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Where Businesses Go to Grow

Building a Growth Engine, Part 2: Acquisition

Last time, in part 1 of this series on growth hacking, we talked about awareness, the initial step in the AAARRR funnel (also known as the Pirate Funnel). This time, we're moving on beyond the point of awareness to when you have your first transaction with a customer. This is referred to as acquisition.
 
In the context of this framework, an acquisition is most likely not a sale (that comes in a future step), but rather an exchange of information on a personal, one-to-one level. For example, a typical acquisition might involve the potential customer acquiring a free downloadable file from your website, like a whitepaper, instructional guide, or coupon, in exchange for their email address and permission to contact them in the future.
 
This part of the funnel is important for a couple of reasons. The obvious benefit is that it takes the individual customer one step closer to making a purchase, and hopefully becoming a returning customer. What's beneficial in terms of the bigger picture, though, is what acquisition can tell you about the profile of your typical user, and whether your product or service is meeting the needs of your target market. 
 
You can gain a lot of insight by surveying your customers (even at the point of acquisition) about who they are and what they're looking for, and by measuring which aspects of your business they respond to most readily. Through this process, you might discover that most of your potential buyers are solo entrepreneurs, or stay-at-home-mothers, or perhaps both - whatever the case may be. You may find that they're looking for something that is slightly different from what you are currently offering. This information is a goldmine in terms of helping you adjust your product, your approach, and even your tone of communication.
 
The acquisition step helps you answer one of the most important questions to the survival of your business: are you offering something that people actually want?  As you move more and more potential customers from awareness to acquisition, you may learn that what you thought of as a side aspect of your business is actually the thing that people want most, and you can then pivot your focus accordingly. You may also discover that what you thought of as your flagship product is not really hitting the mark in the way you expected. Knowing these things early on can save you a lot of money and stress, as well as clearing the path for rapid growth acceleration.
 
In particular, make note of the following: 
 
  • What are your most popular downloads? Is there one that stands out above all the others in terms of interest?
  • What are the questions you're receiving again and again? 
  • Which products or services are mostly being ignored?
  • What patterns are you seeing in your customer demographics?
  • What are your customers usually trying to achieve by getting in contact with you?
It is essential to keep an eye on these acquisition metrics, as they will give you the vital information you need to make adjustments for skyrocketing growth.
 
Next time, in part 3 of this series, we'll discuss the final A in the AAARRR funnel: activation.
 
Cogo Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing strategyweb designSEO and social media marketing. We work with clients in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and across the nation.
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