This is the ninth post in a blog series about how to launch an eCommerce business years 1-3. You can view the previous week’s post, “What Zen Buddhism has to Do with Marketing Your Business” here.
Driving the first 1,000 visitors to your site is a big moment for your eCommerce business, and not just because of the opportunity to sell more products. It’s the only way to get real, workable test results that overcome the law of small numbers.
Here are some easy, free ways to drive visitors to your site that we at CleverFunnel have found work super well:
- Tap your local startup community
- Post on LinkedIn
Email everyone in your contact list and ask them to visit your site. Literally everyone. Ask for feedback. They won’t be honest with you; that doesn’t matter. Once they click on the site, you can use Google Analytics and Hotjar to see how they interact with your pages.
Also, personal emails always work best. If they don’t respond, send them a friendly follow-up email. They’re usually happy to help. Be pleasantly persistent.
There are several subreddits dedicated specifically to providing startup feedback. Make posts in various subs asking for feedback on your eCommerce website, and the good people of Reddit will jump on that with their characteristic zeal.
If you’re embarrassed, get a dummy account. This may be out of your comfort zone. But remember, you’re not asking for a million bucks. It’s a small favor and a perfectly reasonable one to ask.
- TAP YOUR LOCAL STARTUP COMMUNITY
Right now, you can go to meetup.com and post in Denver Founders asking people to take a look at your site and something like 6,000 people will get notified. It’s a great way to reach an audience that actually knows a thing or two about starting a business.
- POST ON LINKEDIN
Everyone on LinkedIn’s an expert, and yes it can be annoying, but it’s a great resource for all things business, and you’re sure to get some helpful clicks from that.
The point is, even if you have to resort to hanging flyers in the town square, get 1,000 visitors to your site. Take some time to come up with other innovative ways to drive traffic (messages in a bottle? paper airplanes?). After all, you know your community better than anyone. Ideally your efforts will snowball, and you’ll start to get some actual customers. Now it’s time to sit back and observe.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
Starting an eCommerce business is like building a rocket in your garage and expecting it to take you to the moon—it might not work, and even if it does, there’s a good chance you’ll get hurt along the way.
The good news is you’re not the first person crazy enough to try this. There are many others (myself included) who have tried, failed, and tried again. By learning from our many (many) mistakes, you can launch an eCommerce business that makes it safely to orbit and beyond.
In this blog series, you’ll get a step-by-step guide to creating and launching your eCommerce business years 1–3. We go over how to create a functional brand, set up your website, and develop an advertising strategy that scales with you. We’ll go through the various pros and cons, so that you can feel empowered to make the best decisions for your business.
My name is Chris Franks, and I’m the founder and CEO of CleverFunnel, a digital marketing agency that focuses on using straightforward, data-driven strategies to drive real results for our clients.
I’m also an avid lover of indie music, fly fishing, baseball, and sunscreen (although that’s more of a genetic necessity). I wrote this with the hope that my story could help other young entrepreneurs achieve their goals, without losing their savings (or their sanity) in the process. If any bit of this helps you, it’ll have been worth it.