What is Cold Traffic?

By Ian | Blogging

what is cold traffic featured image

All traffic is the same, isn’t it? All that matters is getting visitors to your website, right?


Traffic consists of visitors with different needs, and how you prioritize those visitors is based on how much they already know about your brand or product. 

Instead of aiming just to make a sale, build relationships with people that are relevant to their stage of the buying cycle:

  1. Introduce your business to those in the early stages. (Cold traffic)
  2. Establish your brand’s authority to those who are aware of your product. (Warm traffic)
  3. Convert those who are deeper in the process into leads. (Hot traffic)

As you can see, the type of traffic you receive will depend on which stage of the buying cycle a visitor is at. And while there are three main types of traffic (cold, warm, and hot), this blog post will mainly explore cold traffic.

Cold Traffic: Meaning

So what exactly is “cold” traffic? Cold traffic is categorized by people visiting a website for the first time and who are unfamiliar with the company’s brand or product/service. Basically, cold traffic is any first-time visitor to a website.

Cold traffic is an integral part of your marketing system because it involves reaching out to visitors in your target market whose decision to visit your site wasn’t rooted in any prior knowledge or experience with your brand. 

Cold traffic consists of people who have never heard of your business. They’re casual browsers researching potential solutions to a problem that just happened to stumble upon your website.

Most likely, these visitors have used generic keywords in a search engine or clicked on a PPC ad that you launched and are more interested in learning about the problem first rather than the available solutions. Since they know nothing about you, it’s highly unlikely they’ll buy anything from you (even if you have the solution to their problem).

Warm Traffic Vs. Cold Traffic

scale with question marks

Warm traffic consists of visitors who are already familiar with your brand and what you offer. Once you entice cold traffic to revisit your site, it’s considered warm. 

Hot traffic, simply put, consists of customers who are on the verge of converting. They’re people who are deciding whether they really want your product or not. Play your cards right, and hot traffic, once converted, can produce a loyal customer base.

The Best Way to Convert Cold Traffic

You might think cold traffic isn’t important because those visitors know nothing about you. However, the cold traffic you’re encountering right now, if handled correctly, will be the traffic that’ll convert in the future. 

Therefore, the first three things to do when you encounter cold traffic are:

  • Introduce your brand or products.
  • Build a relationship with your audience.
  • Learn as much as possible about your audience.

Introduce your brands or products.

These visitors have ZERO knowledge of who you are, so you should introduce yourself and what you do — but don’t sell them anything just yet. 

Attempting to sell to cold traffic right off the bat will make you seem salesman-ish, and that can drive visitors away. Introduce yourself in a way that doesn’t project that vibe. This can often be done by creating a landing page that’s optimized with “lead magnets” (which will be discussed shortly). 

Build a relationship with your audience.

Begin building a relationship with your cold traffic to slowly convert visitors into warm traffic (and eventually hot traffic). Communicate with them whenever possible. Reply to emails and comments no matter how time-consuming it can get. Social interaction is one of the best ways to build a relationship with your audience.

Learn as much as possible about your audience.

Learn as much as possible about your visitors by monitoring their behavior on your website using tools like a heatmap or a confetti map. 

Heatmap and confetti map tools are extremely similar: they both track the cursor activity of visitors to your website, landing pages, etc., and dive deep into your audience’s behavior (specifically the areas of the page visitors spend their time at most and that attract the most clicks). 

(Heat Map)

(Confetti Map)

Because these tools are so similar, it’s up to your personal preference which one you go with. The important thing is to keep in mind that your main goal for cold traffic should be to convert visitors into warm traffic. To do that, we often point cold traffic to something called a “lead magnet.”

Pointing Cold Traffic to a Lead Magnetlead magnet illustration

Cold traffic converts to warm traffic once your business starts building relationships and gaining trust while building authority through providing information and resources your audience finds valuable.

The best way to “warm up” cold traffic is to attract visitors to a page that offers a lead magnet.

A lead magnet is a free and valuable resource – such as a free e-course, ebook, or case study – visitors can exchange their personal details for. It’s somewhat similar to an exchange of currency: you have to offer up something of value that persuades people to “buy” (trade their information) from you.

When visitors to your site share their email address, you are then able to start sending them information relevant to your business and brand, like email newsletters or whatever it is you promised them in exchange for their email address. 

Once a reader follows on a lead magnet, congratulations! You’ve just gained a lead.

Continually providing your subscriber base with relevant information and free resources offers value, builds trust, and confirms your authority.

However, it’s important to understand that converting email subscribers into customers won’t happen overnight.traffic signs in the desert

Segmentation of Traffic

Segmentation allows website owners to better understand and decipher traffic by age, gender, and various other data points. You can understand demographic-specific behavior based on what titles visitors click on and which content resonates most with them.

Let’s say you run a website in the healthcare niche and your overall target market is basically everyone on the planet who wants to be healthy. That target is a bit too broad when it comes to determining which lead magnet visitors would consider valuable. 

This is where segmentation comes into play. It can be helpful to group your target audience into individual segments and consider which lead magnets might work best for each group. The segmentation process personalizes the experience for your prospects and makes a greater impact on your overall target audience.

Monitor segmented traffic using the tools I mentioned earlier (heatmap or confetti tool) and send relevant content to the appropriate traffic (such as a landing page for your product or service) so those visitors know they are in the right place. From there, you can measure the impact and conversion rates of your content as it generates cold traffic.

You can also present visitors with “power posts” you know they’d be interested in after they’ve spent a certain amount of time on a landing page. “Power posts” are data-driven long-form blog posts (think up to 3000 words) that provide visitors with statistics that validate your claims.

Remember that your goal with cold traffic is to get visitors interested in learning more about your brand — NOT to make a sale. After interest is established, take the relationship to the next level and persuade visitors to subscribe to your newsletter (aka, “warming up” that cold traffic). Then, you can nurture the relationship by continuing to send relevant content to stay top of mind.hand pointing to graphs on the table, with coffee and laptop

Understanding Cold Traffic

Not every internet marketer understands the difference between cold, warm, and hot traffic and how to target each group efficiently, which means that they’re missing out on valuable opportunities to build successful customer relationships.

Remember that your traffic consists of people with different needs and varying levels of familiarity with your brand or products. To better convert traffic efficiently, you must “warm up” potential customers.

Get specific about your audience’s interests and offer specific content, free ebooks, or guides to persuade them to subscribe to your newsletter.

Finally, if there’s one thing to internalize about the best way to convert cold traffic, it’s that your goal shouldn’t be to make a sale. Trust me – your readers will know if you’re just trying to make a buck off them. As long as what you offer is valuable, visitors will be more than willing to buy it.

About the Author

I've been in internet marketing for over 10 years, and I've purchased dozens of illegitimate products for the sole purpose of evaluating them and exposing the truth about these products to anyone who's thinking about purchasing it. I never let money influence my rating of a product and your success/safety is my absolute highest priority. Don't want to buy a product? Register for one of my 100% free internet marketing training courses>>