Getting Traffic & The Customer Journey

Getting Traffic & The Customer Buying Cycle

I recently sent out an email that included a survey. The survey consisted of just one question:

What would you like to know about creating, promoting and profiting from your own email list?

I am so grateful to have a list that is responsive. It makes me feel like I'm finally starting to have a relationship with them. And that's a wonderful thing!

I took the responses and put them in a spreadsheet, then I labeled each response with the topic. The responses fell into three categories:

  • Funnel building
  • Traffic
  • Copywriting

Having this information allows me to see what type of products I need to be creating. It also gives me topics to write about on my blog and tells me what type of information to use for my lead magnets.

I've been focusing on beginner level courses and this information tells me, as soon as I finish a beginner topic course, I need to quickly create the intermediate courses to go with it.

In this case, I'm currently creating a beginner level email course. Now I know, as soon as it's done, to create the intermediate level courses teaching things like:

  • how to get traffic (so people will join your list),
  • copywriting and selling in email
  • and using email to lead your prospect through the customer journey

The Customer Buying Cycle

Customer Buying CycleI want to briefly touch on each of the topics brought up in the survey and give you my insight since I see all three topics as being closely intertwined.

First I want to list the stages of the customer buying cycle.

  • Awareness of Problem or Need (cold) – at this point your potential customer doesn't even know you exist. The type of content for this phase would be something that makes them aware of a problem to which you have a solution. Content that will entice your audience to engage with your company on social media or a blog post or maybe bookmark your site.
  • Research (once subscribes, moves to warm) – in this stage, the potential customer knows they have a problem and they're looking for solutions. This is where you offer gated content for which they will exchange their email address. After they subscribe it's your job to get them excited about your company and the solutions you offer.
  • Comparison (warm) – here is where they are looking at your competitors to make a decision on who to buy from. Continue to create content that excites them and underscores that you are the best choice.
  • Purchase (once purchases, moves to hot) – this is where they decide you are the best choice and make a purchase. Once potential customers become buyers, it is much easier to sell future products to them. People like to reinforce their buying decisions and to do that they will buy more of your products (as long as the first product meets their quality standards).
  • Retention (hot) – this stage is where you continue giving value and keep them excited. Once a customer becomes a fan, they are very likely to become your advocate and promote your products. This is the best kind of promotion and beats paid advertising.


I had people asking about how to create a funnel.

A funnel should be created for each product or category of products and/or avatar and that funnel will take your avatar through the customer buying cycle.

So, if you have multiple products/product categories, you will have multiple funnels. Likewise, if you have multiple avatars, you may have multiple funnels, even if you only have one product. This is because you may speak differently to each avatar.

The top of the funnel is where you make your prospect aware they have a problem, get them to engage, and then get them to subscribe. At this point, they are cold traffic and don't know you.

Getting Traffic

I feel like one of the best ways to get new traffic is by advertising to take prospects to a blog post, a Facebook page, or a landing page. I like Facebook for this but I do want to warn, if you don't know what you're doing on that platform, you can spend a lot of money and get no results. So please, don't jump in head first without some training. is one of the most complete websites I've seen for free training. The link is not an affiliate link because I have not taken any of his courses.

The flow would be:

  • Run an ad to take cold traffic to a blog post, Facebook page or landing page. The content they are taken to needs to tell them what they need to believe, what they need to learn, or what they need to know in order to buy your product.
    • You could also talk about what barriers they need to overcome.
    • You could help them with their research and speak to the conversations they are most likely already having in their heads.
    • This page should not sell your product but you might have a sign-up form for them to get a freebie or some kind of content upgrade.
  • Then, run a second ad that re-targets those that visited the designated page from the first ad.
    • This ad should exclude anyone that signed-up from the first ad.
    • With this ad, you will send them to a landing page where you give away information they would want in exchange for their email address.
  • These ads would run simultaneously. A visitor clicks through the first ad, if they don't sign-up they are automatically added to an audience in Facebook. The second ad targets that audience and works to move the prospect through the buying cycle remembering that they are still cold traffic until they subscribe to your mailing list.

This process takes the prospect from awareness (seeing your ad), to engagement (clicking on your ad), to being a subscriber (signing-up for your list). Not everyone signs-up, and for some, it may take a while, but you will, over time, start to see a continuous flow of new subscribers.

Taking Care of Your Subscribers

Once they are on your list, email them with engaging content and offers. The content should entertain, inspire, or educate and should always include an offer, whether it's your product or an affiliate offer, it doesn't matter, just be sure to make offers. Basically, wrap your content around your offer by having the topic or story lead into the offer.

Then be consistent with your emails, daily is best but if you can't do that, then pick how often you will email and stick to your schedule.

At some point, your subscriber will buy. Then they will become a customer. In this stage, you need to make absolutely sure you take good care of them as these people will most likely buy from you again. Not only will they buy, if you take good care of your customers, they will also become your biggest advocate and promote your products.


One question that came up in the survey was:

How do you sell without being salesy?

I can totally understand why this question would be asked. We all have that vision in our heads of the ‘used car salesman' and no one wants to be that (even though, if there were no used car salesmen, we'd have a hard time buying a used car).

I can't do a copywriting course inside a blog post, but there are a few things I can say on the subject:

  • First, if you lead your prospects through the customer buying cycle and don't try to marry them on the first date, the sales process will sound natural and not salesy.
  • Second, if your offers are wrapped in content and stories, they will engage and never sound salesy.
  • Third, have the courage to ask for the sale. Don't assume asking for a sale sounds salesy.
  • Last, always provide value. I'm not saying to provide value and then some time in the future make an offer. No, you should always make offers, never neglect to make an offer, and if you provide valuable content when making that offer, it will not sound salesy.

Follow these simple tips and you will be okay. Just don't neglect to make offers. If you don't make offers, you will never make sales.

And that reminds me of a story I heard from Kim Roach. She said, when you don't make an offer it's like being in the food court at the mall and getting a sample of a strawberry smoothie. It's so good but the sample only has two bites… you want more! So you look for the smoothie store and when you turn around you see the smoothie store is closed. Ha! Such disappointment.

That's what happens when you don't make offers, the prospect gets a sample of your stuff, but then, they don't know where to get more.

What I've described in this blog post is very basic. It's doesn't cover any of the mechanics of how to do any of the steps. It doesn't tell you what to write in your blog post. It doesn't cover what an ad should look like. It doesn't teach copywriting or how to wrap your offer in your content. It doesn't tell you how to make an offer.

I know, it's totally incomplete, but that's the stuff that would go in a course, not a blog post.

I do hope I gave you enough information to start taking action and get past any fear that might be stopping you from moving forward.

I'll come back and add information about any courses that pertain this subject when they are created.

All my best,


About the Author Reba Collins

I’m a fifty-something, self-taught, online business geek from Texas and owner of Online To Thrive. A lot goes into creating an online business and it can be a really scary endeavor. I’m here to help make getting started easy and affordable with step-by-step courses that are clear, straightforward, and uncomplicated.