7 Ways To Win New Customers!

7 Ways To Win New Customers!

Every Business needs a little inspiration from time to time - so here's 7 Ways To Win New Customers | www.bigthinkingonline.com

New customers, clients or patients are the lifeblood of any business.

For small businesses in particular, keeping a steady flow of new clients coming through on top of serving existing clients and tackling the day to day running of your business can be a constant struggle.

 

So, for any business that needs an injection of inspiration as to how to continually attract those new faces, here are some of the best tactics to add to your toolbox.

 

  1. Ask Your Customers To Refer Other People They Know.

Asking for referrals is definitely something that you should be doing. If you have given a great service to someone and they are happy, the chances are that they will know more people in a similar position to themselves who may also need your services.

 

If you ask every customer you work with to refer 3 people you know, you then get a “warm” introduction to a new group of people who will already have heard good things about you from their friend.

 

  1. Follow Up With Old Leads

We’ve all lost out on a few customers in our time, but getting a no doesn’t have to mean that you’ll never get a yes. It’s always worth keeping up a good relationship with anyone who you have never quite done business with, because as circumstances and requirements change you could find that you have another opportunity.

 

Similarly, just because that person wasn’t the right client for your business doesn’t mean that they won’t know someone else who might be – referrals can come from anywhere, but they typically come if you ask for them!

 

  1. Build Up A List Of Email Subscribers.

A list of email addresses allows you to stay in regular contact with a huge number of people cheaply and simply and in a non-intrusive manner. An email list is a great way to send out updates about what your business is working on, offers that might entice people back to you and most importantly, it’s a great way for you to build your authority by offering incredible value and be seen as the thought leader in your niche.

 

The next time that person needs something along the lines of what you do, they’ll remember your details because they see your emails and know that you can help, and that you want their business.

 

  1. Be Active On Social Media. 

No matter what your business is, social media is the main place where all your customers will be online. For many people, social media is their main experience of the Internet, it’s where they see recommendations to buy, read their news and chat to their friends.

 

The trick for businesses to do well on social media is to be friendly and conversational rather than sales focused. Asking and answering questions on Twitter is a good way to join the conversation there, try searching using relevant hashtags to find topics related to your business.

 

  1. Join And Participate In Relevant Facebook Groups.

If you manage a Facebook page for your business you’ll know how hard it is to reach more than a few of your fans with any given post. That being said, Facebook is still an incredibly powerful tool for businesses and shouldn’t be ignored. Try joining some of the millions of groups there are and joining in conversations, offering relevant advice and sharing appropriate updates from your business.

 

It might take a little searching to find the right groups for you, but it is worth it. Try searching for local groups if your business is location dependent, or groups geared at business owners, women, or groups for certain hobbies and interests that your business may align with.

 

When one of your page updates does well, consider boosting it as an advert. Typically if one of your posts gets a far higher than average engagement Facebook will ask if you want to boost it. It’s worth considering, because if your core customers and fans like the update, then the chances are that an extended group of people would also like it and you can raise your profile relatively cheaply to a much larger audience.

 

  1. Write Every Blog Post As Though It Is Directed To Your Ideal Customer.

Posting regular updates to your blog is a fantastic way to be seen as an expert, and to stick in people’s minds as someone they can turn to for advice, information, and eventually when they need your service, as a paying customer.

 

The thing to remember about blogging though is that you need to be consistent, not just with the frequency of what you write, but the actual content itself.

 

If your blog topics are vastly different every time you post then it will be hard to grow a regular reader base as they will be put off by the fact they never know what they’re going to get.

 

For example, readers of this site know to expect updates about Internet Marketing related topics, such as SEO, Social Media, Web Development and Online Reputation. What you won’t see on this blog are updates about holidays, family life or what I eat.

 

  1. Make Sure Your Website Is Search Engine Optimised. 

SEO is a great tool, and you should use it to your advantage. If your site is correctly optimised, then it won’t matter if people don’t know your business name, because when they search for the service that they need, your business name will appear.

 

It’s particularly powerful for locally based businesses, because if someone searches for a Dentist in their town you only have to compete against those few other Dentists near to you in order to show in the Top 3 of the Search results. A well optimised website can help attract a steady stream of new customers.

