Seth Godin says we are taking the "low road"...

108 replies
Seth calls the typical "internet marketing" tactics - popups, pop-overs, squeeze pages, 'loud headlines' as "low road attempts at manipulation".

Seth's Blog: The high road and the low road

What do you think?
#godin #low road #seth #taking
  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    My first response is: "Who cares what he thinks?" As long of you're being true to yourself and run a tight ship (ethically and morally) it shouldn't matter what another person thinks of your business and marketing.

    Still it's a good point to discuss and I agree that some marketing practices in the internet marketing niche could definitely be considered low road and manipulative. However just because some people practice sneaky and manipulative marketing doesn't mean that myself and other people do.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    Seth Godin is more of a philosopher than a direct response marketer in my opinion.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi,

      I think he's absolutely spot on.

      He makes the analogy between the internet and offline magazines, but in my opinion the points made in the article are even more critical online if you are operating a business that aims to succeed through word of mouth referrals and reputation.

      He doesn't actually say 'we' are taking the low road, he implies that those who do are fooling themselves about which road is more lucrative.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

      Take a look at his track record before you make a statement like that, hes been around since the birth of the Internet made millions from direct marketing and can now afford to be a philosopher....

      Seth Godin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      -Rich
      Well I have all my hair. Ha! See he doesn't have everything.
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      • Profile picture of the author Thomas
        Originally Posted by ZigZag View Post

        Well I have all my hair. Ha! See he doesn't have everything.
        LOL! A bit cruel...

        Some hair, some hair, my kingdom for some hair!
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi BizBoost,

      and has people who take his word as gospel truth enough to go attempt to infect others with it
      You're entitled to your opinion.

      As for me, you're mistaken. I'm a free thinker and I've criticised a few of Seth's posts before. But I also give credit where it's due.

      Did you read the article or is your comment based on the slightly inaccurate snippet (title) that was put in this thread?

      I see this every day at Squidoo, blogs and other user generated pages. People who build pages that are generous, filled with useful information and generally focused on teaching people do extremely well. They get a lot of traffic, a ton of clickthroughs and earn money every day. And yet, countless businesses in search of a quick buck show up with obviously selfish scams involving Forex and affiliate-Bank and 'exclusive' offers. And they fail, again and again. They fail because people who have a choice don't participate.
      I fail to see how you can 'infect' people with thinking like that - unless of course you are suggesting that he is leading people away from the money by telling them to engage their prospects rather than manipulating them. If so, I disagree.

      Good day!
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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

      Seth Godin is more of a philosopher than a direct response marketer in my opinion.
      With ONE blog post, he pre-sold THREE THOUSAND copies of
      his book, "TRIBES - We Need You To Lead Us".

      Seth's Blog: Are you in the tribe?

      Seth Godin's a direct marketer par excellence!

      All success
      Dr.Mani
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    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
      Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

      Take a look at his track record before you make a statement like that, hes been around since the birth of the Internet, made millions from direct marketing and can now afford to be a philosopher....

      Seth Godin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      -Rich
      My point...

      ...If you don't think Seth Godin is more of a marketing philosopher than tactical DR marketer, then you're crazy. My 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cosmo Demopoulos
    Seth is right, lots of Internet Marketers do crappy stuff. But not all "calls to action", "squeeze pages" etc. are "low road" or "low brow."

    Lets be seriously thought, a lot of IM crap is, well, crap. And a lot of generous online social media great content etc. can leave the marketer close to dead broke.

    Seth, along with being the worlds most famous bald man, is a pretty smart dude. He definitely walks the walk he talks about too -- even answers his own email, and damn quickly.

    I learned a lot from Seth, both from what he writes, and especially from watching what he does. He got our attention, didn't he?
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  • Profile picture of the author BizBoost
    There are a lot of techniques on the internet which might be best to avoid employing, but all Seth's comment means is that he is full of himself and has people who take his word as gospel truth enough to go attempt to infect others with it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Magic Johnson
      I follow Godin and a few other mainstream marketers, I only follow John Reese and Perry Marshall now days from the Guru crowd.

      Guru crowd = Use Sales letters & Email lists to Sell Seminars or Info Courses

      Mainstream Marketers = Blog several times a week, could have some paperbook out there to sell or provide consulting services for a fee.

      I've grown way past the beginners stages and the same old coming from the Gurus mouths.

      If you want to build the kind of business Seth Godin is talking about you have to know a lot more than copywriting and doing JV's.

      And that's why I think many want to defend Direct-Response marketing.

      It's simplictic and can make you huge sums of money.

      But there's not one of this Sales letters or direct response sales
      letters that will ever get a steady top 100 alexa rank.

      Because there's nothing behind a sales letter that will get you to
      return over and over again. It's static and unchangeable.

      2cents of course.
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  • Profile picture of the author Easy Cash
    What he is saying goes for any business - offline or online.

    Successful business is about honesty and relationships - not twisting the truth or manipulating your customers and clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author Allurre
      Originally Posted by Easy Cash View Post

      What he is saying goes for any business - offline or online.

      Successful business is about honesty and relationships - not twisting the truth or manipulating your customers and clients.

      Exactly. Well said bro.

      What Seth means, I believe, is that many internet marketers are under-delivering, or providing a disservice for the 'desperate' and helpless souls online.

      In a sense, many internet marketers don't really care about their customers, even if they suggest so with their "money back guarantee" policy on their.. sales page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michelle Strait
    I'm guessing he doesn't like Clickbank. He called it "affiliate-Bank". LOL
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    • Profile picture of the author dmag1
      Seth is a bright guy. We'd all be foolish to disregard his opinion.

      Most of the cheesy sales tactics in the IM niche are there because we've proven that we'll respond to them, at least in sufficient volume to keep making people money.

      Whether they would work as well in other niches, I don't know.

      The gurus don't care much about that, either. They make their money from the "Internet Marketing" niche.

      I'll say this about those "gurus," most of them made their serious bucks when this was a very young medium and people were spending money all over the place. I don't believe very many of them could start today and replicate their own success, if starting from scratch and without the connections they've developed by being in the first wave of IM.

      Most will simple fade away with their riches, but will retain their legendary status, do speaking engagements, etc. They were in the right place at the right time. Being first is a tremendous market advantage.

      It's also nice to be in "the guru club," where they support each other's launches and proclaim each other to be awesome to the Nth degree, and this just perpetuates the myth.

      We all know that this is an industry that does a good chunk of its business with smoke and mirrors -- and we're still here.

      I'm not condemning anybody. It is what it is.

      But we shouldn't sugarcoat what doesn't deserve it.

      Anyway, my .02.
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      • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
        This is another of those "ne'er the twain shall meet" threads.

        The high roaders are overethical business dummies who will never make a penny while the low roaders are soulless scumbags with no real friends.

        Martin
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        • Profile picture of the author NPmaster
          Banned
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          • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
            Originally Posted by NPmaster View Post

            I love it something controversal.. love it.

            Although he has a point.. I'm sick of salespages.. in fact
            I'd say they are ugly now.. except those ones with a
            video like used with Mass Cntrol 2.0 and BM 2.0.

            My salespage is going to be simple and to the point
            that's how like a salespage to be and I don't see
            how these big long supposedly hypnotic and
            expensive salespages work... these exact salespages
            kept me from ever making money online because
            I failed to see through them and they made me
            think more of a scam than anyhting.

            So there's something for you all to think about..

            Are the general public suspecting you of scamming
            them all because you invested £2000 in a salescopy
            that looks tacky and like you really have something
            to hide..
            The long sales pages are getting pretty tedious. I think a few bullet points, a few good testimonials and a
            3 minute personal video can do more than a really long sales letter. Most people just don't have the time or attention span to be scrolling down a page for 10 minutes reading. After all, when is the last time you read ever word of a guru sales letter?

            Usually, if its an IM product, everyone knows what its about before the sales letter even comes out. I know long copy supposedly outpulls short copy, but it sure would seem that an "internet" sales letter would not have the impact of a snail mail sales letter of the same length. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think video messages (short ones), along with copy and testimonials are going to become more and more popular and more effective as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    So if I use a squeeze page to build a "potential buyer of my stuff" list and then I use an exit
    pop-up if they try to leave empty handed and offer them a little more just so they get
    in my marketing funnel, that means I'm taking the low road?

    That question is to OP who kind of blew Seth's blog post a little bit out of proportion.

    He was only talking about Lenses, Blogs, and Magazines.

    Unless I missed something, he wasn't talking about direct response websites (mini-sites)

    Just out of curiosity, what was he selling back when he built his Direct Response empire?

    Would be interesting to know if he took the high road when he was making his
    climb to millionaire status.

