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Clickbait Marketing

There are two types of marketing approaches, we are discussing the method that is called Clickbait an effective marketing strategy based on deceiving the customers and on occasion breaching the law. 

Clickbait is borderline scamming your customers by tricking them into purchasing your products or services over your competitors. Clickbait aimed to manipulate and control or influence people to act or change a situation cleverly or unscrupulously to achieve sales. The business that used Clickbait strategies and tactics often conceal their true intentions or cause doubt and confusion, therefore, the customers tend to use them for the solution to relieve the perceived problem.


Some business owners use clickbait marketing and use manipulative tactics, such as gaslighting, lying, blaming other suppliers for their errors, and criticising competitors negatively to the point of shaming them which can be incredibly damaging to the business owner and their company reputation affecting the business owner psychological well-being and business growth because the business owner using Clickbait tactic lack of responsibility and accountability, therefore, not trustworthy.


As an example UBER and LiME, when Uber started the Jump e-bike It tried to destroy Lime's reputation and Lime's green e-bike. Lime put Uber in court for trying to damage its reputation and won the defamatory claim. Lime acquired the Jump e-bike and scooter business from Uber in May 2020, along with a $170 million funding round led by Uber, with Bain Capital Ventures and GV participating. The deal valued Lime at $510 million, down 79% from its $2.4 billion valuation in April 2019.

BARK  new website using clickbait to its 'finesse'

A quick definition of Clickbait is the practice of writing sensationalized or misleading headlines in order to attract clicks on a piece of content. It often relies on exaggerating claims or leaving out key information in order to encourage traffic or achieving sales via tricking the website visitors and users into purchasing products or services or saving their details without permission with the intention to target them later or achieving quick purchases without verification. Clickbait tactic can encourage you to purchase a product or service that is substituted with a bogus offer and you end up with a lowball offer or a refund that you never requested. Clickbait strategies and tactics are dismissive and the term is generally used in a dismissive sense.

The Bark Clickbait Gallery Explained

The gallery above depicts the Clickbait tactics BARK lead providers buy and sell websites used to entice their customers to purchase credit to purchase leads. The pictures have text to show you where misleading me occurred. For instance, they didn't disclose they are a VAT-registered business by stating next to their price (ex VAT) which would legal if you are a business that doesn't charge VAT to their customers. Bark did not disclose the VAT charge, therefore, when I purchased the offer of 250 credits for £273 at a 16% discount I ended up paying £327.60 after checking why the price was higher I deducted 20% and it came to £273, therefore, £54.60 added VAT was charged without my knowledge. The UK law clearly states that you must include VAT (Include the VAT when any prospective buyers will pay VAT).

Another Clickbait tactic that Bark uses is they tell you "we will charge the card ending xxxx that we have on file." This statement will be legal if you had asked the consumer to SAVE their card on your system. In the case of BARK, they have not asked me but saved my business debit card without permission. Therefore, what should happen when I click the "Buy Credit" button a payment detail form should pop up asking me to enter my card details. However, this doesn't happen the amount is debited automatically from your business account. You don't have an opportunity to cancel the transaction if the OPT verification form doesn't show up and that is illegal because your right to cancel an order is removed.

Another Clicbait tactic used by BARK when the OPT verification from your bank arrived and you cancel the transaction, you are redirected to a form with a red border and a message telling you "We could not process your payment for this order please insert another card to complete your order" this message is misleading because if you cancel the transaction it means that you have cancelled your order legally, therefore, you should be redirected to the shopping page instead of being asked to enter a new card.

BARK try to execute the SWAP strategy but executed badly. Let me explain, I wanted to purchase 100 credits to add to my account because I needed to answer potential buyer requests for services. I pressed on the "Buy Credit" button and my transaction went through. I wanted more credits because I knew how BARK operates and we don't get much for 100 credits. Hence, I clicked on the text link "Buy more credit and get a bigger discount", and a pop-up form opened with an offer to purchase 250 credits. I purchased the 250 credits and I was expecting to see in my account 350 credits available. To my surprise, I checked my account and saw 250 credits added to my account instead of 350 credits. I checked my SMS messages and saw that they removed my purchase of 100 credits and cancelled the transaction without warning or explanation.

This is not right because I bought the service and they decided to remove 100 credits from me. If it is one of their condition it should be clearly written on their website that we are only allowed to have in our account 250 credits. However, this is not the case because I then purchased 175 credits and my account was updated with 425 credits to use. Therefore, when you take their offer of more credit they remove your previous purchase for the new amount. They have done it again when I purchased 50 additional credits after my credits went down because I had answered 6 or 7 requests for services in bought the 7 leads. A form popped up offering another 50 credits at a 25% discount.


I clicked on "Buy Now" and the transaction went through my account was updated with 50 credits instead of 100 credits. I had to email team bark for them to add my 50 credits removed but this time they kept my £74.94. I told them that they have received the payment and therefore put back in my account my 50 credits purchased. If I did not contact them they would not have put it and updated my account with 50 credits only instead of the 100 credits purchased.

In conclusion about Clickbait

Clickbait is not a good idea to use in your business because you set yourself as a scammer business, untrustworthy and as result, you could lose customers and gain a bad reputation which often has negative ramifications. This loss of customers and a bad reputation can bring closure to your business. Therefore, it is not worth it to cut corners and breach the consumer's law because it will cause you more harm than gain in the long run.

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