial amount of resources and time dedicated to setting it up in-house.

Without the right expertise on loyalty, the programme could fail to resonate with customers, or prove to be too costly for the company to continue to operate.


Use Cases: Industries


Customer loyalty programmes are useful in every industry. Although different types of loyalty programmes tend to work better for specific industries. For example, Tiered Loyalty Programmes complement the hospitality, beauty and cosmetics, fashion, travel, and FinTech companies. 



Cost effectiveness


The process of determining net gain and cost of a loyalty programmes depends on its type and the rewards on offer.

Businesses can use a simple formula to evaluate the cost effectiveness of loyalty programmes. Subtract incremental revenues by incremental costs. 

Costs of loyalty programmes include:

  • Soft benefits, such as perks and member events.
  • Customer redemptions of rewards.
  • Programme development. 
  • Maintenance and support.
  • Marketing and sales. 
  • Further research and development. 
  • Business overheads. 
  • OR third party loyalty platform providers that offer all the above.

Incremental revenues include:

  • Ancillary revenues e.g., membership fees.
  • Increased purchase volume and frequency.
  • Increase upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
  • Lower churn rates.
  • More successful acquisitions through word-of-mouth and referrals.

The ability of your loyalty programme to resonate with your customers ultimately decides its cost effectiveness. Employing the services of third party loyalty platform providers improves your chances of developing a successful loyalty programme. 

Through their experience and expertise, they understand which strategies work best for your customer acquisition strategy.  





As an acquisition channel, it should perform well in attracting new customers with tangible benefits and unmissable rewards. 

As a loyalty programme, its flexibility affords you opportunities to adjust objectives and hit new KPIs. As already mentioned, increasing upselling opportunities or encouraging word-of-mouth marketing (more on that later!). 

Boosting engagement, upsell and cross-sell conversions, retention and referrals all have a direct positive impact on ROI. Positive ROI encourages cost efficiency of your loyalty programme, making loyalty programmes one of the most positive cost-to-benefit options as an acquisition channel.

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4) Affiliate Marketing

Collaborating with affiliate partners is a great way of promoting your products to wider audiences and ciphering some of the brand equity and credibility from partners. The benefits of affiliate marketing are evidently abundant and show no sign of slowing down. 


16% of all online orders in the US come directly from affiliate marketing






  • Cost-Effective: Affiliate marketing is performance-based, meaning you only pay commissions when a desired action (sale, lead, click) occurs. This makes it a cost-effective marketing strategy.

  • Quick Implementation: Setting up an affiliate programme is relatively quick and straightforward, enabling you to start generating leads and sales promptly.

  • Increased Reach and Exposure: Affiliates extend your reach to their own audience, providing access to potential customers you might not reach through other channels. This broadens brand exposure.

    • Global Reach: Affiliates can promote your products or services globally, allowing you to expand your customer base beyond geographical boundaries.

  • Diverse Marketing Channels: Affiliates operate through various marketing channels like websites, blogs, social media, email marketing, and more. This diversity allows you to target different customer segments.

  • Customer Acquisition and Retention: Effective affiliate marketing strategies can help acquire new customers and encourage repeat purchases, thus aiding in customer retention and lifetime value.

  • Targeted Marketing: Affiliates often specialise in specific niches. Partnering with relevant affiliates helps in targeted marketing, reaching the right audience interested in your products or services.

  • Scalability and Flexibility: You can easily scale your affiliate programme as your business grows. Adding more affiliates or expanding into new markets is relatively simple.

  • SEO Benefits: Backlinks generated by affiliates can improve your website's SEO ranking, leading to higher organic traffic and better visibility on search engines.

  • Data and Insights: Affiliate marketing provides valuable data and insights about consumer behaviour, preferences, and buying patterns. This data can inform your overall marketing strategy.

  • Performance Tracking and Analytics: Advanced tracking and analytics tools allow you to monitor the performance of your affiliates in real-time, enabling data-driven optimisation and decision-making.



While affiliate marketing offers numerous advantages, it's essential to be aware of its potential drawbacks and limitations. However some of these challenges can met or controlled by using an affiliate network such as Propello Partner, Awin

  • High Competition: The affiliate marketing landscape is highly competitive. Finding and retaining top-performing affiliates in a saturated market can be difficult.

  • Commission Structure Complexity: Developing and managing a fair commission structure can be complex, especially as your affiliate program scales. Determining appropriate commission rates for different products and affiliates can be challenging.

  • Attribution Challenges: Determining the exact contribution of affiliates to conversions within a multi-channel marketing strategy can be challenging. Accurately attributing sales to specific affiliates can be complex.

  • Quality of Affiliates: Not all affiliates will align with your brand values or promote your products/services ethically. Low-quality affiliates can damage your brand reputation or engage in fraudulent practices.

  • Managing Relationships: Maintaining good relationships with affiliates requires ongoing effort. Addressing concerns, providing support, and ensuring they have the necessary tools for success can be time-consuming.

  • Dependence on Affiliate Partners: Your success heavily relies on the performance of your affiliates. If they don't generate sales or traffic, your revenue will be impacted.