    Thanks,
    Jason
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Motley
    I think he's right in some aspects. He doesnt seem to be talking about the people that put time and effort into their site and create good sites. He's talking about sites that throw crap content that is keyword laden on the page, not really useful or informative, made more to get the clickers to come through for ppc stuff.

    Those sites can still make money but hes right when he says that they dont usually get the same traffic and therefore make the same money as a site that has content people really are interested in and read.
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  • Profile picture of the author nick1123
    Originally Posted by Deric Yin View Post

    Seth calls the typical "internet marketing" tactics - popups, pop-overs, squeeze pages, 'loud headlines' as "low road attempts at manipulation".

    Seth's Blog: The high road and the low road

    What do you think?
    Seth's advice is a waste of your time...

    Unless of course you want to build a long term business with sustainable profits. If that's your goal then Seth's advice is spot on.
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  • Profile picture of the author ArtDeco
    Seth's advice isn't really appropriate for people just starting out. Squidoo is awesome, yes; but the start up costs were measured in millions, not $9 for a domain, $15 for content, and $20 for link building.
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    Nope. Nothing to click here yet.

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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      The article in question recommends high quality vs low quality. Amazing how much analysis can be placed on a simple opinion that high quality is better.

      Don't always agree with Godin but this article seems like common sense.

      kay
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      I'm going to work on being less condescending
      (Condescending means to talk down to people)
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    People are making a lot of assumptions in this thread.
    I read the blog post and don't think that it's clear enough
    what is the 'high road' and what is the 'low road.'

    He mentions a few sites and marketing elements but they
    are not enough to define any style of marketing except
    in a general way.

    Some people mentions DM and sales letters, but no where
    I see that he mentions either.

    Of course you want to give your visitors great information
    and not try to trick them, but how they are actually tricked
    is not very clear from his post.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Another thing to keep in mind is Godin's whole purpose for publishing his blog. He wants (and needs, from a business sense) to be seen as a thought leader, someone on the cutting edge. One way to do that is making blog posts that create conversation.

      Judging from this thread, and the number of trackbacks in the comments on his blog, Godin has done exactly that.

      In a way, Godin's blog functions a lot like Rush Limbaugh's radio show. A ton of people read/listen because they like the content, identify with it, and don't want to miss out on anything. Another ton of people dislike the content, don't agree with it, and don't want to miss a chance to blast Seth/Rush for the content.

      Over time, it resembles a never-ending spiral. Supporters applaud, so detractors boo louder, so the supporters up their volume, so the detractors up theirs... And the status of the person starting the spiral grows as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    "Godin graduated from Tufts University in 1982 with a degree in computer science and philosophy. Godin earned his MBA in marketing from Stanford Business School. From 1983 to 1986, he worked as a brand manager at Spinnaker Software. For a time Godin commuted every week from California and Boston both to do his new job and to complete his MBA."

    Philosopher...

    Brand manager...

    MBA in marketing...

    He's interesting, but not my cup o tea.
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    • Profile picture of the author Robert_Rand
      Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

      "Godin graduated from Tufts University in 1982 with a degree in computer science and philosophy. Godin earned his MBA in marketing from Stanford Business School. From 1983 to 1986, he worked as a brand manager at Spinnaker Software. For a time Godin commuted every week from California and Boston both to do his new job and to complete his MBA."

      Philosopher...

      Brand manager...

      MBA in marketing...

      He's interesting, but not my cup o tea.
      Yeah, I agree. Nothing against him at all - he's obviously been successful in his own right.

      But to me he seems a little out of touch - a lot of the biggest companies out there successfully use aggressive direct marketing tactics that would be the offline equivalent of what he mentions.

      Just b/c he doesn't advocate it or has found other ways to succeed does not mean his opinion is gospel. And to me it seems more like feel good theory that big dumb companies will pay to hear vs. brass tack business tactics that immediately and directly affect the bottom line in a trackable and systematic way.
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      I think you probably should have mentioned what he considers the high road.

      In the same blog post...

      "People who build pages that are generous, filled with useful information and generally focused on teaching people do extremely well."


      And if you think about it he's 100% right about this strategy being more effective than popups, popunders, cloaked IP addresses etc etc.

      People go online looking for highly targeted information and over time the person who provides that information consistently will become the winner.

      That's why you're on this forum instead of reading a sales letter right now.

      You're making a choice to pursue information that's valuable to you in a place where you know you'll find that information.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
      Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

      Yahoo Acquiring Yoyodyne

      Direct marketer...

      I like tea - I'm British

      -Rich
      lol... You're a funny guy.

      I just drank a McDonald's sweet tea so I like tea too, even though I'm American.

      When I think of direct marketing, I think a measurable and tactical approach, and optimization.

      Now this is who I call a direct response marketer: Jay Abraham: About Jay
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      • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
        Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

        Yep - but you cant just disregard what Seth, Jay and all the pioneers did for this industry - there's magic in all that they say - you just have to take all of it on-board.

        As for tactical - they eat, drink and sleep on it...

        So do I....

        -Rich
        I don't disagree Seth Godin isn't a pioneer. I'm just saying he's one of those guys who puts out more philosophy than practical and tactical techniques in what I've seen and read from him.

        I'm not knockin him.

        I don't agree with his high road low road theory... because look at Frank Kern, Matt Bacak, Tim Godfrey, the ClickBank gurus... all "low roaders" swimming in cash.

        And I'm going to go ahead and put this out there and get stoned...

        To do what Godin preaches, you need a MASSIVE AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC. While you can make as much or money money on the "low road" with a lot less traffic. ...And with the amount of traffic people like Godin generate, I believe they could turn that into a whole lot more traffic by using some "low road" tactics.

        "People who build pages that are generous, filled with useful information and generally focused on teaching people do extremely well. They get a lot of traffic, a ton of clickthroughs and earn money every day."

        This is a crock. Just because a page has useful info doesn't mean anything. It's a ton of work first of all to create enough content to get enough massive traffic to make any kind of good money on the "high road."

        Just writing some content on Squidoo doesn't cut it... it doesn't mean you're attracting buyers with your keywords in your content, it works slower than paying for traffic, you need a heck of a lot of incoming links or your lens needs to go viral, it's a slower process, and again... you need MASSIVE traffic to make good money with Squidoo.
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        • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
          Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

          To do what Godin preaches, you need a MASSIVE AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC.
          Do we know how much of his traffic followed him online from his offline ventures?

          If the Pope ever goes online and starts a blog I'll bet he gets more traffic than Seth.

          So, could the Pope then "preach" his traffic generating techniques to Seth?

          How many people would want to run out and buy the Pope's 43 piece "free" "you just pay shipping and handling" How To Get More Followers course.

          The launch coming soon.
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          • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
            Originally Posted by Matthew Maiden View Post

            Do we know how much of his traffic followed him online from his offline ventures?

            If the Pope ever goes online and starts a blog I'll bet he gets more traffic than Seth.

            So, could the Pope then "preach" his traffic generating techniques to Seth?

            How many people would want to run out and buy the Pope's 43 piece "free" "you just pay shipping and handling" How To Get More Followers course.

            The launch coming soon.
            Good point.

            No doubt he had to start somewhere to get to that point... good point though. At this point just about everything Seth Godin does is going to work "just like that."
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        • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
          Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

          And they all networked through the seminar circuit...

          Not "low roaders" - people who leveraged "the tribe" - sound familiar?

          That's why we are here on this very forum.

          -Rich
          I believe there's a lot of truth in his Tribe stuff.

          ...However, this is how Godin describes the tactics of low roaders:

          "On a website, a pop up, a popunder, a cloaked IP address, a persistent window that won't go away, loud headlines and calls to action..."

          Sounds like all the people I just mentioned, so I'd say they're low roaders.

          And actually, they all didn't get to where they are from the seminar circuit.

          -Jason
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          • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
            Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

            Yes - but he always talks about is this negative side of interruption marketing. In other words how you can p**s off your customers.

            I for one detest pop-ups - I'm not alone - and the whole world in cottoning on to the lame ass tricks of the past.

            If you aren't prepared to embrace the world of high content, touchy feely websites then your going to go the way of the dinosaurs.

            Quality of service is the only way forward....

            -Rich
            Then I guess I'm a dinosaur... a cash gobbling dinosaur. Raaar.

            -Jason
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            • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
              Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

              Beware the mammals are on the horizon - we are about to take over!

              -Rich
              Doesn't matter because I'll be dead and gone and it's going to be lightyears away when "about to" finally happens, if ever! lol...

              Go ahead and keep soft selling people looking for free information on the net and see where you end up. Like a mammal... a polar bear floating on a piece of ice.

              -Jason
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          • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
            Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

            Yes - but he always talks about is this negative side of interruption marketing. In other words how you can p**s off your customers.

