Blackhat? Not sure.. but worked!

22 replies
Hey,

Had a chat with a friend out here in Thailand that gave
me this little trick for selling reports... I gave it a go and
it worked incredibly well... my conversion rate almost
doubled.. but I get a feeling it's kinda black hat...

I simply emailed an old list of previous buyers (in the
gardening niche) a simple page that contained a .ZIP
file containing a small relevant report..

On that simple page it says 'Download the .ZIP file here
by right clicking then clicking save as' etc..

Below that it has a PayPal payment link for the password
to the .ZIP file.

Of course the content inside the .ZIP file is password
protected. They need to pay to get the password.

I had a ton of sales - and then followed the email up a
few days later with a quick link to the PayPal payment
link with a note that the password is given after payment.

A lot of people downloaded the file with no intention of
originally paying - then tried to open the .ZIP and saw
the password - after getting the update there curiosity
got the better of them (and they already had the file
on there harddrive) - so a lot of hard work was already
done - and just paid!

I'll test most things, and this worked so well.. but I
feel its a bit black hat ninja style...!

What's your opinions?
#blackhat #worked
  • Profile picture of the author David-JP
    Originally Posted by Joe Motion View Post


    I simply emailed an old list of previous buyers (in the
    gardening niche) a simple page that contained a .ZIP
    file containing a small relevant report..

    On that simple page it says 'Download the .ZIP file here
    by right clicking then clicking save as' etc..

    Below that it has a PayPal payment link for the password
    to the .ZIP file.

    Of course the content inside the .ZIP file is password
    protected. They need to pay to get the password.

    I had a ton of sales - and then followed the email up a
    few days later with a quick link to the PayPal payment
    link with a note that the password is given after payment.
    Have you sold them anything before? How did the conversions compare?

    David
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  • Profile picture of the author tooAlive
    If someone pulled that on me, I'd immediately unsubscribe from their list.

    If their product had an ounce of quality in it and they were honest, they wouldn't be pulling all those tricks to get me to bite.
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    • Profile picture of the author 1byte
      Originally Posted by tooAlive View Post

      If someone pulled that on me, I'd immediately unsubscribe from their list.

      If their product had an ounce of quality in it and they were honest, they wouldn't be pulling all those tricks to get me to bite.
      Yeah, that's not cool. I would be miffed if someone did that to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Motion
      Originally Posted by tooAlive View Post

      If someone pulled that on me, I'd immediately unsubscribe from their list.

      If their product had an ounce of quality in it and they were honest, they wouldn't be pulling all those tricks to get me to bite.
      Hey,

      Yeah - I've pulled it. Saying that though I've had 0% unsubscripton rate
      from the list so far - but the original product sold did over deliver (IMO).

      Stats.

      I've sold to these subscribers before - so I know they're interested
      and ready to buy. They come from cold traffic banner ads. I email
      them once every few weeks with relevant (and topical) info (not
      always selling to them).

      After they've purchased my main product they're put on an automated
      email sequence for 2 weeks.. with quality info and Clickbank affiliate
      offers then they just get the odd email I outlined above.. and this sort
      of thing I'm explaining now..

      Open rate was 32% (open rate is always high in this niche).

      72% downloaded the .ZIP.

      With a total of 60% paying for the password (which cost $9.97).

      Made me high $X,XXX.

      Thinking of adding it into my automated email sequence but will
      wait on feedback from here, and, of course, customer feedback!

      Just thought I would share anyway.
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      Living in SE Asia.. BKK.. PM me for a beer!
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    • Profile picture of the author SOCAL777
      Originally Posted by tooAlive View Post

      If someone pulled that on me, I'd immediately unsubscribe from their list.

      If their product had an ounce of quality in it and they were honest, they wouldn't be pulling all those tricks to get me to bite.
      Seconded. As it stands, I've been on an Unsubscribe frenzy of late. It's one thing to promote products once a week, but some marketers spam up to 10 times per week.
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    • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
      Originally Posted by tooAlive View Post

      If someone pulled that on me, I'd immediately unsubscribe from their list.

      If their product had an ounce of quality in it and they were honest, they wouldn't be pulling all those tricks to get me to bite.
      Friend, you don't need to engage in this kind of stuff. The comment above explains why.

      Will
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  • Profile picture of the author USA
    tooAlive

    If someone pulled that on me, I'd immediately unsubscribe from their list.

    If their product had an ounce of quality in it and they were honest, they wouldn't be pulling all those tricks to get me to bite.
    Ditto! My sentiments exactly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Kren
    This does sound interesting though. I would like to hear more details on how it was all put together.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    It's not black hat but it's pretty cheesy.
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    • Profile picture of the author David-JP
      Im not sure there's anything really wrong with this- as long as you made it clear that the file was password protected and they needed to make a purchase to unlock it- I really dont see an ethical difference between this and giving them an unlocked version after paying.

      I've known people in the investing world who sell spreadsheets with macros built in, the spreadsheet is password protected and they need to order to get the unlock- As long as your sales page is clear doesn't seem black hat to me.

      If you were simply sending them to a download page, and not explaining they would need to order to get the unlock, frustrating them until they come back and buy. Or if your download page wasn't very descriptive... that would be a hat of a different color.


