I’m an avid online consumer, and also a marketing professional so I’m always hyper-aware of the marketing that’s directed at me.

Because of an allergy to chemicals used in most major drugstore brand shampoos and other lotions and potions for eyes and face, I’ve had to switch products. The allergist told me, “That’s why bottles of shampoo can sit on a shelf for months and months — they’re filled with formaldehyde and other preservatives.”

They’re filled with WHAT?!?!

However, from a consumer point of view, it’s like having a part-time job learning all the chemical names. So, still on the quest for organic products that work and don’t cost as much as my mortgage, I found an organic beauty products site that had — are you ready for this?!?! — a glossary of terms.

I thought I’d burst into tears I was so happy!

After almost a year, I found nirvana; and the company did everything right.

  1. Their website didn’t smack me in the face after two nanoseconds of being on their home page with an irritating pop-up for a discount offer.
  2. The site is filled with the educational content their audience searches on and so they’re in the right place during the ‘information gathering’ buying phase.
  3. The glossary is easy to understand and navigate. Using green checkmarks and red Xs to clearly label each chemical ‘good’ or ‘bad’ made it easy to use. Also, their logical sorting tools (alphabetically was one) felt like a divine intervention from the allergy goddess.
  4. They waited patiently for at least a full minute to serve me their irritating pop-up for a discount offer, and I appreciated being given the time to consume their content and scan their site to learn if they sold what I wanted to buy.

I ordered what I needed and it arrived in a few days. During the time it took to get delivered, I wasn’t barraged with a tsunami of daily sales emails clogging up my inbox. I did get shipping notifications and two informative emails about their company, the ingredients they use, and their commitment to high-performance organic skincare.

Smart move.

Their competitors, on the other hand, sent me a squillion emails daily imploring me to buy their products. This was so very irritating. It’s too much, too soon. I mean, we just met!

Contrast this company’s customer-centric approach with what I’ve experienced recently when ordering other products. I’m often left shaking my head at such bad marketing. I haven’t received my first order, I don’t yet know if your ‘best selling’ product is right for me.

The customer acquisition phase is the most expensive, so it makes lots of sense to get this right and not irritate the hell out of those you’re still courting. At least not immediately.

I am very happy with both the product and the company. I will definitely reorder. Their emails continue to educate me and they don’t yell at me.

All good.

  1. Understand your customer’s journey — include content on your site so they’ll find you
  2. Treat brand new customers with respect — be aware of the fragility of a new customer relationship and treat it accordingly
  3. Don’t create friction of any kind
  4. Don’t sell me; let me buy — end of story

Use email marketing strategically to form a relationship with your prospects and clients.

Back off of the transactional and aggressive discounts, and please…ease up on using exclamation points !!!!!! Let’s get to know each other first. Make it easy and pleasant to do digital business with you and you’ll have me for life.