Four Ways to Reach Frugal Customers



Four ways to reach the most frugal customers.

You’ve probably know them…the three basic types of spenders: The preferred un-conflicted who spend normally and regularly. The rare spendthrift, big spenders who tend to throw money around extravagantly. And the tightwad, the most frugal folks who require a bit more arm-twisting to make any type of purchase.

Think for a moment of your customers. Chances are, you don’t have a lot of spendthrifts visiting your store regularly — sadly, big spenders are few and far between since the last recession! Most of us see a fair share of tightwads…and we’ve all felt the challenge many businesses do when marketing to them.

Have heart! We’re here with some bright ideas to get those frugal folks to open up their wallets and spend.

Show them how valuable it is

Words matter! Think about how you’re describing your products or services. Tightwads respond well to practical value propositions over messages of pleasure and enjoyment.

If you’re a hotel, for instance, promoting your proximity to major local sights and attractions — rather than luxury accommodations or a four-star restaurant — you’re more likely to attract the tightwad customer.


Everyone loves feeling like they’re getting something for nothing — even if they’re actually (or eventually) paying for it…especially our most frugal friends.

Consider offering double loyalty points for purchases above a certain dollar value, or delivering an extra gift card “for YOU!” when a customer makes a gift card purchase for someone else.

Or, instead of adding small fees and costs that could be interpreted as “nickel-and-diming,” consider including fees in one price and mark extras a free. Some examples of things you can build into your pricing include shipping and gift wrapping during the holidays.

Offer a “buy and get” deal

Whether you’re offering a “buy one, get one” deal or offering something to sweeten the deal in addition to their purchase, for the customer it feels like a something for nothing proposition.

Create a bundle

Consider the tactic “Frequently Bought Together.” If you add the prices up, there aren’t big savings by purchasing all three, but the bundle is so attractive (and logical) that it make sense to buy the three items, up the total bill AND please your most frugal of friends.

Beware the ‘Barnacle Customer’

A final warning: Some customers really are just a lost cause. There’s a point of diminishing returns where you’re putting a lot of your time and resources into convincing them to make a purchase, but the amount they spend on that purchase just isn’t worth the trouble.

If you aren’t cultivating a recurring customer relationship with those thrifty folks — if their transactions are truly nothing more than one-off transactions — it may be time to stop putting effort in them and focus more on customers more interested in building a connection with you.

What do YOU do to inspire your thrifty customers to purchase?

Leave us a comment to let us know. Your fellow business owners will thank you!