As with all industries, for good or for bad, Internet Marketing tends to follow trends. Lately, there have been a number of marketing practices that just don’t make sense. It’s as if the person in charge of promoting the website or brand have no clue how the tools they use impact their target market and reduce conversions.
1 – Forcing Email Signup On Landing Pages
Forcing people to subscribe to your mailing list in order to learn more about your product is probably the greatest waste of money imaginable. You have someone who has come to your site simply because they are interested in your product or service and you shadowbox (the semi-transparent background seen when clicking on popups or images) them with a popup that can’t be closed unless they subscribe to your marketing newsletter.
2 – Non-Responsive Pop-ups on Mobile Sites
Not optimizing newsletter or marketing pop-ups for mobile devices on your website. When someone comes to your site, on their mobile device, to read a blog post or news article either have your pop-ups mobile optimized or don’t use them at all! From the mobile user’s perspective, these pop-ups aren’t worth the hassle and they will quickly back off your site because the pop-ups make it too difficult to read the article.
3 – Too Many Advertisements on Mobile Sites
Failing to modify their content for the mobile user. On a desktop, 50 advertisements are not such a big deal as it’s easy to scroll past them but on some mobile devices it’s not. In order to continue reading the article or post, the user needs to scroll the content creating the problem of accidentally launching an advertisement unintentionally.
4 – Non-Responsive Website Design
Failing to ensure that your site is mobile responsive and looks good on mobile devices will cost you. When a site isn’t mobile responsive, the visitor needs to continually zoom/stretch and move the content to read it; this is frustrating and often results in drop-offs. Additionally, simply creating a mobile responsive site isn’t enough, you also need to think about the mobile design – what looks good on your iPhone may not look good on your potential customer’s Droid.
5 – Misleading Titles – “Clickbait”
Crafting sensational titles and having content that doesn’t support the title’s premise irritates the reader and is a waste of advertising money. What good is pay per click when you pay for someone to click and they leave your site because you have devalued your credibility. This past election season (2016 Presidential Election) was a boon for Click Bait abusers with titles like “Why Hillary Never Talks About Her Daughter” leading to a slideshow of Hillary – anyone who wanted to know why Hillary Never Talks about her daughter will bail as soon as they realize there is no story here.
6 – Offending Potential Clients/Customers
Posting politically, socially or ethnically charged content in your website when your target marketing isn’t restricted to those with your viewpoints. When your products or services go beyond a specific ideology (for example, a cookbook) it’s a big mistake to blog about politics or social justice. Some of the people who might want to purchase your book may have strong negative feelings about the very issues you are espousing and for that reason may decide not to purchase your products or services.
7 – Not Requiring Double Opt-In for Email Addresses
Allowing people to sign up to your mailing list without double opting in may seem like a better way to grow your list but it has a huge risk associated with it. The Double Opt-In helps to ensure that your visitors actually subscribed (sometimes people will subscribe someone to a list out of spite or as a joke) to your list and provides a level of protection with your list service because the subscriber had to receive an email and respond to it in order to be placed on your list. By not requiring a Double Opt-In, you risk your list being reported as spam and because a Single Opt-In can be done by anyone who knows your email address; it will be just about impossible to claim your email list isn’t spamming. If your list is suspected of spamming you not only risk having your Mailing List Company shut down your account but you may also be in violation of certain aspects of the Can-Spam Act of 2003. The FTC has produced this PDF to help people understand the Can-Spam Act of 2003 in Plain English – CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business.