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Effective Customer Acquisition for 2010

by Molina-Cosculluela

The success of any business initiative depends largely on the principles, strategy, solutions, applications and systems of an organization. Often organizations have to sustain a cutthroat climate where survival and growth would be the two paradigms to take businesses forward. The finite way to improve businesses is to get the appreciation from the people driving the business, yes we are talking about the Customers.

The principles of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) focus on building the bridge of loyalty between the customers and the organization. Whether it is a multi-million dollar business or a simple tradesman serving a set of loyal customers, CRM solutions improve productivity by reducing costs and wastage and hence rings in higher profit. When CRM solutions are effectively followed, customer retention suffers little attrition and customer acquisition becomes a usual routine.

The first step in implementing CRM is by opening the lines of communication within our companies to create the sense of urgency to acquire customer data, at every customer touchpoint. Once we have acquired customer data, E-mail marketing campaign is the perfect (natural and cost effective) launch pad which helps to keep in touch with existing clients and contact prospective clients.

Email is the most preferred medium of communication and a recent study by Forrester research points that 80% of consumers opt to subscribe messages despite the growing nature of abuse by spurious spammers. Another study by MarketingProfs points that 60% of marketers today choose Email marketing to build relationships with existing customers. JupiterResearch has pointed out that by this year 2010, email marketing spending is likely to grow to $1.1 billion. Research also points that emailing has reduced the response time from customers to less than 48 hours what was previously 6-7 days.

Going back to customer acquisition, one of the acquisition points we cannot miss is our website, it can be achieved through registration forms on the website. Sign up forms have to be placed at an easily reachable place and should be accessed from all pages of the site. Customers or prospects will only sign if there is a value proposition, when they are enticed to register. Providing customers with special discounts, extending product warranties, access to exclusive content could be some of the advantages that could encourage them to sign. Through eNewsletters with latest product information, blogs or forums or self help tutorials in the portals, customers can be kept engaged. This will strengthen the opt-in list which can boost your ROI (Return On Investment), at the end it is the main objective of any business organization. Another powerful customer acquisition strategy would be Co-branding (Agreeing with another company to do something together), it improves not just the image but brings the power of bigger customer databases, negotiating with another company to make this happen could really be a pain in the neck, but usually it is worth all the hassle.

In the high tide of competition and difficult times, steady your flag by streamlining your business goals with constructive CRM acquisition techniques to achieve tangible revenue and ask yourself; Are you currently acquiring customer and prospect information organically? Are all the pieces in place for that to happen? Are all the customer touchpoints covered? Is this data Actionable?