Like Taking Risks? Don’t Do It With Customer Acquisition!

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man in casinoSome people like bungee-jumping, parachuting, spelunking. Others get excited by working the stock market, or playing blackjack, or traveling to dangerous places. There’s a rush that happens, a spike of adrenaline, when you’re moving out onto the edge, when you’re taking risks. It can be exhilarating.

That rush is not for everyone, however: and it’s certainly not for every situation. Because the last place that you and your company want to take risks is in customer acquisition.

Here’s why there’s so much risk out there. When B2C companies have inbox delivery problems, they’re typically caused by “new” email addresses coming from only 10 to 12 percent of the company’s acquisition sources. It doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up: these inbox deliverability issues are actually rampant due to risky externally sourced lists (list buys or rentals and bad appends) and ignoring opt-in best practices. But the reality is that B2C brands need to generate 20 to 30 percent new active email addresses to their opt-in lists every year just to maintain their list size!

So what’s the answer? How do you grow your lists without risking reputation and deliverability? How do you eliminate those risky sources and replace them with ones that will consistently deliver your best prospects and new customers?

One way is to look at how consumers—your prospects and customers—want to be approached and included in your customer acquisition management strategy. The shift in power from marketer to consumer that happened dramatically with the advent of social media has put the reins in the hands of the consumer. We can fight it, or we can make it work for us.

Let’s make it work for us. We can do it through giving prospects multiple touchpoints where they can indicate interest in a company, a brand, or a product. They may click on a link on their smartphone asking for more information. They may fill out a questionnaire on their computer before accessing some additional content. They may connect with a company’s Facebook page or respond to a tweet. There are myriad ways of communicating, and as many ways as there are to communicate, we need to give potential prospects that many ways to indicate interest … to opt-in to receiving more information.

best racticeAs long as it’s done following best practices—making sure that unsubscribes are easy, making sure that email subject lines are not misleading, delivering what was promised to the consumer—then there won’t be negative impact to inbox delivery. Deliverability has everything to do with the prospect wanting more, and requesting more.

And if they ask for more on more than one occasion or in more than one way, then your deliverability has just improved exponentially!

At CertainSource, we triple-qualify prospects: they have to have, essentially, raised their hands three separate times to be included in your email list before you email them. This saves time, money, and cuts down dramatically. Email only those who want to be emailed? What a novel idea!

And the risk ? Leave that to the bungee-jumpers.




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5 Steps to Better Customer Acquisition!

road backgroundSuccessful customer acquisition isn’t rocket science, but it can sure feel that way to B2C marketers trying to navigate through a myriad of omnichannel marketing opportunities. Each seems fraught with obstacles, and no one emerges as a clear winner. It’s difficult to know which road to take.

Building your email database is more and more confusing. Online vendors make promises and guarantees as “go-to” sources for new customer leads … but how do you know which (if any) of these leads are actually qualified prospects?

The answer is pretty simple:  you don’t. But we do. Our proprietary managed platform solves this problem, because it separates qualified prospects long before they ever reach your database. We’re the platform of choice for some of the biggest consumer brands, ensuring that they are exponentially building their email databases with the best-possible highest-quality new prospects.

Here’s how our automated platform works:

  1. Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.21.54 AMWe purchase media from multiple sources across multiple channels (display, email, social, Google, etc.) based on your “ideal prospect” criteria.
  2. Our proprietary technology analyses each lead source in real time, across all media channels, and determines which are performing the best for you based on your criteria (build your email database, increase registrations, etc.).
  3. We then purchase more media from the best-performing lead sources, while eliminating bad or risky sources.
  4. We nurture those leads through the email component of our platform until they convert for you (complete the download, confirm their opt-in, fill out a registration form, etc.).
  5. You pay us only for the highest quality conversions.


And we have a special limited-time offer so that you can discover how CertainSource is helping consumer brands exponentially grow their email databases with high-value new prospects… and how it can work for your company. There’s no risk, as you’ll only pay us when we deliver the best-performing prospects.

Why not ask us how today?


happy success business online

Want Exponential B2C Database Growth? Start Here!

card catalogueWhat do online marketers need in order to to exponentially grow their B2C databases?

1. qualified, high-value prospects and customers

2. low risk to their brand reputation

And yet that kind of growth seems impossible to many online marketers, especially with the increasing complexity of the the digital marketing ecosystem. How to choose which channels? Which sources within the channels? And what happens if there’s not enough list hygiene?

But what if you could …

  • exceed customer acquisition goals and objectives?
  • get to the best-performing sources within digital channels?
  • obtain  triple-qualified new prospects ?