Use Cases: Industries


According to Coupler, the best affiliate marketing niches for 2023 include:


  • Technology (e.g., Saas)

  • Financial services

  • Health and fitness

  • Fashion and beauty

  • Lifestyle (evergreen sub niches e.g., Home)

  • Decor, Self Development and Sustainable living)

  • Hobbies (DIY, painting and art, writing, drones, cars, photography)

  • Pet care

  • Travel and tourism 


Cost effectiveness


The low ongoing costs of affiliate marketing due to it being a commission-based relationship, makes it cost-effective compared to other acquisition channels. 




All in all, 84% of businesses rate affiliate marketing ROI better than other marketing channels. The average return on ad spending (ROAS) is an impressive 12:1 across all industries


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5) Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has taken off over the past few years. There’s no sign that it’s slowing down, either. Mainly recognised as a B2C channel with retailers and big brands working with celebrities, collaborating with industry influencers and thought leaders could work in a B2B setting.

Implementing influencer marketing into your acquisition strategy instantly builds credibility, trust, and boosts your brand’s equity through association with influential people. 

Influencer marketing is clearly seen as an effective acquisition channel as 86% of marketers use it to increase brand awareness, 74% reaching targeted audiences, improving advocacy (69%), and increasing sales conversions (46%). 




  • Increases brand awareness with previously unreachable target audiences.

  • Increases social media presence, followers, and even sales.

  • Builds credibility and trust through association with influencers.

  • Credibility and trust are essential for successful customer acquisition.

  • Opens opportunity to build relationships and long term collaborations with influencers. 

  • Influencers can become powerful brand advocates. 




  • Collaborating with the wrong influencers harms customer acquisition, particularly if they don’t resonate with your target audience.

  • Potential for costly mistakes is possible without establishing clear guidelines, communication and contracts.

  • Difficult to measure results.

  • Certain things such as influencers’ popularity, their own crises and brand image challenges, remain out of your control and therefore increase the risk of the acquisition channel. 


Use case: Industries


The industries that most commonly use influencer marketing:

  • Beauty and fashion

  • Food and beverage

  • Travel and tourism

  • Tech and gaming 


Cost effectiveness


Influencer marketing negates production costs requirements e.g., photoshoots and other expenses typically seen in product campaigns. According to an article on LinkedIn, social media advertising is 3x more expensive than influencer marketing.





There’s no definitive answer, however most experts agree that a ROI of 1:1 (for every pound or dollar spent you get one back in sales) is a good benchmark. 

Also, Instagram is seen as the most preferred and successful platform, and should be considered if you decide to use this acquisition channel. 



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6) Social Media

Social media is a great way to share news, updates and engage customers with highly personalised communications. Although social media is mainly used by B2C businesses, B2B models also benefit from it as an acquisition tool, particularly on LinkedIn. The platform is the perfect place for decision makers to connect and share industry insights. 

As for B2C, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and Instagram could be utilised to reach target audiences with:


1) News

2) Updates

3) Hashtags

4) Reviews

5) Influencer marketing

6) User generated content





  • Allows you to directly communicate with leads in real time.

  • Promotes targeted advertising by seeing leads’ interests, behaviours and even location, you can tailor messages that are highly personalised to them.

  • Offers a glimpse into key insights about potential customers.

  • Significantly increases brand reach on a global scale.

  • High adaptability allows you to make quick, seamless and easy adjustments to optimise social media as an acquisition channel. 




  • Social media platforms are crowded, making it difficult for your content to stand out.

  • Organic reach declines without paid ads, therefore as an acquisition channel, unpaid social media fails to reach significant portions of your target audiences.

  • Relies on third party platforms. Outages could clash with special announcements, policies may change, and adjustments to algorithms might mitigate reach. 


Use case: Industries


A wide range of industries stand to benefit from social media that’s central to an acquisition strategy. However, some industries see significant benefits:

  • E-commerce and retail: perfect for showcasing products, sharing promotions and engaging customer feedback.

  • Fashion and beauty: visual content is of paramount importance for the fashion and beauty industries. For social media to be an effective acquisition channel you need to catch the eyes of potential customers!

  • Food and beverage: similar to the fashion and beauty, food and beverage businesses sell their goods with appealing images and mouth watering descriptions

  • Fitness and wellness: social media as an acquisition tool is great for health clubs and gyms as it covers all bases to convince leads that you’re an authority. Share healthy recipes, transformation stories and workout routines. 


Cost effectiveness


Organic social media is extremely cost effective, especially when you promote user generated content – highly trusted (pivotal for acquisition) and costs you nothing. 





The ROI benchmark for social media marketing is 3:1. 




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7) Paid Social





LinkedIn Advertising (B2B)

  • Targeted audience: Precise targeting options based on job title, industry, location, skills, and more, enabling highly focused ad delivery to relevant professionals. It's also possible to upload your own target lists of prospects for ad serving.

  • Lead generation opportunities: Effective lead generation through lead forms integrated within ads, simplifying the process of capturing contact details and enquiries from potential customers.

