Monday, February 08, 2010

Marketing Annoyances

I'm trying to create an entrepreneur's mindset this year. I'm hoping to either find a way to supplement my income by freelancing or to escape cubicle work entirely. I've been studying how other people do things so that when I come up with a product or service idea, I don't make the same mistakes. Here are some of the ways I hope I NEVER use to market to other people. I wish people would stop doing this to me.

Failure to note preferences

I have an account on Barnes & I also have a nook. I get several emails from B&N every week about their specials. That doesn’t bother me. I also get several emails from them every week about how great the nook is and why I should buy one. That does bother me for the following reason: I'VE ALREADY GOT ONE, YOU IDIOTS! How hard would it be to tailor your marketing emails to me based on my user account? Stop sending me product announcements for products I already have.

Last chance!

I'll sign up for almost any free report or free ebook download. I'll especially sign up for any of them that sound like they'll help me meet my goals, like working for myself and not working in a cubicle anymore. However, most smart marketers will offer some information in a free report and try to get you to buy some of their informational products. Some also create "boot camps". If the info in the free report is useful, I’ll assume that the info product is as well. If I learn nothing new from the free material, I’ll assume there’s no reason to pay to learn what I already knew.

Last year, I registered for a "social media teleseminar". It sounded interesting, but didn't include any information I didn't already know. The person who put on the seminar was trying to get people to register for his social media bootcamp. I declined, partly because I can't really afford to drop thousands of dollars on such things right now, even if the investment would pay off hundreds of times over.

Every time this social media bootcamp starts up, I start getting emails about it. OK, no problem; it doesn't take me long to delete them. But they keep coming, almost one every time a seat sells out. "Act now! Only 25 seats remaining in social media bootcamp!" "Act now, only 24 seats remaining in social media bootcamp!"..."Act now! Only 13 seats remaining in social media bootcamp!" I know it's supposed to create a sense of urgency and scarcity, but I find it annoying.

Another Internet marketer that I signed up to receive emails from literally sent THREE "This is absolutely your last chance ever for this offer" emails yesterday. Right. When I take the long term view, I don't believe it. He'll send another "This is your last chance email" out within the next 20 minutes. And another one 20 minutes after that. Then the next week, the same marketing program will be out at the same price for the last chance ever once again.

What's holding you back?

Here's another one I came across recently. I got yet ANOTHER email about a Multi-Level Marketing "opportunity". I sent out a tweet in annoyance that I have no interest in EVER doing MLM AGAIN. I got a contact about autoresponders. I clicked on the link and gave my name and email address and got the free information. OK, great idea, great price. If I had a product or service, I'd jump on the 30 day trial. But I keep getting email after email after email from the autoresponder asking what's holding me back and reminding me about the 30 day free trial. Here's what's holding me back: I don't yet have a product or service that I'm ready to "go live with". When I get one, I'll sign up for the trial. Leave me alone until that point, before I decide NOT to use you when I'm ready.

Oh, come on, there’s a free estimate

This one isn’t Internet related. At least, I haven’t come across it on the Internet. My wife and I went to two Homeshows recently. At the homeshows, the businesses present try to drum up some new business from your needs. They’re obviously trained to overcome objections. At the first Homeshow, I spent so much time dealing with unwanted sales calls that I decided never to give my number out again ever. Don’t call me; I’ll call you. At the second Homeshow, some salespeople did pressure me into giving out my number. Then it got annoying.

I keep getting calls for them to come out. I keep telling them that I’m not ready to commit to doing anything right now. They keep up with the “Oh, just let us meet with you. It’s a free estimate and it’s good for a year”. Right, like I could commit to a $25,000 sunroom being done within a year. Not likely to happen.

I hate being rude, but I started ignoring the calls.

So here's the big question:

I believe that commerce is moral and righteous. Business is a good thing. But can I expect to meet with success in business on the Internet without annoying the crap out of other people? I want to be a success, but I don’t want to be annoying.

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