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7 Reasons Why Online Startups Fail

# 3 - Dazed & Confused Traffic



Are You Sending Mixed Messages?
Written by Shawn Stone on May 15, 2017
Imagine a Billboard on the side of a northern Alaskan highway advertising, “Snow for Sale”.  The only attention it would get would be a few laughs from the locals.
Sadly, that is the equivalent marketing strategy of most online businesses and a reason for failure.

There are three types of main traffic. Cold, Warm, and Hot traffic. There is more than this but to keep it simple in the short space I have here, I will limit it to the main three.

Cold Traffic is exactly how it sounds. That is traffic that is neither problem, solution, or brand aware. They don’t even know they have a problem. You know your product could help them, but the problem is they are mentally on the moon in terms of you bridging their undiscovered need with your specific product or service.

Warm Traffic - This is traffic that is problem aware and may even have some percentage of understanding around the type of solution they need. But they are not fully solution aware of all the options and they may not be brand aware in terms of your offerings. They may have even purchased something small from you in the past but have not been repeat customers.

Hot Traffic. These seem ready buyers. Primed to purchase as they are problem, solution, and product aware.   

A sub-category of this hot traffic are considered, " Buyers In Heat".   I first heard this term coined by Russell Brunson.

These seem like cult followers. 

I like to think of them as buyers with temporary insanity. They appear irrational in their buying behavior for a short period of time or they love your offers so much they are willing to pay almost anything to get it. If it is a subject that is timely to something in their life, they will do almost anything and pay almost any amount of money to take care of their problem or satisfy a strong desire.

They are the type of buyers who will sometimes buy 3 of the same thing from different companies because there is maybe one small feature that the other one does not have.

These are your dream customers and the goal of every business to develop these types of loyal customers. A few thousand of these people on your subscriber list and you have a real business.

The problem arises when we try to use warm and hot messaging directed at cold traffic. When this is done, we generally would see a lot of product specific language, product or service features, cost/benefit articulation, etc. It’s sort of one size fits all marketing approach.

This results in a slow and painful death of a site.

Many tests, product changes, process enhancements, etc. are undergone to fix the problem but the root of the problem is your just not getting your audience’ attention.

When you communicate to cold and warm traffic there is some essential spoon-feeding that must take place in what we call a Bridge or “Pre-frame” to your key messages.

We can’t even many times start out mentioning a product or service, it must come in the form of a pattern interrupt to get their attention. I am not necessarily talking about the 300-pound alien baby or the latest celebrity gossip, but it does have to get their attention and start moving them into a problem or solution aware state of mind.

This is foreign to most online business owners as they are stuck in the traditional mode of advertising and don’t know how to ascend their traffic through different stages of qualification and value.

The second issue is the basic question of why we are spending so much time on cold traffic anyway?

Did we really do our market research?

Did we uniquely define our ideal customer avatar?

Did we define where these people hang out so we can communicate with them?

The Solution:

First, you can’t go wrong assuming most of your messaging is being seen by colder traffic even after you have done your research. 

Dumbing it down is good advice.

Business owners forget that they know everything about their own products and somehow assume their prospects do to and so to demonstrate their “expertise” they litter their marketing with techno-babble about their products and services.

A good recipe for failure.

Second, focus on the emotional connection vs the logical need.

Could you imagine if Hallmark commercials that were so famous several years back had an executive talking about the quality of the card stock that was printed, the experience of the writers that crafted the messages, the quality of the pictures in the cards, and the efficiency of their suppliers? They would not be in business today.

But that is what we do as marketers sometimes. Guilty as charged.

Instead, Hallmark told heartwarming stories and actors portrayed family members in emotion filled settings that increased the viewers desire for that same connection with their loved one. The customer emotionally bridged the connection to Hallmark's cards value, because that was the feeling they wanted to get when they gave their gift to a loved one.

Take a lesson from Hallmark, go easy on the techno-babble and start connecting with your target customers in a deeper way.

If you can do this you are light years ahead of 95% of the online businesses out there today.

Next Up: Sales Funnel vs. Website 

About Author: 

Founded by a former Business Development Executive for a Fortune 50 company, now full time as an e-commerce business owner. He specializes in building sales funnels for small businesses and online startups. In addition to several of his own businesses where he puts his funnel building skills to use, he founded Funnel Rush as a creative outlet to share his experiences to the greater online marketing community. When he is not funnel building, he prefers to spend his time with his wife and two boys....fishing, hunting, and in the great outdoors and in fellowship with his church.   
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