Customer Acquisition Tips for Startups: Gaining Customers with Marketing


One of the most difficult parts of starting and growing a business is finding customers. Having a great product or service may not be enough to find customers. That is why customer acquisition is the lifeblood of a startup.

In simplest terms, customer acquisition can be defined as gaining new customers. Customer acquisition requires convincing people to buy a product or to pay for a service. By adopting the right customer acquisition strategy, you can gain new customers in a cost-effective way which will contribute to your startup’s growth.

Building Your Customer Growth Strategy

A thoughtful customer acquisition strategy gives you a direction and allows you to measure your progress. While building your strategy, make sure that you;

  • analyze your potential customers according to their needs, interests, and intents,
  • define your value proposition, the reason people prefer you, not your competitors,
  • make tests to find the right channel that will work best for you,
  • estimate the cost of customer acquisition and find the less-costly method,
  • study your successful competitors to get tactics
  • work on your personal network to get more feedback about your business and products.

Customer Acquisition with Marketing

In the acquisition phase, you need to ensure that your potential customers know about your startup and solutions. Thus, they will include you in their buying decision process. To manage this, establish your startup on the right channels that your audience mostly prefers. Marketing can help you convey your message across multiple channels in a way that grows your customer base. Below is a list of marketing tips you can apply for increasing your customer acquisition rates.

Leverage Your Website

Your website will be the first point of contact for your potential customers. When you consider the importance of the first impression, welcoming your audience with a well-designed and content-rich website can increase your chances of customer acquisition.  

  • Keep your website up-to-date with valuable content that answers your customers’ questions.
  • Use the power of SEO which is among the most effective unpaid marketing methods.
  • Provide enhanced user experience to prevent high bounce rates.
  • Include interactive content to increase engagement rates.
  • Generate leads by offering free resources like whitepapers, e-books, data sheets etc.

Start a Blog

Having a blog can help you to inform your potential customers about what you offer. Providing quality content that fits your audience’s interests, increases your online visibility and drives traffic to your website. Consistent quality content transforms visitors into leads and leads into customers. To accomplish this with your blog;

  • Know your audience and try to understand their needs.
  • Consider what they would want to know about your products, solutions, industry etc. and provide them with this information.
  • Be customer-oriented and try to answer their potential questions instead of promoting your services.
  • Update your blog regularly and post new content often.
  • Position your startup as an industry expert and provide your audience with valuable content.

Make a Difference with High-Quality Content

According to Marketo, 81% of shoppers research online before setting foot in a store and consumers spend an average of 79 days conducting online research before buying. This means your potential customers will look for information to give the right decision. And the quality of your content will have a direct influence on their purchasing decision. With content marketing, you can convince your audience that your products are worth trying.

  • Know your audience well and target the channels according to their interests and habits.
  • Share valuable information that can create a difference in their lives.
  • Provide them with evergreen, informative content like a white paper, survey report or e-book instead of a sales pitch.
  • Publish new content regularly on different channels to increase engagement.
  • Use the right SEO tactics to increase the visibility of your content.
  • Know everything about your industry and share what you know in a generous way.

Be Always Present on Social Networks

When used strategically, social media can be an effective customer acquisition channel. Getting more followers on social media profiles helps you introduce your solutions to a broader audience. Users are likely to purchase something from a brand they follow on social media. By engaging with your audience in a friendly and helpful manner, you can develop strong relationships on social media. This helps you build trust which increases your chances to convince them to buy your product.

  • You don’t have to be on every social platform. Find where your potential customers hang out and focus on these platforms.
  • Be ever present on your social networks and answer messages on time in a way that provides value.
  • Find the influencers your audience follows and reach out to them with something they can be interested in.
  • Develop exclusive content for social followers, based on what your analytics data tells you.
  • Try to get known as a helpful friend instead of someone who is trying to sell something.
  • While measuring your efforts focus on engagement rate instead of follower numbers.

Directly Reach Your Audience with Email Marketing

As a targeted, cost-effective and measurable method, email marketing helps you directly reach out to your potential customers. You can customize your messaging according to the interests of your audience by targeting and segmenting your emails. Since many popular email marketing services offer freemium packages, email marketing doesn’t require large budgets. These services provide in-depth reports and performance tracking features. So, you can measure your efforts easily and accurately.

