I Use Aggressive Hype
& Obnoxious Tactics To Fool People

I just read a sales page for an information product

  • You had to read the words carefully to find the guarantee
  • No terms of service
  • No privacy policy
  • No mention of confidentiality expectations but suggestions of sharing candid information
  • No contact form, just a company name in the footer
  • No trust marks of any kind
  • The Third Tribe is a published book by Rob Chidley – maybe a brand/trademark conflict

This is the exact premise of the sales letter

One tribe is called the Internet Marketers. They use aggressive hype and obnoxious tactics to fool people into believing there really is a “get rich quick” magic bullet.

The other tribe is the Social Media Cool Kids. They reject hype and aggressive sales tactics in favor of relationships, community, and value . . . and yet seem to have taken a vow of poverty along the way.

Whilst some parts of the sales letter resonate, I am more internet marketer than cool kid, but my bank balance suggests the vow of poverty (not counting equity), at the same time I feel insulted… to the core of my being.

I am also in favour of being candid in public

Lets dissect the words:-

  1. aggressive hype
  2. obnoxious tactics
  3. to fool people
  4. “get rich quick” magic bullet

I am going to deal with these out of order

3. Fooling People

I don’t know anyone, certainly anyone I have promoted who sets out to deliberately fool people, no matter how much they are picked apart by R2D2’s cousin.

There are certainly various client problems

  • People don’t take action (raises hand)
  • Product fit
  • Time constraints
  • Not making use of communication channels provided to get problems sorted
  • Bright shiny objects (move onto the next one)
  • Ignoring what is taught and trying to take too big a step
  • Time management (my first blog post for a month… damn)

I realise evil marketers convince people to buy stuff who really shouldn’t – I like to encourage people to only spend a percentage of their earnings from their business.

On the producers side there is also:-

  • Failing to deliver most of what was promised (very rare) – there is talk of the occasional marketer who just took the money and ran, but there are often 2 sides to a story – there is an inherent risk in any purchase you make, online or offline, which is why you should use a credit card where possible – my builders still haven’t delivered on everything they were meant to do and I have been living in this house 2 years
  • Worthless content – products are aimed at various audiences – I ripped apart an SEO product in private which received testimonials from some of the Third Tribe trainers – I don’t know whether things were corrected in the final product – worth is relative
  • Technical issues – most notable among what I have recently promoted was part of the Stompernet package, Stomper Storm – I even took down my review pages as delivery dragged out and they eventually switched to another supplier – I don’t know the specific issues, but 5 months later a replacement is in beta testing.
  • Poor customer service – not too long ago I specifically told someone who purchased a product from my affiliate link to ask for a refund. His billing had an issue, and he just wasn’t going to renew as he didn’t have time to implement anyway. If he hadn’t asked for a refund, I might have still received $400 of the $1000 comission I was expecting. Obtaining a refund generally isn’t a problem
    There has also been one product I recently purchased that I almost promoted but felt had too many issues – I was refused a refund and fought tooth & nail behind the scenes to make sure anyone who wanted a refund could get it – it turned out to be a lack of communication behind the scenes, and one partner trying to “save the sale”.
  • Payment issues for affiliates – it hurts, but you learn who you can afford to buy traffic promoting – that being said if it is a choice between paying affiliates, and having the resources to deliver what is promised to the people who bought on my recommendation, I can wait in line, the English are good at that.

1. Aggressive Hype?

I spent a long time in the games industry – I have lived through over a year of initial development, then 2+ years of PR just to get a product sold to a publisher and another 2 year battle to get the product finally launched and get the money in after a legal battle.

I know hype… if the product delivers within the expected timeframe, fans eat it up – then there is Duke Nukem Forever…

I had a love/hate relationship with product launches even before I began marketing online in the “internet marketing” space, and there are real advantages with the efficiency of most launches compared to the games market, at least what I remember of it.

Many of them also provide significant “results in advance” if they are done right – you could call that a “freemium” model, “paying it forward” or “moving the free line”, but ultimately it isn’t too dissimilar to marketing of new software, online or offline.

What is the lead conversion rate for most blogs?

0.1% – 0.5% – maybe some get as high as 1-2% – certain pages might be much higher.

