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