  • Build email segments according to your audience’s interests and customize your campaigns accordingly.  
  • Use a personal tone to increase engagement. E.g. personalize subject line with first names.
  • Include relevant and valuable information in your messaging.
  • Don’t forget to add the call to actions like asking your audience to visit a website, register for an event, download a document etc.
  • Measure your performance and take actions to decrease bounce rates and increase readability.

Use PR to Get Press Coverage

When compared with paid methods, public relations (PR) is among the most cost-effective ways to promote your startup. PR uses publicity and nonpaid forms of promotion to positively influence people about your company, products or solutions. By getting your startup covered by the media, PR helps you to increase your visibility, raise awareness and build trust. This contributes to reaching more people and acquiring new customers.

  • List media outlets and journalists to find the right ones that directly fit your needs and target them.
  • Attend networking events where you can meet journalists and press members.
  • Use the power of interpersonal relations to contact journalists you target.
  • Create valuable content that is exceptional enough to pull journalists’ attention.
  • Set up an online press center that includes valuable resources for the press; like press releases, media kits, previous media coverage etc.

Grab Customer Attention with Sales Promotion

Sales promotion is a good way to persuade customers to try a new product or solution. It includes free trials, discounts, bundles, additional content etc.  To pull your audience’s attention, your promotions need to provide real value for them. In other words, you need to offer a legitimate reason for them to consider buying your product or solution.

  • Determine what you would like to accomplish with your sales promotion and set goals to accurately measure your efforts.
  • Try to find out what kind of offers your potential customers will find most interesting.
  • While designing your promotional message, create a sense of urgency and limited availability.
  • Consider your audience’s channel preferences and design your campaigns accordingly.
  • While measuring the results of your promotional efforts focus on conversion rate.

Use the Power of Feedback

Feedback can help you in two ways: First, you can use it to see how things go with your product. In other words, it points to the areas that need improvement. Second, you can use feedback as a referral especially when it includes positive reviews. Both ways contribute to your customer acquisition strategy by allowing you to provide solutions that better answer your audience’s needs and convincing them that your product is worth trying.  

  • Ask your users how their initial experience with your product or service goes.
  • Never ignore your audience’s reviews, figure out what you can improve your product.
  • Offer easy-to-use feedback channels to increase their response rates.
  • Encourage customer referrals by rewarding them with discounts, additional services etc.
  • In your referrals, try to show how your product improves your audience’s life.

As a startup, customer acquisition plays a crucial role in your success. To gain new customers, you need to introduce your products and solutions in a way that convinces your audience to buy them. This requires an effective customer acquisition strategy. By supporting your strategy with different marketing tools, you can convey your message to your audience in a way that increases their likelihood of buying your products and services.



App Store Optimization Tips for Startups (iOS)


As a startup, your main product can be a mobile app. Or your product or solution can have a mobile version. Whatever the case may be, you will need to market your app, most probably on a tight marketing budget. Considering the tools, you may use, App Store Optimization arrives as an effective solution among unpaid mobile marketing methods.

What is ASO?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of optimizing a mobile app to increase its ranking in app store search results. ASO aims to increase the download numbers of an app by increasing its visibility and traffic.

Why is ASO important?

According to Forrester, 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches. This means that your potential customers will probably find your app via a search in the app store. However, being findable among hundreds of other apps may not be very easy. According to Statista’s survey, one of the biggest challenges of app marketing is about app discovery. 50 % of app marketers believe that today app discovery is harder than ever before. This points to the importance of app store optimization.

Benefits of ASO

App Store Optimization;

  • maximizes app visibility
  • reduces the cost of attracting new users
  • does not require a large budget
  • generates more downloads
  • reaches the right users who are most likely to download your app
  • offsets the costs associated with paid campaigns
  • helps to enhance customer engagement and to build long-term relationships with them.

Tips for Improving Your ASO

Keywords, app name, app description, visual design, number of downloads, ratings, and number of reviews are among the main factors that influence an app’s search ranking. Below tips regarding these factors may help you to improve your ASO efforts and have better results.


