What is HOT vs COLD Traffic?

hot vs cold traffic
by Michel // November 20 // 12 Comments

Hot vs cold traffic?

A topic hardly discussed about web traffic on blogs or online marketing network sites is what is hot vs cold traffic. And uncovering the difference between the two.

In today’s Web Traffic Tactics, I define these differences and what they mean to you as an affiliate marketer.

Understanding hot vs cold traffic

There are some online marketing experts who claim that hot traffic will convert up to 20 times higher using affiliate promotions than cold traffic. 20 times more, that’s incredible!

But not all marketers know the real difference between hot vs cold traffic and how best to promote to each traffic source. Without knowing marketers are losing commissions by sending traffic to the wrong pages.

When you understand the difference between the two, it will help you warm up your visitors that will in turn lead to much higher sales conversions and turn both traffic types into income.

What is cold traffic?

Cold traffic is anyone who visits your site and has no idea who you are or very little idea what it is you have to offer. This is often the majority of your traffic, especially if you are unknown or just starting out.

Normally these people find your site through free ads or through paid advertisements like PPC (pay-per-click), solo ads or search engine listings.

Cold traffic has very low sales conversion rates because no trust has been established.

Cold traffic is often sent to a lead capture page (squeeze page) where visitors sign-up to be placed on a list or to buy a low (front end) offer with little commitment on their part. The idea is to build your own mailing list.

How well you target this cold traffic will determine the success of both your sign-up (opt-in) and conversion rates.

What is warm – hot traffic?

Warm traffic are people who are returning visitors to your site because they are either subscribers, want to continue a discussion they were involved in, or came because your site was recommended by someone who they like or trust.

They already have some familiarity with you, your site content, or with what you have to offer. The level of how warm they are depends upon their involvement with your site and with you.

If they have already received from you valuable free gifts, tips, or watched a few tutorials on the site; they are likely to be warmer and more interaction can be expected from them.

When they know, like and trust you, they will be more likely to consider and buy products or services that you recommend. And it will be a larger number of them.

This is why warm traffic converts much higher and why refund rates are much lower. There is trust along with an growing relationship with you that increases the motivation for them to buy from you.

Is there a difference how to approach cold vs warm traffic?

Most definitely! With cold traffic the sales copy or sales pitch needs to be focused on letting the potential customer know how the product or service will help them NOW. You have to be brief but effective.

A cold traffic example: imagine you are stopping someone on the street. You want to convince them to donate money for a worthy cause, like saving drinking water.

They may be familiar with the water crisis, but you may need to give them enough background and explain the consequences of what happens if we don’t save water. To go beyond the call of duty to stress the benefits of taking action RIGHT NOW!

To realize any success, you have to do all this quickly and effectively!

With warm traffic, they have already shown an interest in the topic. Sales copy or sales pitch can be focused more on the features of the product or service and how it measures up to the competition.

Ways to warm up cold traffic

The most effective way online to warm up cold traffic into buying customers is by building trust. This is often done through email marketing (build a list). By giving away something of value to them for free will help to build a sense of reciprocity (give-and-take) for you.

Once you have achieved and build this reciprocity, you will find that your email campaigns (tied in with your affiliate marketing campaigns) will be much more successful.

Another way to warm up traffic is to develop social media campaigns by creating blog post series by publishing relevant new content regularly on your site.

You can then encourage your visitor to sign-up for content and updates for your site either by email or through one of their social media accounts. You can more effectively communicate product campaigns, updates, as well as news on your site.

Lastly you can warm up traffic by using surveys. When someone completes a short survey on a related topic and has been given an incentive to do so (like a coupon or free offer), they are more likely to get hooked. You can capture there email simply by offering to show them the results (how they rated/ranked vs others for example).

To effectively warm up traffic mainly consists of ways to engage with potential customers without asking for much commitment or money at the onset. This is especially important if you want to build a long and lasting business.

Final remarks

Now you know the difference between hot and cold web traffic. It’s easier to understand (especially at the start) why most traffic generation methods (free or paid) are usually cold traffic.

Cold traffic can be targeted which can lead to more opt-ins, but will still have fewer sales (conversions).

To increase sales conversions, require that you warm up your traffic sources. This is done by engaging with your potential customers whether through your site, social media or mailing list.

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Michel has actively been online as an Internet and affiliate marketer since 2009. He has experience with many systems and programs that he has used throughout those years, finding some to be great and many not so good. He’s learned what works, and what doesn’t work and is willing to share it with you. And it is always changing!

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