Personalizing Your Full-Funnel Customer Acquisition Strategy

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We all love a brand that makes us feel special. We feel like we’ve reached the jackpot when we find a brand that delivers exactly what we were thinking about or looking for. Moreover, when that brand fits seamlessly into our lives from discovery to delivery, we’re more apt to rave about it. A smart customer acquisition strategy takes all of this into consideration.


Improvements in data and tracking for ecommerce-based brands has created a competitive marketplace for catching the hearts and attention of lifetime customers. Getting a new customer into the customer acquisition funnel can feel like half the battle, and many teams target their marketing efforts towards the beginning of the funnel. Joe Yakuel, Founder and CEO of Agency Within, teamed up with CEO of Trade Coffee Mike Lackman at CommerceNext 2019 to talk about the value of personalization as a full-funnel strategy for customer acquisition, from awareness to all the way down to purchase. 


As a direct-to-consumer marketplace, Trade Coffee aims to bring education and product to a spectrum of coffee drinkers, from the novice to the expert. Agency Within is a full-service digital marketing agency, helping brands ranging from finance to retail to align a digital marketing strategy with their customer acquisition goals. In developing a digital marketing strategy for such a broad consumer group as Trade Coffee’s, the most obvious approach that Lackman and Yakuel cited would be to pursue targeted marketing to increase the effectiveness of customer acquisition and educate current customers on new offers. However, as Lackman noted, targeted media is increasingly expensive in such a competitive environment. Their solution: leveraging personalities in advertising to maximize their targeted media, as well as leveraging personalization in the customer acquisition funnel to get more out of their broad media spend. This way, Agency Within has helped Trade Coffee use their targeted media at the beginning of the funnel towards customer acquisition, and personalize in-funnel to maximize customer experience and further their mission to educate and excite their customers with new coffees.


According to Lackman, personalization marketing efforts are increasingly used in the field of retention marketing and CRM, helping to build brand personas and elevate the customer experience. The funnels in Trade Coffee’s online retail experience allow them to personalize the experience of shopping for coffee based on factors like location, budget, and exploration, among others. Their target customer is largely determined by their customer’s behavior, with demographic coming in second. Trade Coffee’s two subscription offerings- the “Classics” and the “Hookup”- help tailor the experience in-funnel to cater to different consumer interest and background while providing them with the best entry-point subscription. With 80% of their traffic falling on mobile, Trade Coffee has developed their personalization funnel to optimize the information gathered with only a fraction of their desktop “decision tree.” From there, the customer experience inside the funnel is geared towards education and discovery, with curated content in the platform tailored around the information gleaned from the customer’s input in the funnel. By splitting their offerings into two subscription options, Trade Coffee was able to better understand their customer base, and even saw an increase in the “Hookup” option by differentiating between the two channels. 


Yakuel commented that the development of these two options as a full-funnel strategy comes down to “having the guts to pivot.” Agency Within has worked together with Trade Coffee to pivot their discovery-based brand to cater to a wider customer base by gathering information about the customer and presenting a solution, rather than asking what they want. Creating personalized content helps Trade Coffee maintain their connection to their customers and helps them rediscover the brand as they continue to purchase through their platform, rather than focusing on social content as their main route for customer retention and discovery. According to Yakuel, “People don’t necessarily realize that the performance you’re getting in social is not necessarily your actual potential, even if you’re being super smart about media buying, if your creative isn’t unlocking the full potential of what’s possible.” 


Trade Coffee continues to target growth by using their personalization funnels to learn more about their customers as part of their overall customer acquisition strategy. Trade Coffee is capitalizing on tech resources, empowering their growth team to build these funnels, and as a result, learn more about their customers’ behavior for more targeted marketing efforts. “We know who we’re speaking to,” chimed Yakuel, commenting on how this approach to getting customers into the customer acquisition funnel allows the Trade Coffee team to personalize their experience within all of their channels, whether you’re on mobile or desktop. 


Watch this full session on our Youtube channel here.