An image of a business owner using one of the methods for how to attract customers.
Running a business

How to attract customers: 11 vetted strategies for 2024

The ability to get and keep customers is a key skill for any business—one that’s essential for the business’s survival. But figuring out how to attract customers can be tough, whether you're an entrepreneur, solopreneur, sole proprietor, or a seasoned business owner. 

Getting customers can mean optimizing your marketing plan, fine-tuning customer engagement, and streamlining sales processes. To find first-time customers or engage old ones, you need creative marketing. 

Let’s dive into strategic customer attraction and how to attract customers to your business through 11 vetted approaches.

An illustration of the best ways to attract customers.

1. Leverage referrals 

Word-of-mouth referrals, driven by satisfied customers, can be one of the most effective ways to expand your customer base. When someone receives a recommendation from a trusted source, they’re more likely to trust and choose that product or service. In marketing, word-of-mouth referrals are one form of social proof, or the practice of influencing people to buy a product or service by leveraging reviews, user-generated content, and other forms of customer testimonials. 

To encourage referrals, consider offering incentives to your existing customers, such as discounts, freebies, or cash rewards. Rewarding customers for recommending your business creates a win-win situation for you and your customers. 

Another strategy to leverage referrals is by creating a structured referral program. This program can provide customers with unique referral codes or links they can share. In return, they receive rewards for each successful referral. This motivates existing customers to refer others and tracks the success of your referral efforts.

2. Network for business growth  

Networking helps you establish connections and build relationships within your industry. It plays a crucial role in driving business growth and opening up opportunities for collaboration. 

To effectively network, consider these key areas to focus on:

  • Attend industry events. These gatherings provide a platform to meet potential customers, partners, and industry experts. Engage in conversations, exchange business cards, and follow up with contacts to solidify the connection.
  • Join professional groups: These groups often hold regular meetings, workshops, and networking events where you can connect with like-minded professionals and gain insights into industry trends. Ensure they’re relevant to your industry for another effective networking strategy.
  • Utilize online networking platforms: This is especially important in today's digital era. Platforms such as LinkedIn, X (formerly known as Twitter), and industry-specific forums allow you to connect with professionals worldwide. Engage in discussions, share valuable insights, and reach out to prospective clients or partners.

Remember, the key to successful networking is building genuine relationships. Be proactive, offer assistance, and demonstrate your knowledge to establish credibility and trust. Networking takes time and effort, but the long-term benefits can be impressive.

3. Offer discounts to first-time customers 

To attract first-time customers and encourage repeat business, offering discounts is a highly effective strategy. By providing incentives and special offers, you can give potential customers a reason to choose your products or services over competitors.

An illustration of the discounts to consider for new or post customers, such as free trails and loyalty programs.

Here are different ways to offer new customers discounts:

  • Free trials: Let your customers try before they buy. Customers might be unsure about trying out something new, and a free trial is a great way to convince them they should test your business out without risk.
  • Percentage off: Set a percentage discount for new customers, such as 20% off, for new customers. This straightforward approach appeals to price-conscious consumers and can entice them to try your business.
  • Buy one, get one free (BOGO): Encourage new customers to purchase by offering a BOGO deal. BOGO deals can be a great way to upsell or introduce them to additional products they may not have previously considered.
  • Bundle pricing and deals: Create package deals by combining multiple products or services at a discounted price. It attracts new customers and offers them a convenient and cost-effective way to experience multiple offerings from your business.

Discounts are a great way to attract new customers and increase the likelihood of repeat business. Don’t forget to promote your discounts via your website, social media channels, and email marketing.

4. Reengage old customers 

Attracting new customers is essential for business growth, but don't forget about the potential gold mine of engaging past customers. These are people who have already bought your products or services and may just need a little nudge to return.