A squeeze page during a product launch which offers valuable information even before asking for an email address can achieve opt-in rates of 20, 30, 50… even as high as 75% – potentially the same free information.
I am not a fan of video squeeze pages that give you 15 minutes of promises of what is on the other side of the opt-in.

I suppose deliberately constructing an inefficient lead acquisition process has some benefits.

2. Obnoxious Tactics

I honestly have no idea what they are inferring to here

  • Email Bombardments? Guilty of having a successful affiliate program which lots of people want to promote?
  • Email Spam? – there are a couple of marketers out there who are almost impossible to get off their lists, but it is very very rare and just requires a single gmail filter, though they end up in spam anyway. Most marketers are using services like Aweber, Getresponse or Infusionsoft – if you don’t get value from what they send you, unsubscribe – it is called permission based email
  • Price Scarcity? – the price is going to go up very very soon… lets be honest, to a customer seeing a sales page for the first time, whether the price scarcity is true or not doesn’t really matter, though it does matter from a legal perspective, and long-term trust – price scarcity is being used on the sales page in question, so I don’t think it is meant to be one of the “obnoxious tactics”
  • Quantity Scarcity? – This could either be a high price to make it seem “exclusive” or a true/false limit on the quantity available often for a digital product. The FTC and other government organizations have rules about this
  • Testimonials – I have seen most of the trainers at one time or another giving testimonials of one kind or another for information products, and whilst how they are used has come under recent public scritiny by the FTC, I can’t see this being the “obnoxious tactics”

So what “obnoxious tactics” are they referring to?

Maybe I am lucky being in Poland I never get “telemarking” pitches to “fleece” me of all the money I can draw on a credit card as I have heard some people claim on various negative opinion sites. I am also an affilaite of most products I buy (or at least I join the affiliate program and don’t necessarily promote), thus I might get filtered to not see such offers.
I know people who have gained significant value from some of the high-end coaching that gets offered, thus the fault is either the person pitching misrepresenting, or the customer in some way misunderstanding, misrepresenting to themselves the benefits etc.

4. “Get Rich Quick” Magic Bullet

This part of the sales letter is actually quite subtle, in an apples to oranges manner.

  • They are clearly not trying to target “Joe Sixpack”
  • There is no system on offer, just a series of training of an unspecified nature
  • Whilst there is mention of “make money online” this clearly isn’t a “make money online” product

Ultimately it seems to be a different product for a different audience, not necessarily a “better bullet”

Emotion In Sales Letters

Emotion is very powerful in any sales letter, and in this case it is a huge spiked trap

The line I highlighted is meant to grab the attention of anyone who has a gripe about anyone, whether it be a customer support issue or receiving one too many emails pitching something.

For some reason the only emotion I felt was… revulsion – a strong negative that I didn’t want anything to do with the marketing message, and a strong enough emotion that I wanted to write something about it.

There are tons of sales letters that include words along the lines of “if you have bought tons of products and never had success, this will be the answer”, but none went as far as claiming that other product producers had deliberately used “Aggressive Hype & Obnoxious Tactics To Fool People”.

It is quite possible the sales letter is intended to appeal more to “Social Media Cool Kids” who haven’t worked out how to make money from their online activities, and not to someone “somewhere in the middle”, though most certainly not the target audience.

I am not saying everything is perfect in “internet marketing”, in fact there are some serious issues, and customers often need to know their own budget and learn to say no to offers they can’t take full advantage of.

That being said, many internet marketing products don’t try to cherry pick their audience, and try to provide “systems” that can be followed by people of varying backgrounds and skillset.

A marketplace like Clickbank has a certain level of quality control, policing sales lettters and delivery process, and of course holds the cash and issues refunds.
Refunds do happen – in the “make money online” niche I have seen numbers quoted in the 30-40% range on occasion for Clickbank products – refunds are high because people know they can, thus they do, and often they also purchase with their own affiliate link.
Refunds on products sold via merchant accounts also happen, and new terms from the merchant account providers will make that progressively easier. Why? Chargebacks – it only takes chargeback percentages above a fraction of 1% to face significant penalties.

My Problem Is With The Sales Message

Sorry Brian, Darren, Sonia, Chris & anyone else involved, but the sales message is wrong.

