There are many marketing tools to help organizations reach their target audience, so deciding where to invest your time and money isn’t a decision you take lightly. With the rapid advancement of digital technologies and their growing prevalence, many companies spend their time and money investing in digital marketing strategies for client acquisition and retaining existing clients. Companies that ignore this necessity are susceptible to unnecessary roadblocks during growth.
Companies use creative marketing techniques and approaches to acquire new clients and increase revenue to remain competitive. The sheer number of options can make it hard to choose. In this article, we’ll outline the different types of customer acquisition channels so you can develop a strategy for yourself.
Even in the era of digital services, direct mail continues to be one of the best ways to generate leads effectively and retain current customers.
According to the 2022 Direct Mail Advertising Global Market Report, the average response rate for direct mail is between 2.7% and 4.4% (compared to 0.6% email, 0.6% paid search, 0.2% online display, and 0.4% social media). 44% of companies spend more money on acquiring new clients than retaining existing ones. Why is that?
They prioritize going wide with their audiences rather than going deep, not realizing that retaining current customers is the more profitable option.
According to consumer research, increasing the number of repeat purchases from existing customers can increase your profit margins by up to 25-95%. Repeat online shoppers typically spend twice as much in the third year of their relationships with a company than during their first six-month period.
Existing customers spend more and cost less. If you think about it, it’s easier to sell new products and services to somebody with whom you already have an established relationship. Those customers are more likely to refer new customers to your company, so if you’ve invested time in direct mail, consider focusing on your customer base.
With the sheer number of marketing tactics today, most people would probably assume cold calling is obsolete…
But we can assure you that cold calls are still quite effective today. Cold calling continues to be a valuable way to generate leads if done correctly. So how can cold calling work for you?
Since the internet has made it easier for companies from different industries to reach out to their potential customers at any given moment, competition has become much tighter since cold calling began.
For example, companies can find prospects and phone numbers directly through Google and leverage CRM (or Customer Relationship Management) software to track leads easily and track how many dials they’ve made and how likely a lead is to move to the next step.
When cold calling, get the conversation going by introducing your solution’s value, asking questions to learn about the prospect, and delivering tailored value!
Start by introducing yourself and the value you bring. When you get the right person on the phone, let the prospect know who you are and why you’re calling. You can think of an effective approach as having three components – Introduction, Background, and Purpose.
Introduction: Who are you? And what company are you calling from?
Background: What does your company do? What value does your solution bring?
Purpose: How does this value connect to the customer you are calling? And what do you hope to gain from the conversation?
You: Hi [prospect’s name]. I am [your name and who you work for]. I am calling because we specialize in [the company’s general purpose], and you might benefit from [the company’s unique value proposition]. Is there any chance I can [purpose of the call, demonstrate the product, “sign you up for”, “count on you to, offer you]?
After establishing IBP, use this time to qualify the prospect further. You’ll want to think of things in your ideal customer profile and ask questions surrounding qualifiers like timeline, location, age, lifestyle, budget, authority, interest, and need. Lead with open-ended questions that give the prospect a chance to answer to their full capacity, and always follow up with clarifying questions if need be.
You: I noticed your [pre-qualifier, which is anything you already know about the prospect that makes them a good fit for your product or service]! How do you plan on managing [the common problem area in your industry]? Or do you have a working solution in place for the common problem?
Prospect: I typically handle my [problem area] with [the current solution], but it’s not the best solution for my problem.
You: I completely understand. That can be frustrating! Is there something specific about it that makes it not the best solution? Or have you considered finding a new solution to your problem?
Remember to use the conversation with the prospect as an opportunity to learn more about them and what values they require. The prospects’ answers should allow you to deliver value that will speak directly to their needs and ultimately win your call!
Any company that markets products using merchandising must utilize effective graphic design with their merchandising to attract new customers. Promotional products are some of the most visible and naturally tangible forms of marketing you can find. Graphic designs complement visual merchandising to help messages go beyond verbal communication uniquely and creatively, encouraging customers to make a purchase.
Sticking with tried and true promotional merchandise is always a safe bet. Popular merchandising items include shirts, pens, keychains, koozies, t-shirts, water bottles, stickers, and coasters.
These types of promotional items are most often used for good reasons. They tend to serve a practical, real-world use and are usually reasonably budget-friendly, especially if ordered in large quantities.
Every item sold or given away becomes a new billboard for your brand.
