If you are using your website as a channel for sales, then most of your digital marketing game revolves around building traffic to your site.
But…not all traffic has the same weight since each visitor to your website doesn’t have the same level of familiarity with your business.
One important factor to website sales depends on understanding that there are different types of traffic and that you need to adapt your offer to each.
This is why savvy digital marketers plan their campaigns around traffic temperature.
So, what exactly is traffic temperature?
Have a look at this:
Traffic temperature is about the type of audience that you are interacting with and the likelihood that they will buy your products or services.
It makes sense that a happy customer is much more likely to buy from you than someone that has never heard about your business before.
Imagine if you had a shop on the High Street and a regular customer came through the door. You’d have to spend a lot less time and effort to get them to buy from you than someone that visits your shop for the first time.
The same is true for online sales.
It’s all about taking into consideration different knowledge levels website visitors have of your business and your products or services.
So, in order to get the most out of cold, warm, and hot traffic, you need to apply marketing tactics specific to each traffic type.
Cold traffic are website visitors that have never heard about your brand before. You’ve had no previous interactions so they still don’t have any knowledge or opinion formed about your business.
They most likely landed on your website while doing research on a specific problem or need that they have and they may not even be looking for a solution yet.
If you try to sell to them right of the bat, you’re going to have a hard time converting this traffic.
Let me put it this way… Would you walk up to someone on the street without even introducing yourself first and ask them out on a date?
I highly doubt it because you know what the answer would be. You need to give someone a chance to get to know you first.
It’s the same with cold traffic. The good news is that this is the biggest audience you can target because there are a lot more people that don’t know about you than those that do!
However, cold traffic is also the most expensive traffic to target.
Because you’ll need to do a bit of education first to convince a cold audience to buy from you. And you’ll need to do this gradually and gain their trust so that they become a warm audience.
So, how do you ensure that you convert a good percentage of your cold traffic at some point in the future?
You build a relationship with this audience by doing one or more of the following:
- Provide awesome content. Target cold traffic with ads that take them to your best pre-sales content that provides immediate value and start slowly building trust.
- Get social. Invite them to follow your brand on social media so they can get to know your business better. This also gives you an opportunity to to monitor their behavior with a tracking pixel and then show more relevant ads.
- Get into their inbox. Start with a micro conversion and get cold audience to opt in to your email list. The best way to do this is with a lead magnet – a free and relevant offer in the form of a guide, checklist, industry report, or similar. Once in their inbox, you can deliver relevant content, be helpful, and earn their trust until they warm up.
This is the audience that knows about you and hopefully likes what you do. They’ve shown some interest in your business and your product but aren’t quite ready to buy from you yet.
They need a bit of convincing that your company is trustworthy and that they’ll get the most value for their money by doing business with you vs. your competitors.
A warm audience could be:
- An active social media follower
- A repeat visitor to your site
- An engaged email subscriber (opens emails, clicks on links, etc.)
- A webinar participant, etc.
So, how do you bring your warm audience closer to a decision to buy?
With warm traffic you have more information on visitor behavior on your website and more insight into their likes and interests. This enables you to retarget them with highly relevant ads that take them to pages they’ll find valuable.
Let’s say you were selling event management software.
If someone downloads a guide that talks about key features of event planning technology, this shows their interest in software that can improve their event planning process.
You can then run ads with an offer for a free software trial, giving them an option to take your product for a test drive before making a decision to buy.
Depending on their previous actions and interests, you can retarget warm audience with ads for free consultations or free trial, or you can further build trust with social proof content content like testimonials, case studies, etc.
The goal here is to engage warm audience and showcase your product’s strengths without asking for their credit card.
Hot traffic refers to audience that you’ve already converted i.e. happy customers as well as people who have shown serious interest in buying and need just a little a push in the right direction to make a decision.
Many articles online define hot traffic only as customers.
…you may have many unhappy customers and you can’t expect them to buy from you again.
So hot audience are your satisfied customers that are likely to refer business to you.
If you survey your customers with Net Promoter Score surveys, the Promoters are likely to be your hot audience…
Hot prospects can also be people who:
- Visited your offer page and started the booking process but didn’t complete it
- Bought the offer from you but you have a chance to up-sell them immediately with another offer
- Bought more than one product from you in the past in a similar range.
In any case, with hot traffic there is a huge opportunity to either maximize profit by selling more to your existing customers or to reactivate them by reminding them you’re still around.
With a hot customer you’d send them directly to your landing page with the offer or even send them directly to a booking page. If they are familiar with your offer already you could summarize it in the email and then send them directly to the checkout page!
If they have already bought you could get them to take another action…
- Up-sell them with a higher-priced product
- Cross-sell a complimentary item as a part of their purchase.
- Provide fidelity offers as part of your loyalty program to turn them into your brand promoters.
Digital marketing is all about presenting the right offers at the right time which enables you to shorten the buyer’s journey and optimize marketing costs. Understanding the difference between cold, warm, and hot traffic and how to target each type helps you achieve this while maximizing your website sales.