by gbravo in Business Start Up Advice, Internet Marketing, SEO, Uncategorized Customers just aren’t biting like they were this time last year. This means businesses need to stretch their precious marketing dollars further than ever. Here are five affordable ways to reach new customers and convert new sales…even if your marketing budget is a little smaller than it used to be. #1: Refer a friend programs Why not let your existing customers handle your marketing for you? Create a refer-a-friend program to leverage the people who know and love your business the most. Referral programs are easy – simply send out an email or postcard to your existing customer base and let them know about the promotion. Offer these existing customers a reward for telling other people about your new business. And make sure that these new customers get a nice carrot-and-stick as well. Special discounts or promotional items are both proven-successful methods for generating excitement around a referral program. And don’t forget to make the process as easy as possible. If you are kick-starting the program via email, include copy or an image that can be easily forwarded on to other people. Most importantly, don’t forget to track the campaign using an offer code in order to see how well it performed. #2: A viral campaign Many companies, large and small, are getting tremendous mileage out of their viral marketing campaigns. There are several approaches to take here, but most involve creating a humorous video and submitting it to YouTube or a compelling article or site page and getting it up in the rankings at Digg or other social networking sites. These types of viral marketing will establish your brand as hip, funny and web-savvy, all while spreading the word about your products and services in a highly inexpensive manner. via Five Affordable Ways to Market Your Business.