If existing customers are the heart of a retail organization, then new customers have to be seen as a shot of adrenaline. But the age-old question is: how do you attract new customers? There’s clearly not a one-size-fits-all answer. (Otherwise, EVERYONE could do it.) But we do have seven things you can try to get your products or services in front of a new audience. They’re simple, inexpensive, and best of all—they work.
1. NEW never gets old: If you’ve been in business for a while, you probably have some “go to” marketing tricks you rely on. But a word of warning: the more you go to that well, the drier it’s going to get. Don’t forget—people love new. New helps shake things up, increasing the chances that your message will hit home with someone different. Print a flyer. Create a coupon. Buy billboard or bus bench space. Have a contest. These are just a couple of quick thoughts on new tactics you can take for a spin.
2. Did we mention the word ‘new?’: Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That’s why using the same marketing ploy too many times can be crazy bad for business. Offering something different, like a product, and letting people know about it, is the perfect way to get different people to check out what you’re all about.
3. Make everything click: Unlike your physical store, your URL never closes. No matter the state of your site (more on that in a bit), the secret to making money online lies in getting as many eyeballs to view it as possible. The more people who visit, the more likely you are to make a sale. The two best ways to get more clicks? SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and buying clicks with PPC (pay-per-click). Social media linkbacks work well, too.
4. What’s the good word?: Nothing works quite like word of mouth recommendations from a friend. It’s easier than you think to create an incentive referral program that can yield great results. The key? Give existing customers a compelling reason to refer business to you (aside from your every day excellence) and then remember to thank them for doing so. People like to be appreciated and told that their opinions matter.
5. Smile and dial: Whether it’s cold calling or sending out proposals, every so often you just gotta prospect. Do some search engine research, get a list of potential leads, and then get to it. Two things to keep in mind:
1. Don’t take ‘no’ personally.
2. You’ll miss out on 100% of the prospects you don’t contact. Keep going!
6. Make sure your site is up to snuff: Time to revisit what we said in #3. Did you know that 80% of Americans now spend as much time online as they do in front of the television? That means your site needs to be top-notch. Lucky for you, there’s a whole host of free, template-based site creators available online that make creating an eye-popping professional site easier than ever. There are even options to add full e-commerce support.
7. Get (social) networking: More and more, people are turning to social media to get info on companies they’re interested in. And why not? It’s quick, easy and anonymous. In fact, the numbers of “active Internet users” in a recent poll support that theory:
· 72% of respondents at least sometimes checked out a company’s reputation online before buying
· 74% based their buying decisions, at least partially, on what they read
· 81% thought that blogs, online rating systems and discussion boards gave them valuable feedback
The takeaway? Build up your social media and be as active as you can. People expect two-way conversation today, so the more you can talk with your users, the more likely they’ll continue connecting with you.
And, there you have it. Seven (possibly) new tricks that can make your day-to-day lives a little easier. We understand marketing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. In fact, we’d guess most small businesses hate having to try to toot their own horns. And that’s exactly why we’re here. We always want to do all we can to help you attract, engage and retain new customers.