            I for one detest pop-ups - I'm not alone - and the whole world in cottoning on to the lame ass tricks of the past.

            If you aren't prepared to embrace the world of high content, touchy feely websites then your going to go the way of the dinosaurs.

            Quality of service is the only way forward....

            -Rich
            What people say they dislike and what they respond to are 2 different things

            Pop ups still add 30% to you bottom line if used properly... got to be dumb to throw away 30% increase in sales or subscribers just because you dont like em

            Robert
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        • Profile picture of the author Raydal
          Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

          I don't disagree Seth Godin isn't a pioneer.
          Hey Jason,

          I'm still trying to decipher this statement.

          -Ray Edwards
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          • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
            Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

            Hey Jason,

            I'm still trying to decipher this statement.

            -Ray Edwards
            Hey Ray,

            How's the deciphering going?

            Jason
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        • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
          meh, not a very interesting article. Seems like he talks in generalities without really getting specific. I didn't really take much from that post.

          I don't think the marketer has any obligation to provide an abundance of free content. Most of my sites that do that provide less income than those that don't. There is a healthy mix, but only the business owner can tell what works for them.

          I do believe that if you want to be seen as a true business and not some fly by night IM'er, then content/branding is the way to go...but I don't think he's really come close to nailing it in his post.
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  • Profile picture of the author ravijayagopal
    I am a huge fan of Seth Godin (no, not a fanboy). I was thinking about the exact same thing when I read his blog post a few days ago.

    A lot of what Seth preaches is quite true when it comes to most typical, crappy Internet marketers.

    * Abuse of email permission
    * Non stop offers, very little content, mostly BS
    * Non-stop product pimping
    * Loud, louder, loudest web pages
    * Real crappy products (resell rights packages with master resell rights, anyone?)
    * No customer support, phone support, and in many cases, you can't even find a friggin email id on most IM web sites

    The typical IM web site is the antithesis of everything Seth Godin preaches.

    Mike Filsaime's recent Butterfly Marketing launch with 283 "pimpernet" marketers all promoting the same friggin product, is a typical example of the kind of "incest-fest" that our industry has become.

    Yeah, for the most part, I'm ashamed of 90% of the people I'm surrounded by.

    But the remaining 10% - most of whom are here on this amazing, incredible forum - are what make it all worth my while. So a big thanks to you guys :-)

    One of the biggest things I've learned from Seth, is to NOT make an "average product that works", but to make a "remarkable product that wows". Wow, that is his general theme, but those were actually my own words ;-).

    And I think there are a lot of take away's in what he teaches.

    You don't have to agree with him 100%, but even if you implemented a few of his ideas (not all of which are completely original, but rather reinforcement of great marketing techniques), you would be a lot more successful than you have ever been.

    - Ravi Jayagopal
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by ravijayagopal View Post

      One of the biggest things I've learned from Seth, is to NOT make an "average product that works", but to make a "remarkable product that wows".
      Which company makes more money?

      McDonalds with an "average product that works" or Ruth Chris Steakhouse with a "remarkable product that wows"? Walmart or Neiman Marcus? Honda or Rolls Royce?

      Both marketing methods will make money. However it is much easier to develop and market and replicate the success of the 'average' product on an ongoing basis than it is to create a single 'remarkable' product.

      Also remember, the average person is more likely to create an average product. Remarkable is great if you can do it but not everybody is a Seth Godin and probably shouldn't try to be.
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      • Profile picture of the author BizBoost
        Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

        My point...

        ...If you don't think Seth Godin is more of a marketing philosopher than tactical DR marketer, then you're crazy. My 2 cents.
        Correct. Seth did not make a factual presentation. He simply gave his elitist opinion about tactics that people have been using successfully for years. And, as you see, without facts to back it up, his minions "give credit where it's due."

        Even if there were some facts to make the case, to call them "low-brow"?

        Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

        Hi BizBoost,

        You're entitled to your opinion.
        Thanks, that's good to know.

        Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

        As for me, you're mistaken. I'm a free thinker and I've criticised a few of Seth's posts before. But I also give credit where it's due.

        Did you read the article or is your comment based on the slightly inaccurate snippet (title) that was put in this thread?
        With enough experience, there comes a point where you understand a given marketer's philosophy -- their way of "doing business." Your philosophy of giving credit where it's due is alright but, to me, it's dangerously close to the realm of referring to guys who pull of huge art heists as "masterminds." They're not. They're criminals. But the people who call them "masterminds" think they're giving credit where it's due.

        Now, if you think I'm suggesting Seth is a criminal, you'll be even further away from the point than I could have anticipated. The point, however, is that you were manipulated... and it wasn't via some excellent presentation of facts -- it was due to one guy's "elitist opinion" about things that were once considered perfectly normal and appropriate, and which he probably used to get where he is.

        Imagine that... he gets to the top of the mountain using mountain shoes and then tells you mountain shoes are now lowbrow. It would be less snotty if he told you they were simply "obsolete", but here you are, as I stated, "infecting" with his elitist opinion about things that helped a good many people move forward to success.

        Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

        I fail to see how you can 'infect' people with thinking like that - unless of course you are suggesting that he is leading people away from the money by telling them to engage their prospects rather than manipulating them. If so, I disagree.
        That is correct; you failed to see... because, in my experience of it, you seemed to think you were conveying some witty, experienced commentary when, in fact, it was simply one man's fallible opinion about things which people have used for years to achieve success. It would be one thing if he simply made the case for their being obsolete, but to suggest they are low-brow sows an "elitist" mentality in his readers with him as the king.

        And, then, as you see, the minions do his preaching for him....

        to us lowbrow types

        hey, thanks... appreciate it...

        Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

        it is much easier to develop and market and replicate the success of the 'average' product on an ongoing basis than it is to create a single 'remarkable' product.

        Also remember, the average person is more likely to create an average product. Remarkable is great if you can do it but not everybody is a Seth Godin and probably shouldn't try to be.
        This is a good reply to the original poster. It is also important to note that it is a good marketing strategy to "duplicate THEN innovate".... start with something that is do-able at one's level and then make it remarkable as time goes on. But, for Seth to suggest certain tactics and strategies that have been regularly used for years to be LOW-BROW is somewhat elitist.
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        • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
          Hi BizBoost

          Originally Posted by BizBoost View Post

          But, for Seth to suggest certain tactics and strategies that have been regularly used for years to be LOW-BROW is somewhat elitist.
          In the blog post referred to by the OP, there's no mention of "Low Brow", just the High Road and the Low Road.
          My memory of the lyrics to "Loch Lomond" is a bit sketchy, but I believe the protagonist taking the low road got to Scotland first

          The point is, both roads lead to the same destination.


          Originally Posted by BizBoost View Post

          It is also important to note that it is a good marketing strategy to "duplicate THEN innovate".... start with something that is do-able at one's level and then make it remarkable as time goes on
          Duplicate then innovate - a sound strategy. I can imagine a thousand would-be IMers returning to the drawing board - because Seth says their product has to have a WOW factor - and never actually getting anything released.


          Best,

          Frank
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          • Profile picture of the author BizBoost
            Hi Frank,

            Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

            In the blog post referred to by the OP, there's no mention of "Low Brow", just the High Road and the Low Road.
            My memory of the lyrics to "Loch Lomond" is a bit sketchy, but I believe the protagonist taking the low road got to Scotland first

            The point is, both roads lead to the same destination.
            I appreciate the creative reply but let me ask you... is that what he was really getting at? You don't sense an implication about the low-road?

            Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

            Duplicate then innovate - a sound strategy. I can imagine a thousand would-be IMers returning to the drawing board - because Seth says their product has to have a WOW factor - and never actually getting anything released.
            Or releasing a thousand similarly wretched attempts at WOW'ing people. Perhaps a few would breakthrough, but the other 997 would either be, as you said, or scratching their heads as to why their WOW factor isn't reelin' 'em in by the bucketful.

            Cheers,
            Eric


            Best,

            Frank[/quote]
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

        Which company makes more money?

        McDonalds with an "average product that works" or Ruth Chris Steakhouse with a "remarkable product that wows"? Walmart or Neiman Marcus? Honda or Rolls Royce?

        Both marketing methods will make money. However it is much easier to develop and market and replicate the success of the 'average' product on an ongoing basis than it is to create a single 'remarkable' product.

        Also remember, the average person is more likely to create an average product. Remarkable is great if you can do it but not everybody is a Seth Godin and probably shouldn't try to be.

        Actually when it comes to Return On Investment the remarkable products usually outperform the average products.

        Put another way you might invest $500,000 to start a McDonald's franchise and make $200,000 a year.

