Acquisition with more efficiency: a budget-friendly acquisition plan for B2B and B2C marketers

This marketing plan saves costs and generates more results from acquisition marketing

21 April 2020 - 11 minutes
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Low-budget acquisition for B2B en B2C marketeers.

  • Customer acquisition is, in addition to retention, an essential part of marketing.
  • Growing companies spend 10% to 20% of their revenue on acquisition. However, it is also possible to be successful with a budget of about 1% to 3%.
  • The key to low-budget acquisition marketing is mainly to carry out activities with a long-term contribution to the result.

What is acquisition marketing

Acquisition marketing consists of all activities that contribute to the acquisition of new customers. For growing companies, acquisition marketing is essential. Start-ups and scale-ups are fully dependent on acquisition for their growth, but also more mature companies need new customers to grow.

However, acquisition does not come cheap. Research shows that growing companies spend 10%-30% of their revenue on acquisition, with an average of 12%. These costs are spent on (online) media, leads, events and other marketing activities.

Leads are generated from these activities, which are followed up by sales. In this article, we take a closer look at the possibilities to generate sufficient sales opportunities at lower costs to grow your business.

Following topics are discussed in this article:

Lasting versus incidental marketing activities 
Three secrets of low-budget acquisition 
Resources suitable for low-budget acquisition 
Spending less time and budget on other marketing parts
What if the results of acquisition are disappointing?
Acquisition marketing with Basedriver

Lasting versus incidental marketing activities

If you want to acquire customers with a limited budget, it is essential to know the difference between lasting (structural) and incidental marketing activities.

Structural acquisition marketing

Structural marketing activities are activities with a lasting result. These activities often take more time than money and do not provide quick results in the short term. However, they do provide a regular and predictable long-term return.

Examples of structural marketing activities are:

  • Writing and distributing long-form content;
  • Building an e-mail marketing database;
  • Building followers on social media;
  • Implementing marketing automation;
  • Radio/TV communication aimed at building brand awareness and brand preference.

The benefits of structural acquisition marketing are fixed marketing costs; you make an investment that pays for itself over time. This means that the total inflow of sales opportunities is less dependent on the budget at that time.

Another benefit is that these activities are less easy to be copied by competitors. A good position in search engines takes months or maybe even years. Many competitors quit because the result is disappointing at first.

Incidental marketing acquisition

Incidental marketing activities are activities that boost leads/sales in the short term but have a decreasing effect. As soon as the budget stops, sales also stop. Examples of incidental marketing activities are:

  • Sponsoring events;
  • Buying leads;
  • Cold acquisition via telemarketing;
  • Buying online traffic for lead generation;
  • Radio/tv communication aimed at sales.

In general, the cost per lead or the cost per sale of incidental marketing activities is much higher than that of structural marketing activities. This does not mean it is a bad idea! There are certainly advantages to incidental marketing!

For example, one of the advantages is speed. If you want to experience rapid growth, purchasing traffic and leads is often the best option.

Another advantage is predictability. You can make clear agreements about the purchase of leads, measure the conversion and determine the costs.

The final advantage of incidental marketing is convenience. Depending on the budget, you can outsource and automate a large part of the process.


Structurele vs incidentele acquisitie marketing

The result of structural and incidental (one-off) acquisition.

Three secrets of low-budget acquisition

It is not easy to grow successfully on a small budget. Based on our own experience, there are three secrets to successful budget friendly acquisition.

Secret 1: Take your time and have confidence

It took us three months to end up in the top 10 results at Google, on the search term ‘e-mail marketing software’. From that page, the most important call-to-action is a newsletter subscription. Sometimes we immediately receive a request for a personal demonstration.

We are a B2B business, our customer’s decision-making process often takes several months. In our case, it therefore takes at least half a year before we know if the investment in this page has any effect.

In this example, we did very well. Within three months, we are at the top of Google on an important term. Although we did not spend any money on this, we did spend a lot of time. We have also put that time in other articles, of which many, but definitely not all, are ranked higher on search engines.

We could also have spent that time approaching people via LinkedIn Sales Navigator or buying and following-up leads, with instant feedback. In the short term, this would have yielded more, in our case the turning point is about 9-12 months.

If you want to work on structural marketing, you need to take this into account in the marketing and sales plan. We have spent a number of months on both incidental and structural marketing to make sure we do not miss any opportunities.

Secret 2: Spend time and money on structural marketing activities

The less budget available, the more time you have to spend on structural marketing activities. This does not mean that you don’t have to spend budget at all on advertisers. We also spend a small amount on Google Adwords and LinkedIn advertisements every month.

LinkedIn advertisements are an excellent way for us to draw attention to our content to a larger group of interested people. Besides organic search results, this is an important source of online visitors. We sponsor our updates, so that they are shown in the timeline of interested parties.

Those LinkedIn advertisements lead to followers of our LinkedIn page and through the website for newsletter subscriptions. We use personal newsletters to make sure people receive relevant content.

Google Adwords is an excellent way to test the search volume for a particular keyword. It is also possible to test which texts lead to interested visitors. This increases the chance that you are creating content your customer is looking for. Usually, we quit Adwords as soon as we perform organically well on a keyword.

