“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” ~ Bill Gates
Bill Gates’s words were profound and meant as simple as it could be. Customers who are happy will seldom raise a flag because somehow you have managed to attract and retain them. It is the unhappy lot that will lead you to improve your customer acquisition and retention techniques.
Often marketers complain that customers are being unreasonable in their demands. Well, that’s your challenge. Your customer acquisition methods are put to the test in such scenario. In case you feel disheartened, follow Stew Leonard when he said-
“Our Policy: Rule 1- Customer is always right! Rule 2- If the customer is ever wrong, reread rule 1.”
Yep! That’s the golden rule.
Customer acquisition can be a daunting task least you follow 7 simple strategies that I will discuss in this article. I am not saying these strategies will make your task a cakewalk, but surely it will help you carve a smoother way in convincing your customers better and retaining them.
Brands use various ways to acquire and retain their customers. For instance, Warby Parker makes amazing Facebook ads. After the ‘cart abandonment’ technique, Warby Parker uses visually enriched sponsored ad that is powerful enough to convince its users to finally click the ‘buy’ button. The use of fun and pun by this online eyewear retailer is how you acquire new users and also reconnect with your existing customer base.
Then we have those web push notifications. Brands often opt for dynamic content in these notifications that keep changing according to the viewer. For instance, one look at this web push notification from Beyond The Rack will instill a sense of urgency. And when you push such a message to shopaholic customers, you know you have hit the bull’s eye. Even if all are not shopping enthusiasts, messages like these play a weird psychological game. If not purchase, your customers will take a fleeting look at your product (only because they are inquisitive to know what is it that they missed). The small addition of ‘FREE’ immediately helps in connecting with the users.
7 Strategies to Win More Customers
When H&M took to Instagram to promote their affiliation, it was a powerful strike. The smooth move of showing how their clothing looks awesome on the singer as well as a commoner took customer acquisition to a different level. Because common people love to do what their influencers are doing, this move from H&M was just perfect for acquiring new customers as well as re-engage existing ones.
Brands use various channels to market their products and services. Customer acquisition is no more restricted to just sending out emails or cold phone calls. It is more of a multi-channel facet where brands are leveraging the power of words, visuals and customer behavioral data. When talking about actionable strategies to win more customers, I will start with emails. Why? Well, emails are the most popular and proven mode of establishing a brand-customer relationship.
I. Increase engagement with email campaigns
You can use emails to increase the engagement rate. Suppose you have sent out a campaign now. Give the campaign at least 48 hours. After that segment those subscribers who have received your email but did not open it. You can resend the email but this time with a new subject line and some modifications in the content to this group in particular. To those who have opened your email but did not click on the in-links, you can send another set of email urging them to engage with your brand.
This process can be automated with ‘Drip Campaigns.’ Drip campaigns are a set of emails that are scheduled or conditioned to be sent out based on customer engagement and behavior with your email. These emails are also scheduled at certain time gaps as well. For instance, this offers email from Amazon:
You can automate your email workflow using an automation tool. Before you have launched the first email campaign to your list, you can predefine the whole email workflow- like what email goes out after what and when.
Also, list segmentation and subscriber segmentation catalyzes your email engagement. You first segment your whole subscriber list into various groups based on factors like age, sex, location, interests, etc (depending upon the purpose of your campaign). Next segmentation happens based on the activity and engagement of your subscribers.
The best part- you can automate this segmentation as well.
II. Creating eye-catching content and functional web design
Content is KING. Isn’t that a familiar statement? Well, that is true. Content that is powerful and relevant can change the fate of your marketing efforts. You can earn backlinks, press coverage, and traffic to your website with eye catching content. For instance, the content that Coca-Cola uses- it is smooth, eye-catching and visually enriched. Coca-cola made a little change by printing individual names on the bottles, and that was it. People went ga-ga over this small change, making this campaign a huge success.
Along with content, a user-friendly website design plays a pivotal role in winning more customers. If your users are unable to understand the flow of your website, chances are that they will get lost. It is important to build a design that follows a set flow, with all the actionable buttons placed prominently. Make the website experience as smooth as possible.
Coming back to building content, your content must align to the recent statistical data. When you talk in numbers, it makes your idea believable. Before writing your content, figure out what are the data points that your users need to know. Layout a detailed plan on how you will put together all these data and merge your content with it. The more your content is data-driven, the more valid it looks. And we talk about data; it is not about writing the whole thing in bullet points. Nope. That’s just a no-no. While some can be written, the major ones must be visually represented. Remember, you have just a few seconds to garner your viewer’s attention.
