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Inexpensive Marketing Ideas For Small Online Businesses to Drive Sales

By Madhura Yale 6th March 2018

Want more traffic and more sales for your online store? Of course, you do. It is important to market your business, in order to get new customers. If the business in new and is running on a shoestring, you probably can’t spend on radio ads, billboards or any expensive media. It becomes highly important to find effective, low-cost marketing methods that provide ROI.

Here are some marketing low-cost ideas to get new visitors, get more out of current visitors, and get back lost visitors today.

Social Media

Did you know that up to 30% of potential customers might not buy from you if you lack a social media presence?

Almost everyone is on social media, so your business should be, too. You could also lose customers if your presence is stale. It’s easy to make an account on any of the popular social media sites. And, social media is free to use (although you can pay for additional advertising features). Overall, social media is a quick and simple way to market your small business.


Facebook takes the lion’s share of the orders placed on social media marketing. Your small business social media accounts should be about your business. Things you might want to post about include your products, business operations, upcoming events, sales, and industry news.While it is OK to have some lighter content, always keep the focus on your business.


Using the right hashtags, appropriate filters, and post at the right times is the key way to building a big following on Instagram. The key to mastering Instagram marketing is engagement with your users through the picture which are worth a thousand words. To get your followers more interested and engaged, use visuals in your posts. Just make sure you only use images that you created or are authorized to use.


So, what makes a website effective? Your business information must be clear. People should be able to easily find your location, hours, and contact information. Your website should at least have basic information about your products or services. You might also have customer testimonials and a blog.

Website Design:

It is important that the store should have a good combination of a clear value proposition, good product descriptions, and easy navigation.

Some of the questions that the store design should address are proper segmentation of your products, the number of products on a page, figuring out the right balance between text and visuals.

Upselling: A study of Predictive Intent’s eCommerce customer base, has shown that displaying slightly higher priced options than those in your visitors’ immediate view drives an average of over 4% of sales, 20x more than the standard “recommended products” option found on most eCommerce sites.

Helping your customer to get exactly what they want without compromise & feel good about it not only makes you more money, it makes them happier in the long run.

That means offering personalized experiences, relevant recommendations, and products that truly are worth spending a little extra on.

Exit Pop-ups: If you’re an online retailer or sell info products and take payment via online checkout, exit offers can be utilized to retain shoppers that have already started filling their carts.

On average, 68% of shopping carts are abandoned. Not to fret.

  • Offering an immediate discount or coupon. This is one of the more popular ways to secure a last-second purchase with an exit pop-up.
  • Promoting top offers or special deals. If you have a unique “must-see” item you want your visitors to be aware of, this tactic is useful.
  • Increasing the size of orders. When presented in an exit offer, discount or shipping thresholds such as “10% off orders of $100 or more” or “free shipping on orders of $25 or more” are helpful in leading to conversions as well as increasing a customer’s order size.

Product reviews: Customer reviews present a real asset to online stores. 71% of shoppers read reviews before buying online, according to a survey by Forbes. Ask for and publish genuine, verified customer reviews. By providing quality customer service, you’ll soon start receiving great reviews and see your conversion rate and sales increase!

  • Integrate your customer reviews into all your channels. Integrate client reviews into all your marketing communications: newsletters, banner ads and so forth. You can also display your average score in your banner ads to increase your click rate.
  • Manage your negative reviews. There’s always something positive in a review, even if it’s negative! Negative reviews aren’t necessarily bad for business, it’s how you deal with them that will help you shine!
  • Highlight your customer reviews on your website. Don’t hesitate to put your reviews on your homepage, your all-star average and key positive feedback can enhance every stage of your buying funnel.

E-Mail Campaigns

Recent data shows that 89% of decision-makers in B2C companies say that email is the most valuable piece of customer identification information they own.

  • Welcome new subscribers: The first email you should send is a welcome email. This is a basic tactic, and most companies already have a welcome email of some sort.You need to reach out to those new potential customers and explain what you’re all about as soon as possible.
  • Reduce Abandoned Carts: One simple and effective way to reduce the incidence of abandoned carts? An email recovery campaign to convince your customers to complete their purchase. Craft a good email that entices your customer to return to their cart.
  • Send timed discounts: Shoppers respond well to discounts that are sent to them ahead of personal events like birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Black Friday and Boxing Day sales emails tend to be well-received because people are anticipating sales and actively searching for what’s on offer.

When budgets are tight, marketing is the first place you want to cut down. But rethinking on spending wisely will help you allocate budgets. While traditional advertising methods are expensive and hard to measure, some of the above inexpensive ROI driven marketing methods can drive sales for small online retailers.

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