Scandal-Driven Web Traffic Offers Lessons for DMers

Share this content:
There are lessons for direct marketers in news-related traffic surges on the Internet, say Web marketing experts.


"The Internet is event-driven. When there's a newsworthy event, that's a call to action," Larry Chase, author of the book "Essential Business Tactics for the Net," said. "I don't think people sit in their easy chairs and think, 'I've got to surf the Web right now,' but if there's an event that drives them to action, that's the directness of the Web."


During the two days after the release of Kenneth Starr's report on President Clinton's relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, regional and national news sites saw a 95 percent increase in traffic over the preceding week to 6.35 million unique visitors, according to RelevantKnowledge, an Atlanta-based company that tracks Web usage. Fifty-one percent of the traffic, or 3.6 million visitors, viewed some portion of Starr's report.


The scandal-driven traffic spikes were the highest yet for both news and government sites, though most Web surfers accessed the Starr report on news and portal sites as government sites faltered under the unprecedented load, RelevantKnowledge said. In comparison, normal traffic is 2.48 million visits (Aug. 10-11); Clinton's confession of a relationship with Lewinsky, 3.54 million (Aug. 17-18); the Sudan-Afghanistan bombings, 4.36 million (Aug. 19-20).


The lesson for direct marketers: "Take the learning that the Web is event- or attraction-driven and weave it into the marketing program for your Web site," Chase said. "Have events that force people to action sooner than otherwise."


"The frenzy to see the Starr report is like nothing we've ever seen before," said Jeff Levy, CEO of RelevantKnowledge.


Ten times more Web users read the Starr report online than Clinton's rebuttal, according to RelevantKnowledge. As for demographics, 35- to-49-year-old men and 18- to-34-year-old women accounted for the largest percentage of people accessing the Starr report.
close

Next Article in Digital Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here