Tobacco and 1 more...less...

Tobacco Cessation Community Coalition

# of new visitors to while media is running

28,014Q2 2020

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Story Behind the Curve

Last Updated: May 12, 2020

Author: Tobacco Control Program, Vermont Department of Health

Web traffic is to Internet marketing as location is to real estate. It's the only thing that really matters. If you cannot generate targeted visitors to your site, you will not achieve the desired results, which in this case is to assist Vermonters interested in quitting tobacco.

For this performance measure, the tobacco program tracks the number of new visitors to each quarter. As resources allow, the program runs digital promotion throughout the year. In Quarter 1, 2020 we gained 2,522 unique new users to the website while mass media and digital display and search advertising was running. A slight increase may also be attributed to attention around the risk of EVALI and COVID-19 to people who smoke and vape.

 “Targeted visitors” refer to the demographic and psychographic profiles of the specific audiences an intervention is attempting to reach. The number of visitors to a website becomes the number of opportunities to share a brand, to give an impression, to build a relationship. The more traffic to the website or landing page, the more opportunities to generate qualified leads (in this case, people motivated enough to consider quitting), to nurture and help solve a problem, and ultimately to sell a product/service or influence change.

Because our mass media is purchased to reach a specific audience (household income of less than $50,000; education of high school or less; more male than female; at risk of using tobacco), the visitor to is most likely to come from this population. Therefore, in this case, website visits = contemplation to quit, either for the reader or for someone the reader cares about.

To obtain a benchmark for the key performance indicator of new visitors to, we reviewed the average number of new visitors to the site over the past two years when in campaign and when not in campaign by day.

The result:
In campaign average new visitors per day: 128
Out of campaign average new visitor per day: 57

In any given quarter when we purchase mass media, assuming +/- 9 weeks in campaign and +/- 3 - 4 weeks out of campaign, the estimate based on the figures above will be 9,660 new visitors. We made the stretch goal of 10,000 new visitors when we are in quarters containing a cessation campaign. This is a benchmark which may be altered as we continue to track. However, we believe now that we have the information to create this stat as an indicator that the campaign is attracting new engagement with the website, and an indication of the number of visits by people showing an intention to quit.


Rescue Agency:

HMC Advertising

CDC’s Media Campaign Resource Center (MCRC)



What Works

The 2014 Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs (CDC)

“recommends mass-reach health communication interventions on the basis of strong evidence of effectiveness” for decreasing prevalence of tobacco use. Increasingly, all Americans are using the web as a credible source for health information. A 2016 Pew Research Center study   emphasized the "sharp uptick" in Smart phone ownership (not just cell phones) with lower-income Americans; roughly three-quarters of Americans (77%) own a smartphone. Our primary research reinforced this trend. Therefore, having information online, optimized for mobile phones, and a website easy to navigate with elements important to our audience (real stories, free resources and NRT) is key to motivating more smokers to consider quitting.

Action Plan

We plan to maintain or increase this number of new visitors in the future by continuing to evolve our mass media to motivate more tobacco users to consider quitting.

  • Utilize best and promising practice and a mix of communication channels to motivate and assist Vermonters with quitting tobacco. Quitting tobacco can take, on average, 8 - 11 attempts, and well above that to succeed for some people. Mass reach and digital promotion assist in quitting by motivating and steering toward effective resources to make one's quit more successful.
  • Ad buys will continue to be purchased in alignment with CDC’s best practice.
  • We continue to increase our use of digital promotion. Research shows that digital is increasingly an efficient way to reach our population. All ad buys include digital.
Why Is This Important?

Together these performance measures focus on whether Vermonters are better off as a result of the Health Department's Tobacco Control Program. They do so by looking at the quality and efficiency of these programs and services. This performance measure is important because it measures HOW WELL the program is doing in reaching and educating new Vermonters about free available resources through 

Scorecard Result Container Indicator Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S R I P PM A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy