Information and Resources for Solopreneurs

Drive Traffic To Your Site With Products

Written By: SiteSell in CTPM | June 25, 2015

Drive-traffic

A Highly Efficient Traffic Generating Strategy Every Website Owner Should Know About

Think “product” and you immediately see dollar signs ($$$) in your mind’s eye. But this technique I am going to show you today is not about making money with products. It’s about capturing visitors from new and unexplored sources — i.e., non-search and non-social sources — using an inexpensive product as “bait.”

In other words, the product is just another form of Content. Once the new Traffic it generates arrives at your site, you can begin the familiar process of PREselling far more profitable Monetization offerings.

Intrigued? Then let’s drill down into the specifics. We will look at…

  1. The two types of product you need for this technique to work.
  2. Where all this new traffic will come from.

Finally, we’ll bring everything together with an example. Let’s get started…

The Two Types of Product

1) A Traffic-Generating Product

This should be something you can sell for very little money (under $10, say… and the closer to zero, the better). In some cases, you could even give away your product for nothing.

You probably won’t want to lose money on this “front-end” product, but it’s still useful to think of it as your loss leader… i.e., the product that gets people through your site’s “door” (and ideally onto your mailing list).

The product might be a 50-page e-book, or even a shorter Special Report. You certainly want to make it more of a “Quick Guide” to your subject than an “Ultimate Guide.” But because the price and the page-count are low, the quality needs to be high.

Remember, your front-end product is content. Its job is to PREsell you, your business and, eventually, your…

2) Income-Generating Product(s)

This is where you make your money. If your front-end offering was a sub-10 dollar “Quick Guide,” your back-end offering will be…

  • A more expensive/profitable e-book (or perhaps a whole series of them).
  • A $97 in-depth, video-enhanced online course.
  • Lucrative finder’s fees for the rentals or charters you promote through your site.
  • And so on.

The back-end product might be a one-time purchase (with a high profit-margin, of course). Better still, you will create a series of high-profit products (e-books, e-courses, etc.)… because many of the customers who purchase the initial back-end product will gladly make repeat purchases.

You could even generate profit from each customer on a monthly or quarterly basis through a membership site. But although a recurring revenue stream is the “Holy Grail” for online businesses, retaining customers month after month takes ongoing hard work.

There’s no reason to restrict yourself to physical or digital products

Your front-end offering could be a service… a “lite” version of your proofreading/editing package, say, that will hopefully convince people to pay much more money for the full version.

And as we saw with the “finder’s fee” example above, the back-end product or service does not need to be your own… there just needs to be a good profit in it for you.

Having 2 products like this is an excellent way to monetize your regular visitors (i.e., the ones who discover you through the search engines or social media channels). An inexpensive product allows people to sample your wares for little risk. So long as you over-deliver, they will then have more confidence in spending a lot more money with you.
For non-regular visitors, having 2 products is essential. You need the front-end product to drive them to your business in the first place. And you need the back-end product to make money from them.

How, precisely, do you use a front-end product to drive traffic to your site? In 3 potential ways…

The 3 Sources of Product-Driven Traffic

1) People Who Click on Ads

Drive targeted visitors to a landing page using Google’s AdWords program or Facebook ads.

This is not something to enter into lightly. And even entering into it with your eyes wide open can be a very effective way to “GPQ” (Get Poor Quickly!).

Unless you are already successful with paid traffic, it is best approached slowly (don’t risk too much money at the outset) and cautiously (don’t raise the stakes until you have “tested and tweaked” your way to a winning formula).

Buying traffic is a numbers game. If you know…

  • what percentage of visitors to a landing page purchase the product, and
  • how much each customer is worth (either for a one-off purchase or repeat purchases)

…you can easily work out how much you can afford to spend on attracting each potential customer to your site. Without experience (and the data that comes with it), you will need to rely on guesswork. With experience, you can be far more scientific.

Even if your front-end product makes a loss (because your advertising budget exceeds the profit), it could still be a worthwhile investment if enough customers go on to purchase back-end offerings. Alternatively, it might make more sense to send paid traffic straight to the back-end product.

If either strategy is successful enough, you could even end your reliance on organic traffic altogether. But that is more of an “end game” than something you can realistically achieve now (unless, that is, you have a healthy budget and a willingness to risk it all).

2) People Who Click on Affiliate Links

Recruit affiliate marketers to send their visitors to your product or landing page (and pay your affiliates a healthy share of every sale).

Recommending products from your site as an affiliate of another business is a familiar monetization strategy. Recruiting your own affiliates to sell products you have created is far less commonly used by online business owners.

One reason might be an unwillingness to surrender profits on a sole/primary product. But the beauty of using a low-priced, “loss-leading” product as a traffic driver is that profits are irrelevant… meaning you can give away the lion’s share of a sale to an affiliate, knowing that your profit will come later.

Now, there’s a delicate balancing act here…

You need to price your front-end product as low as you can (in order to maximize sales)… but if you price it too low, affiliates won’t be interested (not even with a 50-75% share of the sale).

You could overcome this by also offering a percentage of future back-end sales (though nowhere near 50-75%!). But this would require sophisticated and expensive affiliate tracking software like iDevAffiliate.

A better solution, at least initially, could be to recruit and manage affiliates (essentially for free) via places like ClickBank or eJunkie.

3) People Who Shop at Online Marketplaces

What is an online marketplace? It’s any online site where buyers and sellers get together to trade, such as…

  • Amazon (including the Kindle Store)
  • eBay
  • Etsy
  • App stores

The idea is to sell your inexpensive, front-end product in the marketplace of your choice and, from within the product itself, bring your customers’ attention to your business.

This makes them your customer and no longer the marketplace’s… a critical step in building an online business with e-q-u-i-t-y.

For a digital product, charge the lowest price possible (ex., 99c for a Kindle book)… though do experiment to see if charging a higher price results in increased sales (due to a 99c product being perceived as low value).

For hard goods, aim to at least break even (including your time).

In the case of an app, you will realistically need to give it away to be discovered. But that’s okay… you’re not aiming to make money, remember, but to drive traffic to your business.

The biggest challenge with online marketplaces is being noticed by all these shoppers with credit cards in their hands. Having a high-quality, problem-solving, well-priced product helps. But without “optimizing” your product for the marketplace search engines, it stands a good chance of remaining invisible.

In the Kindle Store, for example, having a keyword-relevant (but not keyword-stuffed!) book title is everything. If Amazon’s search engine can’t find you, neither will its users.

Exactly the same principles apply to every other marketplace. So whichever one you choose as an outlet for your front-end product, do research the marketplace thoroughly.

An Example

Let’s say that your ultimate goal is to get visitors to purchase your $97 e-course on advanced tropical fishkeeping. You will likely have other monetization streams on your site, but this back-end product is your “big ticket” item.

The front-end product? That’s your 99c “Beginner’s Guide to Tropical Fish” sold through the Kindle Store. Your business model works something like this…

1) Some of your visitors discover your site the “traditional” way through the search engines and social media channels. They then typically take the following steps en route to purchasing the back-end product (each step PREsells them a little more)…

  • Read the articles on your site.
  • Sign up for your newsletter, which keeps them in touch with “what’s new.”
  • Purchase your front-end product at Amazon (or a PDF version sold through your site).
  • Opt-in to your “customer-exclusive” e-zine, which provides exclusive “bonus” content… and, of course, gently promotes the e-course
  • Purchase the e-course.
  • Purchase any products you create in the future.

2) In addition to these visitors, more people will discover you through Amazon. They have already performed your initial Most Wanted Response (MWR): a purchase of the “Beginner’s Guide.” You now want them to perform your ultimate MWR: purchasing the e-course.

They do this in precisely the same way as “regular” visitors above, except for joining the process at a later point.

The process would work in exactly the same way if you used the other two methods of generating traffic through a product. Instead of selling the 99c e-book through Amazon, you would sell it through your site and use advertising or affiliates to send extra traffic to the landing page.

(In the case of affiliates, you would need to sell the book for more than 99c… because no affiliate will be motivated by earning a percentage of a single dollar.)

If you send visitors to a landing page, you will have less opportunity for PREselling. But remember that people who click on an ad or an affiliate link are, by definition, more purchase-motivated than someone merely looking for free information.

Here’s a simple diagram showing how the two sources of traffic (search/social-driven and product-driven) flow towards the same Most Wanted Response…

web-traffic-graph

Selling an inexpensive e-book and a high-profit e-course is just an example. You can substitute any products or services you choose and are limited only by your imagination.

The customer-exclusive mailing list (which you can create with MailChimp, AWeber, etc.) is a neat-fit with the example used… but it certainly isn’t necessary, or even desirable in some cases.

For example, if your primary monetization model is recommending boat charters in exchange for a finder’s fee, you simply want people to discover your site and return to it regularly (and subscribe to your e-zine, of course). In this case, the purpose of selling a cheap e-book (or a free app, or whatever) is to attract visitors who may never have found your site through regular search or social channels.

Bottom Line?

Driving traffic to your site using a product is not a replacement for “search and social” traffic generation… although it does have the potential to be precisely that in the long run. In the short term, the benefits include…

  1. Decreasing your reliance on Google as a traffic source
  2. Decreasing your reliance on monetization models with low profit-per-visitor potential (ex., AdSense).

Just don’t confuse a traffic-generating product with an income-generating one. First, you drive visitors to your site by providing the one thing they want: an affordable quality product. And then you monetize.

Not sure where to start with your online business? Start here by clicking below!

Start Here!
SiteSell
SiteSell is a privately held Canadian-based company that helps everyday people start profitable online businesses.
  • scotirish

    I have to admit I have never read this blog before. Do you always give this much value to your blog posts? That was an incredible amount of information you just gave there and some valuable lessons as well. I will be more attentive in the future. Thank you.

    • Hello! Welcome to our blog, and thanks for your kind words. It’s great to hear that you find the content we publish valuable. 🙂
      – Margit

Join The SiteSell Community of Solopreneurs

Get the latest in best-practices and advice for your online business. Let each new article be delivered to your Inbox for free.