 

So there you have it, 7 ways to get new customers! I’ll even throw in a bonus number 8… Cold Calling! It may be unpopular, but it still works.

 

Have you tried any of these tactics for customer acquisition? What has been most effective for you? 

Effective Email Marketing in 5 Easy Steps

Effective Email Marketing in 5 Easy Steps

Email Is Still One Of The Best Ways

To keep in touch with both your customer base and people who are interested in your business but who may not be customers yet. We’ve all received countless business newsletters, some good, some terrible and many that don’t get read at all.

 

So how do you make sure that the email updates you send from your business fall into the “great” category?

 

  1. Create Compelling Content

The first thing you need in order to conduct a successful email campaign is some fabulously written copy. Regardless of your subject matter, there are four elements that you need to nail.

  • A Compelling Subject Line: This is what entices your readers to open the email. You have one short line to get your point across and convince someone that your message is worth reading. Think of how many emails land in your inbox every day, and how many of those you open. What is it that makes you click?Create Compelling Content

  •  

    One Central Idea: People are busy, so don’t confuse them or waste their time with multiple or scattered thoughts. Make sure that after reading you email, there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind as to what you were talking about.

  • A Clear Call to action: Why are you sending this email? No matter how compelling your subject line, and how concise your point it, if you’re not asking people to do anything after reading your message, there is virtually no point in sending the mail. Do you want people to watch a video? Click through to your website? Reply with a comment? Whatever action you want them to take, make sure you ask them to do it in a way that leaves no confusion.
  • Relevant to Your Audience: This should go without saying. If people have signed up to your mailing list to hear news and updates about your business, don’t send them photos of your Cat (unless your business is cat related…) Keep your newsletters on topics around what your audience expect to hear about from you – otherwise you will not hold their attention for very long.
  1. Make It Look Professional

If you’re sending out a newsletter, or a group marketing email then you must make sure that your email looks professional rather than spammy. There is no excuse to just write the email in your regular mail format and copy and paste everyone’s email addresses into the BCC line, or even worse, the CC line.

 

There are plenty of mail programs out there that allow you to make smart email newsletters, or to prepare any other kind of group mailing and these are often easy to use and relatively inexpensive. If you’re not sure where to start take a look at Mailchimp, iContact or Aweber.

 

  1. Ensure Compatibility

    Compatible across all Devices

 

Don’t assume that just because when you check the newsletter on your own browser that it will look exactly the same and perfect to all other readers – it’s often not the case. There are so many options for people when it comes to different web browsers, and the different email packages that your list are using themselves may also format your email differently. There’s also more chance that people will read your email from their smart phone than from their desktop, so make sure your message is mobile optimised.

 

It’s also wise to give people the option to view the email in either HTML or Text format. Finally do your best to ensure that your email won’t end up in their spam filter by running it through a spam analysis checker.

 

  1. Know Your Audience

If you want to stay on the good side of your audience then adopt a policy of “one size does not fit all” when it comes to your email updates. This might mean you have to keep several different email lists and send slightly different messages to each one. For example, you might want to send a certain offer to customers who are on you database to thank them for their loyalty, or to let them know of a new service you’re offering before the general public see it. Alternatively, you might want to have a different welcome offer for prospective customers who have signed up through your website.

 

  1. Track and Analyse

Being able to track and subsequently analyse everything that you send out means that you can get a great understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Every time you send something out, compare it to your previous message. You’ll be able to build up a picture of what headlines work the best to get people to open your mail, what topics people respond best to and more. Good analytics can tell you which links in your emails are getting the most attention, and which ones you may need to tweak in order to get them to work for you. You should also pay attention to the number of emails that bounce, and if necessary remove them from your list.

What is your most effective tip when it comes to Email Marketing?

Are You Maximising Your Email Marketing? 8 Top Tips!

Are You Maximising Your Email Marketing? 8 Top Tips!

Are You Maximising Your Email Marketing?

email marketing tips

 

Email updates and newsletters aren’t a new idea, but they’re still very effective when used correctly. The great thing about email is that it’s fairly unobtrusive; people will click in and read if they are interested or the message could stay in their inbox and act as a reminder of who you are for when it’s more relevant.

