The user acquisition is a crucial KPI to track. Here's all the information you need about this KPI, what it is, why it's important, how to calculate it, and way more! 


What is User Acquisition?

User acquisition is the process of securing new users or potential users for a product or service through strategic marketing efforts. At its core, this involves implementing various user acquisition strategies to attract individuals who have not previously engaged with the offering. Acquisition campaigns play a pivotal role in this process, encompassing a range of marketing activities such as online and offline advertising, referral programs, social media platforms, content marketing, and targeted email ad campaigns.

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How do we measure user acquisition?

User acquisition can be measured through key metrics such as Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Lifetime Value (LTV). CAC calculates the cost incurred to acquire each new user, considering marketing expenses. LTV, on the other hand, estimates the total revenue a user is expected to generate over their entire engagement. Striking a balance between CAC and LTV is crucial for evaluating the effectiveness and sustainability of user acquisition efforts, ensuring that the cost of acquiring customers aligns with the long-term value they bring to the business.

The Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) formula is calculated by dividing the total cost of acquiring customers (typically inclusive of marketing expenses) by the number of new customers acquired during a specific time period. The formula is represented as:

CPA: Total Cost of Acquisition / Number of New Customers Acquired

What is a good user acquisition strategy?

A good user acquisition strategy involves a well-defined approach to attract and retain valuable customers. It should begin with a thorough understanding of the target audience, leverage diverse and data-driven marketing channels, focus on delivering a compelling value proposition, and prioritize engagement and retention efforts to ensure long-term user satisfaction. A successful strategy continually evolves based on performance metrics, adapts to market changes, and maintains a balance between acquisition costs and acquired users' lifetime value.

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What is a bad user acquisition strategy?

A bad user acquisition strategy typically involves an unfocused or haphazard approach that fails to resonate with the target audience or deliver sustainable results. Common pitfalls include neglecting thorough market research, relying on one-dimensional or ineffective marketing channels, setting unrealistic expectations, and overlooking the importance of user retention. Strategies that lack adaptability ignore key performance metrics or prioritize short-term gains over long-term value, which can also be considered ineffective or counterproductive in the realm of user acquisition.

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User Acquisition KPI examples & templates

From SEO to social media and PPC, these reports give you a good view of all your online marketing strategy metrics and overall online performance. 

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Executive report template Executive report template

This template is filled with business metrics your C-suite will want to see. Show them your revenue, new customers, churn rate, and more. You can also add your profit margin, sales expenses, and more. 

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PPC report template PPC report template

Check your conversion rate, total sales, cost of acquisition, and more from all your marketing channels. You can track this data alongside your startup or business metrics and industry benchmark.

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Ecommerce report template Ecommerce report template

A report with all the most important metrics for your ecommerce site, like shopping cart abandonment, click-through rate, and revenue.

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SEO report template SEO report template

There are so many KPIs you need to be tracking in your SEO report, and picking the right ones for your business can quickly become overwhelming. Fortunately, this sample SEO report is the perfect template and a great starting point for your reporting needs.

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Social media report template Social media report template

Track your performance, optimize your social media campaigns, and show your social media strategy measurable results in real time with our comprehensive social media report template.

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Digital marketing report template Digital marketing report template

Track your digital marketing efforts in one easy-to-understand marketing report. Our digital marketing reports let you track organic traffic, email marketing campaigns, PPC results, and your social media presence all in one spot.

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User acquisition best practices

Here are some of the best practices you should keep in mind to improve your customer acquisition cost.

User acquisition best practices

step 1 icon Understand Your Audience

Prioritize a deep understanding of your target audience. Conduct thorough market research to identify their needs, preferences, and pain points. Tailor your messaging and marketing efforts to resonate with your audience demographics, ensuring your user acquisition strategy aligns with their interests and behaviors.

step 2 icon Leverage Multiple Channels

Diversify your user acquisition channels to reach a broader audience. Utilize a mix of online and offline channels, such as social media retargeting, mobile app optimization, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, influencer marketing, email campaigns, partnerships, and more. Experiment with different media channels and analyze their performance to identify the most effective ones for your specific business.

step 3 icon Optimize User Experience and Onboarding for app users

Optimizing user experience (UX) and onboarding, especially for mobile users, is essential in-app marketing. App store optimization (ASO) involves refining an app's presence on app stores, using keywords, visuals, and positive reviews to enhance discoverability. Ultimately, this approach enhances user acquisition and cultivates long-term engagement within the app's user base.

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User Acquisition Synonyms

Although cost per acquisition is widely used, there are multiple synonyms that can be used. Here are a few : 

Cost per conversion, Cost per action (CPA), Cost per customer, Cost per client, Cost per new client, Cost per new customer, Cost of customer acquisition (COCA)

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