Was one of your intentions this year to increase your customer base? Here are 10 proven tips to help you attract more customers.
Offer Discounts and Promotions to New Customers
Consumers are still looking for value and offers today. Entice them into your store with introductory discounts or offer special promotions, such as buying 2-get-1 at half price or free gift wrapping for the first three purchases.
Such offers can attract new customers who have considered doing business with you but needed an incentive to actually change their shopping habits. Then track what they buy and what offers they have redeemed so you can better engage them with future marketing messages that reinforce their loyalty.
Ask For Referrals
If you have won the loyalty of a customer, implement this for you by asking them for recommendations. Existing customers are one of the best sources for new customers.
But you can’t be passive and wait for them to bring colleagues, friends and family into your business. Instead, take control and create a systematic approach to actively solicit recommendations from your satisfied customers.
Integrate recommendation generation activities into the sales process. Send follow-up emails to make sure customers are satisfied with their purchases, then send another email asking for recommendations. Consider offering incentives when the sales price justifies it. This approach works for real estate agents, for example.
Contact Old Customers Again
Go back to your contact list for expired customers and market to former customers who have not done business with you for a while. Create a regular schedule for this, e.g. quarterly, and select customers you haven’t seen for six months. Contact them by email, direct mail, SMS or phone with a “We miss you” message and offer them some kind of business or advertising if they come back.
There is no better way to increase brand awareness than to meet new people, tell them who you are and what you do. Join your trade association, local chamber and network organizations. Attend events.
If you own a local business, even attending PTA meetings can be a great networking opportunity. Approach networking with a “How can I help you?” attitude rather than thinking, “What’s in it for me?
Update Your Website
Online search is the most important way for both consumers and B2B buyers to find new business. This means that your website has to do the hard work to make sure that customers can find you. Review your search marketing and search engine optimisation tactics and techniques, including making sure your site is mobile friendly.
Your website design also makes a difference. Too many graphics can slow down your site’s loading speed, which can lead to customer churn. If you don’t have the necessary expertise, hire a website design company and/or an SEO expert to help you.
Partner With Complementary Companies
Working with companies that have a similar customer base but are not directly competitive, and then developing a strategy for marketing your customers to each other to generate new business is a smart way to attract new customers without spending a fortune. For example, if you sell baby products, working with a company that sells maternity clothes would be a great partnership.
Promote Your Expertise
You can generate interest and even excitement by attracting new customers and getting more business out of your existing customer base by showcasing your industry expertise. Participating in industry panels, webinars or workshops, speaking at industry events or in front of groups to which your target customers belong, or conducting training sessions are just some of the ways you can make a good impression on potential new customers and clients. This technique works especially well for B2B business owners.
Take Advantage of Online Reviews and Rating Pages
In both the B2B and B2C world, consumers often turn to online ratings and review sites before doing business with a company they do not know. So make sure you monitor these sites and respond to any complaints. Make the most of positive reviews by linking to them on your website.
Place signage in your store, office, restaurant, or other location that encourages customers to contribute their perspective. Social evidence is very powerful, and new customers are more likely to try your store when they see it being praised by others.
Participate in Community Events
Surveys show that most people are happy to support local, independent companies. Raise your profile in your community by participating in charitable events and organisations. Sponsor a local fun run, organise a holiday activity with “Toys for Kids” or provide equipment for a Little League team in your town. All of this raises your profile and helps you attract new customers.
Bring a Friend
This idea is similar to the recommendation, but requires the participation of the customers. Offer 2 for 1, “Buy one, get one for free” or “Bring a friend” to get your loyal customers to introduce their friends and colleagues to your company. For example, a restaurant could offer a “Buy one starter, get another one for free” to attract more customers.
Think of these strategies as an appetiser list. Add your own ideas. The key is to start now, so that you have a larger customer base next year.