Top 11 Business Practices That Expand Your Customer Base
Attracting new customers to your business and retaining them in the long term doesn’t require a mystical formula known only to marketing gurus. A combination of time-tested online and offline tactics executed according to a strategic plan is all you need to grow your client base.
Online Marketing Strategies to Increase Your Customer Base
The question of how to attract customers online has become more complicated in light of changing algorithms affecting what potential customers see, but you can increase visibility by diversifying your channels:
- Website – This online “storefront” for your business should be easy to navigate, mobile-friendly and regularly updated with fresh content. If you accept orders online, do everything you can to simplify the shopping experience. Make sure your contact information is displayed on every page so that it’s easy for customers to get in touch.
- SEO – Optimize your website for search by using relevant keywords in your content, streamlining the user experience and building a network of high-authority backlinks. Include location-specific keywords to attract more local and mobile customers to your brick-and-mortar store. Audit your SEO strategy regularly, and update as needed to stay ahead of competitors.
- Social Media – Use boosted or sponsored posts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to ensure your target audience sees your marketing messages. Share interesting, relevant content on a regular basis, emphasizing audience interactions over sales language.
- Web Advertising – Allocate some of your marketing budget to digital advertising strategies, such as PPC campaigns, retargeting, remarketing and email. Perform detailed keyword research and analyze customers’ purchasing habits to target your ideal audience.
- Video – Bring potential customers into the world of your company with livestreams on your social media platforms. Share additional instructional videos, product sneak peaks and behind-the-scenes snippets to build authority and keep customers engaged.
Offline Strategies to Attract Customers
“Old-fashioned” advertising methods still work and are viable ideas for attracting customers to your store:
- Direct Mail Marketing – Invest in a direct mail campaign to bring your brand to the physical “inboxes” of people in your area. You can include an advertisement in a popular local publication, send out postcards announcing an event or sale, mail coupons to new residents or produce small catalogs for special occasions.
- Business Card Redesign – First impressions are everything, so why not spruce up your business card? Be sure to display all relevant contact information, including your social media profiles, to provide as many ways as possible for people to get in touch. Every time you hand out one of these compact advertisements, you make a connection with a potential customer.
- Flyers – Believe it or not, regular old paper flyers can attract a lot of attention, especially if you’re having a special event. Include a QR code, text code or web address to link your online and offline strategies and drive people to your website. Or you can advertise a “text to win” contest to collect contact information while increasing brand awareness.
The Importance of the Customer Experience
Did you know 66 percent of customers are willing to forgo the lowest price and spend around 13 percent more when they know they’ll get good service? While this may sound surprising, it highlights the critical importance of having a customer experience strategy.
Providing stellar service also improves retention rates and boosts conversions. Eighty-two percent of companies say retention is cheaper than bringing in new customers, and existing customers have a 60 to 70 percent probability of converting versus 5 to 20 percent with new customers. So what makes a great customer experience?
- Phone Answering Service – Customers don’t want to be routed through complicated menus or put on hold for twenty minutes when they contact your company. At the same time, you can’t stop working and run to the phone every time it rings. Put a phone answering service in place to ensure a real person is on the line whenever a customer calls, even during off hours.
- Web Chat Service – Cater to your online customers with a chat option. Although chatbots are becoming more popular, connecting customers to an actual representative via your customer service portal is more personal and avoids the problem of irritating popups cluttering your site.
- Loyalty Programs – Offer a loyalty card, reward program or exclusive discount codes to shoppers in your store or those who sign up for your email list. Providing a set percentage off a first online order is a popular option, but you can also give exclusive coupons to subscribers or free products to customers who spend a certain amount.
It’s Time to Start Increasing Customers to Your Business!
Building a solid marketing strategy takes time, and it’s easier with the support of a few key business services. Let a service provider like National Business Capital & Services offload some of the work of customer acquisition and retention so that you can stay focused on your sales goals.
Don’t hesitate to explore as many new avenues of outreach as possible. Some won’t be a good fit for your business, but when you hit on the right combination of digital and traditional tactics, you’ll not only see a wave of new customers come in but also enjoy the continued support of a group loyal to your brand and eager to spread the word about your products.
Call (877) 482-3008 to speak with a live Expert Services representative to help get you started. Or, if you need cash to get you started, fill out our 1-minute application online to get the funds you need to start expanding your customer base in as little as 24 hours.
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