Issue 10: The Big Lie of Traffic Generation

Did you miss Issue 9? Titled: Changing the Way You Change Your Customer’s Mind
Click here to read.

I recently met with a group of highly successful business owners to consult with them on marketing their products and services. Without exception, the most popular topic was how to drive more traffic to their web sites and build a large opt-in list as quickly as possible.

I also receive hundreds of emails each month from subscribers and this same topic ranks as one of the most popular. But I’ve got to tell you, most of the techniques that folks are using in an attempt to attract a large flow of steady traffic couldn’t be more weak and ineffective.

I place the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of so-called “Internet marketing experts” who are putting out so much hocus-pocus, it’s hard to tell any more what to believe.
graphs of performance analytics on a laptop screen

The Biggest Lie


There are a lot of phony claims about what works to drive traffic to your web site. So many, that I don’t possibly have room to cover them all here. But let’s start with the biggest lie of all:

Search engine marketing will bring a flood of traffic to your web site

The vast majority of clients I speak to tell me that search engine marketing hasn’t done squat for them. I’ve been preaching for years that you’re wasting your time entirely if you’re trying to use search engines to drive traffic to your web site. And let me make it perfectly clear that I mean both natural search and pay-per-click marketing.

There are a number of reasons why search engine marketing stinks. First and foremost, is that it is technically difficult to master. The rules are arcane and the search engines change them all the time.

Why would they do this?

Because the worst thing that could happen for the search engines is for a search to return the same results all the time. After awhile, people would stop searching. In addition, the rules get changed to keep people from cheating the system, whatever that means. For some perverse reason, even when you’re paying for clicks, the search engines don’t want you to be able to maintain top position, so they change the rules and refuse to tell you what the changes are.

Does that sound like someone you want to do business with? I certainly don’t.

But that’s the least of your worries. In a minute, I’m going to reveal the real reason why search engine marketing is such a loser. But first…

An easy way to add a lucrative new profit center to your business

Creating and selling information products can be a very lucrative addition to your business, whether you do it full time or use information products to add a large stream of passive income to your existing business. For example, I’ve had profits of $64,200, $84,500, even as high as $150,000 in a month. And plenty of other five-figure months as well.

But here’s the interesting part. As good as those results have been, I recently stumbled on a new “stealth marketing” system for creating and selling information products that is dramatically outperforming everything else I’ve ever used. And I will be offering a 12-month, in-depth training and implementation program on this system for people who are serious about making a fortune with information products.

Also, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve ever created an information product or not. This new method is fast and foolproof. To get all the details on my new Information Products Master Course, just please fill out the short request form at the link below and I’ll send you the complete information packet by postal mail:

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Senior citizen discounts for 17-year olds

A few months ago, an envelope arrived in the mail at my home with the teaser, “Inside — your senior citizen’s discount card”.

That’s all well and good — but — it was addressed to my 17-year old son. Obviously, someone had done a very poor job of list selection. It doesn’t matter how attractive the discounts might have been, my son simply wasn’t interested in the products they were promoting.

And that is the real reason why search engine marketing is so ineffective. Because you have no way of determining whether people who find you through search engines are truly qualified prospects, you might as well be selling senior citizen discounts to 17-year olds.

Just because someone searches on a term doesn’t mean they have any true interest in buying what you have to sell. They may just be looking for the lowest price. They may have 10 minutes to kill at work. Or they may have typed in the wrong term altogether.

To make matters even worse, studies have shown that as much as 35% of all paid clicks are fraudulent. Either competitors are using automated scripts to load you down with false clicks or the search engines use bizarre formulas that bill you for clicks you never received.

Still think search engine marketing is the way to go for your business?

The big fault with search engine marketing, the key reason why it produces such mediocre results, is that you have no way of identifying the prospect’s buying history.

For those of us whose roots go back to direct marketing before the days of the Internet, it was drilled into our brains that a buyer is a buyer and a looker is a looker. And results prove that most people using search engines are just lookers. These are not the kind of prospects you want to attract to your web site.

One dependable solution

There are actually many ways to drive a ton of qualified traffic to your web site. Please note that my emphasis is on “qualified”. And by qualified, I mean people with a proven history of buying a product or service just like yours.

I know dozens of otherwise shrewd marketers who are now trying to clean their opt-in list of thousands of freebie seekers — people who will never buy a thing from them and never had any intention of buying. These names and email addresses were collected using the techniques recommended by many of the leading Internet marketing experts. Problem is, they forgot to tell you that while their methods will build a large list, most of the names are freebie seekers.

So what’s a web site owner to do to overcome this problem? The seed of the answer lies in what I mentioned earlier — that a buyer is a buyer and a looker is a looker. Because of this, savvy direct marketers know the quality of the list you use trumps everything else. And in direct mail, the ideal list is a list of people who have purchased a product or service that’s very much like yours.

Fortunately, excellent offline lists are easy to find. You can find lists of proven buyers in any business or consumer category in a publication fondly known as the SRDS in direct marketing circles. It stands for Standard Rate and Data Services, and it’s a comprehensive listing of just about every known mailing list. You can also find excellent lists by asking your list broker for “buyer lists”.

Let’s say you sell cookbooks for vegetarians. You can get lists of people who subscribe to vegetarian magazines and have purchased books on vegetarian cooking. Do you think those folks would be great prospects for your cookbook?

Are you beginning to see the difference between using lists of people with known purchasing history versus the unqualified traffic that the search engines bring you?

Alright, so now you know where to find lists of proven buyers. Now what do you do to cash in with these lists once you’ve found them? Let’s take a look at…

The power of the lowly postcard

One of the best, most reliable ways to take advantage of buyer lists is to use postcards to drive tons of traffic to your web site. You can get a heck of a lot more copy on a postcard than you could ever get on your pay-per-click ad, so you can make a much more compelling case for people to visit your site.

Going back to our example of selling cookbooks for vegetarians, the gist of your copy could be “Readers agree that we have the best vegetarian recipes anywhere”. You could then follow with testimonials from a couple of your satisfied customers and offer people two free recipes for visiting your site. Once they get to your site, you either sign them up for your ezine or pitch your cookbook.

With the right copy, you can use inexpensive postcard mailings to attract far more qualified traffic to your web site then you ever could with search engine marketing.

Conclusion

Just because your web site in online, doesn’t mean the methods you use for drawing traffic to your site have to be online. Many offline methods, such as the postcard mailings I’ve just described, will outperform most online marketing methods.

And when you begin to combine offline and online marketing together, the sky’s the limit. But that’s another topic for another day!

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Serling All rights reserved