Marketing Scams

I just received an email from a well-known internet marketer. The wording is pretty appalling, quite frankly, and if ever I were to consider buying something from these people this single email would be enough to persuade me not to. The thing is I don’t doubt they will make good money from that email.

Now the title of this post is marketing scams, which is not what that email was. Actually, I’m not for one second suggesting that this particular marketer is perpetrating a scam. They’re not. They have genuine products for sale and a lot of people love their stuff. Many claim to have made a lot of money following their courses. Perhaps a better title would have been Annoying Marketing Emails – that’s how this email made me feel.

But I can’t help feeling that the tone of their emails is directed at the ‘less experienced’ beginner. Here’s an example of their subject line:

Frankly, I’m puzzled Amin…

And here’s part of a line in the email itself:

I’m writing because I’m concerned about you.

That, quite frankly, is so hard to believe. It’s a broadcast email, not a personal letter, so how much genuine concern can there be for me? Especially, as in this case, since there is something being sold on the back end of it. And the concern appears to be because I haven’t ‘registered’ to see if I’m ‘qualified’ to buy their product – so I must have something wrong with me! At least, that’s the implication in my opinion.

I still don’t see your application! Truth is, I find that puzzling.

Really? A marketer with tens of thousands of customers and huge amounts of testing doesn’t appear to have any idea why some people don’t buy from them? To me that’s unlikely, but of course I could be wrong. The person sending the email might have genuinely looked at my details in their database and sat worrying about me. That’s quite touching.

So what’s the point? Well, there are several. Telling people you care about them probably only works when it’s demonstrably true, or they’re very inexperienced, like beginners. Telling inexperienced people that you care about them because they’re making a mistake probably works quite well, given a decent mailing list.

And one of the oldest marketing principles in the world is what’s sometimes called FUD, which stands for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. In other words try to scare your prospect that they’ll suffer if they don’t buy what you have to sell.

Does that really sound like a way to build a long-term relationship with somebody? Doesn’t to me. What do you think?

Do you get emails that are lacking in conviction? I get a ton of them. I hope my mailings never fall into that trap, but if they do please feel free to berate me here!