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On Customer Acquisition

Marketing

Designing a great product or service is easy.  With some technical knowledge or assistance, creating an attractive website is also relatively easy.

Your products, services and website are of no value, until potential customers know what you have and how to purchase from you.

How do you attract customers to you?

In days gone by, marketing pushed a product to the buyer.  Door-to-door salesman peddled Kirby vacuum cleaners, encyclopedias, and even brushes.  Today we know that it is more effective to pull the customer to you than push a product to them.  Getting and retaining customers takes work, patience, and consistently repeated marketing.  Marketing is trial and error.  Keep marketing your most effective print marketing while you test new marketing.

Pulling customers to you is accomplished by building your customer base one-by-one; build customers by building relationships.  The easier it is for customers to find you and purchase from you, the better.  Customers will not work hard or long in order to find you and buy from you.

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Pull Customers to you.

Offer a free coaching session.  By providing a free sample (15, 20 or 30 minutes) coaching session, private coaching clients and corporate training sessions were booked.

Determine a Code to Monitor the Results 

Use a different code for each location.  Request that the code be on their response.

Ask questions to open conversations with you. 

What is your biggest problem?

What problem would you like solved?

What is your most urgent problem to be solved?

Where do you find the people to ask? 

  • Send out an email or postcard survey asking three simple questions.  Don’t forget the tracking code.  Offer a benefit for responding and a prize for the problems which were chosen to be explored in depth.  This also encourages more thoughtful and detailed responses.
  • Post the questions in chat rooms.
  • Post questions on college and community bulletin boards.
  • Post questions in Chamber of Commerce newsletters.
  • Attend Meetup groups and ask questions.

Find appropriate social media discussions and comment.  (If you don’t know an answer but it sounds interesting, research it.  Come back with the answer.  Be honest.  Don’t guess, bluff or fake it.)

If you don’t understand or disagree with another comment, say, “That’s interesting.  Tell me more” or “Help me understand your thought pattern on this issue.”

People return to businesses and sites where they feel invited, entertained and valued.  Encourage them to preview your business by offering them what they need.  Asking questions, receiving responses, engaging in conversations, and being respectful of others pulls people to you.  These steps build and strengthen relationships.

Reach potential new customers through both paid and free acquisition methods.  The question tactic is primarily free.  Once the free marketing is paying off, you may be ready to test various paid customer acquisition methods.  Consult your budget before launching any paid customer acquisition methods.  Know the cost in advance.

Print marketing has a definite cost.  You absolutely know in advance how many postcards will be mailed to your target list.  You know the cost of printing, stamping and mailing.  Plan your customer acquisition marketing costs and options with PrintPlace.com’s “instant pricing” form.  With pay-per-click, the only idea you have of the total cost is the budget limitation you set up.

Paid customer acquisition methods

  • Google AdWords
  • Craigslist (some free ads and some low cost ads)
  • Ads on LinkedIn
  • Traffic partners
  • Affiliate marketing

Customer acquisition is essential to achieving a successful business.  Free methods are obviously cost effective but can be extremely time consuming.  Customer acquisition will cost time and money, but without customers, you do not have a business.

Building customer relationships takes time and record keeping.  Know where your customers are finding you.  Track the number of new customers, the source which brought them to you, and the dollar amount generated.  When you know what products were purchased through which source, you know which marketing locations to keep and which ones to replace.

Tracking the source of new customers and prospective customers.

The only problem with tracking the source of new customers is that frequently a new customer will see your marketing in several places and only report the last marketing piece they saw.

Print marketing can include a QR code which is easily trackable.  Printed catalogs frequently contain a code in the address label.  Postcards are inexpensive unique marketing pieces and can easily include a tracking code.  PrintPlace.com can assist you with unique tracking codes for each of your print marketing campaigns.

Acquiring new customers is essential.  The methods vary.  Choose one method or several but whatever you choose, do it consistently and repeatedly.  Track your results.

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