Here’s a great example of how bad marketing can not only result in you making fewer sales – But actually LOSE you existing customers too!
As you read this post, the owner of a small web hosting business is wondering why so few people have responded to his latest marketing email.
In his marketing email, which was forwarded to me by a reader, he explains that over the Christmas holiday period, the load on his servers increases and this means people’s sites will load really slowly. To frighten his customers still further, he explains that the server speed could be too slow for their customers / clients / readers to bother with. It could screw up their business and make them look bad. (Ouch!)
Sounds horrible right? Well, the email goes on to paint a picture of increasing doom – Until he asks his customers to consider upgrading their hosting package, claiming that the new, more expensive package, will deliver a reliable service.
Can you spot the problem here? This guy has just sent all his customers an email, which tells them the servers he has placed their sites on are overloaded. However, on the page of his website, which sells the package that he now says is unreliable, he says the total opposite. In fact, he makes a number of very bold promises about the reliability of the servers he uses. I have never heard of this hosting provider, his services might be great – but that’s not the point!
Not only has he just informed all his customers that he put their sites on overloaded servers, they now know they can’t trust his company’s marketing promises either!
In a shockingly bad effort to up-sell his clients onto a 400% more expensive package, he has actually massively damaged their opinion of the current service they receive from him. They will now be worrying about the problems that he has forecast for December and some will be looking for a reliable alternative to him and his false promises!
It’s madness for someone to try and scare their customers into upgrading, by claiming that the service he previously sold them is not what he promised. It’s also just plain stupid to tell lies to your customers. This up-sell approach does nothing, other than damage the provider’s reputation and alert the customer to change provider.
Marketing an upgrade to your customers or clients
If you want to encourage existing customers to upgrade from one level of service to the next, you need to demonstrate huge, additional value in the upgraded service. You create a vast difference between their current service and the upgrade, by massively increasing the value of the upgrade – NOT by telling them that what you already sold them is crap. You need to pump so much value into the upgrade, that they would be nuts not to use it.
This value focused approach makes the upgrade process less of a risk for the customer and enhances their experience of your business. They get to see you as being able to grow to meet their demands.
What do you think of the approach used by this hosting company? Have you seen examples of it before and did it encourage you to spend more money with them? What do you think when a provider bad mouths the quality of their own, entry level services? Share your opinions with us.
Photo credit: Paul Hammond