Now you can. CertainSource’s innovative technology helps consumer brands exponentially grow their email databases with qualified, high-value prospects and new customers. Our technology helps consumer marketers exceed customer acquisition goals and objectives in an increasingly complex digital marketing ecosystem.

How? Our proprietary technology gets to the best-performing sources within digital channels for new prospects, and we nurture these prospects through our CertainSource “superengine” to deliver triple-qualified new prospects to our clients.

This triple qualification means that prospects have opted in—not once, not even twice, but three times, essentially lowering risk to brand reputation to nearly zero. You won’t be emailing lists that may or may not be updated and clean; you will only be adding prospects to your database who have chosen to be there.

CertainSource’s innovative technology is relied on by well-known consumer brands to exponentially grow their email databases for consumer marketing programs. Isn’t it time you joined them? Why not ask us how today?

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Drive Your B2C Email Database Growth Today!

B2C customer acquisition is extremely complex, and increases in complexity all the time. There are endless avenues and choices for digital marketers in their efforts to acquire new customers—so many choices, in fact, that it’s increasingly easy to spend budget haphazardly on:

  •  search marketing
  • social media marketing
  • co-registration
  • banner ads
  • and 43 other categories …


… the list goes on and on. There are over 1,876 vendors vying for attention in the marketing technology landscape alone—so how do you make sense of it all? Testing lead sources is a lengthy and expensive process, and the pressure is on to spend acquisition budgets wisely; but the truth is that only 34% of marketers are satisfied with their customer acquisition efforts, and 20% don’t track effectiveness at all!

personal : business growth conceptual illustrationBuilding a solid customer list and increasing ROI can only happen when acquisition budgets are spent on the most effective sources, the sources that deliver the best customers—as opposed to the sources that just deliver leads. And budgets are best spent when there is some agility in the process, when poor-performing sources can be turned off and best-performing sources increased—in real time.

Winning companies are the ones that can get their messages in front of the best online audiences. And getting in front of the best online audiences means using the most effective customer-acquisition solution in the business.

That solution? CertainSource’s Superengine! Here’s how it works:

  • All your media purchases (multiple sources, multiple channels) go into the Superengine.
  • Our proprietary technology analyses each lead source across all channels to tell you which ones give you the performance you want (you decide what criteria you want to have met: expanding an email list, requesting a download, etc.)
  • Your budget targets only the best-performing media sources.
  • We’ll nurture the leads until they convert, and you’ll pay only for the conversions.


Customer acquisition isn’t rocket science: all you have to do is find a way to spend your money on the best, most valuable new customers! And that’s exactly what we do. You’ll get the best possible prospects, with the highest intent to engage, and all of it on a pay-for-performance basis. The Superengine has delivered these valuable customers to other major brands, and we can do it for you.

Why not ask us how today?


Making Winning Offers

get it now green buttonget it now green button email marketing offersAn offer can perhaps be the most important part of lead generation, and it’s frequently overlooked or only given limited attention. Think of your online offer to a prospect as a first impression. That 160-character introduction to your brand can either make or break someone’s notion of who you are and what you sell… and could determine whether or not they buy from you.

So make sure that your offer grabs the right people with the right message at the right time.

The real issue lies in the fact that every lead source requires different messaging, and messaging is the key to lead generation. Messaging is not one-size-fits-all, as we all learned when we moved from direct mail to online emails. So the best way to see what messaging and which offers work or don’t, and when, is to test, test, test.

First, look at your various lead-generation tools. They may include banners, co-registration, email, trade publication ads, third-party emails, and others. Each tools will require a different offer. And to improve results further you’ll want to create different offers for different customer segments that you’ll reach within each channel, so you may end up with sublists of appropriate offers. The more you can segment, the more your offers can target the most likely group of consumers for your services or products.

What do you test? There are myriad options to choose from and you need to nail down a viable testing strategy. It’s important that you don’t just stick to one method: multivariate testing will yield the most information. Remember that the more knowledge you have about what works and what doesn’t, the better position you’ll be in to attract targeted customers who will actually make a purchase.

saleSo also try A/B splits and test the offer itself—should it be free shipping? Discounts? You also need to test other messaging, like different subject lines. What about timing: Are you getting more leads midweek? In the evening?

Be sure that you have a plan behind the testing and aren’t just throwing out random changes. Determine what you want to test based on what you want to learn, then track results, and tweak as necessary.

Whatever you test, there are a few constants: keep the copy light, and keep the call to action large. No matter what lead-generation tool you’re using, you still have only a few seconds to catch and hold a prospect’s attention. Make those seconds count for you by presenting something relevant and targeted—and by presenting it in such a way that it clearly seems irresistible to the consumer.