The Third Tribe

In the past I have defended the sales message of Teaching Sells, despite harsh criticism.

When it came to finally buy Product Launch Formula (some might claim that is the source of much of the agressive hype and obnoxious tactics) I used Brian’s link, as I thought the high end copyrighting course he was planning would be an ideal leverage point… whatever happened to that?

I can’t fault the Third Tribe product, I haven’t seen the content and it comes with “pedigree” – it is effectively the method I was defending – guest experts or partners, you don’t have to create all, or even any of the content of a membership site yourself. I might not agree with the product but that is irrelevant.

I have also promoted similar products that I believe added value.

I do realise you have to have paying customers to get complaints and no one stays in business if every customer complains and asks for a refund.

Who Isn’t Going To Join?

Just like a call for volunteers and everyone in the room takes a step backwards, who is going to be the person who still calls themselves an “internet marketer”.

The silly thing is the online marketing space isn’t fragmented into just a few distinct groups – if I put my mind to it I could probably come up with at least 100 significant but overlapping groups, many of which have a very poor opinion of their colleagues.

I am still an Internet Marketer, but I don’t belong to any tribe

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Comments

  1. says

    Great post Andy.

    “no matter how much they are picked apart by R2D2’s cousin.”

    I’m assuming you are talking about the salty droid? Funny blog for sure. He rips apart guys that need ripped like James Arthur Ray, but I do think he goes too far on certain guys.

    I for one have learned a ton of stuff from some of the Internet Marketers these people rip that have contributed to millions of dollars in fair and honest business.

    I tend to agree with your takes as they are more balanced.

    Btw to all your readers, I’m the guy Andy told to get a refund on PLF (because of my billing issue and I wasn’t going to be using it anytime soon).

    Thank Andy for the insightful post and the free advice.

  2. says

    I think there is a clear divide in both the selling group (so-called gurus) and the buying group (customers). Both of these are pernicious and cause marketplace confusion.

    Selling Group:

    Some do have rehashed products, me-too pitches, fake screenshots, gross embellishment… And often poor customer service. Products have some value, but usually very limited and a collection of other people’s information presented by someone who has never done it for themselves and so can only offer customers limited insight.

    Then there are the people who think value first and foremost. They sacrifice a few front end transactions and make a more product centric pitch. Not that these guys are perfect either, all matter of screw ups can and will happen for various reasons and it’s unrealistic the way some of these shortcomings are judged by a strata of consumers and critics.

    Customers:

    Some genuinely want to harness a method or system to achieve a goal. This strata of customer is more likely to recognize value and get something out of it. They are less likely to get a refund, and more realistic in expectations. They are also more likely to take action and therefor generate results which is a win-win for both vendor and consumer.

    The other type?

    The idea of doing work or trying something makes them shake. Blame should be distributed everywhere except to their own selves. Getting refunds and complaining is second nature because “internet marketers are scammers”.

    And they are quick to use words like that: scam, rip off, the whole nine yards.

    Sadly, this is the most vocal type of customer and the ones most likely to flock to activist types that confirm their paranoia and helplessness.

    This does nobody a favor, in fact it educates a giant segment of opportunity seekers to take no responsibility for their results and search for finger pointing outlets rather than self-evaluation and improvement.

    I think the next few years will provide a good degree of normalization. The real scammers will find it hard to do business, get JVs and continue as if nothing was off.

    The untouchable customer who is always right will also find it harder to operate from that premise as the inefficiency of it becomes readily apparent and mechanisms are put into place to protect merchants as well as those they sell to…

  3. says

    “The other type?

    The idea of doing work or trying something makes them shake. Blame should be distributed everywhere except to their own selves. Getting refunds and complaining is second nature because “internet marketers are scammers”.

    These are the very same people who are the professional “Againsts” … and yes, they are a vocal minority (why can’t the majority for once get off their keesters and get vocal?) and are good fodder for the typical rent a crowd group in the offline world.

    I also think that too many people are trolling for fish without having left the shore. They don’t want to do the work. The lucky lotto number hasn’t been drawn for them so they hop from one course/opportunity/”scam” to another, hoping that by merely pulling out their plastic somehow the money truck will put up their driveway … when nothing happens they are the ones hopping mad and screaming “…get rich quick scam”. In my view they are the scammers – expecting that riches will quickly fall like manna from the sky without having to do any work.

