Attract New Customers
Customer acquisition and retention are the lifeblood of business. If you’re not drawing in new customers, you’re not growing. If you’re not growing, you’re dying.
Many companies that struggle gaining or retaining customers fail to understand why. They will try all the “whats” in the book. They’ll do their A/B testing. They’ll seek advice and counsel (which is all good, by the way). But they don’t really see the results they want.
That’s because attracting new customers isn’t about what you do, it’s about why you do it. Your customers already know who they are and what they want. You have to know who you are and why you do business first. If you can identify a target customer audience who resonate with your “why” the consumption of your products will naturally follow.
Of course, that’s high-level thinking. There are plenty of practical ways to get new customers to your website – content marketing, email marketing, social media, and so on. But the real foundation of success is much deeper than that.
As Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. What you do simply proves what you believe.”
Which is why we’ll be covering the whys and the whats of how to attract new customers. Here are a few things we’ll go over to help you on your journey to growth.
Attracting First-Time Customers
The only way to grow your business is to keep customers coming in the door – or in the case of eCommerce, coming to your website. But how do you attract customers in the first place?
It’s not just about offering a certain product. Unless what you produce is totally original and unique or ridiculously underpriced, there are probably places online where customers can find a better deal. So why should they shop with you?
It’s about how you market yourself. Attracting first-time customers comes down to your core message (who you are), what problems they will overcome if they buy into that message (what you do and how you do it), and how accessible you are to meet their needs (where you do it).
Boosting Customer Relationships for Repeat Sales
Then again, once you’ve snagged a first-time customer, you’ll want to turn them into a repeat customer. There are definitely times when the quality of your product is enough to get people to come back, or it simply solves a problem that no one else can.
But even so (or even if it doesn’t), you can’t rely on your product quality to guarantee a return. Returning customers want a relationship with your business, which means they need to believe that you really have their best interests at heart.
That means your marketing strategies need to focus on showing them that you care about more than your bottom line. You have to offer them incentives. You have to show that your business is about more than money. And you have to make it really, really easy for them to buy from you.
Basically, your user experience has to be on point, which is no easy feat.
Using Social Media for Lead Generation
Another key component to attracting customers is using social media to generate leads and build those long-lasting relationships. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
Social media is a bit of a fickle beast for many commerce companies. There’s a fine balance that must be struck between being friendly and relatable and totally unprofessional.
You have to make sure your media is balanced between responding to customers, promoting deals, using video, images, and humor to create a relatable, inspiring and attractive platform. Not all companies get it right, but if you’re able to do it justice, you’ll see huge rewards.
HelloFresh, the popular meal kit delivery service, creates shareable content on their social media pages ranging from recipes to quick video tutorials. They also spend over $40k a week in Facebook ads amplifying their content and getting new customers into their funnel.
Leveraging Email Marketing (Sometimes)
Aside from social media, you will also need to use other marketing tactics to drive business. Email marketing is a popular one, and for good reason.
Email is accessible on both desktop and mobile devices, it can be personalized and targeted to specific users, and its whole job is to promote a product that will lead to more purchases (and more revenue for you). It’s a great tool for getting the word out there about your business.
But email marketing is also a double-edged sword if you don’t use it right. Over-designing (or under-designing) an email, using too many CTAs (or not enough), targeting the wrong lists, or being too pushy are all tactics that can painfully backfire.
And there are some customers that will never opt into your emails no matter what, or will simply sign up for the discount and then unsubscribe forever. What you do with these challenges can completely make or break your marketing outreach. Ecommerce company Nomad, for example, found a solution to their customer segmentation problems and saw their email marketing revenue grow from 2% to 20%.
Automating Customer-Focused Tasks
But who will run all these marketing efforts on your behalf?
Surely not every company out there can dedicate the man hours to managing multiple social media accounts, creating and implementing email marketing solutions, designing and developing products, and responding to customer inquiries.
The sheer amount of effort it takes to run a business is enough to take the wind out of anyone, much less any small or midsize business. But the reality is that you shouldn’t be doing everything yourself.
There are plenty of tools out there on the market for automating certain tasks, so the real question isn’t, “Should we be automating?” but rather, “Which tasks can we automate?”
The goal should be to automate anything that doesn’t require a human touch. If you don’t need to do it to foster a direct relationship with your customers, let a robot handle it for you.
Winning Over Unhappy Shoppers
In all that relationship building you will ultimately face customers who really don’t like you, though.
While your company or product probably isn’t designed to make every person on the face of the planet happy, you are still in the business of pleasing people. After all, a happy customer will buy from you again, and customer service is a huge factor in turning frowns upside down (or causing more frowns).
While customer service isn’t always an exact science, there are plenty of proactive approaches you can take to make sure customers get what they want after they’ve already been disappointed.
Fixing User Experience Mistakes
Of course, not all that unhappiness will be the result of the customer’s issues. There will be times when the functionality of your website is the biggest hindrance to business growth.
Having a positive user experience is essential to new and returning customer sales, and that means having a solid website design, smooth shopping cart and checkout process, and excellent customer service from start to finish.
That also means you will need to have a cohesive and consistent brand image and message so that your customers know where you stand with them at all times. You don’t want them second-guessing you when things get dicey.
Crafting a Brand Story for Scaling Your Business
Speaking of brand image and message, your brand story is the glue that ties it all together. Who you are, what you say about yourself, and how consistently you say it are all key components to improving sales.
But here’s the bottom line that most businesses miss: The hero of your brand story is your customer, not you.
When your brand guides your customer along a storyline where they ultimately feel like the hero, you take the customer relationship from casually dating to a life long commitment that is set for the long haul.
That means they will invest over time. That means they’ll tell their friends about you, who will tell their friends about you and so on and so forth. That means you’re creating a legacy business, not some fly-by-night online shop. And all of that will require an excellent brand story.
Obviously, there’s a lot that goes into attracting and retaining customers, and there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why the most important components of your business will be your story and your ability to build relationships.
The most successful companies out there work because they understand how human beings work. They don’t market themselves to the generic masses – they find a niche and they speak to that niche in a way that only they can understand.
The moral of the story is that you have to be you. If you don’t know who you are as a company, then you’ll have to start there. But don’t worry, after that comes all the easy stuff.