Keyword Elite and the not so $167 value bonus

19 replies
Maybe it's just me (and I have bought the product) but the following text taken directly from the sales page is not playing fair IMHO:

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And if you go ahead and buy Keyword Elite 2.0 right now...

You get SEO Elite FREE, as a part of your 30 day trial to the Search Marketing Elite club!

($167 Value!)
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What I've actually received is 1 months free access to Search Marketing Elite (which costs $39/month to be a member) and my copy of SEO Elite will stop working when my membership expires.

On the other hand if I purchase SEO Elite outright it will cost me $167 and never expires.

Rather a big difference between the value of what I'm told I'm getting and what I actually get don't you think? And it's not an oversight because this bonus was pushed pretty heavily as part of the official email campaign.

It's one of the reasons I didn't hesitate too long before buying, and I can't find anything in the sales letter that explicitly says SEO Elite only works whilst you're still a member, you only determine that by reading between the lines so to speak.

Not that I'm planning on asking for a refund or anything but is this acceptable practice?
#$167 #bonus #elite #keyword
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
    Just another reason why I hate product launches.

    :sigh:
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    I read the copy... it shouldn't expire in my opinion. Not the way it reads.

    *** A FREE copy of my SEO Elite software! (Value: $167)
    SEO Elite costs $167 to buy on its own, and it's the go to SEO tool for SEO pros all over the world. This thing can provide you with EVERY piece of information you need to drive any site to the #1 spot, whatever your niche.
    Get SEO Elite FREE!

    And if you go ahead and buy Keyword Elite 2.0 right now...

    You get SEO Elite FREE, as a part of your 30 day trial to the Search Marketing Elite club!

    ($167 value)
    Are you sure? If so I would open a ticket and see what they say. It could be that someone messed up.
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    • Profile picture of the author Byron Stuart
      I have already opened a ticket. To be honest that is how I found out that it expires, not by working out from the sales copy!?!

      I didn't believe the first response I got from my support ticket so I pointed out to them as you suggest and the reply I got back was

      ---

      When you make the purchase of KE 2.0, you do see that SEO Elite is included inside your 30 day trial membership to Search Marketing Elite. So, if you cancel that subscription, you do lose the SEO Elite functionality as well

      We apologise for any misunderstanding
      I hope this response was helpful.
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      • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
        Well that sucks. They messed up... that's not what it says at all. If that's the case its not a $167 value.
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        Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        It says somewhere that the copy of SEO elite launches within the membership area of the Search Marketing Elite club. Not sure at which part of the process though. It may be after payment is already made.

        Brad doesn't seem like the deceiving type. I'd guess he'll change it if people find it confusing. He's somewhat active here at WF. Why not shoot him a PM before you kick him in public?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
      You get SEO Elite FREE, as a part of your 30 day trial to the Search Marketing Elite club!
      I think that the wording of this sentence explains this itself.

      You get SEO Elite FREE as a "part" of your 30 day trial

      so it means that SEO Elite ends with your trial but I don't blame you for that. If I were you I would have fallen in this too.

      I guess you can go ahead and ask for a refund because it's no use to you once the trial expires.

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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

      I read the copy... it shouldn't expire in my opinion. Not the way it reads.
      It's weasely.

      "You get SEO Elite FREE, as a part of your 30 day trial to the Search Marketing Elite club!"

      From an ethics perspective, and as far as the FTC is concerned, that counts.

      It's still weasely. You've been misled, and it was deliberate. I don't approve.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        Regardless of intent and/or execution, my question is this...

        Why is the bonus determining how you feel about your purchase of KE2? If you put KE2 to use, you should easily bank enough that it'll pay for itself as well as the entire year of Search Marketing Elite club.

        Don't get me wrong, I don't dig deceptive ads (not saying this particular one is either). BUT, when people navigate to the KE2 sales page, presumably, they are looking to buy a keyword research tool. Allowing a bonus to affect your buying decision defeats the original purpose of the visit to the site.

        It's a bonus. Once you start treating it as your basis for the transaction, you've already done yourself a great disservice.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dexx
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        It's weasely.

        "You get SEO Elite FREE, as a part of your 30 day trial to the Search Marketing Elite club!"

        From an ethics perspective, and as far as the FTC is concerned, that counts.
        I think to be "honest" the wording should say:

        "You get FREE access to SEO ELITE, as a part of your 30 day trial to the Search Marketing Elite club!"

        either FREE access or FREE trial, but not just FREE, FREE implies no strings attached to the thing that is free, as in freedom from restrictions right...

