Do you want to get more customers for your small business? Are you stuck for ideas or short on marketing funds? Then read on!
We’ve pulled together 3 simple, low-cost ways to get more people buying from you:
#1: Give customers a low-risk entry point
If you’re looking to attract new customers, one of your key challenges is how to get people to make their first purchase with you.
One of the most effective ways to get new customers to buy from you is to give them a low-risk entry point into your brand. An opportunity for them to try your product or service at a low cost (or for free), so that can try you out before making a bigger commitment.
This can work equally well for service and product businesses. A PR consultant for example, could offer potential clients a free initial consultation or create a helpful downloadable cheat sheet. For a product business such as a beauty brand, offering free samples or trial-sized formats can work really well.
Top tip: Removing barriers drives trial
Evolve Organic Beauty do this really well. Evolve make organic skincare and natural beauty products for face, body and hair – in small batches, by hand in their Hertfordshire-based artisan studio. In addition to their full-sized product range, they also offer customers travel-sized products and the opportunity to purchase 5ml tester pots of their products for just £1 when they place an order. Yes, £1! Simple yet effective – and the perfect way for customers to try out new products in the range with minimal risk. (And it works! I for one, have purchased both tester pots and travel-sized products and gone on to buy full-sized products).
#2: Encourage brand loyalty
It is far less expensive to keep an existing customer than it is to find a new one. Encouraging brand loyalty (repeat customers) is a great way to grow a flourishing business, yet is often overlooked as a marketing tool because people are overly focused on attracting new customers.
If you can keep a large percentage of your customers for a longer life cycle (making repeat purchases with you), you will build a solid foundation for profitable (and more predictable) business growth.
You only have to look to bigger brands to see the value they put on brand loyalty. From café loyalty cards (stamped each time you make a purchase) and online beauty brand websites offering customers % discounts on repeat purchases, to reward points at major supermarket chains and more. Loyal customers are highly valuable – whatever the size of your business.
Top tip: Brand loyalty boost profits.
Encouraging brand loyalty is a great way to show customers you appreciate them and keep them coming back. And whatever you offer to boost loyalty doesn’t need to be anything flash or expensive. If you’re a product business, it could be as simple as sending out a glossy postcard (that contains a discount code) with each order for customers to redeem against their next purchase. If you’re a service business, you could offer a % discount to repeat clients or to those who buy more than one service from you.
#3: Deliver outstanding customer service
Word-of-mouth marketing is hugely powerful – one happy customer can steer many new ones your way. And the great thing is, it’s free!
So, in a digital age where good (and bad!) brand experiences can be shared far and wide in a heartbeat, providing outstanding customer service is perhaps more important than ever.
Small businesses can really set themselves apart from the competition by delivering great customer service. Flexible and agile, small businesses are able to engage with their customers in real time through their social media channels – answering questions, giving advice and resolving issues. They can also provide those extra special personal touches – prompt delivery, beautiful gift wrapping or a hand-written thank you note.
Top tip: Ensure great customer service at every touch point
West London-based luxury stationery brand Martha Brook does this really well. At every brand touch point, they deliver amazing customer service. From business founder Martha’s personal engagement on social media (she does this beautifully!) and the team on hand to answer questions about products and personalisation options, to prompt delivery, beautiful packaging and thoughtful postcards gifted with every order. Their customer service is outstanding from start to finish. And what happens as a result? Lots of happy customers, far-reaching positive word-of-mouth marketing, and a fast-growing customer base.
Do you have a low-cost, effective marketing tip you’d like to share? Something that has worked really well for your small business? Get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!