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3 Marketing Tactics that Backfire Big Time

make it go away

Not one. Not two. But a total of six! – count them – six emails bombarded my email inbox milliseconds after I recently ordered a single $12 dog collar online. Give me a break. Give us ALL a break – please!

While many modern marketing tactics are highly effective if done right, some companies are doing them wrong. Way wrong. Modern marketing tactics require a delicate balance of:

  • Pertinent information
  • Strategic timing
  • Tactics that don’t piss off your customers

The real-life examples I’ve encountered below backfire miserably in one or more areas, making them more annoying than a sleeping dog’s paw hitting you in the face at 3 a.m.

Example 1: The Email Bombardment

You already got a sneak peek at this one, with a dog collar company sending six emails when I ordered a single $12 collar. I can only imagine how many emails I may have gotten if I would have ordered $150 worth of goodies. Geesh.

Online orders basically require two emails:

  • One email to confirm the order and mention expected ship date
  • One email to alert customer when the order ships

Add tracking info and you get a gold star. Send a flurry of emails that contain things like a message from your founder, a rundown on your return policy, or one just to tell me “You are PAWsome,” and I promise I’ll never order another collar from you again.

This type of email tidal wave suggests the folks at the company have recently discovered email automation and, by golly, are going to set up as many as they can.

Example 2: Begging for a Review

The biggest faux pas in this category are the sellers who start begging for a review of the item you purchased – before the dang item even arrives. Others don’t wait long enough, like the company that started begging for a review of the 303-page book I had ordered a day after I received the book.

How the heck would I have read a 303-page book in a single day unless I quit my job, told my dogs they had to skip their daily meals and walk, and decided not to sleep.

Begging for a review in general can make a company appear desperate, and begging for one with a series of emails raises that desperation to an even higher level. It’s akin to sending hourly texts to someone right after your first date.

One purchase I made started an avalanche during which the seller sent me one email per week, every week, asking if I reviewed the item yet. I finally broke down and wrote a review, just so the emails would stop. My review gave exactly one star, not necessarily because the product sucked, but because the begging emails did.

Example 3: Ads that Follow You around Like a Lost Puppy

You know this scenario. You buy a stand-up yoga paddle board, kiln, or new backyard couch online, and suddenly your browsing is peppered with ads for – you guessed it – paddle boards, kilns, and backyard couches. What backfires most about this ploy is the fact that many of the ads end up being for the exact same thing you purchased two seconds ago.

Sorry, Charlie, but if I just spent $1,500 on a paddle board, $600 on a kiln, or $327 for a new backyard couch, it’s highly unlikely I’ll be buying another one just yet. Why not follow me around with ads for stuff related to the item I recently purchased, rather than a duplicate of the same item?

That paddle board would be more fun with some swim shorts, the kiln would align nicely with a pair of 3-foot tongs, and perhaps the backyard couch could use a few cool throw pillows.

Since the personalized ads come about from cookies, you can go through a whole song and dance to disable cookies. Or you can do the next best thing: ignore them.

Like anything else in life, marketing tactics are best done in moderation. Because we’re all hounded, pounded and otherwise barraged with all types of digital disruptions on a daily basis, moderation is more likely to make your company stand out than joining the crowd of pests.

Modern marketing tactics are definitely an area where the company that acts as the proverbial squeaky wheel won’t get the grease. Your squeakiness is much more likely to make customers throw you off to the side in favor of a wheel that gives you a smoothly quiet and pleasant ride.

Need writing for non-annoying marketing content? I’m on it! Contact me today.

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SEASHELLS BY THE TURBULENT SHORE (rynski poetry)

dazed clam seashell

Stacy Blair was

groovy and keen and

the coolest kid

on the block.

 

If she was your friend,

your life had meaning. If not,

you may as well die.

 

One day she gave me

a drawing she had

carefully colored

herself.

 

I cherished the

thing, hung it on

my wall – the next day

she asked for it back.

 

She came to the door with

Shauna O’Conner to give

the prized drawing to

her.

 

I handed it back –

straight-faced with grace – then

cried on the couch

for a week.

 

And that’s why I

threw a tantrum – some 40 years

later – when mom told 6-year-old

Aiden he could take what he wished

from a big box of shells Mom had

previously

promised

to me.

 

-ryn.09.18.17

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Jerk o’ the Week: Argumentative Anna

argumentative anna jerk

The following is an excerpt from The Little Book of Big Jerks to give you a sneak peek at the types of jerks you’ll meet inside the guide to dealing with difficult people.

Argumentative Anna

Argumentative Anna is an expert on everything, or so she thinks. And the first thing she knows is that whatever you know is wrong. It doesn’t matter that she never rode a horse, painted an awning or flown a plane, she’ll tell the cowboy his saddle is too tight, tell the awning painter the color is not right and tell the pilot he’s doing the landing thing all wrong.

