5 Ways to Make Sure You’re Attracting the Right Customers (And Not Wasting Your Money)

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Every one of us has had a customer or client who has been nearly impossible to satisfy — the kind of customer that, no matter how perfectly you help them, would find some unreasonable excuse to complain or return your product.

Although you should respect your customers at any cost, it makes perfect sense that submitting to any kind of request from your impossible-to-please customers would inevitably make it hard for you to do business.

In other words, whether you own a corporate business or have a home business, you need to attract the right customers if you want to keep your business as profitable (and enjoyable) as possible.

Here are 5 ways you can make sure you’re attracting the right customers.

Get to Know Your Customers

First things first, you need to know your customers by heart. From adding new features to your products to writing ad copy, you need to know what ticks your audience or what makes them wary. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What are the demographics (age, gender, education level, career, marital status, etc.) and psychographic features (traits, values, interests, lifestyles, etc.) of our customers?
  2. What hell can we rescue them from? What are some of the problems they’re facing in their lives? The more detailed the answer, the better. Use a survey tool to get as much information as you can. Use social media marketing to find out more about your customers’ sentiments. Social media platforms provide you with valuable analytics data.
  3. What are the red lines of your customers? Don’t overdo your marketing. Be cautious in designing your ads and writing your copy if you don’t want to cross your customers’ redlines. The notorious Kendall Jenner Pepsi advertisement is an example of how a company crossed the political redlines and how this hurts their brand.

How can you reach them most efficiently? Spend some time to find the best digital channel to reach out and market to your audience.

Show Yourself Credible

As Ken Mcarthy, the founding father of internet marketing once said: “trust may be the single most important word in business.” The success of any marketing campaign depends so much on its trustworthiness. Here are some ways you can increase your trustworthiness:

  1. Respect your audience’s intelligence. People are more prone to marketing messages and therefore more apt in identifying lies and exaggerated language. Don’t over-promise and most importantly don’t use deceptive methods in your marketing. Kaiwei Ni, a Chinese sneakers manufacturer, placed a strand of hair on their mobile ads in order to trick people into touching the screen. Apart from the fact that people who mistakenly touched the screen were frustrated, they got featured on popular publications for their deceptive behavior and lost their customers’ trust.
    sneakers on a white background
  2. Use social proof to showcase your positive past results. Case studies, testimonials, reviews, numbers, and trust icons are some kinds of social proof you can use.
  3. Establish a good relationship with your audience. Talk about what’s important to them and use friendly language and graphics.
  4.  If you’re finding customers by sending them cold emails, make sure you establish a personal connection with them by finding the email address of the right decision-maker, doing some research about them and sending a tailored message to them.

Do the Right Positioning

In many cases, people have the wrong idea about the product they’re buying. This will, inevitably, result in unrealistic expectations and frequent complaints.

To deal with this issue you need to take time to effectively communicate who you are and what you do — that is you need to position your product the right way.

Positioning is way more than explaining what your product does or how it helps your target audience. As an expert in product positioning, April Dunford explains that old school product positionings were incomplete. She breaks down the positioning process into five stages.

5 stages of customer positioning

  1. Competitive alternatives: if you didn’t exist, what would your customers use?
  2. Key unique attributes: what features/capabilities do you have that alternatives don’t?
  3. Value: what values do these attributes have for customers?
  4. Customers that care: who cares a lot about the value you provide?
  5. The market you win: what context makes the value obvious to your target segments?

Going through all these questions will give you a better perspective on how you should really position your product. One of the things that makes a huge difference in your positioning is deciding on which market category you belong to (the last question above). As April explains:

“If the goal of positioning is to create a “unique leadership position” in the minds of customers, we have to start with what’s already in their minds. Customers, when faced with something new, will try to use what they know to figure out what they don’t. The first time a customer encounters your product, they will naturally try to compare it to products they already understand to try to figure it out. Market categories play a big role here.”

Take ClearPath Robotics for example. Their product was a complicated kind of robot that drove around a manufacturing plant and delivered goods if needed — a very popular and complicated issue for manufacturers.

However, they did not have any luck selling their products at first. What they did was they introduced their product as a kind of robot, entering the market category of robotics. Their audience inevitably categorized them just like the other robots they had, ordinary and costly.

When Clear Robotics analyzed the issue, they realized that their positioning was what alienated their customers. So they took a step back, redesigned their product to look like cars, changed the name of that division of their products to “Otto Motors”, and positioned it as self-driving cars or autonomous vehicles for industrial uses. The new positioning made it possible for their customers to understand their product’s value better.

