Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Letter to Online Marketers: 6 Annoying Things You Should Stop Doing Now

Like many of you, I subscribe to quite a few newsletters and blogs, and  and overall I've been thrilled to see the evolution of online marketing grow and develop from what it was a year ago, and even six months ago.  With what might be called "social media 3.0,"  we are seeing the refinement of the sales funnel, the deluxe landing page complete with snappy videos and juicy offers, the clever blog post, the provocative Tweet, the valuable Facebook post, the super slick e-book.  As subscribers and viewers, and maybe even as publishers and entrepreneurs ourselves, we have how to's, giveaways to Pittsburgh and Paris, iPads and iPhone offers coming out of our ears.

 I've been a loyal fan of Problogger, Chris Brogan, Writing Roads,  Copyblogger, Sharon Hurley-Hall, and Michael Martine at Remarkablogger for several years now.  Why? Because they get it right.  They use photos and other multimedia well. They vary their topics and style. They offer value.  But there are also publishers who make their way into my  in box and I end up wishing they hadn't. You don't have to be a Chris Brogan or a Darren Rouse or a Mari Smith, to get it right online. When you know what makes for good, effective marketing, it makes it all the more --frustrating, shall we say - when we see folks doing it wrong - by that I mean wrong marketing approach. Here's what I suggest not doing:

1. Please do not send me an invitation to a live, in-person conference in Iceland 2 days before the event, when I don't live anywhere near Iceland and cannot in a million years envision myself hopping a plane to Iceland at the last minute for anything except a family emergency, which would never happen because I don't have any family in Iceland.  I don't care if you promise me the key to the city, a lifetime of free books,  an ongoing supply of my favorite chocolate brownies, and the internet marketing secrets of the stars...I'm not going.
Hint: Try segmenting your newsletter list so that someone who lives in or near Iceland and who has indicated interest in event there, might want to receive the information and actually attend.

2. Please do not write blog post after blog post about how you're a millionaire and you're writing this post from a Hawaiian island and how you can take six months off a year or do whatever, and then hit me up for a $30 report or webinar. If you don't need the money, why are you charging a fee? I'm not impressed that you are a millionaire, because guess what? I don't believe you. There's no way you're getting my $30 dollars and I'm unsubscribing.
Hint: Being authentic doesn't mean showing off. Maybe you should share details of your life in a different way. And if in fact you are a millionaire, how about donating your profits to a charitable cause.

3. I love writers and writing, but in this day and age, communicating only with the written word and no multimedia is the equivalent of "web no.O." There's a good chance I will get bored with you, even if you have the spirit of Steinbeck and the flair of Fitzgerald. Sorry, but I need a jpeg once in a while.
Hint: How about a video clip, or a photo upload, or even a podcast. 

4. Do not auto Tweet, and particularly do not auto Tweet literary quotes and quotes from famous people. It creates the impression that you do not get social media and that you don't care if you get it. In the same vein, do not link to a white paper PDF from a year ago and auto post it 10 times a day. I'm going to block you and unfriend you, for sure.
Hint: How about taking the time you would have spent setting up the auto tweets, to find real links to real information that your friends and followers will find valuable.  

5. A survey with no reward is just plain depressing. Please, if I'm going to go to the trouble of answering your online survey when I have 100 emails, and errands and projects to take care of, make it worth it. Offer me a free goodie, I'll take you up on it.
Hint: Offer a free goody as I said, I'll take you up on it.

6. Another Twitter note: do not follow me with the expectation of me following you back, if you have a strange icon on your profile and no photo, or no web site linked to your account, and no signs of interaction in your Tweets for days on end. Myy Twitter fraud radar goes up, and I think you're a program and not a person.
Hint: Make sure your Twitter profile includes your professional image, link to your website, and a clear business title and tag line that clearly explains what you do. You only have a few seconds to prove you're for real, don't lose the moment.

What did I miss? Tell me about your online marketing grievances and how you would make them right.

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