by Don F Perkins

On Threat Marketing: LAST CHANCE!!! Really?…
I’ve been talking to my customers again. They all agree: threat marketing does not appeal to us consumers. It only serves one purpose: It annoys the crap out of us! When we see an email subject line that says anything like: “This is your last chance!” We think, are these guys desperate, stupid or both? Let’s face it, we all know that if you are a legitimate company that intends to stay in business, there will be many more chances to buy from you. Don’t insult our intelligence with false scarcity. Unless of course you really don’t want our business now, or in the future.

We Have Choices

As a seller, I understand why you do it. You’re trying to force more sales in the near term. You realize that the longer we wait, the greater the chance that we will go somewhere else and buy somebody else’s widgets. I get it, but threats will only make me doubt your business sense, and I would rather do business with someone who gets that.
The same applies for going out of business sales. I mean there’s an oriental rug store near me that has been “going out of business” for four years! If you’re going to lie to us, get creative about it at least. If you really are going out of business, it means that if we have a problem, we’re on our own because you won’t be there to help us. It also means that if I buy anything on sale, it’s the stuff you couldn’t sell when you were in your hay day.

What Kind of Customer Do You Want?

So, threat marketer: What kind of customers do you want? Do you really want the kind of customers who are attracted by these kinds of ridiculous, all caps, exclamation mark, cheesy threats? Are you the kind of business that is only interested in getting more money TODAY, regardless of who it comes from? If you only intend to be in business for a few weeks, then that may work just fine, but if you would rather have long range, consistent revenue, without having to work so hard, there is a better way: Value Marketing.

A Better Way: Content Marketing

Everyone knows it’s way harder and more costly to get a new customer than to keep an existing one. Repeat business happens when consumers are happy with the value you provide and so they return to you again and again expecting great value. Consequently, they also tell others about the value they found. This is the holy grail of marketing. So give us consumers credit, we’re not just walking bundles of impulses looking for bright red “LAST CHANCE!!” signs. We also think and reason on occasion, especially when we’ve been burned a few times. Most products or services fall into one of two categories: wants or needs. Figure out what the underlying want or need is, and you have a platform for content marketing.

For example: Instead of threatening me that this is my “LAST CHANCE!! BUY NOW OR REGRET IT FOREVER!”, why not describe exactly how I can benefit from buying now, rather than waiting. Do a little ground work and figure out what would actually make me buy now, instead of making me growl and grit my teeth at you as I delete your stupid email. Do you see the difference? Now you’ve appealed to a thinking customer, not a knuckle dragging lizard brain. Why is this important? Because the former is more likely, on average to actually have money to spend. They’re also more likely to be able to articulate your value in ways that make sense and draw more opportunity to you on social channels or in conversations with other like minded consumers. Content marketing meets people where they are, with a message of value, which is way more effective on consumers than threats and cajoling.

Well, that’s my marketing soapbox for today. To learn more from me and my customers, sign up for my email newsletter. No hurry, it will be around for a while.