Marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot. Here are five more cheap ways to attract business.
1. Do unique things with discounts. Don’t just give away your profits by mass distributing coupons. Create a sense of value by letting customers win or earn coupons, as they would in a frequent buyer club. Sell gift certificates at a discount to get up-front money for capital expenses or other advertising.
2. Use the personal touch. Direct mail lets you give the impression of a personal approach, but you should take that even further. Congratulate potential and existing customers when they receive a promotion at work or when they buy a new home. Send articles to clients if you think they might be interested. Call them. Send out birthday cards.
3. Conduct low-cost market research. Hand out questionnaires to customers or invite survey responses from website visitors. Go shopping at the competition. Immerse yourself in websites and trade magazines that relate to your business.
4. Become your own ad agency. If you think you’ll advertise in magazines, on TV or on radio, you may be able to get discounts by setting up an account in the name of your “marketing arm”. Print some stationary. Now you qualify for agency discounts.
These are all do-able marketing activities that take some time but don’t squeeze your bottomline.