[2018 Update] 31 Actionable Revenue Growth Strategies for Your Business

Revenue growth is a critical part of any small business’s overall growth strategy.

But for several small business owners, figuring out exactly which marketing tactics move the needle and increase ROI is a major challenge.

Should you focus on paid marketing tactics, like Google AdWords ads and social media advertising?

Or should you focus on organic marketing tactics, like search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing?

Do your customers engage with email marketing campaigns more than direct mail?

If you’ve found yourself asking these questions before, this blog post is for you.

We’ll show you 31 proven strategies focused on revenue growth, drawn directly from the Ladder Planner.

They’re a list of immediately actionable strategies that you can easily implement for your business. We’ve used these tactics to grow our clients’ businesses, and we’re sharing them so you can do the same.

In this post, you’ll learn:

13 Revenue-Boosting Pricing Strategies

11 Ways to Retarget Visitors and Increase Conversions

7 Affiliate Program Strategies for Revenue Growth



13 Revenue-Boosting Pricing Strategies

Sometimes, driving revenue growth can be as simple as playing around with pricing. From increasing the price of an item that’s selling well to running sales and offering discounts, the following pricing strategies can help you get the most out of each product you sell.

Price Increase

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

You could try just increasing the price of your product. As per the social scientist Robert Cialdini, in “markets in which people are not completely sure of how to assess quality, they use price as a stand-in for quality.” Raising prices could help you be seen as a leader in quality in the market. It is also possible that you may be undervaluing your product due to a misreading of the market.

Price Increase

Price Illusions

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Breaking prices down to a per-unit price can make the product seem a lot less expensive. By doing so, you help customers judge the value and affordability of your product based on how low the per-unit is, rather than on the total cost of the product. This is especially useful in situations where you’re selling monthly subscriptions or larger item bundles. Showing customers how much they can save by increasing their up-front purchase is an effective way to increase conversion.

Conversion Tactic: Price Illusions


Price Drop Email

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Try emailing users who looked at a product but didn’t buy it to let them know that its price dropped. Often, potential customers fail to convert because they perceive an item as too expensive or don’t have the money to buy it. Letting them know that the price is lower than when they first saw the item can regain their interest and drive them to make a purchase.

Price Drop Email

Anchoring Price

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Instead of simply providing a price up front, use an anchoring price to make potential customers think that they’re getting a better deal on an item. For example, having a slashed suggested retail price alongside a lower “Current” price can drive visitors to buy while they think that an item is going for a lower than normal price. This can often lead people to pay for a higher priced product.

Anchoring Price

Flash Sale

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Try running a flash sale! Offering a limited time discount or promotion can give on the fence consumers a sense of urgency to buy your product. Heavily advertise your flash sale in advance to attract new customers and increase loyalty to your brand from existing customers.

Flash Sale

Big Purchase Discount

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Try offering a discount, free shipping promotion, or free returns to customers who make purchases over a certain price threshold. This encourages them to spend more to get perks and will result in larger purchases more regularly.

Big Purchase Discount

Smart Default Plan

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

By making the option you want people to take the default plan, you can encourage the behavior you want users to exhibit, increasing revenue. Studies have shown that people are less likely to opt-in AND less likely to opt-out, thus “presumed-consent” is a more effective way to direct behavior.

Smart Default Plan

Seasonal Discount

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Try offering a discount to purchases within a specific season/holiday. This tactic is often paired with the “Seasonal Email” tactic, as seasonally themed promotions, events, new items, etc. are an easy way to reconnect/engage your subscriber list to keep your brand top-of-mind.

Seasonal Discount for Small Business Customers

Last Day Of Offer Email

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Be sure to send an email on the last day of an offer. People respond differently to a situation when urgency is introduced: we suspend normal thought patterns and react to the urgent need. A reminder that the offer they have the opportunity to take is expiring creates a scenario where they are forced to make a decision immediately.

Last Day Of Offer Email

Premium Upsell Email

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Upgrade emails drive users to switch from free to paid accounts, or from lower-tier to higher-tier accounts. This works via the psychology of loss aversion. Basically, people feel a sense of ownership over something they possess, even if it was given to them for free. People are naturally disinclined to give up something they possess, and will pay to keep it– and so, upselling on a product they already use can be very effective.

