New Customers the Key to Sustained Growth

The classic sales funnel shows prospects flowing in the top, cycling through a number of marketing and sales qualification steps, and
emerging as customers out the bottom. While much attention has been
focused on retention — turning those one-time customers into repeat buyers and possibly even ambassadors for the brand — marketers are again paying more attention – and assigning more budget – to
acquisition: Enticing prospects into the first stage.

A new study by IDG/Prophet shows that more than half of marketers are now focused on acquisition, in addition to retention. Further, the number of marketers who believe future growth will come from new and existing customers has nearly tripled in the past year.

All this focus on acquisition corroborates other recent findings from Jupiter Research and Forrester Research that online advertising will continue to grow, and capture a larger share of marketing budgets overall. Tied to this, is the recent surge in email acquisition — through list rental, lead generation and with emerging technologies like RSS.

Managing one of the largest databases available to B2B, Tech and B2C marketers for email acquisition, Return Path has found that the most successful acquisition efforts take a campaign approach — using highly relevant, custom content and other product-related offers to encourage trial. These campaigns aim to collect an email address for the marketer – so that they can continue to market as the prospect evolves into an “in market” lead for the sales force.

The new IDG/Prophet study supports this successful technique, suggesting that marketers use acquisition media to help prospects “self determine” their position in the product lifecycle.

If you haven’t tested email acquisition lately, give it another try.
Not only will you reach prospects where they spend more time than with any other media – their inbox – but you will benefit from simple testing and optimization practices which ensure a higher ROI.

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