How To Acquire Customers The Right Way

Like most things in life there is a right way to acquire customers.

And a wrong way.

I received an email the other day that basically said use it or lose it.

I was testing out the free version of the software which is one way to get customers. As I had not logged in for 60 days they wanted to free up space on their server.

If I did not login in the next 3 days the account would be deleted together with the information I had put in.

It was by chance I went into this email account that I use for downloads because it is one that is only looked at perhaps once every 2 weeks.

In a recent article on Small Business Trends by Diane Helbig Sixty Eight Percent Is Yours To Keep she writes about the importance of customers feeling valued and appreciated.

Although you may be inclined to say that of course you value potential customers I think most of us have been a little indifferent at times for a variety of reasons. Not that it was deliberate of course but it happens as we are not perfect.

The unfortunate part is that the customer only sees a lack of caring and as Diane correctly said we want to feel appreciated.

To play it smart make sure you have a marketing strategy in place before you take any action to get more customers. Often it comes down to attention to detail that stops you getting more customers.

Here are 3 marketing lessons from this experience.

Changing The Rules

There was nothing in the terms about conditions relating to the free version of the software.

If anything the company was too generous with the free version. This may have been why they changed the rules.

If you decide to change the rules that affect potential customers, then ease them into it rather than give them a nasty surprise.

Follow Up

This has been written about many times.  It is one of the reasons why customers can feel unappreciated especially the ones you are trying to attract.

This company has been around for a while.  They should know the areas customers may need assistance on or what the triggers to get them to upgrade.

If you want customers to upgrade or become buying customers you need to have a process in place.

With the technology available today this is quite easy to do. Unless you keep the conversation going potential customers can get the feeling of not being appreciated.

And new customers often do not give you a second chance.

Customer Value

This company is obviously having a big push to gain more customers and on the higher plans. That is why they needed to free up the server space.

Not all customers represent the same value to your business, however being indifferent to one group and chasing another is not the answer.

Working out how to acquire customers the right way can result in real business growth and loyal customers.

Whilst they may not represent a lot in dollars they may in fact be important in terms of referrals or recommendation.

Offering a free version of your products or services, can help to get new customers. The way to move them from free to paid is  often how you treat them during their trial period. It is one of the basics of how powerful using simplicity is to get customers.

Do you want to get new customers? If you do, I can help. Click Here to see how.

10 Responses to How To Acquire Customers The Right Way

  1. Jeff Yablon says:

    Good points, but let’s go further:

    There’s no real overhead to “keeping your account on the server”. So the real point of threatening to nuke accounts is getting non-engaged customers to re-engage.

    That’s a great goal and a reasonable marketing thought, but there’s dis-ingenuousness in the way the message is being delivered. They’re LYING to you about their needs/motives.

    Just some food for thought in an era when we’re all so overrun by marketing messages that the slightest slip can be harmful. A better message would be “we delete inactive accounts because we want to make sure you’re still there” (tweak away, marketers).

    Jeff Yablon
    President & CEO

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Jeff,

      You are right, it was the message that was wrong to be fair to them there are no real benefits to have a lot of free acounts.

      Your message is better and thanks for your comment.

  2. Yoni says:

    Hi Susan,

    I’m cutting and pasting the message I left on Biz Sugar:

    Susan, GREAT post and EXCELLENT principles! You are so right. I too had an experience recently with a company from whom I bought a program that was supposed to make my computer run faster.

    I had major problems installing it and major problems maintaining it. I wrote nearly 20 emails to the company requesting assistance. They never answered…like you said no follow up. And, as you said…no customer value. Then of course as the subscription began to wear down I got the daily emails…your subscription will run out in…3…2…1…days.

    You know what? Once I got the program running with the assistance of my wife (and a programmer)it was great, but who wants to do business with a company that contacts you only when they want your money!??

    Thanks for a great thought-provoking article,

    Yoni

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Yoni,
      Thanks so much for leaving your comment and sharing your story. It does highlight the lengths our customers do go to do business with us but we can let slip through if we ignore them.

      Really enjoyed your last post as always on BizSugar.

      Susan

  3. Ensha Reiya says:

    A good percentage of my business is from referrals. A general rule of thumb for me has been to consistantly do the little things that make the big difference, a phone call, an email, getting back to them before I said I would, a referral to them. When people feel valued, somewhere somehow further down the track that value is returned.

    • Susan Oakes says:

      You make good points Ensha and the beauty of what you do is that it is simple. I wonder how many of us have a customer care program in place so current or potential customers do not fall through the cracks especially when we get busy.

      Thanks for your comment.

  4. Onya, Susan! I was keen to try Camtasia Studio 6. As it’s such a big program, I needed more than the trial 30 days to get a handle on it. Also, some work came in as I was working through the tutorials. A few more weeks of grace and I may well have shelled out the $400 to buy it. But they pulled the pin on my trial. Don’t think I’ll be going back. Best regards, P. :)

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Paul,

      It is a bit of a catch 22 with trial periods. I have been in the same position. On the other hand it would be difficult to make it longer for everyone as they do need to convert. That is where the follow up is so important to alert the customer and see how you can help genuine interested buyers.

      I am wondering if the whole trial thing is as effective as it used to be, especially when you can use videos. You might want to look at CamStudio which I heard is quite good and is free.

      • Fair points, Susan. On a happier note, that CamStudio could be JUST what I need to cut my teeth on this YouTube caper. Thanks for the tip! It’s value all the way with you! :)

        • Susan Oakes says:

          Thanks Paul and let is know how you go as I want to try the product as well.