As a small business, you spend a lot of time testing new ways to convert sales. That’s no surprise since 63% of marketers say generating leads is one of their biggest challenges.

Yet converting prospects into leads (and leads into customers) is easy for marketing experts who can answer yes to this question: are you being strategic about how you’re targeting whom and when?

These days, marketing to a single buyer persona is far too limiting. That’s why I’m guiding you through the 3 different types of traffic and why you need a different marketing strategy for each.

Want to know a foolproof method for transforming one-time browsers into lifelong fans? Check out this guide for everything you need to know about marketing to cold, warm, and hot traffic.

Cold vs Warm vs Hot Traffic Defined

Cold Traffic AKA the Prospect = they stumble across your advertisements or website but have no prior knowledge of your brand

Warm Traffic AKA the Lead = they know your brand but haven’t purchased anything or engaged with you so far

Hot Traffic AKA the Customer/Client = they know your brand, have made at least one purchase, and are actively engaging with your business

Why Should You Care?

Not all customers are alike. Some know nothing about your brand, some know a lot but are still shy to buy, and some are long-time customers who want to be rewarded for their loyalty.

So you can see the problem with using the same ad campaign for all of them. If you want to get more leads and customers, you must approach the different stages of the buying phase, well, differently.

Understanding cold, warm, and hot traffic helps you create better, more targeted marketing campaigns. That way, you can stop wasting time on expensive ads that just don’t convert.

And here’s how to do it.

How to Target Cold Traffic

The whole point of your cold traffic campaign is to educate prospects about your brand.

You want to introduce your business, your values, and your hopes for your company. And then you have to build enough trust to get that prospect to become a lead.

How do you do that? By showing the value of your brand’s products. Consider this statistic: Search queries in the form of “is [product, brand, service] worth it?” have increased by 80%.

Why have these searches increased? Because customers want to know the value of the product, service, or brand they’re purchasing before they actually shell out the cash.

Going in straight for the sale ignores a customer’s needs. After all, how do they even know they need your product or service until you’ve educated them why they can’t live without it?

How to Move a Prospect from Cold to Warm

Transforming a prospect into a lead is all about information.

One of the best ways to educate cold prospects is with content marketing. Publish educational content on your site or blog and use SEO to get cold traffic to it.

Blog posts are great, but you can also use:

  • videos
  • podcasts
  • surveys
  • guides
  • case studies

While you’re educating your prospects, you should be nudging them toward a lead capture. Ask for email addresses in exchange for free or bonus content.

But remember: this free information should inform prospects about your brand and products rather than trying to make a sale.

How to Target Warm Traffic

Now that you’ve educated your cold prospects and hopefully captured their email address, you’ve got a lead.

A lead is more than a prospect because this sort of traffic signs up for your newsletter or inputs their email for a free sample. Their attention and interest are captured and now they just need a little push.

That push usually comes in the form of an email marketing or retargeting ad campaign.

In this phase, you need to remind leads about the value of your products. You need to send them promotions and special offers. You need to make it so easy to buy, they’re wondering why they haven’t already.

And all this is done with the intention of converting a lead into a customer/client.

How to Move a Customer from Warm to Hot

Converting a lead into a customer/client is all about making the sale. Do this through emails and ads that sweeten the deal.

Deal sweeteners you can send your new leads include:

  • product demos
  • webinars
  • free tools
  • free events
  • trials

Special offers, discounts, and exclusive sales are also excellent tools for pushing a lead from casually interested to ready to purchase.

How to Target Hot Traffic

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’ve successfully converted a prospect to a lead to a customer/client and made a sale in the process.

But don’t stop at the sale.

The best customer/clients are the ones that keep coming back for more. They’re the loyal fan base that won’t just buy your products but will market them for you.

How do you target these customer/clients? With follow up ad campaigns and marketing email reminders to buy more products or engage with your brand.

The whole point of the hot traffic stage is to make sure you keep your customer/client hot. After all that work, the last thing you want is to lose a new customer/client because you neglected this very important stage in the buying cycle. .

How to Keep Hot Traffic Hot

Keeping hot traffic hot is all about engagement. This may mean leaving a product review or star rating. Or it might mean tagging your brand on Instagram with a picture of your product.

Here are the content formats you should be using to target customer/clients:

  • sales pages
  • landing pages
  • product pages
  • offer pages
  • services pages

Send out promotional offers a few days before the general public is notified. Offer birthday rewards and special discounts for being loyal.

Make your client/customer feel special and connected to your brand and you’ll have them marketing your brand for you in no time.

Marketing Campaign Content Writing

If you want prospects to trust your brand, you need engaging and authoritative content they can trust.

But writing high-quality blog articles is time-consuming and frustrating. In fact, 51% of B2B marketers say making the time to create content is one of their top marketing challenges.

Wouldn’t you rather focus on the central aspects of your business that only you can do right? Then you need a freelance writer to help tell the story of your brand. Learn more about my content writing services and subscribe to the blog for more digital marketing insights.

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