Marketing sins

7 Marketing Sins That Scare Away Prospects

Cara Peppers Blog, Content and Creative

What if I told you, that you could be scaring off several to many prospects per day—without even being aware of it. “Ignorance is not bliss” in this case. Ignorance here is costing you customers. While these are only metaphorically “sins,” nonetheless, they could be sending your bottom line to hell in a hand basket.

In this article, we’ll help you spot these marketing mistakes to insure you aren’t driving away prospects by falling short in these important areas. The good news is, these “marketing sins” are problems which are easy to remedy.

Thy Shall Not Be Irrelevant
Whether it’s your email newsletter or blog posts, filler is killer, as in death. Match your content to the expectations of your audience. Stay on topic within the interests of your audience.

If your audience is at significantly different knowledge levels, consider segmenting your email lists accordingly. When writing articles for your blog, you can add certain phrases to the headline such as: “beginning guide to…” or “expert tips for…” or “for the experienced…” and so on, which immediately identifies which level the article is for.

Thy Shall Not Clutter
Presentation matters. One of the most common design sins of any marketing piece is bad organization. Whether it’s your web site, landing page, newsletter, ad, white paper, report, ebook—it’s all the same; they all need excellent organization of information.

Make your point, but make it in as few steps as possible. In presenting anything, there is always the balance between needing to impart all the information and trying to keep it short. Less is more.

Make everything easily scannable by eye by using sub-headings, bullet points and keeping paragraphs short.

Don’t assume your viewer “gets it.” Test your pieces.

Thy Shall Not Confuse
The worst web site or landing page sin is for the viewer to have difficulty finding the most important items. Navigation matters. Make it easy to find key pieces of info, contact info, and the search function. Make sure social media links are easy to spot.

If pricing is involved, make sure it is easy to find and that the critical points of pricing are apparent. Pricing is often the first place a visitor navigates to.

Make your navigation easy, user-friendly and clean.

Thy Shall Not Pop Up, Out and Over
While pop-ups can be helpful, they are also distracting. Pop-overs that temporarily interrupt what you are reading, take over the page and dim out the page view, can be particularly annoying. These can be definite prospect scare off devices. Not good.

While you want to encourage email signups, you also don’t want to annoy your visitor (and especially continually at every turn). Often, making your email signup offer prominently visible in the header or sidebar, can be just as effective as the intrusive pop-over, slide out or popup.

Thy Shall Not Tempt and Deceive
We’ve all heard the term “link bait.” Link baiting, particularly in ads, is where one uses headlines and images that are hard to resist clicking. The baiting part of it is, it gives the impression of one thing (the part that makes one want to click), only to lead to something other than what the initial impression lead one to believe. Highly deceptive? You bet.

This tactic might give you clicks, but it destroys trust. Not only in your company, but it can reflect on your products, too, even if the product is something the prospect wants. This is not the way to build up long-term clients or a good reputation.

Thy Shall Not Lie
You know what … yeah, this is a sin. Don’t lie about what your products can do. Don’t lie to attract visitors. Viral success is short-lived. If you make a flub, whether in a statement or a product—own up to it. Lying only makes a bad situation worse.

Thy Shall Not Overdo
While that flashy intro animation or grooving music or other special effect may be dazzling; such introductions can also be nothing more than a time-wasting distraction. Avoid visual gluttony. Get straight to the point. The point being—what your visitors are coming for. When such hoopla causes the visitor to have to wait until they can get what they came for, it is often the cause for them jumping ship and going elsewhere.

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About the Author
Cara Peppers

Cara Peppers