    I’ll step up. I am an internet marketer – not a very good one yet, but I’m moving along. I think it is a wonderful arena to be playing in, and the longer you play, the more skillful you will get. Some of my colleagues will become extremely successful (I hope to be one of them) in ten years or less a new breed will arise, some of whom will be complaining that we are successful because we came in at the beginning!!!! Or at the “right time”. Balderdash, the current crop of uber internet marketers have themselves already been play the game for some time, many in the ten year mark, others even longer. Should we, newbies of today, complain this pioneering lot had all the advantages? Hah! What about the “newbies” who are making great strides in spite of the avalanche of increased competition.

    Great post.

    best…………..valentina

    • says

      Valentinav, you are right when you say most Internet Marketer are scammers. My site is filled with complaints from people who buy into the get rich quick mentality and then demand refunds when their lack of effort doesn’t turn them into a millionare. Success is earned, and cannot be bought. As for timing, i feel like I missed the boat 5 years ago..they are the lucky ones…. but then again, new people enter the market and find success today so I quess the “boat” is still taking passengers. Just be glad that you are in it Today, and not starting out 5-10 years from now… it will be a whole different world by then!

  4. says

    Hey Andy,

    I saw the ad copy and kind of dismissed it immediately. I have to agree with you on this one. The ad copy is absolutely terrible although I imagine that, considering the reach of the bloggers and marketers that are in on this, the ad copy probably won’t matter that much; but if a casual blogger who was hoping to make money online saw it, they probably (and I am projecting here) would pass on it simply because it is so underhyped and the the WIIFM factor is so downplayed that there is really nothing to grab hold onto.

    As obnoxious as “tribe 1″ may be as they put it, they still play on the desires of the market much better than the second of the two.

    Maybe that is what they are going for though….I dunno…

    What I do know is that if they didn’t have the reach and trust of those promoting it, it would likely go nowhere.

  5. says

    Some do have rehashed products, me-too pitches, fake screenshots, gross embellishment… And often poor customer service. Products have some value, but usually very limited and a collection of other people’s information presented by someone who has never done it for themselves and so can only offer customers limited insight.

    • says

      It will be interesting (just as a statistical exercise) to work out how much of the 3rd Tribe content has never been discussed in a public forum

  6. says

    The idea of doing work or trying something makes them shake. Blame should be distributed everywhere except to their own selves. Getting refunds and complaining is second nature because “internet marketers are scammers”.

  7. says

    Hey Andy – I have to agree with most of your points here. I consider myself someone playing between the 2 lines, but def not in agreeance with the 3rd tribe notion. I use sales letter, sales videos and play off emotion for some of my products. I also do lead gen, build lists and use the free line to grow my customer base. Then add consistent blogging, seo and some other tactics to get people interested.

    I think you can have a long sales letter and still be ethical and transparent. You were right when you said that many people “don’t take action” or have shiny object syndrome. I can attest to that. My take is that in everything you learn you need to take the pieces that apply to your business and put them into action.

    I have some Kern stuff, I’m a Stomper and I read Brogan, Darren, etc. I take the pieces I need and put more time into my business than I do getting caught up in “cool kid” hype.

    Good stuff man!

  8. says

    Count me in, Andy. I am a proud Internet marketer, too.

    Most people cannot explain what a web browser is and many have the wrong idea about Internet marketing as well. …, also referred to as i-marketing, web-marketing, online-marketing, or e-Marketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.

    Even Joel Comm got it wrong in a recent “beware of Internet marketers” kind of post and Ryan Healy tried to come up with a list of “good guys,” but devalued it in my opinion, because he made certain comments, dropped people from the list without explanation, and wrote “I don’t know” too often for my taste. It was a good and honorable attempt though.

    The Fortin’s — I think it was mainly Sylvie — made the very valid point that you cannot throw stones respectively name names inside your own market without putting your credibility at risk. She is right and she didn’t participate.

    I find it rather interesting that the story of the third tribe names Seth Godin and Frank Kern in one sentence. Are they the leaders of the respective tribes? If yes, congratulations, Seth and Frank, you made it on to a mediocre “I don’t want to sell” sales page :-) In my humble opinion the makers of the third tribe haven’t really understood the core lessons from both. I wonder if Seth will write another email to Brian this time. I think he should!

