3 Cost-Effective Ways to Promote Your Product

eCommerce · Email Marketing

Are you starting an online business or thinking of it, but you’re not sure where to start when it comes to promoting? Or perhaps you have a brick-and-mortar shop, and you’re looking for new ways to promote your offerings online as you move into e-commerce?

Welcome to the wide, wide world of digital marketing where you can share information about almost anything, anywhere, without spending a ton of money. But beyond basic social media activity, what are some other ways to get the word out? Read on for some simple strategies.

1. Email Marketing

Were you aware that email marketing remains one of the least expensive and most effective digital marketing methods? According to Email Monks, email marketing has four times the ROI than other digital marketing methods, and almost 90% of marketers use email as their main lead generation tool.

Why is email marketing so effective? For one thing, it cost basically nothing to start and run a campaign. For another, email marketing tools available today typically come with many built-in features to help you stay organized and on track with specific campaigns – for instance, there are plenty of inexpensive tools that offer workflow organization, segmentation, and social scheduling.

If you’ve already been building a mail list, you’re already halfway there. But it does take some extra organization to develop an email campaign that converts.  

Building an Effective Email Campaign 

First, you can choose an automation and email management tool to help you get organized. MailChimp and Marketo are just two of many email management tools available today, with MailChimp likely being the most user-friendly and inexpensive. Then you can create a timeline that fits with your overall marketing goals – plan to send your emails consistently but without loading a person’s inbox with what could be perceived as SPAM mail.

The next step is to develop persuasive text and quality content that fits with your marketing goal. You’ll want to ensure that your welcome email is clear and specific so that your audience understands where the following emails are coming from and why you are sending them.

It’s also important to create a title that stands out in a packed inbox. Great subject lines are key to higher open rates and click-through rates. To get people’s attention, consider asking a quirky question, offering a discount, or alluding clearly to your unique value proposition in the subject line.

Create Content that Converts

Make sure that your content adds specific value to their lives and that you make it easy for them to access your products – for instance, if you are advertising a webinar, be clear about the fact that they can watch it later if they need to.

Your call to action should be informative and educational, since email is for brand awareness and information, not necessarily a “hard” sell. It should also prompt them to move towards a next step, which may or may not be purchasing your main product. The key is to make this step as smooth as possible so that they are moving into the next level of the sales funnel without even thinking about it. Make it frictionless and be clear and specific about the unique value you’re offering.

Follow Up & Tracking

Lastly, you’ll want to be constantly following up to understand what’s working (and what’s not working) by monitoring key performance indicators like the ratio of open rates to sales. You’ll also want to pay attention to where traffic flows are stalled, such as looking at unsubscribe rates. Lastly, don’t forget to nurture your leads and ensure re-engagement for those segments who appear to be losing interest.

2. Referral Marketing

Referral marketing is really just another term for “word of mouth” advertising. In the past, it would have been common to open up a store in a small town, pass out flyers and hope and pray that locals actually chose your business over the competitors. Of course, that still happens sometimes, but now more people are doing much more research online, using social media and reading reviews before making a purchase.

The truth is that people trust their peers over brands – and sometimes they do this without even knowing it. For instance, if they advertise something on their social media page, they’re essentially acting as brand ambassadors. According to Nielsen, peer referrals make people four times as likely to make a purchase. The Wharton School of Business claims that referral customers have a much higher conversion rate and customer lifetime value than other types of customers.

It may seem obvious that people are more likely to trust friends and family over anonymous advertisers. But also falling into the scope of referral marketing is news stories, testimonials, influencers (e.g., social media celebrities or bloggers), as well as customer reviews. Yes, those reviews that you read before buying a product on Amazon or trying a restaurant on Yelp go a long way and so long as they’re positive, they basically act as free advertising.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is just one facet of referral marketing. Influencer marketers are people that have built a name for themselves on social media, but sometimes they are people who already have clout (e.g., movie stars or entrepreneurs) and continue to make themselves visible in the digital landscape for instance, via promoting products.

When you connect with an influencer and get them to promote your product, you automatically tap into a huge audience. And if your partnership is an even exchange (that is, you don’t need to compensate the influencer), this is an extremely cost-effective means of promotion.

That being said, we can use the influencer marketing framework as a good example of why referral marketing works on social media. People follow celebrities or other types of influencers (let’s say yoga teachers) on Instagram because they’re not only interested in the people, they’re interested in a specific activity. So, if you find someone with a big following that is brand- or product- relevant, it’s possible to join forces and create a partnership that also benefits the other arty.

You can also use influencer marketing in innovative ways to promote charities. Omaze is a perfect example of a company that uses “meet a celebrity” influencer marketing campaigns to raise money and awareness for charities. In this way, combining referral or influencer marketing with something that appeals to the emotions – or a cause that someone cares about – when it’s brand-consistent, can be an extremely effective way of getting people’s attention on social media.

3. Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs are a great way to get the word out about your product or business without spending too much money. This is essentially commission-based selling, where an affiliate (like a blogger) will promote your products and earn money when they make a sale or sometimes when they perform some other type of action.

What you’ll do here is create a URL for everyone who is promoting your stuff and then they can share in their own feeds. Each link serves the purpose of tracking and managing which affiliate is making a sale, and how many they make.

In order to get started with an affiliate marketing plan, you’ll have an account set up with a specific affiliate marketing website like Clickbank, where affiliates will apply to promote your product. Customers click on the link on their site and then are able to purchase your product.

This is one form of free advertising and can be a useful way of getting the word out about your brand, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, this works better for some products than others, and it may only be worth it for a lot of affiliate marketers if they know they’re getting a decent commission. Second, you have to make sure that your affiliates are genuinely excited about a given product and will be consistent about advertising, as well as advertise it in the right way.

