I routinely sign up for a bunch of digital freebies – not because I’m interested in learning the 17 ways to monetize my dog, but because I like to check out what other digital marketers are doing.
I like to study their email tendencies, check out their advertising re-targeting methods and see what their follow-up processes are.
I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say I’m signed up to at least a couple hundred marketers’ email lists – so it takes a lot to truly get my attention.
But a very specific email caught my eye the other day … something that I didn’t know how to react to.
I received a message from a freebie I subscribed to on asset management and financial literacy.
The subject line of the email read: “I thought you were serious…”
The first paragraph of the email read: “…about making money. Isn’t that why you signed up for my program? Guess I was wrong, JuanFinancialLiteracyList. That’s fine with me. Stay broke.”
Now, before I move forward, I want to make it clear that I am a direct-response marketer – my job is to evoke pain, emotions and a response from people who read my words. So I know exactly what the psychology behind this email was. As a matter of fact, I’ve used very similar language in sales pages and emails myself.
Despite all that, my thought after reading this was, “these rude motherf#$%^$!”
And I stand by my statement – not only was that rude, it was also bad marketing. I’d be surprised if that email got more than 1% clicks from the list who received it.
After thinking about how the email affected me, it also got me to thinking of ways in which marketers can be rude.
You see, marketers – we can be an irrational bunch sometimes…
…sometimes we focus so much on making the sale and telling our consumer how much they need our product or service that we come off as rude – and rude is very close to simply bad marketing.
So, since I’ve crossed that line a few times myself, I want to share with you a few signs that you might be a rude marketer – or that you’ve been treated rudely before:
You Don’t Personalize Your Messages To Customers
If your emails and advertisements aren’t personalized by name, region, interests, gender or any other demographic – you’re not only wasting your time and money, but you’re also pissing off your consumer.
No consumer wants to read a generic email or see a generic ad that doesn’t apply to them.
Get data on your consumer and use it to make them feel like they’re the only consumer in the world to you.
I hate this, but I’ve done it many times before.
‘Broadcasting’ means using your social and email platforms merely as a way to blast out updates about your upcoming events, new offers, your new blogs, etc. There’s no ‘social’ part involved in this.
This is how traditional marketing used to run, with newspaper, TV, radio & billboard advertisements, but it’s such an outdated strategy – and yet, many marketers still use it.
After a while, your audience is going to get tired of you always promoting yourself and stop paying attention.
You Use Misleading Images
This is one of the classic elements of spammers.
Using a gimmicky image of a celebrity or well-known establishment in an ad with an intriguing headline…but once the user clicks, the landing page has little or nothing to do with the image.
This will cause a lot of user trust issues with your site and future ads.
You Deliver A Poor User Experience
Probably the worst thing you can do after acquiring a consumer is delivering a poor user experience.
This can range from anything to grammar mistakes in your emails, to poor customer service response time, to a slow website (see below), to wrong links, to lagging product deliverability, to no follow-up, etc.
Once you get a consumer interested in what you have to offer, you need to keep nurturing them & keep providing value – make them happy they chose to spend time with you instead of someone else.
You Have A Slow Website
Aside from being very important to your SEO and search rankings (having a slow website causes high exit rates, which drops your SEO score), having a slow website is just rude nowadays.
According to surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.
Essentially, you’re wasting someone’s time if your site doesn’t load quickly. That’s just rude.
You Don’t Segment
Again with the ‘personalization.’
Marketers who send mass emails to their entire list without segmenting their audiences are not only losing some of their subscribers, but they’re also losing credibility.
Consumers are smart nowadays – they’ve seen places like Amazon, Facebook and Google customize messages to them…so they expect the same from every other marketer out there.
You Only Talk About Yourself
Some say that self-promotion is the best promotion, but I like to think that the best promotion is when others promote for you. It’s more organic & believable this way.
Unfortunately, some businesses and brands only use email and social media to talk about – and serve – themselves.
As a consumer, yes, I care about what you can do for me and how you can help, but more so than that, I’m interested in knowing that you care.
I’m not going to care about you until I know you care about me.
You’re A Copy Cat
Yes, imitation is the best form of flattery, but there’s a limit to this.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the same email, same landing page, and virtually same product from so many different marketers.
It’s tiring, really.
I totally understand the concept behind replicating and duplicating what’s already working, but if you’re merely copying what is already out there, you can only hope to be as good as someone’s already been.
Instead of doing something original, you do what everyone else is doing. As a result, you don’t stand out and nobody notices your business. Take a risk—do something different.
This one should go without saying, but unfortunately, so many marketers out there are unethical and lack integrity.
Being ethical means telling the truth, making accurate claims, not exaggerating, not exploiting, not spamming and not being pushy.
Being unethical isn’t only a rude tactic, it’s also a surefire way to cause consumers to hate you and possibly muddy your name online.
Yes, it can be easy to fall in the trap of fibbing about yourself or the results your product delivers, but trust me – the truth always sells and continues to sell best.
What are some bad digital marketing practices you find ‘rude’? Let me know in the comments below!