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Marketing Low Cost Items

I recently spoke to a frustrated business owner that just wanted to get customers in the door. She felt she couldn’t justify big marketing spend because she sold low-profit items. Billboards, print ads and even pay-per-click advertising may cost too much when you only make $5 on a sale. She made a good point which got me to thinking of specific strategies she could implement to keep her marketing low-cost yet effective. Keep in mind that the cost of acquiring a customer should relative to your profit margin.

So, let’s get started on a few things you CAN do.

High Volume Traffic

Your marketing should generate high volumes of traffic (be it online or in-store) to make up the numbers you need to be profitable.

Make your website work for you with an SEO optimised site. I find it fascinating how the main strategy for Dominos, a retail store selling pizza, is digital! Don’t underestimate the power of the web. Once you have built your website to a point where you receive hundreds of daily visitors don’t forget to put into place a ‘conversion funnel’ that leads visitors to take the actions you want them to take. Get people signing up to email lists and incentivise in-store visits. Don’t forget to test test test and track every page of your site.

A note for retail store owners – location is everything to generate high volumes of foot traffic through your store. Many business owners try to save money with less than ideal retail locations, what they don’t realise is that they are going to have to spend a lot more marketing money to make up for a bad location. It is not worth it.


Low-cost products make great gateway items that could lead to bigger sales; I really hope I’m not advising any drug dealers here, but it’s true! People like to test you out before buying higher risk items. Selling a few cupcakes could lead to organising a birthday party and you should be strategically planning your customers purchasing journey. The first touch point is the perfect opportunity to enlist them onto email lists, SMS lists or social media that will help you continue the journey with them.

Customer loyalty

We have all heard it said before: ‘keeping current customers is more cost effective than getting new ones’. Keeping loyal customers means that every aspect of your business has to be geared towards great customer service and providing great value. Providing value to your customers doesn’t necessarily mean it has to cost you money, it could be as simple as making your product knowledge and expertise available on a blog, creating a video on product use or reviewing different products.

About 80% of your communication with your customers should provide value for them, if you do this well, you can confidently ‘sell’ to your customers the remaining 20%.


Partnerships with like minded organisations are a fantastic way to market to a niche audience while keeping costs down. The partnership should be mutually beneficial for those involved and can include packaged deals; shared email, SMS or social media promotions; customer referrals and much more. Get creative and think outside the box.

Selling low cost items doesn’t mean you are stuck with only using second-rate marketing options. Never before have there been so many great low-cost marketing strategies and so much quality training available to business owners. Learn to use the resources that are out there to market your business effectively.

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