        But the guy who sets up his own deluxe steakhouse might only put out $30,000 and make $150,000 a year.

        In the second model the return on investment is many times higher.

        That's pretty common in the business world.

        Generally speaking you get a much bigger return on dollar invested selling a product or service with huge profit margins and very little competition than you are selling a commodity with tight margins and high competition.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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        • Profile picture of the author BizBoost
          Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

          People go online looking for highly targeted information and over time the person who provides that information consistently will become the winner.

          That's why you're on this forum instead of reading a sales letter right now.

          You're making a choice to pursue information that's valuable to you in a place where you know you'll find that information.
          This is not true. I know I can find just as good information in a well-targeted search at Google. And others admit, (for example, in a thread I just started), that they spend too much time on here reading and posting. A lot of people aren't here only for good information. As Andy Henry points out, it has a lot to do with psychology and I won't go far into it here because it can turn mighty uncomfortable.

          Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

          Hi BizBoost,

          Good answer.

          I'm dwelling on your points. Cheers.
          Cheers to you, too... and thanks for being open-minded.

          Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

          Actually when it comes to Return On Investment the remarkable products usually outperform the average products.

          Put another way you might invest $500,000 to start a McDonald's franchise and make $200,000 a year.

          But the guy who sets up his own deluxe steakhouse might only put out $30,000 and make $150,000 a year.

          In the second model the return on investment is many times higher.

          That's pretty common in the business world.

          Generally speaking you get a much bigger return on dollar invested selling a product or service with huge profit margins and very little competition than you are selling a commodity with tight margins and high competition.
          Hi Andrew, that is all very academic... linear in thinking. In our current economy, the guy with the McDonald's is going to start getting a few of those steakhouse customers... especially if he puts out a value-priced, "Angus Burger"....

          Also, the point made above, in this regard, was that if making McD's is your speed, then make them,... and then you can work on sprucing them up and becoming more remarkable. You can even take your earnings and open a fancy steakhouse, but you have to start at your level.

          And the things Seth considers low-brow are what work for some people -- it's their starting point, even if, theoretically, they could make more with something else.

          Woud you rather a bird in hand today, or two birds never?

          Eric
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        • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
          Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

          Actually when it comes to Return On Investment the remarkable products usually outperform the average products.

          Put another way you might invest $500,000 to start a McDonald's franchise and make $200,000 a year.

          But the guy who sets up his own deluxe steakhouse might only put out $30,000 and make $150,000 a year.
          I'd like to see that steakhouse you could start for $30K and take home $150K a year, now that would be remarkable.

          Actually, though, when you look at ROI, it's often much higher for the 'low road' operations. 'High road' operating costs tend to eat up potential profits. Watch a few episodes of the "Property Ladder" house flipping show on TLC and you'll see that in action.

          Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

          Generally speaking you get a much bigger return on dollar invested selling a product or service with huge profit margins and very little competition than you are selling a commodity with tight margins and high competition.
          Sure, but my point is that not everyone can be 'remarkable'. Eddie Van Halen can play guitar great. Tiger Woods can hit a golf ball like nobody's business. Seth Godin can pontificate about marketing like crazy. But, only a few people have that kind of remarkable talent. It would be foolish and wasteful for most people to even try. Therefore, most people, if they want to make money, will need to look at more prosaic, 'low road', options.
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    • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
      Originally Posted by ravijayagopal View Post

      Mike Filsaime's recent Butterfly Marketing launch with 283 "pimpernet" marketers all promoting the same friggin product, is a typical example of the kind of "incest-fest" that our industry has become.
      Would you have written that if you had 283 marketers all promoting YOUR product?

      I put money on it that your answer would be no.

      I'm just sayin
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      • I get his point and see what he's saying but he's lumping everyone together. There are legit online marketers that don't use the low road tricks.
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        • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
          Low Road = Crap that offers no value

          High Road = Good stuff that offers lots of value

          Conclusion: Don't make crap.
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        • Profile picture of the author ExRat
          Hi,

          Screw Seth's post, but props to him for raising the debate.

          If I'm honest, I'm learning much more from reading the discussion - some interesting and helpful posts and musings from both the low and high roaders - although I'd have to say with JasonP vs RichardO I'm siding strongly with Jason.

          And Josh seems to be closest to finding nail on head for me.

          Cheers warriors.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
      Originally Posted by ravijayagopal View Post

      I am a huge fan of Seth Godin (no, not a fanboy). I was thinking about the exact same thing when I read his blog post a few days ago.

      A lot of what Seth preaches is quite true when it comes to most typical, crappy Internet marketers.

      * Abuse of email permission
      * Non stop offers, very little content, mostly BS
      * Non-stop product pimping
      * Loud, louder, loudest web pages
      * Real crappy products (resell rights packages with master resell rights, anyone?)
      * No customer support, phone support, and in many cases, you can't even find a friggin email id on most IM web sites

      The typical IM web site is the antithesis of everything Seth Godin preaches.

      Mike Filsaime's recent Butterfly Marketing launch with 283 "pimpernet" marketers all promoting the same friggin product, is a typical example of the kind of "incest-fest" that our industry has become.

      Yeah, for the most part, I'm ashamed of 90% of the people I'm surrounded by.

      But the remaining 10% - most of whom are here on this amazing, incredible forum - are what make it all worth my while. So a big thanks to you guys :-)

      One of the biggest things I've learned from Seth, is to NOT make an "average product that works", but to make a "remarkable product that wows". Wow, that is his general theme, but those were actually my own words ;-).

      And I think there are a lot of take away's in what he teaches.

      You don't have to agree with him 100%, but even if you implemented a few of his ideas (not all of which are completely original, but rather reinforcement of great marketing techniques), you would be a lot more successful than you have ever been.

      - Ravi Jayagopal
      I happen to agree with most of what you said. The IM industry loves to cannibalize it's own and does indeed make me sick. I don't think I've found a product of Mike's that I liked, yet all the people whom I respected were pimping that crap. However, you can also blame the buyers for refusing to see the fact that most of these marketers are creating desire where it isn't.

      A lot of these marketers are the Don Lapre's of the internet. Sure, they make cash, but I don't think it is respectable.
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      • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
        [
        Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

        Yes - but he always talks about is this negative side of interruption marketing. In other words how you can p**s off your customers.

        I for one detest pop-ups - I'm not alone - and the whole world in cottoning on to the lame ass tricks of the past.
        lol - those tricks of the past continue to work, 10 years after everyone claimed they hate them and that they wold never respond to one.

        Originally Posted by Nathan Hangen View Post

        I don't think I've found a product of Mike's that I liked, yet all the people whom I respected were pimping that crap. However, you can also blame the buyers for refusing to see the fact that most of these marketers are creating desire where it isn't.
        If you are talking about BM, he did do a pretty good job of dragging that back from the grave.

        A lot of these marketers are the Don Lapre's of the internet. Sure, they make cash, but I don't think it is respectable.
        lol! I loved that!
        Does anybody remember Tommy Wu and all the bikini girls on his yacht? "you need to be rich like me my friend, with all these beautiful women!" lol.. my favorite infomercial guru of all time
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        • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
          Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

          Does anybody remember Tommy Wu and all the bikini girls on his yacht? "you need to be rich like me my friend, with all these beautiful women!" lol.. my favorite infomercial guru of all time
          lol, I forgot about that guy.

          I love the guy on t.v. now that pitches the "Shamoo Wow"!
          He still has the headset on from the demonstration tent but the best line is

          "I can't do this all day". LOL. I guess that is the "low road" equivalent to

          "Seating at the Hyatt Regency for Seth Godin's seminar is limited. So act now to get your reservations".

          At the end of the day, it's all smoke and mirrors.
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          • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
            Originally Posted by Matthew Maiden View Post

            lol, I forgot about that guy.

            I love the guy on t.v. now that pitches the "Shamoo Wow"!
            He still has the headset on from the demonstration tent but the best line is

            "I can't do this all day". LOL. I guess that is the "low road" equivalent to

            "Seating at the Hyatt Regency for Seth Godin's seminar is limited. So act now to get your reservations".

            At the end of the day, it's all smoke and mirrors.
            Hey the Shamoo Wow guy also does the infomercial for that culinary cutter thingy, he actually says, "Your gonna love my nuts" epic!!!

            By the way who founded Squidoo?
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            • Profile picture of the author BigBenForCanton
              Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

              Hey the Shamoo Wow guy also does the infomercial for that culinary cutter thingy, he actually says, "Your gonna love my nuts" epic!!!

              By the way who founded Squidoo?
              Gotta love Vince. Kind of sucks he punched a ho in her mouth, though.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Hooper
    He's not a direct response guy, but he is author have the best selling business book in the last decade, so he knows something about selling things.

