You’ve got a retail business, but do potential customers know it exists? Television spots, billboards, radio and magazine ads can add up quickly and are out of reach for most small businesses. How can you get the word out without breaking the bank? Here are 5 effective ways to promote your retail business on a budget.

1) List Building

List building means developing an internal list of your customers’ contact information so you reach out to them with the information they’ve asked to receive from you. Whether you send an email newsletter, offers, promotions, event invitations or other forms of communication, using a sign-up form on your website, your blog and on social media is an effective way to capture contact information that you can use to provide a great customer experience by giving your subscribers the content they want.

Grab our list of the 50 all-time greatest retail subject lines that you can try out the next time you send an email to your audience.

2) Public Relations

Public relations, commonly known as PR, is the act of promoting your business by sharing interesting, note-worthy stories in hopes the media will pick up and share your story to a broader audience. You can hire a PR agency to help you tease out what stories to tell, write the press releases and distribute them to the media or you can identify the stories, write the press releases and distribute the press releases on your own.

Use this list of 7 tools to get free publicity for your business to help.

3) Partnerships

A partnership is establishing a symbiotic relationship with another business or charitable entity. Developing a partnership with a complementary business or charity can benefit both parties. It gives you an opportunity to expand your business’ reach to a complementary group of customers and potentially increase sales. Think about ways you can leverage another business and both benefit.

A good example is a group of retailers getting together to host a block party where customers get a discount at all participating vendors. Another example is a clothing retailer pairing up with a jewelry or accessory vendor and hosting a trunk show.

4) Social Media

Social media is a natural avenue for promoting your retail business. It’s free and easy to set up, but it does require a plan and time to manage and do well. Remember not to serve up overly promotional posts, especially on Facebook.

Also remember that you don’t have to be everywhere. Focus on a few social networks that best serve your business goals and then expand from there as it makes sense. As a retailer, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are good bets.

5) SEO

Search engine optimization is the discipline of affecting the natural search engine ranking or visibility of your website. Retailers can positively affect SEO by crafting their website and content to focus on targeted and related keywords that potential customers may search.

Check out these 8 easy SEO tools everyone should use to set you on the right path.

What other low cost methods do you use to promote your retail business?

Use VerticalResponse to send out email newsletters offers and invitations for free.

Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published by Bags & Bows and was written by Sara Summers. The post has been revamped and updated for accuracy and relevance.

© 2015 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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