1. People buy the Sunday paper for the advertisements! For maximum exposure, you can run a full-page double-sided insert in your local metropolitan newspaper. Your local paper may have the ability to insert your flyers into their newspaper for a small price (average price is $50-$75) and will give you the ability to insert by zip code. Create a flyer and make 1,000 copies. (Your local Kinko’s can copy your flyer for as little as .03 cents each.) Contact your local newspaper for details. They may have similar advertising methods available at these GREAT RATES OR EVEN CHEAPER!
2. Flyers are the thrifty entrepreneur’s dream. Place copies of your CD-ROM brochures on bulletin boards throughout your community, such as in Grocery Stores, Laundromats, Barbershops, Churches, College Campuses, Post Offices, Doctors Offices, DMV, Lobbies, etc.
We encourage you to place brochures on the bulletin boards of ALL the grocery stores in your local community. These brochures have tested to be highly effective when posted at grocery stores. Thursdays are the best days to post your brochures because shopping increases on the weekend. Easy to distribute in bulk, these handy attention-getters can also be used as bag stuffers or inserts to put in with billings or to include when mailing payments to your suppliers.
3. People spend more time on eBay than on any other web site on the Internet! Try selling your products on eBay (www.ebay.com) and Craig’s List (another popular classified advertising web site). Successful sellers make sure their auction listings are VERY descriptive! Visit CraigsList online at www.craigslist.com
4. Believe It or Not… Word of Mouth (Friends, Family and Coworkers) is the MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO GET FREE ADVERTISING!
5. Leave your CD-ROM brochures on doorsteps of homes in your area. This is a great way for you to advertise your CD-ROM business for FREE.
6. Use the CD-ROM titles as a Fundraising tool for schools, churches, etc. Sell your product at an
EXTRA-LOW PRICE: schools or churches or other groups that fundraise will buy large quantities
from you in bulk, then they choose a price that works for them and they get to keep the fundraising
profits, without having to pay a sponsor or profit-share with companies who provide them with products.
7. Print attractive and informative business cards that include your logo and hand them out everywhere, consistently! If appropriate for your business, you can use your card as a discount certificate or other incentive. Or, have it placed on a magnetic backing so that it (hopefully) winds up on a refrigerator. If you use letterhead stationery in your business, have it match your business card. Remember, business cards aren’t working for you if they’re in the box. Pass them out!
8. Obtain a web site on the World Wide Web. (Click here for mind-blowing details.)
9. Obtain a memorable web site address and e-mail address and include them on ALL of your marketing materials. It’s a good idea to use a short, easy-to-spell, easy-to-remember domain name. (Click Here to register a domain name.)
10. Run a special promotion or sale (such as discounts, coupons, etc.)
11. If you have Internet access, you can find hundreds of Internet web sites that will allow you to post your ad for free. Go to a major search engine and type in these words: “FREE ADVERTISING”.
12. Postcard Mailings are INEXPENSIVE and EFFECTIVE! The US Postal Service can help you
create and deploy a postcard advertisement. Visit www.usps.com/directmail for more information.
13. Sell your products at Flea Markets or at a Saturday Market. (very effective!)
14. Get a booth at a fair/trade show attended by your target market.
15. Print up some gift certificates. These let your customers introduce you to new customers.
Remember, with a gift certificate you get paid up front for the product or service!
16. In your ads, request a self addressed stamped envelope. After receiving them, simply
insert an extra sales piece and return to the prospect. This is a traditional method for obtaining FREE ADVERTISING.
17. Advertise during peak and holiday seasons for your business.
18. Inserted ads include mailbox inserts and freestanding inserts. The science behind the mass distribution of inserts is beyond the scope of our discussion here. If you think that inserts could successfully reach your market, call one of the big distributors and learn how much it would cost you to try this method. The industry leaders are ADVO (call 860-285-6100, and they’ll give you the local contact) and Val-Pak, which is so big that you can look under “V” in most local phone books and find your neighborhood outlet. (Their number is 1-800-550-5025) If you’re just starting out, you may want to wait a bit before venturing into this zip code math contest, but keep it in mind as an opportunity for the future. www.valpak.com and www.advo.com
19. Create your own TV program on your industry or your specialty. Market the show to your local cable station or public broadcasting station as a regular program. Or, see if you can air your show on an open (public) access cable channel. This is EXTREMELY effective!
20. Place your brochures on windshields of parked automobiles - FOR FREE! We suggest visiting large shopping centers or malls in your community. These places usually have hundreds of parked cars in one area. First, check with city ordinances to see if this is permitted in your locality.
21. Brochures let you provide a lot of detail about your product or service. You may want to produce a simple three-fold brochure. Stock may be purchased from mail order suppliers in small quantities. This type of stock comes in attractive cuts and colors. Make your headline stand out. Use clip art or graphics. Give your customer as much quality information as you can pack into this identity piece. If you have a slightly larger budget, go for a slick four-color piece. We recommend Twig One Stop. They do high-quality, low-cost work for small businesses. They also have a wealth of samples to get your creative ideas flowing. Visit them online at www.twigonestop.com
22. Create little traveling billboards at low cost. Matchbooks or boxes with a logo and vital information were always the thrifty solution, but nowadays smoking isn’t popular. So try something different such as boxes with little toothpicks instead of matches. This has been very successful in several markets, particularly with upscale restaurants.
Keychains, pens and pencils, and calendars are premiums and ad specialties. If they are appropriate for your kind of business, they’re worth their weight in ad dollars. People use them. They don’t usually end up in drawers or wastebaskets. Bumper stickers, balloons, buttons,
decals, and even t-shirts are examples of advertising specialty signage that works.
Visit www.twigonestop.com and GoPromos.com for several examples of walking ads you can adapt to your needs.