    I sat down with him about three weeks ago and we talked about the state of the music industry. He has some good ideas, which will apply to any business. It's available at Music Marketing [dot] com: Seth Godin on the Music Business if you're interested.
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  • There's room for everyone's voice, whether it's a blog by a guy in the trenches of direct response marketing, or more "high-level" (or broad view) thoughts from someone like Godin.

    He certainly comes with a deep understanding of marketing and the psychology behind it, so ignoring what he has to say because he might not agree with everything you do is a mistake. Heck, you might not agree with everything he does, either.

    Godin is big on respecting customers and being ethical in your marketing choices, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Even if you choose not to implement every aspect of permission marketing, there are strong considerations there.

    Be true to who you are, go with your gut, and learn from everyone. That will set you on the strongest path possible.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi BizBoost,

      Good answer.

      I'm dwelling on your points. Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    Just because he's effectively positioned himself as an expert does not acutally make him one.

    see this every day at Squidoo, blogs and other user generated pages. People who build pages that are generous, filled with useful information and generally focused on teaching people do extremely well. They get a lot of traffic, a ton of clickthroughs and earn money every day. And yet, countless businesses in search of a quick buck show up with obviously selfish scams involving Forex and affiliate-Bank and 'exclusive' offers. And they fail, again and again. They fail because people who have a choice don't participate.
    lol.. thats is simply an opinion. He's making a lot of assumptions regarding who's failing and who's getting a ton of buisness.

    If there's 2 things that are almost always at odds with each other, it's branding vs the direct-marketing apporach. And this guys background and experience in branding and philosphy(!).

    If I could choose either Seth or Dan Kennedy as a mentor, it would be no contest - Dan.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cosmo Demopoulos
    Almost everything about Seth is remarkable.

    We're talking about him - i.e. remarking, even about his baldness! (BTW, he says he used to have lots of curly hair).

    All of my interactions with him have been remarkable - even when I asked him to sign an interview release form for my publisher. He refused for "remarkable reasons" (yes, people talked about it), but did something else suitable -- he was willing to sign almost anything that WASN'T from my publisher!

    I would suggest before commenting, people go read his brief blog post. Clearly not everyone has, and he certainly says nothing against direct marketing, whether successfully run-of-the-mill or totally "wow."
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    "Godin graduated from Tufts University in 1982 with a degree in computer science and philosophy. Godin earned his MBA in marketing from Stanford Business School. From 1983 to 1986, he worked as a brand manager at Spinnaker Software. For a time Godin commuted every week from California and Boston both to do his new job and to complete his MBA."
    So what. I've read opposing views of Harvard doctors with almost identical experience.

    Unless somebody actually proves something it is pure speculation. Nothing more.

    Yes it's true that some speculation comes with more education than others but it still just boils down to opinion.

    Sometimes people use their position to prove a point rather than prove the point.

    If you were born on third base don't go through life telling people you hit a triple.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    people vote with their pocket books.
    All else being equal, if you sell more using 'low road' techniques vs 'high road', then the market has spoken. The question is, can the ego of the business owner accept it?
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    Regardless of whether we think Seth is right or wrong, went too far, painted things too black and white in his latest blog post, we MUST study this post - and most other posts he sends out for signs of how to get your market's attention, draw people toward you (yes he drives some away too).

    I really don't care if he is right or wrong about his opinion - what is fascinating is that he HAS one, cites examples on both sides and within a few short paragraphs clearly communicates his opinion to his readers.

    In addition - Seth blogs (more or less) daily and has for years now, that is dedication and consistency in action.

    No doubt he gets a TON of information back from his audience for his consulting, publishing and "philosopher" role - another terrific way to use a blog.

    One thing I do wonder about though is why he did such an about-face on social networking.

    A year ago at this time Seth was all over the place touting the benefits of user generated content and walked-the-walk by having open comments on his blog, being active on Twitter, etc...

    Now, he's turned off social networking - no blog comments, closed Twitter profile, and so on....

    What gives Seth - have you become so disgusted with social networking that you have changed your mind, found it to be too much a waste of time or can't take the heat :-)

    Jeff
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    • Profile picture of the author Cosmo Demopoulos
      Originally Posted by jbsmith View Post

      ...

      No doubt he gets a TON of information back from his audience for his consulting, publishing and "philosopher" role - another terrific way to use a blog.

      ...
      A year ago at this time Seth was all over the place touting the benefits of user generated content and walked-the-walk by having open comments on his blog, being active on Twitter, etc...

      Now, he's turned off social networking - no blog comments, closed Twitter profile, and so on....
      Jeff
      Jeff,

      Seth The Bald One doesn't do any consulting, has NEVER allowed comments on his blog, and has never twittered (a well meaning fan imposter).

      The reason he gives for all of the above is lack of time -- makes sense to me.

      And yes, I'm a fan, and usually agree with him
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  • Profile picture of the author SteelDanno
    High brow ... low brow?

    It's just different horses for different courses. Or is that old cliche the other way around.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    I think its a poorly expressed blog post.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with a compelling headline or popup.

    What he is really referring to is the manipulative, false claim filled, garbage funnels that deliver nothing but empty promises and scams on the back end with annoying devices designed to confuse the visitor and force them to stick around and get exposed to as many manipulative devices as necessary to increase the response rate from the initial visit.

    This does not take into consideration the decreased number of return visitors. So initial numbers may look high but lifetime value is lower because others have been lost permanently because they smell moldy cheese to begin with.

    He is saying that even though such forms of advertising can generate high levels or response they are nothing to respect because anyone can lie and manipulate to get a buck...

    But its companies that deliver real value and offers that are genuine that win with lifetime client value and ROI.

    How you market quality has nothing to do with the technology you use to do it. You can write a compelling headline that his honest and you can use a popup that is compelling and provides value once the optin is made.

    It's not the technology that matters but the experience of the client. If you are able to boost your response using "proven" methods and deliver the kind of quality and experience that retains a customer then you are in good shape.

    So you can have both worlds.

    But there are a lot of scummy sites deploying what he describes. You just cannot generalize it since quality sites use compelling copy and offers as well. If you have a great content and great offers or "wow" factor there is no need to deploy some of the devices though... like the persistent popups that try and keep you on the site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Who gets to decide what is "low road" and "high road"? Seth?

    If something is legal, which opt-in pop-ups are, and something is ethical then leave the other crap out of it.

    So what does Seth think of Wal-Mart?

    Good business for Wal-Mart is bad business for family run businesses.

    Is it wrong for a big company to come in and dominate, (gee, where have I heard that word before) a little guy because it crushes the little guy?

    It doesn't matter what he, me, or you think. Business is not run on what "feels good".

    If you have a problem using pop-ups then don't use them.

    If you can prove to me that my leads don't respond to them then maybe I'll listen.

    I think someone here already mentioned the "positioning" and people using perceived authority to spout elitist crap and I agree that there is waaaay too much of that going on here on the Internet.

    My point is that it doesn't matter how over-educated Seth is and how big his following when it comes to results.

    So why use language like "low road" when talking about something that is legal, ethical and works for a lot of people.

    I think with Seth's education he understands the power of language so why would he choose to use that image when he is describing a technique that he does not use?

    Could he be shaping the landscape to his advantage?

    For those of you who are not familiar with Noam Chomsky this would be a good time to read a little bit of his work on language. Especially since we are operating in an arena of "content".

    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author Anna Johnson
    Kudos to Seth Godin for being thought provoking as usual. I have posted my own response to his blog post here: Seth Godin Causes an Uproar... But Is He Right? | Kikabink News
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
    Seth is right -- 100% right. I see it all the time. Internet marketers selling products via sales letters filled with hype and "testimonials" from their friends. Most fail. Why? Because most people didn't just fall off a turnip truck.

    In your copy, if you lie -- or appear to lie -- even once, people will assume that everything you say is a lie. As a result, people who may have bought, don't buy -- because you've proven to them that you can't be trusted.

    Despite Frank Kern's "buy my shit" humor, that's not the way he actually sells his stuff. He's much too smart for that. To sell his $2,000 Mass Control course, he spent a lot of time producing videos and other content that provided useful tidbits of info, motivation, humor, and hope. He also wanted to be seen as a friend, rather than as a salesman. That's his secret.

    Frank does use "tricks," but they're high-level psychological tricks. He is probably the foremost practitioner of Cialdini's methods. By contrast, most internet marketers and their clumsy attempts at persuasion are destined to fail.

    Make no mistake: Seth IS right...