  • Brand visibility and credibility: Enhanced brand visibility among professionals, establishing credibility and trust as your ads are displayed alongside reputable industry content.

Find out more benefits here


Facebook / Meta (B2C & B2B)

  • Cost-effective advertising: Ad campaigns can be tailored to fit any budget, and advertisers have control over ad spend and bid strategies, ensuring cost-efficiency

  • Retargeting capabilities: Effective retargeting options to re-engage users who have previously interacted with your brand, increasing the likelihood of conversions.

  • Leverage Meta network: Serves your ads across Facebook and Instagram

Find out more benefits here

YouTube (B2C & B2B)


  • Enhanced targeting options: Geographic, demographic, remarketing and  audiences with specific interests, offer opportunities to reach uniquely qualified target audiences.

  • Massive reach: There's 2 billion users on YouTube, representing a third of all internet users. Coupled with its robust targeting capabilities, its unrivalled reach to vast audiences offers paid search efforts high volumes of potential customers. 

  • Flexible ad options: Flexibility of ads include skippable ads after 5 seconds, non-skippable ads (around 30 secs) and bumper ads (usually 6 second and non-skippable).  

Find out more benefits here


Pinterest (B2C & B2B)


  • Offers native feel to ads: Highly targeted ads aesthetically and conceptually fit alongside organic posts. Ideal in an era of ad blockers and decreasing consumer trust. 

  • Encourages discovery: Discovery is at the heart of Pinterest. Users go on the platform to discover and pin new products and brands, meaning audiences will be much more receptive to your ads.  

  • Offers several types of ads: Users can save ads in collections (ideal for e-commerce stores), "try on" product pins, carousel ads, and educational-focused idea or story pins. Each of these add interactivity and personalisation to ads. 

Find out more benefits here



LinkedIn Advertising (B2B)


  • Higher costs: Comes with a higher price tag compared to other platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest. 

  • Limited ad formats: Falls short in terms of the variety of options offered by other platforms, potentially limiting creativity and the opportunity to explore different ad types.

  • Less diverse audience: Professional nature may limit effectiveness, as an exclusively B2B marketing platform, could potentially hinder the campaign's reach and overall impact.

Find out more benefits here


Facebook / Meta (B2C & B2B)


  • Prioritises native content: Algorithm gives priority to native content and organic reach, making it challenging for businesses to effectively reach their target audiences. 

  • Ad fatigue: Constant bombardment of ads causes ad fatigue amongst users. People have become desensitised to ads as a result. 

  • Privacy concerns: Under constant scrutiny and has faced backlash for its handling of user data, resulting in mounting privacy concerns among users. 

Find out more benefits here


YouTube (B2C & B2B)


  • High competition: Intense competition with millions of videos uploaded daily,  becomes increasingly challenging for your advertisement to distinguish itself.

  • High costs: Competition among advertisers on YouTube for the same audience and keywords lead to increased ad costs and decreased return on ad spend.

  • Complex and dynamic: Dynamic and ever-evolving platform, with its algorithms, policies, and features constantly changing, necessitating frequent strategy adaptations and updates.

Find out more benefits here


Pinterest (B2C & B2B)


  • Labour intensive: Best practice guidelines suggest that businesses need to push out 5 pins per day and perhaps slightly less for a paid campaign. However, paid campaigns require new content more regularly than on other platforms. 

  • Needs compelling messaging: More pins don't necessarily mean more sales, just the same as more clicks don't mean more sales. Since users are on the constant lookout for new businesses, messaging and CTA need to be compelling. 

  • Specific to general audiences: Audiences are usually interested in more niche products. If your products or services cater to a wider demographic of people you may find it difficult to make your ads stand out.  

Find out more benefits here



Use Cases: Industries


Paid search is beneficial for a wide range of industries and businesses. Here are some common use case scenarios:


  • E-commerce
  • Local brick and mortar businesses (e.g., restaurants and salons)
  • Travel and hospitality
  • SaaS
  • Educational institutions
  • Finance and insurance
  • Health and fitness 
  • Real estate
  • Legal services
  • Home improvement stores 
  • Automotive industry
  • Entertainment and media
  • Consumer goods


Cost effectiveness


Determining the cost-effectiveness of paid search advertising, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, can be a complex process influenced by various factors. It is essential to consider several key factors based on your specific situation to assess whether paid search is a cost-effective. 

These include industry and competition, keywords and bidding, ad quality, conversion rates of your landing pages, the budget you invest, geographic targeting and more.

An efficiently planned and executed paid search campaign should be cost-effective, ensuring that you are spending the necessary amount to achieve your goals.




It's common knowledge that search ads are an incredibly powerful tool for promoting your business online. In fact, when properly optimised, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can provide a 200% return on investment, with $2 earned for every $1 spent on average.



8) Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are an effective acquisition channel due to their potential for enhancing online shopping experiences. Apps offer personalised communications and incentives, tailored specifically to each individual that has access to them. 

Over half of consumers enjoy the convenience of shopping on mobile devices.





  • Gives users a direct channel to notifications about your product or service, updates and promotions.

  • Offers tailored, seamless and convenient, highly personalised communication, recommendations and incentives that drive engagement and satisfaction.

