+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Repulsion Marketing

  1. #1
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Midwest-USA, Southeast Asia
    Posts
    1,024
    Thanks
    821
    Thanked 1,139 Times in 565 Posts
    Rep Power
    28

    Repulsion Marketing

    We've talked about this in other threads. I thought maybe it deserved its own thread. More and more, I'm starting to see the wisdom in this approach. It follows closely to the 80/20 approach to marketing. The key difference being you're actively TRYING to drive away parts of your client base who are time wasters, free loaders, complainers, and penny pinchers. Ben Settle is the one who acquainted me with the principle and I believe, one of the pioneers of this approach to marketing. Let me say in advance, his approach is controversial to say the least. I got an email from him today which sums up the concept rather well.

    An interesting sales letter question:

    "Ben, I was just reading your 'Email Players' newsletter sales pitch and was wondering if this part isn't costing you sales:

    ====

    "Email Players" is not for people who can't focus and never implement anything (while complaining about "information overload")... Or those who are on a tight budget (I would not recommend going into debt to subscribe)... Or goo-roo fanboys who think they can learn a super secret "ninja" email trick today and be rich by next Thursday.

    If that's you, don't waste your time.

    I'm sure there's a place for you somewhere.

    But It Ain't
    This Newsletter!

    Is this snippet costing me sales?

    I don't know.

    Frankly, I don't care, either.

    There really are certain people I do NOT want subscribing. Like those extremely needy people who whine, try to abuse my time, don't appreciate value, have no sense of humor and freak out about the dumbest things.

    I say let 'em haunt someone else.

    And if that attitude costs me sales, so be it.

    But you know what?

    I doubt it's "costing" me sales anyway.

    For one thing, that newsletter has done WAY better than I thought. It's totally surpassed my original goals & expectations (especially considering my modest sized list).

    And for another thing, this kind of "salty" talk works.

    Successful people LIKE to be told how it is.

    To have the facts (even the downside) shown to them.

    Suckers, on the other hand, like to be told they'll be swimming in a vault of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck just by downloading a dorky little $9 eBook.

    Hey, I know that offends some people.

    But those are the people I DON'T want subscribing to my newsletter, buying my products or even hanging out on my free email list.

    Like it or lump it that's the way it is.

    Some people are in the "attraction" marketing business.

    Me?

    I'm in the "repulsion" marketing business.

    And you know what?

    It's worked out pretty good so far...
    I bought his product and it's expensive. No refunds given. I have no doubt it works...in certain markets. (unfortunately, mine wasn't one of them.) But we've all experienced the people he is talking about. They're the ones who take up all of your time, complain constantly, and never buy. if they do buy, they want refund. They consider you, and treat you, like you're their underling, bowing and scraping for the pennies they throw.

    I've been reading his emails for about a year. At first I couldn't believe it. Then I started thinking about it. Then I bought his product. (I couldn't use it, but it wasn't a waste of money or time.) Now, I'm starting to come around to his way of thinking.

    So here's the question: Would you have the cajones to market like that?

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to dsieg58 For This Useful Post:

    Chabrenas (16 February 2014), JimWaller (14 February 2014), Kay (16 February 2014)

  3. #2
    Trial Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    4
    I guess he's achieving exactly what he wants, as I would assume this would turn some folks away. However, I actually agree with a lot of his points, especially that people want honesty. Well, people that actually have the motivation to succeed, which are the people that he obviously wants to market to.

    I don't know if I would have the cajones to market this way lol - but I can definitely understand his point of view. I personally would rather hear someone tell me about the downsides/risks as well, and not just sell me a dream. I want to have a realistic perspective as to what I'm embarking upon.

    Maybe I'll incorporate it eventually just to give it a whirl.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to JHill For This Useful Post:

    dsieg58 (17 February 2014)

  5. #3
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Kent - the garden of England
    Posts
    6,166
    Blog Entries
    2
    Thanks
    4,297
    Thanked 3,342 Times in 2,133 Posts
    Rep Power
    95
    Like those extremely needy people who whine, try to abuse my time, don't appreciate value, have no sense of humor and freak out about the dumbest things.
    This is the point that really struck a chord with me. It's so often the freeloaders who are the most demanding. They are the ones who moan the most, complain if they have to pay for anything, take me and others for granted, and behave generally as though everything on the Internet was put there for their personal benefit and then they react like frenzied poodles if everything doesn't go their way.

