How do you get users through business processes that are automated?
User acquisition is one of the most important – and challenging – processes for any software business.
However, with the right approach, it’s possible to acquire new users affordably and effectively.
Below, we will look at a solid approach to doing just that.
But first, let’s look at some of the biggest challenges you’ll face:
Challenges to Cost-Effective User Acquisition
There are many challenges that can, in some cases, be insurmountable:
Costs are rising across the board, for every software solution.
This pressure is felt by B2B SaaS platforms, mobile apps, web apps, and everything in between.
Competition, for instance, drives up the price of advertising, increases marketplace noise, and decreases customer tolerance for poor experiences.
All of which contributes to increased user acquisition costs.
Loyalty is another victim of the competitive marketplace.
With so many applications on the market, customers are more likely to switch brands.
A single poor experience can drive a loyal customer away … or deter prospects.
This fragility, in turn, decreases lifetime values.
Effective training is a must, especially for complex B2B software platforms.
SaaS solutions often require a skill set to operate.
Yet acquiring those skills takes time and effort.
User frustration and fatigue can cause productivity to stagnate.
User onboarding – customer onboarding or employee onboarding – is a critical stage of the acquisition funnel.
First impressions can be either positive or negative. And the results can impact user retention, productivity, and lifetime values.
Optimizing this stage of the acquisition pipeline is essential to minimizing costs and increasing ROI.
Automating the Acquisition of Users Through Business Processes
Given the above challenges, it is critical to have a systematic, efficient user acquisition approach.
So what should you have in your user acquisition toolbox?
A few things:
- The right tools
- The skills to use those tools
- Best practices and processes
Below, we will look at each of these components in more detail.
Discovering the right automation tools can drive down costs, increase engagement, and boost user longevity.
Here are a few automation solutions that can improve the user acquisition funnel.
- Marketing Technology Stacks – Mobile marketing platforms, advertising platforms, content marketing platforms, email marketing software … the “martech” industry is massive. Continually invest in and evaluate the right solutions to automate and drive down costs.
- Digital Adoption Solutions – A digital adoption solution, or digital adoption platform, streamlines user onboarding and training. By providing in-app guidance and analytics, it helps users when they need it most.
- Analytics and Data Platforms – Almost any platform you invest in will include analytics. However, to make the most of your data, you should be able to integrate and analyze it.
This list starts at the beginning of the funnel – pre-acquisition – and moves them through to the onboarding and training phase.
It is there that you should focus on improving retention and the user experience.
After all, getting the customer in the door is only half the battle.
Processes and Systems
What processes do you need to “get users in the door” and keep them there?
At minimum, businesses should have:
- A continually-optimized marketing funnel. The user acquisition professional should be constantly evaluating everything from advertising networks to campaign performance. Thanks to ever-increasing advertising rates, this job is absolutely critical.
- A well-developed onboarding and training program. The nature of the app and its users will determine how complex this program needs to be. A SaaS provider that offers a complex solution should invest heavily in this area – because it determines how productive users will be in their workplace.
- A user experience management program. User acquisition doesn’t end after they have been acquired. Instead, the aim changes to user retention. But these are simply two sides of the same coin – low user retention drives up acquisition spend.
This last point is important – user acquisition should not be treated separately from user retention.
As we’re about to see, both metrics fall under the umbrella of user experience.
Below are some best practices that can help you improve the cost-revenue balance in your user acquisition processes:
- Target the right audience. During the marketing stage of user acquisition, it pays to focus on the right audience. Higher-quality users are those that have a deeper need for your solution – mis-targeting users, however, can bring in the wrong users, which drives up abandonment and marketing costs.
- Focus on usability and the user experience. The user experience determines, in large part, how engaged a user is. Their productivity, performance, and personal investment often correlate with that experience. The more usable a product is, the more people will enjoy using it.
- Invest in engagement, right from the start. Engagement, as mentioned, impacts productivity and overall usage. From the moment a user comes into contact with your brand, you should be finding ways to improve engagement and keep them interested.
There is no magic formula for stellar user acquisition strategies.
Instead, it requires ongoing effort, careful planning, and strategic thinking.
The tools mentioned above – such as digital adoption platforms and marketing stacks – are essential for success.
However, to really make use of these tools, it’s necessary to implement the right processes and strategies.