Attracting new customers to your business and retaining them in the long term doesn’t require a mystical formula known only to marketing gurus. A combination of time-tested online and offline tactics executed according to a strategic plan is all you need to grow your client base.

Marketing is a science. Some choose to get degrees in the subject, but there are a variety of proven strategies you can leverage without committing to 4+ years of higher education.

Continue reading for the top 21 business practices that expand your customer base!

Online Marketing Strategies to Increase Your Customer Base

The question of how to attract customers online has become more complicated in light of changing algorithms affecting what potential customers see, but you can increase visibility by diversifying your channels:

  • Website – This online “storefront” for your business should be easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, and regularly updated with fresh content. If you accept orders online, do everything you can to simplify the shopping experience. Make sure your contact information is displayed on every page so that it’s easy for customers to get in touch. 
  • Logo Redesign – If your logo doesn’t attract attention, your brand isn’t likely to gain traction. A fresh look at your brand image can make a big difference in your marketing. Through strategic creative campaigns, an eye-catching logo becomes synonymous with all your brand stands for so that customers instantly recognize your business. 
  • Online Ordering – Offering online ordering makes it quick, simple, and easy for customers to get meals on the go. Busy office workers, stressed parents, and anyone who’s hungry can use an integrated online order platform on your website or Facebook page to make orders from their computers or mobile devices. Orders go right to your kitchen for maximum accuracy and efficiency. 
  • SEO – Optimize your website for search by using relevant keywords in your content, streamlining the user experience, and building a network of high-authority backlinks. Include location-specific keywords to attract more local and mobile customers to your brick-and-mortar store. Audit your SEO strategy regularly, and update it as needed to stay ahead of competitors. 
  • Social Media – Use boosted or sponsored posts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to ensure your target audience sees your marketing messages. Share interesting, relevant content on a regular basis, emphasizing audience interactions over sales language.
  • Web Advertising – Allocate some of your marketing budgets to digital advertising strategies, such as PPC campaigns, retargeting, remarketing, and email. Perform detailed keyword research and analyze customers’ purchasing habits to target your ideal audience.
  • Video – Bring potential customers into the world of your company with live streams on your social media platforms. Share additional instructional videos, product sneak peeks, and behind-the-scenes snippets to build authority and keep customers engaged.

Offline Strategies to Attract Customers

“Old-fashioned” advertising methods still work and are viable ideas for attracting customers to your store:

  • Direct Mail Marketing – Invest in a direct mail campaign to bring your brand to the physical “inboxes” of people in your area. You can include an advertisement in a popular local publication, send out postcards announcing an event or sale, mail coupons to new residents, or produce small catalogs for special occasions.
  • Business Card Redesign – First impressions are everything, so why not spruce up your business card? Be sure to display all relevant contact information, including your social media profiles, to provide as many ways as possible for people to get in touch. Every time you hand out one of these compact advertisements, you make a connection with a potential customer.
  • Flyers – Believe it or not, regular old paper flyers can attract a lot of attention, especially if you’re having a special event. Include a QR code, text code, or web address to link your online and offline strategies and drive people to your website. Or you can advertise a “text to win” contest to collect contact information while increasing brand awareness.
  • Incorporation – Making your business an LLC, an S corporation, or a C corporation adds credibility to your brand image. New customers see a company with a solid presence they can trust, and existing customers get the assurance of knowing their favorite company is here to stay. Incorporating also protects your brand by preventing other businesses in the state from using the same name.
  • Customer Financing – Point-of-sale financing services are becoming more common at retail locations and online. With instant financing, you can reach customers who don’t have the money upfront for expensive products or services and attract those who prefer to break up large purchases into smaller payments.

Outsource Day-to-Day Operations

Administrative work consumes time that’s better spent on your business. Outsourcing these key operations streamlines your day and gives you the freedom to focus on growth.

  • Bookkeeping – Say goodbye to hours wasted recording every transaction or fixing errors from incorrect entries! Automated bookkeeping logs transaction data in a cloud-based platform you can access at any time. Reporting features simplify accounting and tax preparation.
  • Credit Card Processing – Small businesses that accept credit cards make more sales, and customers tend to spend more when they buy with credit. It’s a win-win situation, but you need a reliable, cost-effective processing solution to minimize the impact of fees on your profits.
  • Payroll & HR – How much time could you save if you had a solution to automate employee onboarding, provide training, issue payroll checks and help maintain policy and tax compliance?
  • Tax & Legal Support – It’s hard for your business to grow if you’re struggling with finances or dealing with tax liens. Legal services put knowledgeable experts in your corner to help you avoid problems with debt, get your business out of tax trouble, and provide guidance whenever the laws have you stumped.
  • Telecommunications – Running a small business requires a network of different communication services. But how do you build the best system to maximize efficiency for you, your employees, and your customers? Outsourcing telecommunications puts the burden of finding services at affordable prices on someone else.
  • Utilities – Paying for gas and electricity can take a huge chunk out of your bottom line, especially if you run a food service business. You can’t eliminate this expense, but you can reassess your needs and find cheaper alternatives. Start by making simple changes, like switching to LED lightbulbs and upgrading to energy-efficient equipment.

The Importance of the Customer Experience

Did you know 66 percent of customers are willing to forgo the lowest price and spend around 13 percent more when they know they’ll get good service? While this may sound surprising, it highlights the critical importance of having a customer experience strategy.

Providing stellar service also improves retention rates and boosts conversions. Eighty-two percent of companies say retention is cheaper than bringing in new customers, and existing customers have a 60 to 70 percent probability of converting versus 5 to 20 percent with new customers. So what makes a great customer experience?

  • Phone Answering Service – Customers don’t want to be routed through complicated menus or put on hold for twenty minutes when they contact your company. At the same time, you can’t stop working and run to the phone every time it rings. Put a phone answering service in place to ensure a real person is on the line whenever a customer calls, even during off hours.
  • Web Chat Service – Cater to your online customers with a chat option. Although chatbots are becoming more popular, connecting customers to an actual representative via your customer service portal is more personal and avoids the problem of irritating popups cluttering your site.
  • Loyalty Programs – Offer a loyalty card, reward program, or exclusive discount codes to shoppers in your store or those who sign up for your email list. Providing a set percentage off a first online order is a popular option, but you can also give exclusive coupons to subscribers or free products to customers who spend a certain amount.

It’s Time to Start Increasing Customers to Your Business!

Building a solid marketing strategy takes time, and it’s easier with the support of a few key business services.

Don’t hesitate to explore as many new avenues of outreach as possible. Some won’t be a good fit for your business, but when you hit on the right combination of digital and traditional tactics, you’ll not only see a wave of new customers come in but also enjoy the continued support of a group loyal to your brand and eager to spread the word about your products.

If you need funding to support your new initiatives, don’t hesitate to reach out to National Business Capital and explore the financing options your business qualifies for. Our Business Finance Advisors advocate on behalf of your business and offer strategies to maximize your ROI, leveraging the industry experience we’ve gained over nearly two decades.

Complete our digital application to get started!