6 Aggressive Marketing Habits Your Customers Find Annoying
While capturing your target audience’s information is great, overly aggressive marketing can produce more lost customers than conversions.
Marketing to your target audience to get conversions—it seems like such a simple idea, but even after doing all of your research and identifying the audience, you can still run the risk of aggressive marketing. What is overly aggressive marketing in the truest sense? It comes down to crossing the line between offering customers quality and useful services versus badgering them to buy something so you can increase your bottom line.
Just like with many older forms of marketing like telemarketing, door-to-door sales, and leaving flyers on people’s car windshields, annoying people with overly aggressive marketing strategies is the surest way to turn people off your brand and possibly cause them to evangelize your annoying behaviors to their friends.
There are several things over-eager marketers do that annoy potential customers, all of which can be avoided with careful planning and a different approach:
You meet someone new, and immediately try to sell them something
Whether you have added a new person to your network as a new connection on LinkedIn or received a business card at an event, first impressions (as well as follow-up impressions) are quite essential to maintaining a working relationship. If the first communication you send to them is “Here is something I’d like you to buy,” that relationship will likely dissolve the moment they receive your message.
Alternative: Begin to strengthen the relationship by providing insight on matters they care about and provide valuable content that they may find intriguing about your industry. Once you have built a rapport with the individual, you can begin to see what issues they have and solutions you can offer.
Someone buys something from you, and you automatically send them ads
When a customer buys something from your online store, they often are asked by you to submit their email address so that you can send a confirmation email. A standard method for capturing emails, it can quickly become aggressive marketing if you begin sending them marketing material the moment you get their email. This expedient response can be particularly annoying if what you are selling is something that is seldom purchased by the average customer such as a vehicle, computer, or another highly-priced item. Most people are not interested in buying something similar right away and will unsubscribe quickly.
Alternative: Provide new customers with insightful content that can help them better use your product or service such as tips, videos, tutorials, etc. Hold off on an actual sales pitch attempt until they have had time to settle in with their first purchase. They will find this kind of marketing much more appropriate and useful in addition to not feeling like you are just trying to squeeze money out of them.
Market to complete strangers from a contacts list you obtained
While not all marketers do this, some do get contact lists through 3rd parties like various organizations, and typically in exchange for money. The biggest problem with this overly-broad approach is just that: it is untargeted and a large effort for what often results in poor conversions. This lack of leads stems from the fact that many of the people you will contact don’t want nor need what you are offering, didn’t want to be contacted in the first place, and will begin losing trust in any organizations they may have provided their information to.
Alternative: In short, don’t do this at all. It’s not very practical in this day and age where people hate being contacted out of the blue to be solicited, and will often ensure that your reputation becomes damaged as “that annoying company who bothers people.” Instead, opt to do your due diligence and research who your target audience is. Take your message to where they like to be (events, online forums, websites, social media, etc.) instead of throwing your ads around to see what sticks.
Send advertisements WAY too often
The frequency at which you send your ads to your customer base can be just as important as when you send them during the week. If you are launching a new campaign every other day, or you follow-up within a few days with a “hey, I’ll sweeten the deal if you buy now,” the unsubscribe button will get more hits than your buy button. Any more than once a week can become annoying quickly, and recipients may begin marking your messages as spam.
Alternative: Get to know your target audience and the frequency at which they prefer to get your marketing messages. A/B testing at different time intervals may be necessary to get a consensus as to when and how often your messages will be read, coinciding of course with a number of unsubscriptions that might occur.
Ignore customer feedback
This one should seem like a no-brainer, but there are still enough marketers out there that think they know better than their target audience. It’s always in your best interest to listen to your customer base’s grievances and address them, particularly if they are upset about your over marketing attempts. When you begin to get multiple complaints about your marketing campaigns, you should take them into consideration when planning your next ad email blast.
Alternative: Adjust things like content, frequency, and offers to match what your customer base wants from you.
Too many invasive pop-ups
While pop-up ads and calls-to-action have become very popular among marketers, their frequency and placement are still something to be desired for many organizations. A particularly annoying tactic is placing these pop-ups right over important buttons or spaces that halt the customer’s progress in going to the next page. While this has been thought to be a clever trick to upsell, most customers find this interruption to their flow irritating, particularly if they have a hard time getting rid of an ad that has appeared of the checkout button.
Alternative: Careful consideration of where to place these ads as well as when to have then appeared can make all the difference between a smooth experience and a clunky one. Try keeping pop-ups small enough so that they do not distract and keep them away from areas on the web page where they might interrupt the customer’s flow. Adding a bounce effect or other visual action can remind customers that your pop-up is there without impeding anything.