How to Avoid Over-Marketing

over marketing

There is a fine line between effective marketing and intrusive marketing. On one hand, it’s important to maintain regular communication with your audience and constantly seek new leads. On the other, inundating people will cause them to unsubscribe, unfollow or block your communications. Here are four ways to avoid over-marketing.

1. Respect permission

If someone has given you their contact information, think of this as permission to market, not a right. This basic tenant will orient you as a courteous marketer.

For email, an unsubscribe option is legally mandatory (in the U.S.) by the CAN-SPAM Act and needs to be easy to navigate and present in every email. Your audience is not captive; they can leave whenever they want. Your job is to make them not want to in the first place. How to do that?

2. Balance value and selling

Though selling your product or service is the end goal of marketing, not every communication should necessarily be a sales pitch. Turning every public holiday or current event into a self-promotion platform can be obnoxious and turn people off. Instead, intersperse sales pushes with content that is interesting and relevant to your subscribers – and include an option to buy as an aside.

Ideas for content include a contest for subscribers (simultaneously a way to drive engagement), a how-to blog article for using your product or service or a campaign with a charitable component. Adding value is the key here. You want to reward your subscribers for giving you permission to market to them, not annoy them.

Interacting is also important, now more than ever, with marketing increasingly a multilateral rather than one-way messaging from brands to consumers. Include ways for your audience to talk to you, especially on social media.

And speaking of your audience…

3. Know what your customers like

First, it is crucial that you have access to good data for your communications and are constantly checking it. Email opens, landing page click-through rates, Instagram likes – whatever your campaign is, monitor its key metrics to learn what you are doing successfully, what you are failing at and how to make your next campaign better. Marketing technology like Easypurl’s platform can track, analyze and visualize your marketing data for you, to save you time for big-picture strategizing.

It’s also important to provide feedback channels regularly and respond to the information mined from them. For email, consider segmenting your list based on what respondents say they want to receive content about.

For unsubscribe buttons, consider having an option to leave just one particular segment (e.g. unsubscribe to newsletters but stay subscribed to sales deals) and also a quick form asking why the person is unsubscribing, as a sort of ‘exit poll’. Easypurl’s platform can help you to set up and run all of this.

4. Frequent contact vs. spam

As mentioned earlier, regular contact keeps your brand fresh and current in consumers’ awarenesses. However, everyone hates spam. In addition to providing value-added content, here are so ways to avoid spamming:

  • Follow your own brand across all channels: Put yourself in your audience’s shoes to get their side of the experience and troubleshoot anything that you may be doing wrong.
  • Don’t duplicate the exact same content over multiple channels: Each channel should have conscious differences, particularly in writing tone, to optimize that particular platform. Thus, content should be unique, not copy-pasted. Strong internal coordination is important here so that your email writer, press release writer, social media manager and so on all send out things that complement but do not overly overlap with each other. (There are exceptions where overlap should occur, of course, such as a major announcement or brand-specific language.)
  • Give people a chance to breathe: Especially on social media feeds, people like to see a variety of voices, not the same account posting ten times consecutively. Space out your content in accordance with how much you want to post.

The point of it all

In the past, the only constraint to marketing was cost, but in today’s world of unsubscribes and ad-blockers, companies are made to pay for over-marketing. It is not possible or necessary to prevent losing every single subscriber; rather, each organization will determine its own ideal list size, Twitter follower count and so on. But it is possible to minimize opt-outs with the above methods.

Tricks and tips aside, the best way to avoid over-marketing is to be genuine and self-aware. In an increasingly advertising-savvy world, people know that companies reach out to them with the goal of driving sales. So be honest and forthright with customers and potential customers, don’t talk down to them and listen to their feedback.

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