Posted in Notes from the Field

Marketing Dos and Don’ts

July 30, 2018

I’ve been thinking about marketing a lot lately.  Specifically, when is it annoying and when welcomed.  I want to get these down before I forget :


  • Assuming they have subscribed to your emails, then one email a day is not too much. There are many sites I receive an email a day from and I don’t get annoyed.  I simply delete it.  It doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear from them again I’m just not interested in hearing from them that day.
  • If someone deletes an email from you, don’t turn around and send them two more. If I don’t want to hear from you that day, then sending me more emails is just going to annoy me.  Like that one site I recently subscribed and unsubscribed the other day.  The first email was fine, but didn’t sound like anything I wanted to read, so I deleted it. They sent me two more emails.  I deleted those and believe I received some more.  It was like the Tribbles in that Star Trek episode they just kept multiplying.
  • Keep in touch with them between issue notifications unlike the magazines I’ve subscribed. What bothers me so much about this is they have other content they’re putting out between issues, which I paid for, yet they don’t send me an email to let me know it’s been released.
    [I’m glad I discovered this now as I wasn’t planning on publishing any material in-between issues.  I was only going to send out email notifications when a new issue is released, but I’ve learned from this it’s not a good idea to stay out of contact with my customers. I’ll have to think of something to send them just to stay in touch.  Letters to the editor (if there are any), perhaps?  That might help keep articles alive and conversations going. 
    To Do!  Consider ways of staying in contact with your customers between issues]
  • UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES never communicate with your customers, and then send them an email telling them they are family, especially when that email is asking for money. One of my paid magazine subscriptions was doing their summer fundraiser.  Asking for money was not that big of deal.  Never hearing from them and then telling me I’m like family was ludicrous.  Then I thought about it: only hear from you when you need money.  Yeah, I do have some family members like that, but I don’t want to hear from them.
  • NEVER EVER use heartbreaking personal stories to sell your products. That happened to me twice in one day.  I couldn’t believe it.   These people bared their souls in a story and at the end they tried to sell me something.  An ad at an end of email or article is no big deal, but the sales pitch was tied into the stories they used.  Never do that.


  • Don’t ask for people’s preferences and then ignore them.  I’m tempted to unsubscribe from the one who did.  I wouldn’t be so peeved if they hadn’t asked, but to ask then ignore is annoying.  Every time they send me an email about something I specifically said I didn’t want to hear about I get a feeling of annoyance when I should be looking forward to reading their emails like I usually do.  Either don’t ask for preferences or respect their preferences if you do ask.
  • If you use a pop-up window asking people to subscribe to your site, don’t have it appear in the middle of the page after only 5 seconds. I was reading an article at one site and they referenced another article at another site.  I went to read that article and hadn’t finished the first paragraph before the window asking me to subscribe popped up.  Since I hadn’t enough time to check out the site or read the article I wasn’t ready to make that decision.  It was too soon.  Give people time to look over your site or have it pop-up where it doesn’t interfere with what they are doing.
    ! Place pop-up subscription-ask at bottom right-hand corner.  The movement catches their attention, but doesn’t get in the way. 
  • Have a fixed place where people can subscribe in addition to the pop-up window. After I had finished the article I decided I did want to subscribe to the site, but I could find no place to do that.  Apparently, it was only available through the pop-up window I had clicked out of.

Ad Placement

  • Should blend in seamlessly. I’m not quite sure what I mean by that but I remember the suggested posts Facebook used to put in the news feed were really annoying, then they changed something and I had no problem with them anymore.  I can’t remember what they were like before.  I think they were smaller.  Now, they look like just another post, so they seem seamless.  I may just mean don’t interrupt what they’re doing: like commercials and pop-up ads tend to do.
    I know this: ads in magazines and newspapers are usually around the periphery of the article(s) or on their own page.  How to do that on a webpage, especially a responsive webpage, may be a little harder.  I have no idea what happens to the side columns on a responsive website.
    To Do!  Go to a website on your mobile phone where you know they have ads on the side and see how and if they are displayed.

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