  • Works offline thereby keeping potential leads in contact with your brand, even with limited connectivity.

  • Can implement gamification which is a great incentive for leads to convert into paying customers.

  • Also possible to use in offline marketing efforts e.g., QR codes campaigns or in-store promotions. 




  • App compatibility varies on the type of phone and app stores. This can be a problem particularly for acquisition channels, as they rely on building brand awareness with as many leads as possible.

  • App development takes time, costs money and uses up a lot of resources that could be used elsewhere in your acquisition strategy.

  • In addition, app stores incur fees to host your app. This of course is an expenditure with no guaranteed source of income, especially if your app is free to use (which as an acquisition tool it definitely should be). 


Use case: Industries


Many industries have now implemented mobile apps as acquisition channels. Those that have been completely transformed by apps, are as follows:

  • Travel and hospitality - hotels, travel agencies and airlines use mobile apps as acquisition channels, by providing special deals personalised to user data.

  • Subscription services - news outlets, subscription box services and streaming platforms often attract new customers onto their apps with free trials and offers for new subscribers.

  • Real estate - mobiles apps are a great acquisition channel for real estate agencies. Buyers and renters need on the go notifications about potential property opportunities.


Cost effectiveness


As already discussed, mobile apps are costly to develop. In addition, there’s several other factors that you should consider. Such as maintenance cost, user acquisition costs, competition on app stores and if your app is low on the algorithm, your acquisition costs will increase. 





Mobile apps are a safe option as an acquisition channel for larger businesses that have the funds and resources to develop and monitor it. Smaller businesses however, should consider other B2C acquisition channels that can yield bigger ROI without huge investments of money and resources. 



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9) Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)


According to Hubspot, 60% of marketers claim that SEO generates the majority of their highest quality source of leads.




  • Boosts organic search traffic to your website.

  • SEO works around the clock generating new leads.

  • Search engines like Google are designed to reward companies that do SEO well.

  • By its nature SEO is competitive – after all you’re writing content that targets high-performing keywords and competitive topics.

  • Builds trust with potential leads, easing the transition of prospects becoming newly acquired customers.




  • Takes a lot longer to learn than PPC and even years to master.

  • In addition, where PPC produces fast results, SEO can typically take around 3-6 months to show results.

  • Google algorithms constantly change and it’s up to you or your SEO specialist to stay updated in order to stay effective. 


Use case: Industries


Any industry or business that has an online presence and is seeking low customer acquisition costs


Cost effectiveness


According to WebFX organic search accounts for over 50% of web traffic, utilising SEO allows you to tap into this traffic stream and attract high-quality leads to your site cost-effectively. However, the right strategies must be in place. Consider using a specialist or outsource SEO.




SEO has a golden ratio agreed upon by many marketers; 5:1. For every pound or dollar you spend you should expect to get back. 


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10) PPC / Google Ads


79% of businesses say that PPC is a huge driver for acquiring new customers.  





  • Can produce fast results!
  • PPC data helps inform your overall SEO strategy.
  • Algorithm changes on search engines such as Google has less impact on PPC compared to organic SEO
  • Allows you to target your ideal customer profile (ICP).
  • Boosts brand visibility even with a low domain authority.



  • Bidding for competitive keywords in highly competitive markets significantly increases the cost of PPC.

  • Unlike SEO, PPC has short term benefits due to being active online on live campaigns. Results stop once the campaign is over.

  • Consumers are increasingly fatigued by ads and statistics show an increasing amount of people use ad blockers.

  • PPC certainly drives traffic but it’s not responsible for converting leads into newly acquired customers – that depends on the quality of your content, landing pages and the overall persuasive power of your copy. 


Use case: Industries


Anyone with an online presence that seeks to expand brand awareness and convert new customers use paid advertising.

This source identifies some industries which are high adopters of this customer acquisition channel:

  • Finance and insurance

  • Retail

  • Travel and tourism

  • Job training and education

  • Car dealerships


Cost effectiveness


An article by Studio98 reports that paid search could cost anywhere between $45.00 and $70.00 per lead




PPC, according to Google has an average Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of 200%.


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11) Email Marketing


Email marketing as an acquisition channel is fantastic at personalising targeted, direct communication with potential leads and customers. It works perfectly well in both a B2B and B2C context. It generates promising leads by funnelling them through to a landing page.

You can send highly personalised emails targeting B2B prospects, paving the way for nurturing leads and building relationships over notoriously long sales cycles. Equally, for B2C, you can keep subscribers engaged with email campaigns, promoting your products, sharing news and encouraging first time buys or repeat purchases. 


  • Hubspot found that email marketing helped 64% of B2B marketers achieve their overall strategic goals.  

  • 61% of consumers subscribed to email lists would like to receive promotional material at least once a week.

  • Email marketing is mainly used for lead generation, making it a great acquisition channel candidate.  




  • Facilitates highly personalised communication with potential leads and prospects.

  • Strengthens relationships over long periods of time.

  • Works well in long sales cycles and maintains engagement outside consumer sales cycles. 

  • Increases brand awareness.

