Going to School on Square Cash App’s Customer Acquisition Tricks

My friend Darby Sieben, formerly of YPG and now at RBC Ventures, directed me to this interesting piece about Square and its Cash App, a mobile payments app competing with the likes of Venmo and PayPal. The article in ARK Invest, an investment management company, outlines the approach Square has taken to boost Cash App downloads and users.

While Cash App is mostly a B2C play, there are some lessons here on how B2B players can acquire customers efficiently.

Square launched Cash App Fridays in 2017 using Twitter as its social platform. According to the article, increasing engagement was slow but steady. Then in May and June this year, Square announced on two of the Cash App Friday’s that the giveaway would be $10,000. On May 24 and June 19, followers, retweets, comments and likes all increased dramatically when users became aware of the $10,000 prize.

What the data suggests is that the Cash App gains a large number of new followers after Cash App Friday, especially Super Cash App Fridays. This supports the notion that some followers new to Twitter also are new to the Cash App. The article goes on to say that what appears to be happening is that new followers come across the Cash App’s Twitter campaign then download the app in order to take part in the Cash App Friday lottery.

This approach made me wonder if a similar ploy would work on small business operators. For example, what if a Square offered a lottery or cash giveaway that would pay off a business’s accounts payable balance?

Cash App’s big money giveaway approach could be applied to almost any small-business app to significantly reduce its customer acquisition costs. We’ve talked at length here about the challenges of ever-increasing CAC in the SMB space. Perhaps someone will borrow this play, or others from the consumer space, to drive engagement with and adoption of their solutions?

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