Not All Traffic Is Created Equal

How to avoid being ignored and make the most of every single traffic source.

The late great Gary Halbert explains this concept better than anyone…

O.K., I’ll give you every single advantage you have asked for. I, myself, only want one advantage and, if you will give it to me, I will (when it comes to selling burgers) whip the pants off all of you!”

“What advantage do you want?” they ask.

“The only advantage I want,” I reply…

“Is… A Starving Crowd!”

How much better is it for a taco truck business to setup shop in the parking lot of your local dive bar 30 minutes before last call?  How much better is that traffic going to be, than if they were to position themselves at the bottom of the escalator at even the busiest of New York subway stations?

I can guarantee you that the food truck outside the dive bar will sell more tacos with only a fraction of the foot traffic of the NYC subway escalator stand.

But how does this apply to other types of business… and how does it apply to online business?

The KEY element you must understand when it comes to putting together Your Media strategy….


When it comes to selling burgers & tacos… a hungry crowd = high intent… a busy crowd trying to make the next train = low intent.

This doesn’t mean low intent is bad and high intent is good.

All it means is, you must be AWARE of the intent level of Your Market, so that you can tailor Your Message based on the type of traffic (i.e. Your Media) because of the intent level of the specific type of traffic you’re looking to scoop up.

Think of Facebook as one media channel… podcasts as another… email as yet another…

And let’s compare an email in someone’s inbox with a Facebook ad with a Google search ad.  To better explain this idea of intent here’s the story of Madison as she makes a morning cup of coffee.

Madison rolls out of bed and shuffles into the kitchen, her hair pulled up into a top knot, and puts a kettle of water on the stove.  She pulls out her phone and glances at email. She opens her favorite daily newsletter Morning Brew, where she gets her daily dose of the news without having to watch some stuffy show from CNN.  Morning Brew is fashion forward, fun and keeps her well informed. She browses a few of the stories and one of them is a sponsored story about a direct-to-consumer travel product. Madison travels for work quite often and she enjoys the article from the luggage company.  Madison wasn’t looking for new luggage, but she’s seen other ads in the Morning Brew newsletter for other products that she’s purchased before, so she makes a mental note to go back to the luggage company website before her next work trip.

As her water boils, she opens a fresh bag of coffee grounds and measures out two scoops for her french press.  Her phone buzzes and she checks the alert that one of her friends had just 

posted a new photo from their girls night the previous weekend.  She opens the app, clicks like the button and starts to scroll… scroll…  scroll… she sees some old friends from college, an ex she realizes she never unfriended (quick and easy fix) and a video ad from one of her favorite online retailers (she frequently visits their sites for the latest styles & sales).

Madison closes the app and pours the boiling water into her french press and sets a 4-minute timer.  Just then, she remembers something her friend had shared with her at their last girls night… something about a new skincare line that uses coconut oil as a base which apparently is much dryer than other bases and is good for oily skin.  Madison searches for “best coconut oil based skin care” and sees a few articles from various fashion blogs, but at the top of the page are 3 ads, one of them for one of the products her friend had mentioned over drinks. She clicks on that ad and looks at the prices for a few of the products before the timer goes off and she’s finally able to pour and enjoy that first cup of coffee.

“Some Comment can go here like on the Microsoft site”

In the above story, our protagonist doesn’t even spend 10 minutes and finds herself in front of 3 completely different marketing campaigns all vying for her attention and her business.

The first campaign | Traffic Type: Email Sponsorship | Intent Level: Medium (Attention by Association)

As an email subscriber to specific newsletters like Morning Brew, most people make associations based on their perception of the brand of the specific email newsletter.  If you have a high respect for the content put out by a newsletter (Morning Brew is one of the best IMHO), than you are much more likely to engage with their sponsored content and the brands & businesses that pay to step in the flow of traffic.

The second campaign | Traffic Type: Facebook Video Ad | Intent Level: Low (Interruption Marketing)

Although channels like Facebook and YouTube have incredible targeting capabilities to make sure your campaigns get in front of the right person at the right time, based on all the demographic and psychographic info we talked about on the Day 2 email about Your Market,

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