Lastly, the person doing the marketing should already have a decent following and understand the basic principles of how to promote a product in such a way that it leads to sales. 

Final Thoughts

Because there are so many options for advertising online, online advertising leaves plenty of room for you to get creative with your ad campaigns. What’s more, you really don’t need a ton of money to get the traffic flowing in – but you do need to have a strong following in place to start, especially if your promotional activities involve social media.

Once you have that, you can create innovative promotions and events to help you engage on a face-to-face level with our followers, or use similar methods of mixed campaign strategies to catch the eye of your best customers.

You may also be interested in
7 Awesome Digital Marketing LinkedIn Profiles for You to Learn From
Why your Brand Should Have a Voice Search Strategy
The Complete Guide to On-Page and Off-Page SEO
5 Digital Marketing Trends for Small Business
3 Cost-Effective Ways to Promote Your Product
10 Tools for Social Selling on LinkedIn
10 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve Their Social Media Presence
Top 5 Tools for Building Infographics
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
What are the Benefits of e-Commerce to Your Business?
How to Write a Video Marketing Script
Cold Calling vs. Social Selling: Which is Better?
How to Use Social Media for Storytelling
The Ultimate Digital Marketing Interview Checklist
How to Use Instagram Stories Ads
3 Strategies to Generate B2B Pharma Leads from LinkedIn
How do SEO and SEM Work Together in 2018?
How to Design Snapchat Ads for Small Business
5 Companies Dominating Content Marketing
Know the Score: How to Boost Your Social Selling Index
How to Build an Influencer Marketing Strategy
7 Key Ingredients of a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
How to Measure Your Content Marketing
7 of the Hottest Digital Marketing Jobs
The Importance of Video Marketing
Customer Segmentation & Targeting - A Guide
What does GDPR Mean for Social Media Strategies?
Social Selling: How to Connect with the Modern Buyer
15 Content Marketing Tools You Need
Top 5 Social Media Blogs Every Digital Marketer Should Bookmark
7 Essential Skills Every Digital Marketer Should Know
6 Tips to Re-engage Your Audience
5 Advantages of Online Learning
Top 10 Video Editing Tools for Small Business
The Rise of AI: Will It Take or Create Digital Jobs?
Is Content Marketing the New SEO?
Digital Marketing: How to Start Your New Career
The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing on Social Media
Should Your Business Use Chatbot Copywriting?
5 Vanity Metrics You Should Ignore in Your Next Digital Marketing Campaign
The Definitive GDPR Checklist for Marketers
Webinar 101: How to Get Started With Live Video
Content Audit Checklist: Templates & Guidelines for Your Next Audit
The State of Video Marketing in 2018
How to Write Headlines That Sell
5 Local SEO Predictions for 2018
7 Simple SEO Hacks ‘Hidden’ in Google Analytics
8 Twitter Hashtag Research Tools
3 Ways to Improve Your Rankings in SERP
How to Deal with Fake Online Reviews of Your Business
Increase Reach With Instagram Hashtags
The Companies Making the Most of Futuristic AI Technology
3 Essentials of a Successful Digital Selling Strategy
3 Innovative Video Marketing Campaigns
6 Advanced LinkedIn Sales Navigator Tactics
How to Identify Leaks in Your Sales Funnel
How the Internet of Things Is Disrupting Digital Marketing
How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media to Boost Donations
8 Essential Content Types for Sales Enablement
6 Ways Digital is Transforming Pharma and Healthcare
How Digital Skills Can Give You the Competitive Advantage
How to Apply Machine Learning to Your Digital Marketing Strategy
How to Create a Customer Journey Map
Social Selling: Increase Sales on Social Media
Smarketing: 7 Tips for Marketing & Sales Alignment
The Complete Guide to Creating a High-Converting Webinar
The Beginner’s Guide to Mobile Marketing Strategy
How to Measure Success in Your Video Marketing Campaign
Optimize Your Buyer Journey With Social Selling
The Importance of Social Media in Higher Education
The Most In-Demand, Transferable Skills in Digital Marketing
All-Around Digital Marketer vs. Specialists - the Pros and Cons
GDPR and Digital Marketing: How Your Company Will Be Affected
Digital Events for 2018: a Look Ahead to the Year’s Hottest Events
How to Become a Freelance SEO Expert
Tips for Landing a Social Media Job
Digital Skills: What Top Agencies Look for When Hiring
The Ultimate Guide to Bad SEO Practices
Chatbots: Will 80% of Companies Really be Using Them By 2020
The Battle of the Social Media Platforms in 2018
Integrated Marketing Campaigns: Traditional And Digital Media Success
Boost Your Presentation Skills for Digital Success
Spotlight: Digital Marketing Industry Leaders
How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Customer Base
Digital Marketing KPIs: How to Choose and Track
5 Key Elements of a Killer LinkedIn Summary
Digital Transformations: How Did These Leading Brands Do It?
How Digital Marketers Can Tell Better Stories
How Social Media Can Enhance Political Campaigns
14 Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
4 Resources for Writing Incredible Copy
7 Social Media Mistakes Your Company Is Still Making
5 Tactics White Hat SEOs Can Learn From Black Hat SEOs
Should Content Marketers Be Using Medium?
3 of the Most Creative Marketing Campaigns of 2018 (so far)
7 Ways to Kickstart Your Content Marketing Career
10 Ways to Grow Your YouTube Channel in 2018
How to Repurpose Top Content for Social Media Posts
9 Essential Soft Skills for Digital Marketers
How the New Facebook Feed Change Will Impact Influencer Marketing