I subscribe to a lot of email newsletters about internet marketing, and I’m surprised at how some of them are always trying to sell me something. And some of the products look dodgy – so they’re really just selling for the sake of selling. I find it hard to trust some of these people because of the way they market. In this article I’ll look at how people erode trust, and also how people can build trust.
Good marketing is built on trust. In the businesses I’m involved in, I’m interested in building long term relationships with my clients where I can establish my credibility with them, and build up trust. As people trust me more, they’re more likely to use my ideas and services.
I’m not interested in short term sales, where I sell a product that may or may not be suitable for the client, and then move on to the next person.
One of the things that attracted me to blogging was the concept of building up a community of like-minded people, where I’m able to shares my ideas and thoughts and help them achieve their goals and learn new things. Blogging is a great model, because by enabling comments you’re letting people have their say and give you feedback. My favourite blogs are ones where there are regular commentators who also share their thoughts and ideas.
Over the past few weeks I’ve experienced some not-so-good examples of marketing, that have reduced my trust and confidence in the people concerned. Here are some examples.
Help, I’m in email marketing hell!
I subscribe to a few email newsletters. Some deliver tremendous value, others are questionable.
I subscribed to one newsletter late in 2009 after buying a product from this person. I kept his original emails for my swipe files, so I could refer back to them when I was going to sell a product online.
I must admit, I wasn’t ready for the quantity of emails he sends me. I receive one email every second day (on average) from this person. And he doesn’t even have a blog to promote. Every email is about some great product he’s come across that I need to check out.
This experience is repeated by quite a few marketers. You purchase a product from them, get on their mailing list, and all they want to do is sell to you. At least once a week they’re emailing and selling me stuff.
Here’s an idea – try and build a relationship with me. Get a blog, write some good content and build up some credibility before you try and flog me a product.
Which brings me to my next point…
Be open about what you’re promoting
I’m sick of people telling me about this great product that’s going to change my life and change the way I look at internet marketing forever without actually naming the product.
Instead they have a cloaked link that I need to click on to go to the product page. Of course, this is an affiliate link.
I don’t have a problem with affiliate links – I’ll use them myself – but I am annoyed about this trend of not naming any products. Be open about what you’re promoting.
If your reader chooses to Google the product and go directly to the product page without using your link, put up with it! One of the reasons they may choose to do that is if they don’t trust you or don’t want you to get the sale.
And this leads me onto another point…
Make sure the product delivers what it promises
Earlier this year one person from the Warrior Forum was promoting a backlinking program that another Warrior owned. He raved about it and promoted it in a number of his emails. Sadly, the service didn’t turn out to be what it had promised, and most of the sites were de-indexed by Google. The credibility of this person was affected by the problems with this service.
You probably read my post on the Kajabi myth last month. It appears that post-launch there were some problems with the site and the support. A few posters on Warrior Forum suggested maybe it had opened too soon and should have waited a while for the bugs to be ironed out.
I haven’t used it, so I can’t comment on the situation. We can learn two things from the Kajabi launch:
- Only promote a product if you’ve used it or tested it yourself.
- Make sure the product delivers on its promise. If it doesn’t, you’ll get some of the blame.
Don’t be sneaky
Here’s an experience I had this week that inspired this post.
My son and I downloaded some new games for my iPhone on Friday. My son is 9 years old and pretty responsible. He knows he can only download free apps and games and we’re pretty strict in the types of games he can play.
He downloaded a City Sim game from a group called TeamLava. The game is free and promoted to kids. What isn’t clear is that in-game, you’re able to buy credits via the iTunes store to help you build things. The game doesn’t make it very clear that it’s costing you real money, and if you’re already logged into the iTunes store, it doesn’t make you re-enter your password.
So on Saturday we notice two emails from iTunes showing receipts for two in-game purchases of $189 each!
My son had no idea about these and he showed us in the game how he’d purchased these credits thinking it was done inside the game and not using real money.
A quick Google search shows that TeamLava have a website and forum and there are lots of nasty comments from people who found themselves in the same position we were in.
Luckily, I emailed Apple support and complained about the debits and within 24 hours they were refunded (thanks Apple).
What annoyed me most about this experience is that what the company are doing is unethical and sneaky. They’re producing a free app, but to be able to get much enjoyment from it you need to purchase credits. And the purchasing process isn’t very transparent or clear. So it’s being marketed as one thing, but actually delivers something different.
What annoys you?
Well, that’s a summary of things that bug me with marketing. If the goal is to build trust with your client, these are some examples of how not to build trust.
What have you experienced? Do you have examples of good or bad marketing?
Do you like the product flogging emails, or do you prefer people who try and build a relationship with you?
Let me know in the comments below.
Photo Credit – NotSoGoodPhotography
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