Excuse Me, Are You Wasting Traffic?


The largest cost and concern of an internet business is customer acquisition; traffic. Both quantity and quality of traffic directly determines the succes of an internet business. By the fundamental nature of traffic to an online business,one cannot afford to waste it.

So how does traffic wastage occur?

Customers are acquired by driving prospects to your virtual point of sale. At this point, usually a web page, the prospects are engaged to take the desired response. The desired response varies from change of attitude for a newsletter, to purchase of a product for a sales webpage.

This desired response occurs towards the end of the Pschology of Search. Prospect searches particular information, they see something that interests them, they view it and then they decide its relevance to them. They then take the most appropriate action, click the back button or take the desired action.

Generally speaking, Click through Rate (CTR) average 2% for internet marketing. This would be the average for Search engines, Pay per Clicks (PPC) all the way to Free classified Ads and banners. Of course for each specific media it varies significantly. However for illustration purposes lets use 2% CTR.

So, only 2% of prospects flagged down stop to give attention to be engaged. These prospects are interested. Of every 100 of this interested prospects, only 1% may be converted to take the desired response the first time.

Eric Mollink of Businessmaker.info had a real experience of this numbers. He says , they made a killer grab attention email which sent the prospects directly to their website. The mail was sent at midnight and by morning the had 400 hits, a 40% response rate. But no one signed for their program. And there was no way of knowing who the visitors were. had they been able to follow up with the 400,based on previous records, they would have closed at last 30% of the 400.

In essence, taking the previous assumed example, for every 10,000 people that see an Ad or Listing, only 200 will give attention enough to engage them. And the CR would stand at 1% i.e 2 sales or subscriptions.

After being able to get the attention of 200 prospects, 198 will be lost.

Reasons for not acting as desired vary widely. Though it would be correct to say a number were not sold. Meaning some prospects were convinced but not converted. They consequently did not respond as desired due to overcome-able objections. Those converted are those in a sellable state of mind at the time.

Remember sales is 90% emotion and 10% logic. If both strings are not methodically, systematically and sufficiently harped on, there is no sale.

Unfortunately internet presentation are unlike face to face sales presentation, where the pitch is actively adapted to the prospect's moods(emotions) and objections(logic).

Therefore huge looses of engaged prospects will always occur due to this inflexibility. And once a potential customer is lost, they are gone, probably forever. You will then have lost precious traffic. To get them again, if ever, you will need to pay for them again, if using PPC.

Repeated contact or follow up on prospects may actually increase the total CR and consequently sales. Follow up allows a 2nd, 3rd... chance to find a prospect in a sellable state of mind.

For first time buyers, it gives 2nd ,3rd... chance to sell them again on a different product. This increases the value of the customer from one product a year to two products a year.

The best means of follow up in the internet is email. A mailing list of your prospects makes it cheaper to market to them a 2nd, 3rd... time. It also increases the chances of selling more of them, a higher CR.

With this kind of opportunity, advantages further reflect on profitability. This is simply due to the fact that there is no further cost associated with customer acquisition every time there is need to to do a follow up. With customer acquisition costs down, there is significant reduction in the cost of doing business, resulting in higher profits.

Otherwise, with no mailing list, everytime you would want to do a follow up you would pay for the prospect. Everytime you introduce a new product to your first time buyers you would pay.

Email capture is therefore no trivial matter.

Email capture is the ability of your site to get name and email address of your prospect.

Indeed you will find successful internet businesses owning a mailing list and doing some sort of publishing.

Predictability of income of a site depends on number of customers, as well as the trust the customer have on that site. Numbers of customers are developed by CTR and CR. Trust on the other hand is not easily developed on the first sitting.

Repeat contact does offer a platform to subtly create this trust.

Publishing for mailing purposes may be a reservation for some. However email capture dosen't necessarily translate into publishing of an e-zine or a newsletter. There other ways of warming prospects to an offer. Use of sweepstakes, low price and promotion alerts etc. all of which are not periodicals. These can assist in building credibility and trust. At the same time, if well done, keeps your p[product "top of the mind" in the prospects mind. Next time the product is mentioned, it is no longer a stranger to them.

With an email list from email capture a chance is given to further develop perceived value of the product. This can incredibly increase sales. Majority of prospects take time to get convinced. They take more time to get converted. With their email addresses one can follow up on them until they are sold. Best of all there are cost of contacting the prospect, of course that is if the list is not rented.

In summary email capture allows for email marketing which can increase CR and profits, both by increasing sales as well as eliminating wastage of traffic and repeated purchase of same prospects.

Resources for opt-in mailing list for rentals such as PostMaster Direct are used by large organization. Other such resources include Me-mail, Advertising.com, Bullet mail, E-target and Ht mail.

Similarly there are innovative email capture systems. Below is an example of a free email capture system exclusivelly for internet business people, www.Opportunity.Com. Such a system can be used by netpreneurs to multiply their "paid for prospects". At the same time they could build a reasonable mailing list accesible for targeted email marketing.

Email capture is both an effective means of avoiding traffic wastage and if used correctly, an effective marketing tool.

Copyright (c) 2004 Mark Kimathi

Below is Mark Kimathi's recomendation for email capture,
http://www.opportunity.com/r/sitebuildit

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