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Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Don’t Fry Your Customers With This Tactic

Don’t Fry Your Customers With This Tactic

fastfoodcaution 150x150 Dont Fry Your Customers With This TacticYesterday, Ed Dale posted an article to his blog that kind of struck me. In it, Ed submits that hard-sell marketing is better than soft-sell, even when people are jaded and annoyed with such aggressive approaches.

If you think I’m saying this because I prefer soft-sell approaches, think again.

The reason it struck me is that, and with all due respect to Ed, his post may be a tad misleading.

I agree with the fact that people today are annoyed, jaded, and even frustrated when buying products online — specifically, products in the Internet marketing industry. But I don’t think people are annoyed with hard-sell marketing at all.

They’re annoyed with something else entirely.

Before I dive in, please understand that Ed Dale and I are friends.

In fact, when Ed posted about his recent decision to dump all his friends on Facebook and promote a “fan page” instead, not only was I one of the first ones to agree with him and applaud him, but also I followed in his footsteps.

My comments here have nothing to do with Ed Dale as a person or even as a marketer. They are strictly my opinions on the strategy he pointed out and apparently endorsed.

First, to put this in proper context, let me quote a few passages from Ed’s article…

It’s a bit simplistic to describe like this but it’s the online equivalent of “Do you want Fries with that”

Now here’s the thing. Some people get SUPER annoyed when (increasingly a baby boomer) McDonalds server asks this question.

Your like, “Dude, if I wanted the Fries with that, I would have ordered them!!!!”

If this is sooo annoying – why do they keep doing it?

IT WORKS.

It works really, really well.

Really, Really, Really, Really with sugar on top well.

“Upselling” and “Downselling” (as we say in the biz icon wink Dont Fry Your Customers With This Tactic ) works (…).

First off, I totally agree with this statement.

If you’ve been around this blog for some time, you’ve probably seen my wife’s video on Upsells, Downsells, And One-Time Offers in which she describes the process.

Upselling is not only an important aspect of marketing and particularly Internet marketing, but it’s also one that so many marketers fail to capitalize on. Marketers are leaving an insane load of cash on the table by not asking their customers to buy more.

Some of our students have literally doubled and even tripled their income by simply adding an upsell offer to their sales funnel, which took only minutes to implement.

Jay Abraham, one of the world’s most prolific marketing experts, is often quoted as saying there are only three ways to increase your business.

  1. Increasing the number,
  2. Increasing the frequency,
  3. Or increasing the size of purchases.

The first one involves getting new clients. That’s just good old marketing. You want to find new, hungry prospects who will buy your products for the first time.

The second is new purchases from the same client base. It’s making follow-up and additional offers to your current customers, and getting them to keep buying from you.

The last part is the one people often miss the boat on. It’s upselling, where you get people to buy more or increase the size of their orders as they are buying from you.

Simple enough, right?

The specific issue I have with Ed’s article is not the premise but the analogy he used. Upselling is indeed akin to a McDonald’s server asking, “Do you want fries with that?” And it’s certainly something we should incorporate in our offers.

I also agree with Ed that the market is definitely annoyed and jaded.

But the issue I have is that the market is not annoyed with upsells as Ed Dale seems to imply. It’s annoyed with the type of upsell offers, which has more to do with withholding your customer’s order than it is with just asking them to buy more.

Huge difference, here.

For example, my wife wrote Internet Marketing Sins a few months ago, in which she covers 15 of the most egregious sins perpetrated by online marketers. In it, she covers this particular sin in great detail in a chapter entitled “Upsell Hell.”

(I prefer to call it “Upsell Jail,” because that is precisely what it feels like when one stumbles onto an offer of this kind. You feel helplessly locked in, unable to break out.)

As my wife noted so well, the issue is about holding the customer — i.e., their credit card information, their money, and yes, even their order — hostage.

The process works this way.

A customer comes to a website, reads the copy, and decides to buy the product. She clicks on the order button, fills in the credit card details, and submits the order form.

But before accessing the product she just ordered, she’s presented with an upsell offer.

She’s a bit annoyed, but it’s shadowed by the fact that she’s quite excited about her original order. So she takes the time to read the additional offer, decides she’s not interested, and clicks on “no thanks” (hopefully, when such an option exists).

The process so far is not that bad. But here’s the rub…

If she stumbles onto an offer by some very aggressive marketer, things unfortunately don’t stop there. Before she can access or download her product, even before she receives a confirmation that her payment went through successfully, she’s hit with another upsell offer. And then another, and another, and another.

In some cases, we’re talking three, five, eight, even 10 upsell offers or more!

Annoying? You bet!

Again, the issue has nothing to do with making an upsell offer. If it were me, I would have made the offer before the customer entered their credit card details (it’s no different than adding a product to a shopping cart), or after they’ve reached the confirmation page.

But to force a customer to wade through a barrage of upsell offers while holding their order — and their money — hostage is, in my opinion, the real problem, here.

Think about it.

The customer purchased your product after they have built up enough trust and confidence in you to buy what you originally offered. They probably took a long time to read your copy, perhaps even watched your video, looked you up on the web, and, with excitement mixed with a bit of trepidation, decided to go ahead.

However, when you hit them over the head again and again with a flurry of upsell offers, there’s no question the consumer will doubt you, get annoyed, never buy from you again, even hate you, or worse yet, tell others about you.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I’m a fan of aggressive marketing. I believe that you must ask for the order, and ask for it as many times as possible. In fact, I don’t mind marketers who are even more aggressive than I am.

But the sentiment some of these marketers share is what scares me somewhat.

Most of these aggressive marketers don’t care. Why? Because during these huge, mega-launches, these “drive-by” marketers only intend to sell one-hit products (i.e., not evergreen, long-term products with sustainable growth).

Their sole aim is to milk as many prospects as possible for all they can during a finite period of time. Sadly, some of them don’t even care if their customers ever buy again.

As one marketer called it, it’s a “churn and burn” mentality.

Admittedly, one reason may be because many of these marketers offer continuity programs, which on the surface may appear as a long-term strategy. (However, some continuity offers are forced in the backend of the same, huge launches.)

Plus, many of their products are indeed of high quality and very good.

But another analogy that comes to mind is that of snake oil salesmen. The parallel is ostensibly there. Snake oil salesmen drive into town, sell their entire lot as fast as they can, and skip town as soon as they’re done.

In fact, this brings me to another issue Ed brought up in his post. Ed said this…

Yet in this so called “depressed” (more on this in a minute) economy – Internet Marketing stuff is being sold at RECORD numbers.

Record numbers?

Yes, if you want to count unit sales. And during mega-launches where everyone and their neighbor’s pet parrot is emailing you with the same offer, it’s no wonder that such sales incur huge, record-breaking numbers.

But in this case, as it is in many cases of late, the offer is cheap or even free — the purpose being to force people onto a continuity program. Let’s not forget affiliate commissions for the launch and on the recurring income afterwards.

So record-breaking sales doesn’t necessarily translate into record-breaking profits.

(That’s a whole different issue for another day, although I must add that some marketers are overt and clear about their backend continuity offers. They may be forced continuity, which is perfectly fine, but they’re not hidden or slipped under the radar.)

So the numbers are there, I agree.

However, what about long-term, residual income? What about Jay Abraham’s point #2, “frequency of purchases?” Well, that’s a non-issue for many marketers because their clients are forced onto a continuity program, anyway.

But will they buy more from the same marketer? Of their own volition?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But I daresay, retention of their initial order, if these marketers don’t go out of their way to coddle those customers sufficiently, or at least offer excellent — not average or above average, but truly excellent — content, will likely suffer.

So when some marketers purport to make millions with their sales on launch day, are they actually talking about gross revenue? Or are they talking about unit sales or their predicted revenue over the long term based on 100% retention of their new customers?

Something to think about.

As Frank Kern’s grandfather once said to him (from a presentation Frank gave at a seminar) when he used to work in his grandfather’s used-car business, after Frank was all excited about a sale he made that wasn’t quite finalized…

“It ain’t sold ’til you got the money!”

Finally, let me come back to the analogy Ed Dale made. To me, asking “Want fries with that?” is a wrong analogy. A better one is, after you asked for a burger the server says:

“A burger? Sure, that’s $3.00.” (You hand over a $20 bill.) The server, holding your burger in one hand and your $20 in the other, continues:

“Now that you’ve given me $20, how about fries with that? No? How about an apple pie? No? Then how about an extra burger for only half off, and you better decide now because this is the only time I’m making you this special offer!”

Remember, you’re hungry. You paid for the burger. You see the server holding both your change and your burger, almost taunting you. Naturally, you’re getting annoyed by now. Just when you think you’re finally getting your food, the server quips:

“OK then, I know you’re hungry, but before I give you your burger and your change back, may I interest you in our burger-of-the-month club?”

Can you see the frustration?

So when a marketer says, “It works!” I cringe. Why? Because they’re using results — specifically, they’re using superficial, short term, prediction-based, best-case-scenario results — to justify their marketing efforts.

Well, of course it works! It’s no different than saying “Want money? Go rob a bank! Why? Because it works!” Needless to say, when you hold someone hostage at gun point asking for their money, you bet that it works.

Now, I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say:

“But Michel, isn’t your analogy extreme and just as far off as the fast-food one?”

Sure, my analogy may be a little extreme. What some of these marketers do may be entirely legal and, unlike a bank robbery, no one can get physically hurt.

But when it comes to the ethics of the thing, it’s not that much different. Because, while it may be legal, saying that “it works” when it has no choice but to work because you’re forcing it to, then it’s not so far off the mark.

In short, it may be legal but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right.