    • says

      I did read both Ryan and Joel’s posts

      Joel was responding possibly to things being raised by R2D2’s cousin or his commenters, some of whom seem to claim to have very intimate knowledge, and it might be try.
      Things like a cabel of marketers scheming together.

      I think there are probably as many cliques and cabels are there are websites, some casual, some organised, and there are also various JV lists with 100s or 1000s of people who hear about product launches a little in advance.

      Ryan’s list was interesting, not because of who was called out for gaming, but who wasn’t. At least one name I believe had an intern scheme where one of the tasks was blog commenting to build links to the guru’s property. Maybe he really is that popular or maybe voting for him on Ryan’s list was a new task for his interns.

      Sylvie is one of the most perceptive people in online marketing, possibly because she has seen what goes on in so many businesses.

      The Warrior Forum has an policy about not naming names, though I believe you can offer constructive criticism about a product

      It is their own house, but one problem with that, especially if there is a high concentration of customers for a product among the community there, is that it is just so easy to get negative feedback stoppered at the focal point.
      People realise that, thus the negative opinion in an age of social media spreads which isn’t necessarily a service to the product owners. I argued this point with Paul Myers a while back, but I don’t think he agrees with me.

      Another list was the Top 100 Influential Internet Marketers list – I can’t rememebr where Brian & Darren placed, but did tweet that Robert Cialdini should be right at the top just based on the number of people who quote him, and he does sell online.

      • says

        It’s always worthwhile to have a dialog with you. Thanks for the detailed reply.
        :-)

        I am embarrassed, maybe I was wrong about Joel’s 2nd post. Unless he added a paragraph later, he has the right definition in there now. Really can’t tell now.

        Any “beauty contest” like Ryan’s or the infamous Top-100 list is a good start but even the most ethical, best intended teacher or mentor doesn’t suit everybody the same way.

        Cialdini? Oh, yes. I actually should make a recommended book section for my blog and put him on there, too.

        I found it funny that Matt Cutts was on the list – a marketer? Influential without a doubt.

        Back to your original topic:

        Gary Halbert gives this recipe for reducing hype!
        (1) Delete adjectives,
        (2) add facts …
        (3) … and consequentially proof.

        I see a lot of adjectives for sale on the Third Tribe Marketing pitch page. And the outline of the Quick Start Guide makes me wonder, if it could be interpreted as violation of the FTC guidelines.

        Do you think R2D2’s sibling will take a look? Or is $27, now $47 a month well under his radar.

        In general everybody getting involved in Internet marketing/business should study the “old” masters. Halbert, Carlton, Makepeace, Bencivenga, …

  9. says

    I love your take Andy, and I agree with all previous commenters as to the distorted and hyped sales letter and the mis definition of Internet marketing. Especially since it obviously only encompasses the MMO niche, which is biased to say the least as to the general and more accurate definition.

    Personally the whole thing is a joke to me, a bunch of Social bloggers will teach you how to make money online.

    Since Darren’s 1st ebook didn’t teach me how to make money online, and his paid forum hasn’t done the trick, I guess THIS will finally be the magic pill that will make me my millions, whew…thank goodness, as I was starting to worry. Maybe that is what is meant by “aggressive hype” and obnoxious tactics”

  10. says

    Well I would of added my link to what I really think about Chris Brogan but you have some URL size limiter on here ANYWAY :) Let’s look at the reality of the PLOY SCHEME Scam. One they get a less busy GOOF to do all the work then 3 PLAYED OUT has been bloggers desperate to cash out /in on their fans do what is expected SCREW em , 27 bucks a month for what ? These people are crazy and anyone who pays is a damn FOOL :) I told Darren what I thought on FB there is no response and I wrote about this scam also on my blog . The bottom line is THANK GOD things change and people are getting HIP to the real value of what these ELITE Gurus have to offer NADA I don’t need or want anything they have PERIOD. I appreciate your always being fair and clear about things like this.
    It’s SAD that “successful” well known bloggers aren’t happy with what they have been LUCKY to be blessed with and feel a need to rescrew and repackage CRAP to BEAT their audience, they get away with it because there are plenty of DIM wit Goofs that think kissing up to these fools will have some kind of benefit ? They only speak up and do things for THEMSELVES PERIOD :)
    Hope your doing Great ANDY :)

    • Andy Merrett says

      Wow, John, is this how you WRITE everywhere? Because it sure is DIFFICULT to read. I’m ASSUMING that you’re not the John Sullivan who WROTE a slew of hit BRITISH sitcoms — in OTHER words, I’ve never HEARD of YOU.

