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29 Effective, Low-Cost Marketing Strategies

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If the only form of advertising you pay attention to are prime-time network commercials, then you might believe that the most-effective thing you could do to attract new customers, clients or patients and grow your business would be to dream up a campaign that simply entertains the masses, complete with talking animals or other crazy characters, if possible.

Well, here’s the good news…

You don’t have to – nor should you – spend anywhere near that amount of money or be anywhere near that clever or amusing in order to attract all the new customers, clients or patients you could ever want.

Smart marketers use a series of information-based ads that build emotion, create a connection and position themselves as experts, followed by a call to action.

This method of marketing is much more effective than simply spewing out image-based advertisements that big, dumb companies routinely waste billions of dollars on every year. And best of all, smart marketing can be used even by the smallest of businesses, no matter what marketing budget you may have.

Here are 29 low-cost but highly-effective strategies you can use to attract a flood of new customers, clients or patients – in any economy:

  1. Create a short report that you’ll automatically send to prospects when they contact you. This should include a brief description of your business and what you specialize in. Don’t forget to include case studies, samples or other examples of proof of your success.
  2. Develop value-oriented yellow page ads (yes, smart marketers are still raking in the dollars with yellow pages advertising, even though the usage of the once-dominant directories has gone way down).
  3. Publish a monthly print newsletter as another way of educating and informing customers about your industry and services offered. Send out a weekly email newsletter as well – although of course you’ll get a MUCH lower readership rate and get far less results.
  4. Offer a free seminar, webinar or other lecture to build awareness of your business. Make sure you gear your content directly to your target market and find speakers who are respected and known in your industry (or, even better, use the strategies I teach to become an expert or celebrity in your target market yourself).
  5. Buy an existing business, then simply introduce better marketing. You’ll be able to grow this new business faster than a “from scratch” business.
  6. Always test different versions of your ads to discover which ones are the most effective investment of your advertising dollars.
  7. Use direct mail marketing to grow your business. It sounds old-fashioned, but it’s still by far the most effective form of marketing.
  8. Put together a list of your previous customers and send them new information and offers to reactivate some of them.
  9. Offer incentives such as frequent buying benefits, loyalty programs, referral programs or others.
  10. Approach large companies who may need your services and negotiate a deal for you to become their exclusive expert in your field.
  11. Offer a 24-hour free information hotline with a regularly updated recorded message. Make this available to all past and future customers, clients or patients.
  12. Donate time or materials to local charities to build up goodwill and show support for your local area.
  13. Offer free public clinics for the general public to come and find out how you can solve a problem for them and show them how approachable and helpful you are.
  14. Organize seminars and events your customers, clients or patients can pay to attend by putting together a high-value package.
  15. Approach your local newspaper and offer to write a weekly column about your area of expertise. Don’t ask for money – just make sure you get your name and contact information included.
  16. Develop a weekend or other destination seminar for customers, clients and patients. Not only will this give you an action-packed weekend with your most important people, but it will also give them a tax-deductible business adventure.
  17. Take a good seminar of yours and transcribe it into written form for a home study course, membership website program, audio or video series.
  18. Approach large companies and offer to give free seminars to their employees, investors or management.
  19. Be proactive – not haphazard – by putting together and sticking with a set marketing plan.
  20. Barter for your marketing. Offer products or services instead of having to pay cash for your ads.
  21. Be willing to bring in new customers, clients or patients at a break-even point or even at an initial slight loss. With effective marketing, you’ll recover that initial customer acquisition cost many, many times over.
  22. Make offers to other businesses that serve people in your target markets to pay them for referrals or sharing their list with you.
  23. Offer loaner products to replace equipment while it’s being repaired or refurbished.
  24. Give away something free to everyone who brings in a print version of your advertisement. This is a great way to track your advertising to discover which ads are giving you the most bang for your buck.
  25. Continually develop new products or services you can offer to current customers, clients or patients.
  26. Develop a mail order or catalog division of your company.
  27. Offer a proposition to your competitors to trade leads and prospects that you were each unsuccessful in converting to customers, clients or patients.
  28. Use varied marketing tactics and offers to attract new customers, clients or patients who otherwise were not buying from you.
  29. Offer a “you-choose-the-price” program. This is especially good for a product or service you just can’t seem to sell.

So, there you have it. 29 effective, low-cost ways to market your business.

Some other great ways to attract new customers, clients or patients for little or no cost are:

  • Get involved you in your community – volunteer, donate to and/or sponsor local events, etc.
  • Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend their networking and other activities throughout the year.
  • Join a local, state or regional organization for further networking opportunities.
  • Become a board member of a local organization.

Advertising should never be your only method of marketing – especially expensive, ineffective image-based advertising. There are many ways to position yourself as an expert and build a personal connection to attract new customers, clients or patients.

And every single one of them is a much smarter way to invest your time and money that just trying to entertain people with useless and expensive image-based advertising.

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