Let’s use pens, for example. A survey by the Advertising Specialty Institute found that 89% of consumers own a promotional pen. On average, these pens can generate over 3,000 impressions over a lifetime, making them a good investment for a relatively low cost.
No matter how young or old your audience is, there is a gadget, wearable, or promotional gift that can be relevant to them. Thanks to companies like Printify, merchandise can be created on demand without the hassle of keeping an inventory.
Did you know that email marketing has the highest ROI of any form of marketing? Email marketing averages about $36 in return for every $1 spent. However, ROI isn’t the only reason emailing is worth your time and effort. Email campaigns are important because they allow you to reach your audience where they spend most of their time — in their inboxes.
If you think about it, email marketing allows you to do lots of different things, all within one channel. For example:
- Build credibility
- Strengthen or rebuild customer relationships
- Get your message out to more people
- Maintain first-party customer data with an asset that you completely own.
Since email is still the channel where a significant portion of consumers prefer to receive information, it’s safe to say that email marketing will continue to be a helpful client acquisition tool for many years to come.
For most companies, digital marketing has become a significant component of doing business, so driving digital traffic to your website is essential. With paid search, businesses can pay to advertise their product or service on a search engine or website.
Organizations pay the website, search engine, or social media platform each time it shows their ad (often called impressions) or each time a user clicks their ad, which is referred to as an engagement. These ads appear in images, videos, and carousels at the beginning of Google searches, on Facebook and Instagram feeds, and YouTube. Check out a more detailed list of popular digital advertising platforms here.
Paid search helps drive traffic to specific web pages a company is promoting. More traffic means more brand awareness. If your ads appear at the top of a user’s search results, they may be more likely to click them because the search engines have presented them as viable responses to their queries.
Paid search lets you track your ad campaigns, a measure of success, and the demographic information of the users who clicked on them. These features can help you plan for future campaigns or decide which keywords to bid on in your ads. You can use this information to improve every part of your website.
You should assess which types of ads can best support your business objectives. Not all campaigns are created equal, so it’s up to you to tailor one that works best for your brand.
When you think about influencer marketing, you probably think about things like increasing brand awareness or sales.
Approximately 49% of customers rely on influencers’ opinions when purchasing decisions. It presents a massive opportunity for brands to grow their business by reaching new audiences through social media.
There are influencers for every type of market and niche out there — fashion, health, DIY, beauty, marketing, and so on. Because of this, they attract people who want advice, opinions, and product recommendations from them.
By partnering with an influencer in your field or market, you gain access to their audience, which means you have a direct line to the people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services. You can eliminate all the clutter and directly reach your target market looking for products or services.
There are several ways to reach out to influencers. The most direct track is simply sending an email or DM on social media and asking them to collaborate with you. Another method is creating a page where influencers interested in collaborating can sign up. Many businesses use a combination of these methods.
Need help crafting your pitch? This 5-step process includes templates and strategies that get results.
Social media marketing requires both strategy and creativity to be effective. It may seem overwhelming initially, but its importance cannot be underestimated. It also has many additional benefits beyond simply boosting sales, such as increased brand awareness, direct access to customers, and an opportunity to build a community.
One of the most critical marketing objectives for any business is gaining its audience’s attention and building loyalty. That’s why consumers prefer familiar brands.
Many consumers have some degree of brand loyalty, which means they’re likely to stick with one company for years. Some loyal customers will even promote your brand on social media simply because they believe in what you offer and want to share it with others.
Fortunately, social media makes it easier than ever to build a solid online presence. Social media has an advantage over traditional media sources because social media can reach audiences much faster than more conventional outlets thanks to the omnipresence of smartphones, which account for 70% of digital media consumption in the US.
Additionally, it makes people look at your business even when they’re not thinking about your business or products because of the sheer number of ads in your newsfeed. For example, Facebook has an ad blended into your newsfeed for every 2-5 posts you see, with most of those ads tailored to your public interests and interactions.
Make sure your photos look good, and your bio is clear and concise. Good photos typically include even lighting and a simple background with a clear focal point.
An effective way to create brand recognition is to use your logo frequently, but strategically. Your logo should be located in the upper-left corner of your websites, social media posts, and anything else with text and images. Studies show that top-left placement is by far the most effective for brand recall.
