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Attracting new customers to your business

How can I attract new customers
Deborah Goodall
Marketing, Digital marketing
Find out more about Deborah Goodall

In this article you’ll learn

  • what channels you can use to reach your target market
  • the pros and cons of each method

Having customers is great – attracting new customers is even better and a lot of businesses want to know how to make that happen. There are many different ways to attract 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.

Target market


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

Direct Mail

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 mail marketing


Using Royal Mail, a third party distributor, or doing it yourself – this gets your message to the right people whilst avoiding potentially high distribution costs.


  • Control of the message and the delivery timing
  • Can be highly targeted using profiling databases such as CAMEO or PRIZM or MOSAIC
  • Easy to track response
  • Can help you to stand out


  • Cost
  • Perception of your business through this channel – though this is less of a problem these days


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

e-shots marketing


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

Social Media

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

Social media marketing

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 1-2-1 conversations with your potential customers


  • Costly
  • Difficult to track response

Affiliate Marketing

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


  • Measurement 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.

Call to action to download a free toolkit for social media design


Deborah Goodall explains the different channels that are available to you when you're attracting new customers to your business, and that it's important to always consider who you target market is.