      Hope your [you're] doing Great JOHN :)

      Oh, by the way, ANDY, your “comment warnings” are LAUGHABLE.

    • says

      John, aren’t you at all worried about looking ignorant? You’re calling people fools for something you know nothing about. Obviously you’ve not been behind the doors, so you can’t possibly know a thing about the generous exchange of information, the partnerships coming together in real time, or the warm, frenetic community. If you’re serious about your business, $27 is pennies. You’re telling me that with a little bit of work inside the forums, you can’t find a partner, a new idea, or perhaps even the motivation to push yourself farther.

      The sales process is criticized for being underplayed, then later accused of “BEATING” people with repackaged crap?

      The sales process treated its readers with respect. I appreciated it, so did many others. The Tribe doesn’t have to be your thing, but what does pissing into the wind do for you?

  11. Raza says

    So I’m a member of the 3rd Tribe but I’m also a part of SEO Brain Trust, spend time on WarriorForum, etc. The thing about the 3rd Tribe is the access to a big community. WarriorForum has that too, but the 3rd Tribe is a little “kumbaya” and everyone is willing to help each other.

    For $27 bucks, it’s not a bad deal. I’m developing pretty good relationships. I’m sure StomperNet allows for the same level of community, but I never wanted to pay $800 (or even $200) just for that.

  12. says

    Well, the sales letter didn’t connect with me a huge amount, probably because I’m not the target audience, although I thought it was very well written.

    I joined because it was an opportunity to get to know other people with similar values, and because I really respect the people running it – they’ve put out some really great stuff. Frankly, at 27$, the sales page could just have been a ‘buy here, it will be cool’ button and I’d have bought based on the strength of their previous work. Brian’s welcome to the cash because of all the value he’s given me for free. He’s earned it.

    From what I’ve seen so far, it’s good value. I pay considerably more than that to belong to some offline networking organisations, and I think they’re good value too.

    (It’s less money than it costs me to get into central London at rush hour, and at least I can have a seat whilst I use the Third Tribe product. Plus I don’t have the risk of getting pick-pocketed by some 13 year old miscreant at the station and then accused of fare dodging by the ticket collector when my wallet is missing. But I digress.)

    I think the Third Tribe thing is a very smart bit of positioning. You’re right that it’s an oversimplification, but us poor humans seem to get befuddled with numbers greater than 3. And you’ve gotta admit that “the 132nd tribe” wouldn’t have the same ring to it. ( plus it’s always more enjoyable to buy a product with a cool name :) )

    I’m still not quite sure why there is so much negative feeling built up around these launches – you can ignore them if you want, and if you buy it and it doesn’t work out, there is always a guarantee. Sure, if someone is an out and out no-good who takes customer’s money and runs with it, then out them all the way to the FTC. But why are people who haven’t even bought the product getting so excited ?

    It all seems a bit “shouting at the television” to me.

    As Michael Winner might say: ‘Calm down dear, it’s the Internet.’

    • says

      If the sales letter had been toned in a similar way to Sonia’s original post, I doubt there would be the criticism, or at least the level of criticism, either in the sales letter or the product.

      If you accuse every product producer of the same tactics to fool people, that in itself is a lie to get sales.

      I am probably still on 200+ marketing lists – I don’t know one of those people who the sales letter accurately describes. I admit some come close, but all of those are more fooling themselves than other people, and they still have customers who value the content they provide… and I think they honour refunds.
      There are 2 that R2D2’s cousin has picked apart that may have crossed over the planned “fool people” line, I can’t tell if that is due to some kind of communications breakdown… these things do happen.
      Even some slammed multiple times haven’t crossed the line set in (I assume) Brain’s sales letter.

