This post was updated to include even more helpful business practices that expand your customer base!
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.
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. See how National can help optimize your site for a better user experience and to generate more leads.
- Logo Redesign - If your logo doesn’t attract attention, your brand isn’t likely to gain traction. A fresh look for 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. Try National’s professional logo design services to refresh your brand, improve visibility and reach more people.
- 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. Get started with an online ordering solution from National (without involving third parties), and watch the orders roll in.
- 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 as needed to stay ahead of competitors. Let National handle the behind-the-scenes work to boost your site’s search rankings.
- 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. Whether you’re trying to make an impression on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest, National is ready to build your campaign. Get started today growing your following!
- Web Advertising – Allocate some of your marketing budget 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. Start boosting your ROI now with National’s digital advertising services.
- Video – Bring potential customers into the world of your company with livestreams on your social media platforms. Share additional instructional videos, product sneak peaks and behind-the-scenes snippets to build authority and keep customers engaged. Couple your video strategy with National’s other marketing services to improve visibility!
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. Think you can’t afford to hit every door in your neighborhood with a customized direct mail campaign? Check out National’s business financing options.
- 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. It gives your business a sense of stability. 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. Start reaping these benefits with National’s business incorporation services.
- 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. National’s customer financing service easily integrates with your POS system and is available for all industries. Give your revenue a boost with this popular payment option.
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 any time. Reporting features simplify accounting and tax preparation. With all your sales and expense information available at a glance, you can make better marketing and product development decisions based on real cash flow and profit numbers. Get a simplified solution through National’s bookkeeping platform.
- 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. National’s credit card processing services offer an efficient platform, fast deposits and straightforward statements. Equip your business for credit card payments now to boost your sales.
- 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? Handling every facet of employee management is easier through an online platform. National’s solution makes it possible to stay on top of payroll while minimizing the risk of tax or legal errors. You have everything at your fingertips, from important forms to tools for creating and updating employee handbooks. Start simplifying payroll and HR now.
- Tax & Legal Support – It’s hard for your business to grow if you’re struggling with finances or dealing with tax liens. Confusing laws and regulations make things that much more complicated. 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. National’s tax and legal support offers protection against the most common problems businesses face. Get started with a customized plan.
- 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. You get top recommendations for a personalized system you can rely on for all your internal and external communication needs. At National, productivity and security are top priorities for telecommunications. Get the best rates on a full suite of services and tools today.
- Utilities – Paying for gas and electric can take a huge chunk out of your bottom line, especially if you run a foodservice 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. If your bills are still too high, National can give you a hand with an expert utility assessment. Find out how much you can save using a customized utility plan.
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. Let National upgrade your website to improve the customer experience with a chat function.
- 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. To leverage this for maximum sales, you need to capture customer’s email addresses and start engaging your audience. Grab attention and boost open rates with National’s email marking services.
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. Let a service provider like National Business Capital offload some of the work of customer acquisition and retention so that you can stay focused on your sales goals.
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.
Call (877) 482-3008 to speak with a live Expert Services representative to help get you started. Or, if you need cash to get you started, fill out our 1-minute application online to get the funds you need to start expanding your customer base in as little as 24 hours.