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Pushing my buttons

An email arrived the other day, offering me access to three short presentations by a well-known teacher. Sign up and enjoy this FREE webinar, it said. I trust the source and so, despite being a reluctant signer-upper (you never know), I did.

The speaker and her surroundings were a little over-styled. Scatter cushions on the sofa changed according to her outfits, so the three scenes were a bit like those spot-the-difference pictures in children’s activity books. But the information was clear and, all in all, I thought, well, that was quite good and how nice of them to have shared the clips.

Then I started getting marketing emails for a follow-on course, and it was obvious that the freebie was the teaser, the bait for the big event. I ignored the messages, which gradually ramped up: We’ve noticed that you haven’t enrolled for the course and wonder why ... here are some answers to the questions you may have. I noted that there were no compelling answers to fit my reason for not signing up: that the webinar was fine (thank you) but not sufficiently mind-blowing to make me want to pay, in dollars, for the expanded version. In short, I just don’t want to.

But the emails kept coming: Enrol now for a discount! Then, Just 24 hours to go! Then, There are now only a few hours left (hurry!). Those hours ticked away and I thought that was the end of it, but the most annoying of all was still to come: Since you asked for more time (No, I did not!) we’ve extended the booking deadline!

Maybe this marketing strategy is successful, but my reaction to being bullied into buying something I don’t want is to become mulish. Not only am I now resistant to the product, but I’m also unlikely to go back to the ‘shop’. That’s a shame, because it promotes teachers of a high calibre, who should not need such a hard sell. To my mind, hammering their courses diminishes them.

I wonder if this is how it’s done now, and if I’m supposed to do it too. Okay, I’ll give it a try: This is your last chance to book for next week’s creative writing course! Do something wonderful with your Wednesdays! Hurry! Book early and you’ll get a double serving of muffins!

No. I can’t do it. If you are interested in a writing course, contact me.


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