Poor marketing, part #1

August 10, 2021 – Samuli Seppänen

As an entrepreneur you are flooded with attempts to persuade you to buy something. Typically what is sold is services like website development, mobile application development or outsourced developer/devops workforce. Most attempts are mediocre, but only a few can be classified as outright bad. As inbound marketing and sales are dear to our heart, in this series we present some of the worst marketing attempts we've seen, in the order of appearance. We try to add some value by adding a humoristic analysis on top. All the names and emails have been converted to John or Jane Doe and example.org so that you don't accidentally buy anything from these guys. However, with pinch of luck you may find the exact same message in your INBOX if you feel the urge to buy something from these guys.

Let's start with the title:

"Amazing Design asset to Grow your Business on Digital world"

This already starts to smell like spam. But I'll read on:

"I recently visited your website and wanted to comment on how nice it looks"

That complement felt good. Of course, as a potential customer, I want to receive compliments, especially if they feel genuine. But there is a catch:

"However with such decent effort on website concept, your site bounce rate have increased to more than 70% in last few months"

Well this came out of the blue. Where did they get this information? I'm starting to get worried they hacked into our web analytics software. Is that really something you want a potential customer to feel like? Or do they just assume we're idiots who just believe what they say? In either case, not very customer-centric. What follows is even worse:

"You might wonder how it’s relevant, but believe me potential visitors for your website now prefers your competitor website than staying on yours"

Now they're trying to scare us with our competitors. Is that really a viable marketing strategy? Assuming we're not turned off at this point, they then go on to offer their help fixing our crap:

"How can we help? Our creative designs perfectly engage the target mass with..."

So how can they help us? By educating us about good web development practices:

"A website with no call to action elements almost makes the task half done; we can ensure not only visitors rather better call to action elements which will encourage phone calls and emails."

Well, that is true, but we have this covered already. This definitely broke the almost perfect illusion of receiving a tailored website development proposal with some thought and research behind it. Well, maybe we can forgive them as they do stand out after all:

"Our expertise into cross platform and cross domain makes us stand out in crowd."

I think we can conclude at this point that their marketing also stands out from the crowd.

As the icing on the cake the email signature ("Jane Doe") does not match the email address ("jill@example.org"), nor is there a webserver listening on the email domain at example.org or www.example.org. The email domain itself is protected by a service that has this on their front page:

"Your identity is nobody's business but ours."

So I'm supposed to marry people who use scare tactics and blame potential customers for being idiots. Maybe this is just outright spam instead of really poorly constructed marketing email sprayed to the half of the world.

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