How does one attract more subscribers without spending too much money? This is the million dollar question facing startups. There is a common perception out there that, in order to generate leads and signups, businesses must spend more money.
In a survey conducted by GetApp Lab on challenges faced by companies with regard to lead generation, 11.7% of respondents considered marketing budget constraints to be the biggest challenge. Although this seems like a small percentage, those who claimed lack of funds as an obstacle to lead generation occupied the fourth largest group of respondents in the survey.
Thankfully, you don’t need to empty your wallet to attract the attention of your target audience or customer base. All you need is creative marketing ideas. Keep reading to discover different approaches to get ahead of your competitors in terms of lead and subscriber generation.
1. Gain a Competitive Advantage Through Stealth Tactics
Although the word stealth has unsavoury connotations, it’s an integral part of ecosystems that favour competition. In other words, all businesses aspire to steal customers from their competitors. If you have a competitor who’s offering the same product as you, but is unable to satisfy a significant portion of its customers, you have the opportunity to steal a portion of your competitor’s customer base. This can be done through email campaigns.
Consider the case of Airbnb. In its early days, the hospitality giant reached out to competitors’ customers through an email campaign that targeted those who posted opportunities to stay in their homes on Cragislist. The emails, advertising Airbnb’s services, were made to appear as though they had been sent by another Craigslist user. The risky manoeuvre paid off, with the result that Airbnb began its ascent to the great heights it now occupies.
2. Attract Attention Through Referrals
Referrals can be a useful digital marketing tool to attract potential customers through current customers. This can be an effective viral marketing strategy as many people trust personal recommendations over other forms of marketing. In a nutshell, referral marketing is about getting your customers so excited about your products and services that they will be motivated to promote them to their friends, family and acquaintances.
An example of referral marketing is the language app Duolingo’s offer to existing users. Those who recommend the app to friends and convince them to sign up are given a free week of the app’s premium version Duolingo Plus. What’s more, you don’t need to build a referral programme from scratch. There are a number of online tools, such as Ambassador, Birdeye, and Segment that can help you.
3. Take Giveaways to the Next Level
Giveaways are an old marketing tactic but, what if you take them to the next level? Consider the case of Diamond Candles, a company that sells ring candles. In a daring attempt to generate consumer interest, the company decided to include a free ring with every candle order.
On its website, it stated that customers could win a ring worth $ 10, $ 100, $ 1000, or $ 5000. In reality, of course, most of the rings included as giveaways were worth $ 10. The strategy worked, with the result that, in 2013, Diamond Candles was recognized as an Internet E-Retailers “Hot 100” eCommerce site, alongside the likes of Warby Parker.
4. Collaborate with Another Brand
Joining hands with another brand with whom you aren’t competing can help increase your visibility. An example of such collaboration is the partnership between Starbucks and Spotify. Customers who like a particular song that’s playing at Starbucks can use the Starbuck app to find out what it is and play it on Spotify. As a result, both brands get visibility.
Spotify also partnered with Uber on a co-branding campaign. This collaboration allows riders who are waiting for an Uber ride to connect with Spotify and build the playlist for their ride. Uber riders can choose from their own playlist, thereby making their journey more personal.
Similarly, Mastercard became the first credit card company to allow its customers to store their credit and debit cards on Apple Pay, with the result that both Apple and Mastercard were able to enhance brand visibility.
5. Entice New Customers with Offers of Money
This is a strategy that can be used on two fronts. On the one hand, it can be used to directly lure new customers. On the other, it can be used to generate referrals. When PayPal started out, it used to offer new customers $ 10 and existing customers $ 10 for referrals.
6. Align your Products and Services with an Important Cause
The power of association can play an important role in helping you build your own personal brand. The Brazillian beer company Ambev took advantage of the Rio De Janeiro Carnival to associate its brand with environmental causes.
Ambev executives created and installed custom turnstiles at metro stations in Rio De Janeiro. Commuters returning home from the carnival were allowed to get a free train ride home after scanning their cans at the turnstiles.
As a result of this bold move, the Ambev brand ended garnering greater visibility while, at the same time, associating itself with causes such as recycling and preventing litter. Ambev also, inadvertently, came to be seen as a promoter of public transit usage.
7. Spread the Word Through Stickers
Giving away free stickers and encouraging people to post them in public can garner a lot of visibility for your brand. While this may sound like a low-resolution strategy, it has worked. Reddit founder Alex Ohanian’s initial marketing strategy was a $ 500 investment in stickers.
He then travelled across the US and placed the stickers in prominent places, where they could be easily seen. He also handed out stickers to passersby. From such humble beginnings was a major community forum born.
8. Make a Compelling Narrative Video
Effective storytelling, through quality content, can take your brand to new heights, especially if it contains a dash of humour. An example is the Poo-Pourri series of promotional mock-infomercial videos that went viral, resulting in increased brand visibility for a unique product.
9. Stimulate Consumers with a Challenge
Another way to attract consumers to your product or service is to organize a challenge and offer them a means through which they can meet the challenge. Challenges can also be a great way to promote referrals. For examples, Babbel, the language learning app is known for continually posing challenges to its subscribers with a side note asking them to announce their language-learning goals, along with their reliance on Babbel to achieve these goals, on social media.
In other words, challenges are a great way to get others to do your social media marketing for you. In 2019, the company posed a 30-day challenge in 2019 designed to aid participants on their language learning journey. Those who signed up for the challenge would receive weekly emails throughout the month of September, prompting them to undertake a series of tasks of up to 15 minutes long.
While promoting the challenge on their website, Babbel made sure to mention that “while we will offer challenges that anyone can do without a Babbel subscription, you will get the most out of this challenge if you accompany the challenge with a regular 10-15 minute Babbel lesson.”
10. Connect with Influencers
Influencers have a wide reach. If you can impress them with what you have to offer, and persuade them to promote your offerings to their enormous subscriber base, you could end up having to spend less money on marketing.
Some of the best places to meet influencers are trade shows and conferences. Building relationships with these oracles of our age can go a long way towards extending your reach. After all, being mentioned in a blog post, viral video, or other forms of quality content created by someone with a successful personal brand can go a long way towards promoting your brand.
11. Build Awareness Through Telemarketing Campaigns
With the onset of digital marketing, telemarketing isn’t discussed much these days by marketing experts. Which is what makes it an unconventional and, above all, good marketing strategy. The reality is that inbound telemarketing and outbound telemarketing continue to thrive and are still widely considered effective marketing tactics. Telemarketing comes with a number of advantages that newer marketing approaches may lack.
For one thing, during B2C campaigns, it allows for direct communication with potential customers and can, therefore, boost your marketing efforts. In other words, it allows businesses to directly interact with potential and existing customers. This helps companies build stronger connections with consumers and enable greater brand awareness. Telemarketing also adds a human dimension to B2C marketing.
Call recipients who associate your brand with a friendly voice are likely to develop a favorable opinion of your brand. Telemarketing is also an invaluable lead generation tool. Telemarketers can compile lists of potential customers through cold calling. During the call, they can identify the call recipient’s nature and requirements. Having gathered the information they require, they can then pass it on to the sales teams.
Telemarketing helps businesses acquire complex insights into their potential client base in ways that many new marketing approaches cannot. Telemarketing can also be a means through which businesses assess the success of a sales or marketing campaign. Above all, telemarketing is an effective marketing strategy and a great way to improve customer service. More to the point, it is cost-effective.