The median result is notably higher than compared to previous surveys, where the $1.07 and $0.92 were reported in the 2014 and 2013, respectively. Respondents (excluding the smallest companies) spent a median of $1.18 to acquire each dollar of new ACV from a new customer. The result drops to $1.06 if we include companies with <$2.5MM in revenues.
Note to regular ForEntrepreneurs readers: the way that CAC is measured in the question above is different to how I normally measure CAC in my other blog posts e.g. ”SaaS Metrics 2.0 – A Guide to Measuring and Improving What Matters“. In those posts CAC is the average amount that it costs to acquire a single customer. In the question above, CAC is measured as the cost to acquire a dollar of ACV (annualized contract value). This is very similar to my metric: “Months to recover CAC”. i.e. if it costs you a dollar to acquire a dollar of ACV, then it will take you 12 months to recover that CAC. For the median in the graphic above of $1.07 to acquire a dollar of ACV, that means it will take 12 x 1.07 = 12.84 (or about 13 months to recover.)
More SaaS + Software Stats
More Growth Strategy Stats
Because of the losses in the early days, which get bigger the more successful the company is at acquiring customers, it is much harder for management and investors to figure out whether a SaaS business is financially viable.