    Yes, I'm speaking from experience. I had a forum which was absolutely overrun by that type. You wouldn't believe how rude those people were. I despised nearly all of them. With hindsight I suppose I could have sold the forum to someone who saw some value in the active community but this was going back many years ago before I was fully aware of the options open to me. I tried to make things work with those people but it was a waste of time. (You wouldn't believe some of the things these people did. Really.) And they took up such an inordinate amount of time for no benefit to anyone but themselves. Eventually I gave up on them and made it clear their presence was not welcome and one by one they scuttled off elsewhere. Soon after I realised that these thorns in the side had gone, I checked the bottom line for the forum. No difference at all! I was making the same amount of money without them as I had been with them. And I didn't have to spend hours most days cleaning up after them, justifying myself to them, defending myself against their accusations, and explaining to them how the most simple things worked.

    No doubt some people will say I approached it wrongly. If they wouldn't buy my product, then I should have made them the product. Others might suggest I should have offered a different product that they would buy. Maybe these things would have worked, but IMO there are some people that you're better off without and your world is a better place without them in it. That's all water long gone under the bridge now, but I wanted to make the point that freeloaders aren't the worst group. It's the loud, complaining, disruptive, and demanding freeloaders who take that prize.

    Would I market in that way? Yes. I have and I would do it again.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  6. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kay For This Useful Post:

    Chabrenas (17 February 2014), dsieg58 (17 February 2014), JimWaller (17 February 2014)

  7. #4
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Posts
    499
    Thanks
    125
    Thanked 407 Times in 225 Posts
    Rep Power
    13
    I think he's right to want to get rid of these "negative" clients. But he's definitely wrong to do it by issuing this kind of statement.

    I often get enquiries for work from people whom I suspect of being time-wasters, whingers, non-payers, etc. I usually turn these down, but I do so by saying I am too busy or I don't have the right skills. I don't offend them by telling them the real reason. That's not because I want to spare their feelings. It's because (i) I might be mistaken; they might come back one day, and turn out to be reasonable clients after all. (ii) They might recommend me to someone who turns out to be a good client. (iii) Another individual within their company might take over from them.

    I'd rather get a reputation for being too busy to take all the work that comes my way, than one for insulting prospective clients with this kind of high-handed statement. The trick is to get rid of the whingers and time-wasters, but not to let them know that's what they are.

    Mike

  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Mikl For This Useful Post:

    Chabrenas (17 February 2014), dsieg58 (30 March 2014), Kay (17 February 2014)

  9. #5
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Midwest-USA, Southeast Asia
    Posts
    1,024
    Thanks
    821
    Thanked 1,139 Times in 565 Posts
    Rep Power
    28
    There is some truth to the fact that some markets attract these folks more than other markets as well. But as Kay pointed out, they think of the internet as their personal freebie shopping mall. I also sell an expensive product. This alone drives most of them away. They will still email and try to get the product for free. They tell me they will read the book and if they like it, "promote" it to their school, (Of course, they never seem to have .edu email addresses) leave a review, pay half price, pay me if they like it, etc. I'm polite, but firm, to all of them. One thing I did do with the 'monster complainers' is showcasing their emails in my newsletter, then tore them to shreds. That seems to work. They don't like their actions being held up to a mirror for the entire world to see. They love to dish it out, but none of them can take it in return.

    The ones I really dislike are the ones who think because I'm business and I have something to prove to them, or that I owe them That I should bend over backwards for them to get their business. As soon as I get a whiff of them, I cut them off at the knees. I now have over 200 schools using my products as textbooks. The deal is they can buy my book at full price, evaluate it, and if they buy for their school I'll give them a volume discount. Otherwise, they can get a refund like everyone else. For some reason, teachers think when they say "It's for the children" I'm supposed to get all warm and fuzzy and all thoughts of staying in business are supposed to fly out the window. I don't. They get positively livid when you don't play their game. They expect EVERYTHING for free.

  10. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to dsieg58 For This Useful Post:

    Chabrenas (17 February 2014), JimWaller (17 February 2014), Kay (17 February 2014), Mikl (18 February 2014)

  11. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    36
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 46 Times in 19 Posts
    Rep Power
    7
    This then begs the question - at what stage does it become uneconomical where a percentage of customers are out to abuse? For example, offering an ebook on a 60 day return with money back, there will always be a percentage who get the ebook and return it for a refund having gained value from it. Presumably making the offer is worthwhile if it generates more revenue than not making it?

    It also begs the question of what is the dividing line between good customer service and annoying customers in order to "optimise" a revenue stream. I have two recent examples:

    I just desubscribed from my premium account to basic on LinkedIn. To do this, I spent more than twenty minutes on the site trying to find out where to do that, looking in all the obvious places, and seeing messages such as "You can cancel your premium account at any time" but with no link or help as to actually doing it. When I finally found it, there was a large button on the page for "Downgrading" and a short statement saying "cancel your account". The cancel statement was not highlighted in any way, you could only tell it was a link by mousing over it or clicking on it.
    The "downgrade" button linked to a page which offered me the same services I was about to cancel for half the price.