  • Use different keyword tools to check the usability of keywords (i.e. Übersuggest, One Look Reverse Dictionary)
  • While choosing keywords don’t ignore the relevance for the sake of popularity
  • Check user reviews for similar apps to get keyword ideas
  • Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and find the keywords they use while searching an app
  • Start with less difficult and less popular keywords at the beginning
  • As your app gains awareness target more popular and difficult keywords
  • Use long-tail keywords to provide more specific search results (i.e. Instead of using “language practice,” you can use “Spanish practice”)
  • Check the current ranking of your keywords and make continuous updates to improve the result

App Name

  • Find a creative and easy-to-remember name for your app
  • The name should tell your potential users what your app is about
  • Include the most important keywords in your app’s name
  • Consider 30-character limit and use the right keywords in a way that does not look spammy
  • Since your app’s name will be the URL of your app’s page, do not use special characters in it
  • Include important keywords in your subtitle as well which allows 30 characters


  • Explain what your app is about in a way that pulls your audience’s attention
  • Include social media links, and important mentions to increase the potential for downloads
  • Try to write short descriptions
  • Tell users the benefits they will get from your app
  • Include a call to action that would convince users to download your app
  • Add various keywords in the app store keyword field to be found easily
  • While adding your keywords to this field do not exceed 100 characters and do not include your company or app name

Visual Design

  • Create a persuasive app store page
  • Use a simple, eye-catching and easy-to-remember app icon
  • While designing your icon, consider different sizes for different iOS devices
  • Create an icon that reminds your app’s or brand’s function
  • Use qualified screenshots with short caption texts
  • Show different aspects of your app in action by using different screenshots
  • You may include a video that demonstrates the use of your app

Number of Downloads

  • The more your app is downloaded the better search results it will get
  • Include backlinks to the relevant pages
  • Prepare a landing page that includes the link to your app’s App Store page
  • Target different media and app review sites to promote your app
  • Use various marketing tools to promote your app (social media, email marketing, content marketing)
  • Continuously monitor your download numbers to measure your app’s performance

Ratings and Number of Reviews

  • Ask for organic reviews from real people
  • Identify your most engaged users and ask for feedback
  • Use social media to ask for reviews
  • Find the right time to ask for feedback especially when the users are enjoying your app (i.e. when they level up or unlock new features etc.)
  • Use an app review plugin to get reviews from your app users
  • Use Apple’s rating prompt to encourage users to rate your app
  • Test different versions of your rating prompt by applying A/B tests to see if it really works
  • Design a very simple review procedure that is not time-consuming
  • Mention clearly where and how to write a review
  • Provide immediate and adequate support when customer issues arrive to avoid negative reviews 


ASO is a long-term process that requires being aware of the latest trends and acting accordingly. You need to know that there is always something to improve in your ASO efforts. To make better decisions, continuously measure the results of your efforts and use analytics tools to monitor the visibility of your app. Always keep up to date with ASO best practices. Because ASO rules changes in time and a single change can transform the ranking of your app. You need to keep monitoring the trends and adapt to any change quickly. As your ASO efforts improve, you will enjoy higher visibility and download numbers.




Storytelling Tips for Startups 

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Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools in today’s marketing landscape. Although its history goes back hundreds of years, developments in technology and increasing number of communication channels, make it popular again.

What is Storytelling?

With a business perspective, storytelling can be defined as sharing business stories with your target audience to engage with them. By using business storytelling, you can tell the purpose of your startup, who is behind it, what it stands for and what it has achieved etc.

Benefits for Startups

A startup means a brand-new story.  As a startup, you are at the very beginning of your journey. So, it is the right time to build your story. Having a storytelling strategy helps you not only to introduce yourself correctly but also to make a good start in building a strong brand identity.

With storytelling, you can connect your startup with different stakeholders including clients, prospects, partners, potential partners, investors etc. Storytelling also helps you to;

   -Attract a large audience

   -Connect with people on an emotional level

   -Have an advantage over your competitors

   -Build trust

   -Increase customer loyalty

Storytelling Tips

To succeed in storytelling, you need to focus on each element of your story. A good story fits the audience, speaks their language in a way that is touching and inspiring. It also offers some emotional details that allow readers to engage with. By following the tips below, you can make the best of storytelling as startup marketing tool.

Consider your audience

Without knowing who exactly your audience is, you cannot catch the right tone to tell your story. First of all, you need to understand the demographics (such as gender, age, interests etc.) of the specific audience you are targeting. This will allow you to speak their language and build your story with the messages they can engage with.

Include personal elements

Good stories give the audience something they can relate to. That is why, putting something personal, like an experience from your own life, your feelings etc. will make your story come alive. In other words, by adopting a personal tone, you can make your story touching and inspiring. Personality gives a flavor to your story, makes it appealing to others and differentiates it from dull marketing content.

Don’t ignore sensual details

While you are sharing a story, do it in a way that lets your audience envision the details. You need to get your audience to have a similar feeling like yours. In other words, tell a story which helps people see, hear, taste, smell, and feel your message. By providing details that help your audience easily empathize with, you can connect with them on an emotional level. This allows you to persuade your audience through your story in a way that builds trust and loyalty.

