5 Ways to Acquire New Customers
One of the core challenges for a small business is customer acquisition. You need new customers to stay in business and keep growing, but it can take resources and be expensive. In just the last five years, the cost to acquire customers has gone up 50%.
Attracting new customers is tricky on a tight budget, but there are ways to make it work. Implement the following tips to boost your customer acquisition strategy.
1. Build a scalable strategy and set clear goals. The first step in developing a successful customer acquisition strategy is setting measurable and achievable goals. And to do that, you need data. Look at your current customers and pay attention to their spending habits and how they engage with your business. Use demographic and behavioral information to build customer profiles and identify similar audiences to target. Then create a plan to reach those potential customers at the most effective touchpoints. As you make a plan to draw in new customers and increase your revenue, make sure your acquisition strategy is scalable — that is, you don’t want your cost to become prohibitive as your business grows. Staying focused on your goals will help. Target audiences that the data shows will have interest in your product or service.
2. Craft engaging content and make it easy to find. When it comes to drawing the attention of potential customers, content is king. Today’s consumer doesn’t want to be sold to — they want to make decisions on their own. Your role is to create content that will give them the tools they need to make an informed decision, while also raising awareness for your brand. User-friendly tools like Canva and Ripl help users — even someone without a design or marketing background — create high-quality and visually appealing content. Create content for social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, as well as infographics and blogs. Keep your website and other channels updated with content that appeals to the needs of your target audience. Once you’ve created content, make sure people with your ideal profile can find it. Use an analytics tool to figure out what customers are searching for when they visit your site, then use the key terms in your content — it’s an inexpensive way to start your SEO strategy. Additionally, put some money behind those terms so your site shows up as a paid ad when customers are searching on Google.
3. Think omnichannel — just like your customers do. Over 70% of customers engage with a business in multiple ways before committing to a purchase. They may search online, see a banner ad, interact with a social media post, and click through an email before they’re ready to buy. Meet your target audience where they are, to avoid missing interested customers. And make sure to provide a consistent customer experience across all the different channels. It can be difficult to produce content for multiple channels, but it helps to keep your branding consistent across multiple channels.
4. Keep sales simple. A potential customer finds your website, chooses a product, and heads to checkout — only to click away before completing the purchase. Sixty-seven percent of all online shopping carts are abandoned. It’s possible that potential customers are interested in your products and are ready to buy, but are dissuaded by something during the checkout process. The most common reasons customers abandon carts are related to price and ease of checkout. If a customer is confronted with hidden fees or unexpectedly high shipping costs during the final stages of purchasing, they will likely try to find a better option elsewhere. Also, if the process takes too long, and requires them to jump through too many hoops, they’ll get frustrated and leave. There are a few ways to combat the problem of cart abandonment. If you can, consider offering free shipping or full refunds. Customers will feel more comfortable buying something online if they don’t feel the pressure of spending extra money or being stuck if the product doesn’t work out. And make the checkout process as easy as possible — make sure the customer can quickly move between their cart and the rest of the website, and offer a guest checkout option so customers don’t have to complete a lengthy registration. Offering multiple payment options will also boost cart completion.
5. Retarget website visitors who don’t purchase. If someone makes it to your website but doesn’t purchase, you don’t have to give up. They’ve expressed interest and may just need a little nudge to complete the sale. Through measures like ad retargeting and email recovery campaigns, you can bring cart abandoners back. Start by segmenting the different types of cart abandonments based on factors like type of product, how many times the customer has visited the site, and the overall value of the cart. Identifying this information will help you craft personalized messages that help the customer get past whatever hurdle prevented them from completing the purchase in the first place. Once you create the segments, deliver each group targeted ads on the most effective channels to remind them of your company and the benefits of buying from you. Email recovery campaigns are another avenue you can take. You can set it up so that an email or a series of emails gets sent to a customer who abandons a cart. These emails should include information personalized to the customer, based on the segments mentioned above. Remind the customer of the product they were interested in, explain the value of purchasing from you, and consider offering a guarantee or promotion for the item in question.
Bonus Tip! Reward loyalty. After the sales cycle is complete. Don't forget about your customers. While attracting new customers is necessary, customer retention is just as important for business growth, if not more so. Once you successfully nurture a potential customer to purchase, you want them to keep coming back. Repeat customers are easier to sell to, since they already know and trust your products and have built an emotional connection with your business. They also have a higher average order value. In fact, a brand’s top 1% of customers generally spends five times more than the other 99%. Start a customer loyalty program. If customers can earn rewards for purchases, they will have an incentive to buy more from you. And a program offering discounts for referrals will bring loyal customers back and introduce your brand to potential buyers. Word-of-mouth promotion has been shown to influence 50% of all purchases, so use your loyalty program to turn customers into marketers on your behalf. Because people trust consumers who are just like them, peer influence can drive similar customers to your site. And if your existing customers are talking positively about you online, you can share that content on your own site and social channels too. By focusing your customer engagement strategy and meeting customers where they are with effective content, you can find and attract interested customers. And loyalty programs and personalized messages can keep those customers interested, and your business growing.
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