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Marketing done right doesn’t just sell to customers. It informs, engages and helps to grow your business. However, bad marketing can have a negative impact on your business’s performance, such as attracting low-quality leads and poor conversion rates, losing customers to competitors, collecting bad reviews and dissatisfied customers. This Halloween, we will be exploring the 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing… Zappy Halloween!


Bad Website.

Kicking things off with a nod to last year’s Halloween post, a badly designed website is at the top of our list of “sins” as a digital agency.

From slow-loading and non-responsive designs, to clashing colours and poor content… There’s a lot of mistakes that can lead to a bad website, and that’s why it’s important to invest in a good one!

While web design and digital marketing are arguably their own fields, we wanted to include bad websites within our marketing sins because websites are where most marketing campaigns direct customers. Especially for online businesses. Some marketing strategies – like a promotional landing page or pop-ups – run directly on a website.

Don’t scare your customers away with a badly designed website!


Forgetting To Remarket.

Remarketing is reaching out to people who have previously visited a business’s website, providing another chance to convert them into customers.

Research shows that 49% of consumers visit a website 2 – 4 times before making a purchase. This means that businesses who aren’t using strategies to retarget consumers are missing out on a chunk of revenue… And are losing out to competitors who do have a solid remarketing system in place!

Remarketing is also important for customer retention. It’s less time-consuming and costly to persuade existing customers to return than it is to market to completely cold leads.

Common remarketing strategies include loyalty programs, discounts and special offers, email marketing, Facebook Ads and Google Remarketing campaigns.


Black Hat


Black Hat SEO.

For businesses which rely on customers discovering their products and services by search engines, Black Hat SEO can seem like a quick and easy solution.

Black Hat SEO goes against search engine guidelines. Using techniques such as keyword stuffing, cloaking and sly redirects, paid links and link farms, Black Hat SEO aims to manipulate search engines algorithms to help businesses gain higher rankings. It’s risky and can get a website banned from search engines, leaving a business in a worse position than when they started.

White Hat SEO, on the other hand, helps businesses to improve rankings without breaking the rules. This involves offering quality content and service, building links organically, a fast-loading and mobile-friendly website, using descriptive and keyword-focused meta tags, as well as ensuring the site is easy to navigate.

There’s a middle ground between White Hat and Black Hat SEO. This is known as Grey Hat SEO. It uses strategies which aren’t technically against the rules, but it may change in the future as search engines become smarter at evaluating content.

For example, paying for positive reviews, submitting a website to directories, duplicating and automating content are some examples of Grey Hat SEO. If you plan on using any of these tactics or similar, be sure to keep up to date with search engine marketing trends as they may result in penalties later down the line.

Don’t be tempted by the dark arts of Black Hat SEO!


Spam! Spam! Spam!

Spam is always unsolicited… It’s annoying, it’s usually promotional content and delivered in bulk.

Since the 1990s, email spam has steadily increased. A report released in 2014 estimated that spam accounts for 90% of total email traffic. But spam isn’t just limited to email channels either. There’s SEO spam, social networking spam, mobile spam and messaging spam.

To help keep spam out of people’s inboxes, marketing emails are subjected to strict rules and recipients must be given an opportunity to opt-out of communications. Apple’s recent iOS update has made it easy for users to hide their email, making it difficult for spammers to obtain these addresses.

Not only has it become harder to spam people, it’s honestly not worth the hassle! Businesses who send marketing messages only to customers and people who have signed up to their newsletter see a much better return on investment with their email marketing channels.

Businesses that do best in this area of marketing let subscribers know how often they’ll be in touch and stick to a regular schedule. They also regularly review and clean their list so that only active accounts who engage with their content remain on it.



Social Media Fails.

It’s no secret that social media marketing is a must for businesses these days.

Recent statistics show that 66% of marketers generate leads from social media after spending only six hours per week on social marketing. But what happens when a tone deaf tweet spirals out of control and a business starts attracting negative attention?

Of course, mistakes can happen. Knowing how to avoid social media blunders, as well as having a system in place to manage them when they happen on social media platforms, is how many businesses are able to maintain a positive reputation on social networks.

The businesses who excel on social media are those who understand how to turn content and customer interactions into opportunities for publicity. They also know how to make the most out of a post which goes viral.

Don’t develop a monstrous reputation on social media!


Cold Calling.

Cold calling involves contacting a potential customer who has had no previous contact with the business.

It’s one of the oldest methods of selling, but works for very few businesses nowadays. A study by LinkedIn found that less than 2% of cold calls resulted in a meeting. Decision-makers are busier than ever, and thanks to mobile technology and remote working possibilities, they aren’t always at their desks.

Fortunately, with the help of modern technology, there are alternative prospecting strategies to cold calling salespeople and marketers now have at their disposal. Warm calling, for example, is very similar. The key difference is that contact is established before the prospect is sent an email or contacted over the phone. This includes connecting with the prospect over LinkedIn, communicating over social media, or having a mutual acquaintance make an introduction.


Not Mixing Things Up.

Mediocre marketing lacks inspiration and boldness. It creates the type of content which fails to stand out in overcrowded newsfeeds and inboxes.

Successful, long term marketing strategy doesn’t stick to the status quo. The best marketers aren’t focused on doing the same things which worked before. They’re expanding on their knowledge by measuring the results of previous marketing campaigns and reflecting on the areas which can be improved. They strive to understand user experience and are always searching for new avenues to promote to consumers.

Don’t bore your customers to death with stale content and old marketing tricks!



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