    All of this I find extremely annoying in a number of ways. Firstly, the time it took to find how to cancel, ( not in an obvious place), secondly the cumbersome attempt to "nudge" me towards a "downgrade", rather than simply and quickly taking me to where I could cancel, and thirdly, offering me the same service for half the price ( in other words punishing loyalty which I find particularly infuriating).

    The other example is recently downloading the latest adobe reader from Adobe's website, and without being given the option not to ( unless it flashed by in the small print somewhere, which does not count, because it was not made clearly visible) it also downloaded some McAfee software.

    Both situations finshed with the inevitable feedback survey which asked a number of questions that didn't address these things, but left a comment field at the end. Of course I told them what I thought.

    Now, compare and contrast with a recent Amazon experience - with the acquisition of Lovefilm I cancelled my new "Prime Instant streaming" account. Not only could I find the place to cancel straightaway on Amazon's site, there were no idiotic attempts to get me to reconsider, and shortly afterwards I received an email from Amazon offering me a refund on the unused portion of my subscription.
    It seems Amazon understand better than the other two the value of maintaining a good relationship for the long term. I have had an account with them since about 1996. I know they do have their warts, but they are good at keeping customers long term.

    So my question in regards to this thread is this - is someone who is annoyed and reacts negatively to examples such as the above, part of the group you want to repulse or attract? I think its the people who want a totally free ride and appear to have no shame in achieving it ( the sociopaths and narcissists, whatever).
    However, the point I am hopefully making is that there are sometimes valid reasons to complain and things that might be missed by testing if the wrong metrics are chosen.
    If linkedIN for example tested their cancellation mechanism and found that the current system causes less loss of revenue, did they also test for the frustration of customers doing it, the ill-will that resulted and the potential cost to their business of that?
    Similarly with Adobe when they decided to upload McAfee to customers who only wanted their reader.

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Fiveleaves For This Useful Post:

    dsieg58 (30 March 2014), Kay (30 March 2014)

  13. #7
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Midwest-USA, Southeast Asia
    Posts
    1,024
    Thanks
    821
    Thanked 1,139 Times in 565 Posts
    Rep Power
    28
    Great Post. Well thought out and considered.

    So my question in regards to this thread is this - is someone who is annoyed and reacts negatively to examples such as the above, part of the group you want to repulse or attract?
    I can only speak for myself. The people I want to dissuade or repulse from becoming customers are those which in some way have held up their hands, and identified themselves as
    1.) Serial refunders, thieves, and whatnot.
    2.) Serial freebie seekers, but I give them a lot of leeway. Simply because I do offer free samples. If don't want people to download them, then I shouldn't make them free. So I accept responsibility. But a little consideration would be nice.
    3.) People whose attitude towards vendors is that they should be treated as subhuman, or that are INTENTIONALLY, and habitually, disrespectful to me, or my staff.
    The line is drawn at any kind of abuse towards me or my staff. My people are instructed that if a customer is abusive, to refund immediately, revoke the license (turn off the product) let the customer know why, and terminate the conversation.

    It also begs the question of what is the dividing line between good customer service and annoying customers in order to "optimise" a revenue stream.
    Good customer service is providing everything a customer needs to make a buying decision, providing a quality product, answering questions truthfully, without exaggeration, delivering your product on time and at the price specified, providing any after sales assistance, answering email within minutes, or at latest, hours, (Not days) and refunding promptly and professionally if a customer requests one. Requesting a refund isn't grounds for refusal of future service. Requesting a refund twice, is though.

    Good customer service optimizes your revenue stream without any other intervention on my part. My definition is not to 'annoy' customers, but to make them understand I run a professional business, I treat them professionally and I expect the same in retunr. As far as I'm concerned, being a professional means not putting up with the 3 types of people indicated above. Like any business, I reserve the right to refuse service to any person. The internet doesn't change that. But I also don't take their money, either.

    PS...I had the same thing happen with Adobe. It didn't "flash" past. We were never given the choice to opt out. Both examples cited above are not 'repulsion marketing' but bad vendor practices.

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to dsieg58 For This Useful Post:

    Fiveleaves (30 March 2014)

  15. #8
    Established Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    241
    Thanks
    155
    Thanked 288 Times in 141 Posts
    Rep Power
    15
    Since two posts mentioned Adobe foisting McAfee software on unsuspecting users, I updated a short while ago and was given the chance to opt out of the McAfee software (which I did).

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Book Marketing: Part Three ( Off Line Marketing)
    By dsieg58 in forum Publishing
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 28 June 2013, 2:59 pm
  2. Book Marketing: Part Two ( Online Marketing)
    By dsieg58 in forum Publishing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 24 June 2013, 3:33 pm
  3. Monday Marketing
    By Slowdive in forum Marketing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 4 April 2012, 8:55 am

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts