What are the best budget marketing materials?

Your question

I’m starting a new business and have limited funds to get marketing materials designed and produced. What are the essentials I need, and how can I do something creative?

Our answer

We know how limited funds are when you start a business, especially when you’re a working mum on a budget, but spending a little money on the right marketing materials is a wise decision. Your marketing materials say a lot about you. People make split second judgements, and often you get just one opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and professionalism.

Investing a little money in striking and well-designed pieces will boost your reputation and bring you more clients and customers. But good quality doesn’t have to be expensive. There are some easy ways to get marketing materials that look expensive but don’t cost the earth.


The simplest way to ensure your company looks as professional as possible is to make sure you use the same logo and style across all your marketing pieces. Choose a font and colour and use them on everything, so customers can instantly recognise your company. It seems obvious but is often forgotten.

Business cards

Put a little thought into your business card. Try to think of something that will stand out in someone’s wallet or on a desk. Make it so they don’t want to throw it in the bin.

Tip: Moo.com are more expensive than the bargain printing sites but they have gorgeous, easy to use templates if you can’t afford a bespoke design. They can also do glossy, rounded corner cards, ‘Facebook’ cards and mini cards which can double up as swing tags. And you can print up to 50 different images in one set if you want to use them as a portfolio.

A5 postcard/flyer

If you include enough information (but not too much that it puts people off reading), a well-designed A5 postcard/flyer can double up as a calling card and brochure in one. Make sure your business name, website and contact details are prominent.

Tip: Try to find some way to encourage potential customers to hold onto your card. One business, whose clientele is generally families, printed a list of local school holiday dates on the reverse. Great photography, beautiful illustrations and humour also go a long way if they relate to your service or product.


If a friend is also trying to promote their business or freelance work, partner up and share the distribution. You can cover more ground that way and get yourself seen twice as much as on your own.


If you can’t stretch to getting a full set of professional stationery printed, use a ready made template on your computer and print it out on heavyweight, good quality paper. This will give a better impression that if you have a cheap letterhead printed by a printer on thin paper.

Little touches

Branded stickers are a great but cheap way to personalise letter envelopes, or embellish a piece of tissue paper around a garment or a simple cardboard box containing your product. Small touches like printed tape or a coloured ribbon (using a similar or complimentary colour to your logo) also make receiving a purchased item feel more like a present. People remember those little things.

You could also make your logo into a stamp to liven up plain paper and give a vintage, handmade look to packaging or cards.

Get more marketing advice

Need more marketing advice? Learn how to successfully promote your business or freelance career with the help of these expert articles:

You’ll also find more marketing inspiration on our Pinterest board on marketing ideas.

Answered by Kary Fisher.