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Startup Customer Acquisition Strategies

The growth of your startup hinges on your ability to attract new customers.  It is crucial to select the customer acquisition strategy that aligns with your startup's needs. The customer acquisition strategy you choose will determine the budget, assumptions, factors, and approaches toward your marketing investments.

Why do you need a Customer Acquisition Strategy?

Your startup won't grow if you can't generate new customers. The primary function of a customer acquisition strategy is to document the factors, approaches, and assumptions that will guide your marketing investments.

The Three Buckets of Customer Acquisition Strategies

1. Performance Marketing

Performance marketing is when you pay for specific actions or outcomes such as clicks, leads, sales, engagement, etc. Common channels include pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media, and search engine marketing (SEM). To learn more, visit Shopify's blog.


  • Highly measurable.

  • Pay for results.

  • Flexible.


  • Capturing a customer's attention in the crowded digital landscape can be quite challenging.

  • Paid marketing can transform into a competition of business models where you are fighting for enough value from customer attention.

Performance Marketing can help your startup if:

  1. Your revenue model comes from new users using your offering.

  2. Customers wouldn't naturally be looking for your product, you have to get in front of them to be considered.

Testing Timeline:

Approximately 2-4 weeks.

2. Virality Marketing

Virality marketing is when product growth is driven mainly by user referrals, word of mouth, or built-in sharing features. It's a growth strategy where current users are pivotal in bringing in new users to expand the product's reach. To learn more, visit LogRocket's blog.


  • Can be low in cost.

  • Can be fast.

  • Includes your consumers.


  • You're competing for a customer's social standing.

  • Consumers might not want to risk their reputation by recommending your offering.

Virality Marketing can help your startup if:

  1. Your offering is better for users when more people use it.

  2. Your offering is fun to share.

Testing Timeline:

Approximately 2 Months.

3. Content Marketing

Content marketing involves producing and distributing digital content (like videos, blogs, and social media posts) that doesn't overtly endorse a brand but aims to generate interest in its products or services. To learn more, visit SemRush's blog.


  • Is great for generating quality leads.

  • Improves business search engine visibility.

  • Can leave a lasting impression on consumers.


  • Generating content isn't always scalable.

  • It can be difficult to convert consumers to users.

  • SEO can turn into a contest of ranking algorithms. The business needs to focus on how to optimize its content to attract ongoing traffic, while at the mercy of search engine platforms' ever-changing algorithm. 

Content Marketing can help your startup if:

  1. Consumers create content using your offering, which can be used to bring in more consumers.

  2. Content created by consumers can be turned into unique data or rich auto-generated pages.

Testing Timeline:

Over 3 months.

Which type of Customer Acquisition Strategy will help your startup?

Examples of consumer businesses that scaled using different customer acquisition strategies.
Examples of businesses that scaled using different customer acquisition strategies.

The most effective type of customer acquisition for a startup depends on various factors, including the nature of the product or service, target audience, budget constraints, and the stage of the business. Ultimately, the choice of customer acquisition strategy should align with the startup's goals, resources, and the preferences of the target audience. To determine what the best strategy is for your business, use the list below.

1. Validate your strategy

  • Determine which lane is a natural fit for your business model.

  • Test which strategy brings the best return within the required timeline.

2. Execute

  • Dedicating resources such as marketing, product, design, and the technology team.

    • This had the potential to change the product roadmap and customer experience to optimize the marketing efforts.

3. Scale

  • Create iterations to optimize performance.


Pick a strategy that aligns with your startup's goals, resources, offering, and target audience. Whether validating a strategy, executing a comprehensive plan, or scaling for optimization, the key lies in aligning the chosen customer acquisition strategy with the specific needs of your startup and the characteristics of your customers.

If you need help deciding what the best strategy for your startup is, reach out to Kasm.


Kasm specializes in marketing for startups. If you are interested in working with Kasm, please fill out the contact form below for a free consultation.


Need more proof before getting started with Kasm? Check out our Case Studies Page.


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