5+ Fresh Cafe Marketing Ideas With No Budget (2023)

You’ve decided that you want to create a coffee business, but funds are limited. How can you encourage people to pay attention to you without spending a lot of money? To their good fortune, coffee shops may make use of a wide variety of platforms and approaches that allow them to promote for free or at very little cost.

However, before you begin advertising, you should have at least a general notion of how much you can spend on marketing each month or every few months. This will help you better plan your budget. It’s OK if the answer is zero dollars at first, but you should go to work on creating a separate budget for marketing as soon as you possibly can.

If it is spent on the appropriate items, even a few hundred dollars over the course of a year may go a very long way for a coffee business. The following are some suggestions that we think will provide you with the greatest outcomes for the least amount of money possible.

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✅ Best Bar Stools Set with Shell Back

Minimalist Design – The counter height stools mimics the line design of shells and looks cute and casual. The pure beige white velvet is matched with high-elastic foam to create a soft and comfortable cushion. The maple legs combined with the gold metal frame are beautiful and practical. And it can be applied to many places, such as kitchen/living room/bar/coffee shop and so on. Make your guests unable to stop the praise!

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✅ Best Vintage Design Round Coffee Table

Good coffee table – Easy to assemble! Sturdy and steady with adjustable knobs on the legs to keep the table from wobbling. First, Packaging, the wood is protected very well and the two holding braces are bundled together. Make sure not to forget the screws as it is hinding behing the box but it has a ribbon outside the box to show you where it is.

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✅ Best Canvas Wall Art Contemporary Pictures For Coffee Shop Wall Decor

Wonderful frames and so easy to install!!! – Framed and Stretched, Ready to Hang. Each panel has a black hook already mounted on the wooden bar for easy hanging. A perfect wall decorations paintings for Coffee shop.

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✅ Best Led Coffee Sign Decor For Coffee Shop Bar

Professional looking! – Very bright display! Was told led lights use less energy than neon lights, so better usage. With On/Off Switch. High visibility in the night and low power consumption, energy saving and environmental protection.

Google My Business

The more I speak about Google My Business, the more I feel like a broken record, but the truth is that it is one of the most significant methods to promote your coffee business, and it is free.

In our piece on SEO for Coffee Shops, we go into greater depth on Google My Business; nevertheless, the following is a summary of the most important points: A Google My Business listing is a brief description of a company that appears on Google Maps and in Google search results. Because it is sometimes the very first thing that people will see about your company if they are searching for places to buy coffee, it is quite vital to ensure that your listing is accurate and appealing. This includes adding some appealing photographs, ensuring that all of the information is current, and responding to any feedback that you may get.

Because Google gives more weight to listings that have comprehensive information and a high volume of activity, doing these steps increase the likelihood that your business will be discovered when someone is looking for their next cup of coffee. One of the best things you can do to make your café stand out is to do an overnight makeover on it in secret. – read here on how to make your cafe profitable at night. 

Press Release

It’s not always easy to write a press release, but when it’s done well, it may accomplish a lot of different things. The first one is clearly beneficial to your coffee shop’s reputation in terms of publicity. People will be interested in checking out your company if the tale that you tell is interesting enough.

The second, less obvious advantage is improved search engine optimization. It is common for news websites to link back to the website of your company inside the story, which increases the authority of your website and moves you higher in the results of google searches. Even while writing a press release might take a little bit of time, it is completely free to distribute, making it an additional choice that is beneficial when you are working with a limited budget.

Just make sure that you have something that a reporter would be interested in covering. If you can connect something that is occurring in your company to a more significant event that is taking on elsewhere in the globe, you will have accomplished one of the most certain things possible. You may also send press releases to local newspapers and websites if your business is set to launch for the first time. The announcement of new locations is likely the issue that is simplest to bring to the notice of the media.

One more piece of advice: try not to aggravate the reporters. Send a single email with your press release, and consider sending a second email a few days later as a follow-up. It is possible that they are not interested if you do not hear anything more from them. A press release should not be sent out more often than once every several months. There is no way that your coffee shop could have so much exciting things going on unless it is actually on the leading edge of the industry. Sending out unsolicited press releases is a certain way to end up in spam boxes.

Email Campaigns

You always have the option of writing about yourself if you are unable to find someone else who would write about you. Email is a platform that we don’t see many coffee shops use, but you should start doing so immediately. Email has been shown to be one of the most beneficial techniques of marketing contact with clients, particularly given that it is almost cheap to send email (you will probably have to pay for an email marketing software, but even after that cost, email still has fantastic returns).

However, similar to press releases, emails come with a few drawbacks. An email marketing campaign may be in one of three states at any one time: opened, unread, or spam flagged. You want to write emails in such a way that they are opened by as many people as possible while simultaneously reducing the number of individuals who report them as spam. This may be easier said than done, though.