Here are some strategies to re-engage old customers and bring them back into the fold:

  • Exclusive offers: Create special promotions or discounts exclusively for old customers. This tactic incentivizes them to return and makes them feel valued and appreciated for their past support.
  • Revamp communication: Regular and consistent communication is crucial to stay on the radar of old customers. Send regular email newsletters that provide valuable content, updates, and special offers. Make sure the content is relevant and tailored to their interests and needs.
  • Get feedback: Show old customers that you value their opinions by asking for feedback. It helps you improve your products or services and allows you to engage them and address any concerns they may have.

If you really want to figure out how to reach customers, engaging past customers is a cost-effective way to boost sales and foster loyalty. Don't underestimate the power of maintaining regular communication and offering personalized incentives to return them.

5. Optimize your website 

A website, whether it’s for informational purposes or e-commerce, is an essential tool for businesses today. If you don't have one, figure out how to build a website, then optimize it for customer attraction. 

Here are some key tips for optimizing your website:

  • User-friendly design: A well-designed website that is easy to navigate creates a positive user experience. Ensure your website is visually appealing, has clear navigation menus, and intuitive user interfaces.
  • Fast loading speeds: Customers value speed and efficiency when browsing websites. Optimizing your website's loading speed will improve the user experience and boost your search engine rankings. Compress images, minimize code, and leverage browser caching for faster load times.
  • Relevant keywords: Conduct keyword research to identify the phrases and terms potential customers will likely search for. Incorporate these keywords into your website's content, headings, URLs, and meta tags to improve your visibility in search engine results.
  • Engaging content: Create high-quality, relevant content that appeals to your target audience. Include informative articles, blog posts, and videos that provide value and establish your expertise in your industry. This will attract customers and encourage them to stay longer on your site.

By optimizing your website using these techniques, you can enhance your online presence, attract more customers, and ultimately drive business growth.

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6. Partner with complementary businesses 

Collaborating with businesses that offer products or services that complement yours allows you to tap into their customer base and benefit from their existing relationships. Strategic business partnerships, such as joint marketing efforts and cross-promotion, allow you to reach a wider audience that may not have been previously aware of your business.

To find and get partnerships: 

  1. Identify businesses with a similar target audience but offer different products or services. 
  2. Look for those that complement your offerings rather than compete with them. For example, coffee shops partnering with local bakeries or gyms partnering with nutritionists.
  3. Reach out to them and propose the idea of collaboration. Highlight the mutual benefits and the value that your partnership can bring to both businesses and their customers. You can also brainstorm together on how to get more clients.

7. Create a loyalty program 

Creating a loyalty program is an effective strategy for attracting and retaining customers. You can improve customer engagement and encourage repeat purchases by rewarding their loyalty. 

Here are the four steps to creating a successful loyalty program:

  1. Pick your program type: There are various types of loyalty programs you can implement. Point systems, where customers earn points based on their purchases and can redeem them for rewards, are popular. Another option is a tiered program, where customers unlock different rewards based on their spending thresholds.
  2. Ensure customer satisfaction: A loyalty program has a strong customer service foundation. Make sure your customers are happy with their overall experience, as this will motivate them to actively participate in the program.
  3. Offer special promotions and incentives: Alongside the regular rewards, consider providing exclusive offers or special promotions for your loyalty program members. It can include early access to new products, personalized discounts, or freebies on their birthdays. 
  4. Promote your program: Spread the word about your loyalty program through different marketing channels, including your website, social media profiles, and email newsletters. Highlight the benefits of joining the program and emphasize how it adds value to the customer experience.

Implementing a well-designed loyalty program can significantly enhance customer retention and attract new customers, as they are more likely to choose businesses that offer rewards and incentives for their continued support.

8. Utilize online reviews  

Potential customers often turn to online reviews to make purchasing decisions, so you should leverage these reviews to help boost the perception of your brand and attract new customers.

Positive online reviews play a key role in building trust and credibility. When prospective customers see others having a positive experience with your business, it instills confidence in your products or services. Positive reviews act as social proof, showing that others have found value in what you offer.

To encourage customers to leave reviews, provide exceptional customer experiences. Happy customers are more likely to share their positive experiences with others. You can ask for customer feedback through email or your website. Feedback is a great way to research how to get clients or reach new customers. 

