I recently came across a blog post on iMedia Connection titled “How to Crash Your Servers: 4 Key Elements to Driving Traffic“. This struck me as a strange title; after all, who would actually WANT to crash their own servers?
Well, I suppose the title worked because I clicked and I read the post. But as the title hints, the article opens with the “attractive” proposition of creating a marketing campaign so effective that it crashes the target website. In fact, here’s a direct quote:
“From my marketing experience at ZAGG, we’ve crashed the servers a number of times by using these four key elements of driving traffic to your website.”
I want to give this marketer the benefit of the doubt, especially because the rest of the article doesn’t really have anything to do with this misguided intro, but I was struck by two thoughts after reading:
- The last thing your business should want to happen is for your website to crash or suffer performance problems. This is not a good thing!
- The worst possible time to direct people towards your website or landing page is when your website is down or at a crawl. It’s a waste of time and effort and annoys potential customers!
Here’s another quote from the article: “It’s every internet marketers dream to crash the servers.” While it might seem like a great indicator of success that a marketing campaign has generated so much traffic that it “crashed the servers”, here’s the bad news: by sending more traffic at your site than the site could handle, you’ve just wasted your marketing campaign, since nobody can take advantage of your special offer or read about your business now that the site is unavailable.
Think about it: If you were a potential customer and you saw an offer online that you wanted to take advantage of, or an advert or link to a product or service that might be of genuine interest to you, how would you feel if you clicked that link only to sit looking at a loading screen for several minutes, or if the page just never loaded at all? MAYBE you would try again later. But you’re more likely to never come back – 88% of users don’t return to websites after a poor experience (source: Gomez). This also softens the impact of any future marketing campaigns you do. I think the most key fact to mention, though, is that a crashed website has a conversion rate of zero. Guaranteed.
So by bringing your website down with your brilliant marketing campaign, you’ve wasted marketing budget, damaged your brand, annoyed potential customers and lost revenue. Doesn’t seem like such a great goal any more, does it?
I’m not saying you should be conservative with your marketing campaigns in fear of bringing the website down. Instead, you need to know that your website will be able to handle the traffic brought in by marketing streams, before the campaign starts. By undertaking a performance audit with Intechnica, you can get assurance on exactly how much traffic your website can handle (see Janrain’s blog about their story), as well as where any performance problems might exist.
To see some real world examples of overzealous marketing campaigns being wasted by poorly performing or crashed websites, including Nectar, Dr Pepper and the Glastonbury festival, check out 15 Web Performance Nightmares, and the damage they caused.
With the peak trading time fast approaching, make sure your e-commerce site will perform: Talk to Intechnica about assuring your site’s performance