How to attract new customers to your business
You will learn
- What channels you can use to reach your target market
- The pros and cons of each method
There are many different ways to attract new customers but making the choice about which channel to use should be influenced by your target audience, your product or service and your brand values, or position.
You also need to consider what you want your customer to do as a result of seeing/hearing about your business. Do you want them to purchase something immediately or do you want them to subscribe to something so that they enter a sales funnel? Are you expecting them to visit your shop, your website, or pick up the phone? It is important that it is clear to potential new customers what you want them to do. All communications should aim to move people through your mapped customer journey.
This article will look at the pros and cons of the different ways of attracting new customers in a general way - it is important that when you consider each channel you do so with your target audience in mind.
Advertising takes many forms – online, offline in print media (find out which is best for you here), TV, radio, digital radio. It can be sub-divided into brand advertising and direct response – the former promoting your product and the latter “selling” or eliciting a response. You will need to decide whether brand or direct response advertising is what your business needs and what works best for your target market.
- You control the message
- There is a range of advertising channels to use
- You can be niche or mass market
- In some cases – particularly digital platforms – you can control the spend
- The cost is often a major barrier, particularly in mainstream media
- Measuring response – businesses often find it difficult to measure response from advertising so they are unable to tell if their spend is delivering a return on investment
Traditionally thought of as “junk mail”, direct mail can be extremely targeted and an effective way of reaching your target market – if you know where to find them.
- You control the message, the delivery timing and the recipients
- Highly targeted
- It is easy to track response
- It can be highly informative
- It can help you achieve stand out
- Costly – whilst print is inexpensive, postage is not and it can be this alone that influences whether to use a direct mail campaign or not
Direct to your inbox! The cheaper version of direct mail – emails remove the postage price but come at their own cost.
- This can be very cheap – with just the list of addresses to purchase
- Can be highly targeted
- Can directly monitor response
- Competing against the other 146 emails that the average adult receives every day
Perceived as impartial, PR (public relations) can help build your brand name in a crowded market. You can learn more about creating publicity for your business here.
- Often perceived to be free or cheap but PR professionals work hard and are not cheap
- Provides a seemingly independent view of your products or business
- You don’t have total control over the message
- You don’t have control over the timing of publication
- No guarantee of publication
Often seen to be the solution for all marketing problems, social media has it’s own set of advantages and disadvantages.
- It is perceived to be free or cheap
- It can be highly targeted, if you know how to use it properly
- Allows for 1-2-1 conversations with your potential customers
- It can be very time consuming to use social media correctly
- Things can be misinterpreted and go viral for all the wrong reasons!
- You have very little control
You can find out more about advertising on social media here.
Exhibitions and Seminars
Once the key to business to business marketing, these have dropped out of favour for a lot of organisations.
- Highly targeted
- Allows for 1 to 1 meetings with your potential customers
- Difficult to track response
This is when you work with a complimentary business to promote your business and theirs to the same result (more new customers).
- You effectively borrow the brand equity from the other brand
- Often cheap to execute
- Measurment can be difficult
- If the partner brand falls into disrepute it can harm your brand to
Overall, there are lots of options for attracting new customers – the key to success is to know where these customers are, and what message will influence them. Once you know that then success isn’t far away.