Marketing On A Shoestring Budget

Marketing On A Shoestring Budget

In the​ ever-changing world of​ marketing one thing remains constant,​ the​ high cost of​ traditional marketing. if​ you’re a​ small business,​ or​ even a​ medium to​ large size business with a​ small marketing budget,​ then you​ need to​ explore marketing tactics that cost little or​ no money but have the​ promise of​ generating large returns.

It is​ possible to​ create effective marketing campaigns on​ a​ small budget. the​ most cost effective techniques can be found in​ print and online. in​ particular,​ affiliate programs,​ link building campaigns,​ and post card/landing page campaigns can generate significant returns at​ little or​ no cost. Depending on​ your list and offer,​ such campaigns can generate a​ better return than some traditional forms of​ media.

1. Affiliate Programs

Established affiliate programs like Commission Junction (CJ) charge publishers hundreds,​ even thousands of​ dollars to​ join their publisher network. However,​ you​ don’t need to​ join an​ established affiliate program to​ begin affiliate marketing.

Although sites like CJ provide many benefits such as​ a​ large pool of​ potential websites who can display your ads and manage commission payments,​ the​ expense may be too large for those on​ a​ tight budget. a​ simple alternative is​ to​ start your own affiliate program and market the​ program through your own website,​ business cards,​ and email.

Beginning your own affiliate program is​ easier than you​ think. Although it​ does require some programming knowledge,​ there are many examples out there you​ can follow. Additionally,​ a​ quick Google search on​ affiliate programs can produce information on​ affiliate program software vendors that can help you​ get up and running in​ as​ little as​ 2 to​ 3 days for a​ few hundred dollars.

Once your program is​ up and running,​ you​ can easily advertise it​ on​ your web site. Additionally,​ you​ should think about other touch points (email signatures,​ receipts,​ etc.) where you​ can communicate your affiliate program and the​ benefits to​ others willing to​ sell your products or​ services.

2. Link Building Campaigns

Increasing your natural search results is​ a​ surefire way to​ increase web traffic. the​ more targeted traffic you​ receive,​ the​ more transactions you​ can potentially create on​ your site. One of​ the​ most effective ways to​ improve search engine results for your website is​ to​ increase the​ number of​ in-bound links. to​ do so,​ begin a​ link building campaign.

Simply start your link building campaign by visiting Google and typing in​ the​ keyword or​ keyword phrase that you​ have optimized your website for. Write down the​ top 10 URLs that appear in​ the​ results list. Now,​ visit a​ Google search box and type in​ the​ name of​ the​ first URL on​ the​ list preceded by “link:” For example,​ “link:”,​ this will show you​ how many sites link to​ that URL (your top competitor’s website) and who they are. Follow the​ same procedure for the​ remaining nine websites and enter the​ information into a​ spreadsheet.

Once you’ve identified the​ top competitive sites,​ and the​ sites that link to​ them,​ you​ can take a​ variety of​ approaches to​ receive a​ link from those sites. the​ simplest way is​ to​ visit the​ sites and contact the​ site administrator requesting a​ link. Your message can simply state that you​ would like a​ link to​ your site,​ providing access to​ free content or​ information. you​ can also proactively place a​ link for the​ site you’re contacting on​ your website’s partner page (or a​ link page that you​ create) and note that you​ have already linked to​ them and say that you​ would appreciate a​ reciprocal link.

The second way to​ receive a​ link is​ to​ actually call the​ website,​ if​ an​ 800 number is​ provided,​ or​ send a​ letter requesting a​ link. Although time consuming,​ this could generate some important links for your website.

3. Post Card/Jump Page

Direct marketing experts say that results are 40% dependant on​ your marketing list,​ 40% on​ the​ offer,​ and 20% on​ your creative. This is​ a​ good rule to​ follow when thinking about a​ direct mail campaign. Post cards provide a​ good way to​ reach a​ targeted audience at​ a​ low cost. Even if​ you​ are not a​ designer,​ it’s relatively simple to​ create a​ post card. Search the​ internet for a​ provider who can design a​ post card for you. Be sure to​ shop around though,​ pricing varies a​ great deal among online designers and printers.

An effective way to​ leverage your post card campaign is​ to​ provide an​ online offer. if​ you​ target individuals appropriately and give them a​ compelling reason to​ visit your website,​ then you​ will generate traffic and transactions. Be sure to​ capture an​ individual’s name,​ address,​ and/or email once they hit your website and ask for permission to​ market to​ them on​ a​ going forward basis.

Track your campaigns carefully and continue to​ experiment with new lists and offers. It’s best to​ develop your own marketing list with an​ opt-in on​ your registration pages or​ by offering free information – usually in​ the​ form of​ a​ newsletter. Many sites are now offering RSS feeds,​ a​ great way to​ get information to​ your registrants in​ real time.

Making Your Marketing Work

The key to​ making your marketing work on​ a​ shoestring budget is​ to​ begin with low cost,​ effective marketing tactics. Once you’ve begin your marketing campaigns,​ you​ can expand your success by trying different things with your audience. Don’t be afraid to​ experiment,​ try new tactics – new lists,​ new offers,​ new partnership opportunities. Track your results and continue to​ refine your approach. Follow the​ suggestions above and before you​ know it​ you’ll have more than a​ shoestring marketing budget to​ work with!

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