How to Annoy People with Your Marketing

As a marketing consultant I pay attention to marketing and am easily annoyed.  How about you?  Here are four things that annoy me. . .and likely everybody else on the planet-

Instant pop-ups

Those things that grey out the rest of the page, pop up six seconds after you land on the page and ask you to sign up for a free newsletter or report.  Picture walking into a store and 10 feet in some jerk walks up to you and says “Hi, hey, give me your email address and we’ll send you our newsletter.”  Maybe better to give people more than 10 feet or six seconds to come to a conclusion about whether they want more information?!

Tricks

Nobody likes to feel tricked.  And is that really how you want someone to feel when you ask them to buy something?  “Huge sale, up to 70% off regular prices!!”  The trick is the words “up to.”  One item is discounted 70%, the rest are not.   Few people actually believe they are tricking people in their ads or websites, but any time you push expectations beyond what you deliver, the basic emotion that results is feeling tricked.  And nobody likes to feel tricked.

Buzzwords

I can’t even muster the will to give you examples.  But sentences so heavy-laden with buzzwords as to be rendered totally meaningless are just plain lazy.  Are you lazy?  Then take the time to understand what the people you are writing for are interested in.  And write about that.  Okay, I cant help it, here’s a great example:

“Our goal at ——————— is to serve as the nexus for expressing needs, tapping into the collective expertise of our membership community, and crafting pragmatic solutions. Our recent ——————— partnership provides practical ‘fact-based’ research to our members.”

WTF?  Yeah, that is taken from the home page of a company that should know better.  LAZY!

Endless rhetorical questions

Do you ever get to a web page where you want to understand what the product or service does and instead you have to wade through WAY too many rhetorical questions?  Don’t you think it would work better if the company ended with maybe two questions to establish you that you have the problem their product solves?  Don’t you hate it when that happens?  What, don’t those people search for things themselves?  You’d think they’d get it, wouldn’t you?!  Okay, you get the idea.  Yes, establish the problem before you start to present the solution (what you sell).  But, please, don’t be an idiot about it.

 

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