We’ve all been there: we followed someone on social media or signed up for a company’s newsletter, and suddenly, we can’t seem to get them out of our feed. While it’s great to keep up with the latest news about the topics you like, it’s also really irritating if you are forced to read the news too often.
As marketers, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the latest trends. We do our research: we want to know which methods of customer engagement and retention are the most effective. We try our hardest to get our names out there and help customers remember us so they return to businesses over and over. But there comes a time when we might lose sight of what’s truly important—how the customer feels. Because that’s just it—the customer is still a person. They aren’t just a number or an algorithm. They have limits, and it’s easy for marketers to push these limits in an attempt to “authentically engage” with the customer.
So, we’d like to take this time to remind you of 5 things that you should NEVER do as a marketer. We call these things “overreaching,” and it’s important to remember that these are just guidelines. Some businesses thrive on contacting customers more often; others may not be looking for as much customer engagement. So, with that out of the way, let’s get started.
1. Do not send out newsletters multiple times a week.
The only time you should ever be sending frequent updates about your company is if your company is a news agency. Do you really want to hear from your favorite local restaurant 5 times a week? Probably not. Send out a newsletter often—perhaps once a week or once every other week—and you’ll keep your name fresh in the minds of your customers, but you won’t risk aggravating them and driving them away.
2. Don’t update social media sites too frequently.
Again, this depends on the type of business you run. And feeds ARE getting smarter by showing your followers more of the things that they care about (hopefully, one of those things is your business). But still, it’s not wise to update constantly. When you flood someone’s feed, you irritate them. They’re going to unfollow you pretty quickly if you don’t learn how to time your updates better.
3. NEVER sign people up for things without their permission.
It’s easy to do this. Say they entered a contest where they had to give you their phone number. It would be easy to add them to a list to get push notifications. But don’t do it. Nothing sets people off like getting contacted at a place they deem too personal or off-limits to marketers. And you can’t blame them—in today’s age, we’re so connected that it seems nearly impossible to have a respite from being marketed to. If you send them newsletters, emails, texts, or messages on other platforms, and you don’t have their express permission to do so, you’re not only going to lose a customer and fan; you could also face legal repercussions.
4. Don’t “clap back” if someone gets upset with you.
We’ve seen so many of those viral stories—companies get into a fight with a customer, causing the internet to take sides. Sometimes companies benefit, sometimes they don’t. Just don’t get involved with this sort of thing. Obviously, do not allow your customers to abuse you or your patrons, but don’t play any games, either. Remember, this is a business, not a high school (and high-schoolers should learn this skill as well, obviously! We’re not picking on high-schoolers!). Remember why it's important to engage in a professional manner, and it'll be easy to ignore that particularly difficult customer.
5. Don’t send desperate emails.
Have you ever shopped somewhere ONCE and received an email afterwards? Sure. That’s not so bad, right? But then you got another email. And another. And ANOTHER. And each email got progressively more strange and personal, saying things like, “What did we do wrong? Are we bothering you?”
Yep, you are.
Most people just hit delete on these emails. Others get pretty irritated by them. They’re too invasive, and they toe that line of being creepy. Don’t do it. It’s weird.
That's all we have to say about that.
Can you think of other things that count as overreaching? What advice would you give pushy marketers? Let us know!