10 Creative Tips to Attract New Customers
One of the hardest things to do if you’re running a business is to give potential customers a good reason to spend their money with you, rather than with one of your competitors, or even on something entirely different. It may seem obvious, but without winning new customers your business can never move forward.
(Having said that, don’t make the mistake of putting all your efforts into it – keeping your existing customers is just as important. We’ve probably all got annoyed with a company offering new customers a better deal than loyal ones – and many of us will have decided that if that’s the way they want to treat us, we can take our business elsewhere!)
So, here are ten creative and imaginative ways you might want to consider as a means of attracting new customers to your business.
1 Run a social media competition
The great thing about a social media competition is that when one person enters, chances are that all their Friends and Followers will see they’ve entered and could well be tempted to do so as well. At which point, all their Friends and Followers will see they’ve entered, and so on. The potential reach is huge. Naturally, you want to make the prize worthwhile and related to your business, otherwise no one will make the effort, or those that do are unlikely to have any further interest in what you have to offer beyond the competition itself.
The potential benefits are numerous. Firstly it puts your business out there, it makes more people aware of your existence. That can only be a good thing! If as part of the competition, entrants have to ‘Like’ your Facebook page, or follow you on Twitter, for example, it also opens up the possibility of further marketing opportunities in the future. Digital marketing experts have also identified a correlation between activity on social media and improved search engine rankings.
2 Manage your reputation
In an increasingly competitive, global market, it may not always be enough to just offer lower prices than your competitors to attract new customers. If all you are is a website, how do people know they can trust you to do everything you’re promising?
The simple answer is to encourage your existing customers to tell the world how good you are! At Davpack, we ask everyone who buys from us to leave a review on Trustpilot. At the time of writing this blog, we have received 1859 reviews, with an average score of 9.6 out of 10; over 89% of those leaving a review have given us full marks as a result of their experience.
Although we promote Trustpilot on our website, any potential customer searching for Davpack on Google will quickly see a link to our Trustpilot page, with our current score prominently mentioned. That lets them know that nearly everyone who has dealt with Davpack has had a positive experience; and that, in turn, gives them the confidence to use us as well!
3 Cross promote with other companies
Two heads, it is often said, are better than one. If there is a company you can identify working in a similar, but non-competing field, you may find that you can help each other, so that you both get extra business. For example, how many times have you booked a flight online, and then found yourself being offered cheap car rental in that country by a completely different company almost immediately afterwards? Have a think about other local companies targeting customers with a similar profile to those you’re after, and see whether you can combine your efforts and money for the benefit of both.
4 Become an expert
Being an expert in your chosen profession has numerous benefits. For starters, if potential customers can see you know what you’re talking about, they’re more likely to trust you when they come to deciding where to spend their money. One simple way to share your knowledge is by writing a blog on your website. If you can’t immediately think what to write about, the best way to start is to just think about some of the common questions you get asked by your customers, and then writing down the answers you usually give. (Another benefit to this approach is that you might get to spend less time answering those questions from lots and lots of different people, and more time working on the other nine ways of winning new business I’ve written about in this blog!)
Another approach is to spend some time looking for online communities dedicated to your area of interest and join in discussions. Comment on others’ blogs with links back to your own site, so that if people are interested in what you have to say, they can read more on your blog. It’s hard to quantify exactly what benefits this will have, but most digital marketing experts now recognise that this kind of activity can have a significant effect on your search engine rankings. Click here and to get some quick and useful advice about the right and wrong way to go about this.
5 Make yourself available
How many times have you come across a website which seems to be offering what you want at a competitive price, but you’ve been put off by the fact that there’s no phone number you can call, no email address, and not even a postal address? At best, there may be merely a contact form which gives no indication if the company in question actually exists at all! It’s amazing what difference having a phone number, clearly visible on your website, can make.
Apart from anything else, there are still an awful lot of people out there who prefer ordering over the phone by talking to a real person, as opposed to filling in forms and trusting their credit card details to a website. You can order just about all the packaging Davpack has to offer quickly and easily on our website, but that doesn’t stop our phones ringing all day, every day with people wanting to place an order, ask questions, get advice, find cardboard or postal boxes of a particular size and style, and so on – and long may it continue!
In the end, like several of the other ideas on this list, it’s about giving people a reason to trust you.
6 Identify and promote your USP’s
For an experienced marketing professional, this may be as obvious as it gets, but to someone struggling to establish their business, it’s worth pointing out just how important this is. Every company has something unique about it, something that makes it different to the competition; this is known in marketing circles as a ‘USP’ – a unique selling proposition. Identifying something positive which makes you different to everyone else is another great way of standing out from the crowd and encouraging people to spend their money with you.
Once you’ve worked out what your USP is, without necessarily forcing it down people’s throats, try to reinforce it in your marketing literature, ads and newsletters.
7 Be memorable
There are many ways you can stick in the memory of customers and potential customers. You can run imaginative, creative, or even controversial ads which get people talking, laughing and debating; you can have a catchy, witty or silly business name; you can have unusual or especially tempting special offers; best of all, you can provide a quality of product or service that impresses people so much that they tell their friends, family and work colleagues about it.
8 Treat every order as a big order
Never forget to treat every customer as an important customer. You never know for sure if that person putting in a small order today is doing so to test your speed and quality of service before putting in a much larger order tomorrow. You’ll also find that it’s the one-off customers, often spending just a few pounds, who go on to make the effort to leave that positive (or negative!) review we were talking about earlier. So treating every order you get as an important order may not only earn you a loyal customer, it could also get you those new customers we’re after, thus killing two birds with one stone!
9 Identify where your customers ‘hang out’
There’s no point in throwing stuff promoting you and your company out into the world if you have no idea whether it’s landing where you need it to. There are so many possibilities these days that it can be easy spreading yourself too thin and wasting time and money by concentrating on areas which just won’t work for you. Think carefully about who your likely customers are and try to work out the best place to put your message so that you have the best chance of reaching them. Are you going to reach them most effectively by targeting keywords and running an Adwords campaign, pushing your company out on social media, or chasing people in your immediate geographical area by advertising on local radio or in the local press?
10 Monitor your efforts!
Doing all the above is all well and good, but if you don’t measure how effective they are, you won’t know if any of them are exercises worth repeating. There are a number of things you can do to discover what’s working and what isn’t. If you’re running your business online, looking at your analytics to see where your site’s visitors are coming from is essential. You can see who’s coming via social media, who’s coming in as a result of those backlinks you established by commenting on other blogs, who’s arrived after checking out your Trustpilot page and who’s clicked on to that ad you placed on the site of the business you’re running the cross-promotion initiative with.
Just as importantly, you can see what each of those visitors did once they arrived on your site – did they just spend a few seconds there before moving on elsewhere, or did they stop and read your blog, have a good hunt around your site to see what else you have to offer or, best of all, spend some money with you? Once you know all that, you can see which effort is getting the sort of visitors to your site that you want and redouble your efforts there.
Of course, not every customer is online, so don’t forget when you get a first phone call from a potential customer to ask what led them to call you. That way you can find out if it was that prominent phone number on your website, a recommendation from a friend, or the catchy jingle you used on the local radio ad.
Not every one of the above ideas will suit every business, but we reckon there should be enough ideas there to give many businesses a boost! Why not let us know what you have done in your business to get more customers by making a comment below, and we’d also love to know how you get on if you try one of the ideas in this blog!