You want to get new customers? Who doesn’t! But before you dive into customer acquisition, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself, like where you can find the right customers, or how much money you can actually spend on your campaigns. We’ll help you get everything sorted and give you some useful tips while we’re at it.
“Where can I find the right new customers? What’s the best way to let them know about my business?“
Maybe what caught your attention about this article is that you just figured out that you really need to put some work into your customer acquisition. And you may have asked yourself just where exactly you’re going to find these new customers. By standing on the street like a night club promoter? Well, if that sounds like a waste of time, there’s a whole bunch of better options.
So let’s say there’s a customer searching for a hair stylist. What does he do? He probably flips open his laptop, or grabs his smartphone and googles away. He lives in Chicago, so he types in “hair stylist Chicago”. All kinds of search results pop up on the screen. He first sees all the Google ads (by the way, you really should give serious thought to getting a Google ad out there on AdWords). Then the customer sees a map pinpointing all the stylists in Chicago. If you want potential new customers to find your business, you need to have an entry on Google My Business. Finally, the customer sees the organic search results. And landing on the first page of the search results isn’t as easy as you might think. What really matters here is a website that’s optimized for search engines. We’ve put together a guide for effective search engine optimization that you can download here.
#2 Social media
Facebook, Instagram and these kinds of sites are typically underrated when it comes to acquiring new customers. But social media really are a great place to do this. There’s no question that the target group matters here. Social media is not the place you’re going to get the 75-year-old granny who thinks a browser is something you wash your hair with as a new customer. It’s the younger crowd who get their first information on Facebook, Instagram, and places like this before they decide what business to go to. So make sure your social media sites are always up to date. And if you don’t feel like waiting for potential new customers to come across your site, why not think about putting up some ads?
#3 Offline marketing
The internet isn’t the only place you’ll acquire new customers. There are also plenty of offline options. The “classics” here include print ads, e.g. in the local daily newspaper, or flyers that you pass out. The target group matters here too when you’re trying to figure out what methods work best for you. You’re probably not going to get young customers coming in with an ad in the local newspaper. But that doesn’t mean nothing will work. Just let your creativity for new ideas roar. How about establishing a cool after-work event that your customers can bring their families and friends along to?
#4 Word of mouth
That brings us to the next point: Customers talk to other customers. Happy customers really are your best advertisers. 84 percent of people decide whether to go to a business or buy a product based on personal recommendations. Use this potential when acquiring new customers! How about a “two for one” deal or the family and friends event I mentioned above? They’re a great way to drum up new business by getting the people your customers know coming to your place.
“Do I even have the money for new customer acquisition?“
Getting new customers costs time and money. “We’ll throw something together” or “as cheap as possible” is not going to get it done. Even something well-meant like a discount for your customers’ friends can, in the worst of cases, ruin your business. You’re going to have to calculate exactly whether you’ve really got the budget for these kinds of things. Our hourly rate calculator can help you with this. Creating marketing materials like flyers or postcards, or even optimizing your website for search engines are things you should have a professional take care of, and that of course is going to cost some money. But remember, if you kick off your customer acquisition by being unprofessional or downright chintzy, you’ve already lost. You’re anything but the only game in town, and as you probably know, the competition is hard enough as it is.
“How do I know that my customer acquisition campaign was a success?“
Sure, you’ll notice a few new faces coming into your business. But how do you know that a new customer didn’t just happen to come across your place by chance? Ok, you could ask people how they heard about you. But you’re not going to get any hard numbers or exact idea about how well your customer acquisition is working like this. This is where customer management software comes into play. It helps you measure your success precisely. You could create a customer group to which you assign all new customers that found out about your business thanks to your acquisition efforts. Why not use discount codes while you’re at it? If you have a digital POS system, you can see exactly how many of your customers are using them.
„What mistakes do I want to avoid?“
Sure there are things you need to steer clear of when acquiring new customers. One really big mistake is when businesses lose sight of their existing customer base. Some places are so focused on getting new customers that they downright forget the ones they already have. Big mistake! Those customers are the ones who generate recurring business. They are an important source of your sales. But that’s not carved in stone. If your existing customers feel neglected, at some point, they’re going to look for another place to go. So, remember the value of the customers that you do have, all while doing your best to get new ones coming in.
Short and sweet
As you probably can tell by now, customer acquisition has all kinds of potential to give your business a boost. And there’s a bunch of different ways to do it right. Don’t lose sight of your existing customers, and keep it in your budget. There’s not a single new customer on this planet who’s worth you not being able to pay your bills or employees just to bring them in.
Need a hand? The Shore software is a big help when it comes to customer acquisition: Get your own booking button directly on Google Maps and in the Google search results. Publish and manage your business details on all major local listings sites. Use our customer database to professionally manage new customers and send out newsletters to keep them engaged. And don’t forget: We can also set you up with a great-looking website. Sounds good?
All blog posts about customer acquisition:
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