Deciding on an online marketing plan can be overwhelming for small business owners looking for affordable ways to nurture steady, sustainable growth. With time in short supply, the key is to find one or two growth strategies that will get results at minimal cost.
These proven growth hacks offer business owners a few simple, cost-effective ideas for attracting new customers, increasing brand awareness, and ultimately, getting more sales.
Build your email list
Recent research shows that e-mail marketing works; in fact, it’s been shown to promote a 17% greater conversion rate than social media marketing. Permission-based marketing is based on a friendly exchange – your customer’s email address for a promise to provide value. As you nurture a positive relationship via your newsletter, with special offers, useful or inspiring content and discounts, over time your customers will be more inclined to buy from you. Incentivize new customers to sign up with contests, giveaways, referral bonuses and webinars. The bigger your list, the greater the return when you have a new product to promote – so if you decide to launch a company e-newsletter, be sure you make a consistent effort to attract new subscribers. This Forbes article offers 50 ideas on how to grow your list.
Offer social proof
One of the biggest challenges for small business owners is converting online leads into paying customers. It comes down to convincing people you’ve never met that you deserve their trust – which is why social proof is so important.
Adding testimonials to your website is a simple way to convince potential customers they won’t regret buying from you. In fact, it’s been shown that this simple form of social proof can increase conversions by 34%.
Let your customers know you’d like their feedback, and ask for permission to include their positive comments on your company website.
Other kinds of social proof you can use to win over customers online include:
- Case studies
- Media mentions
- Customers logos
- Accreditations and certifications.
This simple growth hack is effective both on and offline. Initiating a partnership with a company that provides complementary products or services can quickly increase each of your email lists – give your sales figures a big boost.
There are many ways a business partnership could work – you might negotiate a joint venture, host an event where you promote each other’s products, run a giveaway together or launch a combined product or service.
As you try out some new ways to market your business, be sure to set actionable and achievable goals. For instance, you might make 1,000 newsletter sign ups over the next quarter one of your priorities – or increasing your blog traffic by 50% by end of the year. Make it a habit to review your metrics on a regular basis to see how well your strategies are working. Then use that data to set new goals to keep winning over customers and expanding your business.