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Launch Day - My Marketing Experiance when Launching my First Forum

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Posted 28th January 2010 at 10:06 PM by jamiedolan


For the last couple weeks I have been putting almost all of my marketing efforts into getting a new forum ready and launching it. It isn't a Internet Marketing related forum, it is about Jeeps. However, promoting it was all about putting my Internet Marketing skills to use.

Due to our programmer being unable to complete the code to implement the proper design on time, we didn't promote the site as much as we otherwise would have.

Here is what we did to promote the site prior to the launch: (we set a launch date of today, the 28th)

1. Starting about 12 days ago, I put up an form on the site to capture email addresses. I tested several variations of the form and several presentation methods. This was my Pre-launch list. I ened up with about 30 people on this list. I send out a message to this list at 5:00 tonight.

2. About 1 week ago, I wrote several blog entries and mentioned the site, creating some back links.

3. I spent several hours building some back links with blog commenting.

4. Spend several hours directly contacting other business in the industry and speaking to them about our new site.

5. I spent about $12 on adwords. I had not used adwords for quite some time, so I didn't feel it was worth investing that much in adwords until I had more time to get up to speed and optimize my campaigns. I had some members sign up from the adwords campaign, but my ROI wasn't looking great so I was hesitant to keep going.

6. Very basic, very limited on page SEO, much work still needs to be done here.

7. Make several posts to facebook and several tweets went out.

Over the course of the past 2 weeks we had about 30 people directly sign up for the site.

Here were the results at the end of the launch day:

I saw a good consistent traffic flow all day. Still have a few hours left to the day, but at this point we have had right about 200 unique visitors to the site today, a site that has only been online just a few days over two weeks.

We had a nice surprise and the site wrote a very nice blog post announcing our launch day. We had made contact with these people, but in no way did we request this exposure. We were greatful and impressed with the blog entry that graced the top of the ewillys page. They send us almost 100 visitors today.

Over 30 people so far has registered for the site today alone. People have started posting and creating material on the site. Multiple people uploaded photos and started user photo galleries.

Considering the limited amount of marketing that I did, I am quite impressed with our launch day. Getting users to sign up and become engaged in your site is not as easy as one would think. We are also going after a very targeted market here. So in a way that makes it easier, because it is a niche market. However, it means that we have to test, test, test and make sure we get the marketing message just right for the target audience.

So what have I learned today (and in the past 2 weeks) from a marketing standpoint?:

1. Creating relationships with blogger and people who are interested in what your doing is a great investment. They can provide valuable back links and directly send lots of traffic to your site.

2. SEO is vital unless you have a massive budget. Remember even with all the tricks in the book, SEO still takes time, you could wait to for months to see your pages in search engines, most of the time much faster, but if your in a competitive keyword, you SERP may be very far down on the list for a long time.

3. One on one contacts with people you know can be very valuable or they can be nothing, it all depends on the person. You just have to give it a shot. Many will be a utter waste of time, in one ear out the other. However, all it takes in that one out of 50 calls to make it all pay off. Also e-mail is great for many things, and can work in a situation like this, but a phone call will often greatly improve your odds of starting a meaningful relationship.

4. It is harder than you think to get people to even give up an email address. Targeted audience, great high value offer (had a premium account I offered with many benefits). It was still hard to convert people. I ended up seeing about a 20% conversion today.

5. Once people started to see activity on the site, I think we started to build some social proof, and that goes a very very long way. I have a definite feeling that it will get easier and easier from here on out.

We are doing our very very best make our core (initial) group of users into raving fans. Lots of personal attention, making us very available via, email chat and phone. Special promotions, free physical items shipped to them, etc. We want this core group of members to become raving fans.

So while I am no expert at launching a site, I am pleased with today's results. Once our design is ready from the new programmer next week, I will promote the site more aggressively.

Thanks for taking the time to listen. The address of the site is Welcome to Willys Jeep if your interested in taking a look.

Jamie Dolan
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  1. New Comment
    jamesburchill's Avatar
    Way to go Jamie! Just posted my first blog entry on WF and was nosing around the other posts and what do you know ... I saw you! Cool beanz about the Jeep forum, I'll check it out. - Jim
    Posted 29th January 2010 at 01:53 PM by jamesburchill jamesburchill is offline

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