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Life Health > Running Your Business

5 ways to avoid marketing overkill

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How do you know when you’re marketing too much? It can be a fine line, but here are some principles to guide your marketing planning:

1) Ask your clients. The best way to understand how clients and prospects feel about the frequency of your promotions is to ask them. If most tell you the frequency is “about right,” you’re on target.

2) Measure your opt-outs. Count the number of people who are cutting off their dialogue with you by unsubscribing to emails, unfollowing you on Twitter and unliking you on Facebook. If the numbers are escalating, over-marketing could be why.

3) Follow your own firm and see how it feels. Opt-in to your own promotions to put yourself in the client’s or prospect’s shoes and find out what it’s like to be on the receiving end of your promotional messages. If even you get tired of hearing from your company, you’ll know it’s time to turn down the volume.

4) Deliver more value, less promotion. A lasting relationship between a brand and a client goes beyond special promotions. When you deliver content, insights, access and other exclusive advantages that only those who have opted-in can receive, you create real reasons for the relationship to flourish.

5) Coordinate your efforts. If you have multiple people sending emails, Tweets and Facebook posts to clients and prospects, lack of internal coordination can create permission-based chaos. Set some boundaries and coordinate your efforts to avoid over-promoting.

People opt in because they want to hear from you. But if you disrespect the relationship by coming on too strong, clients and prospects will flee. Treating your clients and prospects well is common courtesy; treating their permission to market to them as a gift is a smart marketing strategy.

Jean M. Gianfagna is a marketing strategy expert and the founder and president of Gianfagna Strategic Marketing which provides marketing strategy and creative services to leading business-to-business and consumer marketers. Read her blog for more marketing tips at


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