Despite our low-budget approach, one of our colleagues is involved with content for the website, social media channels and e-mail marketing. This leads to a structural flow of new content and interesting posts. We also spend our budget on various marketing tools that help to automate part of the work.

Secret 3: Share without conditions

Last December, we created a marketing calendar for our users. In January, we shared the PDF online in a blogpost with some text. Ever since, this is the most viewed page on our website.


Acquisitie via de marketing kalender

The marketing calendar is well ranked in Google.

The same goes for the e-mail marketing business case on our website. We made it for customers during the quotation phase. We also shared it online and it is now at the top of the search engines.

If you are looking for interesting content to share, there is often a lot available in your own organization. Ask your colleagues for the presentations they have made. Ask your customers about their greatest challenges. This is often the basis for the most interesting content.

Unlike many companies, we do not ask for an e-mail address or registration. All downloads are immediately available and free of charge. We want as many people as possible to get in touch with our content: in this way, we build brand awareness.

Of course, we would like people to subscribe on our personal newsletter to make sure they do not miss anything and also read our older articles. However, this is entirely without obligation.

Resources suitable for low-budget acquisition

Low-budget acquisition is all about creating relevant content and distributing it through the right channels. Depending on your company and target group, these channels may differ. We use the following channels:

Own website

Our own website is very important. It is where visitors go to, where subscriptions for the newsletter are generated and where interesting content is posted. The website is also the place to help existing customers, for example through the knowledge base.


As B2B company, LinkedIn is essential. Literally our first customer found us via an article on LinkedIn. At the moment, around 50% of our customers came to us this way. Nevertheless, we only started maintaining and updating our page at the beginning of this year. We did this successfully: in four months, the number of followers increased from 60 (January) to 500 (April).


acquisitie via interessante content op LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an important source for interested visitors.

Google Ads and Organic

Google is the primary traffic source on our website. The number of visitors on Google Ads varies depending on the available budget. If we have a specific objective or want to test something, we use Google Adwords. Organic search traffic increases monthly because of the increase in available content.

E-mail marketing automation

E-mail marketing automation is a central part of our acquisition strategy. The content we create, helps marketers to improve their way of working, work more efficiently and reduce costs. This does not mean that every visitor is a potential customer at the moment. We use our personal newsletter to deliver relevant content and, by doing this, give people the possibility to schedule a demonstration.

A major advantage of a personal newsletter is the possibility to reuse content. We do not have to create new content for everyone.


Gepersonaliseerde nieuwsbrief in Basedriver

The personalised newsletter enables a better relationship with the visitor.


Recently we started a YouTube channel. We mainly use this channel to share training videos with existing customers. For acquisition purposes, we have not yet used YouTube. However, we may soon experiment with video advertisements.

We use various marketing tools to keep all these channels up-to-date.

Spending less time and budget on other marketing channels

All this attention to structural acquisition, means that we spend less time and money on other parts of marketing. We pretty much stopped approaching leads via LinkedIn Sales Navigator. We also no longer purchase lead files. If there is a sustainable advantage for us, we still participate to events.

We adjusted our sales plan to this: we assume limited sales growth in the short term, but a great growth in the long term. The advantage in the current (Corona) time, is that many investment projects have been postponed. Thus, this is the perfect opportunity to switch to low-budget marketing.

If this is not sufficient, it is possible that we will spend budget again on incidental marketing and purchase or approach leads.

That is the major advantage of low-budget acquisition. You are always able to scale up if necessary.

What if the results of acquisition are disappointing?

If you switch to low-budget acquisition, there will be a point with disappointing results. It takes a long time before results are visible.

For example, take our article on e-mail marketing software. This article is now on the first page of Google’s search results. That took us three months. The image below shows that, even on this position, only 4% of all search traffic goes to our website.

The number one receives 33% of all traffic. We will have to put the same time and effort into this article before it really has a significant effect.

Traffic share e-mail marketing software

Even on the first page, you only get 4% of all search traffic.


The same goes for e-mail marketing. It takes time to create a good personal newsletter, that generates leads and sales. At first, your e-mail marketing database is probably still small; you create content and newsletters for a small group.

It is important to keep an eye on your progress, this requires more KPI’s than just leads or sales. We look at the following aspects for progress:


  • Improvement of positions in search engines
  • Growth of the newsletter file
  • Number of followers on LinkedIn
  • Visitors on the website


  • Session duration and bounce rate on the website
  • Number of interactions on LinkedIn
  • Opening ratio’s and click ratio of the newsletter

Acquisition marketing with Basedriver

E-mail marketing is an essential part of the marketing mix for subscriptions. Basedriver is email marketing software specifically designed for this challenge. For example for automatically approaching unsubscribers, sending personal newsletters or automating campaigns.

We make sure that you generate more visitors from e-mail marketing and that you can recognize those visitors on the website. This will increase the revenue of your e-mail marketing team. Basedriver fits into an e-mail marketing strategy that leads to more online visitors and subscribers.

Would you like to know more about e-mail marketing with Basedriver? Please contact us for a personal demonstration.

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