Customer Acquisition Costs should, like any other cost, be factored into your pricing. I.e. you have to estimate what it is going to cost you to acquire a customer, and build that into your business case.
In the initial phases of a business your cost of customer acquisition may be much higher. Here, you have the option of estimating what the eventual cost of customer acquisition be at scale, and include that into your costing. In this case, you will be making lesser margin per sale than you would at scale, but you will be able to price your product closer to your eventual selling price and not make initial adopters pay for inefficiencies of smaller scale.
On the other hand, you may take a call to load the entire higher cost of initial customer acquisition on to the customer.
Of course, you should try to continuously reduce the cost of customer acquisition. Apart from direct sales, here are things that you could try:
- Be present in conferences and seminars where your customers are present – ideally, try to get a speaking slot on a panel
- Write a blog or a ‘though leadership’ piece in an industry relevant publication
- Make sensible comments or write sensible answers on questions on LinkedIn groups
- Use PR well… celebrate your early successes [early adopters are the most difficult to get, but post that many more customers are usually comfortable trying out a solution when they know that others have tried
- Request your initial customers to be your brand ambassadors – get testimonials – publish those with their photographs on LinkedIn and your official Facebook page – tag these early customers – of course with their permission
Invest in creating well-designed communication material – digital or printed. Practice your pitch well – focus on the value proposition, not just product features.