A viral article has been circling Facebook discussing the arrest of a woman stalking her boyfriend. It reported that she made 77,639 phone calls, send 1,937 e-mails, 41,229 text messages and 647 letters. Of course, the report was posted on a satire website and was completely fake. But it got me thinking about stalker-like marketing tendencies. With direct mail advertisements overflowing mailboxes, outbound call centers dialing thousands of numbers every day, e-mail spam cluttering e-mail inboxes – it’s not really that far off from the article, is it? With more and more consumers signing up for Do Not Call registries and spam blockers knocking marketing e-mails from getting to the customers you’re sending them to – I have to wonder – WHY are people still subscribing to this type of interruption stalker marketing? If you’re starting to question your outbound marketing tactics, it might be time to make a change. Here are a few signs that your outbound marketing tactics are getting a little out of hand.

Spammy, irrelevant e-mails.

What you might find to be engaging, relevant content might not be seen as such by those that you’re sending that information to. Here are some staggering statistics about e-mail spam:

  • 21% of e-mail recipients report e-mail as spam, even if they know it isn’t.
  • 43% of e-mail recipients click the spam button based on the e-mail “from” name or address.
  • 35% of e-mail recipients open e-mail based on the subject line alone.
  • 17% of Americans create new e-mail addresses every 6 months.

This information is pretty crucial. It tells you that not only should you make sure that you’re sending e-mails that apply to your prospects interest, but you have to make sure that your subject line is engaging and clean your lists on a regular basis. Taking e-mail marketing a step further, a good rule of thumb is to only send e-mails to customers that you know they have an interest in. If you’re buying e-mail lists or blinding sending “Newsletter” content that you think your contacts care about, take a moment to really look through your e-mail stats. Are the click-through rates pretty bad? Do you have a less than stellar open rate? All of these things could mean that your e-mails are being seen as spammy.

Text Message Marketing & Cold Calls.

466725767As Do Not Call registries make it more difficult to reach people through cold-calling techniques, many companies are phasing out cold calls and resorting to text marketing. The problem? New legislation in the state of Florida is preventing text marketing to those that are on the Do Not Call registry as well, further limiting this outbound tactic. If you’re still subscribing to this “newer” interruption marketing technique, it’s time to get a new approach. The idea behind this new bill is to free consumers from spammy marketing. While Americans send hundreds of text messages every month, they don’t want to get them from random companies when they haven’t opted in to those campaigns. Is text marketing still relevant? Absolutely. But make sure that your customers really want to hear from you and that you take the time to gauge their interests carefully before sending out the same message to thousands of contacts.

Direct Mail.

The response rate of direct mail isn’t ideal. It sits at around 1%, and while some companies might have the budget to blow on this type of marketing, it’s really no better than letters from a stalker ex-girlfriend. There’s nothing worse than walking from the mailbox directly to the trashcan to throw away all the advertisements and solicitations that one receives on a daily basis. A better way? Use e-mail marketing and articles to draw people in through organic search and keep them engaged based on their interests. Lead intelligence tools can give you a good idea for how to segment your contacts based on content they have downloaded and engaged with rather than blinding sending thousands of flyers out to a list of people.

Don’t be a stalker. Take the time to create marketing that educates, offers value and doesn’t interrupt the lives of those that are receiving it. Consumers are becoming more and more savvy every day in adopting new ways to avoid interruption marketing. Make sure that your marketing engages by employing inbound tactics that function to educate rather than interrupt your prospects.