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Inexpensive Marketing Tips: 100 Digital Ideas Under $100

Time is money. Or so they say. So there’s no such thing as free marketing. But here are a few inexpensive online marketing tips under $100 that will have a nice impact.

Below I cover ideas for improving webpage conversion, ways to drive more traffic, ways to encourage larger and repeat purchases, ways to advertise smartly, and social media ideas. Could I have split them up into helpful sections for you? Sure. But I’m tired. And, there’s this idea of combinatory play, used by my close friend Albert Einstein.

OK fine, we aren’t really close. Anyhow, combinatory play is the “act of opening up one mental channel by dabbling in another.” It’s taking two unrelated things and putting them together to generate new ideas. So by haphazardly stringing this list together, I’ve actually made it more likely you’ll develop your own original ideas. Hopefully there’s a thing or two you can implement today.

Discover 100 inexpensive online marketing ideas to try today:

1. Update your email signature files.

It’s easy to forget that your email signature files – especially if you’re part of a large company – probably get shown to more people in a single day than any of your ads do. Make sure you have an enticing call to action in it, and switch it up regularly. You can use a tool such as Bit.ly to track clicks on the links in a lo-fi way.

2. Run contests.

Giveaways, contests, and promotions – oh my! The best contests typically share two critical traits: urgency and scarcity. Partner with companies that have a similar audience to sweeten the deal, and to tap into their email list. Or do something simple such as giveaway your product for free by running a “fill in the blank” Twitter contest where you have users fill in the answer to an analogy, and randomly select a winner.

The best contests typically share two critical traits: urgency and scarcity. #marketingonline #marketingtips Click To Tweet

3. Create an opt-in to push notifications landing page.

I can’t stand the “allow vs do not allow” push notifications that appear when you land on every website these days. But, I might actually find text messages about new limited release products helpful. Do create a thoughtful experience that allows for a one-click notification subscribe. Send messages easily using subscribers.com

4. Use paid advertising coupons to place some new ads.

There are tons of coupons floating around for paid Facebook ads or Google ads (usually $50-$100). Some web hosting services even offer advertising discount codes as part of their membership offerings. Pinterest is currently running a spend $30 get back $20 promotion. And Google will match your first spend up to $150.

5. Join Pinterest group boards.

Group boards are these magical lands where tons of people who care about your topic live. They’re one of the easiest ways to jumpstart your traffic and marketing on Pinterest. But you need to be super selective – look for groups under 100 people with NO spam.

6. Send thoughtful snail mail.

An experiment conducted by Donors Choose found that contributors thanked with a handwritten letter were 38% more likely to donate again. Send personalized notes to employees, friends, and family, asking for their help in spreading the word. Try to include something small that benefits them – a great photo that will make them laugh, a pin to keep cereal bags closed, or a magnet are a few ideas.

7. Tap into experts’ influence.

Feature quotes from experts about a topic in a roundup post, or ask to interview experts. Then, ask them to share it on social media.

8. Crunch the numbers and share insights.

I mean, stay GDPR compliant, but reveal data insights that others will benefit from. This could be clever ways customers are using your product, shocking information about customer interests, or ways you’ve solved common problems such as increasing traffic or click-throughs anywhere.

9. Mimic memes.

Find the top performing Instagram posts in your niche by searching popular hashtags. Then create similar images and sayings with the same hashtag.

10. Guest post.

Offer to do guest posts on popular blogs related to your business. Proactively pitch the blogs with novel ideas. Any easy way to do this is to take about half of your best performing blog post, and add an updated twist to it tied to a timely trend.

11. Become a commenting queen, or king.

Comment on blogs in your industry with a Domain Authority higher than 50, and leave detailed notes that contribute to the conversation. Add something new you’ve seen pop up in a marketing channel like a tool or feature, and pose a question. You can look up DA here on Ahrefs.

12. Get listed on product sites.

Share your business on Product Hunt (you can submit your product about a week after you create your account) and Betalist (you can submit right away).

13. Join Facebook groups for link and tip swapping.

OK, I thought Facebook groups were something only my Aunt Kathy participated in because she believed they were her profile feed, but OMG was I wrong. Groups are alive and well, and full of insights. You can find a ton of marketing groups here. And search for other groups in your topic. Then, you can trade mentions, and answer questions with links back to your site. You could even offer to buy a Facebook group from its owner.

