Customer acquisition is important to every business, no matter how large or small. However, research shows that customer retention is just as important. In fact, it’s often even more important seeing as repeat customers spend more per transaction than new customers, and they also have a much greater lifetime value. Furthermore, they also cost less, which helps your bottom line significantly.
The great news is that stickers are a cost-effective way to both attract and retain customers, if you know what you’re doing. So, read on to find out why stickers are so effective and how to use them to improve customer acquisition and retention rates.
Why Do Stickers Work So Well?
When consumers are being sold to, whether it’s through traditional ads in magazines, on TV, or online, or via direct marketing, promotional articles, or so-called genuine reviews that you can tell from a mile are actually promotional, a massive barrier fraught with dozens of obstacles goes up. Skepticism, distrust, and downright hostility are just some of the issues you have to deal with, which can make acquiring new customers complicated and expensive.
People perceive stickers differently, though, even when they are being used as advertisements. As children, we learn to love stickers and see them as rewards and gifts. And most people carry that with them into their adult lives, which is why you see adults with laptops, cars and other personal items covered in stickers.
For this reason, when stickers are used as promotional tools, people don’t put up the same barriers. In fact, many feel as if they’ve been given a gift, which makes them more open to doing business with the company that gave them the stickers.
How to Make the Most Out of Stickers
While you’re already starting out ahead because of the way stickers are perceived, there are a few things you can do to maximize your positive results.
Know Your Target Market
The first thing you have to do is get to know your target market well. You need to know what they want, what they need, what motivates them, what keeps them up at night and so on. Ideally, create a customer persona, including every little detail, from demographics to their fears and desires.
To be able to attract customers, you need to understand them. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to develop sticker designs that will offer value and help build a connection.
And that’s the key. Every step you take in your business needs to be focused on your customer, from product development to deciding on the design of your stickers.
Decide on a Strategy
There are a number of ways you can use stickers to attract customers, depending on your business. For example, if you run a physical store, you can use decals and outdoor stickers, which are large stickers that can be affixed to windows, floor, walls and so on. You can use them to attract foot traffic by piquing people’s curiosity, like an Apple store did with a sticker that mimicked broken glass to advertise the iPod Hi-Fi. People didn’t know what the ad was for until they entered the store, but the broken glass drew them in because people were curious to find out what had happened.
TV2 also got creative with outdoor stickers when they launched Batman Begins by placing them on footlight paths so that when the lights were turned on, they shone through the sticker, creating the bat signal. This type of approach can be used by any business looking to increase brand exposure.
Then there are the standard stickers that you can hand out to people, which also work for any type of business. They aren’t just great at increasing brand exposure, but they also help create a connection because you are, essentially, giving your prospects a gift. And everyone loves a freebie.
Create an Effective Sticker Design
Once you’ve decided on the approach, it’s time to consider the design. If you’re going for decals and outdoor stickers to increase brand exposure, you need to step a little outside your comfort zone and come up with something that will stop people in their tracks.
If you’re going to be handing out die-cut stickers, you should consider a slightly different approach. While a sticker of your logo is all well and good, if you really want your brand to stick in people’s minds, you should consider a design that entertains, is inspirational, or is useful. For example, a cute kitten meme with your brand and logo off to one side will get more mileage than a sticker of just your logo. Likewise, a calendar will get more attention than a simple photo of your product.
Remember when creating the design to take into account everything you’ve learned of your target market, but also consider how you want people to use your stickers. Do you want them to put them up on their refrigerators to glance at all the time and never forget your brand? Then a calendar or a cooking conversion table would be great options. Do you want them to put them on their laptops? Then maybe an inspirational quote might be the way to go.
The one thing you need to keep in mind is to make sure that your stickers are offering your prospects value. By offering them value first, you start to build a relationship – you start to earn their trust – and that makes customer acquisition much easier.
Don’t Forget Distribution
If you’re going the gift sticker route, you have to consider distribution. There are a few avenues you can explore, but they depend on your target market, location and timing.
For example, getting someone to hand out stickers during the day in an office building might not be the best approach. Using interruption marketing techniques isn’t a great idea when people are busy thinking about work or hurrying to get to a meeting on time. However, putting a stack of stickers in a stand near the elevator is a much better idea because people will be more likely to pick them up while they’re hanging around, just waiting.
On the other hand, giving out stickers in the mall on a Saturday afternoon tends to engender better responses because people are out relaxing and are much more open to a little interruption, especially if they’re getting a gift.
The key to attracting and retaining customers is building a strong relationship with them. And stickers are a powerful, cost-effective approach because even a small sticker will be perceived as a gift rather than advertising. If you take things a step further and make it something that your prospects would really love, based on the data you gathered about them when researching your target market, you’ll find that it will the beginning of a beautiful and mutually beneficial friendship.