5 Strategies To Attract Your First 100 Customers To Your Fintech Startup
In 2008, Kevin Kelly argued that to make a living as an entrepreneur, you only need 1,000 true fans.
A true fan is someone who buys anything you create. In this case, they sign up and pay for the services your fintech startup provides. Your fans stick around as loyal customers and continue paying for new services you introduce later.
However, for a new fintech startup, 1,000 true fans is an audacious goal. It feels like it’s out of reach. That’s why recently, Li Jin countered Kevin’s argument, saying that you don’t need 1,000 fans, because 100 will do.
In an environment where you have to deal with skepticism from potential customers, cybersecurity risks, tight government regulations, and stiff competition, getting 100 fans feels like a reasonable goal for most fintech startups.
In this post, we’ll talk about what you can do to attract your first 100 paying customers for your fintech startup.
What Is Fintech Marketing?
Fintech marketing involves promoting technological solutions in finance (such as online and mobile payment services) to attract potential customers and retain existing ones.
In the past few years, fintech has grown exponentially with more than 210.1 billion U.S. dollars pumped into the industry in 2021.
On the other hand, since 2018, consumer attitudes in the U.S have been shifting towards digital banking, with 65.3% of Americans relying on digital banking in 2022:
All these numbers point us to one fact: Fintech is a rapidly growing industry. Consumers are willing to embrace solutions that make it easier to manage their money.
Challenges Facing Fintech Marketing
Even with the adoption of digital banking, and as more money goes into developing fintech solutions, there is still a lack of brand awareness among consumers.
Most consumers associate financial institutions with big banks, such as Chase or Wells Fargo.
It’s still hard to shake off traditional banking. Fully embracing digital banking is a challenge.
As of November 2021, there were 26,346 fintech startups globally. With so many players in the market, it’s difficult for upcoming fintech startups to stand out among consumers.
As more and more consumers learn how their data is being used by big corporations, they feel like they have lost control over their own information and finances.
This leads to distrust in fintech startups. Besides, recent conduct by fintech startups to the detriment of their customers leaves a lot to be desired, in an industry where ethics and integrity should govern how fintech startups treat their customers.
For a new fintech startup, these challenges feel like the odds are stacked against them. This makes it difficult to acquire customers to grow and scale—but it’s not impossible.
Let’s talk about five of the best ways to earn your first 100 customers (a.k.a fans).
Strategies To Attract Customers To Your Fintech
Say you’re providing a fintech solution to manage billing and subscriptions. When promoting your fintech solution, your potential customers are in one of the stages of their buying journey:
- Problem Aware: They are aware of their problem, but are not yet imagining solutions. (I’m struggling with managing billing and subscription)
- Solution Aware: They are considering different solutions to their problem. (What billing and subscriptions solutions do we have in the market?)
- Provider Aware: They are ready to pay for a fintech solution to solve their problem. (I want to pay for a specific service to help me manage billing and subscriptions)
While each of your potential customers exist in each of these buying stages, they’re also taking steps to move to the next stage. Thus, they move closer to solving their problem. And that’s where your fintech marketing efforts come in.
When you’re just getting started, the best way to gain traction is to go after potential customers who are in the consideration and decision stages.
Their buying journey is at an advanced stage. They’re more receptive to your marketing messages so you will spend less time convincing them to sign up for your solution.
Here’s what you need to do acquire customers in these stages:
1. Personalize Your Marketing Messages
Since you already have a good idea of the kind of customer you are targeting, it’s important to remember that not all customers are equal.
Instead of treating all your customers the same way, make sure that you’re running an integrated marketing campaign where all your marketing messages are customized to their specific situation and position you as the fintech solution they need.
To do that, start by interviewing your potential customer base to understand their problems more deeply. Then, you can segment them correctly.
For example, Stripe processes payments for companies, but it has customer segments based on size.
For a start, this is high-level segmentation supported by data from thousands of customers.
However, you can always look into forums and online groups to listen to some of the challenges people talk about that your fintech startup could provide a solution for. Going by our previous example (managing billing and subscriptions) take a look at this customer on Reddit:
As you go through questions and comments on online forums, look out for pain points, industries, and use cases to rely on when segmenting your customers. With this information, create personalized marketing messages that resonate with your potential customers.
2. Use Bottom Of The Funnel Content To Boost Conversions
Done right, bottom of the funnel content helps potential customers take the leap to start a trial, sign up for a demo, or use a discount. Bottom of the funnel content is ideal for potential customers in the consideration and decision stages because it provides answers to questions they have about the solutions that are available in the market.
For example, you may not find a huge number of people searching for “online payment platforms” but those who do are actively looking for solutions to manage their online payments.
A quick search on Google reveals the following results:
The keywords searchers use reflect their pain points. Those pain points are points you should urgently address by creating content that responds to their needs. This way, you can improve your conversions.
Here are examples of bottom of the funnel content you can start creating for your own fintech business:
Comparison content: Freshbooks vs Quickbooks post compares features between the two solutions. It also points out the pros and cons of using each solution to help the reader choose what to use.
Best of lists: Popular payment processors by Shopify provides a list of payment processing options that small businesses can use.
