Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Can logo t-shirts drive web traffic?

Yes. Maybe. We recently got a batch of t-shirts with our new logo. In an effort to show off the shirts (besides at the usual pitch &industry events), I decided to see how effective our logo t-shirts could be for generating general company awareness. What better place to run my test than at Disneyland. We usually spend most of our time standing in line – wait times can easily span 30-50 minutes per ride. I can’t think of a more captive audience than families who are staring off into space while inching forward in never ending lines.

The weather at Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) was a comfortable 80 degrees and the park was packed due to the President’s Day weekend - perfect t-shirt weather. When I entered the Peter Pan ride line with my son, I noticed a few glances at my shirt, but nothing too obvious. After the first 10 minutes of waiting  and trying to keep my son occupied, I totally forgot about my experiment. Fast forward 10 hours later, countless lines for the Jungle Cruise, Winnie the Pooh, and other rides, we were finally headed home.

A couple of days later, I checked our Google Analytics stats to see if my branded t-shirt experiment made any difference on our website traffic. Looking at our direct-to-site and branded organic search visitors for the weekend, I definitely saw a spike. Drilling down further on these categories by location (Los Angeles / Southern California), I could see that visitors to the site more than doubled from what we usually get from the Los Angeles area. In fact, visits from Los Angeles area visitors (via direct or branded-organic searches) were twice as high then at any other point ever for our site.

While not exactly scientific, I would like to think those hours of waiting in line with hundreds of other people staring at my t-shirt made a difference, at least for a day or two - definitely worth the t-shirt investment.

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