  • Email lists give you a steady source of potential leads you can target.

  • Encourages feedback from leads and customers, allowing you to hone email marketing as an effective acquisition channel.

  • Can tailor emails to promote products, maintain engagement and interest with newsletters, and mitigate cart abandonment.




  • Not targeting the right contact with the right content could irritate leads, making them unsubscribe or block further communication.

  • Email service providers have different rules in order to curb spam and phishing. Using certain words to incentivise prospects or leads could trigger protocols e.g., using the word “Free” in subject lines on Gmail can render your emails undeliverable!

  • Design and size issues could make your emails bounce. 

  • You’ll need someone who can write copy, design and build excellent lists to make email marketing a viable acquisition channel.


Use case: Industries

Some of the top industries for email marketing include:

  • Retail

  • Financial services

  • Travel and hospitality

  • Beauty and personal care

  • Gyms, health clubs and fitness

  • Computers and electrical consumer goods

  • Ecommerce

  • Entertainment and events

  • Home and garden

  • Mobile and telecommunications


Cost effectiveness


Email marketing is very cost effective as there’s no need to pay for advertising fees, printing costs or postage.





The average expected ROI of email marketing is $40.00 for every $1.00 you spend.


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Customer Acquisition Channels: B2B Focus


12) Content Syndication

Content syndication enhances brand awareness as it distributes your content through third party channels. For example, an industry-specific publication may share an article or a blog post you’ve produced on their website. Or a key industry player might link back to a whitepaper you’ve just released. 

Syndication networks operate on the basis of goodwill. If you create content that’s considered excellent, naturally people in your industry will want to share it with their own audiences. Likewise, you can share content produced by others that is tailored specifically to your target audience. 


According to an article by Intotheminds, 30% of B2B marketers consider content syndication as their most effective lead generation strategy.



  • Increases your brand’s visibility and reach with fresh audiences.

  • Third party backlinks to your content improves SEO.

  • Your content shared by well known industrial publications enhances brand credibility.

  • Flexible - can use paid or free syndication options.

  • Works well with various types of content e.g. blogs, webinars and infographics.

  • Highly accessible to audiences on multiple platforms.



  • Can harm SEO efforts if syndicate partners duplicate your content without adding a new angle and extra value to readers.

  • You have no control over how your content is shared or interpreted by syndicate partners.

  • There’s no opportunity to generate revenue from ads or build an email list of new readers engaging with the content.

  • Limited opportunities to track engagement with your content – subject to the syndicate partner sharing that information with you.

  • Your content could get outranked. 


Use case: Industries


  • Tech companies - releasing white papers and establishing themselves as thought leaders for emerging tech.

  • Media and publishing - distributing news and journalistic content to reach wider audiences.

  • Financial services - offering insights about investments, consumer regulations, financial advice and institutions.

  • Insurance companies - informing readers about the latest health breakthroughs, advice about insurance, and topics for cutting premium costs.


Cost effectiveness

Depends on several factors:

  • Content quality - well-researched content increases the chances of attracting highly respected publications in your field. 

    Generally, higher content quality takes longer to produce but the ROI scales to the length of time.

  • Target audience - if the syndicate partner has a large audience and is the right fit for distributing your top quality content, it generates high quality leads.

  • Platforms - either free or paid options. Free options include online forums and paid options vary depending on industry, target audience size and pricing models. 




There is no universal or average ROI for content syndication. This is due to the many variables involved. However, we can show you some examples of successful content syndication examples: 


  • The BazaarVoice Case Study for Samsonite reported a $599K increase in revenue and 1,360% lift in review volumes from sites such as Target and Walmart.

  • Moz collaborated with to produce a case study showing how the latter earned over 1 million organic monthly visits through the power of content syndication.

B2B and B2C Content syndication

Both are great for building brand awareness and boosting visibility with previously unreachable target audiences. However, 

  • B2B content syndication - is aimed towards thought leadership.
  • B2C - focuses on promoting a product and is typically part of an overall PR strategy. 


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13) Virtual and In-person Events

Hosting online and in-person industry trade shows or networking events present an opportunity for you to showcase your products or services to B2B clients. Industry-specific events allow you to make connections, meet potential clients and partners face-to-face, and demonstrate your expertise. 


  • Businesses that close deals at events report a 40% closing rate.

  • 70% of businesses acquired new leads through in-person events and 64% of people attending were not existing customers of businesses at the event. 




Virtual events

  • Wider reach and accessibility than traditional in-person events. Expanded reach also means making contact with diverse audiences, full of potential prospects on a global scale.

  • Scalable to any audience size. No need for logistics to cater and accommodate larger audiences.

  • Virtual events allow for robust data collection e.g., tracking attendance rates, engagement of attendees, and interaction with relevant content.

  • Highly convenient and flexible for leads, making first interaction with your brand a positive one, and increasing chances of successful customer acquisition. 

In-person events

  • Allows for direct, face-to-face interaction. Personal interactions between attendees, presenters and your team, builds human connection, trust and rapport.

  • Networking opportunities organically connect industry experts, potential clients, teams and peers. Establishes the foundations of a strong community.

