Having to build a customer base is a priority for all new businesses. To be successful as an online tech business, you need a customer list of reliable contact information. With this list, you can communicate with your customers and nurture them. But where do you start? We cut through the myriad of options and explain the quickest route to creating a list of converting contacts in 7 days.
Day 1 - Research
This is perhaps the most important day as this will dictate how you spend the rest of your week.
On day one you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your target market?
- What's your target new contacts figure per month? This question gives you a target to aim for - make sure you're realistic. If your business is selling high value merchandise, you might only get a few purchases a month whilst a business with lower prices will want to sell higher volumes to more people.
- How do your competitors interact with your customers? This is important as you might want to use similar methods to grow your customer base later.
Day 2 - Define your target market
Here is when you will create a detailed profile of your market. Just saying your target market is women age 30 to 55, isn't enough.
Your target market is probably filled with different types of ideal customers. With each kind of customer you need to know their motivations, their pain points, their shopping habits and how they may be influenced. You can collect this information by:
- Having interviews with focus groups
- Interacting on website forums
- Looking at the reviews of your competitor's websites - what do their customers like and not like about their services
The information you collect can then be compiled into a profile for each of your Buyer Personas.
By downloading one of our FREE Buyer Persona templates you can fill in all the information you need to know about your customers.
Day 3 - Choose and set up your CRM system
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system businesses use to manage company interaction with customers. Most businesses use management software to keep all their information in order.
Do research to find the best CRM system for you and connect it to your website. So, each time a customer signs up their contact information in a form on your website, sends an enquiry email or interacts with you via other channels, the CRM will take the person's information and store it into your customer base.
If you don't expect to have many customers each month, you may want to manually input your customers' details when you capture them from email enquiries, sign ups and CTA's.
However if you are a one-person team or you expect to have lots of customers each month then a CRM can save you a lot of time, hassle and benefit your sales growth.
Day 4 - Create something special
One of the most difficult objectives for new businesses is to build a customer base. To capture people's contact information you can have 'sign up to my weekly emails', have call-to-actions and collect email addresses when someone sends an enquiry or makes a purchase. However to increase your chances of getting more contact information, offer them something special.
As part of the inbound marketing methodology, we have seen the benefits from offering downloadable content that is free and high quality in exchange for a customer's contact details. If you give someone something valuable like high quality and informative content, then customers will more likely give you their email address.
After creating your Buyer Personas, you will know a lot about your customers. From this information you can create content they will likely engage with, such as:
- How-to guides
- Informative booklets
Once you've created something special that will interest your customers, keep it to the side as you move onto the next step. (You will likely revisit this step as you create more content to interest each of you Buyer Personas.)
Day 5 - Create landing pages
For your customers to download your eBook, How-to guide, etc, you need to create a landing page. This is where the customer will input their personal details in exchange for the high quality content.
Day 6 - Create CTA's
CTA's (call-to-actions) are what customers will click on to be sent to your landing page where they can submit their details for the download.
After you've created your CTA, put it on your website. Put it at the bottom of relevant blogs or pop it in your sidebar.
Here is one of our good looking CTA's. It's an opportunity to download a FREE informative guide all about inbound marketing (a service we provide). Once people click on the CTA, they will be directed to the landing page where all they have to do is submit some contact details to receive a the free guide. Click on it to see how it works.
When a customer clicks on a CTA and submits their contact details, you can then capture this information in your CRM. As each person inputs their information, your customer base will grow.
Day 7 - Get your content seen
Unless your website already has lots of traffic, then you need to get people to your website in order to see your CTA's and hopefully they will be tempted to download and give you their contact information.
To get people to your website you can:
- Share on social media
- Guest post on relevant sites where your types of customers are hanging around
- Engage on online social communities like Quora and Reddit
- Answer questions on niche forums
- Increase organic traffic to your website by optimising your site for search engines
- Paid advertising can get your website seen on social media and in search engines
Then at the end of the seventh day, you can finally get some hard-earned rest.
By doing research, defining your customers, creating valuable content for download and creating CTA's that will lead to landing pages for download, you can build an online customer base in your CRM. Each time someone downloads your free content their information will be stored and you can use it in your future marketing campaigns.
It's unlikely you will get an overnight surge in new contact information straight away but this is just the setup for the future. Continue creating new content and purpose it for different types of readers to engage with their pain points.
Find out how your website is performing
Build your own online customer base to improve your online business. What is the current state of your website? How effective is your website for online business? Find out with our FREE website grader.
How did you create your online customer base? Tell us in the comments below.