How to Attract More Customers to Your Business
As a small business owner, you’re always on the hunt for new customers — that’s the name of the game, after all!
Even if you’ve built up a loyal core customer base, new customers are key to scaling your business for the long term. The fact is, repeat customers can either move away or fall on hard times and do less discretionary spending.
You need to make sure your business is always relevant and inviting to new customers and clients. The influx of different customers helps you keep customer service solid and your business and products innovative. New people keep you on your toes and they bring in new sources of revenue for the business.
If revenue is starting to slow or get stagnant, it’s time for you to come up with some new and creative ways to market your business to new customers. But before we get too tactical with how exactly you can do that, it’s worth pressing pause and doing these things first:
- Identify what kind of people you’re looking to attract
- Understand your ideal customer’s buying process
- Set quarterly and annual goals for the number of new customers you need
- Figure out how much resourcing (budget, time, etc.) you can allocate to bringing in new customers
- Actively engage with people in your target market on their preferred social/communication channels (search, social media, text message, email, etc.)
Of course, while doing due diligence on the above is critical to the success of your customer acquisition strategy, it won’t tell you how to hook those new clients. But we will!
11 creative tips to attract new customers quickly
Whether you’re a new business or have been in operation for several years, getting more customers is probably your top priority. If you’re having trouble coming up with new ways to get more customers and increase revenue, here are some pointers:
1. Partner up with other businesses
You already know you need to identify your target audience, but then what? The answer is pretty simple:
- Find other places that serve the same clientele. Make a list of retail establishments, lifestyle brands and charitable or business organizations your ideal client might support. Approach that business about creating a partnership.
- Come up with what you would offer their existing clientele. For example, if you run a sports bar, maybe partner with an outdoors or camping store to add some coupons for free appetizers to your place with a purchase. If you are a personal trainer, partner with a local designer’s boutique to offer a free training session with the purchase of a certain fashion item. Design the marketing and create the physical paperwork that must be used by customers to take advantage of the deal.
And don’t stop there. When you do attract customers from your partnership, you’ll need a way to convert that customer on their visit. For this, you could try punch cards, membership discount cards, or coupons for a second repeat visit.
2. Hold in-person events
Getting to know people where they live is a great way to make and keep new clients. Gyms can hold public workouts or yoga classes in the park. Hair salons can do style shows and ask for hair model volunteers. Bars or cafes can hold themed tasting events supporting a local sports team or to celebrate a favorite ingredient.
When you host your event, make sure you have a place for visitors to sign up for freebies given away throughout the programming. When you collect information, let people know you’ll also send coupons via email or to home addresses. Create a special hashtag for your event and hold a social media contest to involve the new customers in your online marketing. Don’t forget to build in some extra employee time while you’re
3. Offer discounts (or better yet, give something away for free!)
If you ask us, not enough companies offer discounts or limited-time offers — they’re a hugely powerful way to drive new customers.
And while giving away freebies might not seem like the best plan for a business looking to grow, we promise, this will pay dividends down the line. If you’re a gym owner, for example, why not offer a free trial for new customers so you can convert them into a loyal customer down the line?
Offering your services for free in exchange for a customer’s testimonial is also an effective way to drive more customers. Just remember, don’t give away more money or time than you can afford to part with.
4. Motivate current customers to advocate on behalf of your business
We all know the old adage that acquiring new customers costs much more than retaining your existing ones. And while that still holds true, your current customers hold value in more than one way: they can also help you bring in new business by spreading the word about your company to friends and family and their wider social network.
Word of mouth marketing is far and away the best way to generate some buzz around your business. While many customers will do this organically, it’s just a fact that most of them will be looking for something in return. So, think about setting up a customer referral programme, offering free or discounted products or services in exchange for people sending new customers your way.
5. Incentivize current customers in other ways
Keep happy customers coming back by giving them special deals or “members only” pricing. Hold customer appreciation nights and post pics of them with shout outs or profiles on social media.
It’s important to get to know your customers and celebrate milestones with them, too. Send birthday cards or holidays cards with a discount for them and one for a friend. Attracting new customers is all about putting yourself and your business out there in new ways. You’re likely to bring in a new customer base when you branch out into uncharted territories. Just because it seems like people are all about the online experience, nothing beats great, in-person customer service and personal connection.
