We all know that bringing in new customers is a lot more expensive than keeping existing customers, but the loyal customer relationship doesn’t fall off the turnip truck, it has to start with a new customer.
With the SheerID solution, for the first time, you can filter who gets your discount, or promotion, or special offer to only new customers. That way your average order total stays where you want it, while you offer an incentive for a brand new customer to give you a try. So it only makes sense that a blog post on how to get new customers would show up on the SheerID blog. These aren’t new ideas, but right here, right now, they are revolutionary because you can do all these without having your discount or special offer broadcasted to people you didn’t want to redeem it. The best most efficient way to find new customers is in bulk. Look under rocks where there are a bunch of them gathered. So what are those rocks? Here are some thoughts to get you started:
Partnering with non-competing businesses
Develop that mutually beneficial relationship with the company that is selling faucets to go with your sinks, or business cards to go with your LLC-set-up service, or Sonny dolls for your Cher dolls. I have a client, Olive Grand in Eugene, OR, who sells gourmet olive oil, they partner with wineries--um, brilliant. They each offer a discount to the other’s customers, then advertise that discount as a great benefit to their own customers, well done.
Association groups love to offer exclusive discounts to their members. It can be free advertising for your product to be within the newsletter or on the website of an association that their members trust. That means that super valuable “Halo effect” is within your reach. A great example of this is Eddie Bauer and the Mazamas. The Mazamas are a club filled with hikers and mountain climbers in Portland, OR, 3500 of them or so. Eddie Bauer’s heritage was in hard-core mountaineering clothing and they’ve recently come back to it. To get that crowd to try their new line of high-tech clothing, First Ascent, they offer 40% off to all Mazama members. I know that Eddie Bauer recently was focusing on golf clothing and down comforters, so I would have never tried a parka from them to survive on Mt. Rainier. However, this year, I heard from three different Mazama peers how amazing EB’s new line is—they tried it because of the discount. That’s it, I’m hooked. The promotion worked. They reached the exact target market they wanted to (insert golf clap here). Well done Eddie Bauer.
The answer is within the question really. College students are everything a business is looking for in a new customer: the whole world in front of them, great potential, cinder-block and milk-carton furniture. Some huge house-hold names have built their business by reaching students better than their competitors do. They are all gathered in one place, so easy to reach, so go get them.
You think college students are great, then alumni are like the Venti version. They are associated with their school so easy to reach, they have some cash, they are having kids, and they need stuff. You can reach one school, or regionally, or all of them.
Pay Per Click
Pay Per Click is the single best way to get super-qualified customers. They’ve search specifically for your product, they found your ad, they clicked through to your website, now you just have to close them. Increase your ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) by offering a discount to only new customers who clicked on your Pay Per Click ads. As marketers, we’ve always wondered if we could do that, now we can.
Industry thought leaders
Bloggers are a force that should not be ignored. Who is writing about your industry? Who are your customers reading? Here again is where that mutually beneficial relationship comes in. Contact the biggest bloggers in your industry and offer a discount to their readers.
Your friends’ friends
A referral and recommendation program is the most under-utilized strategy out there. Tell your best customers to refer a friend. Then, when the new customer signs up for an account, allow them to type in the email address of the person who recommended them. They then both get a special offer. It’s like having a loyalty program and new customer program combined. It sounds complicated. It’s the exact kind of hair-brained idea that marketers come up with that make the IT department want to run screaming away from their stand-up desks. But if thought through in like, a flow chart, or something you learned in biz school, or by Googling it, it can be done easily.
And, everything else
Let’s go old school. Print ad, radio ad, web banner ad, sugar cookies frosted with your message, sky writing…go crazy. Advertise your “new customer discount” anywhere you want, anywhere that works for you. You don’t have to get custom and high-tech, you can simply state that your offer is for “new customers only.” No way! Way…
These strategies can give your marketing campaigns and therefore online revenue that gas-station-convenience-store-front-counter-energy-drink-type boost that you need going in to your annual review. Try one or a couple, they work even better when you mix and match.