I've just started a new site http://www.addto.com. It's a e-commerce related directory. I welcome people submit their site to us as long as they offer some kind of solution to e-business firms.
What's the best way of getting my target know our free service and register their site in my directory?
Register your site in our internet business solution directory and submit articles help people to operate successful e-business
First you need to clearly outline HOW and WHY submitting to your directory would help them. Does it get them a free link? Who will search it? Do you plan to promote so that our addition is worth it?
Then, your site looks like a good candidate (in my opinion) for some traditional media advertising, like on local radio stations at the time when people would be driving to work, or an paper ad in a local newspaper in the Business section.
I'm only saying local becuase unless you have some good VC money you probably don't have the budget to advertise in the NYTimes or the WSJ yet.
Who the heck is Gen. Failure and why does he want to read my hard drive?
Soon to come: Aspology.com
Build it up with your own links. Offer them more than just a link in yet another search engine starting out. Find sites that you would like to have listed and send them a customized and personal email telling them that you just added them to your directory (yes you do it for them) and ask them to review the listing. Explain how they can find it easy maybe by assigning them their own user name and password so they can update it themselves.
If your going to translate webpages don't make someone download a 2.7 megabyte file unless they need it. I don't have Japanese installed on my computer for a reason. It is darned difficult for me to understand.
Make sure the 'Add URL' link is easily found.
Also, make the actual registering process easy and simple. Me, and others, get bored easily even when it comes to promoting our own sites. Lay it out simply and don't ask for the same info 4 times.