Client acquisition and retention strategy – why have one?

Typically, it will cost you 5 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing customer.1 This is why having a client acquisition and retention strategy in place can have a big impact on your business.

Client acquisition and client retention are some of the most important aspects when it comes to having a profitable business. Without a steady stream of new clients, your business may not be as stable and profitable as you think. However, you can’t solely focus on attracting new clients, another priority is developing ways to retain and keep your clients on an ongoing basis.

Having a client acquisition and retention strategy in place can determine how fast your business grows and how sustainable it will be.


The definition and the difference

You can’t really have one without the other.

Client acquisition – focusses on specific initiatives that will attract and gain new clients to your business that may or may not have connected before.

Client retention – involves developing ways to manage the ongoing relationship with your existing clients. Nurture each client relationship to keep them engaged and happy with your services.

Where to begin

Firstly, having an understanding of the type of client you are looking to attract is the best place to start. You want to attract the type of client that is most suited to your business to ensure they are there for the long haul. Is your ideal client, young mums and dads, or is it pre-retirees?

Creating the funnel

Once you’ve decided who your typical clients are, you will need to think about the best strategy to use.

This is where the funnel structure comes in, it allows you to systematically look at the full customer journey. How will you attract new leads to your business, engage them, convert these leads into clients and then retain them.

This is a very important step in the process, while it may be easier to attract new clients, retaining them can be more difficult, so it is worth spending some time working on this strategy.  

Below is an example of a client acquisition and retention funnel.


Communicating effectively

How you communicate to a potential or existing client is also a vital piece of the puzzle and should not be forgotten. This can affect the overall client experience, so be very mindful of this when creating your strategy.

Think about how you want to communicate with clients, what channels will work best and how regularly do you want to communicate with them – this is key. Like clients, not all marketing channels are one and the same and may not suit certain clients, so this is something that you will need to consider for both acquiring and retaining clients.

Client education is one aspect that clients perceive as ‘added value’,  so it’s worth investing some time working out what this will look like.

Next steps

Once this strategy has been implemented, it should be reviewed and measured periodically to determine whether any improvements need to be made and having the right preparation in place, can have a big impact on the type of clients you attract and whether they continue to engage with your business. 


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