The “Piss Off Your Prospects Enough That They Sign Up” Sales Model

I’ve seen this concept proliferate in the last couple of years, the idea being that if people get harassed enough they will sign up. More interesting (or troubling, depending on your perspective) is the idea of creating company/brand specific destination sites that are advertising driven and when critical mass is achieved going to the brand in question and basically saying “if you pay us we’ll take down the competitive advertising and if you don’t we’ll increase it”.

As for me and Plaxo, I hate that service because once I unwittingly spammed my entire contact database that I had uploaded years ago simply by updating my contact information. The annoying emails I get never prompt any action out of me and eventually I dealt with them by adding plaxo.com to my spam filter. Companies like Plaxo should be very concerned about pissing people off as end user filtering technology becomes more accessible and people become less discriminating about using it. In other words, I’ll blacklist your ass first, then think about it.

Every time people complain about this online, however, a representative from Plaxo shows up to point out that you wouldn’t get this spam if you just signed up and used Plaxo’s software.

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