To say that 2020 was a challenging year might be the understatement of the century. When thinking back to one year ago today, no doubt your life probably looked a lot different than it does right now.
Not only were your ideas and goals probably a lot different a year ago than they are today, perhaps the entire way you look at (and do) business has had to change as well.
If 2020 has taught us one lesson, it’s that it is more important now than ever before to be adaptable and open to change. For most people, the old way of doing business simply isn’t going to work anymore as we head into 2021 and beyond.
And while being open to change is great, the real question that remains is what are the upcoming changes going to be? What is the new business climate going to look like?
But beyond that, in what specific ways can you leverage these changes and turn them into more customers in the next twelve months and beyond?
You’re not the only one asking these questions. In fact, every business, from Fortune 500’s all the way down to your local bagel shop, is asking the same questions.
In this post, we’re going to explore some answers. First, we’ll take a look at the most powerful techniques and strategies to start employing in this unfamiliar new business climate. These strategies will start reeling in new customers right away, even in this new and unknown economy.
We’ll show you 21 fresh, specific and current-world ideas that will help transform your marketing plan into one that will supercharge your bottom line in 2021. With all that buildup, this better be good. Let’s take a look.
Strategies You Need to Have a Successful “Customer-Catching” Website
If you’ve ever been fishing, you know that the current climate you’re fishing in has a lot to do with the bait you use and the location you choose to fish. In a lot of ways, “catching” customers isn’t much different than fishing.
To find new customers, the two things you need to know are:
- Where they are
- What they’re “hungry” for
These strategies will help you find the answers to both of these key questions.
1. SEO & Traffic
Spotting new industry-related keyword trends while producing powerful SEO content that reflects these trends continues to be more important with each passing year. Businesses that don’t actively stay on top of SEO trends risk falling beyond and losing serious amounts of traffic in 2021.
How much time do you spend doing keyword research within your industry? For many business and website owners, keyword research has been an afterthought for years. However, this is the year to take a fully qualitative approach to keyword research.
What new trends have your competitor’s spotted that you haven’t seen or noticed yet? How closely do you follow your top five competitors’ marketing campaigns, sales, promos and new product rollouts? Fully analyzing competitors isn’t meant to turn business into a game of copycat. Rather, it triggers ideas and helps you spot trends that will keep you ahead of the competition. Make sure you’re signed up to your competition’s email lists and following their social media pages closely.
Writing SEO Content
Whenever the subject of writing SEO content comes up, audiences start to yawn and eyes begin to roll. Why? Because a lot of people simply don’t enjoy writing blog content.
However, there are few better ways to get more new customers than by producing current SEO-based content that provides them with value.
This year, set aside five hours each week to put together content on the subjects you’re most familiar with. Use your keyword research to tailor those posts in a way that will ensure the best search engine placement.
If you absolutely cannot (or don’t want to) do the writing yourself, consider hiring a professional freelance writer that will produce original, SEO-targeted content that will appeal to an entire world of new customers.
Tracking and Reporting
How closely do you study how your new content performs? When you see a spike in site traffic with one particular new piece of content, what are the reasons?
Furthermore, do those spikes in traffic directly translate to an increase in orders? Are most of those orders new customers or repeat customers?
Why did that particular article drive a 12% increase in sales when last week’s article only drove a 3% sales increase?
When we start looking closely at these questions, then finding their answers in our tracking and reporting, we unlock an ocean of potential new customers.
2. Generate New Leads By Focusing On Your Email List
Email marketing remains the best ROI of any other marketing technique.
In fact, email marketing pays you back, on average, about $44 for every $1 you put into it.
Start Offering Real Incentives
Unless a customer is absolutely in love with your product or service, they probably aren’t going to sign up for your email list without a genuine incentive.
Effective incentives should have a lot of perceived value, though not cost you much (or anything) to fulfill.
Some incentives that really help build your opt-in email marketing list are:
- Immediately-downloadable eBooks
- Downloadable checklists
- Free shipping on the first order
- Substantial one-time product discounts
- Free product support for one month
In other words, your customer gets something of value for free immediately after joining your email list.
Another option is to offer a surprise reward after a customer signs up for your list. Just make sure it’s not a surprise that disappoints.
Of course, you need to have a seamless way of capturing email signups that is 100% automated and makes it as easy as possible for your users. Spend some time exploring the WordPress plugin repository for email signup plugins.
You’re sure to find a free solution that’s easy to use.
Most email marketing services, such as Constant Contact, offer these types of integrations as well.
As for those popups we all know and love (sense the heavy sarcasm?), they really do work when you want to get serious about building your email list.
Yes, they’re annoying. But in today’s online environment, most users expect them.
Here are some of the best WordPress popup plugins to get you started.
