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By Eric Quanstrom #leads September 8, 2016

I read a lot of business sites and blogs and there is a new trend that’s been popping up the last few months that is irritating beyond measure. While I assume this is supposed to be something silly or a joke, I think the site designers forget that 80% of what you say is lost in text because you have no vocal intonation and no body language.

You know those boxes that popup on a website that want you to sign up for their newsletter? Many of them are starting to have the “No, I don’t want your newsletter.” phrased as “No, I’d rather be ignorant.” or “No, I prefer to suck at …

What is this nonsense? Who thought this was a good idea? Not only is it rude, it also tells me that the rest of your blog clearly isn’t useful because if I don’t sign up for your newsletter, I will remain ignorant forever. So why on earth am I on your blog, if your blog clearly won’t inform or entertain me in any way? By the owner’s (or marketing team’s) own admission, all that information is useless. I’ll grant exceptions to the websites of comedians, but no one is supposed to take those seriously.

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The joke isn’t confidence inspiring. It makes the people who run the site sound arrogant. Does anyone really want to work with a company who start off the relationship sounding pedantic? It’s rude. I don’t enjoy working with rude people. Unless that person is the best at what they do or a client that always pays on time, why on earth would anyone choose to subject themselves to an arrangement which condones poor behavior in one party.

The entire point of doing business is mutual trust and respect. One party provides results, the other compensates for those results. It’s a mutual exchange based on trust. If someone begins that relationship with, “If you don’t sign up for my newsletter, you’re an idiot.” They are already insulting their prospects. Most people will not sign up for your newsletter the first 10 seconds they’re on your site. They haven’t yet had a chance to read the material on the webpage. They have not yet formed a conclusion about whether you can provide value to them.

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It’s important that people like you when they visit your site.

Forming a positive impression of the company is key to starting a healthy business relationship. People rarely buy from people they don’t like. That has been proven in sales for decades. No salesperson walks into an office and announces, “If you don’t buy my product, you’re stupid.” Sales and lead generation are similar in approaches and tactics. What is a terrible idea in one case is usually bad in the other.

Instead of an opt out button with insulting text try one of the following:

“No, thanks.”
“Not now.”
“I’d rather not.”
“I get too many emails already.”

Or if you’re trying to put in some personality or spunk, try:

“I’ve been on your site 10 seconds. I’m not ready to take it to the next level.”
“Please don’t overrun my inbox.”
“I will sign up when I’m good and ready! Not a moment before!”
“Woah there, speedracer. Let me finish reading the page first!”

It’s possible to be cute, silly or otherwise not serious without being rude. But if you’d rather use lead generation methods that send prospects to your competitors, that’s your decision.

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