How Can I Increase My Online Membership?

I own a small internet startup in the business of online games. We are launching our first project within a month or so, and it is a service where users must sign up to create a free account. Our goal is to simply get as many users signed up as we can in order to grow as large and as quickly as possible.

Since we are a small firm, we only have a few thousand dollars to put towards advertising and marketing. We’ve already decided on positioning and a target market.

So the question is: How can we get the most bang for our buck? We’ve considered Google Adwords, MySpace or Facebook advertising, and online contests/giveaways. Any other ideas or strategies?


Jay’s Answer: Focus on your strategy first. You have a lot of competition online (over 31,000,000 pages when I searched for “free online games”, and 1,000,000 for “free role-playing games”) so it makes sense to plan rather than spend your money randomly.

Are your games much different/better than what’s out there? Is there another company that you can team up with – offering your games (content) in exchange for ad revenue on their site?

PopCap Games ( has been around since 2000, and has successfully grown their company. They have free web-based games. Free downloadable games (but you need to pay for higher levels or longer play). Multiple hardware platforms. No ad revenue, though.

If you’re focusing on role-playing gamers, then it would make sense to find the popular role-playing forums & blogs and tell them about your games, why they’re great, how they’re different. Send a press release to role-playing magazines or a personal introduction letter to the web game reviewer on staff.

Create a blog about your site. Allow people to share tips/tricks. Rant. Applaud. Actively respond to questions/problems. You’re trying to build community – make it easy for people to hand around.

One thought on “How Can I Increase My Online Membership?

  1. I’m basically in the same position as you. The benefit I have is that we are going to use networking ( word of mouth ) as the main push of marketing. How ? Well funny enough, our games site FRENZY4U.COM is in Beta stage and at 15:00hrs GMT Wed 9th APril 08, we are going to test our web based Instant Messenger. Basically players will be able to chat to each other whilst playing games. The messenger will even work when the games site is off. It will allow all other systems ( Yahoo, MSN etc ) to work on it as well. The other attraction is prize winning tournaments. Should be tested and starting soon. will be the first to use networking as a means of attracting new members.

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