7 Effective User Acquisition Techniques for Startups

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User acquisition is the process of attracting and converting potential customers into paying customers. It is a crucial aspect of any startup's success, as it determines the growth and sustainability of the business. So, what exactly is user acquisition, and how does it work?

What is user acquisition?

User acquisition, also known as customer acquisition, is acquiring new customers for a business. It involves identifying potential customers, attracting them to your brand or product, and converting them into paying customers.

What is the importance of user acquisition for startups?

For startups, user acquisition is essential for growth and sustainability. Without new customers, a startup cannot expand its customer base or increase revenue. Customer acquisition helps startups establish themselves in their industry by building brand awareness and credibility.

  • Growth and Expansion

User acquisition is crucial for startups to grow their customer base and expand their market reach. Acquiring a significant user base provides a foundation for sustainable growth and paves the way for increasing market share.

  • Revenue Generation

Acquiring users is essential for startups to generate revenue. The more users a startup acquires, the greater the potential for generating sales, subscriptions, or other forms of monetization. User acquisition directly impacts a startup's ability to achieve profitability and sustainability.

  • Proof of Concept

Acquiring users validates the startup's product or service in the market. It demonstrates demand and interest in what the startup has to offer. A strong user acquisition strategy proves the startup's solution is valuable and resonates with its target audience.

  • Feedback and Iteration

Acquiring users allows startups to gather valuable feedback on their product, service, or user experience. This feedback helps iterate and refine the offering based on real user insights, ensuring that the startup continues to meet its users' evolving needs and preferences.

  • Investor Attraction

User acquisition plays a critical role in attracting investors. Startups demonstrating successful user acquisition strategies and showing potential for rapid user growth are more likely to attract investor interest and secure funding. A solid user acquisition plan strengthens a startup's position when seeking external investment.

  • Competitive Advantage

User acquisition helps startups gain a competitive edge. By acquiring users and building a loyal customer base, startups can establish themselves in the market and differentiate themselves from competitors. A strong user acquisition strategy can help startups capture market share and create barriers for new entrants.

  • Data and Insights

Acquiring users provides startups with valuable data and insights. User acquisition efforts generate data on user demographics, behaviors, preferences, and engagement patterns. This data can inform decision-making, guide marketing strategies, and drive further optimization of the startup's product or service.

  • Brand Awareness and Recognition

User acquisition builds brand awareness and recognition. As more users engage with the startup's offering, word-of-mouth referrals and positive experiences can enhance the startup's reputation, leading to increased brand visibility and attracting new users organically.

How does user acquisition work?

User acquisition utilizes various marketing channels to attract potential customers to your brand or product. These channels can include social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, referral marketing, paid advertising, and offline marketing.

1. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is one of the most popular ways to acquire users for startups. It involves leveraging various social media platforms to reach potential customers and engage with them in a meaningful way.

Leverage social platforms

To use social media for customer acquisition effectively, startups must identify which platforms their target audience uses the most. Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, each platform has its own unique audience and features that can be leveraged to attract users.

One of the keys to successful social media marketing is creating valuable content that resonates with your target audience. This can include blog posts, videos, infographics, and more. By providing value to your followers, you can build trust and establish yourself as an authority in your industry.

Host giveaways and contests

Hosting giveaways and contests on social media is a great way to attract new users and engage with existing ones. By offering prizes or incentives for participation, startups can encourage users to share their content and spread the word about their brand.

Utilize social media influencers

Influencer marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way for startups to reach new audiences through trusted individuals in their industry. By partnering with influencers who have large followings on social media platforms like Instagram or YouTube, startups can tap into their audiences and attract new users.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial aspect of customer acquisition for startups. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can increase your visibility and attract more potential customers to your site.

Strikingly SEO Checklist

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Optimize website for search engines

To optimize your website for search engines, you need to ensure that it is structured in a way that makes it easy for search engines to crawl and index your content. This includes optimizing your site's metadata, URL structure, and internal linking.


Keyword research is the process of identifying the keywords and phrases that potential customers are using to search for products or services like yours. By conducting keyword research, you can optimize your content around these keywords and improve your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Create high-quality content

Creating high-quality content is essential for SEO success. Your content should be informative, engaging, and relevant to the needs of your target audience. By creating valuable content, you can attract more visitors to your site and increase the likelihood that they will convert into paying customers.

Build backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site. They are an important factor in SEO because they signal to search engines that other sites consider your content valuable and relevant. Building backlinks takes time and effort, but it can pay off in increased traffic and improved rankings.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool for customer acquisition, allowing startups to connect with their customers directly. By building an email list, startups can create a loyal following and keep their customers informed about new products or services. Personalized messages and engaging emails can also help build customer relationships, increasing loyalty and repeat business.

Build an email list

To build an email list, startups can use various methods such as offering content upgrades or freebies on their website in exchange for an email address. They can also collect emails at events or through social media platforms. The key is offering something valuable in exchange for the customer's contact information.

Create engaging emails

Engaging emails are essential to keep customers interested and increase open rates. Startups should focus on creating visually appealing emails with clear calls-to-action and relevant content that addresses the customer's pain points.

Strikingly Newsletter Feature

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Personalize the messages

Personalizing messages is crucial in making the customer feel valued and understood. Startups can use past purchases or browsing history data to tailor their messaging and offer personalized recommendations.

