Ever feel like you’re grinding your face in the sand every time you’re buying traffic? Trust me, I’ve been there… quite a few times actually.
In this post, you’re going to have a few good laughs at my expense, but please don’t underestimate the information in these lessons… they will absolutely improve your experience with buying traffic for your website, while helping you stay out of the sand.
5 Very Important Traffic Buying Lessons…
Lesson 1 :: Always Test Your Funnel First
Nothing’s worse than pulling the trigger on some fresh paid traffic, only to realize you gave the wrong link to your traffic provider or forgot to connect your email marketing system to your capture page… or any number of other easy-to-do mistakes.
You would think it would go without saying to check your sales funnel before you run traffic, but it’s the most common mistake I see people make… and oh yeah… I’ve done it myself (a couple of times).
To prevent this unwanted disaster and waste of valuable traffic, just test your link before giving it to your traffic guy or using in a PPC campaign. Pop your own email into your capture page, make sure you’re sent to the right sales page or offer after optin, check all links…. and don’t forget to check your inbox to make sure you receive any autoresponder emails your funnel should be spitting out.
Lesson 2 :: If It Sounds Too Good To Be True.. It Is
With so many offers of traffic out there, new people will most often gravitate to price as the determining factor for the traffic they buy. This almost always ends up in disaster. Paid traffic CANNOT be measured by cost alone! …In fact, most “cheap” traffic is complete garbage.
When you see offers that sound too good… like 30,000 guaranteed targeted unique visitors for $175. RUN!!
For some real-life examples of this, just check out traffic offers on Fiverr or Adf.ly. It’s not that they won’t send the traffic… it’s that the traffic they send just sucks… and will never amount to a positive ROI for your business.
I learned this lesson the hard way… time after time being suckered into cheap traffic deals… 5,000 visitors, 10,000 visitors, 30,000 visitors and more… only to be left stewing over a depleted marketing budget and 2 leads from Uganda.
Would you rather spend $175 for 30,000 visitors that amount to absolutely nothing… or use that same $175 for 300 visitors that turns into 120 new subscribers and a couple new customers, or team members?
Quality paid traffic will cost real money… and as you build your skills and have a profitable sales funnel, you can scale your business to very high levels of profitability.
Lesson 3 :: Track Everything
An unfortunate thing that’s pretty common among traffic sellers is that they tend to over-embellish their traffic quality… and some will flat out lie. It’s just the way it is. Is that a problem?… Not really. As long as you approach every traffic buy as a test and implement your own tracking, you’ll be just fine.
Not tracking your paid traffic is a massive mistake, here’s why…
Let’s say you you decide to to buy a 300 visitor solo ad. You give the guy the link to your capture page and the traffic starts flowing. Now let’s say that you are like most people and you’ve also been doing some networking on Facebook and other social sites, posting to a few of your favorite forums, and maybe even emailing a few people (or your list) that very same link.
After that solo ad completes, you’re left with some leads and perhaps a signup or two… but where did they come from?
Were your leads the result of the solo ad, the facebook sharing, the emailing.. or something else. Because you got a sale, you might very well be tempted to run another 300 visitor solo ad, right?
Now what if you knew that none of those signups and only a few of the leads actually came from the solo ad?… Would you run it again with that same vendor?
You need to be able to track every traffic source individually so that you can tell where every lead and sale came from… even if the sale happens 6 months down the road …so you can do more of what works!
Another good reason to track is to ensure that you’re actually getting the traffic you’re paying for. Tracking allows you to have valid proof of the visitors you’ve received. That not only comes in handy in the event of a dispute, but it’s really nice to know you actually got what you bought.
There are some really easy ways to do that using tracking variables, tracking URLS or tracking systems, like Trck.me.
You might also be fortunate enough to have some basic valuable tracking built into the business you’re promoting like this system that provides built in “end-to-end” tracking.
Either way… be sure you have tracking set up before you run paid traffic.
Lesson 4 :: Don’t Blow Your Wad… All At Once
Yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like. No matter how much you want to “go big”… don’t just dive into a large traffic buy without testing smaller with that same source first. Of course you need to run enough so that your numbers are statistically significant, but you can get a pretty solid idea of the traffic quality after around 200-300 visitors.
It’s also never a good plan to buy some traffic one time and see if it’s profitable, you need to have a plan for consistent traffic buying over a period of months. Patterns of traffic on the internet change constantly with holidays, events, seasons, social issues, etc… and it’s that consistency over time that really provides the best results.
Here’s a few things to check and measure traffic quality:
- Lead conversion. A decent capture page should convert around 40-45%… or higher.
