7 Cringy Online Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

7 Cringy Online Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

Common marketing mistakes to avoid like the plague

Image by Alexa from Pixabay

Online marketing can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider — from creating engaging content to targeting the right audience, to measuring results. With so many strategies to choose from, it’s easy to make marketing mistakes.

But if you’re not careful, those mistakes can start to sabotage your efforts, damage your brand and cost you sales.

In this post, I’m going to share with you seven of the most common online marketing sins — and how to avoid them. So read on, and learn how to make your online marketing efforts more effective!

1. Adding Too Many Pop-Ups

Distraction effect on user experience

Screenshot from OptiMonk

2. Asking For Too Much Information

Have you ever thought twice about completing an online form because they asked for your phone number? I know I have.

If I’m signing up for an email newsletter why would somebody need my phone number? Are they going to bombard me with sales calls? Or maybe sell my information to third parties?

Asking for too much personal information is one of the most common marketing mistakes, especially when it comes to creating opt-in forms. According to WPForms, a staggering 37% of people abandon an online form if they’re forced to disclose their phone number. In fact, asking for personal phone numbers has been shown to lower conversion rates by 5%.

Phone numbers and form abondonment

Screenshot from WPForms

A better approach is to make unnecessary fields optional. Ask for the bare minimum of information from people and watch your form completion rates double. Usually, a name and email address is enough information for an opt-in offer.

3. Sending Excessive Emails

Have you ever signed up for a webinar, and then been met by an avalanche of pushy sales emails? I have, and sometimes, it’s actually put me off buying the product or service I was considering.

Why? Because the sender seemed desperate for me to buy their offer. Despite insisting that they had a 6-month waiting list for their course, they kept pushing me to buy it at a special discount.

This bred distrust in me and ended up being a big marketing mistake on their part. If their offer was so good, and there was such a long waiting list, why were they so insistent that I buy their course right now? Why would I not just join the waiting list like everyone else?

Trust is crucial when you’re trying to sell anything. Without it, you devalue your credibility, product, and service.

That being said, email marketing is an extremely effective marketing strategy. According to Hubspot, the average ROI for email marketing is $36 for every $1 spent! You just have to get the frequency and tone right.

Average email marketing frequency
Screenshot from Seventh Sense

Seven Sense found that 33% of businesses send emails to their subscriber lists on a weekly basis, while 13.3% of businesses send emails several times a week.

A good strategy is to segment your email list. Tailor-make your emails to suit subscribers based on their engagement level. Use your emails as a tool to build trust and provide value before going in for the hard sell.

4. Pretending a Webinar Is Live

Webinars are very popular in the digital marketing world right now, and for good reason. The average webinar conversion rate stands at an impressive 55%, and according to Opt-in Monster, 20–40% of webinar attendees become leads.

However, I’ve noticed a trend of marketers trying to pass off pre-recorded webinars as live webinars. While this isn’t a huge deal, I don’t see the point in it. Few attendees will mind if a webinar is live or not, but lying to people is a silly marketing mistake.

It goes back to the issue of trust. If your webinar isn’t live, just be honest about it. People aren’t stupid. Besides, pre-recorded webinars are preferred by most people because they can watch them in their own time.

Webinar on-demand statistics
Screenshot from Infuse Media

While 75% of marketers prefer to host live webinars, many are pre-recorded. Both have advantages. Live webinars offer real-time interaction with an audience, and pre-recorded webinars can be used as an on-demand sales pitch.

5. Using Too Many Distractive Ads

We’ve all been there. You’re trying to read an article online, but you can’t focus because of flashing ads and gifs on autoplay. You just want to read the content you came for, but have to constantly bat away intrusive pop-up boxes and sales videos.

Excessive ads are an assault on the senses and have been shown to have a negative impact on user experience. In fact, one survey found that 54% of people had left a website due to ad clutter.

Effect of ad clutter on user experience
Screenshot from 99Firms

Adverts are a necessary evil. They generate income for content creators and when done right, can lead people to some useful services and products. But they can quickly become a marketing mistake if they’re overused or too distracting.

The key is to strike a balance. Ads should be used sparingly, and they shouldn’t be too flashy or intrusive. They should never detract from user experience or cause people to click away from your site.

6. Overusing Limited-Time Offers

Discounts and special offers are wonderful. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing you got a good deal on an expensive product or service. The problem is that some business owners take this technique to the extreme.

Here’s the thing - a limited-time offer is only perceived to be valuable if it’s only available for a limited time. In other words, if your product is discounted for too long or too often, people won’t be able to see its value. It all comes down to human psychology and the scarcity principle.

Science has shown consistently that humans equate scarcity with value- ConvertCart

Offering a flash sale or limited-time offer creates a sense of urgency. This triggers scarcity and automatically increases perceived demand. In fact, adding a countdown timer to an offer can increase conversion rates by 14%, especially when coupled with a discount.

Time-limited offer conversion rates
Screenshot from OptiMonk

Time-limited reductions are powerful sales tools but only if you don’t overuse them. Use time-sensitive discounts as seasonal offers, as a tool for upselling, and recovering abandoned shopping carts. But don’t make the marketing mistake of devaluing your offer, or making it available all the time.

7. Using Chatbots Too Soon

Have you ever entered a store and had a salesperson pounce on you within the first 10 seconds?

“Can I help you with something?”

Well, I get the same feeling when I enter a website and immediately get pounced on by a chatbot! I feel like I’ve been caught trespassing when I all want to do is browse in peace for a little while.

In theory, a chatbot is a useful customer service tool but an over-eager chatbot can quickly turn into an irritating marketing mistake. You can avoid this by letting people interact with your web page a little before unleashing a chatbot on them.

Give users an easy way to access a chatbot by providing a button they can press whenever they need help. If they pop up automatically while someone is browsing your site, make sure there’s an easy way to dismiss them so it doesn’t interfere with their overall user experience.

In this way, chatbots will be an asset to your readers rather than a hindrance. One study found that 68% of consumers actually like chatbots because they can provide quick answers, even outside of normal working hours.

So there you have it. 7 of the most annoying online marketing mistakes and how to avoid them. Most of these strategies work well when done correctly, but if you bombard your customers with too many ads or make it difficult for them to find the information they need, you risk driving them away.

What kind of marketing strategies annoys you the most? Are there any other marketing no-nos I missed? Let me know in the comments below!


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