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What is customer acquisition cost CAC and how to calculate it?

Any company's capacity to succeed and endure in the competitive business environment of today depends on its ability to comprehend and control the cost of acquiring new customers. Customer acquisition costs CAC are the key to growing your customer base while maintaining profitability. Furthermore, business owners can assess their marketing and sales efforts with the use of customer acquisition cost CAC, a crucial indicator that helps them decide how best to allocate resources and execute plans for growth. 

In this article, we'll cover an in-depth understanding of CAC, why it matters, and how to calculate it:

  • What is Customer Acquisition Cost CAC?
  • Why Customer Acquisition Cost Matters
  • How to Calculate Customer Acquisition Cost 
  • Tips for Managing and Improving CAC
  • Conclusion

What is Customer Acquisition Cost CAC?

Customer acquisition cost, or CAC, is a business statistic that estimates the expenses associated with bringing in new customers for your company. The entire cost of sales and marketing for a business over a given time period that goes into acquiring a new customer is known as the CAC. Generally, businesses use CAC as a key growth metric to assess the profitability of their customers and the effectiveness of their sales. Comparing CAC to LTV (lifetime value) can enhance future profitability predictions by comparing customer value over time.

Why Customer Acquisition Cost Matters

A crucial business indicator that many companies and investors consider is customer acquisition cost CAC. In fact, a lot of businesses fail as a result of not properly comprehending the cost of acquiring new customers. Particularly, it is crucial to comprehend and monitor CAC for a number of reasons:

1. Improving profitability

Understanding customer acquisition cost (CAC) allows a company to analyze its value per customer and improve its profit margins. Customer acquisition cost assists companies in making resource allocation decisions. Nevertheless, acquiring a new customer's cost allows businesses to efficiently allocate their marketing and sales budgets for maximum returns. Thus, according to the report, the shift to digital sales led to 30% higher acquisition efficiency for businesses and cost reductions of 40% to 60% within sales.

2.  Determine and optimize your payback period rent

In capital planning, the term "payback period" describes the amount of time needed to recover investment costs or break even. Additionally, regarding the cost of obtaining new customers for your company, this refers to the time it takes to recoup the initial investment. When you get a new customer, getting your money back should be your first concern. Further, understanding your customer acquisition cost in detail will help you determine the exact amount of income each customer must bring in to break even and turn a profit.

3. Optimises decision-making

Customer acquisition cost CAC enables data-driven decision-making. However, CAC can help save money on marketing and sales expenses, enabling faster decision-making within your company. Consequently, this results in enhanced ROI and more efficient use of resources.

How to Calculate Customer Acquisition Cost

The simplest method of figuring up customer acquisition costs is to divide the total amount of money spent on bringing in new, paying customers by the total number of customers that were brought in within that same time period.

Calculating CAC involves a straightforward formula:

CAC = (Total Sales and Marketing Costs) / (Number of New Customers Acquired)

You must be aware of the precise financials of every activity and instrument you use to acquire customers in order to calculate customer acquisition costs accurately.

Searching for‌ examples of customer acquisition costs? The following is a list of expenses to include in your formula for customer acquisition costs:

1. Total Sales and Marketing Costs: 

This expense covers any cost that is specifically associated with marketing and sales activities. However, includes software tools, advertising expenses, sales and marketing team salaries, and other costs related to acquiring new customers.

2. Employee salaries and labor

Oftentimes, internal salespeople and marketers are in charge of acquiring new customers. The entire cost of recruiting customers through their efforts must account for their salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other labor expenses.

3. Technology

Production of content, customer assistance, website, and landing page creation and maintenance, tracking customer progress (CRMs), enhanced SEO, and numerous other tasks are all made possible by technology in your company. Consider the support costs when calculating your customer acquisition cost CAC while using this technology.

4. Number of New Customers Acquired

This is the total number of new customers your company has brought on board in a given period of time. Although the time range can change, consistency is essential in order to make relevant comparisons.

5. Inventory upkeep

If your company offers software as a service (SaaS), you must pay software developers to update and maintain your product, provide patches, find issues, and enhance the customer experience. Introducing a high-quality product directly impacts your ability to attract new customers. 

Utility expenses and facility storage fees would be included in this cost for companies that sell physical products. However, this is the money you would spend on patches and updates to enhance the customer experience if you were selling software.

Tips for Managing and Improving CAC

To lower your acquisition cost and maximize your earnings, consider the following four customer-focused suggestions:

1. Know your target audience

Use customer segmentation to determine your target market, develop thorough buyer personas, and define your ideal customer profile (ICP) is the first step in any successful customer acquisition plan.  You can target the most promising leads and maximize your acquisition cost by knowing the specific wants and needs of different customer groups. Additionally, it helps prevent situations in which you spend money on ineffective channels and activities that raise the expense of acquiring a new customer.  

2. Optimize your sales and marketing funnel

Evaluate the number of visitors that result in leads, leads that result in opportunities, and opportunities that result in customers for each stage of the process. However, make constant improvements to your sales funnel to enhance conversion rates. Reducing CAC can be significantly impacted by even modest increases in conversion rates.

3. Boost the efficiency of sales and marketing expenses

Reduce the amount you spend on marketing and sales. Invest in channels with track records of profitability to avoid wasting further money. In addition, utilize prospecting tools and a CRM to effectively connect with more high-quality leads. 

CRM and social media, email, and reporting tools can reduce employee costs and free up your team's time for more strategic, creative work. In fact, the study shows that marketing automation can result in a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing costs. In addition to helping companies, automation tools also maximize marketing and sales expenditures.

4. Add value

Delivering what matters to customers will increase their value. The company should gather customer feedback and strive to offer them new features, product fixes, or additional products to attract and retain them.

Live platform enables the execution of fully automated scripts, allowing for customer feedback collection via any preferred channel. Depending on your needs, you can set up surveys to be either anonymous or personalized, whether you use web or phone surveys.


One important metric that helps companies evaluate the effectiveness of their customer acquisition efforts is customer acquisition cost CAC. However, to ensure the efficacy and efficiency of your outreach, it is crucial to consider the financial implications of CAC.

Companies can work toward long-term profitability and growth by calculating CAC and applying the insights gained from it to make well-informed decisions and smart resource allocation. Understanding this crucial measure is essential for companies of all sizes to succeed in the competitive marketplace of today.

So, set aside some time now to figure out your company's customer acquisition costs and consider how you may more effectively use your resources.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with us today if you want to learn more about how the Live product family can help you to boost your global customer experience strategy. 

Learn more about how the Live product family can help you support and improve your customer experience strategy.

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