One of the biggest errors Publicity Hounds make when launching a publicity campaign is not creating a system for capturing people’s email addresses at their websites.
How do I know? Because when somebody scores a big publicity hit, they often see a big spike in website traffic. Then the traffic starts to slow, and I receive an email that asks: “Can you suggest the best way for us to keep the momentum going?”
So I go to their website. Usually, I conclude that they’re asking the wrong question. Instead of asking about keeping the momentum going, they ought to be asking how to capture all that traffic at their website. Most of it is coming, then leaving. And the website owner has no clue who was there, why they left, or how to find them.
The best way to take advantage of traffic is to offer visitors something for free in exchange for their email address: a list of tips on how to solve a particular problem. Or a small ebook or special report. Or a White Paper or case study. Those, and many other ideas, are in “Special Report #51: 55 Free Things You Can Offer to Generate Publicity or Capture People’s Email Addresses.”
People who visit my website are greeted by a box that bounces down from the top of the screen. It asks them to sign up for my ezine, “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week.” If they give me their email address, I send them a helpful cheat sheet called “89 reasons to send a press release.”
That offer is largely responsible for my email database that now has more than 30,000 names. It gives me the power, without spamming, of emailing to a targeted list of people week after week after week, and marketing to them—and often selling to them—until they tell me to stop.
If you’re a PR person who’s planning a publicity campaign for a client, or you’re planning one for yourself, don’t do anything until you first have a system in place on how to benefit from all that free publicity and ensuing website traffic.
I don’t care whether you’re a Fortune 100 company or a stay-at-home mom who sells Tupperware from a one-page website. Traffic at your website is worthless if you can’t hang onto most of it, then dazzle those visitors with your knowledge and expertise so they eventually become customers.