- Lead responsiveness. How many of these new leads opened your first followup email? I personally like to see at least 30% opens on day 1.
- ..and of course sales, or new member signups!
Important Note: Not getting sales right away with a paid traffic source does not mean it’s bad traffic. If you’re getting good responsive leads, you’ll likely get sales down the road as you continue to build a relationship with those subscribers. Falsely judging good traffic can be a huge mistake. Put a big emphasis on communicating with your list and NEVER leave the job to an autoresponder message series alone.
Lesson 5 :: You Can’t Handle The… Traffic!
The best way to articulate this lesson is with a story. Although this may be quite funny to look back on, I can assure you that is was very painful at the time.
It was 2004, and I was generating leads for a service-based business I had at that time. I had been using a few different pay-per-click networks for traffic, but just could not seem to get enough clicks per day to hit the lead flow I wanted. I started searching around for traffic and came across a traffic broker company. I put in my info and waited for a call.
A very fast-talking woman called me back a couple hours later and sold me on how great their service was. She pitched me on a banner ad placement on a couple of the most traffic’d sites on the internet at that time… Alta Vista, LookSmart, AllTheWeb.
This was a guaranteed 5,000 click package on a few specific targeted pages of their networks that get over 3 million pageviews per day… and man I was excited. I paid via check-by-fax a sum of $5,000 ($1.00 per click), and anxiously awaited my leads and sales.
I got up the next morning since my traffic was slated to start a few hours prior, I logged into my email to find an inbox with only about a dozen new leads. I thought to myself… “That can’t be right.”
For the next few hours I kept refreshing my inbox… and nothing. I went to my capture page URL and my stomach churned as I saw the words “Internal Server Error 500” displayed.
After a call to my website hosting company, they revealed that around 6am that morning my site was overrun with traffic, and their server safe-guards shut it down after about 30 seconds. Then after a call to the traffic broker, she told me they already sent all 5,000 clicks.. the campaign was finished in less than 20 minutes. They basically sent all 5,000 clicks at once.
And in case you’re wondering… NO REFUNDS! 🙁
Don’t let this happen to you… always find out the delivery period and flow of traffic, and please make sure your capture pages and sales videos are hosted on a server that can handle it. Shared hosting accounts are NOT your friend!
BONUS LESSON :: Know Your Business Metrics
The reason this 6th lesson is labelled as a bonus is simply because in marketing, odd numbers in titles perform better than even numbers (really).
This may actually be the most important lesson of all… because if you don’t know your business metrics, such as how much a customer is worth to you… how do you know how much you can spend to acquire a new customer and still be profitable?
Most of the people I see marketing online are a stone’s throw from disaster, simply because they are spending more on traffic than they even stand a chance to regain in their business model. They treat their business like a lottery; throwing money at it… hoping to hit the big time.
That’s no way to run a business. If you’re going to build a real, sustainable and profitable business, you need to step up and take ownership. Start making informed business decisions… and take your online marketing education seriously.
First things first…
If you’re thinking about buying traffic, you better have a marketing funnel (automated online sales process) in place. That starts with a capture page to collect subscribers, and automatically add those subscribers to your list… a list maintained in a professional email marketing/autoresponder system like GetResponse (best choice), or Aweber. Trying to use substandard tools or cheap autoresponders will not work out for you in the long run.
Once you’re collecting subscribers, you need to create a series of emails to provide them value and connect them to YOU. People are 100 times more likely to buy from someone they know, like and trust… and email is a very effective way to communicate with a large audience at once, and stay in front of them at that right time when they’re ready to buy or join.
Then… one of the things that is so often overlooked is the continued relationship building with your subscribers. I have found that the best way to do that is to provide as much value as you possibly can in the form of helpful emails, videos, blog posts… and getting them connected to you on a more personal level such as Facebook. The more your subscribers get to know YOU, the more likely they will be to buy from you or join you in a business opportunity. It’s what we term the “Know, Like, Trust” triangle. Complete the triangle with your subscribers and you’ll have a much easier time turning paid traffic into conversions. I provide a complete training on that here.
If you take these lessons to heart and set a few things in place before you make that traffic purchase, you’ll find that you get much better results. If setting all this stuff up seems like a daunting task, you should consider using a system that has it all setup for you… high converting capture pages, proven sales videos, done-for-you autoresponder messages, personal coaching, end-to-end tracking, followup automation… this is the system I use.
Here’s the kind of conversion numbers that are possible when you come at this with all the right things in place… (a small paid traffic test from today)
Do you have questions or additional tips I may have left out? …have you had your own traffic faceplant? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you. 🙂