Share a Concept and Stretch Your Budget

Advertising sells. But it also costs money and adds up quickly. If your marketing budget is tight or you're looking to cut advertising costs, find a partner to share your marketing efforts.


Big corporations pair up all the time in advertising, For example, Disney and Delta Airlines have sold packaged vacations together. Here are two surefire ways that your company can use the same concept to boost sales.

1. Team Up for "Piggyback Mailings"

You've probably received dozens of piggyback mailings yourself -- those offers from companies that come with your credit card statement and other bills each month.

Teaming up with a partner lets you reach prospective customers for a fraction of the cost of doing it all yourself. Here's how:

For example, if you're in the paint business, you could team up with a home repair company. Or if you sell fine chocolates, find a partner that caters to highbrow customers who spend a lot on luxury items.

Of course, piggybacking works both ways -- you could offer your services to a partner if you already do mailings to a well-targeted audience. The money you make in the deal should at least cover your mailing costs and could even become a major source of income.

2. Start a Joint-Marketing Venture

If you want to run an advertising test, or start a new marketing campaign but you don't have all the elements you need, find a joint-venture partner who can fill in the blanks, whether they involve capital, labor, contacts or a mailing list.

The principles are primarily the same as for piggyback mailings:

Let's say you want to offer a seminar for home buyers. You find a large realtor who subsidizes the costs of marketing the course and you split the profits from enrollments.

Or, you could persuade the realtor to let you keep the profits because of the extra business the courses would drum up. Whichever way you choose to team up with a partner, you're more likely to wind up ahead of the game.

One more idea: If you can't afford advertising, go to a local newspaper, magazine, radio station or other media company and ask them to run ads on a "per inquiry" or PI basis. Instead of being paid up front, the company gets a sum of money for each respondent who turns out to be a paying customer.

Only selected media outlets accept this kind of advertising and some put the ads on "standby," running them only if there is space or time to fill.

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