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Six Evil Sales Tactics Marketers Use and How to Protect Yourself

Aug 17, 2007
If you've been looking to ditch the day job, have hours of leisure time, be more attractive, lose weight, etc., you've no doubt come across some slick sales copy for an e-book or course that will magically solve all your problems. A marketer's job, after all, is to get you to stop thinking and get you to react emotionally. Your job, as a consumer, is to cut through the tricks and tactics in the sales copy to find out exactly what is being offered. Here are a few of the things you will probably see in almost any sales copy:

1. This offer only lasts till tomorrow/tonight/midnight/next week etc..

Baloney. Dollars to donuts the same offer will be there tomorrow, with the exact same threat. This is put up to create fear and urgency. (Oh my God! If I don't order now I'll have to pay full price! Damn my credit limit! Give it to me NOW!) In fact, there are programing scripts available to online marketers that will automatically change the date on the site for them automatically. So if you're staring at Jane Marketer's sales copy for her great new e-book at 11:30 pm and the sales copy says that her reduced price will no longer be available after midnight, just wait until midnight and you can watch the script do its work.

2. $10,345 worth of bonuses - all yours for free!

This is a classic; they ALL do it. After introducing their wonderful new product, these marketers invariably will feed you some version of the old saw...

"But wait, there's more!"

And then proceed to give you numerous free reports, promises of e-mail access to the guru, and the privilege of being put on Jack Marketer's priority e-mail list. You may even be enrolled for a special money-maker's club. Each one of these is listed, described, and then has a value of hundreds or even thousands of dollars placed on it.

These values are COMPLETELY random. You should probably divide any number like this AT LEAST by 10 if not 20 or even a hundred to get a better idea of the true value.

3. Earnings screenshots

A relatively new technique, given the success of Google Adsense and Clickbank, is the use of accounting page screenshots. This of course is "proof" that the marketer was able to succeed with his/her own program and thus by extension, you should be able to as well.

This would be all well and good if not for the existance of image editing (and altering) programs like Photoshop!

Conclusion? There's simply no way you can trust ANY image you see on the internet.

4. Testimonials

There are numerous problems here.

Unless the testimonials have a link to a website, or a real email address (which is rare, as people value their privacy), you just can't trust them.

If you want to go to the trouble, and the testimonials have complete names and cities, you could always look them up in the white pages. If you find a few matches, it could be that the testimonials are legitimate.

5. Regular price $1000. Now $99.95!

This is just another marketing tactic to make you think you're getting a bargain. Internet marketers (the good ones at any rate) spend a great amount of time in determing the perfect price of their wares. Count on this: whatever they are charging IS the regular price. That crossed out number in front of it is a figment.

6. You have Nothing to Lose!

Wow. How many times have we heard THAT one before!

This brazen statement generally refers to the marketer's refund policy. Generally it's something like 90 days; for Clickbank products it's eight weeks. This is something you need to read CAREFULLY. If the purchase is through Clickbank, you're pretty well covered. Other services vary. If the marketer is self-publishing, then you just don't know unless you can find a useful review somewhere.

If you're paying by Paypal, keep in mind that should the marketer welch on his/her return policy, you have no recourse. Paypal does not insure transactions for digital products under $200.

Also, when buying under a "no risk" policy, make sure you mark the date with an alarm on your iCal, MS Outlook, or whatever personal organizer you use. The marketer is counting on you forgetting all about it!

As you see, none of this is difficult, and being aware of the tactics can go a long way in keeping you from making rash and impulsive buying decisions.
About the Author
Jack Xander writes on how the creative, the talented, and the better-looking can get ahead of their left-brained counterparts in the field of internet marketing at Right-Brain-Internet-Marketing.com .
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