I was listening to a webinar recently on how to build
your ezine subscriber list. One of the things they mentioned was that popup ads
are very effective in getting subscribers for your list.
They also said popup ads are extremely annoying to most
This reminded me of other marketing tools people use
that are “effective” but also quite annoying. You might be running the same list
through your head: telemarketing, junk mail, unsolicited bulk email, door to
Some of these have diminished in use. But they still get
used. Which leads me to ask two questions.
One, if they are so annoying, why are they also
Two, Should you use them even though they annoy many people?
Let’s take the first question first. I’ll make it a given these things are
annoying because if it’s not a given, this article falls apart completely! More
importantly, based on my experience, I think the majority of people find these
(and similar) types of advertising quite annoying.
So, why do they work?
The easy answer is, they only work for a small percentage of people. Because
they can be tracked and the percentage seems to be consistent, some marketers
keep using these tactics. Their judgment is they get enough response to justify
But maybe they don’t work. Maybe the people who use these tactics only think
My opinion is they are not fully accounting for the “annoyance” cost. Anytime
you irritate and annoy people, you impose a cost on your company. It might not
be a big cost and it might not be measurable, but it is there.
When you do something you know annoys people and its only purpose is to serve
your needs, you risk developing bad will. The more bad will you generate, the
more people exist who are less likely to do business with you.
So, if you choose to use “annoyance marketing” make sure you are counting all
the costs, not just the dollars you spend.
This leads us to our second question. Should you use annoying promotional
tactics if they seem to work?
My answer is a loud and clear “no”. I don’t ever recommend using annoyance
marketing. I don’t care how effective it seems to be. In my book, the cost to
your reputation is too great.
If your product or service are as good as they should be (in other
words, great) and if you are offering your customers what they really want, then
you should never have to resort to invasive marketing tactics.
Do your marketing well and the issue becomes moot. If you understand what
you do well, if you know how you help your customers and if you do it better
than anyone else, your customers will find you. Marketing becomes easy.
And, any marketing you do needs only to be a gentle nudge that says “by the
way, we’re here and here’s how we can help you…”
Leave the aggressive, “in your face” marketing to others who don’t serve
their customers as well as you do. Let them annoy people while you help people.
Who do you think people would rather do business with?