      David
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      • Profile picture of the author tooAlive
        Originally Posted by David-JP View Post

        I've known people in the investing world who sell spreadsheets with macros built in, the spreadsheet is password protected and they need to order to get the unlock- As long as your sales page is clear doesn't seem black hat to me.
        I don't have a problem with that at all. I actually do a similar thing myself in a different niche. As long as you're transparent, and the customer knows.

        Originally Posted by David-JP View Post

        Of course the content inside the .ZIP file is password
        protected. They need to pay to get the password.

        I had a ton of sales - and then followed the email up a
        few days later with a quick link to the PayPal payment
        link with a note that the password is given after payment.


        A lot of people downloaded the file with no intention of
        originally paying - then tried to open the .ZIP and saw
        the password - after getting the update there curiosity
        got the better of them (and they already had the file
        on there harddrive) - so a lot of hard work was already
        done - and just paid!
        This is what I wasn't too crazy about.

        From what I understand, he's sending a locked .zip file one day to create interest, and following it up with the password for sale in another email a few days later.

        I wouldn't do that to my list. It might work, but it just doesn't build honesty or credibility in my book.

        Although offering the password for sale and the free locked download in the same email, along with a description of what you're doing is totally different.
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        • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
          Banned
          Originally Posted by tooAlive View Post

          This is what I wasn't too crazy about.

          From what I understand, he's sending a locked .zip file one day to create interest, and following it up with the password for sale in another email a few days later.
          Then you didn't actually read what he said BEFORE that part. Try it again:

          I simply emailed an old list of previous buyers (in the
          gardening niche) a simple page that contained a .ZIP
          file containing a small relevant report..

          On that simple page it says 'Download the .ZIP file here
          by right clicking then clicking save as' etc..

          Below that it has a PayPal payment link for the password
          to the .ZIP file
          .
          Nowhere did he say he sent them a locked file one day, and then a payment request for the password the next day. The download page made clear they'd have to pay to get the password if they downloaded. The follow up email merely reminded them of what he had already told them on the download page.

          Nothing blackhat or greyhat here.
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        • Profile picture of the author Joe Motion
          Originally Posted by tooAlive View Post

          From what I understand, he's sending a locked .zip file one day to create interest, and following it up with the password for sale in another email a few days later.
          I think you misread my original post..

          On that simple page it says 'Download the .ZIP file here
          by right clicking then clicking save as' etc..

          Below that it has a PayPal payment link for the password
          to the .ZIP file.
          But I do think people downloaded with the intention of just opening
          the file - then being disappointed it was password protected. Also,
          this is the gardening niche - they're not marketing/computer savvy.

          Setting everything up for this was such a breeze too.
          Signature
          Living in SE Asia.. BKK.. PM me for a beer!
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  • Profile picture of the author nick04
    It will work till the time you don't get caught. And it sound pretty much like gray hat
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  • Profile picture of the author JawadAshraf
    I think it will work nice in other niches except IM/MMO. Have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing by the way. Keep it up.
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  • Profile picture of the author ArielT
    Thanks for sharing, It's not blackhat, but I personally don't like the idea
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  • Profile picture of the author vCr8
    First of all I would not tag it as afree report to download.. then on the other hand if the report is really of substance, I would not really mind paying for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Diesell
    It's not Blackhat...but you trick people a little bit! They buy it because they are interested right...so i gotta love it ;-) Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe Motion
    Thanks for all the feedback!

    I think I'm going to leave this out for the time being (even though it made me $X,XXX!).
    Signature
    Living in SE Asia.. BKK.. PM me for a beer!
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  • Profile picture of the author smokey58
    Originally Posted by Joe Motion View Post

    Hey,

    Had a chat with a friend out here in Thailand that gave
    me this little trick for selling reports... I gave it a go and
    it worked incredibly well... my conversion rate almost
    doubled.. but I get a feeling it's kinda black hat...

    I simply emailed an old list of previous buyers (in the
    gardening niche) a simple page that contained a .ZIP
    file containing a small relevant report..

    On that simple page it says 'Download the .ZIP file here
    by right clicking then clicking save as' etc..

    Below that it has a PayPal payment link for the password
    to the .ZIP file.

    Of course the content inside the .ZIP file is password
    protected. They need to pay to get the password.

    I had a ton of sales - and then followed the email up a
    few days later with a quick link to the PayPal payment
    link with a note that the password is given after payment.

    A lot of people downloaded the file with no intention of
    originally paying - then tried to open the .ZIP and saw
    the password - after getting the update there curiosity
    got the better of them (and they already had the file
    on there harddrive) - so a lot of hard work was already
    done - and just paid!

    I'll test most things, and this worked so well.. but I
    feel its a bit black hat ninja style...!

    What's your opinions?
    Black hat? To me it's more like BS. I would opt out of your email very fast. I'm surprised it worked so well. Sooner or later it will catch up with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe Motion
    Originally Posted by smokey58 View Post

    Black hat? To me it's more like BS. I would opt out of your email very fast. I'm surprised it worked so well. Sooner or later it will catch up with you.
    Why would it catch up with me? haha

    It was a test - and I'm holding off using it now. And for the record
    the guy that told me about it is making 6 figures a year.

    And I wouldn't brush *any* strategy off before TESTING it!
    Signature
    Living in SE Asia.. BKK.. PM me for a beer!
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  • Profile picture of the author GowthamV
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