Cheap Marketing Ideas

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Here are some ideas for running cheap marketing campaigns. We have used these ideas to get to product/market fit and later to test new product ideas and iterations.

Direct Emails

Inspired by the great book Predictable Revenue we used personalized emails to targeted lists. The emails were very short and to the point, all optimized to get the prospect on the phone. With the first 5-10 calls to test and optimize our value proposition, and later to actually sell. Our emails usually went something like this: Hi, My name is Mick and I work for Readmore. I have an idea that will increase your readership size. Do you have 10 minutes tomorrow?

Search Ads

The fastest way to get users to your product is by buying ads. With increased competition on a lot of keywords, prices have gone up in the past years. By now it’s probably obvious advice, but try to find some long tail keywords. They’re cheaper and more effective. It takes a lot of tweaking to get this right, but for us it was always the fastest way to market. Longer term, you probably don’t want to solely depend on this.

Live Chat

For this you do already need some visitors to your website. If you do, this is a great way to get into the minds of prospective buyers. During launches of new features or campaigns I would always keep the live chat window in the corner of my screen, to see how users went trough the site and talk to them if I noticed they were confused. It quickly helps you identify bottlenecks, and it is a low-threshold way for your visitors to ask questions.

Mini Event

For us this only succeeded when we were right out of college, but there are other ways to make it work. Ask your old university (or other organization) if you can host an event there. They usually let you do it for free, and you can probably use their coffee machine. Find some speakers that you think are interesting, and invite people in your target groups. This is how we found our earliest customers. Nowadays there are also a lot of co-working spaces, they’re often eager to host events. That might work too, especially if you’re targeting other startups.

Press and speaking engagements

When I was in college, news outlets would agree to interviews just because I was a young entrepreneur. This is what one of my earliest mentors called the ‘cuddle factor’. Later on, it became more important to talk about something of substance, besides the fact that you’re an entrepreneur. If you find an organization that would be interested in your company, you can ask to present there. Make sure that you’re not just pitching your company, but talk about your personal story.

Content Marketing

It took us years to see real results from our content marketing efforts, but it was eventually worth it. As with everything; try to think what your audience might be interested in, you probably have a lot of unique insights—don’t just pitch your product.