The 3 Million Dollar Post – How Lifehacker Drove 3 Million Dollars In Glasses Sales With 1 Post

American_CashThe power of online content appears to be limitless; once something goes viral then it can have wide reaching effects. Look at Gangnam Style and just imagine the amount of money that it pulled in for Psy and his record label. A less dynamic piece of content was a Lifehacker article recently published about online glasses stores. It didn’t make people dance like idiots all over the world, but it proved to be very successful in driving traffic to the brands featured in the article. It got me thinking about how much revenue this one article was responsible for, so I used SimilarWeb PRO to examine the figures.


Calculating The Estimated Income

Using SimilarWeb PRO, I looked at the referral traffic to each online glasses store in July ’14 and then worked out which percentage of this came via the Lifehacker article. I then looked at the average price of one unit sold by each store and multiplied this by the number of visits to the success page. This resulting figure would allow me to identify the estimated income for each company as a result of the Lifehacker article.

Whilst carrying out these calculations I had to make a couple of assumptions which I’ll share with you now:

  1. Conversion rate – to calculate this figure I had to assume that the Lifehacker traffic behaves in a similar manner to that of typical traffic reaching the glasses store. Therefore, I assumed Lifehacker’s traffic would result in the same conversion rate.
  2. Average sale price per unit – this figure is difficult to confirm as I don’t know how many pairs of glasses are sold in each transaction, it could be two or it could be three. To avoid any anomalies in the data I veered on the side of caution and assumed it was one pair per transaction.


How Much Did Each Store Make?

The most successful store in terms of revenue was WarbyParker with over $1.6 million dollars of income all thanks to the Lifehacker article. Eyebuydirect received just over $1 million of revenue due to the Lifehacker article, but received over 4,000 more visits to their success page than WarbyParker – the premium costs of WarbyParker’s products, though, ultimately saw them gain more income. Zennioptical received just 11,000 less desktop visits – as a result of Lifehacker – than Eyebuydirect, but were only rewarded with a little over $47,000 in estimated income.

Coastal received a hundred less visits to their success page than Zennioptical, but thanks to an average price set $50 higher, Coastal received nearly $100,000 more in income. ClearlyContacts received the lowest amount of referrals from Lifehacker and this is reflected in their estimated income of $27,935 which is the lowest of all the stores featured. Goggles4U received just over 65,000 visits via Lifehacker, but due to their low cost items (average $30), they scored very well in the conversion stakes with around 3,300 transactions.


Powerful Content

The figures presented are astounding and prove just how powerful content can be. In this case it generated nearly $3 million worth of income. That’s a hell of a lot for one article and highlights how important it is to build good relationships with affiliates – no one wants to miss out on a single dollar of revenue, let alone a million! The data we uncovered is also useful for competitive analysis as SimilarWeb PRO’s data gives a good indicator of how successful the pricing strategies were for each store. Identifying why your competitors received more income from a particular strand of traffic could prove very important in rethinking your own pricing strategies.

About the Author -

Ari is the Sr. Director of Corporate Marketing at SimilarWeb. He has spent the last decade in ad-tech working on the agency side of the business before jumping over to Kenshoo where he launched their marketing activities. He also led the marketing for Adquant, a Facebook ad platform, making it a top 10 Facebook PMD prior to its acquisition.

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