Let’s set the scene. You’re a growing replacement contractor who just had one of your best years ever. You decide that it’s time to invest a bit more in your marketing, and after doing your research, partner with an agency that specializes in home improvement. The relationship is been off to a great start. They’re responsive, insightful, and above all else are increasing your leads.
Then you get an email.
Like anyone, you get your fair share of spam, but this one happens to catch your eye. You don’t know this person, but they claim that your website speed is SLOW. Or, that your SEO efforts aren’t working, that you can’t be found online, that you’re missing X, Y, Z and 1, 2, 3, etc.
You might not know who this person is, but we do. It’s an agency or marketing “guru” looking to sell you their services by inciting fear. Fear that your marketing sucks.
Well, we’re here to tell you that it, in fact, does not suck.
What should you do when you receive a scare tactic email?
Unfortunately, there’s a portion of our industry that relies on these shady scare tactics. Whenever one of our clients receives a scare tactic email, we tell them two things.
1. Immediately send us (or your marketing agency) the email
If you did your homework then you’ve partnered with an agency that’s transparent about everything they do. Here at FatCat, our motto is “challenge accepted.” When we receive emails like this, we’ll not only provide the data to disprove it, we’ll use it as an opportunity to evaluate ourselves and how we can improve.
2. Don’t panic
Look, we get it. Your paying thousands of dollars and someone just told you it’s not effective. It’s understandable to be concerned and to ask questions, but you don’t want to make a rash decision.
And lastly, isn’t it a bit strange that you only began to receive emails like this after investing in your marketing? They had to have found you somehow. It’s almost as if, *gasp*, your marketing is working!
The worst (and most common) marketing scare tactics
There are a number of tactics used by scare tactic marketers. Although each targets a separate aspect of your business, they’re all sent with one purpose: to make a sale.
“Your website has a poor mobile experience”
We live in a mobile-first world, and it’s true that having a poor mobile experience can negatively impact your marketing efforts. However, marketers employing scare tactics may highlight a metric that, taken out of context, can look really bad when in reality, it’s not a serious concern.
“Your website’s speed is slow”
In the same vein, marketers will highlight a metric from something like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to instill fear in you. Does this mean that your website can’t improve? No, of course not. But again, context is everything. ESPN, one of the country’s largest sports websites, for example only scores 9 out of 100.
“Your SEO is bad”
This is a personal favorite of mine and it’s one of the most common scare tactics home improvement companies receive. SEO, or search engine optimization, is a complex aspect of marketing. Marketers know this, so they’ll claim something with your website’s SEO can be improved, knowing you don’t have a clue what it means or does.
“We couldn’t find you when searching for X”
Another common SEO-based scare tactic, marketers will often claim that your business couldn’t be found when searching a specific term. There are so many factors that go into this. First and foremost, Google search is location-based, so unless this person happens to live in your town, they’re going to get different results. Also, there are so many different keywords that can be searched for. As an example, you might show up for “Bathroom remodeling”, but not “remodeling your bathroom.”
The tactics outlined above serve no other purpose than to instill fear and make a sale. They’re shady at best and definitely not what you want to look for in a marketing partner. Instead, look for an agency that’s transparent and communicates clearly.
Looking to improve your marketing and lead generation? Contact us today for a free consultation.
Pat graduated from the University of Missouri, where he studied Sports Management. After graduation, he worked in marketing for several years in his hometown of Chicago, before making the move to Raleigh in late 2018. A diehard sports fan, you can find him cheering on the Chicago Bears, the Chicago Cubs, and the Mizzou Tigers football team.
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