A common challenge that many small businesses face is getting more customers. It’s important to grow your customer base because it is a more dependable source of sales than trying to acquire income through first time customers.
Over time, you’ll be able to rely on your customer base for a steady stream of income. This is especially true if you nurture the relationship with your customers and deliver on your products/services.
But how do you go about getting more customers in the first place? Here are five power tips that any business owner can use regardless of their budget.
1. Create an Irresistible Offer
One of the primary reasons you want as many customers as possible is because regular buyers are more likely to make a purchase compared to prospects. It costs less to generate sales from existing customers than to create new ones.
As this is the case, you should come up with offers that are irresistible to potential customers. One of the best ways to do this is to use an email service that helps guide personalization.
After all, personalized emails often perform better than a basic message.
There are many ways to create an offer that people cannot refuse.
For instance, you can offer access to your product or service something like a free trial period. These offers work exceptionally well for digital products and services because they allow potential customers a chance to really take a look at what you have to offer for a small cost.
Another way is to offer a strong return/refund policy. Take away the risk by being generous about refunds and giving customers ample time to test out your products/services.
If you’re confident about the quality of your goods, you can feel confident knowing that many of these potential customers will convert into actual buyers.
2. Utilize Referral Tools
A great way to leverage new or existing customers is to ask them to refer friends. After you’ve acquired a new customer, send them to a page where they can refer their friends via email.
If it’s a product or service they need to feel confident about referring, then collect their email address and wait a couple of days to send out a notice asking them for referrals.
The best way to motivate your customers is to incentivize the referral. Offer them gifts, bonuses, or discounts that they would be interested in as an exchange for sending out referrals.
There are many free and paid referral software programs that you can use to set. Some of the advanced ones will allow you to reward customers based on how many people they refer.
If you want to take it even further, you can set up an affiliate program for your product or service. An affiliate program is an incentivized program where affiliates get paid either a percentage or flat amount whenever their referrals lead to a sale.
Just keep in mind that setting up an affiliate program is more demanding because you will have to manage affiliates, keep up with payments, stay within legal guidelines, etc.
This method essentially turns your customers into marketers for your brand. And in some cases, it’s more cost effective than things like pay-per-click campaigns.
3. Form Partnerships and Capitalize on Them
Forming partnerships with other related businesses is one of the best ways to grow your customer base. For example, if you are selling pet care products, you may want to form a partnership with a veterinarian clinic.
In many cases, you can create a win-win relationship without spending a single cent. It’s just a matter of how you work with your partners.
One idea is to cross promote your business. Your partner can refer their customers to your business and you can do the same. Another idea is to sell each other’s products and split the profits.
There’s a limitless number of ways you can work with other businesses. It’s just a matter of figuring out the goals of potential partners and coming up with a good deal for both parties.
4. Work on Increasing Your Conversions
Increasing your conversion rate (the percentage of prospects that turn into customers) will multiply the rate at which your customer base grows. There are many ways to go about doing this such as improving the advertising copy, creating a better follow up campaign and crafting a better offer.
If you think about it, going from a one percent conversion to a two percent conversion will double the number of customers you generate on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, many small business owners do not have the skills or knowledge on how to increase conversion rates. If you feel like you fall in that category, it will be incredibly beneficial to get the help of experts.
Use copywriters, e-mail marketing experts and advertising channel and platform experts who will help improve your campaigns. And it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Many experts offer their services on an hourly basis and you can always go for a consultation if you want to be the driving force behind improving your campaigns.
5. Create a Unique Brand and Culture
In many instances, not enough businesses make a big effort to create a unique brand and culture. It’s becoming more important to stand out from the crowd due to the increasing competition across all markets and industries.
Let your audience know about the unique advantages of doing business with your company and create an identity that people can relate to.
You also want to have a culture that people want to be a part of. This is achievable through a multitude of ways. You can create an online community with a specific mission in mind.
You can create an internal customer-centric company culture which often translates into loyal customers. The brand can also stand for something whether it’s operating as a green business or support certain causes.
If you do a great job in promoting your brand and creating a culture that people want to be a part of, your reputation will start to precede you.
You’ll create customers as a result of other people talking about the brand. The end result is generating free publicity, press and conversations in the marketplace.
Continue to Expand Your Campaigns
These are just a few of the many ways to grow your customer base. Getting more customers doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive process. Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity or twist on what you are already doing.
You just have to keep your eyes peeled to potential ideas.