Marketing your eCommerce store is not that expensive anymore. Even when on a low budget, anyone can market and scale their dropshipping business with the proper knowledge and tools.
Starting with a lower budget will make you more creative when it comes to marketing. Since you do not have many dollars to spend, you will work harder to learn, research, and implement the correct methods to get your online store running profitability.
Less room for mistakes leaves you with more room for learning the right marketing methods.
Even for those not on a budget – we highly recommend starting low, seeing what works, and slowly start to scale from there. With this in mind, you are about to learn a handful of methods to market your online dropshipping store while on a low budget successfully.
This article will cover the low-budget high-impact marketing techniques to save your business time and money. So without further ado, let’s begin!
High Budget Marketing vs. Low Budget Marketing
Starting with a high budget is not necessarily better than starting with a low budget in the beginning stages of marketing.
No matter which marketing strategy you use, the best way to maximize your results is by splitting your budget into multiple testing categories.
Each split test needs to start cheap, giving the marketing platform enough time to gather data and show results. Then, analyze the results to scale the successful ones, and edit or delete the ones that didn’t perform well.
For example, if you’re using Facebook Ads as your marketing tool, using split testing on your ads is an effective way to compare between your ads and pick out the winner from the bunch.
Start with three to five ad sets for each campaign, each one spending five to ten dollars a day, depending on your budget. Two to three days should be enough to analyze how each one is performing. From there, you can decide which ad sets to kill and which to scale.
Now, imagine running a one hundred dollar a day ad set vs. three ad sets at ten dollars a day. After three days, the one hundred dollars a day campaign already set you back by three hundred dollars. If the campaign was unsuccessful, the money is lost.
On the other hand, the three ad sets at five dollars a day campaign only set you back by thirty dollars after three days. They may not necessarily generate sales at such a low budget, but you will have a clear view of which ad set is the best performer.
Analyze your cheap ad sets, learn what works for your audience, and slowly scale from there.
Now, let us go through the 5 low budget marketing techniques to promote our eCommerce stores.
5 Low Budget Marketing Techniques
1. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools for building long-lasting relationships with your customers. Moreover, it is relatively cheaper than most other advertising methods.
That’s because you don’t have to spend money to reach your target audience, as you already have them in your email database.
The tricky part is building an email database big enough with a targeted audience. Why should the viewers want to send you their email addresses and subscribe to your newsletter?
This is the part where you get creative. Offer the viewers value in return for their email address.
For instance, the Personal Discount Shopify App offers discount rewards for any new subscriber in your store. Once a viewer sends his email address, he will receive the discount code to his mail. The app offers 50 free email subscribers per month, so you only have to start spending once your list starts to build gradually.
Once your visitors feel like they receive value in exchange for entering their email address, your email database will build itself and soon be ready for email marketing.
There are many email marketing Shopify Apps free to install and try out once you have enough subscribers. Browse them to learn their differences.
On the other hand, Shopify also has an integrated Shopify Email Marketing feature. Therefore you don’t have to install any apps, especially at the start, if their features don’t add any value to you in this stage.
There are more than enough ways to create successful email campaigns, and it all begins with trial and testing.
You can also use Facebook’s Pixel to create lookalike audiences for your email subscribers and retarget them with ads to get more subscribers or purchase your products.
However, conversion ads usually cost more to reach the target audience, so make sure you have a big enough email subscriber list before heading down in this direction.
2. Build an Active Community with Quality Content
One of the most effective ways to build a quality audience around your brand is by building a community of people who relate to your product or brand. The best part is, it doesn’t cost you a dime. You just need to put work in building your community from scratch.
For example, creating a Facebook Page is an excellent way to create a community to connect with your product or brand.
Provide the community with quality content, pictures, videos, and posts to keep them engaged.
Try to feed the community with as much value and content as possible, and stay responsive to their posts.
Grow your community by offering them value. For example, create a giveaway contest for shares and likes. The bigger you grow your community, the more free traffic and quality customers you will gain without buying ads to reach out to them.
3. Find Influencers, Negotiate a Price
Influencer marketing is a social media marketing technique that involves collaboration between influencers and brand owners. Influencers are ‘internet celebrities’ on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc.
With thousands of loyal followers and many different popular niches, finding an influencer with the right audience to your niche can be very rewarding. Run a shoutout campaign with them, and have them recommend your product or brand to their audience.
