A Simple Marketing Strategy Error Can Damage Your Brand

marketing mistakeAs well as a potential long term customer relationship.

When you want new customers the initial communication is critical.

Over the last few weeks I bought a couple of software products.

One I downloaded and started using it immediately.

The other I bought last week and have yet to download and install.

In both cases within three days from purchase I started getting automated emails about other products on offer.

The offers carried a discount and I kept receiving them until I unsubscribed.

The missed opportunity in both cases was at no stage did I receive an email asking for feedback or offers of help or tips to make the most use of the products.

Simple mistakes that could have been avoided.

I totally agree with trying to sell other products or services in your range but there is a process that should occur.

And it is based on common sense.

Marketing Strategy

When you develop your marketing strategy and select your focus you need to make sure you select the all the key ones. In both cases they missed out on the core element of effective communication.

And that is customer service.

With their communication there was no effort to build the relationship that started with me buying the products.

Follow Up

Be a little patient and build the relationship before you start offering other products or services.

In both cases the sequence, tone and some of the words used were exactly the same.

It was as if both had bought one of those Internet Blueprints that say do exactly this in this way, put it on auto pilot and watch the money role in.

Using a little common sense would have them see this was a wrong way to implement a marketing activity.

Customer Relationships

Whether you sell online or offline have a simple process in place to gain feedback and answer any questions. Especially after you have delivered. It is one of the most powerful ways to build a strong relationship.

It can be automated or not and don’t forget where practical the old fashioned way of phoning them can help build the relationship.


Again it seemed they were both following the same tactic. I bought both products when they were on discount.

All the additional offers also had discounts.

They assumed that I would only buy at a reduced price which is not necessarily the case.

This meant that they were reducing possible full price sales by pushing the discounted products so quickly after the initial purchase.

It also meant that as I was being conditioned to realise they offer a lot of discounts if I ever buy from them again it will not be at the full price.

After the initial sale is important when building relationships for the long term. It is well worth the effort to make sure your approach is right.

Have you had a similar experience? Do you have a process in place for follow up, feedback and sales offers of other products?

Do you want to get new customers? If you do, I can help. To see how Click Here. 

22 Responses to A Simple Marketing Strategy Error Can Damage Your Brand

  1. Indeed without a proper marketing strategy or made by qualified professionals in order can be fully achieved in reverse. Especially, in online marketing where changes occur at a fantastic speed … Congratulations Susan by post

  2. You are making an interesting point, and a very important one as well. Reading about online marketing taught me the importance of customer service or in other words building a relationship with the customer in order to make (more) sales; and practice proved it right. These companies you’ve purchased from clearly don’t bother with this. It might have been somewhere in that supposed manual they used, but they only took from it what they thought was absolutely essential for making money, but forgot to take into account that they are selling to people, not dummies (even though there are many dummies who are easily fooled by those automated emails). Anyway, I am happy we can learn from their mistakes and be better and more effective then the likes of these greedy companies.
    All the best, Leonard

  3. I really loved this post. You write about this topic very well. I really like your blog and I
    will definitely bookmark it! Keep up the super posts!

  4. Hi, Susan.

    There are really business owners who don’t believe in the power of follow-ups. They think that just because they’ve already sold you a product, the next step is to sell another product. They are dreadfully wrong. Although it is not bad to offer other products, the first thing that needs to be done is to help a customer in using a product or simply do a follow-up if they were able to use the product according to their expectations.

    That is what I always believe in and do and I am happy that so far, my clients appreciate what I do.

    Thanks for sharing this, Susan. Pretty sound advice. 🙂

    • Hi Wes,

      I agree about offering other products or services as not all customers know about them. Your example is so right and as simple. It not only helps the relationship you often find the feedback giving you ideas for improvement which can benefit both. I can understand why your clients appreciate your approach 🙂

  5. Hi Susan,

    You are so right about laying the properly relationship as a foundation — first. Upsells, cross-sells and more sales are all part of the business process. But blindly following some misguided, cookie-cutter blueprint is causing many online marketers to miss the mark.

    We don’t see this as much with small business owners and freelancers who operate local business and have worked in the offline world before adopting an online presence. There’s a lot to be said keeping the “old ways” in the new world.

    Good insights, Susan. So much so that this article is trending on BizSugar. I hope readers will pop over there and add another “thumbs up!” 🙂
    On-target insights, Susan.

    • Hi Vernessa,

      I like the term cookie -cutter as it describes what they did so well and as I mentioned in another comment it was a shame because they are pretty good companies.

      That is very true about those who have experience in the offline world and we can learn from these behaviours. I appreciate you coming over to share your thoughts on this post Vernessa.

    • Hi Radu,

      They weren’t selling anything fake or bogus. It was that they were trying to sell more products and without developing the relationship. Both companies are reputable.

  6. Agree with you Susan. But the worst is when they start sending you offers when you have never even heard of them. Building up a relationship before starting to flog products and services is absolutely essential. Unless of course you want to make sure potential customers don’t want to have anything to do with you.

    • That is true Catarina. I don’t know about your country but here it is illegal to send unsolicited email to people unless they have given you permission or you have been a customer. It doesn’t stop everyone but it has cut down on spam.

  7. The “missed opportunity” of those two companies speaks to the fact that they are more interested in making sales than building lasting relationships with their customers. It’s a pity because it is so much more cost effective to keep customers than constantly having to acquire new ones.

    I do follow-up with existing clients but I’m sure I could do a better job. I’m thinking maybe I need another spreadsheet to track follow-ups along with a schedule to remind myself of what, who and when. Some of the services that I provide could easily lend themselves to a follow-up email. I send that type of email sporadically at best and not to everyone. (I’m obviously missing opportunities too.) As always, great tips Susan. Thanks!

    • Hi Sherryl,

      I am not sure they even realised the potential damage they were doing and you are right about it being more cost effective to keep customers.

      Your idea sounds good and it is a lot easier to do if it becomes part of the routine, otherwise I know I would definitely forget. Good luck with it.

      • I definitely should make this a resolution for 2012 (unless I implement this idea earlier). Spreadsheets work really well for me. They help me make a habit of a lot of the things that I should be doing on a regular basis. They work as checklists of sorts. When I do something like post a new article, I have a sheet set up with all of the steps that I regularly do to promote my posts. I copy, paste and then edit the post # and title. Then, I delete all the dates. As I complete them, I enter the new date. Before I started this, I missed a lot of little details.

        • The idea is a good one especially for those who do not use CRM software. I like your system with posts and I am going to copy your way as it is a better approach than what I am doing so thanks for sharing this.
          I could also see how this can help when looking at analytics.

  8. Oh this is something I complain about all the time. I totally relate and think this is important information to share. I always encourage designers to do follow ups on client projects. And I advise them to also follow up a couple of months later to say hello and see how the client is doing. Never call or email asking for more work, it just comes off as desperate and this is a great example of that.

    • Hi Dennis,

      I bet you are a great teacher for other designers. Your suggestion re follow up is right and if done correctly can lead to extra work or referrals. I am all for up selling but the timing has to be right.

  9. Hi Susan, I think they ARE following an Internet Blueprint – seriously. I have experienced the same thing you describe here and at times I find it annoying. Thanks for your suggestions so that I don’t do the same thing to others – that follow-up is important and NOT only for up-selling! Great advice as always!

    • I agree the more I think about it. The shame is the products are good but it shows the danger of using a template where you just change names is not a good business practice.