Ogilvy’s positioning of Dove soaps is another classic example.

dove soap advert in a newspaper

As Ogilvy himself says, “I could have positioned Dove as a detergent bar for men with dirty hands, but chose to instead to position it as a toilet bar for women with dry skin. This is still working 25 years later.”

Give Them Time to Know You

Unless you’re a well-known business, early conversions are typically not healthy conversions for you. You need to give people some time to research about you and get to know your products. Early conversions tend to have higher churn rates. This is when you need to be careful with attracting and focusing on the wrong customers.

As Rand Fishkin explains:

“Moz customers that convert on the first, or second, or third visit to our website tend to leave early and often. They tend to be not longstanding, loyal customers who have low churn rates and those kinds of things. They tend to have very high churn and low retention.”

It seems that there’s a correlation between the number of times people visit a website (or the time they spend on it) and their brand loyalty. As for Moz people typically visit their website 8 times before they convert into customers.

One way to make sure people know you enough before they convert is educating your visitors through your website. In my homepage analysis on the top 50 business websites, I categorized different CTA’s into 6 groups:

  1. More info type (including learn more, watch now, find out more, read more).
  2. Sample type (free account, free trial, try it for free, get started, demo, get a demo).
  3. Download type (app, get report, guide, get now).
  4. Join type (publisher sign-up, register, secure my seat, become an affiliate/advertiser).
  5. Buy type (see solutions/plans/products, compare plans).
  6. Contact type (including let’s connect, contact us, schedule a meeting).

I then found out that the most used CTA among the top business website homepages is the “More info” type.

different distribution of the cta type on a graph

It seems that top websites tend to avoid using the “Buy” type CTA right away on their homepage in an attempt to educate their visitors about their products before actually converting them. Avoiding a direct sales offer is also one of the rules of a successful post-click optimization.

It might happen that your visitors do a little more research about you and your product. One way to make sure you’ve established your credibility is publishing on major publications in your niche.

Press releases and guest posts on prestigious publications might be a sign that you’re approved by that publication (and obviously get you a mention from them).

Gather all the data you need, make a media list, and start pitching journalists and editors. You’ll establish yourself as a thought and trustworthy leader in your niche. This kind of content marketing allows you to target the right kind of customers and over time lowers your customer acquisition costs.

Avoid Freebie-Seekers

Speaking of different CTA types and their functions, one cannot help but notice the unpopularity of the “Download” type CTA among the top business websites.

One way to explain this is their tendency to avoid freebie-seekers, people who are only interested in your free giveaways because they can’t afford your products or don’t consider them essential.

This is not to say top business websites never use “Download” type CTA’s. Considering the level of popularity of these businesses and the amount of traffic they get, it’s natural for them to be rigorous in lead generation and add different lead qualification levels. So they probably use freebies in their emails or some of their specific pages.

There are some points you need to consider when using giveaways as a way to (eventually) attract customers:

  • Use relevant giveaways.
  • Because free giveaways are the typical start to email marketing, you need to do drip email campaigns the right way to make sure you’re not attracting only the opportunistic freebie seekers. Cleanse your email list once in a while. You might need to remove some of your less engaged subscribers.
  • Mapping out your customer journey and spotting out where the most churn rate happens is a necessity for every business owner. If you’re having a lot of drop-outs right after you’re offering your paid products or services, you might need to revise your lead collection process. This might be because you’re attracting the people who stay in your list only because of your free material. This chart from BlueCorona’s B2B marketing guide shows a typical B2B buyers’ journey.

modern business to business buyer's journey

  • As counterintuitive as it seems, relying only on freebies to grow your list is not the brightest idea when it comes to lead generation.

What’s the Right Customer Like?

This is basically the first (and maybe the most important?) question a business owner should ask themselves if they want to have loyal customers: what kind of a customer am I trying to do business with? The deeper you dig for the qualities of your ideal customer, the better you know how to find them.

Some of the features you should determine when attracting your customers:

  1. They should find your product valuable and be willing to pay for it. Opportunistic freebie seekers are the bane of every business.
  2. They should have realistic expectations for you and your product. Customers that have unlimited requests and unrealistic expectations are never content.

Keep these features in mind when growing your customer base to avoid all the headaches from responding to unrealistic requests and complaints.

Make sure you know when to cut a customer loose and remember that the time spent on wooing the wrong customer could be spent to do real business with the right customer.


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