Calculate and Improve CAC Customer Acquisition Cost Formula

customer acquisition cost formula

Table of Contents


Customer Acquisition Cost Formula —the mysterious metric that has kept many a marketer up at night.

So, what exactly is CAC, you ask?

Well, it’s the amount you’re spending on acquiring a new customer. It’s not just about getting them to make a one-time purchase. You need to consider their lifetime value too.

The tricky part is figuring out how to calculate and reduce it. As with any good formula, there are a few key inputs you need to know, the cost of goods sold, the cost of sales and the average order value.

For SaaS companies, CAC is particularly important since it’s typically higher than other industries.

Why does CAC matter?

Well, acquiring a new customer costs money. If you’re not thinking about CAC, your costs to acquire each new customer can spiral out of control.

What can you do to lower your CAC?

Simple, focus on better targeting your sales and marketing efforts to attract the right customers. A lower CAC ultimately means a better bottom line and happier customers.

See, calculating customer acquisition cost is simple, just divide the total marketing spend by the number of new customers acquired.

But reducing it? Well, that’s a whole other challenge. 


Understanding Customer Acquisition Cost Formula (CAC)

What is CAC?

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) refers to the total cost of acquiring a new customer.

These expenses may include:

  • the advertising costs
  • the cost of promotional activities
  • the cost of sales staff
  • the cost of creating and distributing marketing materials
  • other costs associated with acquiring a new customer, such as the cost of running a website or social media campaigns.

The CAC is typically calculated by dividing the total cost of acquiring a customer by the number of new customers acquired during a specific time period.

Understanding their CAC is important for businesses to ensure they are effectively using their marketing and sales resources to grow their customer base while maintaining profitability.

Why Is CAC Important for Your Business?

CAC is important for businesses because it helps determine the value of new customers.

When you know how much it costs to acquire a customer, you can determine if you are spending too much on your marketing efforts or if you need to implement strategies to lower your CAC.

How Can You Use CAC for Your Business?

You can use CAC for your business by calculating it and comparing it against your customer lifetime value (LTV).

This can help you determine if the cost of acquiring a customer is worth it based on how much revenue they will bring in over their lifetime as a customer.

How Can You Calculate CAC in Practice?

In order to calculate your CAC, you’ll need to add up all of your marketing costs, including things like paid advertising, social media marketing, and content marketing.

Then, you’ll need to determine the number of customers you’ve acquired during a specific time period. Once you have both of these numbers, simply divide the total marketing spend by the number of customers acquired to get your CAC.


What Are Some Tips to Reduce Your CAC?

1. Improve Your Customer Experience: A good customer experience results in more loyal customers who are more likely to refer others to your business, reducing your overall CAC.

2. Focus on Your Target Audience: By focusing on your target audience and their needs, you can create more effective marketing campaigns that will likely attract more qualified leads and reduce your CAC.

3. Leverage Social Media: Use social media to create relationships with your audience and drive more traffic to your website, reducing the number of leads you need to acquire through other channels.

4. Optimize Your Website: Make sure your website is user-friendly and optimized for conversions. This will result in more qualified leads and a reduction in your overall CAC.

5. Leverage Referral Programs: Encourage your existing customers to refer their friends and family to your business through referral programs. This can result in more qualified leads and a reduction in your overall CAC.

6. Use Data to Improve Your Efforts: Use data analytics to track and analyze the performance of your marketing campaigns and adjust your efforts accordingly to reduce your CAC.

How Does CAC Affect Your Marketing Strategies? The Importance of CAC for Marketing Strategies

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is a metric that measures the total cost a business spends to acquire a new customer.

CAC affects marketing strategies in several ways:

1. Budget Allocation

CAC allows businesses to determine the amount of money they should allocate to marketing campaigns. If the CAC is too high, it may mean that current marketing efforts are not driving enough high-quality leads at an efficient cost.

As such, marketing teams may need to rethink their strategy and reallocate resources to channels that generate lower customer acquisition costs. 

2. Campaign Optimization

With CAC data, marketing teams can use A/B testing to optimize campaigns and improve conversion rates. By testing different copy, visuals, and calls to action, businesses can tweak their campaigns to bring down CAC.

3. Audience Targeting

By identifying the ideal customer profile, businesses can build targeted campaigns that attract their desired audience, reducing CAC.

Overall, monitoring CAC can help businesses improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing strategies, driving growth and profit. 

What is Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)? How Does It Relate to CAC?

