This  two-part blog was inspired by an article entitled “The 5 Minute Guide to Cheap Startup Advertising” by Dharmesh Shah, co-founder of HubSpot and chief blogger at

Angled End’s client base ranges from companies who have thousands allocated to their annual marketing budgets to startups that may only have a few hundred marketing dollars to spare in their coffers. In today’s economy, both Fortune 100 companies and startups alike can use some of the very same techniques in order to lower their effective costs per sales, thereby removing the need to cut marketing efforts. Instead, by choosing campaigns that will deliver the most prospective customers, the highest-quality leads (not necessarily the most volume), and drive the best quality of visitor to their website, a marketing department can persuade the rest of the company that it is a bona fide revenue-generator.

So How to Go About Doing This?

This two part blog post will tell you how – just keep reading!

1# Make Sure Your Users Opt In to Receive Your Offers

It is now common knowledge that sending blanket spam messages to unfiltered lists has an extremely low conversion rate. With the advent of mobile/Text marketing, it has become even more important that companies follow the golden rule of getting their target audience to Opt-In to receive their communications through their preferred method. By doing this, conversion rates will drastically increase, and costs of sending out redundant emails (through programs that charge on a per contact basis) will be dramatically degreased.

2# Google is Not the Most Cost Effective Way to Get New Customers

Here’s another novel and extremely brilliant idea from Mr. Shah. Rather than using advertising dollars as the lifeblood to gaining new business, which may be fine if you are a multi-billion dollar corporation, us more humble folks should use the little advertising budgets we have to establish core metrics related to the success of our ad campaigns.

This is because the vast majority of startups will not have infinite resources to throw at the plethora of different advertising options out there  – many of which may have worked 5 years ago, but have little impact on today’s purchasing decisions – to see what sticks in terms of generating new customers and therefore  generating the most ROI.

Adwords for example may have been a great way 3 to 5 years ago to get a new influx of customers In  a very short time, but if you analyzed the Cost per Sale of those acquisitions,  your CEO may well have been startled to learn that it cost 85% of the sale price in order to make that sales.

For startups who may have a modest  $300 budget to test on advertising,  knowing which channels is going to connect them to the right audience, garner the most repeat visitors to their website and blog, and allow them to nurture those who are not quite ready to buy yet into paying customers further down the line, is invaluable. While Google is still a necessary element of this mix, simply because it has by far the largest reach of consumers who have shown themselves to be in the late stages of researching or buying simply buy searching on a particular keyword or phrase, there are certainly other more cost-effective methods that can be employed as well.

3# Google Can Be Used to Establish Core Advertising Metrics

We are certainly not saying that you shouldn’t allocate $300 or more on an Adwords campaign, rather we are saying you should use this capital to build useful analytics about your website, creative , offers and whether you value proposition is clear and catchy enough to grab your target audiences’ attention in under 30 seconds.

Click Through Rate from Adwords to Website

  • Luckily Google’s Adwords dashboard will allow you to see exactly which ad creative were most effective at driving people to your site as well as which keywords were
  • You may be surprised that ‘long-tail’ keywords – those that didn’t seem particularly relevant to your product and service performed the best in terms of Cost per Conversion. Why? Well because they are normally significantly cheaper, and because someone researching something more specific is more likely to engage with you if you have that keyword mentioned and/or offered on your site.

Generating Inquiries

  • This means encouraging those who have genuinely meant to click through to your site to  complete a short call to action  form on the page they land on after clicking on your ad. You can increase conversion here by testing a few different enticements for them to provide you with their contact information.
  •   For example:
    • Complete this form for a free 30 minute website review
    • Complete this form to get a free copy of our guide to a Professional Looking Web site on Small Budget
    • Complete this form to start the conversation on how we can help you increase your flow of inbound leads without spending another penny on expensive advertising
    • We would, however, advise against competitions to win free iPods as this attracts a lot of non-serious buyers and seriously angers users when they fail to arrive as promised!
  • In order to maximize conversion from Adwords click to lead (or rather inquiry, as a lead is an inquiry has to go through far more filters before it can legitimately be called a sales lead)  it is essential that you have created a separate  landing page for each keyword or keyword group campaign before launching your Adwords campaign.

Check out the next 3 ways to market more effectively in next week’s blog entry. Be sure to subscribe via RSS or email (see the buttons on the right-hand side of this page) to our blog to ensure you don’t miss these tried-and-trusted tips!