Everything online begins and ends with it.
Whatever you do online, whether it’s posting pictures to your social media platforms, blogging, trying to sell stuff online or trying to get prospects for your business, you need traffic.
But there’s all kinds of traffic out there.
Table of Contents
Why Traffic Matters
With any kind of online business, you need to get people who are interested in what you have to offer to your pages and web properties.
Organic traffic from the search engines may be free, but it’s not very targeted.
We, as marketers, need to separate the wheat from the chaff and want only (or mostly) those laser-targeted people to come to our businesses.
And this is especially important when you’re buying traffic.
Otherwise, you’re just flushing your money down the toilet.
Lead generation used to be something that bricks and mortar businesses went after through various types of advertising.
Maybe that was TV spots, radio commercials, newspaper ads, direct mailing or flyers shoved into your letterbox.
Others may have come up with more creative ways of reaching potential customers.
You can do the equivalent of all those online for free if you’re an online marketer.
YouTube (free) = TV spots; Podcasts (free) = radio commercials; social media posts and ads on your blog (free) = newspaper ads; email marketing (free) = direct mailing and flyers.
While all those methods are free, they’re also slow and rely on people finding you – tripping over you, so to speak.
The other way of getting traffic is to buy it.
You pay some person, agency or entity to send traffic your way.
That can be through dedicated advertising platforms like Google Adsense, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, Yahoo Ads, YouTube Ads and any number of other such services.
But if you’re building an online business that’s focused around affiliate marketing or directly selling you own products and services, you can buy traffic that’s specifically for your market from suppliers that are outside the above platforms.
A lead generation industry has grown up online, primarily to provide leads in the Internet Marketing / Affiliate Marketing / Make Money Online niche though it’s also possible to buy leads for other industries such as Investments or Forex.
Since this site is about Email Marketing and Affiliate Marketing, I’m always looking for leads who are looking for training or to buy products in that niche.
The goal of this experiment is to build my email lists.
So I need people who visit my optin/squeeze/landing pages to hand over their email addresses in exchange for some freebie or access to hidden content.
Not all leads I buy will convert into actual subscribers on my list.
A really good optin page will convert about 40% of its visitors into subscribers.
But those visitors need to be targeted to what’s on offer in the first place.
So what I’m going to do is buy traffic from various suppliers to test the quality of that traffic.
I’m also going to be buying low-priced traffic rather than paying for supposedly high-quality leads where you pay say $85 for 100 leads.
I’m also going to be testing a few different sales funnels for different offers to see if one particular offer does better on one advertising platform than others.
This post is going to be a dynamic one as I won’t be buying traffic all on the same day.
And the results will come in over different lengths of time too.
LeadGen Experiment Part 1
The Traffic Source
I picked QwikAd as the first traffic source.
This is essentially a classified ads site where you can target ads to individual cities in the USA, to each of the 7 Continents or to the whole world.
You can post free ads here, but only to a specific city.
In my test, I wanted to post my ad worldwide (that’s 1,095 cities), so that requires paying $6 for an ad that runs for 60 days.
The most suitable category for my ads is Income Opps.
As you can see from the screenshot, QwikAd have been offering a Buy-1-Get-1-Free offer for the last 4 days.
This is one of the reasons I picked them first, so I can capitalise on this offer.
Since I can run 2 ads, I decided to promote two different sales funnels that ultimately lead to the same offer.
This lets me split test the two funnels.
Both funnels are for the Partner With Anthony program.
I chose this to promote as it’s a low-priced offer, costing $7/mth or a one-time $97 fee to join.
As well as that, I’m split-testing one of the funnels by rotating between two variations of the landing page (one with a video, one without, everything else the same).
Sales Funnel 1
You can see the squeeze page for that first funnel here . Refresh the page a couple of times to see the two page variants:
This page collects the email address and then redirects the visitor to a free web class that talks about the program – this is also the sales page for the program.
I put the ad for this funnel in the Business Opportunities sub-category of Income Opps on QwikAd.
Sales Funnel 2
The second funnel ultimately directs visitors to Partner With Anthony as well, but there’s additional content in the funnel before they get sent to the PWA program.
This content consists of several emails warming people up to the idea of affiliate marketing and the value of the program…
…and the first 3 emails are video tutorials that introduce affiliate marketing to the subscriber, how that business model is the best to use to build a business online and how to get traffic for your own offers.
The kicker is that if the subscriber joins the Partner With Anthony program through the links in this funnel, they’ll get access to the exact same funnel and bonuses that I show in the funnel (these come from Zach).
So they’re far more incentivized to sign up to PWA before they even get to Anthony’s web class.
These are the bonuses that are on offer through this funnel:
The headline and copy for this ad is different from the first ad and it’s been posted in the Affiliate Marketing sub-category of Business Opportunities on QwikAd.