3. Email Marketing
Once we’ve collected more emails, then what’s the plan?
Like every other aspect of marketing, figuring out the right times to send out your email marketing campaigns will take experimentation and testing. This will require a data-driven email marketing approach.
Once you’ve uncovered the best times to send out emails such as welcomes, initial offers, content-only and follow-ups, set up an automated series of these emails for all new customers, based upon the segmentation of customer data you’ve compiled.
Furthermore, the content of your emails is paramount. Remember to always have a direct purpose and call-to-action on every one of your email sends.
Don’t forget, call-to-action buttons really do work.
Finally, consider leaving one email send per week (or per month, depending on your schedule) to be done manually. This can be used for things such as upcoming events or schedule-driven announcements.
4. Promotions and Coupons
The current economy is a challenge for most people. This challenge, in all likelihood, includes your customers.
Because of this, promotions, coupons, discounts and freebies have become more important than in the past.
Discounts, Coupons and Freebies
Now is a great time to start re-thinking the idea of discounts, coupons and freebies.
Unfortunately, it’s no longer enough to plaster a 25% coupon code on your website and hope to draw in new customers.
In today’s competitive online retail environment, these simple coupons just don’t get the attention they used to get. There’s an overwhelming number of these offers flying around every hour of the day.
Instead, think more along the lines of freebies that customers can earn.
In other words, instead of offering a 25% off coupon and free shipping for orders over $100 (an incredibly common offer), offer free shipping on all orders that also qualify for a free product give-a-way.
Then, as your customer is shopping on your site, they know that they need to reach $100 for free shipping and a free product of high perceived value.
In reality, both of these offers have the same impact on your bottom line. But the second offer has a more powerful psychological effect because it drives the new buyer to reach a spending goal in order to receive two freebies (free shipping and a free product) instead of just one (free shipping. They were already going to get 25% off just by using the coupon code).
When running special offers like this, it’s important to set urgency by making the offer available only for a limited time. Then highlight the details of the offer on your site so that new customers won’t be able to miss it.
21 Specific Ways to Get More Customers in 2021
Now, let’s look at the specifics.
1. Focus on Building Your Email List
There’s a reason why we’re highlighting email list building twice in this article. The reason is because 2021 is the year to make it the number one weapon in your marketing arsenal.
If you haven’t noticed, it’s gotten more difficult to garner attention on the social media giants. Even if you’ve build a following of tens of thousands of social media subscribers, the platforms simply don’t allow your posts to get much traction or visibility without paying for promoted posts.
This is why direct communication with your customers is becoming more important that ever.S o if you haven’t already, seriously consider implementing a pop-up email list invite into your website. Make the popup fun and your email list worth signing up for.
Then focus on the quality of the content you’re sending out. If you don’t like writing, look into hiring a cost-effective freelance writer.
2. Write an eBook
You don’t need to be William Shakespeare to write an eBook. In fact, a good eBook doesn’t need to be long or complicated at all.
All you really need to do is compile your expertise and knowledge on one specific, industry-related subject and create a downloadable PDF.
Then, give your eBook report away for free to every new email subscriber.
To execute this plan, use one of the best WordPress Download Manager plugins that will easily automate the process.
3. Install a Content Upgrades Plugin to Share Your eBook
Now that you have your eBook ready to roll out, install a WordPress content upgrade plugin to share the eBook with your customers.
If you haven’t heard of a content upgrade, it a unique and impactful kind of email opt-in that’s created for specific pages or posts.
When a customer provides you with their email address on a specific page, they’re offered an eBook download that’s related to the page or post.
4. Publish a Landing Page
Converting site viewers into customers requires impactful landing pages. And your landing pages are meant to drive conversions, not drive you crazy.
With a WordPress Landing Page plugin, you can quickly create landing pages that turn over more new customers and drive profits forward.
Best of all, you can focus on the content and not on any design headaches.
5. Google Ads
When’s the last time you ran a new Google Adwords campaign? Keep in mind that the campaigns that worked in 2019 and 2020 probably aren’t going to continue working in 2021.
Set aside some time to step back and re-assess your approach to Google Adwords. Then, spend a few weeks using a modest budget to run and track the results of each new campaign.
Scale up the new ideas that work. Refine or scrap the ones that don’t stick.
6. Write New Articles for SEO
Great content is only great if people actually see it. After all, if the Great American Novel never received any distribution, the content would have never been consumed by millions, no matter how good it was.
Because of this, it’s important to intentionally go after new keywords that are relevant as we head into 2021. Work to tailor your content around these new keywords in a way that fits the context of your content and business model.
What you’re really after here is getting the largest volume of new readers possible. Then, use your site’s sales funnel to convert them into new customers.
7. Create an Online Course
Almost everybody knows something that other people can benefit from.
