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Ask HN: Need advice on marketing and distribution
3 points by webstartupper 1851 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments

I need your help regarding marketing and distribution of my web app - DomCop.com. I am a techie at heart and find myself a little lost when it comes to sales, marketing and distribution. I hope someone can help guide me.

I launched DomCop.com a few months back and I've had lots of great reviews from (paying) customers on the app functionality, but I am having a terrible time reaching out to new customers. I have tried the following channels for distribution.

1. Posting to forums in the seo/domain auction niche - I got most of my customers from here. However, I do not want to spam the forums and therefore this channel becomes very limited.

2. Running banner and text ads on forums - this has surprisingly not been effective on the very forums that customers have converted from regular posts.

3. Google adwords - these are proving to be too costly and are not as effective as forums.

4. Facebook ads - these ads were cheap - but have not been converting.

5. Stumble upon - same as facebook - cheap, but not converting.

I've read on HN that blogging in your niche and contacting other bloggers is a great way of getting good traffic. But, I feel like that would take away the time I could use to add more features (especially ones that current customers have requested for). I am trying to work on SEO as well - but this would take a while before it generates decent amount of organic traffic

Are there any other channels that I am missing out on? How do I go about this? Should I try and get someone on board who has knowledge of internet marketing and sales (a business co-founder). I am a programmer by profession - so not very sure if I have been going about this the right way.

Thank you for your time.


A little about DomCop.com - The app provides information on expired domain auctions - verified page rank, SEOmoz and SEMrush data, social stats.

I'm no expert on sales/marketing/distribution either, but... given that you run a paid service, each customer has a tangible lifetime value. So you can offer a referral commission to existing users every time they get a new customer to sign up. Groupon, Dropbox, and tons of others do this.

The referral idea sounds good - definitely worth a shot.

This is a specific niche, so have you thought about ads in industry specific places? Like Infoworld, sites like that.

P.S. Thanks for posting about your experience.

I targeted the forums where the prospective customers would most hang out at - and it has worked out pretty well - its just not as scalable as I wish it would be. Unfortunately advertising at those same forums has not worked out as well.

Clickable - http://www.domcop.com

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