    Johnny
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  • Profile picture of the author BizBoost
    Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

    Seth is right -- 100% right. I see it all the time. Internet marketers selling products via sales letters filled with hype and "testimonials" from their friends. Most fail. Why? Because most people didn't just fall off a turnip truck.
    I'm sorry, but you are just missing the point because the "high-brow" stuff just makes perfect sense to your intellect. But, people who generally fail do so for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with whether or not their prospective customers have just fallen off the turnip truck.

    In fact, a lot of IM success is precisely due to there being new people falling off the turnip truck every day. I mean, where do you get this notion that most people don't just fall off the turnip truck? Have there not been enough marketers to explain to you that people buy on EMOTION and rationalize it later? Is it possible that you just forget your humble beginnings?


    Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

    In your copy, if you lie -- or appear to lie -- even once, people will assume that everything you say is a lie. As a result, people who may have bought, don't buy -- because you've proven to them that you can't be trusted.
    Come on now, that is so academic. In reality, most sales pages have fake names on them. And, even if they have a real name, how can you tell one "Dave Brown" from another? And what's to stop a marketer from changing pen names?

    And most people don't write their own copy ANYWAYS.

    Much of the copy is from tweaked PLR that is expertly written. Or is from highly paid copywriters.

    Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

    Despite Frank Kern's "buy my shit" humor, that's not the way he actually sells his stuff. He's much too smart for that. To sell his $2,000 Mass Control course, he spent a lot of time producing videos and other content that provided useful tidbits of info, motivation, humor, and hope. He also wanted to be seen as a friend, rather than as a salesman. That's his secret.
    I could be wrong, but wasn't Frank Kern the guy who got hauled into court, or something, for exaggerated claims? You know, your using Frank Kern as some kind of default example of what people should aim for is to completely miss the fact that there's a mammoth portion of threads here that basically say, "I'm a newbie and haven't the foggiest notion as to what to do, or what I've been doing wrong."

    But, just like at a casino, they're not gonna give up until they hit their big payday or go broke. It's just that if they don't throw their hat in the ring with elitist guys who cheerlead for the bigdogs, their odds for winning are much better.

    Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

    Frank does use "tricks," but they're high-level psychological tricks. He is probably the foremost practitioner of Cialdini's methods. By contrast, most internet marketers and their clumsy attempts at persuasion are destined to fail.

    Make no mistake: Seth IS right...
    You refer to MOST marketers' "clumsy attempts at persuasion?" The clumsy ones are the newbies fresh out of the gate. It's to be expected. As people funnel through to the intermediate level, they learn it's better to outsource their copy or tweak a PLR product that comes with copy that's professionally written so your example just doesn't carry the day in this matter.

    It's like a bunch of straw men you build up just to knock down... mixing apples and oranges.

    But just the same, best wishes,
    Eric
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    • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
      Originally Posted by BizBoost View Post

      I'm sorry, but you are just missing the point because the "high-brow" stuff just makes perfect sense to your intellect.

      ...

      I could be wrong, but wasn't Frank Kern the guy who got hauled into court, or something, for exaggerated claims? You know, your using Frank Kern as some kind of default example of what people should aim for ...

      Eric,

      I'm not suggesting that the "high road" is the best path to take because of an intellectual preference. People like Frank Kern, John Reese, Jeff Walker and others are all now using a low-hype approach. Why? Because it is the only viable path for long-term success. After all, you can only fool people so many times.

      When internet marketers use over-the-top hype and obvious "tricks" to sell crappy, warmed-over PLR, they develop a reputation -- but probably not the kind they were hoping for.

      All the "gurus" I mentioned above have gone the low-hype/Cialdini route because they want to sell again and again. Their approach has evolved. Yes, Frank had problems with the FTC. But you won't see him repeat his mistakes. He's very smart. Don't let his "surfer dude" persona fool you.

      Many people probably won't immediately understand the importance of what Seth said. But at some point, the light bulb in your head may flash on and it will make pefect sense.

      Regards,

      Johnny
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      • Profile picture of the author BizBoost
        Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

        I'm not suggesting that the "high road" is the best path to take because of an intellectual preference. People like Frank Kern, John Reese, Jeff Walker and others are all now using a low-hype approach. Why? Because it is the only viable path for long-term success. After all, you can only fool people so many times.
        Hi Johnny,

        I wouldn't say "hype" was the defining characteristic of the low-road but even then it begs further defining because there's nothing wrong with EXUBERANCE and sharing potential earnings, or real example earnings. I said it before that we've been told, ad infinitum, that people buy on emotion and rationalize it later. As long as you give them the info product that you say you will, most of them will put it on their hard drive and let it collect dust for the next 50 years. Why is this so hard to get?

        So, the question I have, is, could the guys you mentioned above have gotten where they are otherwise? They STARTED with the low-road approach. Even now, Ryan Deiss just promoted "Forced Continuity" - FORCED... whereas Seth's high-road is about PERMISSION.

        The discrepency I'm seeing is that people seem to be presenting Seth's statement as an EITHER/OR... as in,

        "You can either use high-road tactics and have long-term success... OR... you can use low-road tactics and have limited, short-term success"

        Why can't it be both? Did all those "gurus" you mention suddenly "see the light" or did they just transition their low-road strategies at a time when they no longer would work for THEM? It is not an EITHER/OR situation, where one has to choose between high and low... they are not mutually exclusive and can (and, in my opinion, should) be combined.

        Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

        When internet marketers use over-the-top hype and obvious "tricks" to sell crappy, warmed-over PLR, they develop a reputation -- but probably not the kind they were hoping for.
        Ok, this is one very good example of where you are missing the point... people use PEN NAMES. What I've been trying to say, all the while, is that, perhaps, (and this is only just a suggestion), you are caught up in the high-brow mindset where low-brow seems dirty, or potentially damaging. Yet, there's nothing LOW-BROW about it. People are pumping out PLR and can easily change their pen names on the box, or the sales letter, so reputation is a non-issue.

        (note: by the way, that "crappy, warmed over PLR" is not only VERY useful, but it serves a very important purpose marketers can't live without. I'm going to start another thread on this titled something like, "Are You Out of Your Mind?")

        You have to remember, those guys you mentioned all used low-brow tactics to get where they are. One was taken to task by the government for over-inflated claims and one, not mentioned, is a confessed spammer. They got where they are using low-brow tactics and they are doing just fine. They were even doing fine before they switched to these high-road tactics... it was just the right time for them to switch...

        ...but not to the exclusion of low-road tactics.

        Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

        All the "gurus" I mentioned above have gone the low-hype/Cialdini route because they want to sell again and again. Their approach has evolved. Yes, Frank had problems with the FTC. But you won't see him repeat his mistakes. He's very smart. Don't let his "surfer dude" persona fool youe
        Personally, I wish you wouldn't keep saying that because I don't even know what the guy looks or sounds like. I know what I know from online endeavors, forums and real conversations with people who know what's going on behind the scenes. So, don't worry that I'll be fooled by his nonchalance.

        The point still stands that they ALL used low-road tactics to get where they are. Can you ever get one of them to say, "Boy, I wish I never used those low-road tactics. They really destroyed my reputation." Can you get any of them to honestly admit that the majority of people can do well online with ONLY high-road tactics?

        The two do not have to be mutually exclusive.

        Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

        Many people probably won't immediately understand the importance of what Seth said. But at some point, the light bulb in your head may flash on and it will make pefect sense.
        Of course, when people disagree with you, just tell them they're not bright enough to get it.

        Is that high-road, or, uhhh, low-road? :confused:

        Best wishes,
        Eric
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        • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
          Originally Posted by BizBoost View Post


          As long as you give them the info product that you say you will, most of them will put it on their hard drive and let it collect dust for the next 50 years...

          ...

          Did all those "gurus" you mention suddenly "see the light" or did they just transition their low-road strategies at a time when they no longer would work for THEM?

          ...

          Personally, I wish you wouldn't keep saying that because I don't even know what the guy looks or sounds like.

          ...

          Of course, when people disagree with you, just tell them they're not bright enough to get it. Is that high-road, or, uhhh, low-road?

          Eric,

          We're starting to beat a dead horse, here.

          It's obvious that we don't see things from the same point of view. And that's fine. If nothing else, I admire your prolific replies.

          Which path people take is not a matter of how "bright" they are. Most people start out taking the low road. The majority of the internet marketing that's out there is based on the low road, so that's what people tend to model. From that point, they discover people like Seth Godin and their outlook and methods tend to evolve.

          The low road relies on tricking people; the high road on helping people. I'd rather help. Because, in the end, I have to look myself in the mirror. It's like the famous speech that Charlie Sheen's boss gives him in the movie, "Wall Street."

          I don't use PLR as the basis for info products because it adds no real value to the world. It's just more noise. Just more crap tossed at the wall in hopes that it will stick. It's hit and run marketing. Everybody has some skill or ability they could share. So be unique. Create something original.