14. Create a Crunchbase page.

You can do it in nine steps. This is just another way to get another strong link back to your website for SEO, and potentially some press exposure.

15. Become a Quora professor.

They don’t award that title yet, but they really should. Look for questions with a lot of people waiting for an answer, and respond to those questions.

16. Submit a free press release.

Write up and share a free press release using PRlog. You could write about a new feature, an upcoming speaking event, or a famous customer (if you have their permission).

17. Get in touch with anyone mentioning your company, fast.

Use Google Alerts or Mention to respond to anyone that mentions your brand, your competitors, or topics related to your business. Thank them for their coverage, and re-share it. You could even do a roundup post.

18. Curate a topic hub.

Launch a topic hub at Scoop.it (you can create one page for free). Link to your website from your topic page.

19. Give away your content to event planners.

Message Meetup and Eventbrite event coordinators and ask if they need any content to promote in their emails. Often times these planners are so busy with their event, they’re lacking content to keep potential guests engaged in the lead up to it.

20. Do old-school outreach.

Send personalized emails to people you know asking for their help. Explain why them sharing your blog articles will benefit them. Use language such as “Would you be willing to share my site because….” because “because” is extra convincing, and willing is a soft but clear ask. It’s very persuasive!

21. Capture leads searching for your competitors.

Write a blog post called “your competitor vs. your company” to scoop up folks interested in your competitors. Make sure you do an in-depth comparison of a number of features in an objective way. Pulling reviews from third-party sites helps.

22. Giveaway an ebook of popular posts.

Make an ebook by bundling parts of your top performing blog posts into a master post. Publish the whole thing on a web page, and make it easy for folks to download a copy to print. Provide the option for them to submit their email address to get more similar content, first, in the future.

23. Create a “how-to” for something hard.

Pick one of the hardest topics for your industry, and do a “how-to” guide. You could do one of the hardest things for people just getting started, and one for those who are experts, to really cover your bases.

24. Make a journalist friend, or a few.

Troll LinkedIn to find new journalists at places like WSJ, Vox, and smaller outlets in your niche. Offer to give them exclusive content to help them grow their profile as they grow yours.

25. Answer questions people are asking search engines.

Create blog posts optimized for long-tail keyword questions people are asking on Google about your topic. Check out AnswerthePublic for ideas. Here’s what else you need to know about how to rank on Google this year.

26. Making sharing blog posts easier.

Ask readers to share a blog posts with their networks by embedding takeaways and data in Tweetable clips. I recommend the Better Tweet to Click plugin if you’re on WordPress. You can also make your own here.

27. Set up Google My Business.

If your business has a physical location set up Google My Business so you show up on Google Maps, the local section of Google Search, and the side Knowledge panel of Google Search. To reserve even more real-estate you can create images featuring reviews, then geo-tag them, to show up in image searches. You can also set up local business listings on Bing and DuckDuckGo.

28. Send surprise emails all about your user!

Send surprise emails people will actually value by including interesting stats about their usage (such as Spotify’s year in review playlists), or wishing them happy birthday plus. You also send them a special offer based on something they saved in their cart.

29. Do a sticker or magnet giveaway.

Use a Printfection giveaway landing page to easily send swag to people who share your content.

30. Do a fundraiser online for a new tool.

Start a fundraiser on Kickstarter for a new product or feature you’re rolling out.

31. Submit to Help a Reporter Out.

Submit to HARO reporters looking for expert contribution for their articles. See what specific topics reporters are requesting, and answer them. If your answer is used they’ll include your name and business too.

32. Set up a Yelp page.

Make a Yelp page to claim your business. Add your location, post pictures of your products, and encourage customer reviews.

33. Make content from Q&As.

Host a Q&A webinar by taking the most common customer support questions you get an answering them. Run a corresponding “ask the expert” segment across all your social media to promote the webinar ahead of time, and then turn all the content into a blog post afterwards.

34. Go from blog post to…infinite.

Take your most popular blog posts and turn them into videos using stock imagery with text overlaid using your computer’s default video software. Turn sound bites into tweets. Give parts of your posts away as guest blogger posts. Turn them into podcasts by reading them aloud.

