As promised on Friday, you don’t need buckets of money to run a successful marketing campaign. The photo on the right represents my entire budget for a marketing campaign several years ago: $100. That’s it.
Here’s how I ran a successful campaign and only spent $75. Yes, I actually had money left over!
Low budget marketing tactics
My assignment in this case was to promote a small breakfast seminar. It was a new program and they were hoping to get 15 paid attendees. Since my budget was so tiny, I had to think creatively.
I couldn’t use any of the usual tactics. Normally, I would do a series of mailings, with a save the date postcard, send emails, even rent lists. Or, I would buy advertising space in relevant publications and newsletters.
But, with a limit of $100, I couldn’t do any of that. I couldn’t even pay for printing, let alone postage.
Start with existing contacts
The first thing to do was look and see how many contacts or relevant prospects I already had in my house list. Since the seminar was about selling financial services to Hispanics, I sent text emails to people who had attended prior events concerning either Hispanic marketing or financial services marketing. But, that wouldn’t be enough. I also sent a fax marketing sheet (you could do that then); still not enough.
Reach more people without spending any money
I found a way to expand my marketing campaign and get it in front of more people (without spending money I didn’t have).
However, thanks to my previous job at The Economist Intelligence Unit, I knew someone who ran a multi-cultural marketing newsletter which went out to thousands of people, far more than I had on my list. She sold advertising in her newsletter, but at $250 for an ad, or $900 for a solo email it was way over my budget.
I couldn’t buy an ad, but I could give her something else she wanted. The names I already had were potential subscribers to her newsletter and other services. They were people she wanted to meet and network with.
So, I negotiated a deal. She included the ad in her newsletter, in return for two seats at the table at the seminar.
I sent my emails and my faxes, and she sent her email to her subscribers.
Stop the promotion: we’re out of space!
The original goal was 15 people. We got 45. We had to start a waiting list. I had to cancel the last wave of promotions and stop marketing! There was no more space in the room, it was becoming a fire hazard.
I can’t share exact results, but attendees paid between $25-$45 to attend, so at 45 people, the ROI on my $75 investment was tremendous.
Partnering can give you greater reach, bring in new business, and save money. More ways to stretch your marketing budget tomorrow.