Marketing techniques that annoy!

I have been researching the internet marketing space for a little while and as a result have got myself onto more mailing lists than I care for.  Yes, time I started following tip #4 from my Time Management Post!

I thought I would share some of the most annoying ones that I’ve come across so far.

The Persistent Upsell

“Would you like fries with that?”  Most of us are familiar with this classic upsell.  On the internet, this manifests itself after you have clicked “Buy” and provided your details.  “Before you go……, you might be interested in….. at $xx ONLY TODAY”.  From a marketing perspective, there are some clever aspects to it.  The sense of urgency is definitely there.  Then you click “Ignore” or “I’ll pass” and you’re faced with another offer and then another.  I believe I’ve seen up to 5 levels.

One level of upsell is probably clever – strike while the iron is hot.  Two, three, four….., I call that greed.  It’s annoying and undignified.  As a consumer, I now automatically click ignore or just close my browser.


Have you arrived on a website immediately to be greeted by a pop-up that asks you to sign up for its newsletter?  I have never understood why any marketer would do this and I understand even less why anyone would provide their details!  Visitors who have arrived on a website for the first time have not even been allowed the opportunity to assess its value before being “sold”.  These pop-ups are as annoying as the telemarketing phone calls from India just when you sit down to dinner!

Slightly lower down the annoyance scale are the pop-ups that come up as you navigate around the site.  I’m not surprised that some people have their pop-up blockers permanently on, but are these effective against the animated pop-ups that follow you around?

The only saving grace I believe is when there is an offer that you absolutely can’t refuse on the pop-up that just hits the mark, but I question how often this happens.  The “sign-up for our newsletter” one certainly doesn’t fall into this bucket.

Email lists – newsletters with no value

Most lists that people get on these days are as a result of some bribe or incentive e.g. free report, free e-book and so on.  List building is valid technique that I have no issues with and in fact, encourage my clients to adopt.  The trouble is when you get on a list and are either disappointed by the free giveaway, the never-ending sales pitch or the recycled information that you receive in your inbox thereafter.  List building should start with building credibility and adding value.

Many experts recommend that you keep in regular contact with your lists.  When regular contact is several times a week with not much new information or value provided, I believe credibility starts to erode, and personally, I get to a point when I can’t stand it anymore and I unsubscribe.  Thankfully, most lists that I have subscribe to so far have genuinely allowed unsubscription!

Never-ending call-to-actions

All effective marketing campaigns require calls to action but there is such a thing as too much – too many reminders of deadlines approaching, of missing out, of losing out.  This is a close cousin of the “persistent upsell”.  There is a theory that you need to contact your potential customer at least 5 times before he or she is ready to buy.  That formula may have some basis if each contact you’ve had has added to your credibility, not if each one is an annoying sales pitch.

Hopefully, some of these points have provided food for thought for those in the internet marketing game and for those planning to emulate these strategies, a word of warning that they might backfire!

About the Author

Coach Mi

I'm a business coach passionate about helping women make the impossible possible! Do get in touch. I would love to have a chat to see how I can help.

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