35. Find your subReddits.

Post your content on Reddit in an applicable niche. Use sentence-case and. Pose a question or add shock or intrigue. Ask colleagues to go up-vote it. Get tips for using Reddit here.

36. Reach out with a personalized pitch.

Create a custom pitch deck for your top five ideal customers targeted at them, where you give them free advice based on their specific business, and steps they can take to be successful whether they use your product or not. Try to target customers who you have a connection to through a friend or acquaintance.

37. Tap into themes.

Join in on all the weekly themes across social platforms such as #follow4follow, #followfriday, #throwbackthursday, and #motivationmonday.

38. Make a tool and give it away.

Watch what your competitors are doing using Ubersuggest, and create pages for similar topics but cover them more comprehensively.

39. Automate an abandon cart email.

Create an email that follows up with anyone who left something in their cart. Show them what they left and drive urgency around it by showing how many are left, or when the last time was someone bought one. You could even wait a few days and then offer a discount on it.

40. Improve your product page conversion.

Improve your landing page conversion by adding one brightly colored button above the fold, adding a returns guarantee, and automatically completing as many fields as you can for the customer.

41. Increase check-out conversion.

Hinge people to a higher price by showing higher prices first. Then, add breadcrumbs to the check out experience, and show how many steps are left to complete in the process. Nudge people!

42. Increase sign up completion.

Add a progress bar to your sign up flow to get more users.

43. Use price hinging.

Show more expensive products first on your homepage to hinge the buyer so they’ll more easily buy something less expensive, and show prices crossed through with discounts.

44. Make a product comparison guide.

Create a product comparison guide that shows all the important details of your product, and how it beats those of your competitors.

45. Use social proof.

Add social proof to your website landing pages above the fold. Take testimonials from customers and include them as the text ahead of your Facebook ad and Linkedin ads so they look native on the platform. Make them into images for Google My Business.

46. Improve your homepage copy.

A/B test your homepage copy. Try highlighting benefits and playing up loss aversion such as “how to avoid missing out on more customers this year”.

47. Set the right metric for your goals.

This one seems obvious but is so critical, and people often get it wrong. The metric you set is going to influence every decision you make. Spend more time on the metric than you think you need to. For example, for me, for this site, I care most about repeat site visitors. You might care about second-time purchasers. You’ll see a lot of people just tracking sign ups (not even users) though.

48. Find your competitors’ yearly updated content.

Find the blog posts your competitors have bothered to update this year – meaning they must be ranking well and driving them nice traffic. Just search for “inurl:2019 intitle:2020 your topic” for example “inurl:2019 intitle:2020 digital marketing” and see what shows up. Then, cover those topics in better blog posts.

49. Have a flash sale.

These are a great way to increase revenue fast. Pick a 48 hour period and offer free shipping, discounted products, a buy one get one offer. Get more flash sales ideas here.

50. Create novelty.

Create a limited edition version of your product, whether it’s a new color, a version created in partnership with another brand, or something that taps into a trend such as astrology.

Because you’ve enjoyed this article would you be willing to send a $5 tip to me on Venmo: @megsterr

51. Build a community.

Create a Facebook group around whatever topic is your most popular blog post. Invite your customers, and start a discussion with ice breaker questions.

52. Run timely campaigns.

Run a timely campaign with consistent imagery across all channels for a bigger impact (you’ll usually at least 10% lift when you’re consistent). Go big on a holiday with a joke like April Fools day, or get into the giving spirit with cheerful offers around Thanksgiving.

53. Get a virtual assistant to do repetitive tasks.

Consider using UpWork to find a virtual assistant to take care of things that don’t allow you to focus on what’s most important. Have them handle certain emails, meeting scheduling, inputting email copy into templates, breaking up blog posts onto other channels, and so on, to free up your time for more important things.

54. Create custom landing pages for your ads.

Update your retargeting ads with new landing pages that are tailored with copy related to what brought them there. Just clone existing landing pages and strip them down so they only focus on conversion, by removing your typical site navigation (narrow the funnel like Amazon check out experience).

55. Offer live demos every hour.

If you have a significant amount of traffic to your website, offer live group demos every hour, using a tool like Zoom. That helps capture the buyers while they’re still in purchase mode. Rather than trying to connect with them once they’ve already left your site and potentially moved on to consider other options.