        In my opinion at least.
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        • Profile picture of the author diggy20
          Another thing I found a little shady about the Keyword Elite 2 launch. One of the bonuses you supposedly get is a "free" membership to My Article Network. Maybe I overlooked it, but I don't think the bonus page specified what that meant. Anyway, I contacted support and all it is a 14 day free trial to MAN. A little lame if you ask me.
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          • Profile picture of the author James Blair
            Very deceptive in my opinion. I purchased too and I thought the same thing about the SEO Elite bonus, that the software wasn't contingent upon your membership that is. I don't plan on refunding anyway but that's not the point here.

            I don't have anything against "forced continuity" either, but I do think the terms should be clearly stated.

            IMHO He knew what he was doing when he created that sales letter, or had it created then read over it or whatever. I love keyword elite and seo elite as well but that was out of line.

            Just my opinion..
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  • Profile picture of the author Byron Stuart
    You do have a point but I did wait before I received confirmation from 2 different people on his support team before I went public.

    There may be some confusion about how SEO Elite works with the membership but that to me is a separate issue to the $167 value claim which is my main objection.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jermaine Tabor
    Hopefully he will clear this up. Brad is a pretty good guy since I've known of him and I've never know him to deceive anyone.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      It's not just you - and I don't think they messed up, either. By the time the reader gets to the "provision" the word "FREE" is firmly fixed in his mind. Then the limitation is not read exactly as stated but "interpreted to mean...." by the reader. Pretty smart!

      Think how carefully copy must be crafted to appear to offer "FREE, FREE, FREE" a piece of expensive software while also factually stating the bonus is tied to an upsell "as part of".

      The ad isn't deceptive - it carefully phrases the conditional terms of getting a big bonus while using the bonus offer for max attention.

      kay
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      • Profile picture of the author mar1on
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        It's not just you - and I don't think they messed up, either. By the time the reader gets to the "provision" the word "FREE" is firmly fixed in his mind. Then the limitation is not read exactly as stated but "interpreted to mean...." by the reader. Pretty smart!

        Think how carefully copy must be crafted to appear to offer "FREE, FREE, FREE" a piece of expensive software while also factually stating the bonus is tied to an upsell "as part of".

        The ad isn't deceptive - it carefully phrases the conditional terms of getting a big bonus while using the bonus offer for max attention.

        kay
        Exactly - It's clear as day when you read it carefully. Pretty smart way to sell a second product on the same sales page.
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  • Profile picture of the author corporation
    If, usually, You can get a piece of software for $167 that never expires and someone tells you that you can have that piece of software bundled with a 30 day trial somethingelse: the trial somethingelse will expire after 30 days: but the piece of software will not! Or they have to tell you that that is not a full piece of software but only a shareware expiring after 30 days (and being that they can't claim that is a $167 software).
    IMHO!
    Ciao
    Enrico
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    • Profile picture of the author Julian Lockhart
      Originally Posted by corporation View Post

      If, usually, You can get a piece of software for $167 that never expires and someone tells you that you can have that piece of software bundled with a 30 day trial somethingelse: the trial somethingelse will expire after 30 days: but the piece of software will not! Or they have to tell you that that is not a full piece of software but only a shareware expiring after 30 days (and being that they can't claim that is a $167 software).
      IMHO!
      Ciao
      Enrico
      ]

      What confuses is me it that I had a affiliate sale for seo elite for like 47.00 bucks a few weeks ago.

      Must of had a price increase.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    The owner of this software is a Warrior - have you tried PMing him for a response?

    I know a lot of marketers are using this type of forced continuity model because it gets more sales, but I'm sure feedback about negative experiences are something they would take seriously.

    Andy
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    nothing to see here.

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    • Profile picture of the author busyman
      Banned
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author Byron Stuart
        I have not tried PMing Brad. I did not think of that up front and now that I have started this thread I think I'll just leave it at that.

        I just wanted to bring this to other marketers opinions and see what the consensus was.

        Mind you if the dollar value was stated as $39 (or insert real value here) instead of the claimed $167 then I would not have raised this in the first place.

        Here's a hypothetical for you: Imagine you bought a new home and the company stated you would also get a FREE car (worth $20,000) as part of a promotion. After you've moved into your new home you read the fine print to find what you've actually got is only 1 months free rental of that car. I know I've raised the stakes with the dollar amounts but the principal is the same. Would you applaud the company for their marketing smarts or would you be a tad peeved? ;-)
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