III. Republish and update Old Content
Once upon a time, you had written a great article. Then what? You forgot that!
Republish your old content with some more updates. If your users found them valuable at any given point of time, it is worth re-sharing and including recent valuable updates.
Also, your old content republished with recent updates often boost up your search engine ranking. Now, isn’t that we all want? Use those contents that were once famous but got lost with time.
Your old contents will require industry updates that will add value to your users. When you offer enriched content with insightful data, you are sure to receive more views, sign-ups, and appraisal.
IV. Republish Content to social media and community forums
Social media networks are a gamut of knowledge these days. We get to know so much about almost everything around us right into our newsfeed. Why not leverage the potential of social networks. Since social media platforms have such a huge user base, winning customers with great content here is quite easy. Also, while your customers engage with your brand more, you can also interact with them real-time here. The most popular platforms to publish your content are:
- Medium: Sometime late in 2015, Medium launched the feature to add canonical tag to the contents you publish here. This feature instantly won hearts of content writers on Medium. Now, you can directly import content from anywhere on the web to your Medium account and republish the same. And yes, you thought it right- Medium takes care of the content duplication part. You can import your old content without getting penalized for duplicate content publishing.
- LinkedIn: Once LinkedIn was touted as a business connection platform only. Over the years, LinkedIn has evolved to become a professional network where you can publish your content, post updates, have business pages, and so much more. LinkedIn’s Pulse has helped marketers reach out to enterprise customers as well (easily).
- Quora: This is one awesome place where people ask the question on almost everything (sometimes weird questions too!). You have a doubt? You post it on Quora. Quora is a vibrant question-answer platform where you can post your content as an answer to someone’s question. Two things happen simultaneously here:
- You help a fellow person
- Your content gets views (and votes)
- Scoop.it & Inbound.org: These are again content publishing and networking platforms that give you more views, more engagement, and more customers.
V. Co-Brand Content and Share Leads
What you were doing alone, will now be done by another brand as well. Confused?
Co-branding means promoting a piece of work by two brands who have mutually agreed to do so. The scale of success is huge in this strategy because your content is viewed by your own customers as well as the customer-based owned by the other brand.
You partner with a brand that has huge customer-base but is not a direct competitor to your business. For instance, remember the collaboration of Red Bull and GoPro, and their “Stratos” campaign? Yes, exactly that!
In this co-marketing effort, while two brands promote one content, the two brands will also share the leads. Basically, leads generated by this collaboration is used by both the brands. It is a win-win situation for both the brands. Few ways of promoting and getting customers include:
- Launching mutual partnership
- Reaching out to industry experts
- Writing guest posts on external platforms
VI. Give more than your customer’s expectations
Meeting customer expectations is always the priority. But why stop there when you can give out so much more. Try pushing your limits and give your customers more than expected. You can offer:
- Special discounts to new sign ups
- Promotional coupons to existing users upon completing a certain action
- Live webinars, free eBooks, and Case Study compilations
When you offer something to your customers without any hidden motive, your customers feel happy. Some marketing efforts are about making your customers feel good about their decision of associating with your brand. Well, not of course by making loss to your business. But small promotions and offers go along way (and honestly it increases your revenue if you think properly!).
VII. Set-up Affiliate programs
Affiliate programs have their own set of advantages. This is also a two-way deal. While a brand offers affiliate programs to get more customers, a customer joins an affiliate program to get paid.
How does it work? Suppose your brand is A and your customer X is interested in your affiliate program. You provide an affiliate link which X will use to refer and bring in more customers to sign up with A. When new customers sign up for premium plans with A, X receives a commission.
Affiliate programs can be of three types:
- Paid email campaigns to someone’s email lists
- Featuring on websites with bigger follower base
- Writing sponsored content
Brands often set up affiliate programs to win more customers without having to take the effort from their end. It is more like a chain. You acquire one customer who in turn acquires more customers through referrals, emails, and content publishing. You pay them for their efforts (in form of commissions). For instance, take a look at the Affiliate Program page of Amazon below:
Winning customers is more of a creative as well as analytical task. You have to put together all the data points, analyze your customers’ behavior and mindset, and devise a campaign that is creative, innovative and informative. If you have tried any other creative way, do tell us in the comment section. After all, it is always good to learn! 🙂