3 Giveaway Traits:

  • Constantly barges in with her input, even if she has no idea about the topic at hand
  • Tells you you’re wrong, even if you happen to agree with her
  • Argues about things that have basis in scientific fact, like that silly idea about the earth being round

How to Deal:

Tell her she’s right. Absolutely right.

How Else to Deal:

Check out the cool jerk-fighting tools in The Little Book of Big Jerks. Real-life solutions for dealing with real-life jerks.

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I Never Met a Dog I Didn’t Like – Until I Met Gillespie

jerky dog meme

Who is Gillespie?

Gillespie was this chunky little ornery dog we met at the dog park. He was a real jerk.

What made him jerky?

He followed us around snarling. Then he tried to get between my own dogs and me, snarling at them if they came near me. Then he incessantly sniffed butts while snarling some more. He finally snarled one too many times in my dog Gigi’s face and Gigi attacked him.

Then what happened?

Then we left.

What were Gillespie’s owners doing during all this?

Just sitting there on a bench. They finally said the dog’s name after the attack. Maybe to prevent another one?

Or maybe they wanted Gillespie to get attacked and killed so they didn’t have to bring him back home.

No, people can’t be that cruel – even with a jerky dog.

So what should people do if they have a jerky dog?

Not bring him out in public.

And warn any visitors to the home that a jerky dog is on the property.

You mean they should buy one of your custom dog signs on Etsy?

You bet! This one works:

obnoxious dog sing
obnoxious dog on property

Buy one now (even if your dog is not a jerk).

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3 Things that Can Make or Break Your Dog Beach Retreat

dog beach tent

Lots of sunshine, lots of ocean and lots of meditative naps. My annual San Diego Dog Beach retreat with the hounds is stocked with the perfect ingredients for one relaxing, revitalizing getaway. Yet each year it consistently came with three ingredients we’d all prefer to live without:

  • Sand in the bed
  • Over-baking in the sun
  • That icky wet dog smell

Year after year I just kind of learned to live with these things, the same way you learn to live with a rock in your shoe if you’re too lazy to stop and remove it. But this year I fought back. I was going to hurl that proverbial rock from my shoe, conquering the bed sand, the sun bake and the wet dog smell.

And I did it with three simple add-ons to my packing list.

dog beach dog paws

Hand-Held Vacuum

Conquers sand in the bed

Not sure if anyone calls them “Dust Busters” anymore, but I am sure that rechargeable, hand-held vacuums suck up sand in bed like nobody’s business.

If you’re heading to Dog Beach, your hotel bed is going to end up sandy and wet. Even if there are two queen-sized beds in the room and you’re only planning to sleep on one of them, dogs have a certain way of choosing your sleeping bed to romp on right after an afternoon at the beach.

One year we tried a throw rug foot mat, which helped a tad for wiping off human feet before hopping into bed. But the dogs never got the hang of using it properly to wipe their paws. It helped a little.

The next year we tried a thick over-sheet that helped keep dog sand from seeping through the porous blanket into the main sheets. It helped a little more.

The third year I got really savvy. I packed the hand-held vacuum. Combined with the foot mat and non-porous top sheet, the vacuum provided the final touch every beach bed needs to prevent you from waking up with grit in your teeth.

dog beach san diego

Dog Beach Tent

Protects from wind and sun

When you live in the middle of the Arizona desert and drive more than six hours to reach the Pacific Ocean, you’ll be dang well sure you’re spending as much time as humanly possible on the beach before you return to cactus land.

But the amount of time that’s humanly possible in the sun is a bit different than the amount that’s dogly possible. Pooches tend to tucker out much quicker, probably because one dog hour in the sun is equivalent to seven human hours in the sun, no?

A sweet lil beach tent came to the rescue here. Not only did it serve to shield us from the beach wind and sun, but it worked as an ideal hiding place in case we wanted spy on passers-by. No one comes near the tents around Ocean Beach because they’re typically populated with hobo types who ask for money if you come within 25 feet of them.

 

dog beach pacific ocean

Essential Oils

Annihilates icky wet dog smell

The best add-on by far was a trio of essential oils, a plug-in diffuser and a spray bottle. Fill the diffuser and bottle with water mingled with a few drops of your favorite oils. Plug in the former. Shake up and spray the latter. Repeat as often as needed. You just got wiped out that icky wet dog smell.

Peppermint essential oil is strong without being overpowering. Vanilla adds a warm and cozy touch. Ylang Ylang adds a dollop of energy and has a really cool name.

All our future dog beach retreats will definitely include these magical items – along with the approximately 564 million other things we pack ur annual retreat is awash with comfort, peace and plenty of sand-free serenity.

What must-have items do you always bring along on retreats?

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