Since PracticeProfs acts as the marketing departments for our clients, we’re constantly evaluating new marketing opportunities. Clients forward those ALL CAPS emails and pesky telemarketer calls they receive to us, so we see quite a wide variety of offers – mostly junk. Some of these pitches are quite believable, and it takes a little effort to see through the smoke screens.
Here are five unethical (in my opinion) tactics that we’ve uncovered over the past couple of months.
- Advertise on searches for your firm. When people search for your firm name, they already know you exist. Companies will buy cheap Google Adwords advertising on those searches, taking credit for people who were already going to contact you.
- Count every contact as a lead. Duplicate calls, telemarketers, and other irrelevant contacts should not count toward promises of leads, meaning those actually interested in your services.
- Sell leads to your competitors. Companies will generate a lead with an interest in your general area of expertise, but then “sell’ that lead to multiple firms. You become a commodity purchase.
- Artificially boost their site traffic. A directory website (list of lawyers, CPAs, etc.) spends advertising money to temporarily boost traffic, and then sells listings based on that higher visitor count. Once the sales campaign is over, so is the advertising.
- Do nothing. The company locks you into a contract, makes a few tweaks to your website, then sits back and collects their payments. Heck, I’ll do nothing for 50% of what those guys charge….
We do this stuff for a living, and sometimes find a real gem among all the empty promises. It’s easy to fall for some of these offers, and tougher to remember to keep an eye on them after you’ve handed over your credit card number. Need help evaluating a questionable marketing tactic? Contact us.