          You said you don't know "who the guy is." Are you talking about Kern or Cialdini? Google them. Read this forum. Read Cialdini's book, Influence -- it's the new bible of marketing.

          Good luck to you,

          Johnny
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          • Profile picture of the author BizBoost
            Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

            Eric,

            We're starting to beat a dead horse, here.

            It's obvious that we don't see things from the same point of view. And that's fine. If nothing else, I admire your prolific replies.

            Which path people take is not a matter of how "bright" they are. Most people start out taking the low road. The majority of the internet marketing that's out there is based on the low road, so that's what people tend to model. From that point, they discover people like Seth Godin and their outlook and methods tend to evolve.

            The low road relies on tricking people; the high road on helping people. I'd rather help. Because, in the end, I have to look myself in the mirror. It's like the famous speech that Charlie Sheen's boss gives him in the movie, "Wall Street."

            I don't use PLR as the basis for info products because it adds no real value to the world. It's just more noise. Just more crap tossed at the wall in hopes that it will stick. It's hit and run marketing. Everybody has some skill or ability they could share. So be unique. Create something original.

            You said you don't know "who the guy is." Are you talking about Kern or Cialdini? Google them. Read this forum. Read Cialdini's book, Influence -- it's the new bible of marketing.

            Good luck to you,

            Johnny
            Thanks, Johnny. So, what's so brilliant about Seth making some distinction between "car salesman types" and "social worker types?"

            And, are you saying that all those gurus started off TRICKING people? And that none of those people were helped by being TRICKED into getting those products? Was "Traffic Secrets" total crap?

            See, there's just too much muddiness to differentiate a low-road and a high-road... and, once again, I think a combination of the two is most beneficial for the majority of marketers.

            I don't mean DECEIVING people.... that's unconscionable. But marketing IS tricking people. Look at WHISK Laundry Detergent... they tricked people into believing that a ring around the collar was embarrassing when, originally, it was a sign that the man of the house was a hard worker who brought home the bacon.

            All Marketers Are Liars, Rights? Who said that?

            Best wishes to you, too,
            Eric
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  • After reading through this entire conversation from beginning to end, only one thought emerges from the dust for me.

    100% of you are right, simply because Seth's post isn't going to change anything for any one of you.

    If you are using what he defines as "low road" tactics, and you like them, you'll defend them to the death - long after they've become obsolete - because it is what you believe in.

    If you are using what he defines as "high road" tactics, and you like them, you will also defend them to the death - long after they've become obsolete - because it is what you believe in.

    And your defense of them will likely have nothing to do with the effectiveness of said tactics, but rather your innate attachment to them, because they are inside your comfort zone.

    Not intending to offend, but most internet marketers are followers. Very few have the guts to innovate, and step outside of the IM comfort zone, because "it might not work".

    Yes, high quality is important. High quantity, also important. It is the time it takes you to get a high quantity of high quality content that makes the real difference, and dare I say most of us don't want to wait 5 years to start making a living at what we do.

    Just as was posted above, duplicate - then innovate. Make money now, improve your process and your quality to make more money later.

    The number one lesson that I've learned from this thread? Indirectly offending a group of individuals who are very set in their ways, while indirectly complimenting the polar opposite of that group (who also happen to be very set in their ways) is a fantastic way to stir up controversy and get your biggest fans proclaiming your genius from the hilltops.

    What should we all take from this thread? That no matter your opinion on the subject, most of us are stuck in the same rut. Whether that be the "low road" or the "high road", they are just roads and most of us are too frightened to veer off of them.

    Just some food for thought.

    - Cherilyn
    Signature
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by Cherilyn Lester View Post

      If you are using what he defines as "low road" tactics, and you like them, you'll defend them to the death - long after they've become obsolete - because it is what you believe in.
      Some things don't become obsolete all that quickly. Take a visit to the 'low road' of advertising the 1860's: Old Advertisements from the 1800's

      A BEAUTIFUL ENGRAVED GOLD PLATED WATCH, Double Case, Lever Cap, small size, enameled dial, cut hands, " English Movements," and correct time-keeper, sent free by mail in neat case, only $7.
      HOYT'S HIAWATHA HAIR RESTORATIVE,

      The standard preparation for the hair. Warranted in all cases to restore faded and gray hair and whiskers to their ORIGINAL color.
      The more things change, the more they stay the same.
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    • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
      Originally Posted by Cherilyn Lester View Post

      If you are using what he defines as "high road" tactics, and you like them, you will also defend them to the death - long after they've become obsolete - because it is what you believe in.
      Cherilyn,

      One of the main reasons for taking the "high road" is that it will never become obsolete.

      Johnny
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      • Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

        Cherilyn,

        One of the main reasons for taking the "high road" is that it will never become obsolete.

        Johnny
        No, but what high-road means will change, and some of the tactics used by high-road marketers will become obsolete.

        - Cherilyn
        Signature
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        • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
          Originally Posted by Cherilyn Lester View Post

          No, but what high-road means will change, and some of the tactics used by high-road marketers will become obsolete.

          - Cherilyn

          What "high road" means won't change unless it becomes twisted. But, if it becomes twisted, it will no longer truly be the high road.

          Johnny
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  • Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

    dare I say that reduced discretionary spending in the recession might hurt direct marketers most??
    Only those that don't understand how to turn a desire into a need will die off in the recession.

    People don't NEED Lays potato chips, they don't NEED magazine subscriptions, they don't NEED big screen TVs and they don't NEED $50k cars. And while sales of the above have dropped since the recession began, it is only the companies who have completely alienated their customers or underestimated their expenses who are going under. Those who provided a good product for good value with good business practices behind them are doing fine.

    Especially the companies who have stood behind their products, treated their customers like human beings, and really differentiated themselves based on quality and service.

    Why do you think GM is going under while Sony is still producing a profit? People know GM's products are overpriced, they lack a lot of quality, and their service is really not that great. Sony? Reasonable value, a reputation for impeccable quality, and customer service that is second to none. They really back their products.

    Direct marketing is not completely separate from branding and other forms of advertising and marketing. It is effected much the same way that other forms of marketing are. If your product is junk, or even if your product is great but you don't know how to position it, a direct mail letter isn't going convert any better or worse than a TV commercial, billboard, or newspaper.

    In other words, products will die - direct marketing will not.

    - Cherilyn
    Signature
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    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      I think the take away in Seth's post was that people that rely on googaws and tricks to get customers are going to have a hard time building an actual business - they're going to be reliant on continually finding new people to make a purchase.

      People who provide quality content that's relevant, useful and interesting will building a following that will buy from them for years to come. Always a good way to business. That's core of Seth's philosophy, so it's not surprising he views things the way he does.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by Cherilyn Lester View Post

        The number one lesson that I've learned from this thread? Indirectly offending a group of individuals who are very set in their ways, while indirectly complimenting the polar opposite of that group (who also happen to be very set in their ways) is a fantastic way to stir up controversy and get your biggest fans proclaiming your genius from the hilltops.

        - Cherilyn
        This is the point I was trying to make in my first contribution to this thread. At this stage of his career, Godin wants to be seen as a "thought leader" among his peers. One of his main venues for accomplishing this is through his blog.

        Just the fact that we're still talking about it 3 days later is a feather in his cap. He's accomplished his objective. He's thrown something out there and created conversation and stirred up controversy.
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        • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          All fishermen are liars, except for me and you. And I'm not sure about you...
          John,

          I just noticed your signature! LOL

          Johnny
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          • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
            Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

            Seth is right -- 100% right. I see it all the time. Internet marketers selling products via sales letters filled with hype and "testimonials" from their friends. Most fail. Why? Because most people didn't just fall off a turnip truck.
            really? emotional appeals and social proof no longer works?
            No offense, but how can you possibly know "most fail"?

            Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

            People like Frank Kern, John Reese, Jeff Walker and others are all now using a low-hype approach.
            1) they made their millions and their name using the very things you say don't work. Now they can rely on their reputation..
            2) All they have done is replace the sales letter with the sales video.

            Frank kern had videos of people using his 4-day campaign making tons of money, and he certainly plays up his 20+million launches and casual surfer life style.

            Jeff Walker is the king of testimonials and social proof! Are you on his list? You will get 'case study' after 'case study', and it's all nothing but testimonials of people making great money using PLF. His squeeze page itself is a testimonial of someone making big bucks (food stamps to 6 figures).

            John Reese - i don't actually follow him, so I can't comment.

