Ding. That’s another email in your customer’s inbox.
Add that to the hundreds of text messages, phone calls, and digital ads your customers are bombarded with everyday. The result? An overcrowded market and overwhelmed customers.
So, how do you make your brand stand out from the competition?
It’s not easy, but here’s 10 ways we’ve grown our customer base and reached new markets over the years:
1. Direct Mail Marketing
This should come as no surprise, but we’ve used direct mail marketing since day 1 of our business. And it’s worked. It can work for you, too, if done right. For the highest ROI, develop targeted campaigns to prospect and customer lists, and use a 1-2-3 approach: send an introductory piece, a middle “meaty” brochure or booklet (full of your company’s information), and a “closing argument” piece with a strong call to action. (Psst…these campaigns are our specialty, so contact us and we’ll help you with yours).
2. Hosting events
Over the years, we’ve hosted events at our HQ in Valdosta, GA to teach entrepreneurs how to use our marketing tools to grow their businesses. They’re fun, informational, and they’ve helped us gain many new accounts. Host an event of your own (and get creative with it!) and be sure to plaster your brand on booklets, brochures, banners, and postcards to build awareness and win new customers.
3. Build an email list
Here’s the harsh truth: 70% of website visitors who leave your website won’t return. A simple way to fix that is by adding an opt-in form that converts visitors into subscribers and, ultimately, customers. We recently added one to our site (we’re using HelloBar, and we highly recommend it), and we’ve seen our email list double in the past 6 months. If you don’t have an opt-in form on your site, you need one. ASAP. Don’t forget to add a good incentive for them to sign up, too. (We give our subscribers 15% off their first order).
4. Free samples
Customers are often hesitant to buy from a new company, so if you can, give them free samples of your products or a free trial period of your services. We happily give out free samples of our printed products so customers can get a feel for who we are and the quality we offer. It’s a low cost marketing tool that brings big results.
5. Surveying customers
How do you know your products and services are satisfying customers? You ask them. We ask our customers through comment cards and email surveys how well we served them, and they always provide valuable feedback. We learn what we’re doing right and what areas we need to improve on, and it’s helped us grow our business tremendously. Send out direct mail to poll your customers or use a digital service like SurveyMonkey to get feedback.
6. Free products to our community
This year, we gave out free, colorful “God Bless America” yard signs to citizens in our community as a way to celebrate the Fourth of July. Our goal was to simply engage with our community and encourage patriotism (we are America’s Color Printer, after all), but it surprisingly brought us several new clients.
7. Good PR
We’ve always stayed connected with our local newspaper, and it’s been a big help over the years. Whenever we launch a new product or service, we reach out to our local paper in hopes that they will publish our press release. It’s free and effective, so be sure to connect with local news sources for your company’s announcements.
8. Mobile friendly website
This year, we redesigned our website (woohoo!) and created a responsive (aka mobile-friendly) design. Having a mobile-friendly site is a necessity now, so be sure to reach out to your developer and make sure your site is fully responsive.
9. Frequent promotion
Throughout each year, we promote specific products by offering discounts our customers can’t resist. (Psst…right now all of our saddle-stitched booklets are 25% off). It encourages our customers to take action, and it also helps our company stay top of mind. We recommend offering discounts either once a month or once every other month for the best results.
10. Consistent social media presence
Maintaining active social media accounts is a must in the digital age. We regularly post articles, discounts, new products, and company announcements on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and it’s helped us stay connected with our customers. Be sure to post valuable information your customers will want to read on a regular basis, and they’ll reward you with their patronage.