Attention Grabbing Headlines: How they Can Turn Off Customers

I’m a big fan of knowing all the rules. However, the fine print on sales drives me nuts. So often, businesses post a headline that’s intended to get you to click through to their site – an admirable, understandable goal – only to find when you get there that there is a myriad of fine print associated with the deal.

Black Friday has just come and gone and with it a MYRIAD of emails about sales (including one for 12% off). One caught my eye, promising 50% off everything. As it was a store I needed something at, I eagerly clicked through. I find the item I needed, saw it was listed for $8 off rather than 50% off. I went back to check the email for a promotional code. There wasn’t any code. So, I went back to the site and read the fine print.

Oh. It was 50% of EVERYTHING (select styles only).


I was mad. I felt as though I’d been tricked. I considered buying the item anyway since it WAS on sale and I DID need it. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Their mixed – at best – messaging left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I ended up purchasing the item at another store that was buy one, get one free.

Fine print can be really important. It can outline pricing and return policies that are crucial to communicate to customers. However if your marketing message is perceived as deceptive, you may get a click to your website but lose a customer.

Did you get any emails about great Black Friday sales?


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