But, Do They Work?

by Bill Nolan

Unconventional guerrilla marketing tactics may be a necessity for some businesses, but do these actions occasionally cross the line? And, are they worth it? Continuous creeping calls, messages promising once in a lifetime opportunities, get rich quick notices, opt-in courses to become a millionaire in a week, sound like Trump schemes. Tactics used to capture your email and contact information may seem shady and a bit aggravating, but do they work?

Annoying Guerrilla Marketing Tactics

Annoying Guerrilla Marketing Tactics

Cold Calls Anyone… With Your Dinner?

Obviously, Cold Calls are one of the original tactics used to annoy all of us the most.You are busy at work, doing a hundred multi-tasking projects, when your phone rings. “Hi, this is so and so from XYZ company and you’ve just won and opportunity to cruise the world for free.” Now that’s where the call usually ends and you hang up in a rage. You’ve now lost track of what you were doing and you are cursing the guy for interrupting. However, you can’t help but wonder if the offer was legitimate and if you just missed out on something special. You think, maybe next time you will actually listen. You may even begin to feel bad for your rudeness and hope they will call back soon. Don’t worry. They will, and the chances are you will sign up for something – just in case. Salespeople are good at what they do. They are banking on the numbers and a variety of personalities to tap. The more they call, the greater the chance of finding someone wanting chat grows, and that is a bingo. Now, think about it. The more they call and the greater the reach – the larger the chances for returns. The “good” ones are well scripted and have plenty of tricks to catch your attention. Cold Calls have evolved into a real art. This classic tactic still exists and possibly always will. Cold Call centers are warehouses, and the odds are in their favor.

Opt-In And Receive Genius Knowledge.

The opt-in guerrilla tactic is becoming a monster by the day, and it’s a vicious one. I am sure you have endured it. You most likely succumbed to it, without even realizing, especially when you are on Facebook. You see an interesting article, maybe one that offers answers to the world’s greatest secrets, and you get that feeling deep down that you must read on. And that’s when the Opt-in hits you! That “learn more” link takes you off into a flashy landing page asking for your email. No big deal, right? No one likes having their cake taken from them, especially you, and you are going to take it back. You are going to find out how to become a millionaire in a couple months and then have all of the cake you want. This is what “they” are banking on. So there you go and start typing, “take my email and do what you want with it.” And, that is just what they will do. Plus, upsell you a little after that.

Another Opt-in tactic, within the same vein, involves those fun quizzes and tests that are so popular on social platforms. How fun! What state should you really be living in? Who were you in your past life? What friend really wants to kill you? They are all things we really need to know or really enjoy passing our work day finding out. So, what’s the catch you ask? You can only get the results after you enter your email. C’mon now, you just spent all that time answering questions to learn which Superhero you could be. This is a no-brainer; you will give them your email. That’s not the really irritating part. Of course not, but the email they just took from you went somewhere that could turn into your worst nightmare. Did this tactic work? Does Superman wear a cape? Rest assured, those emails are being collected and sold around the world for marketing purposes. That’s okay. It was worth letting everyone on Facebook know that you should be Thor. And, the Opt-in Cycle continues.

Rest assured, those emails are being collected and sold around the world for marketing purposes. That’s okay. It was worth letting everyone on Facebook know that you should be Thor.

SMS Marketing. Sounds Big Time!? That’s Text Marketing.

With SMS Marketing (Short Message Services) tactics, your level of frustration will coincide with how freely you give out your cell phone number. Once you “get involved” in this marketing strategy you can expect text alerts (push notifications) involving brands and services that you have now made a connection with. These are typically alerts about sales, new products, discounts, and more. Doesn’t seem so bad, but SMS can go awry in a hurry. Actually, more often people receive frequent alerts from companies they have never heard of or care about. What is more annoying than that? In the early days of SMS people fought against it because each text would cost them. Nowadays the skies the limit with unlimited texting offered through the phone companies. Heck, they may be the culprits behind some of these guerrilla tactics. Now, maybe you’re waiting for an important business text message or waiting to hear from a friend that likes texting about every feeling they have. Instead, your phone is blowing up with alerts about an upcoming “White Sale” at JCPenney. If you were at the mall this text might be okay, but while you are at dinner this texting may not be the right time. Annoying? With that being said, SMS Marketing does have its benefits for you and businesses, but timing is extremely crucial. Some of these services are obviously better than others and so are their tactics. SMS Marketing services are working to become more useful. And, the larger problem for you is figuring out how your cell phone number was added to this service. Don’t be fooled. SMS Marketing has been a lurking guerrilla marketing tactic for a long while. And, it is just coming into its own…

Don’t be fooled. SMS Marketing has been a lurking guerrilla marketing tactic for a long while. And, it is just coming into its own…

I think it is safe to say these are all very annoying marketing tactics, and I am sure that each one of us can relate to these experiences. But, without a doubt they work, and they will continue to be used. The good news is they work so well – that the service providers are are taking greater strides to provide a better end user experience. Their goal is not to be so annoying. This leads to even greater sales. You may also take solace in having the ability to prevent some of these guerrilla tactics. Use common sense. Stop giving the cashier your email address. She really doesn’t need it. And ask yourself if you really need all of those get rich quick scheme articles. Stop answering the “unknown caller.” You have voicemail. Maybe cut back on those social quizzes. They really are not free entertainment sources. They will cost you in the end. And, don’t give your phone number out like candy. Regardless, you will deal with some of these tactics from time to time. After all, they work. They are a necessity for businesses, and they are evolving to convince you that you need them too.