Case Study: 300% Increase In Website Traffic

Dieting is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with many large and small players competing for the attention of would-be customers.

In such a highly competitive area, how do small business owners survive, let alone thrive?


Pam Turner knows a thing or two about it. Through her website, CambridgeDiet.org, she offers ” a total health package,” including:

  • Message boards
  • Personal dieting weblogs
  • Success stories/encouragement

…as well as the Cambridge Diet products she sells through the site.

Serving a Niche

Having used her own products to lose weight, Pam wanted to help others do the same. She started out selling in person but found that the business wasn’t growing as fast as she’d like.

“With my medical background as a nurse and my interests in holistic health care I had a lot to offer to those who were searching for an answer to their weight and health problems.

The internet was the most obvious way to reach them.”

So, she created CambridgeDiet.org and began marketing online.

Traffic Troubles

Like any online business, Pam needed to generate traffic and build interest in her site and products.

She started by buying pay-per-click advertising through programs such as Google Adwords. However, competition for ad space in the dieting industry is intense:

“Over the past several years the cost of this kind of promotion has gotten outrageous and I have had to dramatically cut back on my visibility.

Finding a method for retaining my internet customers has been a challenge. It is just too easy for people to wander and get lost on the internet and then just end up buying off of whatever website they end up on.”

She had the solution, and the expertise and support to back it up. But she still wasn’t getting the results she wanted.

Pam Puts AWeber To Work

Pam already had some tools in place (message boards, user blogs) to build loyalty among her site visitors. Now she needed a way to keep people from ‘wandering off’ and making purchases elsewhere.

She learned of AWeber through a personal recommendation and got started creating her opt-in email campaign.

Web Forms

To collect subscribers, she implemented a simple inline opt-in form near the top of the pages of her site:

CambridgeDiet.org Homepage

(This is a good example of how to make your opt-in form prominent so that it’s easy for people to sign up)

She also uses a second inline form at the end of her home page so that visitors can easily sign up after reading the copy there, and a popover form that appears to subscribers once per month.

After signup, she redirects customers to a web page with directions on confirming their subscription:

CambridgeDiet.org Thank You Page

And when subscribers confirm, they are sent directly to a custom page on the CambridgeDiet.org website, where they can join in a discussion on the message board, read common Cambridge Diet questions in the FAQ or place an order.

CambridgeDiet.org Confirmation Success Page

Messages

Without giving too much away about Pam’s content, I can tell you that in her messages she:

  • Writes using a conversational tone, especially in the early messages of the sequence
  • Places contact information prominently in messages and encourages the recipient to contact her directly
  • Invites the recipient to engage with other dieters on the site’s message boards

All of this helps to make her follow ups effective. Not wanting to stop there, Pam looked for other ways to engage subscribers:

“Rather then only have a stagnant unchanging website… I want one with constantly new content and interesting articles to encourage people to want to revisit… I believe the Broadcast Newsletter feature (via the AWeber feed broadcaster) is an invaluable tool.”

She publishes her blog posts and has them automatically delivered to subscribers as a supplement to her timed follow ups.

So How Has She Done?

Since she implemented AWeber on her site, Pam has seen a 300% increase in website traffic as subscribers return to the site.

She can attribute this to a combination of effective opt-in forms (her popover opt-in form alone has an opt-in rate over 7%) and messages (she enjoys an average open rate of 47%).

Sales have also increased as Pam enjoys the repeat business that had previously been leaving her site.

Best of all, CambridgeDiet.org is more able to help people address and overcome obesity:

“It is great to know that my customers are feeling supported and looked after. That is my number one priority in my business. I never want any customers of mine to feel like they are doing this alone.

I always have to smile when I get an email from someone thanking me for what I sent and how much it helped them. Having this feature has almost been as good as cloning me!”

What’s Next?

Many dieters get started as part of their New Year’s Resolutions, and CambridgeDiet.org can expect to see more traffic in the coming months as a result. So as 2007 rolls around, what is Pam working on to make her email marketing efforts even more successful?