      People are reacting to the sales letter – sales letters in many ways are meant to handle objections, not create them. The marketing running up to the launch might have been a better place to handle aggressive statements.

      • says

        Depends what your definition of “Internet Marketers” is.

        Are you limiting are yourself to just “make money online” information marketers?

        I know a good number whole Acai Berry / Google Cash / Colon Cleansing -endorsed-by-Oprah-honest-guvnor-rebill-pushing flogs crowd from Wickedfire who’d wear the “aggressive hype and obnoxious tactics” badge with pride.

        Mind you, I think they are too busy counting their money and dodging lawsuits & merchant account slaps to worry about labels :)

  13. says

    Hey Andy, the Copyblogger Intensive bonus is being tied in to a cool software tool/service coming this year. You’ll get free access to the content and the software service. You’ll dig it (as soon as we can get it done).

    Looks like you’re doing some tribe building yourself here. Based on some of the comments, they certainly could learn some things from you. ;)

    • says

      I am a patient guy

      This wasn’t intended for any kind of “tribe building” otherwise I might have made an effort in optimizing for specific traffic (& note I am testing effectively null signup) – whilst your sales letter might have converted, I don’t think a goal should be to ostracize part of your audience, & some of the other errors/ommissions were just clumsy.

      • says

        I totally get what you’re saying Andy. But I never intended to exclude a true part of our audience – I wanted our true audience to identify itself. That’s what happened.

        One of your commenters above who doesn’t understand marketing stated that I write bad copy because he didn’t like it. Who’s the fool? Him, or me with 2,2oo members?

        Great marketing excludes in order to appeal to those who matter most. I’d be an idiot to write copy that appeals to the general drive-by traffic, and yet those same un-enlightened types who write “one-size-fits-all” copy criticize me.

        Check your bank accounts, fellows. And quit writing comments and get to work.

        • Armen says

          Andy, I also used Brian’s aff link rather than Stompernet’s in order to get access to his ‘forthcoming’ copywriting course when buying PLF.

          Is the plan to give access to ScribeSEO, or is there something else coming?

          • says

            Armen I have no idea, certainly I wasn’t asked to look at Scribe SEO even as a potential affiliate (it is junk anyway – probably why I wasn’t asked to look at ti)

  14. says

    I’m a member of the Third Tribe and the Warrior Forum. I vastly prefer the Third Tribe and rarely spend any time on the WF anymore because of what it has become. Does that mean there’s no good info in there? Definitely not. You could pick both of them apart for catering to / not catering to certain “types”. But The Cool Kids and the Marketers are always going to be pointing and whispering about each other.

    Personally I think the term “Internet Marketer” is quickly becoming as soured as “Liberal”, so people are looking for something new to identify with. The Third Tribe came about with a message that reached just the right type of people it wanted to reach at the right time.

    • says

      Memebrship sites full of “Third Tribe Marketers” are a great place to sell services, unless everyone in the Tribe is selling the same services.

      This certainly wasn’t a pointing/whispering post – I deliberately didn’t attack the quality of the product as product fit doesn’t really matter, it is whether you can trust people to give you a refund if it doesn’t fit/sucks.

  15. says

    I really like this post. It’s straight forward and you can get a lot out from it. you can see that the internet business is not as easy as it seems. There is yet lots of things to be learned. You should learn it inside out before you get into this area.

  16. says

    A great post to read. I think you can have a long sales letter and still be ethical and transparent. You were right when you said that many people “don’t take action” or have shiny object syndrome. I can attest to that. Your sharing is useful fot the bloggers.

  17. says

    Hello, my first comment :)

    Firstly I joined, because I am not either ‘tribe’, I am a small time pro blogger. All the hype I took as to mean squeeze pages a mile long (yet you still don’t know how much the product is) and the cool kids from social media, well I took those to be the early adopters (you know they ones that told us to follow everyone back on twitter and then a year later changed their minds).

    I want to communicate with others like me, so I signed up and I have had some nice conversations and picked up some good tips and I have yet to even look at the content that is part of the package.

    I don’t like Stompernet, I get the emails and I find it terribly agressive, it might work but I may have to change who I am and what my business beliefs are to join in with it. That doesn’t rest easy with me.

    I am also a member of the Immediate Edge, and I rather like that, you can implement in some things and there is no hard push on things.

