What is Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

As a business owner, you know that acquiring new customers is essential for growth and success. But have you ever stopped to consider how much it costs you to acquire each new customer? This is where customer acquisition cost (CAC) comes into play.

In this article, we’ll explore what customer acquisition cost is, why it’s important, and how to calculate it for your business.

What is Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)?

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is the total cost incurred by a business to acquire a new customer. This includes all marketing and sales expenses, such as advertising, salaries, commissions, and any other costs associated with acquiring new customers.

Why is CAC Important?

Knowing your CAC is crucial for understanding the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts. It allows you to determine the return on investment (ROI) for each customer and make informed decisions about your marketing and sales strategies.

By tracking your CAC, you can also identify areas where you may be overspending or underperforming, and make adjustments to improve your overall profitability.

How to Calculate CAC

To calculate your CAC, you’ll need to gather data on your marketing and sales expenses for a specific period, as well as the number of new customers acquired during that time.

The formula for calculating CAC is:

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

For example, if your total marketing and sales expenses for a month were $10,000 and you acquired 100 new customers during that time, your CAC would be $100.

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Factors That Affect CAC

Several factors can impact your CAC, including your industry, target market, and marketing and sales strategies. Here are some of the most common factors that can affect your CAC:


Different industries have different CACs due to varying levels of competition, customer acquisition channels, and customer lifetime value (CLV). For example, the CAC for a B2B insurance company will likely be higher than that of a B2C clothing retailer.

Target Market

Your target market also plays a significant role in your CAC. If your target market is highly competitive, it may require more resources and expenses to acquire new customers. On the other hand, if your target market is niche and less competitive, your CAC may be lower.

Marketing and Sales Strategies

The marketing and sales strategies you use can also impact your CAC. For example, if you rely heavily on paid advertising, your CAC may be higher than if you use more cost-effective methods such as content marketing or referrals.

How to Reduce Your CAC

Reducing your CAC can help improve your bottom line and make your business more profitable. Here are some strategies you can use to lower your CAC:

Refine Your Target Market

By targeting a specific niche or segment of your market, you can reduce your CAC. This is because you can tailor your marketing and sales efforts to a more defined audience, making them more effective and efficient.

Optimize Your Marketing and Sales Strategies

Review your marketing and sales strategies to identify areas where you can cut costs or improve efficiency. For example, you may find that certain advertising channels are not producing a significant return on investment, and you can reallocate those funds to more effective channels.

Improve Your Customer Retention

Acquiring new customers is essential, but retaining existing customers can also help reduce your CAC. By providing excellent customer service and building strong relationships with your customers, you can increase their lifetime value and reduce the need for constant acquisition efforts.

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CAC in Different Industries

CAC can vary significantly across industries, and it’s essential to understand the average CAC for your industry to benchmark your own performance. Here are some examples of average CACs in different industries:

B2B SaaS

The average CAC for B2B SaaS companies is around $1,200, with some companies reporting CACs as high as $5,000. This is due to the competitive nature of the industry and the high cost of acquiring enterprise-level customers.


E-commerce companies have an average CAC of around $88, with some companies reporting CACs as low as $10. This is because e-commerce companies can leverage cost-effective marketing channels such as social media and email marketing.


The insurance industry has one of the highest CACs, with an average of $500 per customer. This is due to the highly competitive nature of the industry and the high cost of acquiring new customers through traditional marketing and sales methods.

Tools for Tracking CAC

Marketing analytics dashboard

by Campaign Creators (https://unsplash.com/@campaign_creators)

To accurately track your CAC, you’ll need to use a combination of tools and software. Here are some tools that can help you track and analyze your CAC:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

CRM software allows you to track and manage your interactions with customers, including sales and marketing efforts. By using a CRM, you can gather data on your marketing and sales expenses and the number of new customers acquired, making it easier to calculate your CAC.

Marketing Analytics Software

Marketing analytics software, such as Google Analytics, can help you track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement. By analyzing data on website traffic, conversions, and other metrics, you can gain insights into your CAC and make data-driven decisions.

Competitive Intelligence Software

Competitive intelligence software, such as Kompyte, can help you track your competitors’ marketing and sales efforts and identify opportunities to improve your own strategies. By monitoring your competitors’ CAC and comparing it to your own, you can gain a competitive advantage and reduce your CAC.