How to Calculate Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) in Google Analytics

7 minute read

ThoughtMetric Metric Calculation

As a business owner or marketer, understanding your customer acquisition cost (CAC) is crucial to your success. CAC refers to the cost incurred in acquiring a new customer for your business, and it’s essential to determine this cost accurately as it directly impacts your profitability. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of calculating your CAC and how to calculate it using Google Analytics.

Understanding Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) measures the amount of money your business spends on acquiring a new customer compared to the revenue generated by that customer. It’s important to determine your CAC accurately as it helps you assess the profitability of your marketing campaigns and determine whether they are worth the investment.

Importance of Calculating CAC

Knowing your CAC allows you to allocate your marketing budget effectively and optimize your campaigns for better results. By analyzing your CAC, you can identify which marketing channels are performing well and which ones need improvement. Calculating CAC also helps you set realistic revenue targets for your business and determine your return on investment (ROI) for each marketing campaign.

Key Components of CAC

There are three primary components that make up CAC:

  • Marketing spend: This includes the money you spend on advertising, content creation, website optimization, and other marketing activities.
  • Number of customers acquired: This refers to the number of new customers you acquire during a specific period.
  • Duration of the period: This refers to the specific period during which you measure the number of customers acquired and the marketing spend.

It is important to note that CAC is not a one-size-fits-all metric. The CAC for your business will depend on a variety of factors, including your industry, target audience, and marketing strategy. For example, if you are targeting a niche market, your CAC may be higher than if you are targeting a broader audience.

Another factor that can impact your CAC is the quality of your leads. If you are acquiring a large number of low-quality leads, your CAC may be higher as it will take more resources to convert those leads into paying customers. On the other hand, if you are acquiring high-quality leads that are more likely to convert, your CAC may be lower.

Calculating CAC can also help you identify areas where you can reduce costs and improve efficiency. For example, if you find that a particular marketing channel has a high CAC, you may want to explore other channels that are more cost-effective.

Overall, understanding your CAC is crucial for the success of your business. By analyzing this metric, you can make informed decisions about your marketing strategy and ensure that you are allocating your resources effectively.

Setting Up Google Analytics for CAC Calculation

In order to calculate your CAC in Google Analytics, you need to set up your account correctly. Here are the steps to follow:

Creating a Google Analytics Account

If you don't have a Google Analytics account, you’ll need to create one. Sign up for an account on the Google Analytics website and set up your property. Follow the prompts on the setup page to provide the necessary information about your website.

Once you have created your Google Analytics account, you will be able to track various metrics on your website. This includes the number of visitors, the pages they visit, the time they spend on your website, and more. This information can be extremely useful in helping you to optimize your website and improve your overall online presence.

Integrating Google Analytics with Your Website

Once you’ve created your Google Analytics account, you’ll need to integrate it with your website. The integration process may differ, depending on your website platform, but most website platforms have instructions on how to integrate Google Analytics.

Integrating Google Analytics with your website is important because it allows you to track user behavior and engagement. This information can help you to identify areas where your website may be falling short, as well as areas where it is performing well.

Configuring Goals and Ecommerce Tracking

Now that you’ve integrated Google Analytics with your website, you need to configure your goals and ecommerce tracking. Goals are specific actions that you want visitors to take on your website, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form. Ecommerce tracking, on the other hand, allows you to track transactions on your website.

Setting up goals and ecommerce tracking is essential for calculating your CAC. By tracking these metrics, you can gain insight into how much it costs to acquire a new customer. This information can help you to make better decisions about your marketing budget and strategy.

Overall, setting up Google Analytics for CAC calculation requires a bit of time and effort, but the benefits are well worth it. By tracking key metrics and analyzing user behavior, you can gain valuable insights into how to improve your website and grow your business.

Calculating CAC in Google Analytics

Now that your Google Analytics account is set up correctly, you can start measuring your CAC. Here’s how to do it:

Identifying the Right Metrics

First, you need to identify the metrics you want to track. These may include the number of visitors to your website, the number of conversions, and the revenue generated by each customer.

It's important to choose the right metrics to track because tracking the wrong metrics can lead to inaccurate insights and poor decision making. For example, if you're only tracking the number of visitors to your website, you may miss out on important information about how those visitors are interacting with your site and whether they're converting into customers.

Using Custom Reports and Segments

In Google Analytics, you can create custom reports and segments to track the metrics you’re interested in. Custom reports allow you to generate reports based on specific metrics and dimensions, while segments allow you to filter your data to identify specific subsets of visitors.

Custom reports and segments can be incredibly powerful tools for analyzing your CAC data. For example, you could create a custom report that shows you the conversion rate and revenue generated by visitors who come to your site from a specific marketing channel. Or you could create a segment that shows you the behavior of visitors who have made a purchase in the past.

Analyzing CAC Data

Once you have your reports and segments set up, you can start analyzing your CAC data. Determine which marketing channels are generating the most revenue and which ones are costing you the most money. Use this information to optimize your campaigns and improve your marketing ROI.

It's important to remember that analyzing your CAC data is an ongoing process. You should regularly review your reports and segments to ensure that you're getting the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. By doing so, you'll be able to make informed decisions about your marketing campaigns and improve your overall business performance.

Tips for Reducing Customer Acquisition Cost

Reducing your customer acquisition cost can help you improve your profitability and increase your revenue. Here are a few tips to help you reduce your CAC:

Improving Marketing Efficiency

Focus on marketing channels that generate the most revenue and optimize your campaigns to improve their performance. Eliminate marketing channels that are not generating enough revenue and focus your resources on the ones that are working.

Retargeting and Remarketing Strategies

Retargeting and remarketing strategies allow you to target visitors who have shown interest in your product or service. Use these strategies to reconnect with visitors who have left your website without making a purchase or filling out a form.

Focusing on Customer Retention and Referrals

Acquiring new customers can be expensive. Focus on retaining your existing customers and encouraging them to refer new business to you. Offer incentives and rewards for referrals, and provide exceptional customer service to keep your customers happy.


Calculating your customer acquisition cost (CAC) is essential to the success of your marketing campaigns. By measuring your CAC in Google Analytics, you can identify the best marketing channels for your business and allocate your resources effectively. Use the tips in this article to reduce your CAC and improve your marketing ROI.

Use ThoughtMetric to Calculate Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Try ThoughtMetric and start understanding the performance of your e-commerce marketing today.

Sign up for free