The right influencer and a good campaign can bring thousands of visitors and sales to your store. Find an influencer who matches your niche, and negotiate a price for a shoutout. Try to negotiate a low starting price to get to know each other.
Once you reach an agreement with an influencer, try to hire at least two more influencers. Running at least three campaigns with three different influencers will give you the best results as to which influencers know the job and how popular and in-demand your chosen niche is.
However, finding the right influencer isn’t an easy task. There are many of them out there. While some influencers are waiting for the shout out opportunities, others may have no interest in doing it.
So you may find yourself jumping from platform to platform, sending mass messages, and waiting for someone to get back to you. And even then, it requires negotiating and hoping that the influencer will be able to convert.
With these challenges in mind, we highly encourage you to check our article about the 10 influencer marketing platforms for finding Internet Influencers as it will help with how and where to find Influencers to promote your eCommerce business.
You will be able to pinpoint the right influencers with knowledge and experience in promoting your specific niche. All that’s left to do is negotiate low starting ‘get-to-know-each-other’ prices, and take off from there.
4. Target The International Market
Most advertisers spend their ad dollars on the US and the Canadian markets because they are the biggest markets. But the bigger they are, the more fierce the competition.
Therefore, if you are only in the product testing stage to see if the product has any demand, targeting the US and Canadian audiences will not be cheap or effective.
Instead, you should better test your product ads in European countries and countries outside of the US. You will experience a much higher and cheaper engagement rate.
Then, once your ad receives enough attention and engagement, create the same ad copy for the more expensive markets. Since your Facebook ad post will already have likes, comments, and shares from the cheaper international audience, you already have social proof.
So you don’t have to start from scratch. With this method, you won’t have to waste your advertising budget on expensive markets before knowing if your product has any demand, to begin with.
5. Cheaper Products Lead To Cheaper Advertising
Selling cheap products don’t require a lot of convincing to trigger the viewer impulse to buy. Whereas selling expensive products require a lot more trust and convincing efforts put into the ads.
While selling expensive products may be more profitable, the ad spend on them is much higher, especially in your business early stages.
Hence, when starting, go with cheaper products, products up to $50 or less. Ads will be cheaper, and you can test multiple products at once.
The key to success in advertising is testing, testing, and more testing. If you don’t leave yourself enough of a marketing budget to test multiple angles, you will find yourself out of the game in no time. Start low and slowly climb the ladder.
Free Shopify Marketing Apps
The Shopify App Store has tons of apps that can help you design, manage, and promote your store. There are over ten categories and hundreds of different apps.
Because there are so many to choose from in different price ranges, it can be overwhelming and difficult to choose the right apps from the bunch to efficiently help you with your tasks.
And when it comes to marketing your store, there are well over 600 apps available. To help you start on the right way, we’ve gathered a handpicked list of 7 must-have marketing apps with free plans and trials. This way, you can test different marketing angles and see what works before committing to expensive or long term plans.
With SMSBump, you can build your subscriber list creatively, create automated SMS/MMS marketing campaigns, track, analyze, etc. Installing this app is free, and SMS plans start at just $0.0149 per SMS. That’s fifteen cents for one thousand SMS messages for the beginner pack.
Automate your Facebook and Twitter posts with this useful app. Save time compared to logging into each social media account manually to manage each post and its performance.
You can also add your logo and a discount code integrated into your post to make it more appealing to your audience. Get your audience insight from multiple platforms and manage multiple accounts all in one place. Plus, you can schedule your posts to post them at a specific time and date for maximum visibility.
Facebook & Twitter Auto Post is free to use on a single social account to test it out freely before upgrading your subscription, which makes it even more worthwhile to try out, as you won’t have to spend a dime before you earn a dime.
Omnisend is a powerful all-in-one tool to automate workflow marketing to your visitors as they spend time and take certain actions in your shop. For example, sending a message to your new subscribers, pulling them into your sales funnel with added value. You can choose which customers to send specific messages to, depending on set actions, creating a smart marketing workflow.
With multiple marketing channels, including email newsletters, SMS, push notifications, Facebook Messenger, and more, you have more than enough options to test until you find what works best for your store. It can be more than one option, as long as it’s showing profitable results.
Pricing is free for using signup forms, boxes, pop-ups, and 15,000 emails per month. That’s more than enough to put this app on the must-have list for max marketing on a budget.
Judge.me helps collect and organize customer ratings and reviews about your store’s products. Customer reviews act as social proof and create trust between the potential buyer and your brand, increasing your conversion rate. You can even import reviews from AliExpress to get a good starting point.
