6 Innovative Ways to Attract New Customers

Trouble luring in new business? Check out these insights from entrepreneurs about how they did it.
6 Innovative Ways to Attract New Customers
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This story appears in the May 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Attracting new customers is no easy task. However, there are certain new and innovative strategies you can employ to make your business stand out from the rest.

Here are six different strategies you can use to start gaining new customers. 

1. Have friends with benefits

"We form strategic alliances with businesses related to but not directly competing in our space who can refer us customers. If we are not able to send customers in their direction, we figure out a way to be beneficial, whether that be by helping get their kid an internship or donating to causes they care about." -- Evan Powell, co-founder, Key Transitions, Los Angeles

Related: Four Simple Ways to Find Customers

2. Cover all bases

"We've found that a comprehensive, multichannel marketing strategy is mandatory in today's fragmented media environment. When we are reaching our customers wherever they are -- including TV, radio, Facebook, earned media, Amazon, their email inbox, display ads, YouTube and search engines -- then all channels support each other and increase effectiveness. The sum is truly greater than its parts." -- Marty Fahncke, CMO, Barton Publishing, Brandon, S.D.

3. Rely on data

"As an e-commerce analytics company, our sales engine is our website. To convert people that land there into customers, we rely heavily on collecting and analyzing data. This helps us understand and optimize the marketing channels that are most successful in drawing in customers -- natural search, affiliates, paid ads or social media, for example. The stats don't lie. Then we invest in channels according to their return on investment." -- Kevin North, CEO, Terapeak, Toronto

Related: 4 Strategies That Drive Brand Loyalty

4. Always listen

"In an environment rife with gimmicks and teasers, consumers are looking for products and services that embrace honesty. The best way for us to attract new customers is to listen to our loyal ones. They will guide the evolution of your product to meet the demands of the market. It's simple, albeit time-consuming: We respond to emails, personally call people with complaints and slip handwritten notes into shipments." -- John Goscha, founder, The Finally Light Bulb Company, Boston

5. Go smaller to get bigger

"We sell stock photography, video and sound. Instead of selling one image to one client for $300, which was the norm years ago, we sell 300 images to 300 clients at $1 each. This means a larger positive impact when they recommend our service to their partners. Viral marketing has more value than ever and nothing gets more customers than a good product." -- Serban Enache, founder, Dreamstime.com, Brentwood, Tenn.

6. Offer an alternative

"We seek out people who care about clean energy but can't do rooftop solar because their roof is tilted the wrong way, there are trees or they're just in the wrong utility territory. These are the nonviable leads other companies can't service, so they think their dreams are over. But we can offer them access to community panels, no roof needed. Problem solved." -- Kiran Bhatraju, CEO, Arcadia Power, Washington, D.C.

Related: The Importance Of Honesty And Integrity In Business

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