Low-cost methods for staying top-of-mind with customers

Most small businesses don’t have the time or budget for large marketing campaigns. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay top-of-mind with your customers. There are small efforts that have big impacts that any small business can take advantage of.

Use free samples to make your business stand out

Remember the days when the bank handed out lollipops, the gas attendants checked your oil while pumping gas, the store owner greeted every customer at the door? People are nostalgic for those days, and you can use this to your advantage.

Consider handing out free samples-especially if there’s a new product or service you’d like customers to try. If you have a deli counter, it can be a food sample. If you run a beauty salon, it can be a sample-size cosmetic or shampoo. Remember, the point is to make your business stand out and your customers come back.

Create a product catalog

If you are somewhat computer-savvy there are many more low-cost marketing techniques available to you. Consider self-publishing a catalog of your merchandise. There are many software programs that provide templates for this exact purpose. You can use a local printer, a chain copy shop or your own machines to produce the final copy. Develop a schedule for your catalog (bi-monthly, quarterly, annually).

Consider including a customer survey with the catalog. Send a free sample with the catalog or include an offer of some sort for filling out the customer survey.

You may be surprised by how many responses you receive when you offer a free service in exchange for a response. People love freebies.

Send special promotions to loyal customers

For your longstanding and loyal customers, consider emailing them special promotions. Remember, your longstanding customers are your most loyal.

Just like new customers, they should be romanced with incentives to keep using your business. Giving them the opportunity to get a good bargain first, or exclusively, gives loyal customers a sense of priority and prestige.