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Rachel Palmateer

By Rachel Palmateer

May 7, 2019


Content Marketing Marketing Strategy
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Content Marketing  |   Marketing Strategy

Why You Need to Talk About Who You're NOT Right for on Your Website (& in Content)

Rachel Palmateer

By Rachel Palmateer

May 7, 2019

Why You Need to Talk About Who You're NOT Right for on Your Website (& in Content)

Not everything is for everyone. For example, I hate bananas and velvet and yet surely someone reading this is just now peeling a banana while wearing a cozy velvet robe.

Similarly, not all products and services are the right fit for every future-customer out there.

We’re all unique snowflakes in the big blizzard of business, after all.

So, how can you save your sales team from having the same disappointing conversation with leads that just aren’t the right fit?

Shouldn’t People Just Know?

I don’t shop the Barbie aisle at Target. I don’t have a kid and I’m not a collector of Barbie dolls. So I rule myself out and I never wind up in the Barbie aisle asking where the all-purpose cleaners are.  

Similarly, in the online space it’s easy to give shoppers the benefit of the doubt and assume that if they’ve wound up on your call center services website, they likely aren’t looking to buy automotive parts from you.

But it doesn’t mean that everyone finding your website via a quick Google search knows enough about your services to determine if your business is the right solution for their needs.

As marketers and salespeople, we need to create websites and content that can dig deep with our prospects and answer their questions before they ask.   

But Won’t It Come Off Rude?

Let’s head back to Target. See me over there in the cleaning supplies aisle, seeking a specific solution for a specific problem I foresee happening in my house?

Now I’m in the right place but still overwhelmed by options.

It’s unlikely that the cleaners with harsh chemicals will be in bottles with big lettering saying, “If you feel weird about using chemical XYZ in your living space, this cleaner is not for you.” Realistically, they’re all coated in color bursts and sparkle-clean graphics, resulting in a whole shelf section screaming YES IT’S FOR YOU, RACHEL!

And that’s exactly how it feels when you’re shopping for a service or product online, right?

As marketers, we get to lend a helping hand and sift through the noise for our potential customers and get that bad-fit messaging out there front and center.

Talking about who you’re NOT for on your website isn’t meant to be abrasive to those reading. This messaging is emotionless, data-backed content that readers use to self-qualify. No judgements are being made, no feelings are being hurt.

The intention is to be very transparent and forthcoming with those who are looking for direction when visiting your website so they don’t waste their time.

When you think about honesty in business, Nebraska might not be the first thing to come to mind, but the campaign released by the state’s tourism campaign last year startled many with its radically truthful message.

Nebraska Slogan

John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism Executive Director, talks about how the honesty-focused campaign has helped Nebraska take a different approach to truth in tourism marketing.

What If We Just Focus On Who Is The Right Fit Instead?

Keep in mind that the one question to rule them all is: Is this product or service the right solution for my needs?

It’s a simple yes or no question, but either answer will always be followed by a “why?”

Typically, there is a lot more ground to cover when trying to communicate all of the reasons your product or service IS right for someone.

It tends to be an exercise in addition - checking off all of the boxes in the list of needs.

This can take a lot of time for all parties involved.

Alternatively, calling out who your product or service is NOT for can take far less time.

If your website can jump in with a friendly video or blog post that tells them “Probably not, sorry!” and send them on their merry way, you will earn trust due to your honesty and you will have saved time for everyone involved.

The prospect will save time that would have been spent combing through blog posts and product specs and video content on your site only to determine that they aren’t the right fit.

Your marketers will save time that would have been spent digging into traffic and engagement data and wondering why this person spent so much time with your web content without converting.  

Your sales team will save time and energy that would have been spent answering the same qualifying questions over and over again. 

How to Get Started with Bad-Fit Content

First, get really clear about who your demographic is. Generally speaking, it’s far easier to determine who is a good fit for your business, because it’s a narrower scope.

Once you have your target demographics in order, bring it to your sales team.

“Sales team?” you ask. “We’re talking about content and content marketing...what does sales have to do with it?”

Friends, go brush up on the principles from They Ask, You Answer, then come back for your bad-fit content advice.

Grab your sales team and ensure that the target demographics that you’ve put together are indeed the people that they are having successful conversations with every day. If not, tweak as needed.

Then jump into the bad-fit conversation.

Dig in with the team and explore the top deal-killing questions or qualifying factors that they encounter day in and day out. Ask them what conversations they’d rather not have, if possible.

Voila, you have your bad-fit content outline.

Now all you have to do is determine how to present your bad-fit findings. 

Best Types of Content for Bad-Fit Messaging

Bad-fit messaging can come in many forms, so however your business is currently communicating with prospective consumers, you’re likely to have an easy way to get your bad-fit message out there.

Let’s take a look at some different mediums for this type of content:

Blog Post

One of the quickest and easiest ways to communicate this is to write a nice and friendly blog post. Keep in mind that this isn’t messaging that’s meant to exclude people. This is messaging that’s meant to educate prospects who visit your site and help them determine by themselves if they would benefit from your services.

For a great example of this in the wild, check out IMPACT client Ambs Call Center’s bad-fit blog post.

Static Web Page

Some businesses prefer to have a static page on their website for this.

Building a landing page for this makes it easy to add bad-fit content in your site navigation and makes it easy to use the page as a lead generation tactic by adding a form. It also creates a page that can be indexed and found through search engines. 

West Roofing Systems, Inc. (another IMPACT client) breaks down who is not a good fit for their services in a very quick and simple webpage with a form for those who are a good fit after they read the page.

West Roofing Systems


Because we’re in such a visual-focused part of the digital age, making a quick video is a great way to quickly and effectively convey your bad-fit information.

Adding it to your Selling 7 suite will help round out your sales and marketing video collection.

Video can be particularly helpful when you’re trying to explain who your products and services may not be a good fit for.

It allows people to see a friendly face and hear a friendly voice, helping to ensure that the message is taken as intended and not as an exclusion.

Video also allows you to be a bit goofier (if on brand), to help soften the message.

For example, check out Quilted Northern’s humorous take on why they are not a great product for those who are looking to buy a robe:

Or the classic-yet-somewhat-controversial Planet Fitness ads that we’re all familiar with:



Bad-fit content creation doesn’t have to be a daunting task, but it does need to be a task.

This content will help save time for your sales team, help potential prospects feel more educated, and help build trust for your brand in the marketplace.

Talking about who you’re NOT for is not a replacement for talking about who you ARE for, but it’s an additional content type that helps bolster your website’s ability to answer questions before they’re asked.

Pull your team together, chat through your good and bad fit parameters, and let us know when you’ve got some solid bad-fit content on your site.

Looking forward to reading (or watching) what you come up with.

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