You are no different.
Setting up an online course that features your personal expertise isn’t as difficult as you might think. It can also turn into one of your most profitable revenue sources.
Tools like the best WordPress LMS plugins can help you get started.
8. Start an Email Series
People enjoy a good series of almost anything, as long as it’s something that they can look forward to receiving.
Consider putting together a months-long email series that delivers tip, tutorials, product reviews or anything else relevant you can think of.
Then, set a schedule to deliver each new part of the series to your email subscribers every Tuesday morning at 10 am, for example.
9. Launch a Customer Referral Program
This is one of the quickest ways to get more customers in 2021.
People everywhere are looking for deals and sharing them with their friends and family. There are several different WordPress plugins you can use to launch a customer referral program and take advantage of this trend.
Just make sure that the one you choose gives you a lot of creative flexibility on the referral programs you’ll be able to run.
10. Run a Limited-Time Promotion or Coupon
Don’t be afraid to set short deadlines on your coupons and promotions. In fact, some of the most effective promotions have the shortest shelf life and deadlines.
Beyond bringing in new customers, limited-time promotions and coupons are sure to improve your cart abandonment rates as well.
11. Update Testimonials
In 2021, customers require social proof before they decide to spend their hard-earned money.
Because of this, the first place many buyers look on your website is your user testimonials.
Before we get too far into 2021, allocate several hours to update your customer testimonials to some fresh faces. Then set a reminder to do it again at the same time each month moving forward.
12. Increase Social Media Presence
Social media has turned into a tricky endeavor throughout 2020. While it’s become increasingly political, more and more people are looking for an escape from the politics and want fresh content on their social media pages.
This means that it’s time to increase your social media presence with a new approach that gives readers and potential customers a much-needed escape from the noise of 2020.
In the end, this will translate to more engaged customers and increased sales.
13. Speak at Virtual Summit/Conference
Virtual conferences and summits have become the norm in 2020. And we don’t expect that to change in 2021.
Start looking into some industry-related virtual conferences that would benefit from your expertise. It’s a great way to network and get the word out about your business in our increasingly virtual world.
14. Host a Webinar
Another great way to take advantage of the virtual world is by hosting your own webinar.
You’ll want to schedule your webinar several weeks in advance. Then, send regular reminders to your email list and feature a signup form on your website.
You can change a fee for the webinar, or simply use it as a way to further build your brand.
15. Implement Live Chat on Your Website
If you think that customer service has gotten increasingly worse since the beginning of Covid, you’re not alone.
This is the perfect time to beef up your customer service by implementing a live chat function on your site. If you don’t have time to man the chat by yourself, you can outsource it for a very reasonable rate.
16. Publish a Video to YouTube
It’s time to get serious about video marketing in 2021. This is the type of content that people are now looking for, and it offers an entirely new source of SEO, traffic and customers to your business.
There’s no need to over-think or over-produce your first video. This is all about trial and error until you find your rhythm.
Best of all, it’s actually fun to start a YouTube channel and watch it grow.
17. Refresh Your Website
Look at your site as though you’re looking at it for the first time. Then as yourself these two questions:
- How is it helpful to potential customers?
- How does it showcase your product or service?
The answers to refreshing your website are in those two questions.
18. Implement Cart Abandonment Emails
Abandoned carts are all-too-common and equally frustrating.
This is the year to take advantage of abandoned carts by implementing an abandoned cart email strategy.
There are several plugins that can help you get started.
19. Add a Members-Only Component To Your Website
Members-only site areas can be accessed behind membership walls that require a login or paid membership.
For customers, this protects their content, digital downloads, and allows them to access member-only content.
For you, it can increase revenue through membership fees, increased customer engagement, and help you build your email list.
20. Reach Out to Previous Clients or Customers
Prior customers are much easier to convert into new sales than are brand new customers.
Find a list of past customers who haven’t ordered from you in awhile. Then approach them with a fresh email message and exclusive offer.
21. Simply Brainstorm
Nobody knows your business better than you. And no time in history is changing as quickly as the world is changing today.
Spend some time brainstorming. Really focus on dreaming of what you want your future to look like. What do you want your business to be in the New Year and beyond?
Think, research and remain open minded. The best ideas come to us only when we’re ready to receive and act on them.
Turning the Economic Downturn Into a Personal Upturn
If we turn on the news or look at a lot of things going on around us in the last year, it can be a little scary. After all, most of us have never experienced a sudden worldwide economic downturn so quickly as we did in 2020.
And while we don’t each have a lot of individual control over the course of the economy as a whole, we do have control over the course of our own lives and businesses.
Starting with what we’ve discussed in this article, let’s each individually (and collectively) turn 2021 on its head and make it the best year yet. We can’t be the only ones who believe that the best is yet to come.