I have recently encountered some marketing methods that I want to share with you.  If you want to irk, annoy, put off, agitate, confuse, and run off your valued readers and subscribers, make sure you do any or all of the following:

  • Make it hard for visitors to figure out how to sign up for your email list.
  • When they do sign up, put them through 20 different web pages of offers “that MUST be acted on NOW, you’ll NEVER see these again.”
  • Send them emails that have no reason or clue given for their request that you “click on this link for an important message.”
  • Inundate your subscribers with emails asking them to constantly do something for you (the occasional request makes them feel collaborative or engaged; constant requests will wear them out.)
  • Promote offers for programs that make you a lot of money but leave them feeling like they got scammed again.
  • Bombard your audience with constant, urgent “calls to action” that MUST be acted on NOW or the opportunity will be forever lost.
  • Send your audience sign-ups for programs you are promoting (and profit from) that have lots of grandiose claims of “riches” and sound like infomercials run before and after the Jerry Springer show.
  • Encourage your subscribers to sign up for a webinar, invite their friends, rearrange their schedule to accommodate you… only to log in and get a “webinar is full” message even though they pre-registered (like overselling airline seats or overbooking hotels… you show up to hear “tough luck.”)
  • Offer a product or conduct a webinar then make sure all the people who do not buy something  get pitched several more times in the following days.  Be sure to include some fake testimonials and “for one day only we’ve cut the price 99%!” incentives.
  • Offer your readers a product or service without putting the price of the product or service in the original solicitation; make them watch a 10-minute video and read a 27-foot-long sales page before presenting the price… and then follow up with at least a dozen pages of upselling.
  • Write emails that pretend like you know all your subscribers personally – when everyone knows that’s a junk-mail trick that has been around for decades.  There’s nothing wrong with using someone’s first name from their subscription, but don’t insult people by acting like  you wrote them a PERSONAL letter when everyone knows what mass mail is.
  • Present your audience with a great offer for a great price. Have then click “yes, I want to buy” but before you let them pay and get the product, make them walk through at least 16 additional offers, add-ons, and upsells.

This post is off the cuff and I decided to write it on the spur of the moment this morning after having seen a lot of this over the past couple of weeks.  Here’s my philosophy for cultivating loyalty with your subscribers:

  • Don’t abuse the privilege.
  • Don’t offer them something that is not TRULY of value to them.
  • Don’t over-hype.
  • Don’t pretend anything; people are wise to mass-marketing techniques.
  • Respond personally to every inquiry that is not standard customer-service stuff.
  • Be accessible and real… don’t come across as the ultimate of all gurus who can take others to the promised land.
  • Be respectful, servant-hearted, and always grateful for every person who invests their time in you by subscribing or reading your blog.

Your reputation depends on positive interaction with your readers; interaction that benefits them and that brings value to them.  When your readers invite you into their email boxes, you should take every opportunity to show them you deserve and appreciate their attention and value their time.

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