Plus, the bank analogy is dead-on in other ways, too. For example, unless that bank’s security has been reinforced, consumer confidence restored, and the bank robber apprehended, chances are those consumers will never go back to that bank.

They’ll likely close their accounts and take their money elsewhere.

About the Author


Category: Opinion
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  • http://israel-magazine.com/haggadah Jerry Waxman

    Thanks Michel;
    I think your suggestion of the upsell just before taking the payment information is the most logical, and most analogous to “Would you like fries with that?”

    In a couple recent launches, when I got to the upsell page, I just hit the x in the top corner. It didn’t cancel the order in either case. I got the confirmation emails for only the products I was interested in.

    Add to upsell hell the unadvertised bonuses – which turn out to be admission to a JV’s program for a trial period.

    Perhaps the marketing experts are unaware of overload on struggling marketers today. Every email from the experts who are preparing to introduce a product begins with something about today’s economy. Waste of time. We struggling entrepreneurs don’t use the economy as an excuse for anything.

    The reason we don’t buy every marketing product is not just because we don’t have the money for them, it’s also because we may just be “jaded,” not by the economy but by so many marketing experts trying to coach us and sell us their products.

    Every new thing becomes a distraction. In an effort to maintain focus on the marketing, I tend to reject bonuses that come with products I purchase. This policy has given me time to make my own product, and for the first time, I’ve started to see some sales. And I’m selling a product alone, with no bonuses and no upsells. And no list. I believe that the people who have found my website were looking specifically for the type of product that I’m selling, and don’t need a bonus to convince them.

  • http://israel-magazine.com/haggadah Jerry Waxman

    Thanks Michel;
    I think your suggestion of the upsell just before taking the payment information is the most logical, and most analogous to “Would you like fries with that?”

    In a couple recent launches, when I got to the upsell page, I just hit the x in the top corner. It didn’t cancel the order in either case. I got the confirmation emails for only the products I was interested in.

    Add to upsell hell the unadvertised bonuses – which turn out to be admission to a JV’s program for a trial period.

    Perhaps the marketing experts are unaware of overload on struggling marketers today. Every email from the experts who are preparing to introduce a product begins with something about today’s economy. Waste of time. We struggling entrepreneurs don’t use the economy as an excuse for anything.

    The reason we don’t buy every marketing product is not just because we don’t have the money for them, it’s also because we may just be “jaded,” not by the economy but by so many marketing experts trying to coach us and sell us their products.

    Every new thing becomes a distraction. In an effort to maintain focus on the marketing, I tend to reject bonuses that come with products I purchase. This policy has given me time to make my own product, and for the first time, I’ve started to see some sales. And I’m selling a product alone, with no bonuses and no upsells. And no list. I believe that the people who have found my website were looking specifically for the type of product that I’m selling, and don’t need a bonus to convince them.

  • Elizabeth

    Well, once again you have hit the nail right on the head. We all have been through upsell hell, and every time I encounter it, my only recourse is to cancel my purchase.

    You see, the marketer has proven to me that his desire to make money is greater than his desire to build a customer relationship. My trust is now gone, and I certainly don’t want to be associated with them in any capacity – online, offline or on my hard disk.

    I guess they don’t get it at all – the reason use the internet to purchase things is the ease of access, but they are still somewhat skeptical in terms of trust. Marketers of all kinds without integrity are simply burning their way destruction. I for one readily cheer those who crash and burn after they have burned me – not necessarily a christian thing to do – but I am only one of many they have burned along the way.

    Keep on posting, because we all need your comments.

  • Elizabeth

    Well, once again you have hit the nail right on the head. We all have been through upsell hell, and every time I encounter it, my only recourse is to cancel my purchase.

    You see, the marketer has proven to me that his desire to make money is greater than his desire to build a customer relationship. My trust is now gone, and I certainly don’t want to be associated with them in any capacity – online, offline or on my hard disk.

    I guess they don’t get it at all – the reason use the internet to purchase things is the ease of access, but they are still somewhat skeptical in terms of trust. Marketers of all kinds without integrity are simply burning their way destruction. I for one readily cheer those who crash and burn after they have burned me – not necessarily a christian thing to do – but I am only one of many they have burned along the way.

    Keep on posting, because we all need your comments.

  • http://www.MichelFortin.com Michel Fortin

    Originally Posted By Jerry WaxmanI believe that the people who have found my website were looking specifically for the type of product that I’m selling, and don’t need a bonus to convince them.

    Perfectly well said.

  • http://www.michelfortin.com Michel Fortin

    Originally Posted By Jerry Waxman
    I believe that the people who have found my website were looking specifically for the type of product that I’m selling, and don’t need a bonus to convince them.

    Perfectly well said.

  • http://www.best-interview-strategies.com/ Bonnie Lowe

    Excellent points, Michel. So many effective marketing strategies are mutated into a form of “hell” by overzealous (or is it clueless?) marketers. Your blog should be required reading for anyone who sells online (or offline for that matter). Thanks!

  • http://www.best-interview-strategies.com Bonnie Lowe

    Excellent points, Michel. So many effective marketing strategies are mutated into a form of “hell” by overzealous (or is it clueless?) marketers. Your blog should be required reading for anyone who sells online (or offline for that matter). Thanks!

  • http://www.swbnetwork.com/blog Allison Reynolds

    I agree with you Michael about the catchcry “but it works” being a very short sighted way of looking at the upsell hell. In fact we have covered this point over at the blog … a couple of times. I work at a huge corporation that knows that is easier, cheaper and MORE PROFITABLE to make sales from your current client base, than it is to get more clients. To do that you develop a relationship with your customer, not hold them to ransom.

    Churn and burn is the domain of the greedy, those that seek a goal and not care about the outcome in getting it.

  • http://www.swbnetwork.com/blog Allison Reynolds

    I agree with you Michael about the catchcry “but it works” being a very short sighted way of looking at the upsell hell. In fact we have covered this point over at the blog … a couple of times. I work at a huge corporation that knows that is easier, cheaper and MORE PROFITABLE to make sales from your current client base, than it is to get more clients. To do that you develop a relationship with your customer, not hold them to ransom.

    Churn and burn is the domain of the greedy, those that seek a goal and not care about the outcome in getting it.

  • Admiral Nige

    ED Dale has got a lot of abuse lately from a lot of his loyal followers about his sudden change and hardcore marketing techniques and spamming email techniques. Something HE TEACHES AGAINST in his 30 day challenge program.

    Although Ed has some great ideas he sometimes forgets he his human and also his business can crumble around him just like those of the world biggest banks and car makers.

    When his followers asked him why he had gone all hardcore and questioned his methods they got the response back. if you don’t like it unsubscribe. Hardly the response from someone who has spent a lot of time building up his reputation as a white hat marketer.

    Running a phone shop and managing a team of people you get to recognize desperation. Its the end of the month and the sales guy is behind on his targets they start to sell in a pressured way. Not the normal soft approach we use talking to the customer building them a package and allowing them to make a decision. But the you will have this phone and this deal and you will buy today.

    This does two things. Destroys your image and customer loyalty. The product will most probably come back within the cooling off period and you will not get any recommendations or repeat business from that person.

    So to go back to my earlier comment it appears Ed is currently floundering and making alliances and business decisions he would not normally do so because he is behind and desperate for the next sale. That is a sue fire way to destroy your business and lose you loyal following.

  • Admiral Nige

    ED Dale has got a lot of abuse lately from a lot of his loyal followers about his sudden change and hardcore marketing techniques and spamming email techniques. Something HE TEACHES AGAINST in his 30 day challenge program.

    Although Ed has some great ideas he sometimes forgets he his human and also his business can crumble around him just like those of the world biggest banks and car makers.

    When his followers asked him why he had gone all hardcore and questioned his methods they got the response back. if you don’t like it unsubscribe. Hardly the response from someone who has spent a lot of time building up his reputation as a white hat marketer.

    Running a phone shop and managing a team of people you get to recognize desperation. Its the end of the month and the sales guy is behind on his targets they start to sell in a pressured way. Not the normal soft approach we use talking to the customer building them a package and allowing them to make a decision. But the you will have this phone and this deal and you will buy today.

    This does two things. Destroys your image and customer loyalty. The product will most probably come back within the cooling off period and you will not get any recommendations or repeat business from that person.

    So to go back to my earlier comment it appears Ed is currently floundering and making alliances and business decisions he would not normally do so because he is behind and desperate for the next sale. That is a sue fire way to destroy your business and lose you loyal following.

  • http://soylentcola.com/ Lee Ingram

    Michel, you make a very good point.

    I’ve seen this all over, but the one site I keep seeing it on (and it gets worse and worse) is GoDaddy. I have a love/hate relationship with GoDaddy, because their domain management panel and their other gadgets are quite well done… but having to click “No thanks.” about a million times JUST to order a SINGLE domain… it drives me nuts!

    Hear me now, GoDaddy! If you cut out your crazy aggressive upselling, I’d buy more from you! Honestly!

    Thanks again Michel for a great read.

  • http://soylentcola.com Lee Ingram

    Michel, you make a very good point.

    I’ve seen this all over, but the one site I keep seeing it on (and it gets worse and worse) is GoDaddy. I have a love/hate relationship with GoDaddy, because their domain management panel and their other gadgets are quite well done… but having to click “No thanks.” about a million times JUST to order a SINGLE domain… it drives me nuts!

    Hear me now, GoDaddy! If you cut out your crazy aggressive upselling, I’d buy more from you! Honestly!

    Thanks again Michel for a great read.

  • http://tubbynerd.com/ Ed Dale

    Is this what happens when you get an eloquent drummer!!!!.

