4 Marketing Ideas for Small Business You Can Launch in Under 2 Hours

Are you looking for ideas to grow your small business—without spending all your time on marketing?

When you’re running a small business, you’re tasked with doing about a hundred different jobs.

You’re managing a team. Staying on top of expenses. Fulfilling products and services for customers. And doing about a million other things as they crop up.

Truthfully, you only have a few hours per week to focus on marketing. And yet, with those few hours you invest, you need ideas that will actually work.

That’s where this guide comes in.

In this post, I’m going to throw out the usual advice like “get your site ranked #1 on Google” or “organize a local seminar.” These tactic can work—but they often take weeks or months of effort before you see a return.

In this guide, I’m going to give you 4 small business marketing ideas you can launch in two hours or less. And more often than not, they will get you great results.

Here are the four campaigns we’re going to cover.

  1. Put Together a Promotion to Reengage Existing Customers
  2. Build an Automatic Referral-Generating Machine
  3. Create (and Promote) a Giveaway to Build Your List Quickly
  4. Generate Sales Fast with an Online Coupon Funnel


Let’s begin.

1. Put Together a Promotion to Reengage Your Existing Clients

According to a 2014 survey by eConsultancy, 82% of companies agree that retaining existing customers is cheaper than acquiring new customers.

So why are you spending all of your time getting new customers?

Not only is it cheaper to acquire new customers—it’s often easier, too.

That’s because your customers already know, like, and trust you. If you want to get repeat business, you just need to put together a simple promotion.

Why run a promotion right now (other than to make money)? That’s the first thing you should determine: a reason why now is the absolute best time for your customers to make a specific purchase.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Any upcoming holiday
  • Introducing a new product
  • Unveiling a new business partnership, joint venture, or integration

In just about any given month of the year, you can find an upcoming holiday that will work.

For example…

Let’s suppose you handle marketing at a spa.

You want to increase your revenue in February. And you’re already sending customers a roundup of health articles each month, with a link to book a massage.

If you want to double or even triple your appointments, add a promotion to your email with a “soft sell” that nudges customers to buy massages in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.

Like this.

Subject: March health articles roundup (plus, get $20 off any massage for Valentine’s Day)

Hi ** NAME **,

Heads up: Need a great gift for someone you love this Valentine’s Day?

We’re offering $20 off any couples massage for Valentine’s Day. But you need to book it before February 13th.

Click here right now to book your massage appointment and save $20.

Now, here are our favorite health articles from March that you don’t want to miss.







P.S. Don’t forget:

Until next Sunday, February 13th, you can save $20 off any couples massage for Valentine’s Day.

Click here right now to book your massage appointment and save $20.

Besides having a reason, there are a few other important ingredients for your promotion:

  • A hard deadline to act
  • An offer that’s actually enticing (discounts work well, as do bonuses, like free teeth whitening with a dental exam)
  • A clear call-to-action (e.g. “click this link and buy” or “call now for your free consultation”)

It doesn’t need to be complicated (or take a ton of time).

And if you don’t yet email your rolodex of customers, now’s a great time to start sending curated, relevant content.

You can find wildly popular content in your space using BuzzSumo, so you don’t have to create content yourself.

Start to finish, this email will take you about 60 minutes to execute. Don’t overthink it.

Pro Tip: if you really want to knock your promotion out of the park, be sure to use Drip’s Automatic Broadcast Resend to increase your opens by 30% or more.

broadcast resend

2. Build an Automatic Referral-Generating Machine (in 30 Minutes)

Referral marketing programs have become pretty common among startups in recent years.

They can also be wildly successful for small and local businesses.

For example…

Let’s suppose you’re an accountant who helps small and medium sized businesses handle payroll and taxes.

If you want more referrals, you can simply ask. Just explain to your clients that you’re busy helping them, and that you rely on client referrals to do your best work.

Here’s an email template you can use.

Hi ** NAME **,

I wanted to write you a quick note to let you know how much I appreciate having you as a client.

One of the reasons I’m able to provide the best ** YOUR SERVICE ** to clients is that I’m not out there pounding the pavement and looking for new business. Instead, I rely on client referrals, so I can spend all my time focusing on helping you ** BENEFIT **.

The ideal type of client for me is ** YOUR DEFINED NICHE **.

I’m wondering, do you know anyone else who fits this description that might also want ** BENEFIT **?




Simple, right?

You can send this email off to 50 of your past customers right now—and if you narrowly define the exact type of clients you’re looking for, I guarantee you’ll get some business.

But we’re going to take it a step further.

You’re going to automate this process, so you don’t even have to think about it.

In Drip, you’ll want to build a workflow for existing clients.

