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New customers are the lifeblood of every business, and every SME owner faces the constant pressure of not only finding and connecting with new potential customers but also converting them to paying customers. While it will always be a challenge to continue growing your customer base, now is the perfect time to reassess your customer acquisition strategy and improve the way you reach and engage new customers.

Here are some handy tips and tricks to help you improve your customer acquisition process and really hit the ground running.

Reaching more customers

Knowing where to start is half the battle when trying to reach a new audience. The most important thing is to have a clear understanding of who your target audience is; what they like and dislike, where they live, what media they consume.

The more you know about them, the clearer picture you’ll have of how to best reach them, and this will shape your marketing tactics.

Identifying the channels your audience uses and communicating through them will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing efforts. But with what seems like thousands of disparate marketing channels available, it’s critical that you know where they are getting their information and inspiration.

Three of the most effective channels for small businesses that can be put in place fairly quickly and deliver almost immediate results are letterbox media, search and SMS.

  1. Letterbox
    Catalogues are a great way to get your brand in front of consumers at a time when they are most likely to be able to take action based on your advertising. More than half of letterbox media readers have bought something from a catalogue in the past week alone. Best of all, there are a range of targeting tools that allow you to hone in on your key audience using demographic and psychographic data, minimising wastage and maximising ROI.
  2. Search
    Everyone uses Google, and with 97% of consumers turning to the internet to find your business, you would be crazy not to be promoting your brand through search. Whether it be SEO or SEM (or both), search provides fantastic bang for your buck while targeting exactly who you want to talk to.
  3. SMS
    Text message marketing has a huge 98% open rate and a conversion rate that is four times  that of email. With that many eyeballs looking at your content, it’s a simple and cost effective way to raise awareness for your brand.

Reaching potential customers is only half the battle for marketers, the next challenge is converting these leads.

Converting more leads

While you may be able to reach a new group of potential customers, and even have them click through to your website, the reality is 96% of visitors will click to your website with no intention of buying anything.

With customers having more choice than ever before, you need to ensure you are working on ways to improve your website conversion.

Your website is typically the central point of contact for new and returning customers yet just 22% of businesses are currently happy with their conversion rate. A few small and smart changes however could be all it takes to greatly improve your customer growth.

It sounds obvious, but ensure your website looks good, is quick and easy to navigate, and most importantly is up to date. Nothing ruins a customer’s experience more than seeing a product or promotion on your website that is no longer available.

In the end it comes down to making your customer feel important and if you have a platform in place that treats them as an individual, you will go a long way to securing their loyalty.

That understanding of your target audience and how they want to be communicated with is the foundation to growing your customer base and business as a whole.

About the author:

Sarah Pike is an expert in reaching and converting customers at Salmat.

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