Customer Acquisition: Don’t Go It Alone!

Scared child seeing monster in shadowLike every B2C marketer, you probably have customer acquisition at the forefront of your mind, all the time. It may concern you; it may even be keeping you up at night.

But you don’t have to feel isolated. Your customer acquisition management strategy will work best when you’re not trying to do everything by yourself. Your sales team, your media buyers, and your marketing department are all working together to build the best acquisition process they can, but remember that developing your strategy and overseeing its implementation are both time-consuming and resource-consuming.

Besides, you probably don’t really want to do it. It’s not your forte. You have a product or service to sell that is the raison d’etre for your company, and that’s where you shine.

Part of a robust acquisition program includes analytics that need to be interpreted in order to adjust your acquisition campaigns based on the specifics of what is working … and what is not. A company that specializes in customer acquisition has the exact analytics you need and the experience to interpret them for your brand.

Pretty blackhair woman sitting alone in the cafe and doing shopping online.35% of ecommerce revenue for brand-new customers is generated post-acquisition efforts, so being able to follow up  needs to be part of customer acquisition management. If you think you can do that, then go for it. Most companies, however, don’t have the time or resources.

We do. We’re CertainSource, and we have the expertise, the resources, and the commitment to bringing you the best customer acquisition management available. Why not ask us how—today?



ile folder with documents

Want New Customers? Get Creative!

organizing ideasThe best marketing efforts are all creative in some way, including your customer acquisition management. This can show up in the concept, the visuals, the content, and/or the call to action. There’s no doubt that creativity is an important piece of successful marketing campaigns. Here are some great ways to get creative and stay creative with your marketing initiatives.

1) Adopt healthy measurement habits

You need to start with some healthy measurement habits. Your company needs to be measuring important things like website traffic, and email click-through rates. These numbers are the marketing version of your BMI or blood pressure: they help you determine the heath of your efforts. Every company and campaign might be different, so you need to determine what numbers are healthy/normal for you.

What does this have to do with creativity? Examining your key metrics can help you identify new opportunities and areas where you may be able to get creative. And if you can’t tell your boss what’s working/not working, you probably won’t get many opportunities to use your creativity.

2) Define your goals in detail

Once you start measuring (or before, if you’re smart), you should make sure to define your goals. Write out all of the details of your goals. Do you want to increase Facebook likes? Blog traffic? Leads? By how much? Over what period of time? Once you have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish, it will be easier to find creative paths to achieve those goals.

3) Discover new concepts

Being creative means that you should be curious and willing to learn new things. Read books like UnmarketingEngage!Smarter, Faster, CheaperSpent, and maybe some books by Malcolm Gladwell. Read marketing blogs and use RSS feeds and a feed reader, such as Google Reader, to keep up with what’s new and interesting. Watch Ted Talksconference streams, and other educational videos. Attend networking and speaking events. When you come across things that you find interesting, useful or inspiring, go ahead and bookmark, underline, dog-ear, write it down, tweet it, share it on Facebook and revisit it later.

When you do all of these things (not once, but over time) you are increasing your exposure to new concepts. And your brain will connect old ideas with new ideas. New ideas will form on top of old ideas, and you’ll increase your creative capacity.

outside the box4) Think outside the box… but also get into it

A cliché in a post about being creative? Here’s a different spin from Christopher Peterson, Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. “If you never venture outside the box, you will probably not be creative. But if you never get inside the box, you will certainly be stupid.” The point is that you have to know what you have done in the past (with your marketing efforts) and what you are doing now in order to be most creative. Then you can think outside of the box and start brainstorming. Write everything down that come to your mind. And see what happens.

5) Embrace organization

To be really creative, you need some sort of organizational system so you don’t forget good ideas—or waste precious time trying to find them. Have a place to write all of your ideas down and organize them. Try a notebook, Evernote, the Notes app for iPhone, a Word document, etc. Do whatever works for you. You just need to try to keep everything in a central location.

What tips do you have for being more creative with your marketing ideas and efforts?

shopping online

Customer Acquisition Through Triggered Emails

Woman Using ComputerAre you still using static demographic data to target your marketing campaigns? If so, you’re not alone: it’s been done that way for so many years that it’s difficult (and uncomfortable) for companies to think about how the expense they’ve invested in data warehouse initiatives isn’t paying the dividends they want.