    (KIDDING!)

    Now to the serious points

    I find the whole upsell downsell thing annoying.

    But

    It works.

    And depressingly, it works brilliantly.

    For every poster that comments here that they cancel the order because of this process – the HARD DATA tells me there are 10 people who take no offense.

    DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER!

    Now on the sales v profitability issue.

    I’m happy to say that people are making more PROFITS than ever before – not just SALES

    Has the cost of doing business increased -YOU BETCHA

    Does that increase overall profits compared to before?

    YOU BETCHA

    Does it make it harder to compete in the “Internet Marketing” field?

    YOU BETCHA!!!

    Which, as you know, why I started the Thirty Day Challenge (which of course has ZERO upselling,downselling,sideselling or diminuendo selling)

    I think the global point I was trying to make was that this stuff works and that you should apply these things to real stuff selling to real people.

    Should you have like ten of these things in a row. I would have thought that would be pretty rough on a customer.

    But you know what , who am I to judge – If they keep doing it year after year then it’s probably a pretty good bet that it works.

    If you look at the big launches post Mikes last year – every single major launch used this strategy with extraordinary success. And by success – i mean an Increase in profitability – Franks Pop is a very wise and straight talking guy!

    (Now lets not confuse sales/profitability with execution – Tragically in a couple of cases the execution was pretty appalling – but that’s a whole different issue and I know we line up on that one!)

    Thanks as always for the opportunity to respond!

    Ed

  • http://tubbynerd.com Ed Dale

    Is this what happens when you get an eloquent drummer!!!!.

    (KIDDING!)

    Now to the serious points

    I find the whole upsell downsell thing annoying.

    But

    It works.

    And depressingly, it works brilliantly.

    For every poster that comments here that they cancel the order because of this process – the HARD DATA tells me there are 10 people who take no offense.

    DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER!

    Now on the sales v profitability issue.

    I’m happy to say that people are making more PROFITS than ever before – not just SALES

    Has the cost of doing business increased -YOU BETCHA

    Does that increase overall profits compared to before?

    YOU BETCHA

    Does it make it harder to compete in the “Internet Marketing” field?

    YOU BETCHA!!!

    Which, as you know, why I started the Thirty Day Challenge (which of course has ZERO upselling,downselling,sideselling or diminuendo selling)

    I think the global point I was trying to make was that this stuff works and that you should apply these things to real stuff selling to real people.

    Should you have like ten of these things in a row. I would have thought that would be pretty rough on a customer.

    But you know what , who am I to judge – If they keep doing it year after year then it’s probably a pretty good bet that it works.

    If you look at the big launches post Mikes last year – every single major launch used this strategy with extraordinary success. And by success – i mean an Increase in profitability – Franks Pop is a very wise and straight talking guy!

    (Now lets not confuse sales/profitability with execution – Tragically in a couple of cases the execution was pretty appalling – but that’s a whole different issue and I know we line up on that one!)

    Thanks as always for the opportunity to respond!

    Ed

  • http://www.planbreview.com/ Karen

    Originally Posted By Jerry WaxmanThanks

    Every new thing becomes a distraction. In an effort to maintain focus on the marketing, I tend to reject bonuses that come with products I purchase. This policy has given me time to make my own product, and for the first time, I’ve started to see some sales. And I’m selling a product alone, with no bonuses and no upsells. And no list. I believe that the people who have found my website were looking specifically for the type of product that I’m selling, and don’t need a bonus to convince them.

    SO TRUE, Jerry and Michel – the distractions of all the bonuses and upsells have made me so angry, I’ve been unsubscribing to the lists from offenders.

    What I want to get when I buy a product, is a thankyou page and emails that help explain how to learn and use the new product. Pushing the NEXT product takes away the focus of the benefits of the first product and time to put it to good use. Hit me with something new a few weeks later instead. This upsell practice is VERY IRRITATING.

    Sylvie’s Sins explain it well. HEY Internet Marketers, TAKE SYLVIE’S ADVICE! (please, CARE about your customers – not your wallet)

  • http://www.planbreview.com Karen

    Originally Posted By Jerry WaxmanThanks

    Every new thing becomes a distraction. In an effort to maintain focus on the marketing, I tend to reject bonuses that come with products I purchase. This policy has given me time to make my own product, and for the first time, I’ve started to see some sales. And I’m selling a product alone, with no bonuses and no upsells. And no list. I believe that the people who have found my website were looking specifically for the type of product that I’m selling, and don’t need a bonus to convince them.

    SO TRUE, Jerry and Michel – the distractions of all the bonuses and upsells have made me so angry, I’ve been unsubscribing to the lists from offenders.

    What I want to get when I buy a product, is a thankyou page and emails that help explain how to learn and use the new product. Pushing the NEXT product takes away the focus of the benefits of the first product and time to put it to good use. Hit me with something new a few weeks later instead. This upsell practice is VERY IRRITATING.

    Sylvie’s Sins explain it well. HEY Internet Marketers, TAKE SYLVIE’S ADVICE! (please, CARE about your customers – not your wallet)

  • http://www.DirectMarketResults.com/ John Deck

    There is one IM that would I would not buy anything from again because of his upsell hell (at the time it felt more like hell not jail). Increasing the big launches look like an insiders club taking turns on who gets to collect the money this time. The insulting part is that there really is no attempt to even pretend they are giving content between launches.

    So one by one I have been unsubscribing, and focusing on those that do provide value like your blog Michel.

    John
    http://www.DirectMarketResults.com

  • http://smartwomanguides.com/ Vicki Flaugher

    Here here, Michel!

    I am also a proponent of the upsell but I hate, hate, hate the hostage feeling of incessant upsells prior to my order actually being placed and confirmed. I like bonuses and I’m ok w/continuity programs (provided they are not hidden in the fine print) but I will immediately unsubscribe from a IMer who pounds on me over and over again.

    I have spent 10s of thousands of dollars on training and I don’t regret a single penny of it. It’s how I make my living. But, sometimes I feel just plain ashamed to call myself an IMer when I see some of the tricky tricks out there. “It works” is a crappy reason to do anything. That level of integrity is a dying thing and I celebrate the day I can dance on its grave.

    To all you IMers out there doing it right, honoring your customers (which includes offering them upsells that truly compliment and enrich their buying experience) and managing your lifelong relationships and reputation – I applaud you! It’s only a matter of time before the IM arm breaker goes the way of the dodo. You and I and the others who understand pull instead of push marketing will remain standing. Long live truly great IMers!

    Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman
    http://twitter.com/smartwoman

  • http://www.benjordanconsulting.com/ Texas Ben

    Great points Michael, I though you were going to get all Gary Halbert raw on Ed’s ass. Alas your always the copywiting diplomat and embassador, Obama should create a new cabinet member, Copywriter Ambassador and yo would be his first nominee! :D

  • http://www.DirectMarketResults.com John Deck

    There is one IM that would I would not buy anything from again because of his upsell hell (at the time it felt more like hell not jail). Increasing the big launches look like an insiders club taking turns on who gets to collect the money this time. The insulting part is that there really is no attempt to even pretend they are giving content between launches.

    So one by one I have been unsubscribing, and focusing on those that do provide value like your blog Michel.

    John
    http://www.DirectMarketResults.com

  • http://smartwomanguides.com Vicki Flaugher

    Here here, Michel!

    I am also a proponent of the upsell but I hate, hate, hate the hostage feeling of incessant upsells prior to my order actually being placed and confirmed. I like bonuses and I’m ok w/continuity programs (provided they are not hidden in the fine print) but I will immediately unsubscribe from a IMer who pounds on me over and over again.

    I have spent 10s of thousands of dollars on training and I don’t regret a single penny of it. It’s how I make my living. But, sometimes I feel just plain ashamed to call myself an IMer when I see some of the tricky tricks out there. “It works” is a crappy reason to do anything. That level of integrity is a dying thing and I celebrate the day I can dance on its grave.

    To all you IMers out there doing it right, honoring your customers (which includes offering them upsells that truly compliment and enrich their buying experience) and managing your lifelong relationships and reputation – I applaud you! It’s only a matter of time before the IM arm breaker goes the way of the dodo. You and I and the others who understand pull instead of push marketing will remain standing. Long live truly great IMers!

    Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman
    http://twitter.com/smartwoman

  • http://www.benjordanconsulting.com Texas Ben

    Great points Michael, I though you were going to get all Gary Halbert raw on Ed’s ass. Alas your always the copywiting diplomat and embassador, Obama should create a new cabinet member, Copywriter Ambassador and yo would be his first nominee! :D

  • http://website-in-a-weekend.net/ Dave Doolin

    I’m officially burned out.

    I’ll spend the rest of my savings building product and infrastructure, then sometime next year either write my own copy (courtesy of the Prince of Print), or hire whoever I think I can trust, whoever’s left standing after all you guys eat your customers, eat your young, then finally eat yourselves.

    The money isn’t the problem, it’s the trust.

    Yes, I have a web site. No I am no longer linking to it. Yes, I am also selling product (under a pen name, you’ll never find under my name here).

    I don’t even give a crap about Google anymore. My content is good, and having my traffic plummet to come up clear spam blogs, thin affiliates and other wastes of time and electrons has taught me relying on google is like relying on a single income stream. Bad idea.

    My content is good. People will find me or not, in the meantime, I am happy just “doing what I do.”

    Michel, you and Sylvie are my rapidly shrinking and very short list of trustworthy people in this space.

  • http://Nope,notlookingforthetraffic Dave Doolin

    I’m officially burned out.