            And let's not even mention Yanik Silver

            Frank, Jeff, and every other guru STILL use squeeze pages for every launch they do. Making it a video instead of text does not change the fact that it's a squeeze. They use social proof, their reputations are social proof, they use continuity, they use squeeze pages, they give testimonials via their email promotions of each others products, and they simply replaced the sales letter with a video (but it contains the same message, only the medium has changed).
            Signature

            -Jason

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            • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
              Originally Posted by Magic Johnson View Post

              But there's not one of this Sales letters or direct response sales
              letters that will ever get a steady top 100 alexa rank.

              Because there's nothing behind a sales letter that will get you to
              return over and over again. It's static and unchangeable.
              The only measurment that matters is sales.
              Not alexa, pagerank, stickiness, etc.
              Signature

              -Jason

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              • Profile picture of the author Magic Johnson
                Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

                The only measurment that matters is sales.
                Not alexa, pagerank, stickiness, etc.
                Exatcly right, and I bet my brown arse that there's more top 100 alexa companies making tons more money than the Sales letter pitchers on the Internet.

                Sales letters they do one hit wonders. Product+Sales Letter+ Jv ? Marketing

                = Sales

                After a few months they are completely dead.

                So they get in high gear and follow up with the same principle again, all that changes with a new launch
                is the Product become Product 2.0.

                I'm a huge fan of both types of marketing.

                But it had been a lie for me to say that sales letters earn more money
                than x% of the sites on top 100 alexa.

                Gurus are in on a one sided one shot pitch, web sites aren't.

                Websites could be sold for billions, the sales letters, not even close.

                A good example how someone could work a mojo and create something better(in my meaning) is to create something like Clayton Makepeace have done

                The Total Package

                Both blog, and also have products you can buy
                on the SAME web site.
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                • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
                  Originally Posted by Magic Johnson View Post

                  Exatcly right, and I bet my brown arse that there's more top 100 alexa companies making tons more money than the Sales letter pitchers on the Internet.
                  And a lot of them took years, and millions of dollars, before they turned a profit.

                  The others, quite frankly, got lucky due to some celebrity status befalling them.

                  But we can't all be Drudge or Amazon.

                  I spent many years trying to make money from e-commerce sites, portal sites, etc.. I made money in the first 24 hours of building my first squeeze page. I am no hack either - I've helped build a few e-commerce sites for big-box retailers.

                  My current path may not be nearly as sexy, but it not only makes money, it's easily repeatable by others with the will.

                  You can follow that other path - I wish you luck. But for the vast majority of people it will be a fruitless endeavor. Their ego's may be satisfied, but their bankers won't be
                  Signature

                  -Jason

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                  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
                    Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

                    But we can't all be Drudge...
                    Jason,

                    If you are talking about Matt Drudge his site is another example of people thinking that he built this following on his own.

                    He actually got a lot of help from this site

                    Reference, Facts, News - Free and Family-friendly Resources - Refdesk.com

                    That site, Refdesk has been around from the early days of the net before Google.

                    It was one of the biggest reference sites around for students and journalists. Many of them had this site as a browser "start page".

                    This site was raking in thousands and thousands of hits before Matt Drudge took off.

                    The owner of that site is Matt's dad.
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            • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
              Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

              really? emotional appeals and social proof no longer works?
              No offense, but how can you possibly know "most fail"?



              1) they made their millions and their name using the very things you say don't work. Now they can rely on their reputation..
              2) All they have done is replace the sales letter with the sales video.

              Frank kern had videos of people using his 4-day campaign making tons of money, and he certainly plays up his 20+million launches and casual surfer life style.

              Jeff Walker is the king of testimonials and social proof! Are you on his list? You will get 'case study' after 'case study', and it's all nothing but testimonials of people making great money using PLF. His squeeze page itself is a testimonial of someone making big bucks (food stamps to 6 figures).

              John Reese - i don't actually follow him, so I can't comment.

              And let's not even mention Yanik Silver

              Frank, Jeff, and every other guru STILL use squeeze pages for every launch they do. Making it a video instead of text does not change the fact that it's a squeeze. They use social proof, their reputations are social proof, they use continuity, they use squeeze pages, they give testimonials via their email promotions of each others products, and they simply replaced the sales letter with a video (but it contains the same message, only the medium has changed).

              Jason,

              What post did you read?! I was talking about HYPE.

              Yes, of course, social proof and emotional appeals work! Did I not mention Cialdini?! My point was that the fake testimonials many people use sound phony. Botched attempts at social proof hurts sales -- it doesn't help.

              Frank, Reese, et al, did not merely switch from sales letters to video. If it was that easy, we would all be rich. Read Frank Kern's Mass Control sales letter -- it's an amazing example of great copywriting.

              Squeeze pages aren't evil. They part of legitimate marketing. So I'm not sure what your point is.

              Johnny
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              • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
                Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

                Jason,

                What post did you read?! I was talking about HYPE.

                Yes, of course, social proof and emotional appeals work! Did I not mention Cialdini?! My point was that the fake testimonials many people use sound phony. Botched attempts at social proof hurts sales -- it doesn't help.

                Frank, Reese, et al, did not merely switch from sales letters to video. If it was that easy, we would all be rich. Read Frank Kern's Mass Control sales letter -- it's an amazing example of great copywriting.

                Squeeze pages aren't evil. They part of legitimate marketing. So I'm not sure what your point is.

                Johnny
                a) define "hype". because I think '$26 million in 24 hours' is hype. I think "from foodstamps to 6 figures' is hype. It may not be as bad as paragraphs full of "imagine yourself living the life of your dreams / this will make yourrich", but it is still there, just more subtly and artfully done.

                b) We really have no way of knowing if testimonials are fake - that will always be conjecture.

                c) The guru's were great coprwriters before they 'decide to take high road' and 'evolve'. Frank Kern has written his share of 30 pager sales letters. The only things they have changed over the past few years is their move to video.

                Seth may not like seeing squidoo get clogged with outright promotions and spam (of course it would bug him to see his site being used that way), but that doesn't mean that they aren't making money for the culprits. Nor can he say whether or not the content rich lenses get more click-thru's and ultimately make their owners money (my experience with adsense would lead me to believe that the total opposite is true). It's all conjecture on his part, and of course his opinion will support his marketing philosophies as well as be biased towards his vision of how his site should be used.


                In hindsite, I think may have directed some of my comments to the wrong person. A lot of other people on this thread have taken Seth's comments to mean that salesletters, squeeze pages, social proof, etc are all the 'low road'.

                A lot of relative newbies don't really understand direct marketing and sales letters, and perhaps even look upon it with some disdain, so a lot of them will embrace this idea.

                The real problem is fraud, lies, and loud yet amaturish attempts (the 'botched attempts' you mentioned). But then, only the person who wrote the botched sales letter is in any position to say whether they really worked or not.
                Signature

                -Jason

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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
      Originally Posted by Cherilyn Lester View Post


      Why do you think GM is going under while Sony is still producing a profit? People know GM's products are overpriced, they lack a lot of quality, and their service is really not that great. Sony? Reasonable value, a reputation for impeccable quality, and customer service that is second to none. They really back their products.

      - Cherilyn
      There's a whole lot of assumptions in that statement.
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      • Originally Posted by Kevin AKA Hubcap View Post

        There's a whole lot of assumptions in that statement.
        If that is all you gathered from that statement, then you really missed the point. Of course there are other factors involved - but you don't think that providing quality products backed by quality service is at least partially contributing?

        - Cherilyn
        Signature
        Take your product from idea to profit in less than 90 days! Work with me to develop and implement a step-by-step plan for success!
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  • Profile picture of the author BigBenForCanton
    Any time you get a reference to Vince from ShamWow and the Slap Chop, life is fantastic.
    Signature

    Climbing up on Solsbury Hill, I could see the city light, Wind was blowing, time stood still, Eagle flew out of the night He was something to observe, Came in close, I heard a voice, Standing, stretching every nerve, I had to listen, Had no choice...

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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    • writes the most popular marketing blog in the world;
    • is the author of the bestselling marketing books of the last decade;
    • speaks to large groups on marketing, new media and what's next;
    • and is the founder of Squidoo.com, a fast-growing recommendation website.
    From Seth's own Bio. It has a ton more "social proof" from New York Times to Charlie Rose.

    Don't know if this qualifies as hype, but he (Seth) calls himself "An Agent Of Change".

    Wow. Right up there with The Industrial Revolution.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
    Seth Godin is a very bright guy. He also has many very useful insights.

    He may also be wealthier than me but I'm not sure ;-)

    He is definitely not as good looking as me!

    However, I do find some of his stuff a little overly intellectual and somewhat pompous at times.

    Where I'm from, we would say he was a little full of himself or perhaps something a little stronger.

    As I say, he is a bright guy, I just wish he would speak to the common man and stop writing as though he was trying for a PHD, if he doesn't have one already.

    So there!
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