I’m able to change the Category and Sub-Category for the ads at any time, so if I find that one is getting a lot less engagement than the other, I could switch it over to Business Opportunities >> Work From Home Jobs for example.
Upgrading The Ads
At the $6 price for an ad, ads will gradually move down the page and eventually off the front page, reducing their audience.
So, to prevent that, I invested in some ad upgrades.
The first upgrade was to go for a $10 ad instead, which gives these advantages:
- Your ad will display the FEATURED sign.
- Your ad will show in the home page slider in every city.
- Featured ads come up first in search results.
- Featured ads receive considerably more visits.
The next upgrade I chose was to have the ad promoted to the top every 5 days (this was an additional $3) with these advantages:
- Your ad will take the first position in the home page slider in every city (when used together with the featured option).
- Your ad will be promoted to the top of the listing in every city.
- This option will give your all cities ad maximum exposure.
The last upgrade was to make the ad urgent – another $3 – with these advantages:
- Your ad will display the URGENT sign.
- Your ad will have a red title instead of blue (making it more visible).
- Your ad will show as urgent in every city.
- Urgent ads receive considerably more visits.
So, the total cost for an ad that runs for 60 days and gets maximum exposure was $16.
After placing the ad for the first funnel, I received a coupon code to create a second ad with exactly the same features (the Buy-1-Get-1-Free offer) so I get a $16 ad for free.
One thing every marketer who’s buying traffic should do is track where their traffic is coming from and how many visitors convert into subscribers.
Simply pasting the same links into every ad you create won’t cut it.
You need to learn where to spend your money and where not to.
I use a link tracking service called ClickMagick for this.
If link tracking is new to you, there’s a great free guide to it here.
In ClickMagick, I can create a unique link for each ad (all pointing back to the same page) and then use a pixel on the Thank You page to track how many people have actually signed up through that link.
So I’ll be able to see the sources that provide the most traffic and the sources where traffic converts into subscribers most (this isn’t always the source that provides most traffic).
QwikAd isn’t a site that sells leads directly.
Instead, people read ads and click on them if they’re interested.
There’s no limit on the amount of traffic the ads receive – that’s purely down to how appealing the ad headline is in attracting people.
Then the ad copy has to work in convincing people to click the link in the ad.
So, while I can specify the sub-category of people I’m interested in, the traffic is still quite general in nature.
I don’t expect huge results for a traffic source like this – probably just a handful of leads a day.
As to the quality of the traffic, well, it’s probably low since it’s not targeted traffic.
Plus, it’s coming from all around the world where people’s expectations are different as is their budget for buying courses and such.
But $16 is a worthwhile spend for 2 ads that reach 1,095 cities worldwide.
This section of the post is going to change over time as people sign up (or not) to the two funnels.
Results from October 19th (when the ads went live) to November 9th (no change to link clicks in over a week):
|Ad Views||Engagement1||URL Clicks||Sign Ups||Conversion Rate||CPC2||CPL3|
1. Engagement – The percentage of people who looked at an ad and clicked the URL in it (= URL Clicks x 100 / Ad Views).
2. CPC = Cost Per Click – The cost I incur for each time someone clicks the URL in my ads.
3. CPL = Cost Per Lead – The cost I incur for each person who becomes a subscriber (a lead).
Even though the ad for Funnel 1 cost $16 and the ad for Funnel 2 was free, both funnels lead to the same affiliate offer. So for the purposes of calculating CPC and CPL, I’m going to put the cost of each ad as $8. CPC and CPL themselves are calculated as $8 for the Funnel ad divided by the number of link clicks (CPC) and the number of signups(CPL) through that ad.
The ad for Funnel 2 is getting almost twice as many views as that for Funnel 1. I may need to look at changing the Ad Headline for the Funnel 1 ad.
October 27th: There have been no further ad clicks and no other signups since the 25th, despite my ads being bumped to the top of the listings every 5 days.
October 28th: Still no more URL Clicks or Signups so the Engagement Rate has now dropped below 1% for both ads.
October 23rd: The ad for Funnel 2 continued to outperform the ad for Funnel 1, so I changed the ad headline for Funnel 1 to be “Have You Tried To Make Money On The Internet And Completely Failed…?” so it matches the content on the landing page.
October 23rd: I also very slightly modified the text in the Funnel 1 ad and turned the second sentence into a link.
October 25th: I moved the Funnel 1 ad from the Business Opportunities sub-category to the Affiliate Marketing sub category to see if that would boost viewing numbers.
November 2nd: The ad for Funnel 2 continues to outperform that for Funnel 1, at least in terms of views, but neither ad has resulted in me getting subscribers. So bad traffic or are these bad ads that just don’t resonate with readers?
November 9th: Despite being bumped to the top of the ad listings every 7 days, neither ad has performed in any significant way since they were first posted. This could be because the ads themselves are not attracting eyeballs or because readers don’t look at ads they’ve seen before. Maybe I should change the ad headline each week.
All the best,
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