  • B2B prospects also have a hands-on opportunity, trying out your product or service themselves. This has a huge impact on potential customers, leaving them with memorable experiences.

  • Builds credibility and authority, especially when teams share stages with industry experts and thought leaders. This is essential for B2B prospecting and acquiring new potential clients.




Virtual events

  • Lack of personnel connection that face-to-face interactions offer. This is problematic for building rapport, trust and relationships that often arise naturally in in-person events.

  • Difficult capturing the attention of attendees especially when many could experience digital fatigue, as a result of participating in numerous online events and webinars.

  • Technical issues and time zone challenges could be a problem for potential prospects. Might lose out on acquiring a potential client if they have a negative and inconvenient experience.

  • Limited hands-on experience could pose some serious issues for acquisition efforts, particularly for those businesses whose products or services benefit from live demonstrations.

In-person events

  • Constrained by physical location and limited reach. Reach on a global scale as often seen with virtual events is significantly unlikely.

  • Logistical challenges of organising venue selection, catering, setup and transportation are time-consuming and complex.

  • Physical barriers and lower attendance rates due to travel disruptions, last-minute cancellations, weather and other emergencies undermine chance of acquisition.

  • If your business is not the event organiser and is a participant, you’ll need to stand out and compete for the attention of attendees.   



Use case: Industries


Let’s take a look at which industries benefit from virtual and in-person events.


Virtual events

  • Finance and banking 

  • Education (such as educational institutions and online learning platforms)

  • Professional services (consulting agencies etc.,) 

  • Manufacturing and industrial businesses (to demonstrate product features etc.,)

In-person events

  • Automotive industry

  • Fashion industry (fashion shows, exhibitions etc.,)

  • Consumer electronics (reveal and demonstrate new gadgets, for example)

  • Construction and building companies (attracting property developers and potential long term clients)



Cost effectiveness


Here’s a quick summary of the cost-effectiveness of both virtual and in-person events. 

Virtual events

According to Markletic, small virtual events (10 – 100 attendees) costs $50 - $250. Large virtual events (500 – 2500+ attendees) costs anywhere from $650 to $8,000.

In-person events

Toucan, on the other hand, suggests that catering for just a 50 person event is $1,520. Plus, hiring venues could cost you $189 per hour. 





There’s limited data on this. However, we’ve found some charts from the past that you could use as benchmarks should you choose either of these acquisition channels.

Virtual events

Marketingcharts asked 202 marketers (68% of whom were from B2Bs) about their average ROI for event initiatives. 


In-person events

44% of marketers claim that they experienced a 3:1 ROI from events.

Cost comparison

Toucan claims that virtual events are 95% cheaper than in-person events


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14) Account-based marketing (ABM)

Account based marketing focuses on quality rather than quantity. As to whether one is better than the other in terms of an acquisition channel could be up for debate. However, there’s no denying that whilst ABM has a smaller reach than other channels, it often has fantastic results when done properly. 

ABM is basically targeting customers that have been identified as high-value accounts. B2Bs use this strategy particularly for smaller target markets. Although it’s seen as a strategy, there’s opportunities to use ABM as an acquisition channel. Even if you use other channels in this list (e.g., email, direct mail or cold calls) ABM acts as an overarching acquisition channel for high-value targets. 


Marketers claim that ABM has boosts win rate by 86% 




  • Due to personalisation and a highly targeted approach, specific high-value accounts are more likely to convert at the awareness stage.

  • ABM encourages collaboration between marketing and sales teams. This is particularly useful as an acquisition channel as it hones coordinated outreach efforts.

  • Targeting accounts that are positively identified as good fits for your business also shortens typically longer B2B sales cycles.

  • Since ABM campaigns are specifically tailored to accounts, they have a lasting impression on prospects, increasing brand visibility, recognition and recall. Essentially making the experience of your acquisition channel as a whole, unforgettable.

  • Results are also highly measurable as there’s a focus on a limited number of accounts. The impact of your ABM acquisition channel can then be assessed and scaled according to increased target audience segments.




  • Significant investment of time, effort and resources are essential. Need for personalised content, conducting extensive research for each account, and coordination of sales and marketing teams, could pose resource-intensive challenges for budget limited businesses.

  • Complexity of ABM strategies as deep understanding of target accounts is required. Knowledge of pain points and account-specific buyer’s journey required to successfully craft an effective methodology for the acquisition of target accounts.

  • Due to typical limited scope there’s potential to miss out on opportunities.

  • High value stakes due to possible acquisition of lucrative clients makes it tougher for offers to stand out from competitors. Plus, ABM leads have high expectations. 


Use case: Industries


ABM is effective in a variety of B2B industries. It tends to work well for businesses with smaller customer bases, longer sales cycles and high ticket sales.


  • B2B technology
  • Financial services
  • Manufacturing and plant industry
  • Professional services (e.g., law firms)
  • Telecommunications
  • Enterprise software solutions
  • Energy and utilities
  • Automotive and aerospace companies


Cost effectiveness


ABM is extremely cost-effective when several conditions are met. So long as account values remain high, resource allocation is efficiently managed, and sales and marketing align well, ABM should stay within budget.  