    I’ll spend the rest of my savings building product and infrastructure, then sometime next year either write my own copy (courtesy of the Prince of Print), or hire whoever I think I can trust, whoever’s left standing after all you guys eat your customers, eat your young, then finally eat yourselves.

    The money isn’t the problem, it’s the trust.

    Yes, I have a web site. No I am no longer linking to it. Yes, I am also selling product (under a pen name, you’ll never find under my name here).

    I don’t even give a crap about Google anymore. My content is good, and having my traffic plummet to come up clear spam blogs, thin affiliates and other wastes of time and electrons has taught me relying on google is like relying on a single income stream. Bad idea.

    My content is good. People will find me or not, in the meantime, I am happy just “doing what I do.”

    Michel, you and Sylvie are my rapidly shrinking and very short list of trustworthy people in this space.

  • http://www.copywritingdean.com/ Stephen Dean

    Wow, Michel. You explained that really well. Your analogy of McD’s holdin’ your cash hostage while they try the upsell is right on.

    GoDaddy does a lot of upsells, but all before the payment information is given. AND gives you an opportunity to skip all of this if you know what you’re doing.

    On a different note, GoDaddy upsells are displayed in a catalog style. Ever tested something like that?

  • http://www.copywritingdean.com/ Stephen Dean

    Wow, Michel. You explained that really well. Your analogy of McD’s holdin’ your cash hostage while they try the upsell is right on.

    GoDaddy does a lot of upsells, but all before the payment information is given. AND gives you an opportunity to skip all of this if you know what you’re doing.

    On a different note, GoDaddy upsells are displayed in a catalog style. Ever tested something like that?

  • http://www.MichelFortin.com Michel Fortin

    @Ed Dale – Thanks, Ed, for popping by. Absolutely great points. You know I love ya! ;)

    I’m dead-on with you on what you said. My only contention was the analogy — “want fries with that” is a far cry from what some marketers do, and you and I both know that some of them are doing it completely and utterly wrong.

    But that said, you’re right when you say using it in other markets. To me, marketers who don’t use upsells when they should — and the money they leave on the table, which is staring at them right in the face — is just as appalling.

    A super big thanks for adding your comments.

  • http://www.michelfortin.com Michel Fortin

    @Ed Dale – Thanks, Ed, for popping by. Absolutely great points. You know I love ya! ;)

    I’m dead-on with you on what you said. My only contention was the analogy — “want fries with that” is a far cry from what some marketers do, and you and I both know that some of them are doing it completely and utterly wrong.

    But that said, you’re right when you say using it in other markets. To me, marketers who don’t use upsells when they should — and the money they leave on the table, which is staring at them right in the face — is just as appalling.

    A super big thanks for adding your comments.

  • http://www.MichelFortin.com Michel Fortin

    @Admiral Nige – I don’t think that’s entirely true, and I for one would vouch for Ed. He’s an all-in-all upstanding guy. Please don’t misconstrue my opinion about his blog post with Ed himself. I think your comment is a bit harsh. That’s just my opinion.

  • http://www.michelfortin.com Michel Fortin

    @Admiral Nige – I don’t think that’s entirely true, and I for one would vouch for Ed. He’s an all-in-all upstanding guy. Please don’t misconstrue my opinion about his blog post with Ed himself. I think your comment is a bit harsh. That’s just my opinion.

  • http://www.MichelFortin.com Michel Fortin

    Originally Posted By Stephen DeanGoDaddy does a lot of upsells, but all before the payment information is given. AND gives you an opportunity to skip all of this if you know what you’re doing.

    BINGO!

  • http://www.michelfortin.com Michel Fortin

    Originally Posted By Stephen Dean
    GoDaddy does a lot of upsells, but all before the payment information is given. AND gives you an opportunity to skip all of this if you know what you’re doing.

    BINGO!

  • Admiral Nige

    @Michel Fortin – I wasn’t trying to be harsh on Ed as I myself have a lot of respect for the guy. I just feel like a lot of other people do that the sudden change in gears to the more aggressive selling techniques a little hard core and not customer orientated.

    In my day job we use package selling and multi product selling on a day to day basis. The company would not hit its targets if we didn’t. After all its all incremental sales. However I think you have to establish a need first then base your product on that need not tag it on at the end and keep going on about it just like you Mc Donald money hostage analogy.

    I’m a big believer in customer loyalty, recommendations and repeat business. I know it works in face 2 face sales as well as online. I have a large number of customers come to my store because of the the reputation we have built up and the referrals. I have been involved in what ed does for a while and trust his judgment so it came as a shock when this sudden change of gears happened. if I had been someone who did not know who Ed was from Adam I believe I would have left what he was saying to the way side as another pushy marketer.

    Didn’t mean to come across as harsh was getting a bit passionate I think

  • Admiral Nige

    @Michel Fortin – I wasn’t trying to be harsh on Ed as I myself have a lot of respect for the guy. I just feel like a lot of other people do that the sudden change in gears to the more aggressive selling techniques a little hard core and not customer orientated.

    In my day job we use package selling and multi product selling on a day to day basis. The company would not hit its targets if we didn’t. After all its all incremental sales. However I think you have to establish a need first then base your product on that need not tag it on at the end and keep going on about it just like you Mc Donald money hostage analogy.

    I’m a big believer in customer loyalty, recommendations and repeat business. I know it works in face 2 face sales as well as online. I have a large number of customers come to my store because of the the reputation we have built up and the referrals. I have been involved in what ed does for a while and trust his judgment so it came as a shock when this sudden change of gears happened. if I had been someone who did not know who Ed was from Adam I believe I would have left what he was saying to the way side as another pushy marketer.

    Didn’t mean to come across as harsh was getting a bit passionate I think

  • Paulo Roldan

    Case in point: [name edited] and his [name edited] product.

    Also, both him and [name edited] do nothing but send product promotions to their list. I Don’t give a damn about [name edited] if his creator just keep on selling products and nothing else.

    EDITED: Please refrain from naming names. This is not about bashing people but marketing tactics. Thanks.
    – Michel.

  • Paulo Roldan

    Case in point: [name edited] and his [name edited] product.

    Also, both him and [name edited] do nothing but send product promotions to their list. I Don’t give a damn about [name edited] if his creator just keep on selling products and nothing else.

    EDITED: Please refrain from naming names. This is not about bashing people but marketing tactics. Thanks.
    – Michel.

  • http://www.hiddensoy.com/ Dianne

    You are so right! As a matter of fact, whenever marketers email me (all selling the same product), and might I add, I wasn’t thrilled with the first product, I automatically unsubscribe from them.

    As far as the upsells go – I do agree with you about asking before they fill out the form. I find it so annoying when they upsell after you give them your info, and there is no turning back!

    Thanks for this post.

  • http://www.hiddensoy.com Dianne

    You are so right! As a matter of fact, whenever marketers email me (all selling the same product), and might I add, I wasn’t thrilled with the first product, I automatically unsubscribe from them.

    As far as the upsells go – I do agree with you about asking before they fill out the form. I find it so annoying when they upsell after you give them your info, and there is no turning back!

    Thanks for this post.

  • http://tubbynerd.com Ed Dale

    I wonder if customer loyalty is not based more on the customer service post sale AND how good the actual product is?

    Should people have a nice sales experience – for sure

    Someone here invoked the name of Gary Halbert and one of HIS greatest lessons was

    “MAKE SURE YOU SALES LETTER PISSES PEOPLE OFF!!!”

    If people LOVE your salesletter you will – by definition – have people who hate it .

    Or as Gary would say “People who were never going to buy from you in the first place!!”

    The specific example he used was when he took out a full page ad in the LA TIMES to find a date.

    TRUE STORY

    His ad outraged many, many people.

    He didn’t care – he was targeting with a laser the exact type of woman that he did want.

    The Ad worked.

    If your sales process try’s to be all things to all people, it will suck from a sales perspective

    I know there are things I do that annoy the living shelter shed out of people (poor spelling and grammar, sick sense of humor, racist against Canadian drummers)

    That’s ok, english teachers are never going to buy anything from me.

    This might be getting off topic a little but the fundamental applies to this and all things marketing.

    Try to please everyone – you please no one.

    Ed

  • http://tubbynerd.com/ Ed Dale

    I wonder if customer loyalty is not based more on the customer service post sale AND how good the actual product is?

    Should people have a nice sales experience – for sure

    Someone here invoked the name of Gary Halbert and one of HIS greatest lessons was

    “MAKE SURE YOU SALES LETTER PISSES PEOPLE OFF!!!”

    If people LOVE your salesletter you will – by definition – have people who hate it .

    Or as Gary would say “People who were never going to buy from you in the first place!!”

    The specific example he used was when he took out a full page ad in the LA TIMES to find a date.

    TRUE STORY

    His ad outraged many, many people.

    He didn’t care – he was targeting with a laser the exact type of woman that he did want.

    The Ad worked.

    If your sales process try’s to be all things to all people, it will suck from a sales perspective

    I know there are things I do that annoy the living shelter shed out of people (poor spelling and grammar, sick sense of humor, racist against Canadian drummers)

    That’s ok, english teachers are never going to buy anything from me.

    This might be getting off topic a little but the fundamental applies to this and all things marketing.

    Try to please everyone – you please no one.

    Ed

  • Lois

    Thanks for this post. I hardly buy anymore having bought from everyone. It isn’t that the products aren’t good–its that the goodness stops there. I hear this unspoken message, go ahead and implement this on your own if you’d like. We’ll refund if you like but once our launch is over, we have nothing more to offer until the next product.

