6 Annoying Tactics to Avoid When Creating Your Marketing Plan


It's safe to say that in 2019 we are exposed to thousands of ads per day. Because of this, many Americans implement an ad blocker into their browser, causing an estimated $9.1 billion in missed revenue in 2019 alone. Getting inundated with intrusive advertisements is bad enough for consumer trust and attention, but when you add on annoying marketing tactics, it's clear why 72% of people dislike online popup ads, and 43% dislike native ads.

Our team painstakingly reflected on the most annoying marketing and advertising trends that have affected us in the past year. Take a look at the marketing tactics we recommend avoiding in this intrusive and cluttered digital world:

Our Least Favorite Marketing Tactics

  1. Fake “re:” Emails
  2. Mid-Page Popup
  3. Poorly Executed Automation
  4. The Impossible Unsubscribe Journey
  5. Multi-Page Articles
  6. Dysfunctional Chat Bots


1. Fake "re:" Emails

We’ve all gotten these emails. A message lands in your inbox from a business you have never heard of and a sales rep you don’t know, and the subject line reads “re: Our Scheduled Meeting.” The email clearly has no reply chain, so why do they even try? It’s not exactly the greatest first impression. Buyers' preferences are changing, and your sales model should change alongside them. This means being open to adopting new sales models and changing how you interact with the buyer.

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Modern buyers are more informed than ever before—47% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep and your sales strategy needs to reflect that. Instead of using shady tactics like a misleading subject line, take a look at HubSpot’s guide to sales emails that people want to respond to.


2. Mid-Page Popup

It's never fun to enter a site, begin reading and immediately you see, “We value your opinion! Would you be willing to answer a few questions about your site visit today?” It is annoying, intrusive, and would make many of us jump ship pretty quickly. It's even worse when the pop-up is in the middle of the screen preventing further reading. It's important to get feedback from customers and prospects, but you have to actually give visitors time to learn about you. You need to be providing value before asking for anything in return. Instead of trying to collect email addresses immediately, focus on directing visitors to valuable gated content to generate leads. If you’re unsure where to start, take a look at the five critical components of fantastic lead-capture forms. Your future customers and site visitors will thank you later.


3. Poorly Executed Automation

“Hi {first_name}, It has been a while since we last spoke. Would you like to catch up and discuss my company’s offerings?”

First of all, I’ve never talked to you…Secondly, I think you spelled my name wrong. Automation is becoming a commonly used tool in the marketing stack, with 88% of professionals worldwide using or planning to use some sort marketing automation platform through 2019. However, automation mistakes are rampant and costly to a brand's integrity. Actually, I received the email below while writing this blog:

Bad email personalization


Mistakes like this can be hard to recover from, but don’t let that scare you away from marketing automation. It is important to spend time familiarizing yourself with marketing automation tools to avoid accidentally misrepresenting your brand to thousands of people. Take a look at our guide comparing automation on HubSpot vs. Pardot to understand the tools that could help your business manage automation.


4. The Impossible Unsubscribe Journey

It is hard enough to keep your inbox clutter-free and unnecessarily difficult unsubscribe pages just make matters worse. Whether a subscriber has to enter their email into a sketchy form, click through multiple "are you sure?" pages, or fill out an annoying Captcha, their goal is still to unsubscribe, so why not just let them? Creating an effective page to manage email subscriptions is just as important as any other landing page. It's important to keep it simple, short, and easy to navigate.

Impossible email unsubscribe

Just like any customer experience, unsubscribing should be seamless and easy, no matter how badly you'd like to see them stay. Plus, it's better for your email open rates and stats in the long run.


5. Multi-Page Articles

Please click “next” to see the fifth part of this article.


We see these multi-page articles all over the internet but clicking through page after page only deters the reader. There are infinite approaches to getting started on your blog, but we beg you not to adopt this practice. There are plenty of other high-converting content mediums available if you feel like you have too much content for one long page. Webinars or how-to-videos, for example, provide great value to your customers and prospects and contribute to strong SEO as a bonus. You can learn more about B2B content development in this blog post, and if you are just implementing a blog into your marketing plan we recommend taking a look at this step-by-step guide to writing a blog post. The guide includes useful templates, writing samples, theme tips, and more.

Generally, it is a good idea to stay away from these multi-page articles, but the one caveat to the multi-page rule are topic clusters. The utilization of topic clusters is a growing trend and it is beneficial for SEO as well as site visitors looking for content. Using topic clusters to organize your content encourages readers to consume more content and stay on your site longer. Just keep in mind — displaying your content in related clusters is much different than hiding each item in a top ten list behind a 'next' button. 


6. Dysfunctional Chat Bots

A well-implemented chat bot can drive positive customer experiences and allow for 24-hour support with little overhead. Unfortunately, bad chat bots are far more common and do more harm than good for your brand. The biggest complaint around chat bots is that they keep visitors from a live person who can provide answers that a bot cannot. Bad chat bots just create another bump in the road for the customer experience that can easily be avoided. In a recent study on integrating human interaction and chat bots, researchers found that chat bots (when done correctly) generate more leads compared to a live chat option. Surprisingly, after switching from a live chat to a bot, 75% more site visitors used the chat function. This lead to 55% more visitors answering the qualifying questions honestly, helping the sales people sift out site visitors with a low intent to buy. A great chat bot can save you time and increase lead generation, but a bad chat bot has the potential to create unnecessary slowdowns in the customer journey.  


Are you interested in learning more about developing an effectuve marketing plan for your organization? Sign up for our webinar on April 10th at 11am EST called Marketing Tips for Growth: What to Start & What to Stop.

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