But how do you ensure that your emails are being read rather than ignored, and not just read but actioned?

Make sure people can opt out!

When email marketing for small business purposes it’s crucial to only market to people who have opted into your messages. When people opt in to receive your emails let them know what they’re subscribing to, how often they’ll get updates and always give them the option to opt out! See the guidelines from the Information Commissioners Office

Keep emails relevant and brief.

People don’t usually want to spend all day reading emails, so keep your updates short and to the point. If you want to include more information then link it back to your blog. This way the readers can choose the level of information they get, and you know that those who click through are likely to be more interested in what you are offering. Also make sure that your email is interesting to look at, so even if you’re only using text rather than images keep the paragraphs short and well spaced to make it look short and easy to read.

Provide value.

Don’t just send emails for the sake of it. Make sure that if you are trying your best to get someone’s attention that it is worth them giving you their time. If people recognise that the mails you send them will be interesting and add value to their day then they’ll be glad to open them, on the other hand if your mail is useless spam then you’ll have so many unsubscribers that you’ll soon have no-one left to email! Try including industry news, special offers, links to useful resources, blog updates, competitions or surveys.

Make it personal.

Even if you are mailing multiple subscribers at once try to keep the tone conversational as if you’re only speaking to one person. If possible use their name; many mailing packages can do this automatically.

Be Exclusive.

email marketing tips

If you want people to sign up to your emails then make them feel special! Offer them things that they can’t get elsewhere to entice them into signing up, and then keep the offers coming to keep them interested. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, just something unique that you can offer this customer and nobody else can. For example, a 20% discount to the first 10 people to respond, or a free service voucher to anyone who refers a friend. Be creative!

Use a catchy title.

The title is usually the only thing you can guarantee someone will read, so take the most of that advantage and  make your subject lines as catchy and interesting as possible. Mix up your titles as well; if you only ever put a special offer in the title then people will get used to thinking that you always have special offers and will be less inclined to open them. Try using questions, facts, statistics, jokes or extracts from your blog, really anything that might provoke curiosity and get the reader to open the email. Just make sure the title is relevant and in keeping with the rest of the email!

Never overdo it.

Never ever bombard people with mail after mail. No one wants to receive dozens of mails from the same company. The right frequency might be different for each company, but it would be hard for anyone to justify more than once per day. Some businesses might find the right balance is once a week, or only every month. Stay tuned to your feedback and stats to see how many people are reading your updates and adjust accordingly.

Always include a call to Action!

If you want people to do something, you have to ask them. Make your calls to action easy to understand and easy to do: Phone this number, click this link, complete this questionnaire. Each marketing email that you send should have a measurable call to action.

As a final note, make sure that your emails are spell checked, you have included all your contact details, and any links that you include work. You could also include yourself on the campaign just to ensure that you see everything the way your customers see it.

What are your top tips for email marketing?

5 Blockbuster Benefits of Email Marketing for Small Business

5 Blockbuster Benefits of Email Marketing for Small Business

5 Blockbuster Benefits of Email Marketing for Small Business

benefits of emailGetting someone to hand over their email address can be a challenge. Getting an email opened, read and then acted upon can be an even greater challenge.

That being said, if a prospect or a customer supplies you with their email address and opts in to be kept up to date, email newsletters are a great way to keep communication channels open, build relationships and prompt sales.

However, if you are not sure about the benefits of email and whether building email marketing lists is suitable for your business, here are some reasons why you should consider it as part of your digital marketing campaign moving forward.

The Real Benefits of Email Marketing for Small Business.

1. Establish your business as a trusted expert.

When people sign up to your email list they do so because you have promised to provide them information on a given subject. If through your email campaign you deliver incredible value, you are educational, enlightening and entertaining, then active members of your list will begin to see you as a subject matter expert. When they want to know something in relation to your field they will look to you for the answer.

2. Keep your brand fresh.

Sending targeted emails or a newsletter keeps your brand fresh in the minds of your customer. By sending content regularly, it offers you the opportunity to keep your users informed and how your services can help the consumer while at the same time continuing to build your credibility.

