19 Poor Marketing Strategies You Need to Avoid

By: | August 2, 2022 | Tags: , |
Poor marketing strategies

Is your business suffering from poor marketing strategies?

This post is for you if you are losing

  • Income.
  • Subscribers.
  • Your reputation.

Often, we believe we are following the basic strategies for marketing oblivious to the causes of our marketing campaigns’ failures.

Times change, trends change, and strategies that once were successful may no longer be effective. In fact, they may be downright poor marketing strategies.

Over the past decade, small businesses have emerged as the primary economic engine of the United States. Without their hard work and dedication, the United States would not have the economy it enjoys today.

However, many of these small businesses struggle to reach their full potential. They face a number of challenges as they try to grow their businesses, including finding enough qualified employees, building a positive brand reputation, and increasing sales.

Let’s examine why poor marketing strategies can hurt your marketing campaigns so that you can fix them.

Poor Marketing Strategies

Coming on too strong

Being spammy, too salesy, coming on too strong.

Poor marketing strategy examples: LinkedIn direct message section is full of spam. Facebook DMs are full of spam messages too.

Nobody likes to be spammed. If you’re bombarding your subscribers with sales pitches in their emails, it’s no wonder they unsubscribe.

Instead of selling, focus on providing value to your subscribers. Share helpful tips and valuable blog posts. Focus on delivering help; you’ll be much more likely to keep your subscribers happy — and subscribed to your email list.

Irrelevant and salesy emails may end up in a subscriber’s spam folder.

Ignoring Your Opportunities

At the risk of contradicting the last strategy, there is one time of the year you are allowed to come on strong and be overly promotional.

Can you guess?

That time of the year is Black Friday.

Consumers are used to getting sold to on Black Friday. They won’t judge you badly if your promotional emails appear in their emails box.

If you market electronics, Cyber Monday is the day for you to capitalize on your marketing opportunity.

In 2020, in the U.S. alone, consumers spent a jaw-dropping 10.8 billion dollars (Source).

Ignoring FOMO

“FOMO” stands for the Fear of Missing Out.

Human nature compels you to want to avoid missing out.

Therefore, in your marketing copy, use words like “limited time,” “while supplies last” or “going fast.”

These phrases are also powerful in your email subject lines. They work to boost open rates.

Being insensitive

Since Covid, you need to be subtle or risk appearing insensitive.

Tell people how their lives would be better with your product and not why your product is so great.

People like to feel understood. Consumers resonate with brands that can relate to them.

Ignoring Customers’ Wishes

You need to cater to your audience.

Google Analytics can tell you the demographics of your website visitors so you can make sure you are addressing their wants and desires.

For instance, let’s say eco-friendly consumers are interested in buying from your brand.

How will you make your product appealing to them?

Considering making your items sustainable would go a long way in this instance. If you cater to people who want you to Go Green, then, Go Green!

Failing to Use Social Media

Social media marketing occurs on online platforms where businesses can promote themselves. Instead of spending money on traditional advertising, businesses often use social media to connect with their customers.

This allows them to build a relationship with prospective and current customers, which often results in higher sales. In today’s digital world, social media marketing is the primary way businesses build their online presence.

Let’s explore more ways to avoid poor marketing strategies.

Failing to Use Content Marketing

Some bloggers are so focused on content writing, they forget about content marketing.

Remember the end game. Your goal is to sell.

The content is a vehicle that makes consumers aware of your brand, establishes you as an expert in the niche, and lets people know about your products or services.

In your content, let people know that you can offer them more intensive help to solve their problems with your product or service.

Subtlety is key. Discreetly let them know about your products or services. I recommend near the end of your article.

By the time they are done reading the majority of your blog post, they may be ready to buy.

You can put your pitch in your Call to Action. It may not occur to people to buy your product or service. Tell them what you want them to do at the end of your post. Give them a link so they know how to purchase.

Failing to Use Email Marketing

Today in Digital Marketing podcast reported that consumers are more likely to buy as the result of email marketing efforts than any other type of marketing.

This conclusion was drawn after polling consumers and asking them why they made purchases.

Abandoned Shopping Cart Syndrome

Okay, it’s not really a syndrome. However, abandoned shopping carts are so widespread that it might as well be.

People forget they left something in a shopping cart.

Send an automated reminder.

Putting all your efforts in one direction

You need to take a multidirectional approach.

I realize you don’t have time to market everywhere. Choose two or three platforms to direct your marketing energies.

I know of a marketer, Karan Singh, who only promoted on Snapchat. He was so successful on Snapchat, that he achieved fame and acclaim. He even got his picture on a magazine cover in India. Then, Snapchat users flocked to Instagram and he lost his massive following and to a large degree his success.

This story illustrates the point: You can’t put all your marketing eggs in one basket.

Ignoring Retargeting Opportunities

Obviously, “retargeting” means “to target again.”

