In a day, Envato is going to launch its next Birthday campaign. We all believe it will bring more sales for its participants but not all of us realize how HUGE the traffic may be (since there are many authors who haven’t participated in such campaigns yet).
To let everyone be prepared for this thrilling week, we’ve decided to share our experience of participating in a Friday Freebie campaign and provide you with some easy tips on how to catch every single visitor Envato is going to bring next to your product page.
Friday Freebie campaign participation and how we lost thousands of visitors, twice
In July 2017, we received a friendly email from Envato notifying us about their decision to include our Seriously WordPress theme into their next Friday Freebie campaign. It’s worth mentioning the WordPress theme hadn’t received a lot of traffic (about 5-15 visitors a day), so honestly we didn’t pay much attention to the email (I mean, it was absolutely great to be featured but we hadn’t faced any problems before that).
On July 14th when we’re about to leave the office, we started to receive a lot of comments from all our products visitors stating our website is unavailable…
We visited our Real-time Analytics Dashboard and were shocked: there’re about 500+ people sitting at our website at the same time (but the number was decreasing since most of them couldn’t open a single page)…
We spent about 3 hours to make our website live by switching to a more expensive hosting plan and making several optimizations. You may realize it was hard since we hadn’t prepared for that and there’re a lot of people online. But we managed to make our website stable enough to leave the office and have a great weekend with our families.
In a couple of days, the traffic decreased and we believed it was time to switch back to the previously used plan (and that’s what we did). However, a day before the campaign was over we received another sudden traffic spike, and we had to spend 2 hours on doing the same one more time…
Friday Freebie campaign real results and what Envato hadn’t told us
During this “crazy” week our WordPress theme received about 200k visitors (not bad for a product that had received less than 100 visits a week). During the time, the WordPress theme was free but we managed to sell about 20 licenses of several other products.
We’re not going to analyze the campaign effectiveness (you all are able to calculate it by yourselves), but it is REALLY important to keep the following in mind:
- Envato is the Marketplace with a huge traffic potential, and their job is to bring you the traffic;
- It is you, the author, who is in charge of developing products and make sure you’re able to receive the traffic and make your websites stable.
We wished Envato had warned us about the potential traffic spikes by sharing the email campaign schedule and told us they’re planning to send SO many emails at once. But we’re all humans, and we’re constantly learning from our mistakes…
How to be prepared for every Envato campaign
We really don’t know how much traffic the next Birthday campaign will potentially generate for its participants, but be ready to receive thousands of unique visitors (more than you can get after another product launch).
And just before the campaign is launched, we’d recommend you to do the following:
- Pay attention to the exact date and time of the campaign launch: we’re all in different time zones, and Envato may start the campaign while you’re sleeping
- Switch to a more expensive hosting plan (we’re using Digital Ocean now and we’re planning to use its $80 plan);
- Use any caching plugin for ALL your products demo websites (like WP Rocket or any other free alternative);
- You can use Cloudflare with its CDN too;
- Set real time monitoring (there are a lot of cheap ping services out there);
- And finally, cross promote some other products of yours by placing the banners on the chosen (for the campaign) product pages and drive additional traffic to them too.
We’d like to thank Envato one more time for the opportunity they gave us to sell our products here and to participate in such campaigns!
Best wishes for all Envato authors,
Ivan and the whole Open Marco Team.