A Marketing DON’T: Contact Form Spam

By Nick Alter
August 9, 2016
contact form spam is not a good idea
Contact Form Spam Makes Puppy Sad

Hey guys, Nick here to remind you that it is not okay to market to businesses randomly through their contact forms. The cost of contact form spam far outweighs the benefits. Oftentimes the people abusing these forms for marketing purposes are scammers or bots set up by hackers looking for a way into your site. However, there is a disturbing trend amongst marketing consultants and B2B groups in the U.S. who are employing this tactic. Stop it. I recently ran across a guy who actually sells this service to other businesses. We had words, none of them nice. Here are a few reasons why you should never pursue this as a marketing tactic:

1. Wrong Expectation

The expectation for most contact forms is either for support or leads. The people reading these forms typically involve either a sales team or a support staff. In smaller businesses, owners might be reading these, but the expectation for this space is not to be sold to.

2. Conversion Goals Through Analytics

More often than not, contact forms are linked to conversion goals on systems like Google Analytics. The folks analyzing those conversion goals and the analytics that support those goals have a tendency to gnash their teeth every time they have to manually extract the information they need to assess from the noise created by contact form spammers (I’m talking to YOU Jeff, stop it!)

3. Terrible, Lazy First Impression

Because of the first two reasons, now you face every sales person’s worst nightmare. Contact form spam comes across as lazy and annoying before the conversation has even begun. You didn’t take the time to research who in the company you should have reached out to talk about your service or product. Instead, you are blindly hammering on the door and trying to force a company or organization to respond to your summons. It’s like trying to pitch your service through Facebook Messages, nobody is going to take you seriously.

There Are Better Outbound Sales Tactics To Pursue

Cold calling can and does work, if done appropriately. Lead Forensics provides a great example. We actually signed up for their service. Don’t get me wrong, they have a really interesting (read as useful and unique) product. However, to get to the decision maker (me), they did their homework. They asked for me by name. The sales guy referenced something that I had tagged in social media to align himself with me. He stroked my ego by complimenting my work, citing specific examples of some of our recent projects. That took all of 20 seconds. He then jumped right into how his product could help Alter Endeavors track other businesses visiting our site and a way to connect with those folks. He had me hooked in less than 45 seconds. I was impressed and intrigued in under a minute. That’s how you cold call. It won’t always be that way, but with an approach like Lead Forensics’, your rate of success will definitely increase significantly.

• LinkedIn targeting. It’s another research tactic that, if treated properly, can lead to successful connections and conversations with decision makers.

• Setting up seminars and speaking engagements to give away valuable information in exchange for trust and conversation.

• Networking groups are still effective. We participate in BNI (Business Networking International) over here at Alter Endeavors.

These are a few ways you build trust through outbound sales and all are better than contact form spam. Even if someone doesn’t sign up for what you are selling, they are much more likely to speak of you, and maybe even speak well of your brand to others.

That’s all I’ve got for now folks. Go get it done!

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