She says that one of her biggest goals is to make changes in her message copy so that subscribers “feel like I sat down and wrote something out to them.”

———-
See how Pam uses AWeber at CambridgeDiet.org
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What Do You Think?

This is the first time we’ve published any studies of AWeber users on the site, and we’d like your feedback.

Did you get value from this? Would you like to see more examples of how businesses are implementing opt-in email marketing using AWeber?

77 Comments

  1. Christine

    1/14/2007 2:10 pm

    That is really interesting. I have tried doing a newsletter on my site before. I think I might have to try.

  2. Peter Dixon

    1/15/2007 12:55 am

    Thank you for this timely article: The health industry is an area that one must treat gently and control the frequency of communications I am interested how often the broadcast emails are sent.

    I find whenever we send out a broadcast email on cosmetic surgery updates someone removes themselves form the list…but at the end of the day it purifies the list.

  3. Kirk

    1/15/2007 1:46 am

    This was soooo helpful. I’m starting to set up my autoresponder and the examples were great. Thank you.

  4. Brian Cotsen

    1/15/2007 2:36 pm

    I am a firm believer in using case studies to convey a message and to build trust with potential customers.

    I find that using a case study, especially with before and after figures or graphs, builds trust and confidence in a product or service… especially one that is new to the potential buyer.

    I have found this in my bricks & mortar service offering Home Staging to the UK market who needed to understand the value of the service… this was best achieved using suitable case studies.

    Thanks again for the article.

  5. Chester

    1/16/2007 2:00 pm

    Thanks,
    You guys are doing a great job, keep it up.
    I believe that as we share we become better.

    Thanks again

  6. Gwynne Curry

    1/16/2007 2:29 pm

    This case study is absolutely helpful!

    As a newbie in the internet marketing arena who has discovered how costly paid advertising campaigns can be, it’s nice to know that a
    service I’m alreading using can help turn visitors into subscribers.

    Yes, please publish more case studies.

    Regards,

    Gwynne Curry

  7. Pete Sharp

    1/17/2007 4:24 am

    Thanks for a useful article! It’s always good to see how others are using this great autoresponder service and although the case shown is similar to what many webmasters are doing, it is rare to get the facts on how it affects the statistics! Well done Pam for letting us know. Thanks.

  8. Tom Reddy

    1/20/2007 1:10 pm

    Hi,

    You have an outstanding product!

    Yes, this was very helpful to someone just starting out, like myself.
    Please keep up the good work and add more examples.

    Thanks

  9. Jerbethaqui

    1/20/2007 4:47 pm

    Hi guys,

    I was directed to this site through a company I just recently signed up with, to become an affiliate. That bring up a question do your site or program use affiliate. I would love to be one.

    Now, what I caught my attention is I am new a this business of online marketing. And, I am coming from the real estate business, can you give me a few site to check out in the real estate business that are using your program.

    I will be purchasing this program, however, I just need a little more information to whether is for the real estate business.

  10. Scott Shubert

    1/20/2007 7:36 pm

    In one of the top internet marketing guru’s course I heard it mentioned that the way to design a web site or marketing materials for selling diet products is to feature pictures of all the delicious food that you get to eat. It sounded kind of funny but it is true. By understanding your niche and getting into their heads you can often discover the way to best appeal to them. And with dieters the way is through their desire to eat not their desire to diet. Notice that Pam at least has a picture of a delicious strawberry shake.

  11. John Marquis

    1/21/2007 12:57 am

    I appreciated the story of Pam’s success! We can all learn from each other and if someone is using Aweber more effectively than others it’s good to know about it! Her personal customer service (like so many of us on who have businesses on the internet) is something that we all need reminded of on a regular basis. If brick and mortar stores were as helpful and held to the level of scrutiny that those of us on the web are…they would’t be losing so many sales! Please keeep the stories coming!

