Irritating Marketing Trends – Do They Actually Work?

What’s the most irritating marketing trend you know?

I noticed a growing trend of businesses using Unicode characters in subject lines – snowmen at Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day, suns for summer sales.

And to me? It looks like something my 13-year-old cousin would post on Facebook. But trusted retailers must be seeing success with these symbols, because they continue to use them.

That got me thinking about other trends and practices out there that seem really annoying but actually produce great results – whether it’s open rates, click throughs or new email sign ups.

Trends That Work… Despite Getting Your Goat!

The trend of using symbols in subject lines got us talking about other trends that seem annoying but really work, like USING ALL CAPS in the subject line or using a popover web form to attract new subscribers. Who wants their web browsing experience to get interrupted like that?

But surprisingly enough, these tactics seem to work and work incredibly well, as results from our own customers have shown.

Have you tried any of these trends with similar results?

Have you come across any other trends that turn you off as a marketer but get results for your campaign? Do you use any of them yourself? Have you gotten surprising results? Share them with us – we’d love to talk about them!

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8 Comments

  1. I hate it when i see an ebay listing in all caps… but when i try it myself for my products, it achieves good sales for me lol. Weird but true.

    5/29/2013 8:50 pm
  2. pieterjan decoster

    We tried the unicode characters in our subject line a few times but the results were kind of disappointing. Only 4% increase of open rates. I expected more of it to be honest.

    I never use all caps in subject lines because it’s more likely to trigger spam filters.

    5/30/2013 12:46 pm
  3. Hi Rebekah,

    I can’t stand pop ups on websites but I use them on my sites because they work. I even sign up for things that I really don’t need.

    Thanks for writing this post.

    6/3/2013 4:36 am
  4. Bo

    I haven’t put popovers on my websites, as they really annoy me when I encounter them.
    They may work, but I’m still resisting them.
    Haven’t tried the unicode either.
    Lots to learn.

    6/3/2013 4:42 pm
  5. Okay, convinced. I hate popovers, but have been reading so much about their effectiveness lately that I’m going to try it.
    But, I’ll keep testing – I’d prefer not to use them.
    Good article.

    6/3/2013 4:49 pm
  6. Unicodes? Really? I’ve noticed a friend of mine had just started using it on FB updates. Guess I’ll need to go and ask how to do it.

    6/3/2013 4:51 pm
  7. This is bit off topic, but annoys me just the same.
    I hate those auto playing videos. I think it is rude to be so in your face.
    But from all accounts they seem to increase sales and site interactivity.

    Anyone here has some experience with using them successfully?

    6/11/2013 3:01 pm
  8. Personally, we feel Unicode isn’t that bad! Not only does it helps you stand out of the crowd but also attract the viewer’s attention easily. Using symbols in the subject line reduced the verbosity of the content helping people to read faster! As far as the pop up goes, it might distract the attention of the viewers which might lead to more sales however it might also create a little of irritation as it blocks the page view.

    6/13/2013 8:49 am