Premium Upsell Email

Post Purchase Discount

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

After a first purchase, a customer has a 27% chance of returning to your store. Customers who return a second or third time have a 54% chance of returning again. Email a post-purchase discount to a first-time buyer so they are more likely to move down the funnel from one-time buyer to devoted customer.

Post Purchase Discount for Small Business Customers

First Purchase Discount

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Extend a discount or offer to a person visiting your site for the first time to provide the push needed to turn that visitor into a paying customer. This will help form a consumer-friendly first impression of your brand and increase the likelihood that first-time visitors return to your site.

Small Business Conversion Marketing Tactic: First Purchase Discount

Referrals From Existing Users

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Prompt your existing users to refer friends to your product or service. A great way to do this is to provide an incentive of a free trial, a discount, or some other reward. This creates a viral loop around your product, driving happy users to share with their friends, increasing new user registrations, and encouraging those users to participate in the referral system.

Traffic Tactic: Referrals From Existing Users

11 Ways to Retarget Visitors and Increase Conversions

Visitors that land on your website but don’t convert aren’t necessarily a lost cause. There are many reasons they might not have bought anything on their first visit – pricing issues, uncertainty about your product, just browsing, etc…

Running ads that retarget these visitors can get them to return to your site and actually complete a purchase. Reminding them that your products exist and can make their lives better is a great way to increase conversions.

Dynamic Retargeting

This tactic requires a media budget

When retargeting users who have visited your site in the past, try using a dynamic creative that’s based on the products they’ve browsed through. Doing so directly reminds them of the awesome products they saw and encourages them to return. Each ad impression will be relevant to the individual that sees it based on prior interest rather than generic for all viewers.

Dynamic Retargeting

Subscriber Retargeting

This tactic requires a media budget

You will have many subscribers to your email list that haven’t yet purchased from you. These people potentially have high intent and definitely have high brand recognition – by using custom audiences on Facebook and Twitter you can target these people and convince them to purchase your product.

Subscriber Retargeting

Website Retargeting Audience

This tactic requires a media budget

Targeting an audience that has been on the website, but not activated and get them to activate. This is one of the most popular tactics in our database because it almost always works. People get distracted easily when browsing the web – if someone left your site it’s highly likely they were just distracted and can’t remember (or isn’t thinking about) how to get back. A small banner ad prompt can be all you need to get them back to the site to sign up.

Website Retargeting Audience

Customer Retargeting

This tactic requires a media budget

Try retargeting paying customers who haven’t made a second purchase. Retarget them with ads that show products similar to the ones they bought. This helps to reactivate customers who liked what they purchased but haven’t thought to return yet.

Customer Retargeting

Dormant Retargeting

This tactic requires a media budget

Retarget users that have fallen dormant. As per 500.co, between 60-75% of subscribers on the average email list are dormant– they haven’t opened an email from that list in at least six months. An AdRoll survey showed that 90% of marketers said that “retargeted ads are as good or better than the gold standard in digital marketing.” Using paid ads or email to retarget dormant subscribers with a new offer can be exceptionally effective.

Dormant Retargeting

Slipping Away

This tactic requires a media budget

Retarget former frequent users/visitors who haven’t been back recently (30-90 days). Retaining your VIPs can have a large impact on sales, engagement, community, referrals, etc. PLUS, reactivating a former VIP is often easier/more cost effective than acquiring new prospects.

Slipping Away

Step-By-Step Retargeting

This tactic requires a media budget

Retarget different audiences based on how far they got into your product. If they only saw an item, you can retarget them with image and copy referencing that item. If they got deeper and added an item to the cart, you can target them with the item and a prompt to come back to their cart. If they still haven’t returned, you can give a discount. This can go as deep as a post-purchase follow-up with a related second item.

Step-By-Step Retargeting

Video Retargeting Audience

This tactic requires a media budget

Retargeting people who have watched your video is a powerful way to turn brand awareness into traffic. A user that’s seen your video is much more likely to engage with your ad and will be less annoyed with a harder sell. Some platforms like Facebook allow you to target based on how much of the video was watched, so make sure you experiment with that.

