When you’re in business it seems intuitive that you would want to have customers beating down your door to do business with you. It also seems intuitive that you’re not likely to get customers beating down your door to do business with you. So it would make sense to do everything you can to attract quality customers to your business instead of scaring them away, right?
This makes sense to me but apparently I’ve got it all wrong. There are a huge number of businesses out there doing exactly the opposite of what I just said. Yes, it seems they’re going out of their way to scare people off and make sure those people never do business with them. I’ve been observing this trend for a while and taking some notes. Here’s what I am seeing as the sure-fire way to scare away customers, which seems to be the way to do business these days.
- Find as many email addresses as you can and add them to your database. You can buy mailing lists from other companies or you can simply have a computer randomly generate every email addresses for you. Better yet, have a computer program crawl websites for email addresses and use those. The more the merrier!
- Send emails to everyone on your new list of “customers” telling them about your products and how great they are. Be sure to remind them that they are receiving emails from you because they subscribed to your mailing list (which they didn’t). By telling them they did, you can get around the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act. Plus, you may actually convince a few poor souls that they actually did sign up for emails from you.
- Lather, Rinse, Repeat. And repeat. And repeat. Send not one email, but 15-20 emails a day to the same people, promoting the same product. After all, they did sign up for this, didn’t they?
- Be sure to provide the obligatory opt-out link at the bottom of your emails in fine print. Don’t worry – you don’t actually have to do anything with that link. You just have to give your readers a one-step opt-out process. Just tell them it’ll take you 3-5 business days to process their request for a five minute task on your part. That gives you a week to send them 15-20 more emails a day. Pretty cool, huh? Maybe they’ll change their mind within the week and re-subscribe. Better yet, they might get tire of your harassment and actually buy something from you. Score!
- If anyone opts out, remind them how you’re going to miss them and how it was their idea to sign up in the first place. Then promptly ignore their request by changing the “sender” name and email address in your newsletters and emails. Now you can start the whole process over again and pretend to be a whole different company selling the same product. That gives you permission to harass your list even more.
Ok enough of that garbage. Do I actually believe this is a good way to do business? Heck no! But every day I receive 15-20 emails from numerous different companies doing exactly what I described above. Depending on how my spam blocker is working day to day, I may get 100 junk emails like this. It’s way beyond annoying. I just can’t comprehend how strategies like this might actually work, but every day I get more reminders that some idiot out there thinks it’s a good idea.
Who knows? You might actually make some money from doing business this way. I guess that makes up for all the people you tick off in the first place. Or does it? I prefer to build trust with my prospects and have them do business with me because they want to. Even if they’re not ready to do business with me today, they might be in the future so it’s important for me to build relationships with people instead of abusing our relationship.