Attracting customers to your small business means convincing them that you are doing your work for the common benefit. Noting that this relationship resembles the one between bees and flowers, the key question for your business is: how do I make my business attractive enough to keep it busy and profitable? Having a top of the class store, product or service counts for very little, if the customers aren’t there to buy from you or at least acknowledge your existence. This is why the following post will look at the most practical, efficient and cheap ways to attract customers to your small business like a true professional.
Reward Loyalty, Earn New Customers
Everything starts by understanding that the customers who already know about you are your best unpaid promoters, thanks to the power of the word-of-mouth. We live in an age in which the customers who are exposed to too much advertising simply turn deaf to its messages. That’s why they are more likely to trust their friend’s recommendations than whatever you have to say about your business. Thus, keeping existing customers satisfied becomes your priority in attracting new ones, it’s that simple! You can expand on this relationship with the following steps:
- Start a loyalty or reward program for your existing customers. This works in all situations and makes them feel rewarded for being your customers.
- The rewards need to be attractive enough to keep them coming back to you. Let’s say you own a beauty salon – give each customer a punch card to keep track of their purchased treatments. Each treatment will correspond to a “punch” on a card with specific free rewards assigned to various numbers of punches. You’ll soon have an army of satisfied customers recommending your business to their friends and family members.
- Do not forget to promote your loyalty program. Make sure to mention it to your customers, as well as promote it in your emails and on your social media page. This is just as important as printing flyers or putting a sign in front of your store.
Free Stuff Will Make ‘Em Come To You
Eventually, new people who your old customers recommend your business to might want to try it themselves. If you provide services such as those offered at a beauty salon or massage parlor, your customers may first want to see how good you are before handing you over their wallets. This is where you come in by promoting free stuff for your customers-in-waiting!
Let’s say that you own a beauty salon – the safest and least expensive way to acquire a new, satisfied customer is to promise free treatments for a specified number of first time customers. Since people are always on the lookout for free stuff, informing them about this great offer means making sure your message reaches the right ears, both online and offline.
- You do collect your customers’ email addresses, right? Offering them free stuff (or discounts or coupons) in exchange for email address is a fair deal today.
- Inform the customers of your offer and make sure you tell them to share that information with their friends. Most of these customers will forward these emails to those who they feel need your services.
- Still, you can make your plea for sharing even stronger by offering rewards for whoever shares information in this manner.
- You can use your Facebook page to announce that you will give out your products for free under specific conditions.. But, you do not want to go wild with free stuff. A more balanced approach could be offering discounts or an additional item. You can also give these away for humanitarian causes like TOMS Shoes did by giving away free shoes to a child in need for every purchased pair.They followed this through with videos about the participants in this action, helping them promote themselves as a socially responsible business. .
- Organize a contest and make your customers tell you and the others how your products/service help them with their problem in exchange for a free reward. This works well with Facebook, as the material featuring them using your products (video, image, story or even a poem!) can be easily uploaded to your page.
Social media, email marketing and print advertisements are top choices for small businesses to attracting new customers
Image Credit: Forbes
Promote Special Deals via Email
Offering free stuff and loyalty programs can be a part of one-off campaigns to attract your customers, but there is no reason why the discounts and promotions should not be made a permanent promotional tool for your small business. The reason for this is the fact that they come at no significant expense to you, while helping you acquire a loyal customer in the long run. Remember that these efforts create a sense of urgency with both your existing and prospective customers, as these offers are perceived as short-term opportunities for saving money.
So, let’s say that you are ready to go beyond putting a sign in front of your store or printing flyer. Promotional and newsletter emails serve as magnets which draw customers to your business and build awareness of your offer/brand. All of this can be done more easily if you double check the following:
- Promoting new arrivals at your store goes hand in hand with discounts. If you own an apparel store, your email will have to feature quality images of new products, together with an offer of 10 percent discount on their next purchase, for instance. This can be done easily with the help of online tools, such as those offered by Smoove.
- Use friendly and conversational tone, while sticking to the basics, such as giving clear information on the length of discount offer. Do not forget to ask for feedback.
- Personalization of emails can go a long way – If you know your customer’s birthday, for example, you can send them customized promotional offers.
Advertising on Social Media
Using Facebook for keeping in touch with your customers and promoting your offers is a no brainer for a small business. Yet, attracting new customers in this manner can surely be helped with a pinch of good old advertising directed at just the right audience. Setting up an advertising campaign for this purpose is rather simple:
- Go to your Facebook page and click on “Promote page”. A pop-up form will appear.
- Use the pop-up form to enter information about the customers you want to target with your ads. You can selected their age, gender, country of origin etc. Make sure that you add terms that describe your business to the “interest” section.
- Determine your daily budget as the amount of money you want to spend on specific ad set per day.
- Set a timeline for the ads to be shown, either on continuous basis or within a specified time period.
- Choose the payment mode. Once you are done with this, your customers will land on your page after they click on your ads.
All of these ads lead to your landing page that has a sole purpose of collecting information from your customer via signup form (such as their email address) in exchange for an offer which can be anything described above. With the right tools, you can design landing pages rather easily, with no prior specialist knowledge.
Also, you add a finishing touch to this process by designing your own Facebook ads with the help of tools such as Canva or Stencil. You can also visit sites such as Pixabay to get access to quality public domain images.
Attracting customers to your small business has nothing to do with running expensive campaigns that take a lot of both your time and resources. Instead, you can use your common sense and apply these cheap and creative methods to make the customers come to you with a little effort. Remember that these methods will give you the best results if you combine and run them at the same time, instead of trying one after another. Do not forget to take note of what works best for your business and be ready to adapt to the outcomes on the fly.