“Best of” lists make it easier for readers to narrow down to a handful of options so they can decide which solution to use.
Alternatives solutions: Braintree alternatives. Not every customer who signed up with a competing fintech solution is satisfied with the services they get.
Alternative solution posts help point out flaws while suggesting fintech solutions that have all the features that customers need.
Case studies: Case studies also help you address objections that potential customers have. By telling a story about how your fintech solution helped them, they answer questions such as “will I regret paying for this?” and “is this right for me?”
Having your existing customers talk about your fintech solution is more effective as opposed to you doing the same thing.
Start with bottom of the funnel content and once you have 100 customers, you can always go back and create more types of content to improve brand awareness.
3. Improve Your Website Copy
Having a great product or service is one thing. Presenting it to your customers in a way that encourages them to sign up is another.
Typically, your potential customers have to overcome two kinds of doubts before they sign up for your fintech solution: doubt in themselves (am I making the right decision?) and doubt in your solution (will this solution meet my needs?)
Your offer acts as a bridge that earns their trust and encourages them to sign up for your solution. So, how do you create an enticing offer?
Start by reducing the amount of risk your potential customers will take by signing up for your product. In addition to talking to the sales team, Braintree allows you to try the sandbox to test it for free, then you can go live once you’re satisfied:
Highlight the benefits that your customers enjoy once they sign up for your solution:
Lastly, bundle your solutions to increase the perceived value of what your potential customers are paying for:
4. Gamify Customer Interactions
To boost your conversions, consider gamifying your interactions on critical touch points as it helps improve user engagement and improves conversions.
Why is gamification so effective? It relies on two ideas:
- Self determination: our ability as human beings to make our own choices and decide how to live our lives
- Technology acceptance model: explains how people adopt and learn how to use new technologies.
By allowing the potential customer to learn something new about themselves, they also discover new ideas as to how your solution fits into their lives.
Their discoveries make them more receptive to using your fintech solution in a way that suits them. Also, it moves them away from prescribed use cases that might not fully blend in with the fintech solution they need to solve their problems.
A side benefit of this is that you also collect data on more use cases that you can develop to solve specific customer problems.
To succeed with gamification, first identify critical touchpoints, ideally those close to conversions.
For example, find landing pages or email sequences where the success of your interaction is tied to a conversion. Determine what you want them to do beforehand.
Do you want to offer a quiz, or do you want them to get a sneak peek of the streaks they need to complete and the titles they get once they accomplish a goal?
Let’s say your fintech solution helps your customers manage their finances. To improve engagement, help your users complete streaks and earn them a new identity once they achieve their goals.
Fortune City, a gamified finance app, gives their users different titles depending on the goals they’re able to achieve.
It is intriguing to new users who want to see what kind of personal finance manager they can be when using the app. This encourages them to sign up and even pay for premium versions of the app:
In addition to giving potential customers titles once they achieve their goals, use quizzes.
Quizzes tap into our curiosity to learn more about ourselves and we’re all prone to giving in whenever we see a quiz that will help us learn something new. Here’s a brilliant quiz from I Will Teach You To Be Rich that helps potential customers learn about their earning potential:
5. Start A Customer Referral Program
At this stage in the growth of your startup, you may not have the resources to hire a fully functional in-house marketing team to handle all your marketing needs.
Consider recruiting your first few customers to help you acquire more customers to keep your customer acquisition efforts ongoing.
In his book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Jonah Berger explains the six principles that fuel word of mouth and social transmission:
In this context, a referral program catches on because customers share what they care about (finances), what they find valuable (your fintech solution) and things that make them look good infront of their friends (if your solution is great, they get extra points).
For example, Koho has a referral program where it rewards both a customer and their referral get $20:
Customers sharing this with their friends makes them look good, and they get paid for a job well done, creating a chain of friends referring to one another.
Partnering with your existing customers puts them in a better position to be brand advocates, since they can tell a story about the value they have received in a better way than you can.
Their friends trust them. Since they are sharing something they care about and find valuable, they’re in a better position to convince their friends to sign up.
For example, if your customer doubles up as an influencer or industry expert, they may write a review sharing their experience from using your product:
While this may not be a sponsored review, it helps to dig deeper to know your customers better so you can tap into their unique skill sets to promote your fintech solution to increase conversions.
To set up your customer referral program, you want to make sure that your rewards are aligned with incentives that would push customers to talk about you whenever discussions about finances come up.
Is $20 enough? Is a free month where they don’t pay the usual subscription fee enough? The only way to know is by running a quick survey asking your new customers what will motivate them to encourage their friends to sign up for your fintech solution.
Getting your first 100 customers for your fintech startup is always a challenge. However, the strategies we’ve discussed here provide you with some clarity on where to start.
If you are receiving a decent amount of traffic to your website, gamify critical touch points to increase engagement and improve conversions.
Alternatively, consider improving your marketing copy to reduce the risk of commitment. Once the first few customers sign up, recruit them into your customer referral programs with relevant rewards to keep them engaged as brand advocates.
And while you turn your focus on customer acquisition, consider SpdLoad’s Software Development Services to keep up with new feature requests and stay on track with fintech app development.