What are the best ways to attract people to an online marketplace?

I check out my reply to this question on strategy for marketplace user acquisition. In it I discuss what else is needed before you begin driving traffic.

By “attract” you mean traffic and conversions. You want to attract a lot of people, but the right people who will convert and use your platform. So, here my suggested sources of quality traffic in order of priority:

  1. Content (SEO). Do a thorough keyword analysis and use the results to setup your main product/service categories. As in, if you are providing a marketplace for homeowners to find/hire housekeepers, you should know what the top keywords people use to find the type of cleaning service they require. You’d find that people often search for housekeepers using phrases with the term “move out cleaning.” This means you need a category of housekeepers specific to “Move Out Cleaners.” Then, you make sure that category page on your site pulls in the top/new housekeepers who specialize (have been tagged with) that category. Also, read this post on targeting either user type: In launching a new online marketplace/platform for service professionals, which side (pro’s or customers) would you recommend capturing first? Why?
  2. Email marketing. Email marketing can be your most effective tool, especially if your marketplace is B2B. For your purposes, we’ll discuss cold emails, but email marketing also includes nurturing campaigns for web leads and being included in any offer emails owned/sent by non-competitive orgs (email advertising). The first step is to setup your CRM and being scraping contacts from company sites or social networks. The team I have worked with for a few years is now offering the list building and CRM populated services through http://DatabasePlace.io. From there, you will need to come up with a great cold email sequence that includes an early bird offer for the opener to get into the marketplace (i.e. setup a profile).
  3. PR. This is simple, your marketplace is new, and chances are no one in your audience knows of you. A few mentions in noteable publications will help show your audience you are a credible lace to go and exchange goods/services. Gaining those mentions is not going to be easy, especially if you are trying to do it for free. If you’re on a budget, follow the strategy outlined in this post. It can be executed with one person and limited funds.
  4. Telemarketing. Cold calling and phone outreach, as I learned in my latest marketplace launch, is still relevant and necessary for certain industries. The first step, like with email marketing, is to build a list. Read my answer to this question to learn how to build a list: Which is the best way to build a call list in sales? Then, you will need a short script and a purpose for the call – schedule a product demo, offer them an exclusive place on the platform, limited time/access… A hook to get their attention while you build the relationship.

These are my suggestions for attracting people to your new marketplace. If you would like specific instructions, please reach out to me on Clarity.

Good luck!

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