What’s more valuable to your business? Acquiring new customers or retaining existing ones? This is an age-old debate in the marketing space. If anyone had a straight-forward solution, marketers would pony up in exchange for the secret formula.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all formula you can apply to all businesses. Every business is different, and, after looking at your business data and financials, only you can determine where you need to focus your marketing efforts.
If your current priority is to reach short-term revenue goals and expand your new customer base, here are 4 strategic customer acquisition ideas to try.
1. Retarget churned or one-time customers
Are you counting churned or one-time customers as part of your active customer base? If so, here’s a quick question. If a customer hasn’t purchased from you in months or even years, or if they have only purchased from you once with no intention of returning, are they actually a customer?
Sources say no.
Re-engaging churned or one-time customers counts as customer acquisition since those customers weren’t planning on engaging with your brand again.
That is…they weren’t planning on engaging with you or remaining a customer until you used your marketing savvy to reach out to them in meaningful ways.
The Dallas-based family entertainment center, Shenaniganz, experienced higher than normal levels of customer churn and wanted to acquire new customers.
What did they do? They implemented a data-driven customer engagement strategy to win back lost customers (aka customers that hadn’t visited in 142 days or more).
By sending targeted offers to these lost customers, Shenaniganz:
- The number of customers who only visited once shrunk from 52% to 35%.
- Reduced the number of customers that had not returned in 4 months from 86% to only 37%.
- Generated over 500% ROI from their Winback campaign.
When you re-engage churned or one-time customers with winback campaigns, those customers count as new customers and with ongoing effort can become loyal, returning customer and even VIPs.
2. Have a presence on local search
How does your local search strategy compare to your competitors? Do you show up in the search results as the first option when someone searches your top keywords and even your business name? Is your Google business page up-to-date including your website, products, and one-click phone number? If there is a lot of competition in your area, is your location one of the first to show up in local results?
When it comes to acquiring new customers, you can’t neglect your local online presence. In fact, maintaining control of your brand on Google and other online platforms may just be the key to helping drive those online and/or mobile customers your way. In fact, 97% searched online to find a local business, and 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information.
Not to mention, those local searchers are usually searching on-the-go from their mobile devices. This could mean they are out and about looking for the nearest “car wash,” “pizza place” or “bookstore,” respectively. We know local search is a business driver, considering 88% of consumer local business searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. Google reviews can also be an effective source of driving traffic to your locations.
Often customer engagement begins before you even have a face-to-face interaction with your prospective clients. That’s why it’s vital to have a robust local online presence.
3. Capture data about your unknown customers
Unknown customers are people that happen upon your business, but you have little to no data about them. They could be visiting your location once in a while or they could be stopping by your store for the first time. In short, you have little to no data about them.
When it comes to customer acquisition, having a strategy in place to connect and further engage these types of customers should be the end goal.
So, how do you do it?
You need software that helps you capture customer data about these unknown customers.
When unknown customers visit for the first time, encourage them to connect with you via your customer engagement platform. This provides you with data including email addresses, phone numbers, purchasing behaviors, preferences and more.
When you are armed with this data, you can continue to engage these one-time unknown customers by sending targeted messages that keep them coming in for more.
4. Use a customer referral program
You know you’re the best business around, but it’s rare that a local consumer is just going to take your word for it. Why? Because they have never heard of you and they may not trust you.
A solid way to acquire new customers is to put trust back into the equation, and this happens when someone that potential customers know and care about refers your business. 92% of consumers turn to people they know for referrals than any other source. This is especially true for Millennials as it is for any other generation of consumers as 28% of Millennials won’t even patron a business unless a friend recommends it.
Rather than investing your marketing budget in traditional advertising sources, use a referral marketing campaign.
With a strong referral marketing campaign in place, your loyal customers can send referral messages through text message, email, and social media.
A few customers will tell their friends, or social media following, about you simply because they love you. Others, you will need to incentivize with an offer, discount or reward.
Offering incentives through your referral program work. 50% of people are likely to send a referral if offered a direct incentive, social recognition or access to an exclusive loyalty program.
With the help of a referral program, not only will you reward your loyal customers and your new customers, but you will gain access to engage with potential new customers.
It’s easy for marketers to talk about customer acquisition and retention as “either/or.” Realistically, when you are doing customer acquisition right, it helps you reach your short-term revenue goals as well as your long-term retention goals.
For example, word-of-mouth marketing will generate, on average, twice the number of sales, and customers generally have a 37 percent higher retention rate, according to a McKinsey Study quoted in Forbes.
While each of the strategies above will help with customer acquisition, they also empower you with tools to continue to engage your customers and improve their lifetime value.
For more information about a top-notch customer engagement platform, schedule a demo of Thanx.