27 Apr Thinking About The Temperature of Traffic
In the last blog post we spoke about the three-axis business model which quickly described that every business requires traffic, conversion and a slate. The slate is a list of products and services varying in price and delivery overtime. So, let’s go little further into traffic. This is the sort of thing that is covered in my book The Google Gamble (which is available through this link here) and if you want to get to the past blog posts they are available through this link here. Okay, let’s jump in.
As you know, every business wants to have a steady ongoing flow of traffic because in catering to your business those new people represent new business, new business leads and new business developments. So, we always want to grow a business, we always want to have more people, more business; more opportunities. When we are creating sales and marketing strategy to generate that traffic, it is helpful to think about three levels of traffic: cold, warm and hot. So, let’s start with cold traffic.
Cold Temperature Traffic
Cold traffic is defined as: “I don’t know you, you don’t know me and we don’t know anybody in common.” So, what’s the scenario here? Well, let’s say I need to have someone repair my fireplace. I have just moved to the area and don’t know anyone. I don’t have anyone to ask and I don’t have any referrals. So, I jump onto the internet these days. It used to be the Yellow Pages, but now I type ‘fireplace repair person’ into Google. Google looks at random sites, pops up xyz fireplace repair people. I click on the link and go to the website. The website looks terrible, unprofessional and high schoolish. At least it has a name and phone number to call, but I don’t know that person, that person doesn’t know me and we don’t know anyone in common. So, it’s very difficult for me to trust that person. What if they asked me to make an appointment online or pay them using a credit card through the website?
That’s difficult for me to have that kind of trust right off the bat. So, I look through their website and try to find some testimonials or case studies or anything to prove to me that this person is legitimate. So the better the website, the higher the chance I will convert from ‘interested’ to actually making a call, let alone making a booking and let alone paying the actual fee. So, that kind of cold traffic is the hardest to convert, of which Google search traffic is a great example and you need the most of it to make any real difference to your business.
Warm Temperature Traffic
The second type is warm traffic. It is defined as “I don’t know you and you don’t know me, we have never met however we do have one person in common. We know someone in common.” In our little story there, let’s say I was again looking for a fireplace repair person. I call up my friend Barbara and said “Hey listen, I know you don’t live right near me but you’re in the same town. Could you recommend someone?” Barbara says, “Oh yeah, you got to call Gary.” So, I call Gary and say “Hey listen, Barbara sent me to you. She trusts you so maybe I should trust you too. Maybe you could come by and have a look at my fire and we could go from there.” I will probably also look to his website and try to double check that he is legit, but my friend Barbara’s word is kind of enough.
How about another example, where you don’t know me and I don’t know you but you see me mentioned in an article in the Wall Street Journal or maybe on television through a very trusted source of programming like say, The Oprah Show. Well now, the transfer of trust occurs where you trust me almost the same as you trust Oprah or maybe you trust me almost the same as you trust my friend Barbara or maybe you trust me the same as you trust the Wall Street Journal, to some level. So, that traffic is much warmer. It’s much easier to convert warmer traffic where there is a third party. They call it “word of mouth traffic,” one of the best sources of traffic in new business that you can possibly have. A website or a web presence supports that, as do other various tools. So you don’t need as much warm traffic as you need cold traffic per year. But you know, the more of it you have the better you are off.
Hot Temperature Traffic
So, the third level: hot traffic. It’s defined as “I don’t know you and you don’t know me but we meet in person.” There’s nothing quite as human as actually meeting somebody. That’s why it’s so great to attend things like meet ups or networking groups or conferences or just meet people out and about, and have a chance to shake their hand and look them in the eye and kind of kick the tires and make sure they are legit. You can establish a bond of trust over a relationship over the course of time. Again, the more trust you have, the more likely you are to be that person’s client. That’s how I met my lawyer, that’s how I met my bookkeeper and so on and so forth.
So, you need all three of those traffic levels in any business strategy; cold, warm and hot. Again, examples of cold being search traffic. Examples of warm traffic being say, appearing in the media, television, radio, print, or blog posts to the point where I trust you round about the same as I trust that third party reference. And the third is hot traffic — that’s when you actually go out and meet people. For example, attending events, conferences or speaking from stage like I do. It’s a terrific way to generate traffic. All three of those methods should be in your strategy and I encourage you to think on all of those levels as you develop the traffic associated with your business.