A Guide to Online Marketing: Small Business Edition

Most small business owners rely on traditional marketing methods to grow their business. Think print ads, community events and word of mouth. But if you feel that your business isn’t scaling as quickly as you desire, then it may be time to invest energy into online marketing. The great thing about online marketing is that you can implement most of these strategies with little to no upfront cost. Let’s explore several different internet marketing strategies that you can use to help scale your small business.

Create an Email List

The first step is to create an email list to reach your customer base. Do you have an email list comprised of warm leads? Are you using it to reach out to prospects to drive your sales? Once you’ve created an email list, here are some strategies to leverage it to better position your business to customers.

  • Create a pop-up box on your website – have you ever gone to a retail website to start shopping and been greeted by a pop-up box promoting you to enter your email address in exchange for something? “Sign up to receive free alerts”, “be the first to know” or “join our newsletter” are commonly used phrases. Customers love to be part of something bigger. Entice them to give you their email address by providing the allure of exclusivity. Alternatively, you can offer a free PDF, downloadable guide, or video that ties in with your business.
  • Use ads to direct prospects – Similar to a pop-up box, a more elaborate version consists of using targeted ads to direct prospects to a landing page. Remember, pop up boxes hold limited amounts of information. Imagine being able to direct your potential clients to page that will hold as much material as you would like. The ability to grab the customers attention with pop ups is the start while the landing page is meant to offer more information.
  • Collect email addresses in person – Heading to a local small business networking event? This is the perfect opportunity to try and collect some email addresses. You can use low tech options like a clipboard and paper or track emails on an iPad. Including QR codes on your business card are also a popular option.

Create Email Funnels 

After you have your list of contacts, start reaching out to them with a series of email flows. You can write the emails yourself and use software, like Marketing 360 to automate the send-outs, or you can hire a professional copywriter or agency to do it for you. Start small and see what works for you!
You also may be wondering what the magic number is for the amount of emails you should send. That will vary depending on your business, your preferences, your customers, and your budget. If you are an online or brick and mortar store that sells physical goods, you may want to write several emails a week detailing discounts, promotions and giveaways. Maybe you are a fitness studio and are more interested in sending biweekly or monthly newsletters to keep your clients engaged. Remember, marketing starts as trust building and educating.

Consider Paid Advertising

Though commonly expensive, paid advertising can be the single most effective way to attract new customers to your business. The average cost for small to medium size business is approximately $2500 to $12,00 a month. It’s important to note that paid advertising isn’t the same as using a social media page to promote your business. While you can certainly post content on your business’s Facebook or Instagram to help promote your business, paids ads can extend your business’ reach!


The items listed above are just a sample of the many ways you can generate revenue through internet marketing. Many business owners find the rabbit hole of internet marketing is actually quite deep, and the rewards can be profound.

At Gild Insurance we always like to say that having insurance is the best way to prepare your business for future scalability, and in many ways, internet marketing is very similar.  After all, that’s one of the great things about the internet era: the next best thing is never more than a click away!  

To learn more about the tools and resources available to the Gild Community, check out Gildhall!

The content provided on this site is solely informational and does not replace legal, professional, or regulatory advice.