Are Your Marketing Efforts Scaring Customers Away?

Are Your Marketing Efforts Scaring Customers Away?

Marketing efforts are supposed to attract customers - not scare them away. While no company sets out to drive away its customers, many companies end up achieving this by using the wrong marketing tactics. Just what types of tactics are likely to scare customers away? This post lists a few of the biggest culprits.


Clickbait involves using misleading images or text in order to get someone to click on your advert or content. In its most innocent form, it can often end up being annoying (such as using hyperbolic phrases such as ‘you won’t believe this’ for things that are quite believable). There are then fewer innocent versions of clickbait that involve using false claims - these types of clickbait are illegal and should be avoided at all costs. Instead of trying to mislead customers, focus on using email subject lines and adverts that are attention-grabbing but honest.

Pop-up abuse

Pop-ups can be effective at getting information across, but many websites use them incorrectly. The best way to use pop-ups is often to delay them (with the exception of ‘accept cookies’ pop-ups). This way a customer has time to peruse your website first. This could include triggering them to appear after clicking on a certain number of pages. Or, triggering them to appear only after a visitor returns to your site. What you don’t want to do is immediately bombard visitors with multiple pop-ups. After all, this could just encourage impatient visitors to leave your website. A website design company will be able to help you trigger pop-ups the right way.

Mandatory account sign-ups

Many eCommerce websites make the mistake of requiring visitors to create accounts before being able to buy a product. Creating an account can be time-consuming. It also often means remembering a new password. Some customers simply do not have the energy for this and they may decide not to buy your product. While there are definitely benefits to providing the option of creating an account (such as signing up customers to your mailing list and collecting better data on customers), there should ideally be an option to buy products without signing up. Instead, you could allow customers to simply use social media or email accounts to sign up, allowing you to still collect information.

Email spamming

Email spamming involves sending unsolicited emails to people in bulk. This isn’t just annoying, but illegal in some parts of the world. You can still send cold emails to potential customers who you may not have had contact with. You can also follow up on these emails. However, you cannot add people to mailing lists without their permission. Sending excessive follow-ups is also not advised. Too many emails may even be viewed as ‘harassment’.

Disabled comments

When it comes to YouTube videos and social media posts, some companies like to disable comments or disable replies in order to discourage negative criticism. The problem with doing this is that it prevents people who may be genuinely interested in your product from asking questions. Disabling comments can also suggest negative things about your company. In fact, it could suggest that you’re used to getting criticism and that your product is therefore flawed in some way. It is better to leave comments open in order to show that you have nothing to hide from.

Overused stock photos

Stock photos are easy to obtain and often royalty-free. As a result, many businesses that are strapped for cash and time will rely on stock images when creating website content and adverts. The problem with relying on royalty-free stock photos is that many of them are overused in marketing efforts. If you’re a B2B business, your clients may even have used the same stock photos within their marketing. Stock photos that are too familiar could cheapen your business image and put off customers. By using original photos, you can ensure that your marketing comes across as fresh. That isn’t to say that you can’t use stock photos. Just don’t rely entirely on them and try to take your time to look for less commonly used stock photos that will set your business apart.

Information overload

Many customers like to be well-informed about a product or service. However, you can risk exhausting customers by throwing too much information at them in a short amount of time. While it can be good to provide facts and figures in sales pitches, you need to be careful of drowning customers in facts and figures. The same goes for promotional videos and website pages. It’s possible to go overboard by adding too many facts and figures. Unless you’re creating an informational deep-dive guide, it’s best to only use a handful of facts and figures when promoting your product or service. Try to consider the knowledge level of your customers and avoid using too much technical language. Especially, if they’re likely to only have entry-level knowledge.

Keyword stuffing

Adding keywords to your website content can help to improve your rankings. However, you need to be careful as to how you use keywords in your marketing efforts. Forcing too many keywords into a webpage could be distracting and could prevent customers from understanding what you’re getting at. There are many keyword tools that can help you to implement keywords in a natural way. Alternatively, you could try hiring copywriters to do this for you.

Cliched phrases

There are certain phrases that have become overused in marketing efforts and copy over the years. Phrases like ‘cutting edge’, ‘we go the extra mile' and ‘one-stop shop’ could have potential customers rolling their eyes. When writing marketing copy, try to avoid filler phrases and instead find ways to be creative when describing your product or service.

Automatic replies

Many companies use automatic replies to save time. However, you could find that such replies put off certain customers who may be eager to talk to a human. You should avoid automatic replies when dealing with new customers or unique requests from existing customers. They are better reserved as confirmation emails or out-of-office emails. However, you’re better off not using the phrase ‘out of office’ considering that most people can receive emails on the go nowadays.

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