Nobody likes a catcaller. They're disruptive, disrespectful and clueless as to when they should call it quits. But so many business owners and entrepreneurs are engaging in marketing tactics straight from the catcallers' playbook.
They automate communication to the point where it feels impersonal, cover their sites in ads and annoying pop-ups that detract from their experience, and make it hard for customers to disengage when they tire of the message.
Here are some telltale signs of catcall marketing and some ways to clean up your act.
You're not thinking about their goals
You want to build your list, or collect leads, or drive traffic. It's smart. But have you stopped to think about what your customers or audience actually want? Because I'll tell you what, none of them woke up saying "I can't wait to join an marketer's email list today!" They're not looking to be marketed to--they're in search of value, information, answers to questions, solutions or savings. Provide one of those, and if it happens to come in the form of the email list or a purchasable good, so be it. But don't expect that people are as excited about your marketing message as you are. You have to earn the right to their attention!
You interrupt their experiences
Most women have experienced this in real life, being interrupted by lewd remarks or incessantly hit on while on their way to the train, or work, or class. Don't do the same thing to your customers or your audience while they're trying to accomplish something else. Interrupting them with too many pop-ups, blocking their access to resources with gates and frustrating forms, or forcing them through a lengthy bot interaction before they can accomplish their goal could leave a bad taste in their mouth. You should be adding to an experience, not getting in the way of it. Don't be a barrier to your customers as they try to engage with your site, content, product or brand.
You're talking to them all the same way
Everyone's needs, experiences and goals are different, so if you're giving every single customer you encounter the same generic greeting or "pick-up line," you're missing the opportunity for more genuine connections. Instead of assuming that a single landing page or message will work for all your potential customers or audience members, segment that group to identify the different types of messages, offers, and imagery that would most appeal to their particular needs, situations or interests. Nobody likes to feel like they're being sold to with a general pitch, so make sure you're offering a unique or customized experience whenever you can.
You won't take "no" for an answer
Listen, some members of your audience won't want to hear your message any more. Some people will want to unsubscribe, or unfollow you, or even block you. Not only should that be allowed, but they shouldn't be made to feel shame for electing to remove themselves from your list. Don't hide your unsubscribe buttons. Don't hassle them with messages begging for an explanation. Don't send repeated follow-ups asking if they're sure. That's harassment. Let them go, and spend your time focusing on finding the customer who's right for you and your message.