DEFINITION of 'Cost Of Acquisition'

A business sales term referring to the expense required to attain a customer or a sale. In setting a marketing and sales strategy, a company must decide what the maximum cost of acquisition will be, which effectively determines the highest amount the company is willing to spend to attain each customer.

BREAKING DOWN 'Cost Of Acquisition'

This cost is tied to marketing and sales campaigns because the more streamlined those campaigns become, the lower the customer cost of acquisition will be. Conversely, in a high-budget marketing and sales campaign, the acquisition cost may be relatively high depending on how many sales or customers the campaign draws in.

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