    Continuity programs that are in place to bring in dollars each month and not for what they give are empty. It is always I sell, you buy, and if I give more after that sale, you buy again. Plenty is given away free to entice the sale but nothing after to help you implement that product. That , to me, is why marketers are mistakenly believing the recession has hit the internet. Marketers need to change, sorry. Its give back time.

    I have received no less than 18 emails for the Butterfly Marketing giveaway. One was honest to say, you’ll have to go through upsells to get this for free and enroll in a continuity program but for $19.95 shipping and handling, you’ll get a program that in its day cost $2,000. I’ve been through upsell hell once and that was enough. I won’t do that again not even for free.

    You wrote: Because during these huge, mega-launches, these “drive-by” marketers only intend to sell one-hit products (i.e., not evergreen, long-term products with sustainable growth).

    And that is my point completely. Very, very few have that. The ticket prices are staggering. The incredible millions made and bragged of in 24 hours is only great for them. Without caring how their products help people, and offering to help them, they are responsible for the jaded feelings that pour out from so many.

    Thanks for letting me spew. I was looking for a venue to write that for a long time and you gave me that chance.

    Lois

  • Lois

    Thanks for this post. I hardly buy anymore having bought from everyone. It isn’t that the products aren’t good–its that the goodness stops there. I hear this unspoken message, go ahead and implement this on your own if you’d like. We’ll refund if you like but once our launch is over, we have nothing more to offer until the next product.

    Continuity programs that are in place to bring in dollars each month and not for what they give are empty. It is always I sell, you buy, and if I give more after that sale, you buy again. Plenty is given away free to entice the sale but nothing after to help you implement that product. That , to me, is why marketers are mistakenly believing the recession has hit the internet. Marketers need to change, sorry. Its give back time.

    I have received no less than 18 emails for the Butterfly Marketing giveaway. One was honest to say, you’ll have to go through upsells to get this for free and enroll in a continuity program but for $19.95 shipping and handling, you’ll get a program that in its day cost $2,000. I’ve been through upsell hell once and that was enough. I won’t do that again not even for free.

    You wrote: Because during these huge, mega-launches, these “drive-by” marketers only intend to sell one-hit products (i.e., not evergreen, long-term products with sustainable growth).

    And that is my point completely. Very, very few have that. The ticket prices are staggering. The incredible millions made and bragged of in 24 hours is only great for them. Without caring how their products help people, and offering to help them, they are responsible for the jaded feelings that pour out from so many.

    Thanks for letting me spew. I was looking for a venue to write that for a long time and you gave me that chance.

    Lois

  • http://www.bjmin101.com/ BJ

    Michael,

    can you give tips on how to name your name in your email?

    i notice now you do [MichaelFortin.com] in your headline…the other day
    you did [MichaelFortin]…

    what’s the best conversion?

    and how come you don’t do something like
    ~ Michael Fortin ~
    in your email name?

    i would lvoe to know…i am your copywriting course doctor customer btw…but i would love
    to hear from you abotu this and apply to all my lists…

    thanks
    BJ

    ps…sorry if this sounds irrelevant…i know what you mean abot your post…and i did get that recent launch…i understand the upsell but why is it so bad? all the gurus are doing it that way…no?

  • http://www.bjmin101.com BJ

    Michael,

    can you give tips on how to name your name in your email?

    i notice now you do [MichaelFortin.com] in your headline…the other day
    you did [MichaelFortin]…

    what’s the best conversion?

    and how come you don’t do something like
    ~ Michael Fortin ~
    in your email name?

    i would lvoe to know…i am your copywriting course doctor customer btw…but i would love
    to hear from you abotu this and apply to all my lists…

    thanks
    BJ

    ps…sorry if this sounds irrelevant…i know what you mean abot your post…and i did get that recent launch…i understand the upsell but why is it so bad? all the gurus are doing it that way…no?

  • http://website-in-a-weekend.net/ Dave Doolin

    Couple more things struck me as I was climbing my stairs with an armful of groceries from 99 Ranch. Nothing like the grocery store to get the creativity going.

    The vast majority of bankers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers etc. worked for years or decades making more or less reasonable money. A few years ago they had an opportunity the likes which nobody ever saw before to make a LOT of money. So they did. They plundered the market. But they couldn’t have plundered it without having the experience and tools to both recognize and capitalize on the opportunity.

    I see the same thing in the internet marketing space. People with 5-10-20 years experience suddenly have a LOT of opportunity to make some serious cash. So they are.

    Do I have this opportunity?

    Doubtful. I don’t have the experience, the intuition, nor frankly the skill to capitalize on it. Yet.

    Neither do most of these marketer’s customers. Most of them (> 90%) will just spend a lot of money, then give it all up in disgust: “This stuff is crap! What a ripoff!” I feel this to be true from experience in a related personal development market that is crashing hard right now… it’s not that the strategies and tactics don’t work, it’s that most people _won’t_ execute. 90% of the remaining will do well enough to possibly pay the rent. That final 1-2% will do very well.

    I can read the numbers as well as anyone. Somebody ships 2000 copies of say, “Super System” and then has what, 5-10 decent testimonials for “Super System 2″? Why not 100? Or 1000?

    In the meantime, given a finite population, there is a finite market for ANY product (Real estate always go up in price, remember?). Looks to me like the market for IM products is crashing: more and more product being offered for less and less money. I can always be shouted down on this point, just calling it as I see it, and I’ve been through this wringer before (Savings and Loan *cough*).

    My plan, and what my posse is doing, is learning the fundamentals now… we’ll make bank on the next go ’round. Health, wealth and relationships. Some things never change.

    @Ed Dale: Thanks for staying in the conversation.

  • http://Nope.notlookingforthetraffic.com Dave Doolin

    Couple more things struck me as I was climbing my stairs with an armful of groceries from 99 Ranch. Nothing like the grocery store to get the creativity going.

    The vast majority of bankers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers etc. worked for years or decades making more or less reasonable money. A few years ago they had an opportunity the likes which nobody ever saw before to make a LOT of money. So they did. They plundered the market. But they couldn’t have plundered it without having the experience and tools to both recognize and capitalize on the opportunity.

    I see the same thing in the internet marketing space. People with 5-10-20 years experience suddenly have a LOT of opportunity to make some serious cash. So they are.

    Do I have this opportunity?

    Doubtful. I don’t have the experience, the intuition, nor frankly the skill to capitalize on it. Yet.

    Neither do most of these marketer’s customers. Most of them (> 90%) will just spend a lot of money, then give it all up in disgust: “This stuff is crap! What a ripoff!” I feel this to be true from experience in a related personal development market that is crashing hard right now… it’s not that the strategies and tactics don’t work, it’s that most people _won’t_ execute. 90% of the remaining will do well enough to possibly pay the rent. That final 1-2% will do very well.

    I can read the numbers as well as anyone. Somebody ships 2000 copies of say, “Super System” and then has what, 5-10 decent testimonials for “Super System 2″? Why not 100? Or 1000?

    In the meantime, given a finite population, there is a finite market for ANY product (Real estate always go up in price, remember?). Looks to me like the market for IM products is crashing: more and more product being offered for less and less money. I can always be shouted down on this point, just calling it as I see it, and I’ve been through this wringer before (Savings and Loan *cough*).

    My plan, and what my posse is doing, is learning the fundamentals now… we’ll make bank on the next go ’round. Health, wealth and relationships. Some things never change.

    @Ed Dale: Thanks for staying in the conversation.

  • Kevin Finney

    I don’t understand why people get so tired of upsell hell.

    Got a problem with the upsells, don’t buy. Easy as that.

    Your transaction is processed before the upsell hostage crisis because the hard work and heavy lifting for the marketer is done at that point. The job has been accomplished. The customer has reached into their pocket, pulled out the credit card, and paid you.

    As a copywriter, you know the only reason for the headline is to lock interest, then the subhead continues to lock them in, and so on. If you don’t do a good job, at any point in the copy, the reader can loose interest, and abandon the process.

    Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem, and more marketers should spend time reviewing and optimizing their ordering process. That’s another idea for raising conversion rates.

    If they abandon, you don’t get paid, and that is the job of the entrepreneur. Get Paid.

    Given the choice of adding value or getting paid, the choice should be get the money now. Too many marketers go broke not knowing the line between adding revenue and getting paid.

    So, for upsell hell, you take the money up front, and satisfy Jay Abraham’s first component – you’ve gotten more prospects, and converted them to customers

    Then the upsell is to accomplish Jay’s second component.
    If you can continue to add value, why not ask for more money. There is no better time to ask than when the prospect is hot.

    Jay’s third component is satisfied by the continuity backends that are seen all over the internet.

    If you have a problem with forced continuity, you shouldn’t take advantage of the initial offer that you are presented with. The whole point of a “trial” is for you to decide if you want to continue. You go into the trial knowing what the cost of continuing is gonna be.

    If you just received a big box-o-stuff, and there is real value in it, then try continuity program. If there is no value there, cancel. You owe it to the marketer to try their program. It’s called reciprocity.

    Jeff Johnson also calls it paid access. If you want to really step up and form high level joint venture relationships, there is no better way than understanding the exact marketing philosophies of your potential partner.

    Ed is right,

    This stuff works, and it’s not going away. The failure and disconnect isn’t in the process, it’s in the execution and delivery. BTW, that’s also called testing and tracking.

    Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

    If you don’t like the game, promote your own products, and don’t attract prospects, don’t ask them to buy more, and definitely don’t ask them to buy often.

    Good luck with that, and if it works, I’ll buy the course from you when you start selling it.