However, not all reviews will be positive. It's important to address and manage negative reviews effectively. Respond promptly and professionally, showcasing your commitment to resolving issues and improving customer satisfaction.

9. Participate in community events 

Participating in community events helps build your brand visibility—align yourself with events that resonate with your target audience, which can help you showcase your brand in a positive light and build relationships.

Community events create opportunities for face-to-face interactions, allowing you to personally connect with attendees. If people see your business actively participating and supporting the community, it can create a positive impression and demonstrate your commitment to giving back.

Use these events to showcase your products or services, provide samples or demonstrations, and even offer exclusive discounts or promotions. Community events can also help you connect with other businesses, influencers, or community leaders and establish mutually beneficial partnerships or collaborations.

10. Consider advertising  

When it comes to attracting customers, effective small business advertising strategies can be very helpful. One important aspect is targeted advertising, which involves reaching out to a specific audience most likely to buy your products or services. This helps optimize your advertising efforts and ensures you reach the right people.

An effective channel for targeted advertising is social media platforms. Start by creating engaging and relevant content and then run targeted ad campaigns.

Another strategy is using online advertising channels such as Google Ads or display ads on relevant websites that can help with customer attraction. These platforms provide the opportunity to display targeted ads to a specific audience based on their online behavior and interests.

Don’t forget to analyze your target customer demographics, preferences, and behaviors when considering advertising strategies.

11. Showcase your expertise 

Showcasing your expertise in your industry—whether it’s your skills, experience, or industry knowledge—can establish you as a trusted authority. There are a few different ways to showcase your expertise, and here are some of the best:

  • Guest speaking: By sharing your knowledge and insights at conferences, webinars, or industry events, you can position yourself as an expert and gain exposure to a wider audience.
  • Blogging: Another avenue to demonstrate your expertise is through informative blog posts. Consistently publishing high-quality content that addresses common pain points or provides valuable insights can establish you as a go-to resource in your industry. Use search engine optimization, or SEO, to include keywords that will help your posts improve in search engine results.
  • Content sharing: Sharing educational content such as informative videos, helpful tips, or industry trends on social media is another effective way to showcase your expertise. This can also include resources or case studies that you share with an email list for people learning about your business.

Depending on your industry, there are likely other ways to get more active with sharing your knowledge.

An illustration of the customer attraction best practices, such as leveraging targeted marketing and providing excellent customer service.

When it comes to attracting customers, several effective tips can help your business stand out, including: 

  • Provide exceptional customer service: One of the most important factors is offering great customer service. You can build loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing with a personalized and positive customer experience.
  • Tap into social media: Utilizing social media platforms is essential in today's digital age. It’s worthwhile to establish a strong social media presence and actively engage with your audience. This can increase brand awareness, reach a wider customer base, and generate leads.
  • Optimize your online presence: This includes having a user-friendly website, implementing search engine optimization strategies to improve your rankings on search engines, and managing and responding to online reviews.
  • Implement targeted marketing strategies: This involves identifying your ideal customer, developing a marketing budget, and utilizing email marketing, referral programs, and targeted advertisements to reach your target audience effectively.

These tips and strategies can help you attract customers and retain a loyal customer base.

Run your business with confidence 

In a highly competitive business world, knowing how to attract customers is essential. You’ll want to implement effective strategies to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of potential customers. But remember to continuously monitor and adjust your marketing efforts based on customer feedback and industry trends to stay ahead of the competition.

And since you have enough on your plate to find customers and convince them to pay you, try streamlining the getting paid process with payment tools like QuickBooks Payments.

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How to attract customers FAQ

Feel confident from day one

You're never too small, and it's never too soon to know you're on track for success.

This content is for information purposes only and information provided should not be considered legal, accounting or tax advice or a substitute for obtaining such advice specific to your business. Additional information and exceptions may apply. Applicable laws may vary by state or locality. No assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a customer’s particular situation. Intuit Inc. does it have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc. cannot warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate, nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements before relying on them.

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