Is your marketing strategy too clingy?

clingy marketing strategy
Dont be a clingy company

Once you get a customer, it can be hard to let go. But what’s the difference between holding onto a customer and having a marketing strategy that’s way too clingy?

Read on!


Awkward Email Unsubscribe

Guess what? Customers (potential and actual) will occasionally sign up for your email newsletter and then decide it isn’t for them. Don’t make their unsubscribe process hard.

  • Don’t ask them to enter passwords when you know full well they have come from your email.
  • Ensure you include an unsubscribe option with your emails. It’s not only prohibited to send emails without unsubscribe options in both Australia and the USA, you’ll probably cop an earful.
  • Don’t send “are you sure?” style emails during the process. They’ve made a decision, asking a customer to justify it to you will probably just result in them flagging the reason as spam which with some email management systems reflects poorly on you.

Just let them go. Your marketing strategy needs to be flexible enough to realise sometimes your customer will need a break from you. Remember the thing about birds and setting them free? Follow that advice.


Take no for an answer

If you approach a customer or a potential business partner for an opportunity and then they say no, don’t ask them to justify themselves to you. Your customers and the companies you want to partner up with don’t owe you an explanation.

Float an idea in front of your intended target, but if they sound like they aren’t keen, take ages to get back to you or try to politely remove themselves from the situation, take no for an answer.

The more you hassle them, the more they are likely to have a bitch about you. So do yourself a favour and “know when to hold em, know when to fold ‘em.”


Stop chanting “Look at me!”

If you are in an Inbox on a daily basis, always hitting up the same people on Twitter and are generally always leaning on the same customers for input, you can come across looking a bit like…well, an attention seeker or worse still, super needy.

There’s a careful measure between encouraging customers to interact with you and constantly demanding their attention. Influencers are great to have but you have to treat them with respect. Your marketing strategy should encourage influencers and interaction, but not lean on them all the time.

Imagine it’s like a friendship. If you ask for a favour, try to do something in return. If they pop up and share your news, it doesn’t hurt to repay that kindness. If your customers help you, acknowledge it and share that with your other customers. Remember to chat in between the requests you make.

Balance what you want with what would make a customer feel wanted.


Stop changing the rules or playing mind games

The most pleasant interactions any kind of customer can have are the ones where they maintain their autonomy and feel as though they have a say in the process. We value freedom over rules and those who give it gain more consumer loyalty.

When a business decides to move the goal posts on what is required, a lot of enthusiasm and loyalty dies if you don’t manage it carefully. If you don’t at least try to explain the reason for the change, they’ll probably just resent you. To a customer, a change in policy that results in less autonomy looks like you’ve taken something away from them. It can even look like your manipulating your customers.


  • Have rules, but don’t shroud them in mystery.
  • Be transparent about why they exist and what bearing they have on the customer experience.
  • If you do need to change them, take the time to start a conversation with the affected customers to reduce the anxiety and resentment.

By opening dialogue with your customers when things change, you’ll seem less like a bully and more like someone who values consumer input.


Marketing strategy is a lot like dating. We’re attracted to the things that seem positive, fun and without baggage. If businesses start leaning on their customers before they are not ready, it will impact the relationship negatively. So try to be the place that fosters a genuine connection and lose the clingy vibe!



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