How to Lose a Lead in 10 Days: Marketing Don’ts for 2020


  • Marketing is like a relationship. As marketers, we put our brands out there and demonstrate our value to try to attract the ideal match (i.e. customer).
  • Just like relationships, good marketing takes effort and authenticity.
  • The easiest way to turn off customers is to confuse, bore, or frustrate them. 

Love is in the air, so of course here at RMG we’re thinking about what we love most: digital marketing!

And as marketing metaphors go, comparing our craft to a romantic relationship is hardly the worst way to think about it. As marketers, we put ourselves (or at least our brands) out there, demonstrating our value in the most authentic way possible in the hopes of attracting the ideal match (i.e. customer).

So in celebration of the season of rom-coms, we’re taking some lessons from an early-aughts Matthew McConaughey classic to bring you some marketing don’ts for 2020.

Read on to discover the easiest ways to confuse, bore, frustrate, and generally turn off potential customers.

How to Lose a Lead in 10 Days

Day 1: Make a sloppy first impression.

Your website and social media profiles may be the first places where potential customers interact with your brand. Make the information in these profiles inconsistent and disjointed so customers immediately wonder whether they should trust you. Use social media handles that don’t match, and make sure any profile pictures are outdated, blurry, or otherwise unsightly.

Be sure to make your basic company information inconsistent as well. It’s best if your contact information and business hours are outdated or don’t match across profiles or pages.

Finally, don’t worry about fixing clunky websites that are difficult to navigate.

Day 2: Play (very) hard to get.

Using outdated or inconsistent business information is great, but it’s even better not to include it at all. Send your customers on a wild (digital) goose chase trying to track down your contact information or business hours. If you have a link to a “Contact Us” page or lead form, make sure it’s broken or leads to an error so potential leads have absolutely no way to ask questions about or use your services.

Day 3: Be boring.

Your audience wants to be not just informed, but also entertained. If you want to be sure they stop clicking on your content, turn up the snooze-fest and refuse to excite or surprise them.

Write blogs with huge blocks of text, flat and long-winded prose, and titles that sound like they came out of the encyclopedia. Avoid including attractive images at any cost. Get into a routine, crank out the same content month after month, and make sure your paid ads look exactly like everyone else’s so there’s no way to differentiate your brand from your competitors’.

And definitely never try anything new.

Day 4: Neg your audience.

There’s nothing worse than being insulted before being asked for something – like money for a product or service. Make sure to leave a bad taste in potential customers’ mouths by making them feel attacked for the way they live or work.

If you’re selling a software that will revolutionize customers’ bookkeeping, for example, write content that explains in no uncertain terms how silly and foolish their current bookkeeping methods probably are.

Be as insensitive as possible about your customers’ pain points so they get the impression you really only care about one thing: getting into their pockets.

Day 5: Move way too fast.

Rush your website launches, SEO audits, and content projects. Pay as little attention as possible to technical details or your team’s capacity. Definitely don’t set up any KPIs or plan how you’re going to measure ROI.

Day 6: Gaslight your customers.

When it comes to customer relations and review management, just deny, deny, deny. Don’t capitulate to even the most politely-worded negative reviews – especially if it really is your fault. Make sure the customer knows your company is in no way willing to listen to their problems or work with them to find solutions.

Day 7: Ghost your customers.

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best. When in doubt, ignore customer questions, requests, or complaints altogether.

Let those lead forms languish in obscurity, never to be read. Let negative reviews die without dignity in the comments section. Heck, don’t even bother to make sure customer orders are filled.

Day 8: Come on way too strong.

When it comes to content marketing in particular, customers want high-quality content that answers their questions or addresses their pain points in an authentic way. Instead, make sure to use your blog, emails, and paid ads to aggressively sell products or services they don’t want or need.

Ways to achieve this include using ill-placed calls-to-action, targeting leads who fall outside of your ideal customer base, and completely ignoring where potential audience members are in the buyer’s journey.

Day 9: Misrepresent your brand.

Want to doom a relationship from the beginning? Build it on lies by pretending to love your date’s hobbies even though you would actually rather die than, say, go hiking at sunrise.

This concept translates well to marketing. One of the easiest ways to create an unsustainable customer relationship in which no trust or satisfaction is possible is to pretend to be something you’re not.

Misrepresent your services or prices. Oversell your under-developed product. Provide content that’s irrelevant to the service or product you actually provide, ensuring that readers who land on your page actually have no interest in being there.

Day 10: Let yourself go.

Both relationships and good marketing take sustained effort over time. Make sure your customers feel like you’ve completely checked out after an initially strong start.

When it comes to content, take a set-it-and-forget it approach. Don’t perform any keyword research or use analytics to monitor whether what you’re doing is actually working.

Don’t regularly check or clean up your SEO practices, either. Best to let your website get stale and clunky, especially as you wait for the next Google algorithm update.

Finally, forget what your competitors are doing. Let your customers know that you don’t care about solving their problems in new, more efficient ways. They’ll be turning their heads toward the other fish in the sea in no time.

 Of course, if what you want is to nurture those precious leads, RMG has you covered with tips and services to help you work toward the start of some beautiful new (customer) relationships. Get in touch with our team of digital marketing and SEO experts today.

Author avatar
Michael Gomez
Michael was an in-house and freelance content writer before joining the team at Redefine Marketing Group. He is now the Content Manager at RMG, where he focuses primarily on content creation but helps with SEO and Social Media. Michael graduated from CSU Channel Islands with a degree in English.
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap