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There are right and wrong ways to go about marketing, and the pitfalls are many. A lot can be learned by seeing how not to manage your marketing. This original blog series weaves together an entertaining story that will help you navigate 21st-Century marketing with a view from “the dark side,” as “Screwtape” teaches his apprentice “Wormwood” via email how to sabotage your marketing. Enjoy…

To: Wormwood
From: Screwtape
Subject: Home Wrecker

My dear Wormwood,

Do you know how to be a “home wrecker?” Ah, it’s not what you think. We’ve mastered the art of interpersonal conflict and infidelity, but that’s not your area of assignment. I’m talking here about the ubiquitous home page of the Patient’s website.

The home page is often the first impression, that critical influencer that (to our great glee) so many people take for granted. Let me walk you through some of the best ways to wreck the patient’s home page!

1) Make it about him

It’s a great temptation to start this conversation by talking about oneself: your services, your reputation, how long you have been in business. Keep the patient under the delusion that this is the best foot to put forward, and it’s sure to boot the website visitor right off the page—bounce!

Under no circumstances can you allow the Patient to come to the realization that the best way to start any conversation is talking about the person on the other end.

2) Don’t get to the point

Rambling narratives are always best. Long stories about what you’re interested in (throw in a football story), droning on about your history, detailed explanations of how you operate—all of these are gold. Making the reader wait to even figure out what the heck you can do for them is what we’re after.

3) Leave them hanging

I’ve saved the best for last. It’s something I’ve seen so many times, and it’s delicious! Even if the Patient writes an excellent home page, focused on the audience, clearly explaining their value proposition, all hope is not lost. Try to get the Patient to provide no next step, no “call to action.” With no lead-in to the “sales funnel,” the reader gets a nice read, but nowhere to go to stay engaged. That’s pure gold!

Wreck on!

Your affectionate uncle,

P.S. If you fail to wreck the home page, the about page is usually an easy kill (insert evil laugh here).

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