    I think there is a placed for the Third Tribe, and from that will spin off a lot more groups and from these you will see the future blog masters and blog mistresses rise, and they won’t have time for R2 D2 ;-)

    Sarah
    PS I do find a lot of the internet marketers mentioned so salesy that it’s off putting, I guess that’s why they are rich and I am not :-)

    • says

      Personally I don’t think Stompernet is too dissimilar from Immediate Edge as they share a lot of members – primary focus is setting up e-commerce sites rather than domaining, flipping websites etc, but both are about legitimate business methods that work – the long haul.

  18. says

    Beware of Internet Marketers? I have bought products from them, including from the more notorious ones. I asked for a refund for one: I didn’t think it lived up to the promises (hype?) but then, where is the problem? I got my money back straight away. No fuss, no questions.
    I’ve also tried the product you mention and won’t be continuing membership; I know it’s early days and this is the “charter” period while things get going, but something has to be really, really special to get my money every month. I also respect the authors a great deal though, no disrespect intended.
    I do, however, belong to another paid membership site, which was worth every single penny.

  19. says

    I agree strongly with Andy on the “Get Rich Quick” part. It’s terrible to promise people a way to get rich only to deliver a BS package for too much money that doesn’t work. I’ve seen this happen so many time shame on you tribe!

  20. says

    I do not know how some of those sales pages work, some of them are just full of junk and they look absolutely terrible. But then there is the other hand or “A different tribe” that handles their sales in a more professional less spammy way, and their blogs and websites probably convert way more like you said above.

  21. says

    Since Darren’s 1st ebook didn’t teach me how to make money online, and his paid forum hasn’t done the trick, I guess THIS will finally be the magic pill that will make me my millions, whew…thank goodness, as I was starting to worry. Maybe that is what is meant by “aggressive hype” and obnoxious tactics”

  22. Florida Health Insurance says

    Something is exciting in this post, reactions of both parties are extremely high. I’ve been enlighten more about internet marketers, some says they are bad and some says they are fare good and wants to earn money.

    I’m also Internet Marketer too, but still on the first stage. but I’m happy what I’m doing while earning some decent bucks.. Just be honest to your self and to the people you dealt with.

  23. Riley Kozak says

    Hi Andy,
    Thanks for the post. I really Like it. I have so much learned and discover. Ill continue to follow you and read your articles.

  24. says

    In most cases, people don’t read the terms and policy stating that it is too long or what not. Policy makers are aware of this and that’s how they get away with foolish ones.

    • says

      What is on a sales page can change all the time, and does change all the time
      In many cases with split testing no 2 customers ever see the same sales page

      Terms of Service as a rule don’t change that frequently, unless you’re Facebook

  25. says

    I am a member of the tribe to-3 but I’m also part of SEO Brain Trust, spent time in WarriorForum, and other things of interest to access to 3 is the major communities. WarriorForum have it too, but the Tribe to-3 is a “kumbaya” and all the people willing to help one another.

    Thank you for the information.

  26. says

    I sense that many people are becoming rather fed up of the rehashed products and jazzy, hyped-up sales pages pushing them onto gullible people. After a time, and wasted money, one realises that the only path to success is by doing some actual WORK and stop dreaming of instant riches.

    I don’t even know what the Third Tribe is and to be honest I have too many things to do to be bothered about it. I don’t wish to get sidetracked once again by the latest ‘shiny object’.

  27. says

    “You’re letter evoked a lot of emotion for me. Mostly revulsion!” haha.

    Marketers need to constantly make the decision to veer from unethical marketing that comes from the appearance of a magic bullet. Communication is easy to hype up when information is asymmetry.

    Quick solutions exist, but they’re atypical. Thank goodness for the new guidelines.

    Fooling people with aggressive hype is instant gratification. It’s the marketing equivalent of big fat bag of chips.

  28. says

    Andy, I’m not sure what country you’re from (that’s not a Polish name, I wouldn’t have thought) or what age you are (I’m 54) but here in the UK we have a TV programme called “Grumpy Old Men” (in the interests of equality, there’s also a female version!) and from reading your comments, you’d be a prime candidate for it. You’re feisty, outspoken and very funny. Excellent writing about the joys of internet marketing!

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