There are a few ways to set this up, but I’d probably trigger my workflow for leads who receive the tag Client.

Note: If you’re closing clients on the phone or during in-person consultations, you’ll need to manually go into Drip and update the lead’s subscriber record with the tag Client to record that “offline” conversion.

To do this, simply click on any subscriber under Subscribers in Drip. Next, add the tag Client.

Like this.

add a tag

And that’s all you need to do.

Adding this tag will cause your subscriber to enter your client nurture workflow automatically.

Like this.

client tag

Again, your client will receive the perfect referral request at the perfect time, without you having to do anything.

Setting this workflow up once will take you about 30 minutes. And it could be worth thousands over the lifetime of your small business.

3. Create (and Promote) a Giveaway to Build Your List Quickly

Here’s a common complaint I hear from a lot of new entrepreneurs:

“I really want to set up complex campaigns and funnels. But I can’t because I don’t have an email list to begin with.”

Does that describe you?

If so, that changes now.

In the next 2 hours, you can set up a campaign that will quickly create your own email list from scratch. And you don’t even need a fancy lead magnet to do it.

The strategy I’m talking about is viral giveaways.

I know you’ve seen these before.

giveaway landing page

Here’s how a giveaway works:

  • You pick an enticing product that your ideal customer would want
  • You set up a giveaway landing page that lets people enter to win the product, in exchange for joining your email list
  • People share your giveaway to increase their chances to win, thereby getting you even more entries
  • You buy the winner their prize and keep all of the subscribers

It’s that simple.

Bonus Reading: Sean Fioritto from Planning for Aliens wrote a step-by-step case study on his giveaway campaign called How to Screw Up a Giveaway and Still Make $2,400. Highly recommended for executing your giveaway.

So, how long will this take you?

All in all, choosing an enticing prize and setting up your landing page will take you about an hour.

After that, you’ll want to promote your giveaway to get entries.

You can do this in a variety of ways—try Bryan Harris’s list of 13 promotional strategies for giveaways to start.

If you pick a few of these to execute, you WILL build an email list.

From there, it’s up to you to introduce leads to your business and get them to try your products.

And that brings us to…

4. Generate Sales Fast with an Online Coupon Funnel

One of the fastest ways to generate sales is to create a coupon funnel and promote it with paid advertising.

Here’s how that works.

Let’s suppose you’re a yoga studio in Phoenix, Arizona.

Your goal is to get more studio members on your $79/mo plan. The problem is, most people have no special incentive to walk in and pay you $79.

That’s where your Facebook coupon funnel comes in.

With a coupon funnel, you want to offer new customers a deal on something that delivers a ton of value—ideally, much more than what you’re charging them for.

Chiropractors have been successfully using coupon funnels for decades. That’s why you see “New Patient Specials” for 90% off—chiropractors just want to bring new leads in the door. Whether you offer a coupon for a free dinner seminar, $50 teeth cleaning, or $100 SEO audit, this can work for virtually any small business.

online offer minneapolis
Image: PremierHealthMN.com

This will make customers more likely to take the next step and become a repeat client.

For a yoga studio, you might offer a coupon for one week of free classes.

Or—if you need to sell an expensive service, you might go this route—you could offer a coupon for $75 off an upcoming yoga retreat for new customers only.

Like this.

coupon 1

This online coupon landing page might take you 40 minutes to set up in Leadpages.

Once you have your offer, your thank-you page will reveal the coupon code.

retreat 2

To promote your offer, keep things simple to start.

First, create a new post on Facebook promoting your coupon. Next, boost the post with $20 or $50, targeting your ideal customers (by age, gender, location, interests, etc.). Total time investment: 20 minutes.

If you’ve only got an hour to invest, your coupon funnel can be extremely profitable with just a landing page and a Facebook boost. It doesn’t take much.

But if you want to maximize your sales…

I’d encourage you to also integrate Leadpages with Drip.

This will let you send prospects their coupons via email, just so they don’t forget about your offer.

Here’s your dead simple Drip workflow to automate this.

yoga retreat

Here’s what’s really cool:

If your boosted post crushes it, your workflow, landing page, and Facebook post aren’t going anywhere.

You can gradually invest more money into Facebook ads to generate more coupon opt-ins (and sales) when you need a cash injection.

Here’s yet another campaign that takes a couple hours to set up, but once it’s done, it can be managed with almost no work—while generating even more and more and revenue.

Generate More Leads and Grow Your Small Business with Marketing Automation

Growing your small business doesn’t need to take 40 hours per week.

In fact, if you leverage automation, you can drive serious growth and attract new customers with just a few hours per week.

What small business marketing ideas have you used to grow your business? Share your tips in the comments below!