Driving The Spike
The good news is that now that I have it up there, I plan to update it each month, so you will always be able to stop by to see the latest figures. The other good news is that I discovered how much people like this column, which makes my editor at MediaPost happy.
Case Study: This week's case study came about as I was preparing for a demo a few days ago. It is in the area of Personal Care products, and the company I was looking at sends out an opt-in newsletter to promote related products. The newsletter consisted of a number of product promotions with links to different Branded Web sites, each dedicated to a different but related product line. Using my favorite Web site traffic tool, Hitwise, I was able to examine the very sharp spike in Web traffic market share as a result of the newsletter, with an interesting twist.
The first and most prominent link in the newsletter resulted in a startling spike in market share: a 333% increase, in fact--completely dwarfing traffic to the main company site. And, by examining the clickstream data, also via Hitwise, it was clear that the newsletter was the big traffic driver. 41% of the total site traffic came directly from the email link.
The second link on the page (a paragraph down from the main link, but still above the fold) showed a spike, but far less impressive. In fact, the first link's traffic was 333% higher than the second link's Web site. (In fact, the second link's Web site peaked at the exact trough of the pre-spike traffic of the first link's Web site, which is why both numbers are 333%). But here is the interesting thing: the second link was still responsible for 42% of all the traffic to that link's Web site, the same percentage as the first.
So although the two Web sites had dramatic differences in the number of visitors, the percentage makeup of those coming directly from the email link proportionately the same! Why? I mean, this is almost like quantum physics: the percentage of people arriving from an email newsletter seems to affect ancillary traffic coming from other sources such as search engines. Could this be a word-of-mouth effect?
One final piece of the puzzle--if you ever wanted to know whether in-house newsletters can drive acquisition: the same brand sent out a newsletter promoting a brand new newsletter that would provide product promotions. The email increased market share traffic to the site by 3200%! Now, that's what I call a spike. Holy VolleyBall Game, Batman!