23. Sponsor a contest to PROMOTE YOUR SOFTWARE FOR FREE!
24. Advertise in a specialty directory or in the Yellow Pages.
25. Doorhangers are very effective and widely used by home delivery and service businesses.
If you choose this medium, make it heavy so it won’t blow off doorknobs and litter the neighborhood. Be sure to add a coupon or some other incentive to your copy.
26. ADVERTISE FOR FREE on Mailing Lists and User Groups.
27. Click Here to Place Advertisements for free online using our Free Advertising Sites.
28. Get listed with the MAJOR INTERNET SEARCH ENGINES FOR FREE!
29. Run a Movie Theatre Slide-Ad that will play before a movie starts.
30. Advertise in Trade-related, Industry related, Market related newspapers and magazines.
Search for industry publications by going to a search engine and typing in: trade magazines.
31. Check with your local newspapers. Before going to press, many smaller newspapers have space left that needs to be filled. Your CD-ROM advertisement may be just the right size to occupy this unfilled space. THEY WILL RUN YOUR CD-ROM AD FOR FREE if it qualifies.
32. Many publishers will give you FREE ADVERTISING SPACE for mailing a few copies of their publication. Simply write them and ask if they will give you a FREE AD in exchange for mailing
50 to 100 copies of their publication.
33. Take advantage of advertising specials. Many publishers offer ads on a 3-for the price of-2 basis, or 4-for the price of-3, etc. This saving is the same as getting one ad FREE OF CHARGE.
34. Some publishers offer a FREE CLASSIFIED AD with your first display ad. Watch for such
specials. Use the FREE AD and pocket the savings.
35. Give a speech or volunteer for a career day at a high school or college. You can use this as an opportunity to “tell and sell” your products.
36. Teach a class or seminar at a local college or adult education center. This is a great place to plug (and sell) your products. Cross promote! In fact, we STRONGLY recommend making contacts with teachers at community colleges and libraries who have students (customers) who need your CD-ROMs.
37. Publish a newsletter for customers and prospects. (It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive.)
38. Create a poster or calendar to give away to customers and prospects.
39. Create a “signature file” to be used for all your e-mail messages. It should contain contact details including your Web site address and key information about your company that will make the reader want to contact you.
40. Have your best pulling 1 or 2 inch CD-ROM ad made into a rubber stamp. Stamp this on the envelopes of ALL of your outgoing mail. You can visit our recommended stamp shop by visiting
41. Many restaurants sell advertising space on their placemats... customers will read about your exciting CD-ROMs while they wait for the waitress to bring their food AND while they are eating.
42. Offer free commission circulars. Print one of your regular offers on one side; a commission offer on the reverse, leaving space where the mailer can rubber stamp his name and address. Your offer gets a FREE ride.
43. Place Local and National Classified Ad’s in newspapers.
44. Try Banner Swapping (LinkExchange.com / LinkLeads.com) on Web Sites
45. Try to Distribute your Products to Retailers for FREE!
46. Try hand addressing your mailing materials. You will receive a HIGHER RESPONSE RATE with materials that are personalized.
47. Sponsor an “Adopt-a-Road” area in your community to keep roads litter-free. People that pass by the area will see your name on the sign announcing your sponsorship.
48. Donate your product or service to a charity auction.
49. Get a marketing intern to take you on as a client; it will give the intern experience and you some free marketing help.
50. Attend a marketing seminar and/or read a marketing book.
51. Learn to barter; offer discounts to members of certain clubs/professional groups / organizations in exchange for promotions in their publications.
52. Write a column for the local newspaper, local business journal or a trade publication.
53. Publish an article and circulate reprints.
54. Write a “How To” pamphlet or article for publishing. Be sure to subtly mention your product!
Include your web site address if you can.
55. Send timely and newsworthy press releases as often as needed.
56. Write an ad in another language to reach a non-English-speaking market. Place the ad in a
publication that market reads, such as a Hispanic newspaper.
57. Mail “bumps,” photos, samples and other innovative items to your prospects. (A “bump” is simply anything that makes the mailing envelope bulge and makes the recipient curious about what’s inside!)
58. Sponsor or host a special event or open house at your business location in cooperation with a local non-profit organization, such as a women’s business center. Describe how the organization helped you.
59. Use an answering machine or voice mail system to catch after-hours phone calls. Include basic information in your outgoing message such a business hours, location, etc.
60. Give your sales literature to your lawyer, accountant, printer, banker, temp agency, office supply salesperson, advertising agency, etc. (Expand your sales force for FREE!)
61. Don’t mail anything out of your business without including some little sales piece. Take advantage of piggybacking on that postage stamp.
62. If someone says or writes something good about your product or service, put out reprints and let the world know how good you really are! Flyers are especially good for this purpose.
63. Collect competitors’ ads and literature; study them for information about strategy, product features and benefits, etc. Then implement what you have learned into your own business. This evaluation is a common practice for most businesses. You can also take a “creative journey” to another progressive city or country to observe and learn from marketing techniques used there.
64. When starting a new publication, many publishers will offer SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED RATES to help fill space. Watch for ads regarding such offers.
65. Consistently review newspapers and magazines for possible PR opportunities.
66. Create a press kit and keep its contents current.
67. Promote your business jointly with other professionals via cooperative direct mail.
68. If you use a postage meter, use the space directly left of the stamp imprint for a FREE MESSAGE!
69. Try using the broadcast fax or e-mail delivery methods instead of direct mail. (Broadcast fax and e-mail allows you to send the same message to many locations at once.)
70. SalesGenie.com can provide you with prospective customer leads and can even mail post cards to those prospects for you. Visit www.salesgenie.com for more information.
71. Never let a day pass without engaging in at least one marketing activity!
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