Demand Curve: 10 lies you’ve been told about marketing

The harsh truth: Some of the advice you read about marketing is incorrect.

While not always intentionally misleading, you’re often absorbing content written by:

  • Marketers without a breadth of experience: People who’ve marketed a single product and have a limited — or biased — view on a channel.
  • Non-practitioners: People who’ve never run experiments, but pass along (sometimes outdated) marketing insights that they’ve read online.

After running thousands of experiments for brands like Microsoft, Segment and Perfect Keto, here are 10 significant lies we’ve realized you’ve been told about marketing (on email marketing, ads and referrals).

1. “Send a welcome email immediately after signup.”

It’s better to avoid sending emails right after people sign up on your site. We’re used to getting generic, unimportant welcome emails every time we sign up for anything online. So most people will reflexively discard your welcome email as spam.

Instead, try delaying your welcome email by 15 to 45 minutes.

The delay removes the subscriber’s mental connection between signup and your email, bypassing the reflex to ignore.

As a result, you’ll likely get more opens and more engagement.

2. “Only highlight your best product reviews.”

For context, reviews are a big deal:

  • 93% of consumers claim product reviews impact purchase decisions.
  • The social proof of having 50+ product reviews increases conversion. Shoppers trust peers more than they trust brands.

But imperfect reviews can generate more sales than five-star ones. How?

When a partially negative review weighs your cons versus your pros, and concludes that the product was worth purchasing anyway, that sounds authentic and honest.

In contrast, strings of flawless five-star reviews don’t signal authenticity. Psychologically, they’re less likely to sink in as positive social proof.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Make sure your post-purchase email flow contains a request for reviews. The more reviews you have, the better.
  • Don’t bury slightly negative reviews. If someone leaves a four-star review and offers a fair (and insignificant) critique, showcase it toward the top of your product page.

3. “You have to send a newsletter every week.”

Most newsletters shouldn’t be sent weekly. This goes against what most creator economy entrepreneurs suggest.

But high cadences force newsletter writers to rush and publish lower-quality information to hit self-imposed deadlines.

Instead, consider only sending when you truly have value to add. At a minimum, consider setting a more reasonable cadence like once or twice a month so that you’ll have enough time and content to consistently hit a high-quality bar.