How Traffic Sources Affect Conversions 5

Recently I’ve seen a few copywriters guarantee a specific conversion rate, without knowing ANYTHING about the project in advance.

Hmm… To me this shows the copywriter is a novice. It’s just impossible to do. Look what the famous copywriter, Bob Bly had to say about it…

“4-Do not promise your copy will generate a specific result. It is unethical and not true: no one can guarantee a particular response rate.” ~ Bob Bly

One BIG reason why talking conversion rates before you know about the project is the traffic source. This sole factor can have the BIGGEST impact on your conversions.

Because some sources of traffic convert MUCH better than other sources of traffic. Here’s a list of traffic sources, from the best converting to the least.

Product Announcement Lists

People who have opted-in to be TOLD when your product is ready… will be the most likely to buy by far. Here’s where you can hit REALLY high conversion rates. 30% might be average.

Your Customer List

People who have bought from you before… are VERY likely to buy from you again.

Your Subscriber List

It depends on the list, of course. If you haven’t built a responsive list, you may not get a good response.

But, in general. Emailing people who already subscribe to YOUR list and KNOW YOU is a great way to get 10%-20% response rates.

Other Business’ Lists

Having someone else promote your sales page to a list who knows THEM is almost as powerful as mailing your own list. They’re giving an endorsement to a crowd of people who trust them.

Signature Links From Articles/Forum Posts

A signature link from an article or forum post can be more valuable than other advertisements or links because the reader has gotten to know and trust you a bit by reading your content. Then when they hit your sales letter, you are positioned as an authority.

Paid Advertising: Text Ads, Banner Ads and So Forth

Then FINALLY we get to paid advertising. You can obviously still get great conversion rates from Google Adwords and other forms of paid advertising. But you’re probably not going to hit the 10%-50% conversion rates that you might from some of the traffic sources above.

This is good information to know when hiring a copywriter. If they promise a 2% conversion rate and hit 3%, you might think that’s great.

But if the traffic came from your customer list… the copy may not be nearly as great as you thought.

5 thoughts on “How Traffic Sources Affect Conversions

  1. Reply Rick Ector Mar 19, 2009 9:20 am

    Another great piece. Don’t be mad but I have a “nit” to pick. There is a difference between “Effect” and “Affect.”

  2. Reply Stephen Dean Mar 19, 2009 3:32 pm

    Haha, the difference between effect and affect is that I never use affect. Whoops, I’ll probably reluctantly change the title soon.

  3. Reply OscarD Mar 22, 2009 4:03 am

    Thanks for bringing this up. I really wonder about those who say they can write copy that will increase sales by x% or $y when they have no idea of the traffic that’s hitting the site.

    As nice as it would be to make those promises, I’m also of the mindset that it’s on the wrong side of the ethical line. And crazy to boot.

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