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10 Free Things Small Businesses Can Do to Increase Traffic


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This document was originally a handout at a social media training session that Sally Witzky conducted for the Retail Merchants Association in Richmond Virginia. It has been modified, expanded and updated and turned in to a great tool and reference sheet for small businesses to use to begin their online marketing strategy or to get business quickly, especially during a holiday. For more information or help with your online marketing strategy, contact Sally Witzky at

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10 Free Things Small Businesses Can Do to Increase Traffic

  1. 1. 10+ Things Small Business Owners Can Do for Free/Low Cost to Increase Traffic First, a few Rules of the Road…  Do not ignore your best sources of business and referrals o Those who have purchased from you before (current / past customers) o Those who have shopped your store before who may not have purchased (familiar prospects) o Those who have inquired about your products or services but who have not yet purchased (inquirers or hand-raisers)  Be sure you understand the differences between the types of customer relationship marketing efforts and the 80/20 rule: o Acquisition: Acquiring a new customer (awareness, research, consideration, shopping, research, purchase, verification, research) o Retention: Retaining a current customer o Cross-sell: Selling a customer another product or service in addition to the one they are buying or bought o Up-sell: Selling a customer a product or service at a higher price point than what they came in to buy o Conversion: When an inquirer converts to a prospect and a prospect converts to a customer. Know where you gain and lose customers! o Repeat Visit or Repeat Purchase: Getting your customer to come back again within a short time after their last purchase  Know how your customer finds you and researches you; know what convinces them to buy; know why you lose a customer or prospect.  Remember STAT: Something to Talk About Tomorrow. ALWAYS give your customers and prospects something good to talk about. In these days of social media, people love telling others they found a great deal or they were treated special in some way. You must BE THE ONE who delivers.  Small Businesses are internet marketers and content generators. Period.1 | Page © 2011 Traction Group. Sally Witzky, owner and chief strategist.
  2. 2. 10+ Free Things a Small Business Owner Can Do Right Away 1. Email Marketing: Send a quarterly or monthly email to your customers and prospects a. Constant Contact has 60-day free trial; MailChimp is Free; AWeber is $1 1st mo. b. No limit to number of emails that can be sent per month c. Don’t forget you can download your LinkedIn connections and upload to CC lists 2. Phone Calls: Pick up the phone and call your best customers – 5 a day. THANK them for being a customer, tell them what is happening in your store and ASK for a referral! a. You can also text them if you have their cell phone numbers. Works well for quick appointment or event reminders or Thank You Messages! 3. Begin a database: Establish a process to collect/record your customer’s name, email address, phone and address. At minimum, get name/email/phone if at all possible. a. Once you have this info, there are several things you can do like send email to them or upload to LinkedIn. But if you don’t have a good database, you’re forced into using more expensive acquisition methods more often to get new customers. 4. Local Online Business Directories: Ensure your Google Places directory listing has been claimed (Yahoo & Bing, too) a. It is free to maintain Google listings and get reports of impressions and actions b. Add a special offer in a post to your Google listing (it will last for 30 days) c. Add Google Tags to your listing for promotions (free for 30 days; $25/mo after) 5. Run a daily special using your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) a. If you use Hootsuite, you can post once and all the accounts will be updated, and you can schedule your posts in advance to save time. b. Include photographs! People are visual creatures! 6. Create a daily video: Use a flip video to shoot a daily store report or helpful tip from an expert, and post videos to your social media accounts or your blog a. Videos should be short, 1-2 minutes in length at most. Thirty seconds will do! b. Upload to YouTube account (free / can be integrated w/ your Google account) 7. Post news or events on (need 1-2 days notice) a. Will appear on website AND in their subscriber emails sent several times per week b. Their emails have over 6,000 subscribers and growing! 8. Use Retail Merchants Association benefits (if you’re a member): a. Be sure you’ve taken advantage of your Silver business listing on (Free benefit of RMA membership – valued at over $400/year) b. You can also add your events to for free. c. Work with Pat Vitsky to promote your events and promotions; you can post them to the following Facebook Pages for free: Retail Merchants Association, Think.Shop.Buy.Local! and Pat will help you maximize your efforts. d. While not part of the RMA, you can also post to the LocallyOwnedRichmond Facebook Page.2 | Page © 2011 Traction Group. Sally Witzky, owner and chief strategist.
