By Christopher Thigpen, COO

PROPER MARKETING ETIQUETTE… we all need it.

Did you get another yucky unsolicited spammy phone call, text, or email from a business that you swear you didn’t give your information to? It feels endless. A vicious cycle you can’t get out of no matter how many times you say no, send stop, or try to unsubscribe yet somehow, you’re still on their listing? Did you know that’s ILLEGAL? As a business, you should know that you can be reported and be given a hefty fine. Businesses have now had to start paying up… BIG TIME. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. You would feel like you’re trapped constantly trying to delete voice mails, texts, and emails that you tried to opt out of. Is this de ja vu or are you stuck in a futuristic time loop like Edge of Tomorrow? So, what do you do?

Since the phone was invented, we have been bombarded with constant calls with ‘miracle this’, ‘beauty that’, or ‘get a loan now’. Then the FTC came along banning deceptive and abusive acts and practices which also restricted the times they could call you (9 AM – 8 PM… Yay!). With the internet came email, phones came text, and now… AI.

Fortunately, we recently went to a fun workshop that helped remind us of some of the DO’s AND DON’Ts of proper marketing etiquette. Thanks to the brilliant Jennifer Baker of Performance & Engagement Consulting. She helped us see the light (insert angelic music).

Here are some DO’s & DON’Ts: 

  • BE HONEST. BE AUTHENTIC. Don’t lie or try to trick people. Never give false information or promises in your advertising to only hook them in. It’s like starting a relationship with someone. You don’t want to start things off by lying. Be real.
  • IDENTIFY YOURSELF. You can’t go around telling people you’re just a “person” trying to get to know your customers when you’re a company or non-profit trying to sell a service or a product. Let’s not catfish.
    1. Example: “Hey, it’s me, Danny. Long time no see friend. Just trying to catch up. Get a free trial to MadeUpGym for 7 days and get the bod you want for 2024 if you click on the link below.” Sound familiar? Obviously, not a friend. Like, who are you? Don’t you hate this? Me too.
  • GIVE THEM A WAY OUT. Don’t trap your customers in a cycle of unsolicited phone calls, texts, and emails. You have to give someone an option to opt-out or unsubscribe. No one wants to be held hostage. Yikes.
    • BONUS: Do you know what hours a business is allowed to send text messages to a customer? (Hint: It’s the same as phone calls… the answer is at the top of this article.)
  • STAY AWAY ILLEGAL CONTENT. If you didn’t know, absolutely NO marketing of illegal substances, sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco.
    1. For texting specifically: NO gambling!
  • KNOW THY AUDIENCE. Remember you have to look at your stats. You’re not just putting out content to let people know you exist, but you want to know who’s listening, reading, or watching so you can better understand how you can market more effectively rather than spending countless hours doing random things that don’t work. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME!
  • CONSISTENCY IS YOUR FRIEND. Honestly, this is one of the most important ones to remember. Consistency is KEY. There are many times businesses will start something and just stop (we say this because we are so guilty of it). As a small business, it is so important to remain consistent to get your information out there. Here are some tips to make it easier for you:
    1. Create a template.
    2. Have your topics lined up.
    3. Create a calendar.
    4. Have a scheduling system.
    5. Have fun and be creative.

Yay… You made it to the finish line! These are just some of the tips we learned from the brilliant Jennifer Baker. If you want to learn more, definitely check her out. She goes into the legalities of email marketing, SMS texting, AI, and more. Overall, don’t be a pain. In simpler words, act like a human being and be real. We all want to be treated respectfully. As a business (I am a small business owner myself), it is understandable that we have to market ourselves in any way that we can, but people have their limits. We have to treat our customers with the best care possible because we ARE customers ourselves. Ask yourself… wouldn’t you want to be cared for?

RENO, NV, JANUARY 2024

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