Let’s look at it from another perspective. The best way (and time) to reach your prospects is when they’re online, right? That’s not rocket science: catch them while your brand is still top-of-mind. And when they’re online, they take actions: they visit your website, they click on a banner ad, they visit one of your social pages. If you have a customer-acquisition solution that tracks these actions and triggers appropriate emails, then you can send an immediate, triggered email that makes a huge difference in results (three to 10 times the open rates).

It’s simple to collect live data, and even easier to automate the campaign process that triggers email campaigns to individuals based on live data they generate.

shopping online with bagsThis data has real depth. What specific page on your website did they visit, which specific link(s) did they click on, what was the actual content of the email they sent, which video did they view on YouTube, and which tweet did they re-tweet? While many of these actions show intent to buy, others simply provide opportunities to get to know your prospects and customers better, so you can reach out to them with relevant content, and generally set the stage for future purchases.

Live data exposes intent to buy and urgency to buy, allowing you to set up a scoring process for consumers. Live data also will show you how people buy: do they respond to quick sales, or are they influenced to buy mostly from friends and colleagues? Are they quality researchers or do they buy based on price?

These days, “recently” means less than one second ago, and the response to “recently” will happen in less than one second. Initiating live data, triggered campaigns costs a tiny fraction of traditional data warehousing costs, involves far fewer internal resources, and delivers immediate results.

CertainSource’s Live Audience delivers these triggered emails at a fraction of the cost of data warehousing, and it’s generating results. Why not give us a call today to find out how Live Audience can help you grow your brand?

Journey success business concept as a businessman guiding a road arrow

The Importance of Lead Hygiene

Every B2C marketer knows you have to check out where you’re sending your emails. Most ESPs have someone who does that—watches bounces and hard bounces, sanitizes lists, that sort of thing.

But what about the leads coming into your email campaigns?

Many, many companies use paid lead generation. Yours may be one of them. It’s a viable and valid method of acquiring new prospects. But who is guaranteeing that the addresses you’re receiving aren’t invented, stolen, nonconforming, or otherwise inappropriate for use in your campaign?

Risk control business concept with a courageous businessman riding a dangerous shark in the ocean guiding it for success controlling and managing uncertainty as a symbol of leadershipAcquisition accounts for the biggest portion of nearly every company’s budget. It’s therefore essential that your lead generation work for you, not against you, and so the most important thing you can do is weed out sources that aren’t producing quality leads.

There are tools used by some companies that will segment your lead generation by source and provide analytics that help you see just how valuable that lead generation source is … or isn’t. This is crucial, not only for CAN-SPAM compliance, but also to ensure that you’re not spending your money on a lead source that consistently gives you nothing in return.

Lead hygiene is just as important as list hygiene. It’s the best way to make every lead count! Want to make sure that your leads are safe and valuable? Check out our customer acquisition management system, CertainSource Acquire.

Businessman touch button file icon communication sign

Qualify at the Source for Best Customer Acquisition Results

File cabinets in a digital spaceThere are any number of customer-acquisition and lead-generation platforms out there, all of them promising the best results: better customers, more active customers, customers who will become brand advocates. They’re all saying the same thing, and nearly every one of them is doing the same thing: buying customer lists in the aggregate, and hoping that there won’t be too many duds in the lot to generate risk.

“Hoping,” I’d like to suggest, is possibly not your best customer-acquisition tool.

Amassing email lists—that may or may not be relevant to and generate income for your company—can backfire and hurt your online reputation. ISPs may stop delivering your emails. You could get blacklisted, marked as spam.

We’d like to suggest another way of thinking about new-customer acquisition. Rather than thinking about leads (that is, going for numbers, what we’ve all been conditioned to do), we think it’s important to think about qualified prospects.

What makes a prospect qualified?

Well, the common way of thinking about qualification has always been in terms of demographics: if that individual or company fit into a certain list of qualifiers (financial, verticals, geography, etc.) then the prospect was qualified.

Stream of binary code with mobile phoneBut demographics are static and, at the end of the day, not of much real use. What qualifies a prospect today is live data—in other words, something that they did. They clicked, they opened, they filled out a form, they asked for information: this constantly moving stream of data culled from websites, social media sites, and email is how companies today determine who is a qualified prospect.

The live data, when received, should trigger an immediate response from you, and that’s the beginning of customer acquisition management: companies responding to the actions taken by prospects and customers, rather than telling prospects and customers what it is that we think they need.

Forget about leads and think about lead sources: when the source is qualified, the lead is likely to be as well. Qualifying at the source lowers your risk, raises your deliverability, and ensures that the quality of your prospects remains high.

Not many companies do it; we do. Why not give CertainSource Acquire a try today?