The challenging economic climate has made many B2B organizations hesitant to spend. However, growth is still possible by focusing on acquisition channels, such as streamlining the sales funnel, promoting products with shorter sales cycles, and prioritizing marketing channels that are cost-effective, complement each other, and drive the buying process.

A successful acquisition strategy requires using the appropriate channels to reach your target audience. However, the discussion of channels is more complex than it may appear, as your audience is probably on all the channels but uses them in different ways. Thus, each channel has its own strategic value based on the state of mind your prospect is in and can be best classified by their stage within the customer acquisition funnel: demand generation, lead generation, lead nurturing, or sales.

To help guide your strategy, we’ve compared and ranked the most effective B2B customer acquisition channels.

Email Marketing

Acquiring new customers can be much more expensive than retaining existing ones. While newer marketing strategies can make the process more efficient, it’s still important to make use of the customers you already have before investing in new ones. Email marketing is a cost-effective option because you don’t need to buy new contacts and you likely already have an audience among existing subscribers who are familiar with your brand. This year, consider using email to focus on specific products and solutions that meet your customers’ immediate needs. To do this, create buyer profiles and map customer journeys to gain insight.

By targeting your email outreach, you can increase sales. Be sure to include landing pages that lead to purchases within your campaigns. Email marketing faces two main challenges: capturing audience attention and list building. Even those who do open emails are unlikely to read a lot, so emails must quickly grab readers’ attention and convey information more efficiently than other channels. Buying a list of contacts can result in cold-calling and a lower ROI. While an original list can be effective, it can take years to build, slowing down your overall campaign. As a result, email is not as effective for demand generation and should not be the main focus of your strategy.

Speaking Engagements at Industry Events

Industry events provide an opportunity for businesses to establish themselves as experts in their field and connect with a targeted audience. Speaking engagements at these events can leave a lasting impression on potential customers and offer a personal connection that other channels may not provide. While speaking engagements have a high lifetime value to customer acquisition cost ratio, they can be costly to execute. Researching and applying for speaking slots at industry events can be time-consuming and may require sponsorship for the most prestigious events. Additionally, the speaker must be charismatic and knowledgeable, able to answer complex questions and impress the audience. If executed successfully, speaking engagements can become a valuable part of a comprehensive customer acquisition strategy.

Search And Digital Ads

Digital and search advertisements are effective in attracting potential customers who are actively looking for a solution. These prospects are already in the buying mindset and therefore have a shorter sales cycle. To ensure that these potential buyers are effectively converted, it is important to have landing pages that provide the right information and a clear call to action.

Here at Pipeliner, we ensure to do just that and more, and it’s as simple as booking a meeting with our team. Carrying on, the landing page could also include prompting them to make a purchase or inviting them to subscribe to your emails to further advance them down the sales funnel. As other brands pull back on ad spend, online advertising may be particularly cost-effective this year, with more ad inventory available at a potentially lower cost.

Industry Trade Shows

Trade shows offer an opportunity to meet with potential customers face-to-face, which can be valuable for acquiring new customers. These events bring together people who are already interested in services and technologies from your industry, providing a chance to showcase your offerings and create a personal experience. However, trade shows can be expensive, with costs ranging from $10,000 to $250,000 when accounting for convention space, supplies, and travel. Additionally, companies must compete with their biggest competitors and other companies in entirely different industries for attention.


PPC/SEM is a customer acquisition channel that provides a fast turnaround time compared to other channels. Google makes it easy to track the performance of your campaign, which has made it a popular choice for online lead generation. However, PPC may not be the best choice for long-term campaigns due to its high customer acquisition costs. This is because businesses pay for each lead generated, resulting in high costs per lead, and the cost of PPC tends to increase over time. As a result, PPC works best when used strategically, either as a short-term boost to lead generation or as a testing ground for new markets.

Public Relations

When it comes to B2B acquisition channels, Public Relations (PR) is usually more cost-effective than other paid marketing channels, as it is earned media. Additionally, PR provides the added benefit of third-party recognition and validation for your brand. However, in today’s media landscape, it’s important to strategically place PR in media outlets that your target audience trusts to ensure that potential buyers see the story. A million media placements do nothing to drive sales if they don’t reach the right people. This emphasizes the importance of understanding your buyers and integrating PR into other aspects of your marketing campaigns.