No universal average ROI agreed. However, ABM marketers report huge yields


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Other Offline customer acquisition channels

At last, we reach our final section…offline customer acquisition channels.  


15) Cold calling 

Cold calling – one of the most classic examples of a traditional acquisition channel. It often gets a bad wrap but cold calling still works reasonably well for B2Bs.


The average cold calling success rate is 2%. However, with a strong script in place, B2B cold calling can up those chances to 10%


Contacting potential customers by phone to introduce how your offerings can solve the prospects pain points, gather information, and nurture leads.




  • Offers a direct and personal approach in establishing connections with potential prospects. Plus, people are more receptive when conversing on a one-on-one basis.

  • Although many argue it takes time to eventually hit an interested lead, the good news about cold calling as an acquisition channel; it facilitates immediate feedback. You can forgo leads that aren’t interested in real-time.

  • With the right research in place you could also personalise the pitch to the prospect’s business, industry and recent updates about them.

  • It’s one of the few acquisition channels that can also be used as an educational opportunity. By speaking to people you can understand how the benefits of your service or product adds value for them and alleviates pain points.




  • Cold calling often yields very low conversion rates compared to other channels that target warmer leads.

  • Also seen as intrusive and annoying, particularly for consumers. Even for B2Bs, prospects are busy with their own problems, and a phone call demands their attention at a moment’s notice. 

  • The digital age has also rendered cold calling as a relic of a time past. A natural result of this is many people are resistant to unsolicited calls as opposed to digital content that they can choose if and when to engage with. 


Use case: Industries


For practical reasons, cold calling works well for businesses that still need to improve their digital presence. In most cases, businesses with poor and great digital presence should only use cold calling if they’re B2B.


Cost effectiveness


Cold calling requires skill, practice and training in order for it to catch the attention of prospects and keep them on the phone. With the amount of time your team needs to invest in honing their sales skills, and crafting a compelling script, the low conversion rates of cold calling makes it rather inefficient.




And since the conversion rate is poor in comparison to other acquisition channels, it should come as no surprise that the ROI is quite limited.

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16) Television and Radio

Television and radio have been traditional channels of acquisition for many years. Tried and tested, there’s a reason why they’ve persisted, even well into the digital age. In terms of acquisition channels, television and radio are great options as:


In a recent survey by Nielson, it was found that adults spend 3+ hours a day watching linear television – 91% of which is ad-supported.




  • Television and radio generate mass awareness of your brand, even having the ability to make it a household name.

  • Frequent airing of your marketing also enhances brand recall and customer recognition, helping to keep your brand front-of-mind compared to competitors.

  • Featuring on TV and radio is also seen as more credible as the most well-known brands are often seen on these channels too. 

  • TV especially has a visual impact on potential customers and memorable radio jingles can also repeatedly expose consumers to your messaging. 




  • Limited targeting despite broad reach. TV and radio doesn’t allow for segmenting audiences into target lists.

  • TV and radio have typically short durations, therefore your acquisition channels have limited time to convey messaging with a big enough impact to capture leads’ attention and consideration.

  • In addition, there’s fragmentation of viewerships and listeners, particularly with younger generations. These demographics prefer to use ad-free streaming platforms to watch programmes at home and listen to their own music playlists in vehicles.

  • Radio also has a lack of visual branding and limited visual impact. 


Use case: Industries


Here’s some examples of industries that benefit from using TV and radio as acquisition channels: 

  • Retail and consumer goods - can build brand awareness and recall to a wide consumer base.

  • Automotive - TV in particular benefits the automotive industry as an acquisition channel. Brands can showcase new models and their features.

  • Food and beverage – benefit greatly from visual channels such as TV. Brands can create cravings amongst viewers and can even use sound effects and familiar jingles on the radio to acquire new customers.

  • Travel and tourism – travel agencies, airlines and hotels can use radio and TV to entice consumers with appealing scenes and descriptions of potential vacations.

  • Financial services – banks, insurance companies and investment firms can leverage the trust and credibility that TV and radio affords, to attract new leads.

  • Telecommunications & energy companies – leverage TV and radio to build brand identity, establish consistent tone and messaging, in order to enhance brand recall and recognition.


Cost effectiveness


In an article by CampaignUK, it was suggested that radio is 20% more cost-effective for building brands. Brand building is a crucial part generating leads.




Radio yields quite an impressive ROI – according to a UK econometric analysis at least – for every £1.00 spent there’s an approximate return of £7.70. In terms of ROI, radio comes in second only to television. 



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17) Pop up shops

Temporary retail locations in high-traffic areas gives brands a chance to directly engage with potential customers. A pop up shop allows you to experiment with branding, advertising and storytelling in order to pique the interest of passersby. 


Brands that experimented with pop up shops reported an increase in market visibility (51%), greater brand awareness (66%) and a 46% increase in sales





  • As already seen, pop ups certainly are an effective customer acquisition channel, as they’ve been proven to boost revenue almost by half!

  • Boosts brand awareness where there’s high foot traffic.