You can share your reviews on multiple social media platforms and market your products in a few ways. The best part is, importing reviews is absolutely free. There is no limit to how many reviews are included in the free package.
Another productive all-in-one tool focused on getting back and converting the potential customers who have added items to their cart but never finished the checkout process (a.k.a. ‘Abandoned Carts’.)
A handful of helpful tools are available to help you get potential buyers to convert and reconvert. Including Email/SMS/Push notifications, add to cart popup, cart activity monitor, happy birthday emails, customer thank you emails, and much more.
Additionally, Consistent Cart has well-made recovery email messages with a high success rate for those who abandon their shopping carts. With a seven day free trial, you have enough time to test it out before going with a limited free or non-limited paid subscription.
Live chat is a feature which many website viewers use to ask questions and get live answers. When a potential buyer has someone to talk to and get answers, the chance of a sale is much higher, as they won’t have to look for answers with your competitors.
In addition, when the viewers see that they can interact with a real person, their trust in your brand increases. Customers appreciate efficient customer service and are likely to return to buy from you again.
Tidio Live Chat integrates multiple chat platforms into one place. There’s an integrated bot to answer your customers when you are away and recover abandoned carts. The bot can also check and inform the buyer on product availability and delivery information, making automation a breeze.
A free plan includes Live Chat, multiple chat platform integrations, and 100 chat triggers per month, which is more than enough. Additional plans come cheap with more added features.
You don’t have to be an SEO expert or hire any SEO specialists to get the professional SEO work done. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) involves adding certain codes and keywords throughout the website to rank higher on search engines organically. The result is receiving much more needed traffic to your store.
The SEO Booster ‑ SEO Marketing Shopify App does the hard work for you. With an easy-to-use platform, checking and fixing your SEO score couldn’t be easier. Higher visibility on Google will lead to an increased click-through rate.
The SEO Booster app can be set to fix SEO bugs and errors automatically. So even when you casually update your website, you don’t have to worry about new SEO errors that will decrease your site’s overall performance.
Furthermore, the SEO booster app comes with a 14 day free trial and a free plan available after that. But to get the best out of the SEO optimization, try the paid subscription for a couple of months, since it takes time to see results from good SEO work.
Dropshipping Automation Tool for Shopify
Using Shopify’s apps to automate essential marketing tasks is one of the best ways to increase traffic to your store. And, to convert potential buyers into happy, returning customers. The fact that it is all possible to accomplish while on a low budget makes it even more worthwhile.
However, doing all of the rest of the work manually will consume all of the time that you have left. From listing your products to editing, optimizing, issuing out the orders with one or multiple suppliers, price/stock monitoring, and more. There are more than enough tasks to keep you busy and not focused on growing your business exponentially.
Thankfully, AutoDS is fully integrated with Shopify, allowing you to efficiently automate your dropshipping store. AutoDS helps in many ways, including importing your products to your shop, monitoring stock and prices, fulfilling your orders automatically, updating tracking information, displaying a full business overview, supporting virtual assistants, a smart pricing system, and many more automation and optimization features. All this to save you the maximum amount of time while maximizing your profits.
Automatic Store Optimization
AutoDS has many automatic optimization features to increase your traffic rate. For example, when importing products from your supplier, the system decreases the product’s image size for faster page loading (and not at the expense of image quality). Viewers will not stay at your website if it takes longer than two seconds to load, therefore a faster loading time is essential to keep them browsing.
Considering the expenses of starting and marketing an eCommerce business, AutoDS comes with a free subscription plan that includes a handful of automation features, including importing and monitoring AliExpress products, order management, full business overview, and more. If you want to unlock more suppliers (and more automated optimization features), you’ll have to pay a small subscription fee.
Therefore, whether on a budget or not, this automation tool goes side by side with every Shopify dropshipper.
Creating and marketing an eCommerce business from scratch on a low budget may be challenging, but definitely not impossible. Following the many techniques explained in this article, anyone on a low budget can create a successful and profitable dropshipping store.
Once your store starts generating sales and profit, you can gradually increase your expenses in the relevant sectors to scale your business successfully and make it to the big numbers.
Remember to split test all of your marketing methods – whether split ad sets, working with multiple influencers, using multiple sales channels from the Shopify Apps, and most important of all – using a dropshipping tool to optimize and automate your most time-consuming tasks so you can continue to focus on growing your business.