The lifeblood of any small business is its ability to draw in new customers. A consistent stream of new customers is a good indicator that your company is growing and expanding. This type of growth very rarely happens by accident. Rather, it is usually the result of a carefully planned customer acquisition strategy. This strategy comprises various components or methods that are all aimed at attracting individuals to one’s business. So, what do these methods look like? It just so happens that we’ve listed several options that have shown great success in the market. Sit back, relax and keep reading as we show you how to get new customers.
1. Who Are You Referring To?
One of the best (and simplest) ways to get new customers is to ask your existing ones. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool and, when used correctly, can yield incredible results. Referrals for existing customers work so well because they establish a trust relationship between the referee and the small business – even before that referee has set foot on the business premises.
To take full advantage of the referral concept, businesses need to be proactive. This is one time where you don’t want to sit back and simply wait for things to happen. Developing a targeted referral strategy will provide far better results than the ‘wait-and-see’ approach. Many companies have now built referral incentives into their sales process in order to get new customers. For example, UberEats offers an additional amount off your next order when you refer someone. This represents a great example of the effectiveness of a deliberate referral plan.
2. A Welcoming Website
The importance of a great website can be summed up in one single statistic: in 2019, it was found that roughly 88% of people research a product or service online before buying. These days, your company’s website is more than an information portal. It has become the de facto advertisement for your business. It is the inadvertent doorman that can either warmly welcome new customers or give them the cold shoulder and turn them away. It doesn’t matter how incredible your product or service may be. An outdated, unkempt, and difficult-to-navigate website means that very few new customers will ever get to see what you are offering. If you haven’t done so yet, now may be a good time to invest in upgrading your company website. Look at the graphics, the colours, the layout and presentation and the site’s navigability. Improve on these features and you’ll be rolling out the online welcome to new customers.
3. The Wonders of Email Marketing
Email marketing remains a stalwart of the marketing community. This strategy continues to generate real results for companies in their customer acquisition pursuits. For a small business entity, an organically-grown email marketing list can attract a bevvy of new customers through their doors.
Any organisation wanting to embark on an email marketing campaign needs to ensure that it is executed correctly. Everything, from the segmenting of the email list to the email subject line, plays a critical role in the success or failure of the email marketing strategy.
4. Reconnect With Long-Lost Customers
Another great way to get new customers is to reconnect with the ones that got away. Every business has those customers who expressed interest at one point or another but ended up not buying. Reopening dialogue with these individuals allows companies to target potential customers who are already aware of them. Several companies in the financial services arena employ this method to great effect. If an individual did not take up a life cover policy or insurance policy with the firm, that company’s customer service division will attempt to reach out to those individuals again, in the hope of closing the deal this time. The same strategy can be used to reacquire customers who haven’t purchased in a while.
5. Be Part of The Community
Social conscience is becoming an increasingly important part of any business strategy. Customers tend to drift towards companies who are seen to be active in the community.
Getting involved in various community projects and events doesn’t only provide an altruistic feeling with a company; it also raises a company’s profile. Ultimately, a raised profile in the community will result in more customers seeking out that company and doing business with them.
6. Find the Perfect Partner to Get New Customers
A great way to get new customers is to connect with businesses that enhance your offering. The idea here is not to find a company who does what you do. Rather, the goal is to find an organisation whose offering compliments your own. Loyalty programs are a prime example of the perfect complementary business. The ideal loyalty program offers an existing base of customers, which the small business can market to. This could result in a massive amount of potential new business flowing to that small business. Through loyalty programs, companies can offer discounts, deals, and vouchers to customers, rewarding them for their continued patronage.
Loyalty programs also carry the advantage of big data. By incorporating a loyalty program, companies now have access to plenty of data relating to a customer’s preferences and spending habits. This allows businesses to correctly segment their customers and offer a far more targeted approach to acquiring new customers. If your business still hasn’t done so yet, now might be the ideal time to partner up with a loyalty program.
These are some of the time-tested and proven customer acquisition methods on the market today. Small businesses can certainly benefit from implementing one or more of these components into their strategy. While not every single method applies to every business, there are certain options, such as loyalty programs, that work in almost any environment.
The takeaway for businesses should be that getting new customers doesn’t happen by chance. To attract new customers, companies need to be deliberate about their customer acquisition strategies. Careful thought must be given to the options available and, once decided on, these options must be implemented and monitored to see if results are being achieved. When a business approaches customer acquisition in this manner, a constant stream of new customers will most likely turn into a flood.