ENTREPRENEURSHIP / MAY. 26, 2014
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How to Target and Acquire New Customers

New Customers

It is not an easy task to target new customers. In fact, it is a hit and miss game for most business owners. You can reduce the cost of customer acquisition by embracing advertising partnerships with a related company – as long as there is relatively low competition. It has to be a win-win situation, though. For example, you may be selling fish bait and another company is selling the actual fish. Both are related and you can both help each other.

Free Advertising

You can list free classified ads on certain sites like Craigslist. You can also put out flyers and business cards in the general community. Some companies hire people just to hand out flyers and go door to door with door hangers. Before you do this, it is best to research the geographical area and learn whether your targeted audience lives in these areas and are interested in what you have to offer. Make sure you are listed in local and relevant business directories – offline and online. The difference between yellow page ads and classified ads is that if someone who is searching for your product or service finds you, you may strike a goldmine. Yellow page ads require the new customer to search extensively while classified ads seem more current and are more visible to the general public.

Trade Shows

Visit trade shows related to your industry. These can get quite expensive, but can produce huge rewards. You have to be equipped with flyers, free samples, marketing materials and products. Provide an incentive for your potential customers to want to do business with you such as a free membership or a 20% discount coupon. Before you pay for a trade show exhibit space, find out what the regular attendance numbers are. Find out which other companies will be there. Then you will know if you are in good company or not.

Public Relations

Every company needs good PR – all the time. If you have a product or service announcement, write a press release and promote it online and offline. This creates a buzz around your product or service. Don’t make it too sales oriented, but more newsworthy. Ask another website owner to post your press release. Most people love to put good content on their website. You should reciprocate also. However, both have to be non-competitive. This will create better search engine rankings for both of you and so your target audience will find you faster.

eBay Store

If you don’t know about eBay, then you must know that millions of people worldwide are buying on this shopping platform every single day. You are missing out on new customers, if you don’t have an eBay store. They are shopping while you are sleeping. You can create a brand for your eBay store and get the word out to friends, family and your social media followers.

Social Media

If you don’t own at least two social media accounts, your customers are falling through the cracks. You must have an account with:

  •        Twitter
  •        Facebook
  •        YouTube
  •        Foursquare
  •        LinkedIn

You will have access to an international audience. Your role is to develop solid relationships by posting regularly, answering questions, providing solutions and offering product incentives. This is an ideal way to build your brand and getting the word out about your product and company.

Entice Customers

If you are selling a new brand of an existing product, lure new customers by offering lower prices, discounts and promotions such as “buy one, get one free.” Some people will be loyal to their original brand, but some won’t mind switching, if you offer excellent products and exceptional customer service.

Monitor and measure your results to see what marketing tactic is working. If something is working, then expand on it. For example, if you placed a classified ad and put a specific code in the ad, when the customer places their order from that ad, you will know where the business came from. You will also know that you can invest in the same marketing platform. Be sure to ask customers where they heard about your company and use the information to adapt new strategies to create more buzz about your product and service. 

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