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7 simple, low-cost ways to acquire new customers

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Oct. 16, 2015
Experts in new business acquisition discuss the best places and ways to find prospective buyers for your products or services.

3. Showcase your products on Pinterest and Instagram. “For companies selling products with a strong visual component, Pinterest is a huge opportunity,” says Leeyen Rogers, vice president, marketing, JotForm, an online form builder. “Pins should feature high-quality images with easy-to-read text. Optimize your pins’ reach by pinning them at peak times [times when your target audience is likely to be online],” she advises. “If you'd like to pin content like blog posts, make sure that the title is attention grabbing and representative of what the customer should expect to read about. Tips and advice are particularly popular on Pinterest.”

Similarly, post lifestyle and inspirational photos of your products on Instagram, which has a community of over 400 million members, along with a link to where to find items or find out more.

4. Invest in targeted advertising. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising continues to be a revenue generator for many businesses looking to attract new customers.

“Target followers of brands similar to yours using Facebook, Twitter and Google ads using specific, [well-researched] keywords,” says Tracey Wallace, managing editor, Bigcommerce. “Then measure, repeat and optimize. Discover which channels provide the highest ROI –– not just clicks to site, but actual conversions and sales –– and then double your spend on the best performing channels.”

“Another great option is to send ads through targeted newsletters,” says Osborn. “For example, I send flyers through the Happy Hour newsletters of other companies, having them share my app with their customers as a great resource for nightlife,” he explains. “These are highly effective because they are sent as emails and aren’t banner ads that will go unnoticed. You also gain the trust of the customer more easily because you come as a recommendation.”

5. Ask customers, family members and friends for referrals. “Create a customer referral program and incentivize your customers to refer their friends and family with personalized coupons and promo codes,” suggests Jerry Lee, founder, Story Leather. “When customers are happy with your offering, they will want to share their experience with their friends. Offering these existing customers personalized coupons that they can share with their friends further encourages them to share.”

6. Consider affiliate marketing. “An affiliate earns a commission by referring their visitors to your business,” explains Jessie Adamczyk, marketing services manager at Cleverbridge, a global ecommerce and subscription provider. “For example, if you make and sell an antivirus software program, you [could] partner with blogs that review antivirus programs. Ideally, you will gain free users from people who discover your program while visiting your affiliates' blogs.”

7. Ask influential bloggers to review your products and services. “Securing consumer reviews and high-quality social media followers are both effective ways to expand your brand advocacy and awareness,” says Hannah Haworth, marketing lead, Nublue, a business hosting provider. “Approach trusted bloggers who are seen as independent authorities in your market to review your products and services on their blogs. While you have no control over independent bloggers’ opinions on your products and services, you can control the quality and value of your products and services, effectively optimizing what your reviewers are going to say about you.”


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