56. Make it easy for anyone to get in touch on mobile.

1.6 billion people use their mobile devices to shop online globally. Hyperlink “tel:yournumber” to make your phone number clickable so they can get in touch with a tap.

57. Find your people and answer their questions.

If you’ve optimized your articles for SEO keywords, use those keywords at the front of your tweet. That will immediately connect your content, to what the user is searching for, so they’ll be more likely to engage with it. Then, search twitter for people looking for the exact problem you solve. Find real people talking: Add a “http” to your search for a keyword, username, or your company’s name. The quotation marks tells Twitter to search for that exact keyword phrase. And the “http” tells Twitter to only return search results that don’t contain links. Use these advanced Twitter search tactics.

58. Create original imagery for every blog post.

Bing, Google, and Pinterest have all been developing their visual search algorithms, so visuals are more important than ever: unique images are a 2020 digital marketing trend. Hire an illustrator or graphic designer to create a set of 100 images you can tap again and again around themes related to your topic. Name image files using helpful sentence strings and provide alt text for each image. Keep image size light to help with quick loading making search engines more likely to display it first.

59. Get URLS that make it easier to find you.

Set up vanity urls on all your social media pages from Pinterest to Linkedin. Try to get the same words on every platform.

60. Optimize every page for a keyword.

Ensure every page of your existing website has a specific keyword tied to it, and keep track of it so you can use that keyword as anchor text when you link to the page. Use the keyword to create an SEO-friendly H1 header and page title that is 50 characters or less. Include the keyword in the page’s URL. Use the keyword and natural language variations of it about three times on the page.

61. Automate posting.

Consistency is critical on social platforms like Pinterest. Use IFTTT or Zapier to automate posting on social channels that aren’t your priority.

62. Follow your competitors’ audience.

Your competitors audience is your perfect audience! Follow your competitors’ followers on social channels, and tweet interesting and helpful content for them.

63. Use the words your customers use.

Search for popular books and similar products to what you’re sell on Amazon. Then read the reviews to see what real people are saying. Try to identify the specific words they’re using to describe their pain point, and how they describe the solution itself. And use those words in your on-page copy to increase conversion.

64. Scoop up top converting keywords from SEM organically.

Check out the blog posts that rank in the top spot for the keywords that are converting highest for you from your paid Google ads. Then, make a “Skyscraper Post” where you provide a 10x better post complete with original data, unique visuals, and answering every question in Google’s related questions section.

65. Take advantage of thank you pages.

When someone has downloaded something, provide a custom thank you page experience offering the next best step for them. For example, give them a free trial or a free sample to get them to the next part of your funnel. Be sure to use copy on the page that ties together the thing they downloaded and the next step you’re asking them to take.

66. Make blog posts save-able and printable.

Offer your most popular blog posts in a PDF for people to download and read later. Use PrintFriendly.com or download the PrintFriendly Chrome extension to save even more time.

67. Use exit pop ups.

If a user has indicated they’re going to leave your site, offer them one last option to convert. Make it a soft-sell such as a piece of great content because you could accidentally end up reaching your customers. Also use a yes or no question. Either say “yes” to leave your email address in a second step to get a freebie, or be foolish and choose “no.” This is commonly known as the foot-in-the-door technique, where a small agreement paves the way for subsequent, larger requests.

68. Create a rewards membership program.

Use simple virtual punch cards or badge collecting to bring folks back. Reward them for visiting your site, for purchasing, and for sharing your content. Offer these folks discounts, and let them get access to your new products first. Starbucks has one of the best programs, and could give you some ideas.

69. Add a new way to pay.

Make it even easier for customers to purchase by adding more payment options. Consider StripeApple Pay, Amazon check out, Venmo, and Paypal.

Add a new way to pay. Consider Stripe, Apple Pay, Amazon check out, Venmo, and Paypal. Get 99 more cheap marketing ideas! Click To Tweet

70. Create an online scavenger hunt.

Make a list of 10 items customers have to find in order to unlock a discount. Include stats from blog posts, little known product features, something from your help center, and something from your social channels. Sometimes all it takes is getting people to your website, in order to make a purchase happen. This idea is inspired by Walt Disney’s marketing while creating Disneyland.

