By Loraine Kasprzak, MBA
I gave a talk recently to the Just Think B.I.G. Bernardsville, NJ, group about marketing tactics that attract customers. Many of the women business owners present knew their product or service really well, but didn’t always know how to attract the attention of prospective customers.
Marketing is all about getting people to know, like and then trust you. There are many ways to do this; here are the seven ideas I spoke about:
Co-market your product or service with other businesses who share a similar customer base. When you promote your services jointly, your marketing budget goes much further. I shared an example of how Savory Spice Shop and Elements Wellness Boutique in Westfield, NJ, are co-marketing and growing their customer bases. See my co-marketing blog post for more about what Savory Spice and Elements Boutique are doing.
Offer free trials or samples. Everyone loves a free sample and offering samples gets potential buyers comfortable with you. One of my favorite Westfield stores is Trader Joes, where they’ve made a science of free samples. Alan’s Orchards is another local store that has built their business in part because of their free yogurt and cheese samples.
WOW then ASK. Plan to provide superior customer service – and then follow through on your plans. This can help you turn your prospects into customers, and your customers into fans. This is WOW service. For example, a rug store owner, after delivering a new custom-made rug and getting positive feedback, could call the customer and say: “I’m so glad you liked the rug you bought here, and we’d love to help others get the perfect rug too. Is there anyone you know who we can help?”
Use Calls to Action on your website. Your website should be more than just an online brochure. When people visit your site, tell them what you want them to do next after they read all about your products or services. This is called your Call to Action. Our rug store owner, for example, could use this call to action on his website: “Stop by our showroom and get a free gift for viewing our new rug collection.”
Build your list – and use it. As you network and connect, collect business cards and add them to a spreadsheet or your Outlook contacts. Then reach out to the folks you meet either by email, direct mail or phone – the more personal, the better! WebUndies.com, a Cranford, NJ-based online retailer, has over the years asked its customers for their email addresses and added those who have opted in to their subscriber list. These subscribers receive monthly new product announcements that drive traffic to the company’s website.
Build buzz. It’s no secret that people love to win stuff and save money. Many don’t mind taking little quizzes or “liking you on Facebook” if there’s a chance to win or get a discount. When you offer contests, polls that are related to your product, your prospects are more likely to become engaged and talk about your company. WebUndies.com, for example, offers a 10% discount for “liking” them on Facebook. This has driven traffic and comments on their Facebook page and traffic to their website.
Educate your buyers. Nobody knows your product or service better than you do. Prospects need your expertise the most when they are looking to buy, so why not provide tip sheets, articles or how to videos on your website and as handouts or links? Make your whole sales process about educating your customer. Our rug store owner, for example, could provide 7 tips for choosing a rug that won’t pill or fade.
Want to know more about the Art of Attracting Customers? Join Loraine at her Just Think B.I.G. talks, starting in November. For dates and locations, visit our Speaking Engagements page.
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