Times are tough. COVID has put many business on hold until the fall and winter seasons, maybe even infinitely. Some companies are shifting their business model to adapt with the times to keep new business rolling in and others are out of business for good.

For those that are still looking to promote their local business in a cost effective way, below are 10 Cost Effective Local Advertising Ideas that work:

1. Referral Fee or Discount to Current Customers

Your current customers are your best source of income, and also your easiest to market to as they are already customers somehow! Why not incentivize your current customers by giving them a referral discount? You can offer this digitally via email or phone.

2. Monthly E-newsletters via your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Email Tool

MailChimp.com is a free emailing tool that helps you build an effective CRM to manage your customers and your business. Hubspot.com is also an effective tool to manage prospective, future, and current customers. It is easy to create a monthly newsletter with your customers permission, and offer new products, old products, and self care tips related to your industry. Showcasing the solutions you provide is ideal and don’t be afraid to ask your current customers to forward your email to have them refer new business to you here too.

3. Local Flyers + Doorhangers

Ever tried sending product menus, or attaching a door hanger on and around the locals near your store? This is a great cost effective way to gain new customers and your local printer can help you design, create, and print (in some cases even hang or mail) your custom mailers or doorhangers. Offering a free trial or sample flight of introductory pricing will surely help get the word out that you are open for business!

4. Calling all Schools!

Have you ever tried marketing to your local schools in the area? Those schools have plenty of parents with kids that could be looking for your services at a discounted rate. I would recommending calling your local schools to get them involved.

5. Calling Your Fellow Businesses

All local businesses are in the same boat. They need foot traffic and people in the door to get them to buy and support their families and lives. Why not try to get involved with your neighboring businesses, introduce yourselves, and set a good rapport with your neighbors? Who knows, there could be a customer of theirs that could be interested in your services too where you can cross pollinate customers and get them coming back for more. I would also recommend attending your local town hall events to get more involved in your community.

6. The Good Old Call, Text + Fax New Offers to Maintain Communication

Each customer is different, but if you have not seen them in a while but were able to capture their phone number, it may be a good time to reach out to them via auto or manual call, text and fax! Social media outlets like LinkedIn.com, Instagram.com, Facebook.com, Twitter.com are also good casual tools to amplify your companies voice. I remember getting calls monthly for trunk shows at one of my favorite local clothing and jewelry stores, and I was excited to be on the A list for their exclusive events.

What local advertising opportunities have you seen effective and where? Drop some ideas in the comments below!