shoestring budget for high return

Shoestring Marketing Budget Allocations With Outstanding ROI

Working with a small marketing budget? Here’s where you should allocate your funds to see the greatest ROI to grow your business.

It’s easy to feel like you can’t do much marketing when your budget is small. But don’t let a minimal budget keep you from doing the activities you can and should be doing to reach new customers and continue building relationships with existing customers.

Marketing can fit any budget – whether you have 10s of thousands of dollars to spend or a couple hundred. And with the right strategy, you should see a strong return on your investment regardless of how big or small your budget is.

If you’re operating on a shoestring marketing budget, here’s where you should put your money for the greatest ROI.

Determining Your Marketing Budget

Before we discuss marketing activities with the highest ROI, you need to understand how to build a marketing budget. Take a hard look at where you’re allocating your funds. According to research, it’s best to put 7-8 percent of your total revenue toward marketing if your goal is to grow your business. 

And as your revenue grows, so should your marketing budget to ensure continued growth to meet the expanding needs of your business. If you can’t devote that much of your revenue to marketing right now, create a plan for how to gradually increase your marketing budget to reach this percentage in the next few months or years. 

Importance of Analytics in Tracking Marketing ROI


Using your marketing dollars wisely means gaining a clear understanding of what’s working for your business. To do that, you’ll need to set up analytics on everything you do.

Track leads from the moment a customer visits your digital assets or website through to their first purchase. Then keep tracking to understand their ongoing customer value. This will help you see what marketing initiatives have the greatest impact on your business and your relationships with customers.

To do this effectively, you need website analytics as well as a CRM, such as HubSpot. There are many excellent free tools out there to help you get started with tracking your marketing ROI while managing follow-up with prospects who show an interest in your business.

Marketing Initiatives with the Greatest ROI

With a foundation for why ROI matters and how to track it for your business, here’s a look at the most important marketing activities you should be doing based on the return on investment you can experience.

  1. Email marketing: On average, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you’ll make $36. Email can help you connect with customers and reconnect even if it’s been a while since you’ve done business together. A firm foundation in email marketing will help you create lead funnels and automated follow-up with prospects when they show interest in your business. 
  2. SEO: search engine optimization is about being there when your customers are searching for information related to your product or service. And by being there, you can reach those customers at a crucial time in their search for answers and begin a relationship. When done well, SEO delivers on promises in search engine results. Your page titles and meta descriptions match the high-quality content you deliver when the prospect clicks the result. And then your website has the necessary calls to action and contact information capturing tools to take that relationship to the next level. SEO does not work on its own but as a part of a larger online strategy. When done well, the ROI is impactful.
  3. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads: Much like SEO helps you be there when your customers need you, so can pay-per-click ads, especially on search engines. These ads allow you to be very specific about who your prospective customers are and what they are interested in. Targeted PPC ads have an average ROI of 200 percent. That means for every dollar you spend, you’re likely to see $2 in your bottom line. But you have to be extremely strategic and targeted to see this kind of outstanding ROI, which is why many businesses try ads and then abandon them quickly. 

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While engaging in these activities, there are also several free marketing initiatives you can engage in, including social media, reputation management and website conversion optimization. Don’t get so wrapped up in where you spend your money that you forget to do the free activities that can have a huge impact on your business as well.

Marketing is an Investment in Your Business

Ultimately, you have to view marketing less as an expense and more as an investment in your business. Once you start thinking of it that way, you’ll likely feel more comfortable allocating money to that area of your budget and will ensure you put the proper follow-up procedures and effort into making your marketing work for you. 

Ready to experience better ROI from your marketing? Schedule a free consultation with New Light Digital to learn more about how we’ve helped businesses grow through strategic marketing activities with the greatest ROI.

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