Customer lifetime value (LTV) refers to how much revenue a customer is expected to generate over their lifetime as a customer.

CAC and LTV are closely related because they can help determine if the cost of acquiring a customer is worth the revenue it will generate over time.

customer acquisition cost

What is a Good Customer Acquisition Cost?

A good CAC can vary based on your specific industry and business model. However, in general, a lower CAC is better because it means you’re spending less to acquire new customers, and your return on investment will be higher.

Optimizing CAC for Your Business

How Can You Benchmark Your CAC?

You can benchmark your CAC by comparing your numbers to industry standards and your competitors’ CACs. This can give you an idea of how well your marketing efforts are performing and what you can do to improve them.

What Are Some Strategies to Optimize Your CAC?

Some strategies to optimize your CAC include:

1. Increase Customer Referrals

Encourage your existing customers to refer their friends, family, and colleagues to your business. Offer incentives, such as discounts or freebies, to customers who successfully refer new clients to you.

This is a cost-effective way to acquire new customers since your existing customers are already familiar with your brand and are likely to refer people who are interested in your products or services.

2. Improve Your Website’s User Experience

Your website is often the first point of contact with your prospective customers, and it needs to be user-friendly and visually appealing to keep them engaged.

Make sure your website is easy to navigate, loads quickly, and has the necessary information upfront. Provide a seamless checkout process or contact form to make it easy for customers to make purchases or submit inquiries.

3. Focus on Building Long-Term Relationships

Providing excellent customer service and building lasting relationships with your customers can help improve their lifetime value and reduce churn.

Regularly engage with your customers through email newsletters, social media, or other communication channels and offer personalized solutions to their problems or concerns.

4. Invest in Targeted Advertising

Focusing your advertising efforts on your target audience can help reduce your CAC. Utilize social media advertising, search engine marketing, or other online advertising methods to reach your ideal customer.

These methods are cost-effective and allow you to target specific demographics and interests, which can lead to higher conversion rates.

5. Leverage Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy in which businesses reward affiliates for each new customer they bring in.

By partnering with relevant websites or influencers in your industry, you can increase your brand exposure and grow your customer base at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. to increase their LTV.

How Does Your Business Model Impact CAC?

Every business model is different, and your specific business model can impact your CAC.

For example, SaaS companies may have a higher CAC because of the nature of their subscription-based business model.

CAC and Its Role in Customer Retention

How Can CAC Help with Customer Retention?

CAC can help with customer retention by allowing you to identify the channels that are most effective for acquiring loyal customers.

By focusing your marketing efforts on these channels, you can improve customer retention and reduce your overall CAC.

How Can Your Acquisition Strategy Impact CAC?

Your acquisition strategy can impact your CAC by determining the quality and quantity of customers you acquire. By developing a targeted and effective acquisition strategy, you can reduce your overall CAC and improve customer retention.

How Can You Improve Customer Retention Using CAC-Based Metrics?

Customer retention can be improved using CAC-based metrics in the following ways:

1. Identify the Cost of Customer Acquisition

Calculate the cost of acquiring each customer and use this metric to understand the value of retaining customers over a longer period of time. This will help in developing strategies to retain customers and reduce customer acquisition costs. 

2. Determine Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Calculate the amount of revenue a customer will generate over their lifetime and focus on retaining high-CLV customers. This can be done using historical data, such as purchase history and spending patterns.

3. Analyze Customer Behavior

Analyze customer behavior, such as frequency of purchases, number of visits to the website, and average order value. This data can be used to identify customers who might be at risk of churning and develop strategies to retain them.

4. Offer Personalized Experiences

Use customer data to develop personalized experiences and offers that cater to the customer’s specific needs and preferences. This will build loyalty and improve retention rates.

5. Measure Customer Satisfaction

Use different metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) to measure customer satisfaction and get feedback from customers on how to improve their experience.

This will help in reducing customer churn and improving customer retention.


Like any effective business strategy, customer acquisition requires a thoughtful approach and precise calculations.

Calculating Customer Acquisition Cost is the key to tracking operational performance and determining the worth of current marketing efforts.

At the end of the day, all organizations strive for sustainable growth, and understanding one’s CAC is the first step in achieving this goal.

With a sharp eye and some savvy math skills, it’s easy to calculate this crucial metric with confidence — so don’t get left behind!

It’s time to take charge of your company’s future and make sure that every acquisition is well worth the cost, both monetary and otherwise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Table of Contents