71. Run an auction and inspire auction fever.

Make one of your products a limited edition – get it signed by someone your audience cares about, make it a different color, make it a mistake, etc. Then, push people’s emotional buttons with an auction on eBay. Using this setup, bidders imagine themselves in a winning situation. With their first bid, commitment and consistency kick in. Sometimes potential buyers even increase their maximum bid above a value they’re comfortable with, just to win an item.

72. Build recommendations into your flow.

When customers decide to buy something, they’re more inclined to buy additional accessories, as they want to justify their initial decision and to remain consistent with it. Amazon, attributes up to 35% of its revenue to cross-selling. Add recommendations to your product pages (“since you like this you might also like/other people also purchased”, and even after someone checks out.

73. Include your face in emails.

I know, it sounds crazy right? Certainly only your mom wants to see your face. But it’s true! Attaching a sender’s photograph at the end of the email increased the compliance rate. That’s exactly what Stephen Twomey did in an experiment where he pitched his guest posts. He increased the response rate with this technique by 333.33%. Try it for cold outreach where you’re pitching a reporter or a blogger.

74. Offer free coaching.

A study shows that people who received a favor and were required to put their contact information on a pledge card were more likely to comply with the donation request. So, give away something related to your product, such as advice based on what you’ve learned. And, insist on email capture in order for someone to access it.

75. Offer early access.

Reward loyal customers with by giving them great stuff you’re already creating and allowing some people to see it before the crowd. Notify an exclusive group earlier about discounts, trying beta versions of new features, or guides before they’re public to everyone.

76. Create a Linkedin post and ask people to share.

Take part of a successful blog post and put it on your Linkedin. Make the content into a short list, use emojis, and lots of line spacing. Then, link back to your blog post. Include a call to action for people to share it if it helped them. Don’t include an image.

77. Include a privacy statement on opt-in forms.

Remove all doubts. A GDPR compliant privacy policy can have a huge impact on your email conversions. Changing the wording just slightly resulted in a 19 percent increase in conversions in one experiment.

78. Offer a price-match guarantee.

While the majority of people won’t take you up on the offer, it helps convey that you’re keeping your prices competitive.

79. Allow guest check out, as a cheap marketing idea.

Don’t require users to complete a registration form in order to make a purchase. Be sure to offer an express checkout to minimize potential roadblocks.

80. Reduce options.

Feature one or two products prominently on your homepage. When faced with too many choices, people may actually become paralyzed and completely avoid a decision. Proactively suggest which product is best for the majority of people by showing the “Most popular choice.”

81. Personalize email send times.

People check email at different times of the day. Email send time optimization has been shown to significantly increase engagement by timing your messages to go out when customers have previously clicked or opened your emails.

82. Reduce your form fields by labeling what’s optional.

Always label optional fields, not required ones. This is a must if you have both required and optional fields on your form. Most web designers, website optimizers and internet marketing designers use red asterisks to mark the required fields.

83. Resell a product they’ve already bought.

Make it easy for customers to buy the same thing they already bought again, like Amazon’s Subscribe & Save. Customers simply need a gentle nudge to re-purchase a product they’ve already enjoyed, such as an email notification.

84. Use ad extensions to get more clicks.

This newer feature is available in both AdWords and Bing. It allows you to make your ad bigger and provide more places to click. And it doesn’t cost any extra!

85. Try Facebook targeting for NON-conversion.

Rather than run Facebook ads for conversion, try running them with the goal of reach. Often times, you’ll actually see more efficient conversion results that way.

Try Facebook & AdWords call-only ads to let people call you directly and speed up a purchase. Click To Tweet

87. Offer an upgrade.

Remind people that for just a little more money, they can get a fancier product. Most people won’t need more than 64 GB of storage for their iPad, but thoughts like “just in case” and “it’s only $150 more” make Apple more money.

88. Feature complementary products.

“Do you need a phone case?” Sometimes you can get the extra sale by reminding customers of a new need that they’ll have because of buying the initial product. This can be an easy sale because it’s rational.

89. Improve your delivery speed.

The ‘want it now’ mentality is huge. Amazon’s Prime delivery has nearly made at least two-day shipping an expectation. If customers know that they will receive goods quickly when they order, they’ll keep coming back.

90. Promote your product on your packaging.

Think about how well cereal boxes are packaged. I used to love playing all those games on the back. Packaging can be seen on your customer’s doorstep, pictured on their social profiles, and shown off via unboxing videos. So it can be a great marketing tool, because it puts your business’s brand and homepage in front of new and repeat customers.