Poor marketing strategies include giving up the first time a consumer passes on your offer.

Although retargeting generally involves paid ads, my advice has an organic appeal.

This is how I retarget without needing an advertising budget:

On Instagram, I use the Countdown Sticker in an Instagram story to let people know about a product launch or a discount.

When consumers click on the Countdown, I receive a notification. Then, I introduce myself in their DMs and offer to answer their questions.

Instagram’s algorithms now make my content more visible in their feed.

Marketers say it takes 7 sightings of your brand for people to buy from you.

By becoming more visible in the Instagram feed, you boost the probability of consumers buying from you.

Sending Irrelevant Emails

Although there are ways to sell other than using email marketing, notifying your email subscribers of new products and discounts is effective.

Marketing to people who have already said “yes” to you by giving you their emails and getting on your email list is half the battle.

However, when you send irrelevant emails, people feel your brand has nothing to do with them and they unsubscribe.

Your goal should be able to market to more people by getting them on your email list, not less.

Failing to Prune Dead Weight

Speaking of email marketing, removing your email subscribers from your list sounds counterproductive considering the last strategy. However, there is a reason for intentionally reducing your email subscriber count.

When people don’t open your emails, your open rate drops. This tells Gmail or your email provider that your emails are spam and they wind up in the spam folder.

By pruning the list members who haven’t opened your emails in a year, your open rate improves and your emails are less likely to wind up in people’s spam folders which they rarely check.

Failing to Personalize Your Emails

I once read a list member’s reaction to receiving a personalized email greeting as “warm and fuzzy.”

Your email should start with the name of the recipient. “Hi _____” or something of that nature.

How will you know their name?


Include a place for new members to type their first names on your email signup form.

Only Create Contact in Order to Sell

At holiday times, feel free to send electronic greeting cards.

This way, people will remember your brand throughout the year.

Marketing attribution takes only a moment but goes a long way in making your brand memorable throughout the year.

Failure to Have a Blog

A blog brands your business as an expert in your field. People want to buy from brands that know what they are doing.

When people link to your blog post and cite you as an authority in their articles, your reputation increases.

Your reputation matters because consumers buy from people they trust. A blog is a vehicle to boost your online reputation.

In addition, you can use your blog for content marketing and promote the content on social media. You can mail your blog article to your email list.

Therefore, with one blog post, you can take advantage of content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing.

Failing to Have a USP

If you don’t have a Unique Selling Position (USP), consumers won’t know why they should buy from you instead of your competitors.

Have an About page where you explain your USP so people know what makes you different from other brands.

Always Be Available

Frustrated website visitors will leave your site never to return. They certainly won’t buy from you.

Have a way for people to reach you 24/7. You might consider using a chatbot if you don’t want a real human to be available all the time.

However, whichever method you pick, website visitors need a way to get their questions answered when they arrive at your website.

Your Brand is Confusing

No one likes to be frustrated.

People don’t have time to figure out how to navigate your website or how to get items in and out of a shopping cart.

Also, your web copy should be easily understandable and not written for people who need prior knowledge of your industry.

If the user experience is poor, people will leave your website in search of greener pastures.

Not only will your sales drop but your SEO will suffer as well.

Wrapping Up: Poor Marketing Strategies

In closing, boosting marketing success is easier when you avoid these poor marketing strategies that cost you income, positive branding, and make your subscriber list numbers drop.

By reading this post, you discovered 19 poor marketing strategies you must avoid so that you can boost your income and your reputation.

If you feel you need more intensive help with your marketing, check out the Mostly Blogging Academy.

Readers, please share so frustrated marketers discover this list of poor marketing strategies in order to avoid making those mistakes.

I look forward to your views in the comments section. Which is the worst of the poor marketing strategies? Are there additional poor marketing strategies you suggest marketers avoid making?

  1. Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Janice,

    Coming on too strong is a common error for newbie marketers and struggling veterans who fear putting in work to actually develop skills. If marketing online were as easy as only dropping links to product offers everyone would be a billionaire in the online world.


    • Janice Wald

      Hi Ryan,
      I agree with what you wrote. My understanding is that marketing was far easier before the pandemic. Now, marketers must sincerely want to improve the welfare of consumers’ lives or they will come off as crass and spammy.

  2. Poulomi Basu

    Great points, Janice! So many businesses get this wrong. I once had a client who was sending the same emails, non-personalized, and frequently, to thousands of people, people who had maybe once interacted with the brand years ago. Email blasts like this can actually backfire. Every marketing campaign should have a proper strategy first and ideally, key goals.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Poulomi,
      Great to see you! We also get the same generic emails. People seem to forget that they already sent them to us and they end up looking unprofessional and careless.
      I agree with your strategy of developing unique marketing campaigns and not recanned generic marketing campaigns.
      Thanks for commenting.

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