If you’ve got it, flaunt it

Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come. New websites don’t promote themselves – people do. If you’re not getting the kind of traffic you expected, you’re probably not marketing the new site, or you’re relying on Uncle Henry to spread the word.

Big mistake.  Killer landing pages, blogs with bells and whistles and fresh content don’t do any good if no one knows about your new site. Here are a few easy and cost-effective ways to get the word out to your current customers and prospects pre- and post-launch.

Before posting a new site

  • Create a teaser for your existing site. Announce the new site is coming and when. List a couple of features that will build excitement.
  • Send announcements to your email lists. Send a “coming soon” e-blast with a quick preview of the content that will appeal to each audience. If you don’t have targeted lists, send at least one general announcement to everyone. Remember to provide the Web address.
  • Send a postcard to your current and prospective customers. Provide the address, the launch date and some of the new content to build buzz. Include a quick response (QR) code for smartphones that will link recipients to the site.
  • Promote the new site using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Let your connections know the site is coming and when.
  • Include a teaser article in your company’s newsletter. Whether you distribute a newsletter through email or mail printed copies, this is a great way to generate buzz.

After posting a new site

  • Include the website in your email signature. Tell people to visit your new site and include a link.
  • Send announcements to your email lists. Follow up within a few days after go-live and encourage customers and prospects to visit the new site. Highlight areas on the site that will appeal to specific groups if you have targeted lists. Include a link to the site.
  • Send a postcard announcing the site is live. Mail to customers and prospects, and provide a QR code that will take them there.
  • Tease the site using social media. Announce the launch to your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook connections. If you have a blog, be sure to promote it as well. Social media is a great place to learn what content is most relevant to your customers and prospects, and make changes as needed.
  • Hold a contest to encourage people to visit the site. You can announce the contest on your blog and through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. When possible tie the prizes back to your business. For example, offer discounts on your services, a free lunch with the CEO or exclusive content, such as an e-book or white paper that addresses common problems customers have.
  • Include a story in your company’s newsletter. Reiterate the site’s new features. Interview customers who are using the new site and include quotes from them about the new features and why they like them.
  • Promote the site in online ads. Google, LinkedIn and Facebook are good places to start. The ads have increased in price recently, but they’re a great way to test traffic and adjust your site accordingly. Google, LinkedIn and Facebook offer rich analytics so that you can see who’s coming to your site, what they’re looking at, how long they’re sticking around, and what areas you need to improve.
  • Create promotional items with the site address. Print your Web address on pens, nail files, hand sanitizer bottles, reusable grocery bags, flash drives and other giveaway items, and hand them out at trade shows, presentations and other events.

Last but not least

Be sure to track and measure your website traffic analytics before and after launching the new site so you can learn what’s working and what needs to be tweaked. You may need to adjust your strategy as you measure the results.

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