  • Like in-person events, it gives your sales team an opportunity to directly interact with potential customers face-to-face.

  • Due to low cost and temporary nature of pop ups, brands are able to engage consumers with new products and promotions. Allows for experimenting and test marketing soft launches.




  • Limited duration of pop up stores make it challenging for brands to establish long-term customer relationships.

  • Can be time-consuming to find suitable location, designing the stall, staffing and managing daily operations.

  • Uncertain foot traffic and sales’ ability to attract passersby could undermine acquisition efforts.

  • Limited data collection – even with mobile devices to log sales or details of potential customers. Could harm acquisition as passersby might be deterred from giving data as it takes time out of their day


Use case: Industries


  • eCommerce stores

  • Fashion

  • Beauty and cosmetics

  • Consumer electronics

  • Food and beverages

  • Arts and creative industries

  • Luxury and high-end goods

  • Sports and fitness

  • Books and publishing

  • Seasonal and holiday retail

  • Energy and utility companies 


Cost effectiveness


In comparison to brick-and-mortar premises, pop ups can be 80% cheaper. However, compared to other acquisition channels, pop up stores are more expensive due to logistics of setting up a stall and paying for its allotted space. 




The average conversion rate of pop up stores is 11.09% according to OptMonk


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18) Print advertising

Print advertising refers to newspapers, magazines, brochures, leaflets, posters and billboards. Like TV and radio, it’s a traditional form of advertising. As an acquisition channel it serves businesses by creating awareness, generating interest, and incentivising leads to make their first purchase. 


In an article by Linemark, they shared promising statistics, including; 82% of consumers trust print advertisement the most when making their first purchase





  • Print advertising utilised in public settings e.g., billboards and bus advertisements generate credibility and trust, adding legitimacy to your brand and increasing chances of customer acquisition.

  • Reduced competition due to decline of print advertising as most sectors have transitioned predominantly to the digital space.

  • Also a great channel for local community outreach.

  • Works well with digital marketing, facilitating a multichannel approach that reinforces brand identity across different touchpoints and segments.




  • Limited options for A/B testing, compared to digital acquisition channels.

  • Like pop ups, print advertising offers limited targeting. Acquisition depends on whether your messaging and branding resonates with people who encounter your marketing materials during their day.

  • There’s no way to measure direct conversions of billboards and posters. 


Use case: Industries


  • Luxury and high-end brands

  • Telecommunications

  • Real estate

  • Travel and tourism

  • Food and beverage

  • Healthcare and fitness

  • Charities

  • Electronic consumer goods (e.g., mobile phones and laptops)


Cost effectiveness


Costs of print advertising can vary from approximately $250 to $500,000. Traditional billboards typically cost between the range of £200 to £2,000 per week.   




Traditional billboard advertising sees an impressive ROI of around 40%



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19) Direct mail campaigns

Direct mail campaigns send physical marketing materials straight to customers. Of course, this is a form of print advertising. However, unlike our example above (which regards print advertising in the public sphere), direct mail refers to print advertising issued directly to the customers’ residence or business premises. 


56% of consumers made their first purchase after engaging with a direct mail piece. 





  • With saturation of digital marketing channels, direct mail has less competition, leading to higher visibility and better chances of standing out. 

  • Unlike public print advertising, direct mail allows for targeted audiences. Sending out targeted mail to specific audience segments increases the chance of customer acquisition.

  • Since segmented and targeted audiences are receiving something tangible, direct mail has a longer shelf life. Recipients may keep the mail on their desk or pin it up in their office, on the fridge etc.,

  • Unlike public print advertising, direct mail is also trackable to a certain extent. You can keep track of how many printables have been issued to addresses to measure response and conversion rates.




  • All things considered, response rates of direct mail are typically low. In an article by Chron, direct mail was said to have a response rate of just 2%.

  • Some direct mail can get lost in other mail that’s perceived as spam. Therefore, to acquire new customers, your copy and design must have a huge impact.

  • If customer acquisition is a top priority for your business you might need an acquisition channel that’s more time efficient. Direct mail takes time as you need to build mailing lists.


Use case: Industries


  • Charity organisations

  • Retirement homes and healthcare services

  • Real estate agencies

  • Travel and hospitality

  • Local brick-and-mortar companies

  • Telecommunications

  • Energy and utilities 


Cost effectiveness


There are many cost implications to consider when it comes to print advertising and direct mail. Businesses need to consider design costs, market research (for accurate mailing lists), copywriting costs and printing expenses. 

Hygrade claims that direct mailing costs between 30 cents and $10 per person. 



Leaflets offer something tangible for people to hold on to, with up to 79% of people doing just that. However, of those, just between 1% and 2% respond to leaflets

Yet it’s been reported that direct mail also receives a whopping 112% ROI across multiple channels. 

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Elevate your acquisition strategy with a winning channel formula today

There’s a lot to take in from this but hopefully you’ve got a comprehensive resource that you can consult whenever you need to weigh up which acquisition channel will serve your business best. 

Feel free to contact us for more information, advice and help creating a winning acquisition channel formula for your business. We’re always happy to help! 

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April 30, 2024

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