Ten Cheap, Yet Powerful Marketing Ideas for Small Business

Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. It’s about choosing the right methods for the right audiences.

Here are 10 cost effective yet powerful ideas you can implement today to kick start your marketing.

1. Print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to specific prospects in your targeted market.
In such a digital work, print can really stand out!

People read postcards when the message is brief. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website and generate a flood of sales or leads for a very small cost.
(Need printing?)

2. No single marketing effort works all the time for every business – or every audience, so rotate several marketing tactics and vary your approach.

Your customers tune out after a while if you toot only one note (We all know about the Rugs’A’Million closing down sale – EVERY weekend!). Not only that, YOU’LL get bored.
Marketing can be fun, and your audience should enjoy hearing what you have to say, so take advantage of the thousands of opportunities available for communicating your value to customers and switch up which tactics you use. Plan carefully. Get feedback from customers and adapt your efforts accordingly.

3. Use affiliate marketing to promote your business.

This can be a cheap but effective means of growing brand exposure and generating sales. Partner with a business that your type of customers use either before or after your services. You know, how airlines promote car rentals?!
This gives you (and your partner business) the chance to reach a whole new pool of potential customers.

4. Answer Your Phone Differently.

Try announcing a special offer when you answer the phone. For example, “Good morning, this is [Your Name] at [Your Business] ; ask me about my special marketing offer.” (Intriguing right!?)
The caller is compelled to ask about the offer. Or how about taking advantage of being on hold and instead of subjecting your customer to more of that horrible hold music, tell them about a deal you’ve got going and use it as an opportunity to spook your services. Make sure your offer is motivating and increase the urgency by including a not-so-distant expiration date.

5. Stick It!

Use stickers, stamps and handwritten notes on all of your direct mail efforts and day-to-day business mail. (Yes, print may be dead – in some forms – but nothing still beats a personalised letter of offer).
When you put a sticker or handwritten message on the outside of an envelope, it demands attention. People read it first – and it stands out amongst the usual window faced bill pile (hey, put an offer sticker on the outside of your invoice envelopes!).
Just make sure the message is short and concise so it can be read in less than 10 seconds.

6. Send A Second Offer To Your Customers Immediately After They’ve Purchased

Your customer just purchased a sweater from your clothing shop. Send a handwritten note to your customer thanking them for their business and informing them that upon their return with “this note” they may take advantage of a private offer, such as 20% off their next purchase. To create urgency, remember to include an expiration date.
I often get hand written cards in the post with special ‘one-off’ offers for a certain brand of business shirt I wear – signed personally (I think!) by the owner of the business. So when I’m up for some online shopping – where do you think I go first!?

7. Newsletters

Did you know it costs up to six times more to make a sale to a new customer than to an existing one? You can use newsletters (either print or email) to focus your marketing on past customers. If printed newsletters are too expensive, consider an e-mail newsletter sent to people who subscribe at your website or are past customers.
Make sure they’re regular (monthly, weekly, or even quarterly) and full of good relevant content. It doesn’t all have to be sales-y!

8. Seminars/ Open house

Hosting an event is a great way to gain face time with key customers and prospects as well as get your brand name circulating. With the right program and planning, you’ll be rewarded with a nice turnout and possibly even media coverage. If it’s a client function, be sure to invite partners and spouses and put on something entertaining to keep them around (hey State of Origin is coming!)
If it’s a seminar, limit the attendance and charge a small fee to share your expertise. A fee gives the impression of value. Free often sends the message (whether intended or not) that attendees will have to endure a sales pitch.

9. Bartering/ Trade Services

This is an excellent tool to promote your business and get others to use your product and services. You can trade your product for advertising space or for another company’s product or service. This is especially helpful when two companies on limited budgets can exchange their services.
We’re big on helping small business grow – so this is something we’ve also done from time to time to help businesses get off the ground. If you think you could do with our help, give us your pitch and we’ll see if it’s a fit!

10. Share Something

It goes without saying social media (if you choose the right channel for your business) is a must have and can deliver some really cheap 0r no-cost leads if you’re engaging the right audience. However, what about writing? It doesn’t cost you anything to put pen to paper – or fingers to keys – and by sharing some of your expertise and insights, not only will you gain a better reputation as someone who knows what they’re talking about in your industry – it shows you’re transparent, approachable and passionate about what you do! Not just that – updating your website and social channels regularly with content is super important. It can boost your search rankings organically (without paying) and it keeps your brand top of mind with your audience.

Like what you’ve read here?

One of the things we love to do is put together strategies to help businesses market themselves better while saving money at the same time.

Check out our marketing services and contact us if you’d like to chat about the types of ideas we could put together for you.