Logo placement can be amplified by using a style guide that unifies fonts, colors, and tone of voice. This strategy means that no matter how, when, or where a customer experiences your brand, they’re running into the same traits and having a continuous brand experience.
Networking is hugely impactful when it comes to client acquisition. What you know is essential when scaling your business, but who you know is debatably even more critical. Networking plays a vital role in growing your brand and increasing its footprint.
There are several different networking methods, including inviting people for coffee, mingling at local social events, or going to seminars and conventions where like-minded individuals congregate. You should seize any networking opportunities, even if they’re not directly related to your business.
Meeting people with similar values and interests and discussing issues related to growing your business is a highly motivating experience. Plus, this type of communication often leads to making goals that others will be holding you accountable for. When you are interacting with people with goals similar to yours, you tend to encourage, motivate, and share relevant resources.
Want to get the most out of a networking event? Doing some early prep work will increase your chances of making meaningful connections, so consider the following:
- Create a 30-60 second elevator pitch that includes your name, what you do, why you’re at the event, and your company mission.
- Be prepared to take notes, whether using pen and paper or a note-taking app like Evernote on your phone.
- Bring more business cards than you think you’ll need. If you don’t have business cards, you can also use LinkedIn to connect with people immediately.
- Know when to move on so you can use your time wisely. Here’s an example of a simple way to end a conversation: “It was great connecting with you. I’d love to go meet a few more people before I leave.”
Make your follow-ups with people stand out from the crowd by personalizing them. Make your potential new network feel valued by showing you genuinely listened to their ideas and opinions at the event. Instead of just connecting on LinkedIn, try personalizing your connection request. Instead of sending a generic email, send one tailored to an exciting thing you discussed.
Partnerships between different companies have existed for decades. Still, these relationships’ benefits have only become more valuable over time as companies leverage shared data, ideas, and expertise.
Most effective partnerships find creative ways to expand both parties’ audiences and possibly even into new markets, such as extended product lines and enough pooled resources to cut down production time.
A strategic partnership gives you access to new customers and opportunities for free advertising to your ideal audience.
If you’re looking to improve your company’s performance and boost its profits, strategic alliances can greatly impact the speed and ease at which you can reach your goals and objectives.
Collaborations between like-minded companies can save time and money for everyone involved. For example, companies like Starbucks frequently develop partnerships with places like airports, malls, and other locations to provide coffee to their customers. Visitors of these places recognize the convenience of having brands they acknowledge already available for purchase. As a result, Starbucks has dramatically increased its brand awareness worldwide, and both local and global companies can follow a similar strategy.
Investing in repeat business is a win/win.
Thanks to data, companies are becoming increasingly aware that they spend more time, energy, and resources to attract new clients than to retain their current ones. That’s why successful businesses always focus on going deep with customers, rather than wide. For example, 35% of Amazon’s revenue comes from upsells.
Returning customers not only help businesses maintain their sales revenues but also help them improve their marketing efforts by painting a clear picture of the ideal customer you should be seeking out.
Not only are your repeat customers buying more from you over time than new customers, they most likely trust you enough to buy more expensive products or services from you. They’re also easier to sell to because you’ve already established rapport with them.
Here’s a breakdown for approaching existing clients for more products or services:
- Study a few select existing clients and practice your upsell pitch after identifying patterns where there is an opportunity. Remember, not everyone will need an upsell.
- Discuss how your solution will benefit your clients now and in the future. Understand their priorities and customize your recommendations.
- Monitor the percentage of clients that utilize an add-on product and the product they already purchased. Share those data points to strengthen your pitch.
- Always consider relevance and value when it comes to repeat clients.
Customer loyalty is the foundation for all referrals. Referrals are usually given when your existing customers or partnerships feel great about what you’re doing for them.
It will show if you spend enough time developing good relationships with the people in your network, it will show that your business will continue to expand naturally. Referrals are one of the highest praises a customer can give your business.
Referrals are often given via online reviews, interactions with friends and family, and video reviews.
If your business gets lots of positive reviews from existing customers, then you’re likely already receiving organic referrals. After all, a whopping 92% of customers read online reviews before committing to a purchase.
If this is the case, you might consider implementing an official referral program. Don’t be afraid to ask a customer for a referral if they’re completely satisfied with your service, especially if there are incentives involved.
Examples of incentives you can offer customers for referrals include exclusive discounts, free products, or gift vouchers.
The impact of community service projects in the business world goes far beyond the good deeds themselves, as 96% of volunteers report that community service enriched their sense of purpose.