Segment the email list

Segmenting the email list allows startups to send targeted messages based on specific criteria such as demographics or past behavior. This ensures that each customer receives relevant content, increasing the chances of engagement and conversion.

4. Referral Marketing

Strikingly Affiliate Program

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Referral marketing is a powerful user acquisition strategy that leverages existing customers to bring in new ones. Incentivizing referrals is an effective way to encourage customers to spread the word about your product or service. This can be done by offering discounts, free trials, or other rewards for successful referrals.

Incentivize referrals

To incentivize referrals effectively, it's important to offer valuable and relevant rewards to your customers. For example, if you run a fitness app, offering a free month of premium membership for every successful referral can be a great incentive for your customers.

Make it easy to refer others

To make it easy for your customers to refer others, provide them with simple tools that they can use to share your product or service with their friends and family. This could be as simple as a share button on your website or app that allows users to send an email or message directly from the platform.

Create referral programs

Creating a referral program can help you track and manage your referral marketing efforts more effectively. This could involve setting up a dedicated landing page where customers can sign up for the program and receive unique referral links that they can share with others.

Use referral platforms

There are many online platforms that specialize in referral marketing. These platforms provide tools and resources that can help you create and manage successful referral campaigns.

5. Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is a crucial component of any customer acquisition strategy. It involves paying for ad space on various platforms to reach your target audience. To make the most out of your paid advertising efforts, you need to set clear goals, choose the right platforms, create compelling ads, and monitor and optimize campaigns.

Set clear goals

Before launching any paid advertising campaign, setting clear goals that align with your overall user acquisition strategy is essential. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For instance, you may want to increase website traffic by 50% in the next three months or generate 100 new leads per week.

Choose the right platforms

The success of your paid advertising campaign largely depends on choosing the right platforms to reach your target audience effectively. Various paid advertising platforms are available such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Twitter Ads, and others that can be used based on your business type and target audience demographics.

Create compelling ads

To attract potential customers through paid advertising campaigns, you must create compelling ads that grab their attention and persuade them to act. Your ad copy should be concise yet informative with a clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages users to click through to your website or landing page.

Monitor and optimize campaigns

Once your paid advertising campaigns are up and running, monitoring them closely is essential to ensure they're performing optimally toward meeting your goals while staying within budget constraints. Regularly analyzing metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), conversion rates, etc., can help you identify opportunities for optimization.

6. Offline Marketing

Offline marketing can be just as important as online marketing when it comes to user acquisition. Here are some effective offline tactics to consider:

Host events in your community

Hosting events in your local community is a great way to generate buzz and attract potential customers. You can host workshops, seminars, or social events aligning with your brand's values and mission. This will give people the opportunity to get to know you and your business on a personal level.

Sponsor local organizations or teams

Sponsoring local organizations or teams can help you gain community exposure while supporting causes that align with your brand's values. This can include sponsoring sports teams, charities, or other community groups.

Attend networking events and conferences

Attending networking events and conferences is a great way to connect with other professionals in your industry and potentially gain new customers or partners. Be sure to bring plenty of business cards and have an elevator pitch ready so you can make the most of these opportunities.

Utilize guerilla marketing tactics

Guerilla marketing tactics are unconventional ways of promoting your business that often involve creativity and humor. These tactics can include things like street art, flash mobs, or viral videos that capture people's attention and generate buzz.

7. Utilize Strikingly for Your Customer Acquisition Strategy

Strikingly Landing Page

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When it comes to user acquisition, startups need all the help they can get. That's where Strikingly comes in. This website builder offers a variety of tools and features that can help businesses attract and retain customers.

What is Strikingly?

Strikingly is a website builder that allows users to create beautiful, professional-looking websites quickly and easily. With its drag-and-drop interface, users can customize their sites without any coding knowledge.

Strikingly's Role in User Acquisition

Strikingly can play a vital role in customer acquisition for startups. By creating a visually appealing website with compelling content and clear calls to action, businesses can attract new customers and keep them coming back.

6 Benefits of Using Strikingly for Your User Acquisition Strategy

1. Easy to Use - Strikingly's intuitive interface makes it easy for anyone to create a stunning website.

2. Mobile Optimization - All websites created with Strikingly are fully optimized for mobile devices.

3. SEO Friendly - With built-in SEO tools, businesses can improve their search engine rankings and attract more traffic.

4. E-commerce Integration - Strikingly allows users to add e-commerce functionality to their websites, making it easy to sell products or services online.

5. Custom Domain Names - Users can choose their own domain name or use one provided by Strikingly.

6. Analytics Tracking - With analytics tracking, businesses can monitor their website traffic and make data-driven decisions.


In conclusion, user acquisition is an essential part of any startup's growth strategy. Starts can attract and retain customers by leveraging social media marketing, SEO, email marketing, referral marketing, paid advertising, and offline marketing tactics.

Strikingly is a website builder that can help startups with their user acquisition efforts. With its easy-to-use interface and customizable templates, Strikingly allows startups to create professional-looking websites quickly and efficiently. This can help them attract more customers and increase their online presence.

When it comes to user acquisition, it's essential to encourage experimentation and measurement. Startups should try different tactics to see what works best for them and continually measure their results to improve. This will help them optimize their user acquisition strategy over time.

Ultimately, successful user acquisition requires a combination of different tactics tailored to the specific needs of each startup. By using various methods and continually experimenting and measuring results, startups can attract more customers and grow their businesses.