  3. 3. 9. Send out a free press release on a sale or event or company news: a. iNewswire will let you send out free press releases (Basic PR) b. is another source (Submit Free PR) c. is an option for a multi-media release (a great all-in-one tool for a multi-media release but you still have to send it to your media contacts – it’s free if you want your pitches to last only 30 days) 10. Remember Metro Business: Promote event by sending email to (need 2-3 weeks notice) 11. Ensure your blog appears on (just send email to That way, your posts will appear on other sites around Richmond, too. Tell them Traction Group sent you! 12. Use for extra exposure: Upload a powerpoint presentation (can be only one slide or as many as you want) or a document (can be a sales flyer or more detailed article) to your free company account a. The SlideShare document can easily be embedded into your blog b. It can be imported in your LinkedIn or Facebook accounts as they integrate c. A similar service is but it doesn’t integrate as nicely as 13. Local Paper: (whatever your local/community paper is!) a. List your event/send your local story to their email address (call and find out) b. Get a local story placed in the paper (what news do you have that you can pitch effectively with photos or other content or material? What subject?) 14. Promote each other’s businesses (ok, this is super easy and free, yet highly valuable) a. Write a review on Google or other related site for a local business for which you’ve had a good experience (this is invaluable to them) b. Help a business owner do one thing that you learned how to do that would be of great benefit to them. Ask them to show/teach you something else in return. 15. Plan a content strategy. If you manage a blog or a Facebook Page, you can usually get content from other related sources (your vendors, your suppliers, etc.) for free. Remember to check for relevant YouTube channels as they often have lots of content that is easy to embed in your blog or Facebook Page. Better to embed on your own blog and use NetworkedBlogs to automate the posts to update your Facebook page. 16. ______________________________________________________________________ 17. ______________________________________________________________________ 18. ______________________________________________________________________ 19. ______________________________________________________________________ 20. ______________________________________________________________________3 | Page © 2011 Traction Group. Sally Witzky, owner and chief strategist.
  4. 4. A few more things that are Low Cost and Flexible: 1. Run Facebook ads to promote a special, event or sale a. Run at $1.00 per click with a daily maximum budget of $10 as a TEST b. You can start these today by going to and start/stop/change anytime. 2. Test one of new the 1-Day Only Coupon email services like Groupon or LivingSocial 3. Test Mobile Marketing Coupons – special deal by (free for several months – call Dan @ 804-301-9384 for info and latest deal). 4. Send an offer postcard to those customers whom you don’t have email addresses a. If you use Digital Banana for printing you can order low cost and low quantity and upload your files online. There are other similar services if you need small print runs. 5. Run a Google Adwords campaign a. Run at $3.00 per click max with a $20 daily maximum budget as a TEST b. Ads can start within an estimated 24-48 hours by going to c. Pick your keywords carefully – long-tail keywords are better (two to four+ words/phrases) 6. Run a Foursquare Promotion: If you have a true foot-traffic business, run a Foursquare promotion – gifts to the Mayor and promote it using other tactics mentioned in the “free” section above. Don’t forget Facebook Places as that is popular on iPhones. Other geo-location services include Gowalla. 7. Run an offer event in your store. For example, the first 10 people who come in to the store get an extra 10% off their purchase. You can either promote it using the free marketing methods – or – you can make it a silent sale and just allow those people to get an extra bonus they weren’t expecting. a. A variation on this is to get your suppliers or other business owners to donate small gifts for a SWAG bag and give those to your first XX customers. Promote this through social media. 8. Create a “Leave-Behind.” Ask yourself: What are your customers leaving with? How will they know how to connect with you outside of the store? a. Plan to give every customer a flyer or a magnet or something when they leave. b. Make sure it thanks them for their purchase and includes a call-to-action i. How to follow on social media, with instructions on how to sign up for email newsletter ii. Visit our website and blog at iii. $ Coupon toward next visit’s purchase (encourage them to return again shortly) c. If you already create a newsletter or flyer for other purposes, then you can use that or a form of it that works as a leave-behind. Repurpose it – you don’t have to recreate the wheel. d. Make it memorable – “give them something to talk about!” 9. ______________________________________________________________________ 10. ______________________________________________________________________ Need help? Want to figure out a digital marketing strategy? Call me on my cell at 804.402.0804 – or – email me at @sallywitzky and @tractiongroup – Follow me!LinkedIn: - Connect with me!Facebook: - Be a fan to get Online Marketing Tips!Slideshare: - Get an electronic copy of this document here!4 | Page © 2011 Traction Group. Sally Witzky, owner and chief strategist.