Customer acquisition is a major priority for most startups, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do everything by hand.
Adding any of the following tools to the various stages of your company’s acquisition process can help you ramp up your client base as quickly and efficiently as possible:
One of the first priorities of any good customer acquisition program must be to ensure that all online resources are available whenever clients are ready to purchase. If there’s a chance that a single TechCrunch mention might take your website down due to load or bandwidth issues, you need to invest in tools like Amazon’s Simple Storage Solution (S3) to host your site’s web applications or media files.
Cost: Prices range from $0.010-$0.085 dollars/GB of stored data
According to research by Lithium Technologies, 53% of customers who ask a brand a question on Twitter expect a response within an hour. Worse yet, if timely responses aren’t given, 38% of people feel more negatively towards the brand.
The impact these public perceptions can have on your brand make regular social media monitoring an important part of your customer acquisition strategy. To be sure you aren’t missing out on any mentions, give a tool like social media management platform Sprout Social a try.
Cost: Plans start at $39 dollars/user/month
Understanding what customers are doing on your website can mean the difference between capturing new users and having would-be buyers click away empty-handed. Unfortunately, Google Analytics--one of the web’s most popular analytics programs--has some serious weaknesses, including the inability to tie data points to specific people and actions.
KISSMetrics takes analytics to another level, enabling businesses to build out customer funnels and group website visitors into cohorts based on common actions and triggers. If you want to know more about how potential customers are engaging with your content, it’s definitely worth a look.
Cost: Plans range from $150-$500 dollars/month
Want to visualize your customers' on-site activities? Analytics service Clicktale’s heatmaps and recorded user sessions let you track mouse movements, mouse clicks, overall attention and scroll reach on a case-by-case or aggregate basis. Check it out if you’re wondering whether or not your website visitors are getting the information they need to convert to customers.
Cost: Free (premium plans available)
A/B split testing--or a randomized experiment with two variants--is a vital part of the customer acquisition process, as it allows businesses to generate actionable data on which specific features, website elements, or marketing messages are prompting signups.
When it comes to split testing, few apps make the process easier than Unbounce. If you’ve struggled with integrating A/B split tests into your website in the past, give this app a try. It could prevent you from missing out on the powerful insight this process can drive.
Cost: Plans range from $49-$199 dollars/month
Software platform Hubspot bills itself as containing "everything you need to do inbound marketing." And since inbound marketing strategies cost an average of 61% less than traditional outbound techniques, this type of app definitely deserves a spot in your customer acquisition arsenal!
A few of the particular Hubspot features you’ll want to take a look at include its landing pages, forms, and marketing automation tools. Together, these features allow you to capture contact information from the potential customers browsing your website and then automatically plug them into timed email follow up messages designed to increase new signups for your business.
Cost: Packages vary from $200-$2,400 dollars/month
Finally, if you’re in the market for marketing automation software, Act-On offers the best bang for your buck. In addition to the Hubspot features described above, Act-On offers lead management and lead scoring tools that help you rank the likelihood of each tracked prospect converting into a new customer.
The program isn’t cheap, but depending on your product and sales process, it could easily pay for itself as part of your customer acquisition process.
Cost: From $500-$6,120 dollars/month
What other tools would you add to the list? Share your recommendations in the comments below.
--Sujan Patel is a passionate Internet marketer and entrepreneur. Sujan has over 10 years of Internet marketing experience and started the digital marketing agency Single Grain. Currently Sujan is the CMO at Bridge U.S., a company that makes the complex immigration process easy and affordable.
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program.
[Image: Flickr user Steve Snodgrass]