Furthermore, PR can be leveraged across other marketing channels. For example, using earned media placements in email marketing campaigns can amplify an article’s value well beyond its time of publication. During challenging economic conditions, PR can be a cost-effective channel and should be considered as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Thought Leadership SEO

With Thought Leadership SEO, customer acquisition teams have a powerful tool to target potential customers at every stage of the sales funnel. This channel has the highest ROI of any digital marketing channel. All you need is excellent content that targets transactional keywords that prospects at that stage would search. Your thought leadership content should be insightful and effortless-seeming, building trust with your audience and earning Google’s recognition as an authoritative resource.

Thought Leadership SEO is excellent for customer acquisition because it positions your company as an industry leader, provides content for nurturing channels like email and social media, and brings in leads via high rankings on Google (provided best practices are followed). However, the strategy takes time and effort to deliver results, usually 4-6 months of regularly creating and publishing content to produce a steady stream of organic leads. Additionally, it requires hiring writers, interviewing subject matter experts, and consulting with SEO strategists. This work can also be outsourced to a thought leadership marketing firm for the first several years of a campaign.

Account Based Marketing (ABM)

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a strategy that concentrates on targeting a small number of high-value clients for conversion while largely ignoring the majority of potential customers in order to close fewer but higher revenue sales. This approach is high-risk but offers correspondingly high returns. ABM must be used in conjunction with detailed customer personas of your specific targets. Unless your business derives most of its revenue from a very small number of enterprise clients, ABM should always be a supplemental channel.

LinkedIn Organic

LinkedIn is a popular social media platform for businesses and can be an effective way to showcase content, products, or services to an already interested audience. Because most LinkedIn users are already in a business mindset, companies can repurpose existing material to meet the platform’s needs. However, LinkedIn campaigns take time and effort to gain traction, and the platform should not be the centerpiece of a marketing campaign. Instead, it should be used as an ancillary channel, relying on repurposing existing content, such as thought leadership.

LinkedIn Advertising

LinkedIn advertising has similar benefits to LinkedIn organic, but it allows you to target specific potential customers. The platform provides customization tools to select important variables such as company, industry, and job title. However, as a paid channel, it can be more expensive and have a higher customer acquisition cost compared to organic methods. Therefore, it may be best suited for short-term campaigns.


When done correctly, webinars can be one of the most effective lead-nurturing channels. They allow a capable presenter to speak to an interested audience about an engaging topic, which can move leads further down the sales funnel toward eventual conversion. However, good webinars require several key elements. First, the presenter must be talented and possess the social intelligence to present complicated material while reading the room’s reaction.

Second, the content must be specific and focus on niche topics that the audience cares about or specific, relatable pain points that the product/service helps with. Finally, production value matters, and presenters who take the time to learn streaming software like OBS or Streamlabs can give their webinars a more professional feel. Although webinars are an excellent customer acquisition channel, they work best when combined with other channels such as SEO, PPC, or LinkedIn, which can help promote the webinar and provide other touchpoints with your brand.


Choosing the optimal mix of customer acquisition channels to achieve the best return on investment and lowest customer acquisition cost is a complex task. Even with the resources to handle customer acquisition in-house, effectively running campaigns on these channels requires expertise in producing quality content and analyzing key performance indicators to assess and adjust as needed. This requires specialized knowledge that can be challenging even for experienced marketers, leading many to opt for outsourcing customer acquisition to experienced professionals.

Marketing is an important aspect of any organization and should not be neglected, even during tough economic times. While it may not be feasible to invest heavily in marketing during a downturn, it is important to maintain some level of marketing activity in anticipation of future growth opportunities. By focusing on cost-effective channels and investing strategically in campaigns that leverage these channels, companies can position themselves to take advantage of an economic upswing when it inevitably occurs. The key is to avoid cutting marketing to the bone and having to rebuild from scratch later, which can be a costly and time-consuming process.