 Use a story structure

People tell stories for ages. Even topics and methods vary today, some basic points never change. Basic story structure includes the following stages: ‘setup’, ‘conflict’ and ‘resolution.’ The same structure can be applied to startup storytelling in different forms like blog posts, emails, case studies and pitch decks. While ‘setup’ can be used for introduction; ‘conflict’ can define the pain points and needs of customers and finally ‘resolution’ introduces the solution which can be a product, service or new approach.

 Use the right format

Today, the number of communication channels we have is higher than ever.  And each channel allows us to tell our stories in different formats; including text, photograph, video, podcast and so on. These formats have a huge impact on storytelling: they determine how we tell our stories. That is why, choosing the right format is an important decision to make in startup storytelling. While choosing the format, consider; the overall goal of your story, the message you want to give, the preferences of your audience, the channel(s) you are planning to use, and decide accordingly. Of course, you can use different channels and formats simultaneously; but you will need to adopt an integrated approach. Thus, each channel and format will work together in harmony to give a consistent message regarding your story.


As a startup, you are at the very beginning of your journey and it is the best time to start building your story. When crafted strategically, storytelling helps you to tell your audience; who you are, what you do, what you know about their pain points and what you offer as a solution. By combining story elements with personal details, you can produce a feeling of familiarity and trust which result in stronger connection with your audience.


Basic PR Tips for Startups

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Public Relations (PR) is not among the favorite marketing tools of startups. Actually, many startups view it as an expensive method with unclear results. That is why, they neglect this unnecessary expenditure.

However, unlike traditional PR, today’s digital PR; has hundreds of analytics tools, can track user activity from a media placement to a website visit and enables accurate measurement of PR efforts. So, startups can better evaluate their results to make better decisions.

PR can provide unexpected benefits for startups in addition to act as an effective communication method. The right PR can help startups build user bases, increase sales potential and attract interest from venture capitalists etc.

What is PR?

PR is the acronym for public relations and is defined as; “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics” by The Public Relations Society of America. As a form of marketing, public relations uses publicity and nonpaid forms of promotion to positively influence people about a company, its products and services.

How can PR help startups?

PR can help startups build trust, create brand awareness, improve SEO results by increasing online visibility and contributes to sales by making it easier to reach out prospect customers.

Raising awareness

· Being covered on the media means reaching out more people.

· The more people talk about your company and products, the more you will be on the media again.

· This will create a snowball effect: more people-more media coverage opportunities vice versa.

· So, you will raise awareness of your startup, product or service.

Building trust


· helps you get press coverage which is seen more trustworthy than paid content.

· increases your chances to be reviewed by a journalist.

· helps you position yourself as a thought leader.

· establishes credibility for the reader.

· helps brands gain and keep customer trust.

 Increasing Online Visibility

· Qualified PR content means higher organic search results.

· According to Search Engine Watch, up to 64% of all website hits come from organic search.

· When you get covered by a big site, you can get a ton of exposure.

· With qualified PR content including online press releases and articles, you can increase the traffic of your website.

· Your online visibility raises accordingly.

· This will increase your chance to be seen by more people.

Increasing Sales Opportunities

· Increasing sales potential is a natural result of qualified PR efforts.

· The more coverage you get on the media, the more your awareness raises.

· When your awareness raises, you can reach more people.

· This increases your chances to convince them that your product is worth trying.

Basic PR Tips for Startups

Don’t ignore content quality

· Have a short, well-thought and to the point piece of content.

· Include attention-grabbing elements in your content.

· Don’t send copy-paste content that would never pull a journalist’s attention.

· Don’t limit yourself with traditional press releases, use different types of content like infographics, videos, etc.

· Prepare media kits that include useful elements like company profile, product description and related photos and videos.

 Speak the same language with journalists

· Identify your target media outlets and journalists.

· Use the power of social media not only to reach your target audience but also to reach the journalists.

· Consider your audience’s preferences while deciding on the media channels you will use.

· Know what is newsworthy and make your story exclusive to each journalist.

· Consider timing when sharing content with a journalist.

As a powerful marketing tool, PR can provide various benefits for startups and early-stage companies. With the right tactics, PR not only helps startups raise awareness, build trust and increase online visibility but also contributes to their growth by increasing sales opportunities.

