13 Ways to Drive Traffic on a Budget

13 Ways to Drive Traffic on a Budget

13 Ways to Drive Traffic on a Budget

Whether your business is 100% online, or you own a brick-and-mortar location, there’s no better way to boost sales and revenue than with traffic. Getting more eyes on your products (and feet in the door), can significantly increase the sales you make in any given day. While massive marketing campaigns can run millions of dollars or more, there’s no reason you can’t employ smaller schemes to boost awareness and get people to your store or website.

Here’s a list of the most popular (and proven) ways to get people into your shop or to your site.

1. Email marketing

Most of us have email lists that are just sitting and collecting dust. With social media pulling people all over the place, it’s nice to know that email inboxes are still a sacred place where most messages are “invitation only.” If you haven’t sent an email in a while, it’s OK to reintroduce yourself to your audience, remind them that they did (at one point) opt-in to your newsletter, and give them a reason to stay subscribed.

2. Social media

Whether you choose Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, pick just ONE and do it well. Post daily, at a minimum, use a conversational style to communicate, and choose behind-the-scenes photos and videos to bring your audience into your world. Don’t forget to engage individually, by responding to comments or tagged posts.

3. Local sponsorships

Even if you are a global business, there’s no better way to introduce yourself to your geographical neighbors by offering to pay for something. Whether you donate a gift basket at a charity auction of sponsor the local softball team, you have the opportunity to make yourself known to the local customer. People who value these relationships will buy from you!

4. Community involvement

Why not volunteer while you’re at it? Serve on a board, offer to ref a game or two. Get known in your community as a change-maker and watch others naturally inquire about your business. If you’re already a community-minded individual, don’t be afraid to venture into new causes.

5. Influencer outreach

It’s probably not in your budget to snag a Kardashian for a day, but it’s also not advantageous. Instead, get a “micro influencer” to chat about the benefits of your product or service, using Instagram or Twitter to tell how you’ve made a difference in their lives. Be sure to offer product, as well as a payment, and insist that you influencers use FTC disclosure rules to stay legally compliant.

6. Cross-promotional content

Have you heard of guest posting? Of course, you have. What about Instagram takeovers? The opportunities to get fans or influencers to create content for you are massive. Cross-promotion allows the brand and the influencer to both grow their audiences, and it can help you uniquely reach new customers.

7. Increase your curb appeal

Whether you run your store from a small office downtown, or you have a web-only presence that serves a worldwide audience, cleaning up your act means making a beautiful, welcoming experience for your guests. Skip the gross stock photos and clunky text. Wipe away the cobwebs and create a stunning window display. Ask people who don’t know what they think of when they first see your business; then, take action.

8. Create a signature event

There’s nothing new about having a Mother’s Day luncheon, but have you considered hosting an event for International Golden Retriever Day? There are so many holidays to celebrate. While many of them were created by marketing gurus, they all offer a chance to brand your business differently. Use these days to celebrate, every year, an occasion that’s near and dear to your heart.

9. Be mobile friendly

Don’t be that business that looks good on a desktop and not on a phone. With more shoppers spending time on their phones than their computers but doing more shopping from desktop than mobile device, it proves that it’s sometimes easier to shop from your desk. Be the change you want to see. Make it seamless and rewarding to buy from any mobile device.

10. Reward loyalty

Punch cards, rewards points, buy-one-get-one. However you brand it, make sure your repeat customers feel like they are being thanked for their loyalty. Free stuff is great, and one of the main drivers behind returning to the same store over trying out new ones. Get a loyalty program in place that makes sense for your brand; enlist your customer feedback, if needed, to figure out what will work.

11. Ask for referrals

When is the last time you asked your customers to tell their friends? It’s not shameless. It actually works! Whether you offer a reward is up to you, but the simple act of asking works. “If you enjoyed your experience today, please tell a friend about us,” is magical verbiage. Use it whenever it’s appropriate.

12. Up your customer service game

Lousy service can destroy all your traffic. Make sure everyone that works for you is trained and prepared to answer questions and offer solutions. Invest in people over tech. Not only will it make for a better user experience, but your employees talk. No one wants to buy from a company that treats their workers poorly.

13. Be consistent

It’s a common folly. Company A starts a weekly Twitter event to build traffic and abandons it after three months. Then, they quit using Twitter altogether. Company B starts a loyalty program but doesn’t follow through on sending the perks. This is the danger in trying something new; you have to be willing to do what you say and keep doing it, even when the traction seems slow. Make sure any new plan you implement is something you feel good about staying with for the long haul.

As you can see, there are too many suggestions here to do all of them, right now, at one time. Picking a few that are more affordable and offer a bigger return is a smart idea. As you master a few of them, add a new approach to your game plan. These traffic drivers are, by and large, common sense business concepts that most of us know about. The execution and consistency is where many business owners, struggle, however, and reminding ourselves of their benefit can boost your traffic enough to warrant taking another look.

This article was originally written on May 22, 2019 and updated on January 27, 2021.

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