Community service is often one of the most popular charitable activities because it gives people a chance to get out of the office and build meaningful connections between the business and the community.
For example, a business may offer a free workshop to the community they serve, or the community they serve may be exposed to a business making community outreach efforts and taking an interest in the products and services that the business offers.
Any effort your business makes to help others is essential because it strengthens your relationship with the community and expands your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, local resources, and potential new customers. No effort is too small to make a difference!
Social Media Ads
To be effective, social media advertising must include a call to action, inviting highly targeted viewers to perform a specific action or visit a particular page.
Social media ads have become highly effective for learning more about your target audience and increasing your sales. Social media platforms like Facebook utilize enough pieces of user data to steer potential buyers towards deals that they’d most likely search for anyway, increasing the possibility of a sale.
Businesses have fewer and fewer excuses for not using them because they can be tailored to accommodate a budget of any size.
There isn’t a specific rule for how much to spend on social media ads, but some basic guidelines and best practices can help guide your decisions.
According to the Business Development Bank of Canada, your overall marketing budget depends on whether you’re targeting business clients or consumer clients:
- B2B companies should designate 2-5% of their revenue to marketing.
- B2C companies should designate 5-10% of their income to marketing.
With more than 2 billion monthly active users across all major social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, it’s crucial to utilize the advertising opportunities available to you.
An RFP (or Request for Proposal) usually contains detailed criteria and instructions that a company must meet before submitting a bid to land a new work contract with a potential client. They’re often helpful and necessary for more complex, specialized projects.
Most RFPs include similar categories of information, but some might differ depending on your company’s goals. Common categories to cover in an RFP include:
- Background information
- A detailed explanation of the project
- Any questions that potential vendors need to answer
- Specific requirements about preferred systems, tools, materials, or products
- Project deadline that includes specific dates and milestones
- Potential roadblocks
- The criteria for submitting your proposal
An effective RFP strategy can streamline your proposal process and make your team more efficient. The industries that produce the highest percentage of their revenue from RFPs include advertising and media, with 46%.
Putting together an RFP can be time-consuming, but the process benefits everybody involved because it ensures that the best candidates are found for a particular project.
Request a Quote Form on Website
The last thing customers want is to waste time and energy on multiple phone calls and texts. If you run a service-based or product-based business, you can benefit greatly from giving your customers a way to get custom-tailored quotes. Adding an online quote request feature to your website is one of the simplest ways to deliver quotes to clients, which is why 74% of businesses use web forms for lead generation.
One of the most significant advantages of using a quote request form is its 24/7 availability, it prevents missed sales opportunities. Speeding up the pricing process makes sense for your business and your customers, increasing their likelihood of purchasing your product or service.
Request forms are a great way to collect data and learn exactly who your audience is and their interest, which you can use in future outreach and acquisition efforts. Check out Creative Repute’s request a quote form!
How to use SEO as a Client Acquisition Tool
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for every modern-day business trying to attract more clients or customers to its brand. SEO is the key to organic growth; increasing traffic to your website without using paid ads means all the traffic gained using SEO is earned. Reportedly, only 90% of clicks on the first page of Google’s results are comprised of organic links, and only 10% go to paid Googles Ads.
Following the basic marketing funnel concept, when more organic growth is earned, more traffic is brought to the website, more people are made aware of your brand, and, in turn, more prospects are generated. It might sound simple, but a great proficient strategy requires the following:
- Understanding what problems and challenges your product or service offerings solve
- Locating the correct audience for your brand
- Identifying the search intent for that audience
- And lastly, optimization of the website to rank for the right keywords to fulfill that search intent
Brands can accomplish this using smart keyword research, high-quality content, and skillful technical SEO. Here are the pillars of a solid SEO client acquisition strategy:
1. Product Market Fit
You cannot employ a functional acquisition SEO strategy without having a good grasp of your company’s product market fit. For some companies, the product market fit is straightforward and easy to understand. For others, it can be a lengthy discovery process to figure out who they actually need to be servicing, but that’s an important question. Especially for those trying to attain new clients, ensure that you have a clear understanding of the problem your company solves so that you can understand what they are searching for when they evaluate options.
2. Search Intent
Once you understand your market, you’ll need to get into the mind of the ideal prospect. What would your company type in a search engine when it encounters a problem? Would they type in one word? Two words? A question?