    John Marquis
    Ogallala Bay Rum

  12. Justin Premick

    1/22/2007 8:53 am

    Jerbethaqui,

    We do have an affiliate program. You can get started as an affiliate at https://www.aweber.com/signup.htm

    We have customers in many industries, including real estate, that use our service. I cannot, however, provide you examples of who in that industry is using AWeber, as doing so would violate our privacy policy.

    If you have any questions about using AWeber, please don’t hesitate to contact our excellent Customer Support Team and we’ll be happy to help.

  13. John Ruppel

    1/23/2007 9:12 pm

    Kudos on this study. It’s great to get some idea on how others are using the power of aweber. Just the simple ideas on where to put multiple signup forms is something most folks can use right away.

    John

  14. Brad I

    1/24/2007 9:43 am

    I was wondering what the typical pop-up frequency most people use. Is it one time? One time per day? Every page refresh?

    I once had it show once per visit on my site and got a lot of complaints from people who subscribed that said. "Why am I still getting the pop-up?"

    I’d be interested to learn others philosophies on how others set up their systems. 🙂

  15. Justin Premick

    1/24/2007 9:57 am

    Brad,

    I don’t have any figures on what popup recurrence is used most frequently. It sounds like based on your visitors preferences, you may be better off displaying the popup once per visitor or once per X number of days.

    This may be a better approach if your site is such that visitors return often to whatever page the popup is on (as is the case with Pam’s site).

  16. Benedict Manovill

    2/6/2007 9:43 am

    This is a helpful case study. I was also
    interested in Brad’s experience with the frequency
    of pop-ups.

    Please add more case studies as we can all learn
    from them. I would like to find out more about how
    Aweber can help bring more customers to my names
    business.

    Thanks

  17. Dr. Herby Bell

    2/8/2007 2:29 pm

    I was skeptical at first, a remnant of my addiction to instant gratification I suppose. After working with Aweber’s site, tools and great articles like this one, I’ve gained more confidence and pleasure just trying to figure things out. It’s my experience that Aweber goes to great lengths to help in any capacity they are able. Thank you!

  18. Paul Miller

    4/18/2007 12:59 pm

    Wow! This kind of information is priceless! In fact, it’s almost like buying an e-book with tons of "how to" information. This portion of your site is a tremndous asset to all of your aweber members.

    Hopefully you’ll continue your case studies

    Thanks!

  19. Kishore Dharmarajan

    10/16/2007 3:36 am

    Nice case study. Wish you had included more images to make it even more interesting.

  20. P Simon

    2/12/2008 10:02 am

    nice one – thanks for posting this – it’s very useful – i sure would like to see more like this.

  21. peter

    2/12/2008 5:15 pm

    Great story…but what a pity or blog lacks aesthetic apeal..

  22. Dan

    3/23/2008 3:53 pm

    Hi,

    Yes, this is a very inspiring, helpful article! Keep them coming. I’ve heard nothing but good reviews about your autoresponder. I just happen to be in the market and I will definitely check your product out first.

  23. Michael J. Cross

    11/29/2008 2:50 pm

    I was actually a customer of aweber a few years ago for a site related to my freelance writing. I used the autoresponder, and was quite pleased with the service. Although I discontinued my use of the autoresponder, I’m considering bringing it back for some of my new web projects. This particular case study is a great example of how useful it can be.

  24. Nial Fuller

    8/27/2009 8:10 am

    I found this post very very helpful to add to my forex training website. It clearly sets out how to use a lot of the aspects of the Aweber platform to make the most from my trading websites and blog forms.

    I will npw be making my own thank you and verification pages and adding them to my opt-in mail pages as it clearly shows it is much more personal and sends the prospect back to the website.

    Thanks alot

  25. mcb

    1/29/2010 7:17 pm

    Thanks for the information. Just noticed that you had a thesis themed web form… very cool.

  26. Ezekiel

    7/26/2010 8:21 am

    A good case study of how good aweber is ! =)

  27. pin Bar

    10/30/2010 12:38 am

    This is a great example of aweber and highlights just how important it is for me to implement these strategies into my own site. thankyou.