Friday Fun: End of Year Holiday Party

Champagne and pate on Thanksgiving.

Image via Wikipedia

Get our your champagne glasses and your funny hats.  It’s time for the end of year holiday party.  Last year, I had a roundup of posts by topic. Here’s the list:

Five Free Ways to Market Your Business

What Every Marketer Ought to Know in the New Year

Creative Ways to Write Great Headlines

Get More From Your Email Marketing

Do You Make These Common Marketing Mistakes?

This year, I’m going to do something different. A countdown of my five best posts (ever). Stay tuned for number five on Monday, counting down to number one next Friday. (Hey, why should Casey Kasem – sorry Ryan Seacrest doesn’t count) have all the fun?

Meanwhile, happy, merry, and joyful to all of you.

The $100 Marketing Campaign That Packed the Room

low budget marketing tactics

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.

Try barter

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.

Photo: kugelfish