How to annoy your customers and kill your online sales

Angry Talk (Comic Style)

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A guest blog by C. Loren Bishop

If you’re not seeing the results that you expected from your online business, all of your hard work might actually be driving your customers away. If your marketing strategy is annoying instead of engaging, prospects will instantly leave your site and delete your emails without reading them. You may even end up on their ignore or spam lists. Check to see if you’re making any of these mistakes:

1. Big, Bold Fonts
This is the equivalent of talking louder when people stop listening in the offline world. If no one is paying attention to your content, bigger fonts, bolder colors, or flashier graphics won’t make a bit of difference. In fact, a visual assault is one way to guarantee the user will change the channel, so to speak.

2. Not Listening
If you talk, talk, talk, and talk some more without stopping to listen to your audience, you’ll quickly lose their attention. Ask for their opinion, solicit comments, and encourage discussion and debate. A conversation is much more engaging than a monologue. An easy way to gather private opinions is to use online survey software to ask a question or two that customers can answer confidentially. It will be just between the two of you and show that you value their opinion.

3. Constantly Repeating Yourself
OK, we get it. We actually got it the first time. While it’s okay to repeat key points once or twice to make an impact, don’t repeat the same information 10 times. Treat your readers like the intelligent people that they are. The same holds true with email communications. If you have something new to say, go ahead and send the email. However, if your message is basically the same as yesterday or last week, don’t just send a rephrased version of the same old thing.

4. Not Making Sense
It’s tempting to show that you’re an expert by filling your content with keywords and technical jargon. However, your goal is to deliver a simple, easy-to-understand message that catches your reader’s attention. If they can’t weed out the actual meaning from the fluff, you’ve missed your target.

5. The Hard Sell
If you’re filling your message with a call-to-action that is too much of a hard sell, you’ll quickly irritate your customer. Avoid too many “buy now” or “hurry, time is running out” statements. While this might work on a used car lot, it’s not effective with savvy internet shoppers. Even if you’re the most trustworthy online business owner in the entire cyber world, this tactic screams scam.

6. Not Selling at All
Just like you don’t want a hard sell, don’t use a sales tactic that’s too soft. Don’t be so scared of annoying or offending your customers that you never ask for the sale at all. Be engaging, be sensitive, be appropriate, but above all else, provide enough information that your customer knows how to buy your product.

Once you eliminate these annoying habits, or any of the other internet marketing sins, from your online repertoire, you’ll be amazed at the increase in your traffic and your bottom line!

C. Loren Bishop is a lover of all things creative. She likes to write, and has an obsession with crossword puzzles. She’s recently started blogging, and you can follow her on Twitter @cbishopBG.

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About Nikki

Author of many 30 Day Blogging Challenges, Nikki spends her time helping small businesses with Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing. With 17 years of experience, she hasn't yet found someone she couldn't help to get more business from their website.


  1. Sometimes you need to SHOUT to get attention and in the real world to – after all you have more chance of being heard if you SHOUT rather than whisper, isn’t the point to be heard?

    Also with point 3. Most marketers will tell you it takes 3 times of mentioning sometimes for the message to sink in so repeating youself at least 3 times is prerequisite isn’t it?

  2. Thanks Nikki and Loren — some very nice, practical advice. Especially the last one of not selling at all 🙂


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