The first rule is that you shouldn’t send out a lot of emails. If you own a coffee shop, sending more than one email each week is considered to be excessive communication on your part. There might be some notable outliers, but they are quite uncommon. Even sending one email every week might be considered too much for some people. We suggest that you begin by sending one email once a month or once every two months, and then consider increasing the frequency to once every two weeks if you are getting a lot of positive responses.

The second rule is to ensure that your emails are worth reading. It is good to offer discounts, which is great too, but discounts aren’t actually what attract people to read emails in the first place. It is far more effective to send emails with information and resources that people truly want to read. If you want to add a discount offer, you may do so towards the conclusion of the email if you so want. This material might include anything, from recipes for coffee to poetry written by staff members, but you should make an effort to make it fascinating and unique to your business.

The third rule is to establish a game plan. Before you send any emails, you should first come up with at least four different ideas for messages to send. Then, when you send your first email, indicate to the recipients the time at which they should anticipate receiving the subsequent email. Your emails will be seen as less of a nuisance to recipients if they are sent according to a regular timetable that they have come to anticipate from you. The elimination of the anxiety that comes from the sensation that you haven’t sent anything in a while and that you need to get something out there is another benefit of developing a strategy before beginning to send the emails.

Social Media

Free advertising platforms haven’t gotten much better than social media in recent years. It’s something that a lot of company owners take for granted, but you should think about how you may make better use of it.

Many of the guidelines that apply to using email also apply to using social media. You will immediately become much more desirable to follow if you are able to make your accounts useful and engaging in addition to just serving as a place to post photographs of your coffee shop. Don’t be scared to come across more truthfully on social media; just demonstrate the one-of-a-kind personality of your store and the people who work there. Having a distinct voice as you write captions is another way to make your account more intriguing. This is in contrast to postings that seem generically business-like.

Local Radio

Even though it won’t be free, local radio is one of the most cost-effective venues that a coffee shop can utilize to promote its business. It is common for individuals to listen to the radio at peak times for drinking coffee; broadcasting your advertisement on local radio will ensure that the people who hear it are people who are likely to become customers.

It is best to keep things straightforward while developing a radio advertisement. Do not attempt to generate too much or to adopt a character that is not your own. Just send them a short note with a reason to visit your establishments, such as the fact that you have just opened, a new drink, or a deal that you are giving. It would be helpful if you could give a few words about your location if you have the time. Try to utilize terms that are both descriptive and evocative, such as “cozy,” “warm,” and “relaxing,” as well as phrases that “fix issues” for customers, such as “quick service,” “drive-thru,” “kids menu,” or anything else you can think of.


Lastly, a sign in front of your store should not be undervalued because of its potential impact. Readability is the most important factor in what makes a good sign. That often refers to anything being rather big and using a simple typeface. If you want the greatest chance of attracting clients, you should position your sign in the area where there is the most foot or car traffic. Although it won’t necessarily bring in a lot of new business, it will advertise to your target consumer, who is someone who lives or works within a few blocks of your location. It also ensures that those who are interested in visiting your store as a consequence of the various ways described above are able to locate it.

Platforms to Avoid

  • Yelp

There have been a lot of terrible experiences reported by company owners with Yelp. Yelp was once the go-to destination for reviews, but it has since become exploitative and predatory, requiring business owners to pay money or not post favorable evaluations for their company. In the past, Yelp was the go-to spot for reviews. Even more concerning is the fact that we’ve heard of company owners attempting to advertise on Yelp, just to have Yelp turn around and take more advertising money than was originally agreed upon. Stay away from Yelp and ignore any calls or emails you get from them. Google My Business offers essentially the same features but does not have nearly a questionable reputation.

  • TV

The cost of advertising on television is high, and the return on investment is not particularly good. Radio advertising provides almost all of the benefits that television advertising would provide, but at a fraction of the cost and with far less effort required to generate. In a lot of respects, radio is strictly superior than television since there is a greater likelihood that someone may hear you when they are traveling in their automobile; this person is a prime prospective consumer.

  • Buying or Incentivizing Reviews

It is tempting, on any platform that includes reviews and ratings, to give incentives to consumers who rate you in exchange for their business. Although some companies are able to get away with doing this, it is completely against the terms of service of every review site, and if you are caught doing it, you will lose all of those reviews. The potential reward does not justify the danger. You should undoubtedly make it a point to urge consumers to give you reviews, especially after a positive encounter; but, there should not be any incentive for the client to post a review.

  • Billboards

Similar to the cost of advertising on television, billboards often have a low return on investment despite their high cost. If you have located off a very busy street or highway with commuters, for example, a billboard may be a good choice for advertising your business. However, if you want to reach the largest possible audience, your best bet is to invest any money you would have spent on a billboard into online advertising instead.

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