    PS, Awesome post Michel, I love a heated discussion….long time listener, 1st time caller, sorry for using your blog as a platform, my blog set up was delayed when McD’s starting chargin for Wi-Fi :)

  • Kevin Finney

    I don’t understand why people get so tired of upsell hell.

    Got a problem with the upsells, don’t buy. Easy as that.

    Your transaction is processed before the upsell hostage crisis because the hard work and heavy lifting for the marketer is done at that point. The job has been accomplished. The customer has reached into their pocket, pulled out the credit card, and paid you.

    As a copywriter, you know the only reason for the headline is to lock interest, then the subhead continues to lock them in, and so on. If you don’t do a good job, at any point in the copy, the reader can loose interest, and abandon the process.

    Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem, and more marketers should spend time reviewing and optimizing their ordering process. That’s another idea for raising conversion rates.

    If they abandon, you don’t get paid, and that is the job of the entrepreneur. Get Paid.

    Given the choice of adding value or getting paid, the choice should be get the money now. Too many marketers go broke not knowing the line between adding revenue and getting paid.

    So, for upsell hell, you take the money up front, and satisfy Jay Abraham’s first component – you’ve gotten more prospects, and converted them to customers

    Then the upsell is to accomplish Jay’s second component.
    If you can continue to add value, why not ask for more money. There is no better time to ask than when the prospect is hot.

    Jay’s third component is satisfied by the continuity backends that are seen all over the internet.

    If you have a problem with forced continuity, you shouldn’t take advantage of the initial offer that you are presented with. The whole point of a “trial” is for you to decide if you want to continue. You go into the trial knowing what the cost of continuing is gonna be.

    If you just received a big box-o-stuff, and there is real value in it, then try continuity program. If there is no value there, cancel. You owe it to the marketer to try their program. It’s called reciprocity.

    Jeff Johnson also calls it paid access. If you want to really step up and form high level joint venture relationships, there is no better way than understanding the exact marketing philosophies of your potential partner.

    Ed is right,

    This stuff works, and it’s not going away. The failure and disconnect isn’t in the process, it’s in the execution and delivery. BTW, that’s also called testing and tracking.

    Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

    If you don’t like the game, promote your own products, and don’t attract prospects, don’t ask them to buy more, and definitely don’t ask them to buy often.

    Good luck with that, and if it works, I’ll buy the course from you when you start selling it.

    PS, Awesome post Michel, I love a heated discussion….long time listener, 1st time caller, sorry for using your blog as a platform, my blog set up was delayed when McD’s starting chargin for Wi-Fi :)

  • http://www.MichelFortin.com Michel Fortin

    @Ed Dale – Ed, you make an excellent point. But I’m not talking about being vanilla-like and trying to appeal to all people. To the contrary. You must polarize people — great marketing indeed *is* about appealing like a laser to your target market.

    All I’m saying is that you can be aggressive but ethical at the same time.

    Gary Halbert’s letter is a good point, but it’s not perfectly analogous to this situation. Sure, his salesletter pissed a lot of people off. The salesletter was bold and to-the-point. People may not have liked the salesletter, but at least that was a decision they made before they hit the salesletter and responded to Gary’s ad.

    A more appropriate analogy would be, where Gary would respond with, “To finally become my chosen girlfriend, all prospective candidates are required to have sex with me. Not once but multiple times.”

    And doing so without any courting, relationship building, or a few dates to first test the waters and get to know the other person better.

  • http://www.michelfortin.com Michel Fortin

    @Ed Dale – Ed, you make an excellent point. But I’m not talking about being vanilla-like and trying to appeal to all people. To the contrary. You must polarize people — great marketing indeed *is* about appealing like a laser to your target market.

    All I’m saying is that you can be aggressive but ethical at the same time.

    Gary Halbert’s letter is a good point, but it’s not perfectly analogous to this situation. Sure, his salesletter pissed a lot of people off. The salesletter was bold and to-the-point. People may not have liked the salesletter, but at least that was a decision they made before they hit the salesletter and responded to Gary’s ad.

    A more appropriate analogy would be, where Gary would respond with, “To finally become my chosen girlfriend, all prospective candidates are required to have sex with me. Not once but multiple times.”

    And doing so without any courting, relationship building, or a few dates to first test the waters and get to know the other person better.

  • http://www.MichelFortin.com Michel Fortin

    @Ed Dale – Another point Ed, is that Gary’s letter was meant to weed out the undesirables and those who would never be interested in him, not even for a first date. And that’s perfectly fine.

    But “upsell hell” is when they agree to go out on the first date, and WHILE on the first date they are held hostage by Gary who drops a bomb on them by requiring them to have sex with him before ever making a decision — let alone asking them multiple times until they beg him to stop.

    That’s a better analogy, in my opinion.

  • http://www.michelfortin.com Michel Fortin

    @Ed Dale – Another point Ed, is that Gary’s letter was meant to weed out the undesirables and those who would never be interested in him, not even for a first date. And that’s perfectly fine.

    But “upsell hell” is when they agree to go out on the first date, and WHILE on the first date they are held hostage by Gary who drops a bomb on them by requiring them to have sex with him before ever making a decision — let alone asking them multiple times until they beg him to stop.

    That’s a better analogy, in my opinion.

  • Admiral Nige

    I don’t think anyone here will agree you can please everyone. I don’t like coffee but love tea (no clues there for my nationality). The point I am trying to get across is super hard selling does not work in the long term and does not drive the right behaviors from your customers.

    We are all here to make money and we all have slightly different takes on how this is done. Spamming people with endless emails and endless opt out schemes pisses people off and eventually they will go somewhere else and not by from you again. Thus you lose customer loyalty and referral business from them. Most big companies now ask you to opt in to their marketing and not out of it. Maybe this is because they have listened to their customers. I can name a few of the worlds biggest who are moving their call centers back home and away from India. Slightly off topic i know but a great example of a business listening to its customers and acting on it. Also makes a great selling tool. ( You told us you wanted UK customer services we have listened and given it to you).

    Those companies moved back home because they know it will drive business their way. We teach good copy and NLP techniques. Making the customer believe they have made the choice to buy. We right awesome copy that would sell snow to an Eskimo. Then we ruin it with constant spam emails or content add this on add this on add this on.

    The package has to be tailored with minimal up sells used at the end of the sale. You need to build the extras in to the package based on those customer needs at the time or add them in as teh customer becomes ready. (Ed does this already) 30 Day Challenge FREE COURSE great tools. Move customers to 30 Day Challenge Plus. Do the 30DC Plus and move to Immediate Edge. Then if you have really made your money products such as domineche.

    The above is an example of how a great add on sale tactic works. Give people more and more each time but only after they understand the value and want to spend the bucks. If you spam it all on at first what started as 25$ becomes hundreds You lose all the trust you built.

    Selling some one a product for 25$ then asking them for 100$ does not work for long term business growth. It may work in small percentage terms but if you go to any multi national business with tens of millions of customers and ask them they will tell you it does not.

  • Admiral Nige

    I don’t think anyone here will agree you can please everyone. I don’t like coffee but love tea (no clues there for my nationality). The point I am trying to get across is super hard selling does not work in the long term and does not drive the right behaviors from your customers.

    We are all here to make money and we all have slightly different takes on how this is done. Spamming people with endless emails and endless opt out schemes pisses people off and eventually they will go somewhere else and not by from you again. Thus you lose customer loyalty and referral business from them. Most big companies now ask you to opt in to their marketing and not out of it. Maybe this is because they have listened to their customers. I can name a few of the worlds biggest who are moving their call centers back home and away from India. Slightly off topic i know but a great example of a business listening to its customers and acting on it. Also makes a great selling tool. ( You told us you wanted UK customer services we have listened and given it to you).

    Those companies moved back home because they know it will drive business their way. We teach good copy and NLP techniques. Making the customer believe they have made the choice to buy. We right awesome copy that would sell snow to an Eskimo. Then we ruin it with constant spam emails or content add this on add this on add this on.

    The package has to be tailored with minimal up sells used at the end of the sale. You need to build the extras in to the package based on those customer needs at the time or add them in as teh customer becomes ready. (Ed does this already) 30 Day Challenge FREE COURSE great tools. Move customers to 30 Day Challenge Plus. Do the 30DC Plus and move to Immediate Edge. Then if you have really made your money products such as domineche.

    The above is an example of how a great add on sale tactic works. Give people more and more each time but only after they understand the value and want to spend the bucks. If you spam it all on at first what started as 25$ becomes hundreds You lose all the trust you built.

    Selling some one a product for 25$ then asking them for 100$ does not work for long term business growth. It may work in small percentage terms but if you go to any multi national business with tens of millions of customers and ask them they will tell you it does not.

  • http://www.MichelFortin.com Michel Fortin

    @BJ – I think this post will answer your question, BJ:

    michelfortin.com/my-name-is-michael-i-got-a-nickel/

  • http://smartwomanguides.com/ Vicki Flaugher

    @Ed Dale
    I know that it may be semantics, but simply pissing people off isn’t the point, is it? Using copy and ethical technique to disqualify potential tire kickers and ne’redowells is fine (and smart) and having a USP that catches attention and causes a passionate purchase (or rejection) is fine. And, frankly, if someone like me (who has in fact bought many thousands of dollars of products) is to be dismissed and ignored because I don’t like the technique, isn’t that leaving a butt load of money on the table too? Many people defended the essential need for horses when cars were invented, especially since at first cars didn’t work too well. But ultimately cars, like the newest wave of ethical marketing, got better and better and it’s pretty easy to see how many people still use horses now to get around, even though, in theory, they still “work”, right?

