The secret is that there is no easy way to buy traffic. There are a lot of sites and products claiming to bring you traffic, but in reality, it is difficult to arrange for people come to your website, click around, and buy something. We tried 3 techniques and share our findings with you here.
We are of the opinion that 1) PPC campaigns are a definite must 2) paid inclusion in newsletters, ads and banners, can be successful if well-placed and well-designed, & that 3) bulk targeted traffic is a scam.
Note: industry information on lead generation is somewhat guarded. Lead generation and the purchase of traffic is a complicated business, with networks and affiliate groups. There is not much info on this subject to be easily found on the internet. We present this account with a pinch of salt. We would be very interested to read about your experiences.
Research markets – buy advertisement
We purchased advertisement inclusion in two well-known opt-in / subscription newsletters. Both inserts were in the price range of $750 – $1000.
For both campaigns we provided a banner ad with text for inclusion in a newsletter published on the internet and sent out to various email lists, made up of 25,000 to 500,000 opt-in subscribers.
We were told to expect anywhere from 300 to 3000 click-through. From that number, 10% of the visitors might take out a free Opentracker trial, and of those trials in turn, a percentage of people would purchase website statistics subscriptions.
We created separate landing pages for each mailing, so that we can very clearly see, by url, how many people landed on each page.
Results – collect data
In both cases the numbers were lower than expected.
For the first mailing, we received 10% of the visitors we had been told to expect, but the visitors showed a high level of interest, based on pageviews.
For the second mailing we received the amount traffic we had been told to expect but less than 10% of the visitors created trial accounts. The average number of clicks was much lower, indicating that this group was clearly less interested than the first mailing group.
Conclusion: paid inclusion
You do not know what the quality of the traffic that you will receive is going to be. There is no way to guarantee that your visitors will take any action, which tells you that you need to both a) have well-targeted traffic, and b) make your site a great place to visit.
Nobody can “force” people to come to your website, look around, and make purchases.
What to bring – budgeting
In our experience, you need a budget of several thousand dollars to test the waters; a regular budget of somewhere between $500 and $1500 per month, or every other month. You should budget a larger percentage to continue purchasing sources of traffic that work for your site. Also budget a small percentage of your marketing wallet for experiments, to find new sources, and tap into new marketing channels.