While it’s possible to build a loyal customer base both online and off-line, the facts don’t lie. Today, 85% of customers search for local businesses online. Yet roughly 65% of small businesses don’t have a website.
What gives? Establishing an online presence first and foremost is one of the most effective ways to help customers find your local business.
You can also use these tips to support your online and off-line marketing to gain even more new customers:
- Try a community giveaway to generate new leads for your business.
- Network and meet new people in your local area to promote client referrals.
- Launch a new product or service to attract local attention.
- Take orders online as well as off-line to provide customers with more options.
- Reward customers with a gift card or monetary discount for new client referrals.
- Be willing to invest money in your website; 80% of customers spend as much time surfing the Internet as they do watching TV.
- Set up profiles and become active on all major social networks.
- Encourage customers to subscribe online and off-line via email to a weekly or monthly newsletter.
- Sponsor a local event in-store to reach new customer demographics.
- Give away free samples to customers with your business cards.
When using any of the above marketing tips to gain new customers, don’t forget to follow up to seal the deal! If customers have visited your website and provided their information online, you can reach out to them regularly through an email newsletter.
Customers that have purchased your products or services in-store can be approached in the same manner. After customers have willingly submitted their email or mailing information, they can be sent promotional marketing materials and discount flyers to encourage them to visit your business for a second time.
As you interact with new and old customers alike, don’t forget to ask for feedback. If you’ve noticed a significant drop in your customer base, you may want to reach out to old customers to ask why they no longer use your services.
Although it may be difficult to hear the cold, hard truth, it will help you to better tailor your marketing campaign. Customers may have stopped coming to your business because of poor customer service, a limited selection, or an increase in prices. After determining the heart of the problem, you can decide the best course of action to take to make your business welcoming to new and repeat customers once again.