91. Your own coupon page.

Create a page of your website where visitors can come to see your weekly coupons. Or a weekly Featured Coupon Friday roundup blog post. You could even include coupons from partner sites with similar audiences. A lot of aggregator coupon sites are out of date and frustrating. Your page will delight your customers!

92. Down-sell after check out.

Once someone has made a purchase, show a cheaper related product that can help them get more out of their product, such as an instructional class. The price anchoring up front of the higher priced initial purchase helps to make this a compelling offer.

93. Display security icons.

Cyber security is a major concern for shoppers these days. In the last five years, 46% of Americans have been the victims of credit card fraud. Norton Antivirus won by a landslide in terms of public perception, and speaks to customers the most.

94. Showcase your products through video, rather than photos.

Websites that have videos can get the average user to spend 88% more time on their pages. Videos resonate because they’re visual, so it’s more likely that customers will remember what they watched. It also gives them an opportunity to see the product in a more lifelike experience.

95. Tap into impulse buying.

An NFR study says that customers want more free shipping. Offering free shipping costs you money, but you can use higher-priced items to offset the cost of free shipping – just set a purchase price threshold they need to cross (for example spend $75 for free shipping). Customers will feel like they’re getting something for nothing!

96. Provide an option to request a business card.

Physical reminders are harder to ignore. If someone has your business card lying around, they’re more likely to remember you when they need something. Plus, it’s a great way to get their information up front.

97. Use product carousel ads.

Facebook’s carousel ads, which allow you to display up to 10 images or videos on “cards” within a single ad, are one of the best ways to easily show people products they’ve been thinking about purchasing. According to Facebook, advertisers have seen Carousel ads drive 30-50% lower cost-per-conversions and 20-30% lower cost-per-clicks than single-image link ads. 

98. Create a “back-to-the office” event.

Remember how hype we used to get about buying school supplies? Bring that back to school joy to office employees at a surprise time of the year. You can even include a complimentary schultüte.

99. Use Instagram Stories ads.

Stories ads are working very well right now. For example, this Nuxe campaign earned 6x ROI with a simple, stop-motion video. Here are some best practices.

100. Create assembly instructions on TikTok.

TikTok has been downloaded about 80 million times in the United States, and 800 million times worldwide. If you have a younger audience consider creating a channel for your brand and uploading videos. Participate in hashtag challenges, and provide step-by-step videos that show how to assemble your product.

Whew, we made it!

More questions about inexpensive marketing tips? Let’s review:

How do you market a low budget?

1. Optimize your website pages for a specific keyword to drive more traffic, and share them on group Pinterest boards, Facebook groups, Reddit, and in LinkedIn posts.
2. Increase on-page conversion by using the customers’ own language, a CTA button above the fold, providing a quality guarantee, and making a mobile-friendly design.
3. Increase purchase value through price anchoring, and up-selling, cross-selling, and down-selling.
4. Bring back repeat customers with fast delivery, and by sending them a handwritten thank you.

How can I promote my business for free?

1. Optimize your website pages for a specific keyword using Google Keyword Planner – include it in the page title, the meta, the url – to drive more traffic.
2. Post your business in directories such as Google My Business, Product Hunt, Startup List, and listing services.
3. Create a comprehensive “how-to” guide that explains the hardest thing to do, a tool your audience can use, or a coupon roundup post with all sorts of products they’ll enjoy.
4. Share it on group Pinterest boards, Facebook groups, Reddit, Instagram stories, and in Linkedin posts.
5. Include coupons in every purchase to incentivize a second purchase.

Bring your cheap digital marketing ideas to life

Stay creative folks and brainstorm even better ideas. Please send a $5 tip to my Venmo jar because this article taught you new ideas to use: @megsterr

Up next, pick up other marketing best practices here.

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Run an auction on eBay of a limited edition product to inspire auction fever. With a person’s first bid, commitment and consistency kick in. Click To Tweet

By Megan Mitzel

I'm the wearer of overalls behind the marketing advice website Marketing Overalls. I'm also a senior marketing director with more than ten years of experience leading acquisition and lifecycle marketing at successful startups. Before that, I got a business degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. Before that, I owned a seashell shop. And that's the tea on me.