3. Build Relationships

Building relationships with your email marketing list is crucial. Everyone knows that people buy from people that they know, like and trust. Regular email is a great way to build the foundations of a strong relationship consisting of familiarity and trust.

Share with the readers a little about yourself and also mention a bit about your company and what it is doing but be careful not to go all out for the sale as this will drive people to the unsubscribe button faster than a speeding bullet.

Remember, relationship building first.

4. Drive targeted traffic to your website.

If your website is the hub of your online business, then building an email list and sending emails to inform subscribers of new content on your blog is a great way to increase traffic. Likewise, the regular updates should also further enhance your brand and reputation in the eyes of the people on your list.

To do this, simply send an email broadcast to your list providing a “hook” into your new blog post and then inform the user to click on a link within your email to view the post in its entirety.

Having loyal subscribers who are already familiar with your posts, reading your work also means that you will increase the likelihood of getting blog comments and increasing your social standing.

5. Create a library of compelling and actionable content that can be recycled

When you begin to build email lists you will need to create more quality content. Don’t be put off by this! Instead, see this as a great way to grow your content library. The more emails you write, the better you become at copy writing. When you find you are starting to get a good response from certain emails you can restructure that content and convert it into full blog posts or articles. This content can then be used to start the whole cycle again: Drive more traffic to you r website, attracting more new visitors, adding more people to your email marketing list and growing sales.

Email marketing is crucial element of any marketing plan. If the information you distribute to the people within your list is considered worthwhile, correlates with the reason they joined your list and you have a targeted and measured email marketing plan, then your brand and reputation will soar.

However, if the only content that you are sending to your email list is the latest sales offer then your audience will lose interest pretty quickly. Give your audience a reason beyond cost savings to want to open your email, give good advice, educate them about your product show them behind your business brand you are in fact a human being too.

The benefits of email for small business far outweigh the negatives. If your business can take the time to construct a strong email marketing campaign you may be able to reactivate customers who have been sitting idle on your database for years while at the same time engaging new customers that could be the lifeblood of your business moving forward.

Your Turn: What have the benefits of email marketing been for your small business?

Google Gives the Email Marketing Campaign a Boost

Google Gives the Email Marketing Campaign a Boost

Google Gives the Email Marketing Campaign a Boost

email marketing campaign

It was announced last week that as a pilot scheme Google will be adding related messages in Gmail accounts to the search results. Now you may think that this isn’t overly impressive for a company that has some of the sharpest minds on the planet working for them but it is and here is why.

For years marketers have been insisting that the best way to support a business online is to “build a list”. Building a list means capturing the name and email address of users by offering a free giveaway, delivering that freebie offer and then marketing to those individuals through a well structured and thought out email marketing campaign.

One of the setbacks with this system is that once your email has been sent, if the reader misses that email or doesn’t open it then you have missed out on influencing that buyer’s decision and that email will never be seen again.

Now with Google’s new search feature, when a Gmail user requests a search on Google they are presented with a box in the top right of the screen, if you expand the box you get all Gmail results in your inbox that relate to your search criteria. This means that your email has another opportunity to get acted upon.


email marketing campaign

Your Email Marketing Campaign needs SEO

To increase the chances of your email being opened again and again you will have to start thinking about using SEO principles and that means including your keyword phrase in the title and then using your keyword throughout the email itself.

From my point of view, the new search feature provides a more personal approach to search, which is what Google has been aiming for and continue to strive towards. If you type in the phrase “My Flights” Google will trawl through your inbox and look for the last mention of flights and present them back to you.

The search facility expands on the “search plus your world” feature that Google introduced at the beginning of the year. So for example if you are looking to go on holiday to Rome and some of your friends have been to Rome and mentioned must see places in their emails to you then these emails will be shown. Therefore rather than relying on reviews from people you don’t know you can follow the advice from those that you know and trust.

Yes, there will be a few questions raised about privacy; let’s be honest there always is when Google is involved with anything! The more private information that the search giant can get its hands on the more targeted ads it can display and thus the more money it can make.

Email marketing campaigns are a great way of educating your clients about your business and your services with Google. Google adding their search capabilities to the medium is a great opportunity for businesses to get your name out in front of the competition.