Unfortunately, this one “magic bullet” never exists. I’ve seen too many sites fail because the marketing teams spent all of their time searching for the one big technique which never appeared.
Instead, I want to show you a few smaller, unscalable tactics which can help grow your customer base. Individually, none of these are a home run. But they’re not meant to be. Instead, these tips will help you grow a solid audience consistently over time:
Survey Your Trial Audience
If you offer a service, such as B2B tool, you should also offer a free trial. This relieves purchase anxiety by letting potential customers try before they buy.
Not everybody who uses a trail of your product or service will eventually make a purchase. But everyone who leaves after the free trail will have their own reason for doing so. You want to find out what that reason was. If you’re seeing the same answer again and again, that’s a situation you want to fix.
1. Pre-emptive Emails:
This email welcomes your new potential customer to the free trial. Aside from helping create a personal connection, you can also use this email to learn more about how your customers find you. Include a short survey asking how they found your brand and how they hope to use your product.
2. Post Bounce Email
When someone uses your free trail but decides not to purchase, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is you didn’t make a sale. The good news, at least from a sales perspective, is this customer still hasn’t found a solution to their needs.
A follow-up email can be very effective because the person is still searching for a solution. Craft an email asking why your product didn’t meet their needs. Was it lack of features? Were the instructions for use unclear, too complicated or otherwise insufficient? Ask them if there’s anything you think would help them give your brand another shot.
Try Smaller Sales
If your business is starting out, you might want to focus on making small sales. This means targeting smaller, niche markets. While you’re not reaching out to a large group of people, the goal is to find the tiny online communities where the most likely customers will be.
Here are some examples:
- Subreddits related to your industry
- Facebook groups and pages related to your industry
- Social media pages owned by your brand
- Real-life business and personal connection
Add a Personal Touch
Everything these days is done online, so a handwritten note really stands out. The advantage of a smaller customer based (and, yes, there are some advantages) is you can more easily connect with individual customers.
When you’re first starting out, you’ll probably have the time to include a brief handwritten thank you note for every purchase. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Just a short note saying thanks for the purchase and providing contact information if they ever have any questions or concerns.
You can even follow this up about a month later with an additional note or email asking how they like using your product. Reference the exact reason they purchased your product in order to help make a personal connection.
Use Social Proof and Testimonials
In the beginning, you might want to focus more on building brand awareness than making sales. This means you might want to give away a few free products or services. Fortunately, you don’t have to give away too many. The trick is to target influencers.
There are people who have a lot of effect on your industry. These might be prominent businesspeople, social media superstars and anyone else who makes a similar impact.
If these people use and like your product, your brand awareness can take a big leap forward. This will often be well worth the cost of sending out a few free products.
Small business have unique marketing opportunities. With a focus on these low cost, personalized marketing techniques, you can connect with influencers in your industry, who are able to dramatically improve your brand’s visibility.
These small business techniques can lead to big sales!
If you currently have a small business, what techniques are you finding effective? If you’re currently running a large business, what did you do to make your business grow? Share your stories in the comments below!