6. Get on ‘Google My Business’
Google My Business (GMB) is one of the best (and free!) search engine marketing tools for businesses looking to target local customers. Why? Because most people are searching for products and services near them. Whether it’s a place to eat or a new dentist, Google tends to give local listings prime placement in search results. Also, consider the fact that 76 percent of people who make a search on their mobile go on to visit a related business within a day, with 28 percent of those visits resulting in a purchase. If you operate a local business of any kind, getting properly set up on Google my Business is a no brainer.
Here’s how to get started:
Step 2: Properly optimize your business listing.
Add photos and videos of your business. Include details like a description of your business directions, opening hours, phone number, your website URL and more. Be sure to leave appreciate responses to any Google My Business reviews left by current customers, too.
Step 3: Share offers.
Google has been busy rolling out new ways for businesses to attract people to their listings this past year. Now, you can share details on events, special offers and new products to attract new customers to your business directly in the search results. Just think of all the potential new customers you could be driving, all from a simple online search!
7. Run user-generated campaigns
We’ve already touched on how effective social media marketing can be for your business. But one way to really get creative with your company’s social channels is by running a user-generated campaign (UGC), like a photo contest or best comment contests where you reward customers for getting the most likes or shares on their posts.
UGC campaigns are great for nurturing current customers and indirectly getting exposure for your business in front of new prospective customers, at little to no cost. You can further promote your UGC campaign by purchasing sponsored posts on Facebook.
8. Host community meetings
Meetup groups are always looking for new places to get together. Offer your conference room or break room space to small groups.
Book clubs especially love to meet at places where you can get food or coffee. Mom’s groups might enjoy meeting in a gym or a child-friendly restaurant. Offer discounts to members of the group while they’re meeting. If they like your products, they’ll probably be back – even before the next meeting.
9. Be charitable
Offer coupons and services when asked by fundraising campaigns, especially those who focus on local businesses. Then, ask to attend the event in exchange for your contribution. Be sure to personally invite the person who wins your service in the raffle or auction to use the coupon. Explain what they can expect at your place of business. Your personal attention will make them more likely to visit.
Another option is to have a booth or table available as a sponsor at charitable events to entice even more people to try out your product. Play around with your app for scheduling employees and see how many members of your team you can bring with you. If potential new customers see that you support a certain cause, they may be more likely to choose your brand in the future.
10. Meet new people
It’s no surprise that networking would make a list of ways to attract new customers. The more people who know about your product and services, the more people who can be potential customers. But, here’s a twist: it’s not just owners and managers who need to be out there talking up your business, it’s the people who work for you.
So have your employees do the networking for you. Build some time into their work schedules for them to seek out potential clients. Send them to conferences and nights out to promote your business. Supply them with coupons and freebies to give away while they talk to people about the brand.
11. Share what you know
Have you ever heard an author speak about her book or watched a behind the scenes concert tour video? After that, did you enjoy the artist’s work more, especially after seeing all that went into it? We thought so!
So don’t be afraid to share things that your business does well. If you run a restaurant, get your famous chocolate cake recipe out there. If you manage a small gym, share videos of routines designed by your trainers. Make videos, write blogs, take pictures, try to get your business out there sharing information in local spaces, like food magazines or news programmes. Letting people know how you do what you do makes them more invested in your service or product.
Lastly, start measuring your customer acquisition cost
Whether you’re trying to grow your customer base through social media or offline activities, it’s important to be able to measure whether or not those marketing efforts are delivering the best results, and which aren’t very effective at all for your business. Along with tracking new customers and customer churn rate, one KPI that’s really relevant in this instance is your customer acquisition cost (CAC).
CAC, in a nutshell, tells you how much it costs for you to attract a new customer. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to calculate using a spreadsheet. Just take all of your sales and marketing costs in a given time period and divide by the number of new customers acquired within that same period.
Don’t leave it at that though. Try calculating your CAC by marketing channel or initiative. By accurately and consistently measuring your CAC, you can make adjustments to your acquisition tactics and marketing approaches. This will help you figure out which channels have the lowest CAC and where it’s worth increasing your marketing spend and efforts. This, in turn, will result in better performance and higher revenue for your business.