SEO 101: Introduction to SEO for Startups

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As a startup, your website is among your main assets. A website that ranks high in search results means high impression and high visitor numbers. The more your website is visited, the more you interact with your prospect customers. And this points to the importance of SEO as a marketing tool.

In simplest terms, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving traffic to a website by increasing the site's visibility in search results.

Today, SEO is one of the most important components of a marketing strategy and your startup certainly needs it. Because SEO;

· makes your website visible to not only humans but also search engines.

· produces high traffic and high conversion rates.

· is free.

· is the main tool for gaining web presence.

· is a must in today’s competition.

You don’t need to be a veteran to enjoy the benefits of SEO. By following these basic steps below, you can make a good start to your Do-It-Yourself SEO efforts.

Before starting: Understand the logic behind search engines

Although there are several search engines including Yahoo, Bing, etc. Google is the king. And you can understand the logic behind search engines by understanding Google. The entire purpose of Google is to provide users with the most relevant search results.  And to return the most relevant result, Google answers the following questions:

· How many times does this page contain your keywords?

· Do these words appear in the URL, title and description?

· Is this page from a quality website?

· How many outside links point to this page and how important are these links?

Basic SEO Tips for Beginners

There are two main components of a DIY SEO strategy:

1) Creating SEO-friendly content

2) Building qualified links

Let’s take a deeper look at these components:

1) Creating SEO-friendly content

Google aims to show the most relevant sites in the search results. This means a site which better answers the questions of users, is ranked higher. So, considering SEO tactics while creating content on your website, plays a crucial role in your success. To create SEO-friendly content;

Create unique and original content

· Be authentic instead of writing content that can be easily found anywhere.

· Understand user intent by finding out the reason of their search.

· Consider your audience and provide useful information that solves a real problem for them.

· If you are going to write about a popular topic, find the best example and write an improved version of it.

Optimize the title and headline

· While headlines are for humans, titles are for search engines.

· For the best result; both titles and headlines need to be optimized.

· Put yourself in your audience’s shoes, and think about the keywords they use in their searches.

· Include these keyword, at least your focus keyword in the headline.

· Aim for a title of 55-60 characters, this is what Google will display on the search engine result page.

Use the right keywords

· Ignore the legend that says keywords are not important for SEO anymore and try to use them in context and at the right balance.

· Ensure your keywords are up-to-date by using keyword tools like Google Keyword Planner, Yoast Suggests, Moz Keyword Explorer… etc.

· Be more specific and focus on a single keyword at the beginning.

· Think about starting with long tail keywords- very exact keywords with lower competition instead of popular keywords.

· Do not sacrifice the quality of your content to include more keywords.

Aim for readability

· Use a simple language with active voice.

· Use short sentences and short paragraphs.

· Avoid using jargon, be as simple as possible.

· Divide text into sections in a clean and organized manner. 

· Check the readability of your content by using apps like Hemingway, Read-able, etc.

Use optimized images

· Always use images in your content, nobody would like to read a chunk of text.

· Use qualified and relevant images.

· Add a title or alt text for your image to make it reachable by search engines.

· Include your focus keyword in the alt tags of the images.

2) Building qualified links

Building internal and external links which is also known as interlinking is an important part of SEO. By building relevant and qualified links, you not only help your visitors receive additional information; but also help search engines better understand what your website is about. Whether you’re linking internally or externally, make sure that every link serves its own purpose in your content.

Internal links

Internal links are links that point to other pages on the same website. By using internal links, you can send visitors to different pages of your website. Internal links increases the visibility of your site while providing your readers additional information. Internal links also help search engines better understand what your website is about. With internal links, you can;

· increase page views on your site

· help users to easily navigate within your site

· increase the time spent on your site

· reduce bounce rate

External links

External links cover both inbound and outbound links. An inbound link which is also known as a backlink, is a link coming from another site to your own website. And an outbound link is a link from your website to another site.

The authority of a site increases in parallel with the links it receives from other sites. Higher authority brings higher ranking in search results. In other words, external links points to reliability of your website. By linking qualified websites, you can provide additional resources for your readers and increase the credibility of your content through outbound links.

Building good inbound links require you take various actions which are known as off-page SEO. Publishing online articles on industry news sites, commenting on other blogs and sites, becoming a guest blogger, sharing links on social media are among these actions.


As a startup, SEO is an indispensable component of your marketing strategy. Although SEO is a long-term investment which requires time, it guarantees effective results and high ROI if done properly. By creating unique and original content and working on building quality links, you can make a good start to your SEO efforts.