Low-Cost Marketing Ideas for Startups


September 30, 2023

digital marketing ideas

Without a strong marketing strategy, even the best products can go unnoticed and fail to reach their full potential. 

Marketing your newly-launched Startup can be expensive and drain out the pocket if the strategy is not right. According to PPC Expo, around 47% of startup owners have to run promotional campaigns out of their own pocket as they don’t have any additional sources of revenue to support them. 

Startups need to be cautious with their spending on advertising and promotions. They shouldn’t recklessly spend money on Startup marketing and promotions. Because it could affect their runway.

Fortunately, startups can make the best use of low-cost marketing campaigns without going harsh on their budget. 

For example, who can forget how Steve Jobs, the visionary entrepreneur, showcased his vision for Apple at Homebrew Computer Club, California, in front of tech enthusiasts, along with his business partner, Steve Wozniak, in 1976. The rest is history!

Steve and his partner chose a lesser-known computer club to share their ideas with the world. It was not just an out-of-the-box venue for sharing such great news with the world but also a cost-effective option.

Thus, you can run a successful marketing campaign even at a low cost if your choice of marketing platform is appropriate. 

You should consider these low-cost marketing ideas for promoting your startup

Go for SMS Marketing

In the current age of WhatsApp and Telegram, who reads SMS? Right! No, you’re wrong. 

SMS continues to serve as a cost-effective platform for startups and small businesses.  

According to a survey conducted by Simpletexting in 2022, over 55% of entrepreneurs use SMS marketing plans to communicate with their customers. It generated good responses with high CTR (Click Through Rate) from customers.

You can easily subscribe to any bulk SMS plan available with your telecom operator for Startup Marketing and use it for marketing purposes. It’s inexpensive but highly response-driven. 

Through SMS campaigns, startup firms can directly interact with their target audience anytime and pitch their products and services. 

Make Use of Referral Marketing 

Referral marketing has always been a big success among various types of businesses and startups.

Did you know referral marketing is three to five times more likely to generate a conversion than any other mode of marketing? 

As a startup, you can focus on referral marketing for branding and lead generation purposes from day one. It helps.

For example, if you’re a startup and want to take the industry by storm with your innovative product or service, let your customers speak for you. It’s a great way to create brand awareness and grab the attention of your potential leads or angel investors.

You need to take your customers’ online ratings and reviews and showcase them on your business website in the form of customer testimonials. Don’t forget to thank them for their time and effort.

In addition, you can offer discount coupons, a free shipping facility, and gift hampers to some of your loyal customers. Such a gesture will make your customers feel valued and special.

For example, take the case of Hawkers, a startup, specializing in the sale of sunglasses. The brand appointed several social media influencers through referral programs.

They promoted the brand’s products on social media to increase its sales. This strategy worked for Hawkers and generated over $72 million in 2016.

In return, influencers received several benefits, including special discount offers, freebies, personalized greetings, giveaways, and other gift hampers from the company. 

Participate in Offline Events

If you’re a startup, you need to effectively express your ideas and thoughts. Take part in as many seminars and events as possible. Events, workshops, or formal get-togethers give you an excellent opportunity to connect with people. You never know whether you’re talking to your future investor or customer at such an event!

Whenever you participate in such a meeting, ensure you have a compelling pitch to explain your ideas better to interested individuals. You need to clearly communicate your startup ideas, mission, and vision.

At conferences and seminars, thousands of people come and interact. They can be your vital business contacts or leads. Note down their contact details to reach out to them and enhance your rapport with them.

Participating in offline networking events can be a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and get the word out about your business.

If you’re based in Southern California, you might want to check out Startup Game Changer‘s quarterly on-site events. They bring together entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts to discuss the latest trends and share ideas. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn from others and showcase your startup.

So, mark your calendar and head over to their website at https://startupgamechanger.org/ to check out the upcoming event.

Leverage the Potential of Social Media

Every startup needs a robust social media presence. A startup should have its profile on as many social networking sites as possible. 

Social media sites have now evolved as major marketing platforms to help brands connect with their target audience worldwide.

Besides brand-building opportunities, posting social media content also helps you connect with your potential leads who might be interested in your products and services. However, randomly posting your content on social media won’t help much.

Instead, you should create your social media content calendar and analyze the time slot when your target audience is most active, along with the types of social media content that they like and share.

Once your social media content starts getting good traffic and engagement rate, you can also initiate some paid campaigns for limited days. 

But your primary focus is organic marketing because it costs a fraction of what you’d otherwise invest in paid promotional campaigns.

Get More Press Releases And Press Coverage 

A startup can greatly benefit if it gets press coverage in popular newspapers, websites, or magazines as soon as it is launched. But it’s easier said than done.

A startup owner needs to effectively promote their startup through various media outlets. Launching a press conference is a great way to share your ideas with the media fraternity. You can also pitch your Press Releases (PRs) to various media publications.

 If your startup idea is brilliant, you’ll get press coverage. Once your news or article gets featured in top newspapers and magazines, it’ll massively help your startup’s publicity and promotion. Press Releases (PRs) act as a magnet for your customers, investors, and other stakeholders. You can make it more interesting by adding relevant infographics, data, and some industry-focused insight wherever possible.

Optimize Email Marketing Campaigns

Did you know email marketing is one of the most ROI-focused platforms to generate leads or build brand awareness? 

As per the Constant Contact report, if you optimize your email marketing strategy correctly, it can generate an ROI of up to $36 per $1 spent.

Email marketing is a great way to reach out to your potential customers directly in their inboxes. But since people use email for professional purposes, your email marketing pitch should attract the attention of email recipients at first glance.

Many startups make their email marketing pitch overtly promotional, which makes these emails go straight to spam boxes instead of inboxes. 

It’s a complete waste of money, time, and resources for a startup. 

A startup email marketing template should be crispy and informational, besides informing the readers about compelling offers and discounts in it.

Another useful strategy for startups is to use different email templates for different customers.

Using the same email marketing template for hundreds and thousands of people is not just monotonous, but it’s ineffective, too.

Hence, you need to use different email marketing templates for different people. Once you have the proper idea of the demographics of your email recipients, it’d be easier for you to choose appropriate email templates for them. 

In Conclusion

Marketing ideas for startups may seem costly, but if you make the right strategy, you can get optimum results without investing a lot of bucks. But you never know which strategy will work and which strategy will not. So, try executing some of these marketing ideas and see how things unfold for your startup. 

Startup Digital is an absolute Startup ecosystem built to support Startups. You can get in touch with us for your cost-effective digital marketing needs. We’ll be happy to connect and assist you more on it.