Customer acquisition: how and where small business can find clients
Are you struggling to find customers? Well, you are not alone. How to attract customers is a big question for most small business owners. Your credentials and skills may be excellent, but neither of these things can ensure a regular stream of customers if you don’t have an aggressive customer acquisition plan.
How to attract customers to your business
Try one of these 6 ideas to bring new customers to your business.
- Build a lead-generating website.
- Be active on social media.
- Host an event.
- Start email marketing.
- Join with other small businesses
- Ask your customers to refer you.
Following are the six customer acquisition strategies any business can use to build a large customer base.
1. Build a lead-generating website
Majority of customers search online before buying a product or availing any service. In a recent survey of 600 urban Indian consumers, 70% said they search on the internet before making a purchase.
If you don’t have a website, many customers may believe that you are not serious about your business.
A website makes your business legitimate in your customers’ eyes. What’s more, it can help your business grow.
However, merely having a website will not bring in customers. You should aim for building a lead-generating website. Following are some tips to help you do this:
- Have personalized calls to action on your home page
- Provide a ‘free trial’ or a bonus on ‘try us’
- Have a live chat option
- Write informative blog posts regularly to build trust
GoDaddy offers a low-cost Online Starter Bundle for small businesses to get online in less than five minutes.
2. Be active on social media
To improve your customer acquisition, you need to make sure that you are constantly on the radar of your potential customers. Social media can be an effective tool to reach potential prospects and customers. Why?
Experts predict there will be 448 million social media users in India by 2023.
Clearly, social networks are the new gathering place. Here are some ways to use social media to get a steady stream of customers:
- Create profiles on the networks your customers use
- Post useful content regularly
- Invite user-generated content such as photos
- Answer whenever anyone messages you
If you strategically plan your social media strategy, you can generate a significant number of leads without paying for ads.
3. Host an event
Hosting a local event can be a great way to build relationships with your existing customers and bringing in new ones. How?
People love to learn new things. If you host an event centered around problems/challenges that your customers face, people are likely to show up.
The success of your event largely depends on how you spread the word about it. The more people know about it, the more attendees you are likely to have. Here are some proven ways to let the word out:
- Updating your website
- Sending emails
- Posting reminders on social media
- Using twitter hashtag about it
Event marketing if done smartly can help you attract new customers.
4. Start email marketing
When it comes to acquiring new customers, email marketing is among the most cost-effective tools.
Email reaches customers in a place most of them visit multiple times a day — their inbox.
Small businesses can use the following examples to acquire new customers:
- Promotional emails for special offers/deals/discounts
- Loyalty program emails for regular customers
- Seasonal messages for events/holidays
GoDaddy offers different email marketing plans for businesses. You can check them here.
5. Join with other small businesses
Have you ever thought of joining arms with other small businesses? If not, then start doing it. Collaborating with other small business owners is a proven way to improve customer acquisition. How does it work?
Suppose you are a jewelry designer. You can collaborate with fashion and accessory designers to co-promote each others’ products.
Find small businesses that complement your business and start collaborating with them on the following:
- Event hosting
- Email marketing (promoting others’ products with yours)
- Shout outs for each other on social media
However, make sure that you choose a reputable business to collaborate with. Going with a small business that offers substandard products/services can ruin your own reputation.
6. Ask your customers to refer you
Referral marketing is a tried and tested way to bring in new customers.
Small businesses are often established through one-on-one service. You talk to your customers, listen to their problems and offer solutions. Customers feel valued because of the personal touch they receive, which often goes missing with big corporations.
Ask your existing customers to recommend you to potential customers.
There is no question that they would happily do it if you offer excellent product/service.
Here is how to start a referral program:
- Create a referral plan
- Be fair and transparent (deliver what you promise)
- Be clear of what you expect from your customers
- Be flexible in rewards
Referral programs can bring in a steady stream of customers, if you plan and execute them strategically. Read this post for details on starting such a program.
Final thoughts on customer acquisition
It is never easy for small business owners to find customers, as big companies often make the competition tough.
So small business owners should smartly plan their customer acquisition strategies. The above-mentioned steps to find and acquire customers will certainly help you build a large customer base and grow your business.