    Vicki

  • http://www.michelfortin.com Michel Fortin

    @BJ – I think this post will answer your question, BJ:

    michelfortin.com/my-name-is-michael-i-got-a-nickel/

  • http://smartwomanguides.com Vicki Flaugher

    @Ed Dale
    I know that it may be semantics, but simply pissing people off isn’t the point, is it? Using copy and ethical technique to disqualify potential tire kickers and ne’redowells is fine (and smart) and having a USP that catches attention and causes a passionate purchase (or rejection) is fine. And, frankly, if someone like me (who has in fact bought many thousands of dollars of products) is to be dismissed and ignored because I don’t like the technique, isn’t that leaving a butt load of money on the table too? Many people defended the essential need for horses when cars were invented, especially since at first cars didn’t work too well. But ultimately cars, like the newest wave of ethical marketing, got better and better and it’s pretty easy to see how many people still use horses now to get around, even though, in theory, they still “work”, right?

    Vicki

  • http://smartwomanguides.com/ Vicki Flaugher

    @Vicki Flaugher
    Hey Michel – how can I get in a smack down with you so I can generate some awesome traffic? It’s a great technique to engage your audience. It’s a scary thought but interesting….*grin*

  • http://smartwomanguides.com Vicki Flaugher

    @Vicki Flaugher
    Hey Michel – how can I get in a smack down with you so I can generate some awesome traffic? It’s a great technique to engage your audience. It’s a scary thought but interesting….*grin*

  • http://www.internetmarketingsins.com Sylvie Fortin

    @Kevin Finney – Hi Kevin…a very hearty welcome to the raging debate.

    As you might expect, I wholeheartedly disagree with many of your points, but I also wholeheartedly support your right to state them. :)

    To your specific points…

    Originally Posted By Kevin FinneyI don’t understand why people get so tired of upsell hell. Got a problem with the upsells, don’t buy. Easy as that.

    Perhaps we were unclear about the real problem here. What we’re referring to is the plethora of upsell hell processes that smack people AFTER they buy, but BEFORE they are delivered what they purchased.

    The key thing to understand is that they do not KNOW they are about to be smacked and treated like floating wallets. They buy product A, thinking the marketer is going to deliver on his/her promise, but instead of delivering, they are FORCED UNWITTINGLY to navigate through a confusing series of upsells, all in a desperate attempt to get the product they purchased.

    But I do agree with you. No one should spend any money with any marketer who proves themselves to be completely uncaring about their experience. Especially when it comes to marketers who teach others how to build a business based on these unnecessarily aggressive tactics.

    So, listen up people. Kevin said it right.

    Stop supporting these tactics! Stop sending them your money. Stick with marketers who treat you with respect and dignity.

    If you can continue to add value, why not ask for more money. There is no better time to ask than when the prospect is hot.

    Again, I agree with you in principle, but not in the way you meant this.

    Yes, ask for an upsell while the prospect is “hot”…but only AFTER you deliver on your promise and prove you can be trusted with their money!!!

    How is this unclear? If you demand that they make a second decision about buying a second product from you, before you actually give them a single snippet of value, then you are NOT proving your value at all. You are actually doing the opposite. You’re showing what a completely desperate salesman you really are.

    Desperate salesmen are usually desperate for a reason, and people are not stupid. They will usually figure out eventually the true reason the marketer must resort to BS scarcity and upsell hell tactics to make a buck. Could it possibly be that they are one trick ponies who offer little in the way of long term value?

    Hmmm. Maybe it’s a really good idea for marketers to understand that this is exactly what their customers are feeling when they are being slapped with upsell hell processes?

    On the “thanks” page, immediately give them what they purchased. THEN show them more stuff to buy. (See http://www.internetmarketingsins.com for a more complete explanation of the proven alternative that has consistently worked better for those few marketers who dared to consider their customers first)

    Yes, your short term statistics will reflect a decrease in sales. But I am not interested in short term, immediate gratification. I’m interested in long term, committed relationships with my customers, because in the end, the numbers always win when you think about the LIFETIME value of the customer who is happy, satisfied, trusts you, and looks forward to every product you create.

    The truth is that your customer’s credit cards are attached to their wallets. And their wallets are firmly attached to their hearts.

    Treat them with respect and dignity, prove that you are worth every penny, and they will be loyal to you for life…not just until they realize their credit cards are being used as an ATM, at which point they will cancel, and never do business with you again.

    I’m begging people to listen to their customers and stop tossing them off as whiners.

    They are people, not floating, disconnected wallets. They are NOT walking ATMs.

    The whole point of a “trial” is for you to decide if you want to continue. You go into the trial knowing what the cost of continuing is gonna be.

    Incorrect. Most forced continuity offers these days are done so sneakily that most people have no clue what they are agreeing to.

    But let’s deal with this issue, once and for all.

    Read the Sins report. In it, I talk about having pride in your products. If the monthly continuity program is so great, why must you use sleight of hand to focus people’s attention on the big box ‘o stuff? Focus your entire offer on the product you REALLY want people to buy. Stop acting ashamed of the continuity offers!

    If they have value, do a dollar trial on THAT PRODUCT, not on some other product that is only distantly related to the continuity offer.

    Why, oh why, is this so freakin’ hard to understand?

    Why must marketers talk about how great product A is, when their real motive (sometimes obvious, sometimes not) is to get people to go for the continuity offer (Product B)?

    If Product B is so wonderful, sell it like you mean it. Sell it like you’re proud of it. Sell it like it can stand on its own two feet without Product A’s help!

    aarrgghh! :)

    Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

    Also agree with you completely, which is exactly why we discuss tactics, not people. We hate the sin…not the sinner. :)

  • http://marketersboard.com/ Sylvie Fortin

    @Kevin Finney – Hi Kevin…a very hearty welcome to the raging debate.

    As you might expect, I wholeheartedly disagree with many of your points, but I also wholeheartedly support your right to state them. :)

    To your specific points…

    Originally Posted By Kevin Finney
    I don’t understand why people get so tired of upsell hell. Got a problem with the upsells, don’t buy. Easy as that.

    Perhaps we were unclear about the real problem here. What we’re referring to is the plethora of upsell hell processes that smack people AFTER they buy, but BEFORE they are delivered what they purchased.

    The key thing to understand is that they do not KNOW they are about to be smacked and treated like floating wallets. They buy product A, thinking the marketer is going to deliver on his/her promise, but instead of delivering, they are FORCED UNWITTINGLY to navigate through a confusing series of upsells, all in a desperate attempt to get the product they purchased.

    But I do agree with you. No one should spend any money with any marketer who proves themselves to be completely uncaring about their experience. Especially when it comes to marketers who teach others how to build a business based on these unnecessarily aggressive tactics.

    So, listen up people. Kevin said it right.

    Stop supporting these tactics! Stop sending them your money. Stick with marketers who treat you with respect and dignity.

    If you can continue to add value, why not ask for more money. There is no better time to ask than when the prospect is hot.

    Again, I agree with you in principle, but not in the way you meant this.

    Yes, ask for an upsell while the prospect is “hot”…but only AFTER you deliver on your promise and prove you can be trusted with their money!!!

    How is this unclear? If you demand that they make a second decision about buying a second product from you, before you actually give them a single snippet of value, then you are NOT proving your value at all. You are actually doing the opposite. You’re showing what a completely desperate salesman you really are.

    Desperate salesmen are usually desperate for a reason, and people are not stupid. They will usually figure out eventually the true reason the marketer must resort to BS scarcity and upsell hell tactics to make a buck. Could it possibly be that they are one trick ponies who offer little in the way of long term value?

    Hmmm. Maybe it’s a really good idea for marketers to understand that this is exactly what their customers are feeling when they are being slapped with upsell hell processes?

    On the “thanks” page, immediately give them what they purchased. THEN show them more stuff to buy. (See http://www.internetmarketingsins.com for a more complete explanation of the proven alternative that has consistently worked better for those few marketers who dared to consider their customers first)

    Yes, your short term statistics will reflect a decrease in sales. But I am not interested in short term, immediate gratification. I’m interested in long term, committed relationships with my customers, because in the end, the numbers always win when you think about the LIFETIME value of the customer who is happy, satisfied, trusts you, and looks forward to every product you create.

    The truth is that your customer’s credit cards are attached to their wallets. And their wallets are firmly attached to their hearts.

    Treat them with respect and dignity, prove that you are worth every penny, and they will be loyal to you for life…not just until they realize their credit cards are being used as an ATM, at which point they will cancel, and never do business with you again.

    I’m begging people to listen to their customers and stop tossing them off as whiners.

    They are people, not floating, disconnected wallets. They are NOT walking ATMs.

    The whole point of a “trial” is for you to decide if you want to continue. You go into the trial knowing what the cost of continuing is gonna be.

    Incorrect. Most forced continuity offers these days are done so sneakily that most people have no clue what they are agreeing to.

    But let’s deal with this issue, once and for all.

    Read the Sins report. In it, I talk about having pride in your products. If the monthly continuity program is so great, why must you use sleight of hand to focus people’s attention on the big box ‘o stuff? Focus your entire offer on the product you REALLY want people to buy. Stop acting ashamed of the continuity offers!

    If they have value, do a dollar trial on THAT PRODUCT, not on some other product that is only distantly related to the continuity offer.

    Why, oh why, is this so freakin’ hard to understand?

    Why must marketers talk about how great product A is, when their real motive (sometimes obvious, sometimes not) is to get people to go for the continuity offer (Product B)?