Video Retargeting Audience

Power User Retargeting

This tactic requires a media budget

Try retargeting you power user by creating a custom audience. This can be especially effective when you have a new offering. Since they already feel strongly about your product, they will be more likely to engage with your ads and show more interest in a new offering.

Customer Acquisition tactic: Power-User Targeting

Website Retargeting Onion

This tactic requires a media budget

Try separating your retargeting audiences by time since last site visit. This allows you to optimize to each group and speak to each of them differently. For example, you can talk differently to users you haven’t seen in a month than you would to ones who last appeared a week ago. This allows you to approach alternate methods of reactivation.

Customer Acquisition Tactic: Website Retargeting Onion

Subscriber Retargeting

This tactic requires a media budget

You will have many subscribers to your email list that haven’t yet purchased from you. These people potentially have high intent and definitely have high brand recognition – by using custom audiences on Facebook and Twitter you can target these people and convince them to purchase your product.

Customer Acquisition Tactic: Subscriber Retargeting

7 Affiliate Program Strategies for Revenue Growth

A great way to increase revenue is to partner up with other companies for the sake of affiliate revenue. Whether it’s partnering with merchants to sell more items on your platform or partnering with marketplaces like Amazon to increase the reach of your product, you can use affiliate programs to increase your sales and overall revenue figures efficiently.

Affiliate Partnership

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Set up partnerships with affiliate members to generate sales charged on commission. Have your affiliates – merchants, users, etc… – sell items on your platform while providing them with promotion, taking a cut of the revenue they generate. You can set the commission yourself and control the process to verify sales. You benefit from increased revenue from commissions while merchants benefit from a platform that amplifies their reach.

Affiliate Partnership

Sponsor A Thank You Page

This tactic requires a media budget

Once a user has purchased something on another site, they’ll be looking for something else to do. This is the perfect opportunity for you to drive a customer that you already know is valuable and able to purchase to your website. This would normally be done through an affiliate relationship with the website’s owner and would be paid for as a sponsorship (monthly charge) or as a % of sales driven by the link.

Sponsor A Thank You Page

Content Syndication

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Syndication means taking content published on your site and allowing one or more other parties to post that content on their site. Syndicate to sites with audiences similar to your own and give yourself exposure in front of people who are more likely to enjoy your content.

Content Syndication

Third-Party Search

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

Try working out an affiliate deal with a search engine in your industry. For example, if you’re running a job search advice blog, you can provide users with in-site access to Indeed’s job search engine as an affiliate partner. You’ll be able to further monetize your traffic through a pay-per-click model via a relevant and useful service for your visitors.

Third-Party Search

Disqualified Passthrough

This tactic doesn’t require media budget

A good way to monetize users that don’t qualify for your product is to pass them on to an affiliate. This lets you make money off users you wouldn’t otherwise be able to due to limiting factors in your product. Build relationships with companies that are logical passthroughs for disqualified users to create an effective network of affiliates.

Disqualified Passthrough

Amazon Sponsored Products

This tactic requires a media budget

Promote the products you sell on Amazon.com with keyword-targeted ads. Setting up this type of campaign can be time consuming, but once live you can reach a highly primed audience who are ready to purchase and are very likely to convert. This platform works just like Google Shopping ads – you can set your CPC by product or campaign and adjust it whenever needed.

Amazon Sponsored Products

Find Email Partners

This tactic requires a media budget

You read a lot of newsletters in your field and follow a lot of blogs that promote best practices and news in your industry. You could reach out to those newsletters with an offer to promote their product to your list in exchange for a promotion of your product to theirs. This mutual exchange of sponsorship is a free and low effort way to increase your reach.

Customer Acquisition Tactic: Find Email Partners

Sponsor a Thank You Page

This tactic requires a media budget

Once a user has purchased something on another site, they’ll be looking for something else to do. This is the perfect opportunity for you to drive a customer that you already know is valuable and able to purchase to your website. This would normally be done through an affiliate relationship with the website’s owner and would be paid for as a sponsorship (monthly charge) or as a % of sales driven by the link.

Small Businesses Can Sponsor a Thank You Page