When they type those magic keywords into a search engine, they will be directed to a search engine results page (SERP) with ten organic results on the first page. The second page of Google only receives a collective 6% of all search traffic, so it’s important to aim for page one. Your goal is to be as high up on the first page as you can so that they can find you and click through to your website.
Not understanding your audience’s search intent can result in your brand ranking for the wrong keywords, which means ranking on SERPs that lead to people who would not convert to a customer or client. You could also hurt the organic rankings that do matter for your brand by putting SEO resources in the wrong places which in turn affects client acquisition.
3. Keyword Research
One of the best ways to get a good grasp of search intent is to conduct keyword research. You might take a few guesses as to what keywords your target audience is searching for, but you must validate those keywords with real, quantitative data attained during keyword research. Looking up the keyword metrics will tell you some things about SERPS. Here are the core keyword metrics to keep in mind:
Typically measured by monthly search volume (MSV), volume tells you if people are actually searching for a keyword by identifying how many times that keyword has been entered into a given search engine per month. Ideal MSV numbers will range greatly depending on the company and service offering, so there is no perfect number. A given set of targeted keywords will also have a wide range of MSV. One keyword you’re targeting might have 30k searches per month while another might only have 1k— and both could be essential to your SEO strategy.
5. Keyword Difficulty
The keyword difficulty of a keyword tells you how hard the keyword is to compete for. You’re likely going to be competing for rankings with many other domains online also ranking for that keyword. Sometimes, you’ll come across a keyword that isn’t going to be realistic for you to try ranking for right now or will mean you’ll need to put a lot of effort into that particular search query. Keyword difficulty will also help you to identify keywords that are low-hanging fruit.
Pro-tip: When a keyword has high search volume, low keyword difficulty, and fulfills your audience’s search intent, you’ve just identified a keyword gap. A very valuable SERP worth optimizing for sooner than later.
6. Related Keywords
Everyone uses the search engine a little differently, so it’s impossible to detect the exact keystrokes your audience is typing into Google. While exact match keywords are essential, it’s also vital to consider related keywords or keyword variations. When optimizing for SEO, you should be targeting both primary and related keywords, so that you’re covering all of your bases.
7. Content Strategy
The internet is filled with content; some content is high-quality, helpful, and gives audiences exactly what they’re looking for— some isn’t. Some content is perfect for one audience, but not so helpful for another. SEO has evolved a lot over the years, and Google and other search engines have been tweaking their algorithms to find the most relevant, trustworthy, and helpful content for searchers possible. When search engines crawl your website, they are looking to ensure that your content is of high quality and fulfills the correct search queries.
In the summer of 2022, Google announced a helpful content update as part of a broader effort to encourage businesses and creators to focus on “people-first content”. You will not rank for your targeted keywords if your content isn’t helpful and doesn’t fulfill the search intent. Ensure you are helping audiences when they come to your site, not just selling. A great way to improve SEO rankings and build trust with prospective clients and customers is to provide simple, educational content that helps them to answer their questions.
8. Technical SEO
Technical SEO is another key pillar of a strong SEO acquisition strategy. When content is created, you want to ensure that it’s formatted correctly so that search engine crawlers can understand the type of content on the page. Audience-facing SEO strategies include setting proper meta-descriptions, including alt text, managing page speed, and using proper heading structure. Responsive design is also critical for Google to ensure that users on mobile devices can navigate your website easily.
Links are a huge part of on and off-page SEO. Consider what internal and external links should be included on every page of your website. You also want a healthy amount of backlinks so that search engines know other websites are linking back to you. Backlinks indicate to other search engines that you are a trustworthy domain. Site map optimization, meta content, and reconciling site errors are other more code-based technical SEO strategies that businesses use to ensure that search engines can crawl your website effectively.
This guide offers an insightful perspective on how to approach acquisitions and provides valuable tips for success.
Marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming! The client acquisition strategies that combine media and engagement outlined in this guide are a great starting point. The opportunities to reach beyond your target audience are limitless. The information contained in this document has been critical to the success of our acquisition efforts.
No matter which acquisition strategy you choose, it’s important to make sure it fits your business and your goals. You need to find a strategy that targets the right audience and provides the best return on investment.
Interested in working together? Please fill out Creative Repute’s request for a quote form to begin discussing how we can help you acquire new clients or customers through our impact-driven design and marketing services.