By William I. Lengeman III
There are probably a number of great ways to drive away potential customers. Flooding them with marketing messages is a pretty good one. Read on for a real-life example.
Americans take a backseat to no one when it comes to our relentless ability to monetize every conceivable facet of daily existence. It might not be a great and noble distinction but it's something. I guess.
The average American is exposed to something in the neighborhood of 471,000 marketing messages every day (you may want to run that number by a fact checker, but I'm sure it's in the right ballpark) and quite frankly I think most of us probably go numb to this sort of thing at about age seven. So what I'm leading up to is that you've really got to transgress pretty severely in your marketing communications to get under the skin of one of these jaded Americanos.
For me it happened not long after I registered so that I could make a comment at a Web site. I'm not much of a commenter, mind you, because I'd like to think I have a life. When confronted with the need to register in order to offer up a comment I usually remember about 47 other, better things to do. But this time around one of those prominent writing how-to sites was hosting a friendly competition, of sorts, for those who like to dabble in traditional poetic forms and I thought I'd weigh in.
I signed up, against my better judgment, did my thing and forgot about it. That is, until the marketing floodgates opened. Okay, to say that a flood of marketing messages ensued would be a bit strong but it was far above and beyond what I had expected and the flow was sufficient to really get on my nerves.
I'll address the naysaying right here and now. Yes, I'm sure I must have agreed at some point to receive marketing messages as a side effect of registering, although I don't specifically recall doing so. I don't have a problem with that. It seems fair that if I'm to use this entity's site in some manner that they be permitted to send me marketing messages. As far as giving me the option to manage my subscription, unsubscribe with just one measly little click, or kill my account altogether, yes, they also provided all of those options, just like a good Web marketer would.
But quite frankly, I probably wouldn't have been in such a hurry to cut off the flow of marketing messages if they hadn't been so numerous. I'm sure we all have our own ideas as to what's excessive in this arena, but for me 24 messages in 14 days was a bit much. So now I'll dutifully click one of those links and end my relationship with this particular marketer, probably forever. Which is not necessarily a big deal for them, since I'm not likely to ever purchase any of their products. On the other hand if the marketing messages had kept coming through at what I'd consider a reasonable rate, perhaps something would have eventually caught my interest.
We'll never know, will we?