How to Get More Customers

How to get more customers? Powerful strategies used by the most successful companies.

Attract More Customers with Bundling

Bundling is an excellent way to keep customers coming back. Convince customers that they will benefit more by making use of the bundled products you have available.

For example, Microsoft would create software bundles such as that with Windows and Internet Explorer and its Office suite, which includes word processing, database and spreadsheet software all in one convenient package.

American Airlines even bundled stock trades and air travel. Customers will earn American’s AAdvantge frequent-flyer miles by trading with brokerage firm Bull & Bear Securities. Customers will receive 500 air miles for each of their first five trades at Bull & Bear. This is a winning strategy that benefits both parties.

DaimlerChrysler used these secrets to getting more customers when it bundled the Mercedes Card with its Mercedes Benz. Cardholders receive a bonus bundle that includes an annual calendar, movie premiere tickets, invitations to special events, exclusive vacation offers. Sometimes, the impression of elite-ness and exclusivity helps attract customers.

How to get more customers? Barnes & Noble also made use of this strategy well when its introduced its superstores. Not only can you buy books, you are also pampered with a wide selection of magazines, cafes serving snacks, soft drinks and sweets; book stores become favorite gathering places even for less avid readers.

Amazon made use of a similar strategy in acquiring more customers; Amazon added a music store, a video store and even a card shop to its web portal.

Secrets to Getting More Customers: Customer Incentives

How to get more customers? Customer incentives are another excellent way to drive sales – everyone wants to have something extra or something free! Examples of these incentives include free gifts, coupons and rebates, sweepstakes and contests, added-value bonuses.

Some very prominent examples of this strategy: McDonald’s introduced its Teenie Beanies for the first time in 1998. The free Teenie Beanies became instant collectibles as customers willingly queued for Happy Meals just to redeem the entire collection of Teenie Beanies.

Freebies are the secret to getting more customers. They are best used to introduce new products to a market. Burger King International gave away orders of its new French fries, thereby receiving attention from the national media when the ‘Free FryDay’ promotion ran at all its restaurants around the nation.

Circuit City, Motorola and American Express similarly introduced a promotion whereby customers who bought a Motorola pager at Circuit City would receive an American Express Gift Cheque for $25.

More Secrets to Getting More Customers

How to get more customers? Customer incentives can also come in the form of added value: Books-A-Million regularly hosts book signings and readings for customers, while Simon & Schuster offers free freight on its trade book orders from booksellers. Free shipping is a powerful incentive that attracts many customers.

Yet another customer incentive that many companies use is the annual sale. You have probably seen the ‘lowest prices of the season’ spring sale, the ‘Buy 1, Get 3 Free’ sales, or even those lunch specials. The idea is to get customers to return and buy something – the more the customers come back, the more you will have the opportunity to attract them with your store’s offerings.

Getting more Customers by Giving

Acquiring more customers? Customers today are much more conscious of the need to give; many customers feel that their conscience in buying something is better assuaged if they know that they will also be benefiting a charitable cause.

For example, Procter and Gamble mailed customer coupon packs and indicated that for each coupon redeemed, it will donate 10 cents to Give Kids the World, a nonprofit charity. IKEA similarly joined hands with American Forests to create the ‘TREEfund Program’, which allowed customers who bought their $20 fresh-cut Christmas tree from IKEA to return it on two-specified days in January for a $20 gift certificate.

How to get more customers? Similarly, United Parcel Service of America has been a founding partner in the Welfare to Work program. UPS hires employees from the nation’s welfare roll, and pay them the same benefits and salaries as the others in the same vocations. UPS also created the UPS Community Internship Program, which sends its managers on one-month paid sabbaticals to work in communities that need help.

Mutual fund Fidelity Investments adopted a similar approach. Through the Charitable Gift Fund, the company helps clients donate while taking full advantage of the tax laws. Donors to the Charitable Gift Fund will automatically receive immediate tax benefits, avoid capital gains tax, and are assured that their donations will automatically go to their charity of choice.

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