7 Creative Ways to Attract More Customers
You may have executed each step perfectly, from drawing up a sound business plan to developing a great product. Still, a major obstacle will always stand in your way. How can you find customers to buy your wonderful products? Here are some simple and effective steps that can be taken to attract more customers.
1. Create an Impression
What better way to do this than by, well, creating an actual impression? Rather than putting up billboards and television advertisements, do something that will remain with a person throughout the day. Give out hand stamps or personal, "crafty" leave-behinds.
IDEA 1: Collaborate with nearby events and have your stamp be the proof of entry. Or, give them out on the street by offering a discount to anybody with the stamp. Not only are stamps stubborn and hard to remove, they remain noticeable and apparent for a while, prompting the wearer to see it whenever they wash their hands or type on a keyboard. They can also prompt questioning and discussion, creating a word-of-mouth effect.
IDEA 2: Follow up with a customer by creating hand-crafted thank you notes or boxes. Search through Etsy to discover local artists who can help you craft the most memorable thank you notes.
2. Word-of-Mouth for Hire
While you can pay for costly billboards, minimal television ads and radio time, you would be better off simply having someone spread the word to others. Why go up against hundreds of competing advertisements? You could hire people to strike up conversations at busy intersections or offer incentives to current customers who tell their friends, giving them a discount with each referral.
IDEA 1: The flash mob is not dead. Sure it peaked a couple years ago, but it still has legs. Gather a few (hundred) friends and plan an impactful flash mob at a busy event or intersection. Call up the media before you go to have them come out and join your event. Hire a photographer and videographer to record the day's event. Hand out samples and discount codes so that people can take action right away. Make flags and signs to wave around with pride.
3. Go Mobile With Peer Reviews
Since most cell phone owners own smartphones, it would be wise to mix and mingle with your target audience through the use of applications. Two wildly popular and ever-growing applications available to all smartphones are Foursquare and Yelp, where users “check-in” to locations for rewards.
IDEA 1: Instead of having customers simply check-in to your location to increase their Foursquare clout, get them to take pictures of your products and/or services to share on social media sites through the Foursquare app. Reward them with a discount or a free appetizer.
IDEA 2: Each day, thousand of people refer to Yelp to find a great local place to eat, shop or grab a drink. These users are not only seeking specific "hot spots", but also places that have a high portion of positive peer reviews. Get to the top of the list by asking your customers to give you a review on Yelp in exchange for a quick discount.
4. Have Cause-Related Programs
Studies show that people remain happier for a longer period of time when being selfless instead of gaining a temporary boost of satisfaction from being selfish.They also prefer companies that have cause-related programs to those that do not. These programs usually mean donations to charities.
IDEA 1: Promote your product by letting consumers know that whenever they purchase your product, a percentage will go towards a deserving cause. You can also integrate this with Foursquare by letting them know that each check-in and picture share will result in a donation, further enticing them to use the application to not only benefit themselves, but others as well.
IDEA 2: Make cause-related marketing a major component of your business model. Whenever you purchase a pair of Tom Shoes or a pair of Warby Parker glasses, a similar pair gets donated to a person in need. It is engraved in their daily business operations. What can you do to make an impact?
5. Lottery Systems
Without a doubt, people love having the opportunity to win free things. GrubHub is a website that does just that for restaurants. Upon placing an order, customers are asked to flip a card for the opportunity to win free food. These sorts of fun events keep customers amused and will have them coming back for more.
IDEA 1: After every online purchase, incentivize users to earn more points by asking them to share their order with a friend. Make it fun, quick and easy to do.
6. Make Your Customers Your Models
There are many ways to keep your customers connected and interested, and not only by having them follow you on Facebook and Twitter. If you plan on putting up advertisements for your business, ask people for their opinions or, better yet, have them in your advertisements! Maynards took this to the next level by placing their customers in their advertisements and turning their customers into their products as well.
IDEA 1: If you sell a tangible product, have your customers submit a photo of them using your product as a way to source brand ambassadors and potential spokespersons. Skittles and Warby Parker do this well on their Facebook pages.
7. Try New Things!
While this may seem like common sense, it is not uncommon to find businesses that do not change their styles or their products, which could attract new customers. Even large franchises such as McDonald’s have revamped their restaurants after having had the same look for over 50 years. The goal was to make them look more like a hangout zone than a simple fast food joint.
There are many things that you can do that are simple yet effective in holding attention. Instead of giving out fortune cookies, write some fun facts on your receipts or products to entertain your customers. Hipster, for example, has a creative method for seeking new recruits. They turn the application process into a contest. Imagine applying for a job and ending up with a new bike, new pants, and a year’s supply of beer!
Consumers get easily bored with repetitious engagement tactics. Keep your brand top of mind and keep them coming back by creating unique experiences.
What do you think would benefit businesses that are seeking to increase their customer base? We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on ways to attract more customers, so please share your thoughts with us in a comment below.