    If Product B is so wonderful, sell it like you mean it. Sell it like you’re proud of it. Sell it like it can stand on its own two feet without Product A’s help!

    aarrgghh! :)

    Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

    Also agree with you completely, which is exactly why we discuss tactics, not people. We hate the sin…not the sinner. :)

  • http://www.internetmarketingsins.com Sylvie Fortin

    Originally Posted By Admiral NigeSelling some one a product for 25$ then asking them for 100$ does not work for long term business growth. It may work in small percentage terms but if you go to any multi national business with tens of millions of customers and ask them they will tell you it does not.

    Bravo! And THAT is the essential point Michel and I make in everything we discuss.

    The bottom line is that if you want to remain small potatoes, never playing in the big leagues, then by all means, use the shady tactics and sneaky methods to your heart’s content.

    But if you want to be seen as a serious business, with serious long term growth plans, like the truly big players do, then you avoid the limiting, short term, quick money grabs that so many IM folks are currently using.

    We are supposed to be building real businesses here, not hit and run “projects”.

    Bravo Admiral! :)

  • http://marketersboard.com/ Sylvie Fortin

    Originally Posted By Admiral Nige
    Selling some one a product for 25$ then asking them for 100$ does not work for long term business growth. It may work in small percentage terms but if you go to any multi national business with tens of millions of customers and ask them they will tell you it does not.

    Bravo! And THAT is the essential point Michel and I make in everything we discuss.

    The bottom line is that if you want to remain small potatoes, never playing in the big leagues, then by all means, use the shady tactics and sneaky methods to your heart’s content.

    But if you want to be seen as a serious business, with serious long term growth plans, like the truly big players do, then you avoid the limiting, short term, quick money grabs that so many IM folks are currently using.

    We are supposed to be building real businesses here, not hit and run “projects”.

    Bravo Admiral! :)

  • http://www.issamar.com/ Izzy

    Originally Posted By Dave Doolin
    The vast majority of bankers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers etc. worked for years or decades making more or less reasonable money. A few years ago they had an opportunity the likes which nobody ever saw before to make a LOT of money. So they did. They plundered the market. But they couldn’t have plundered it without having the experience and tools to both recognize and capitalize on the opportunity.

    I see the same thing in the internet marketing space. People with 5-10-20 years experience suddenly have a LOT of opportunity to make some serious cash. So they are.

    Do I have this opportunity?

    Doubtful. I don’t have the experience, the intuition, nor frankly the skill to capitalize on it. Yet.

    Neither do most of these marketer’s customers. Most of them (> 90%) will just spend a lot of money, then give it all up in disgust: “This stuff is crap! What a ripoff!” I feel this to be true from experience in a related personal development market that is crashing hard right now… it’s not that the strategies and tactics don’t work, it’s that most people _won’t_ execute. 90% of the remaining will do well enough to possibly pay the rent. That final 1-2% will do very well.

    I can read the numbers as well as anyone. Somebody ships 2000 copies of say, “Super System” and then has what, 5-10 decent testimonials for “Super System 2″? Why not 100? Or 1000?

    [snip]

    My plan, and what my posse is doing, is learning the fundamentals now… we’ll make bank on the next go ’round. Health, wealth and relationships. Some things never change.

    Agreed 1000%. This is once of those comments that’s worth the cost of a whole lunch :D

    Izzy

  • http://www.issamar.com Izzy

    Originally Posted By Dave Doolin
    The vast majority of bankers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers etc. worked for years or decades making more or less reasonable money. A few years ago they had an opportunity the likes which nobody ever saw before to make a LOT of money. So they did. They plundered the market. But they couldn’t have plundered it without having the experience and tools to both recognize and capitalize on the opportunity.

    I see the same thing in the internet marketing space. People with 5-10-20 years experience suddenly have a LOT of opportunity to make some serious cash. So they are.

    Do I have this opportunity?

    Doubtful. I don’t have the experience, the intuition, nor frankly the skill to capitalize on it. Yet.

    Neither do most of these marketer’s customers. Most of them (> 90%) will just spend a lot of money, then give it all up in disgust: “This stuff is crap! What a ripoff!” I feel this to be true from experience in a related personal development market that is crashing hard right now… it’s not that the strategies and tactics don’t work, it’s that most people _won’t_ execute. 90% of the remaining will do well enough to possibly pay the rent. That final 1-2% will do very well.

    I can read the numbers as well as anyone. Somebody ships 2000 copies of say, “Super System” and then has what, 5-10 decent testimonials for “Super System 2″? Why not 100? Or 1000?

    [snip]

    My plan, and what my posse is doing, is learning the fundamentals now… we’ll make bank on the next go ’round. Health, wealth and relationships. Some things never change.

    Agreed 1000%. This is once of those comments that’s worth the cost of a whole lunch :D

    Izzy

  • http://www.canimakebigmoneyonline.com/ George

    I have bought several products like that. Immediately after going through the “upsell jail” I decided that I would NEVER buy from them again and NEVER recommend their products.

  • http://www.knowh.com/blog Oystein Lund

    Hmm – I got Glenn Hopkins $1 trial for his list-building coaching and stayed for 6 months. Tried one of the Big Box’o’stuff offers and canceled the continuity thing after 1 month, even if it was less than what Hopkins was charging.

    I canceled on Hopkins ’cause I needed to stop chasing new ideas and implement what I’d been taught; when I’ve got the basics up and running as a self-sustainable business I’ll probably take him up on the high-end coaching offers.

    Quite unlike the call I got from one of the Big Box’o’stuff guys’ call center employees reading from a generic script trying to establish how large my credit limit was. (Given that I’m on a fixed income disability check, not very, but that’s beside the point; getting off my ass and implementing what Hopkins taught me will take care of that in due course.)

    Btw: when you’re doing telemarketing? Coach your sales people to not sound like they’re reading from a script even when they are. Guy who called me had a natural speaking voice and a good chatty style that could probably have sold me something if he’d been allowed to, but the script he was forced to read from at various points in our conversation made him sound like a robot and killed the pitch. The changeover from his own speaking voice and language pattern to the one in the sales script was so jarringly abrupt it was disruptive to the greased chute you want in an ideal sales process.

    Eh, well.

  • http://www.canimakebigmoneyonline.com George

    I have bought several products like that. Immediately after going through the “upsell jail” I decided that I would NEVER buy from them again and NEVER recommend their products.

  • http://www.knowh.com/blog Oystein Lund

    Hmm – I got Glenn Hopkins $1 trial for his list-building coaching and stayed for 6 months. Tried one of the Big Box’o’stuff offers and canceled the continuity thing after 1 month, even if it was less than what Hopkins was charging.

    I canceled on Hopkins ’cause I needed to stop chasing new ideas and implement what I’d been taught; when I’ve got the basics up and running as a self-sustainable business I’ll probably take him up on the high-end coaching offers.

    Quite unlike the call I got from one of the Big Box’o’stuff guys’ call center employees reading from a generic script trying to establish how large my credit limit was. (Given that I’m on a fixed income disability check, not very, but that’s beside the point; getting off my ass and implementing what Hopkins taught me will take care of that in due course.)

    Btw: when you’re doing telemarketing? Coach your sales people to not sound like they’re reading from a script even when they are. Guy who called me had a natural speaking voice and a good chatty style that could probably have sold me something if he’d been allowed to, but the script he was forced to read from at various points in our conversation made him sound like a robot and killed the pitch. The changeover from his own speaking voice and language pattern to the one in the sales script was so jarringly abrupt it was disruptive to the greased chute you want in an ideal sales process.

    Eh, well.

  • http://spendsmarter.com/ John Counsel

    I’ve never liked any kind of “ambush” marketing as a buyer, but especially when it’s poorly done.

    There are so many “monkey-see, monkey-do” sellers in internet marketing who have no idea of cause-and-effect — they see the effects of other sellers’ tactics and slavishly apply them, thinking that those effects ARE the causes — that it’s no wonder that IM suffers from such a bad rep these days.

    I now include a “No Ambush Marketing” policy on my sales sites. Since I introduced it, conversions have increased, measurably. Not just from upsells and downsells (they’re intelligent practices when they’re used intelligently — I only have issues with poorly-executed selling strategies and tactics that are done in the wrong ways or for the wrong reasons), but also follow-on sales.

    For example, if I offer an OTO of an enhanced or expanded version of a product at a special price, Iinclude it in the original sales letter, along with an explanation that it’s for the visitor who needs it right now, or who can see a need for it in the future, and is able and willing to make a buying decision right NOW to take advantage of the special price. But that product/enhancement will still be available later — just NOT at this special price.

    The result?

    I make more sales, more often, to more people, for more profit. (That’s FOUR Profit Factors, not just the three that seem to have become popular since mark Joyner omitted the fourth from his best selling book a few years back.)

    Other important benefits I enjoy include…

    • No use of emotional blackmail.
    • No manipulation.
    • No false scarcity or urgency.
    • And no guilt, no compromise of my integrity or searing of my own conscience.

    McDonalds attributes as much as 40% of its annual profits to that “suggestive sell” question. There’s NO way that they’re going to abandon it any time soon. Nor should they. It’s intelligent behaviour, as long as it’s done the right way and for the right reasons.

    It’s not usually WHAT we do in life that makes it legal or illegal, ethical or unethical, intelligent or unintelligent. It’s WHY and HOW we do it that determines those issues.

    People cringe at the thought of becoming sellers because they don’t want to be seen as pushy, deceptive or manipulative. But pushy, deceptive or manipulative aren’t WHAT we do as sellers. They’re WHY and HOW we do it.

    The best sellers are NEVER pushy, deceptive or manipulative.

    It’s time Internet marketers (who are typically opportunistic SELLERS who think that “marketing” is just a less offensive name for “selling” because they have little or no clue about MARKETING) learned to differences and stopped the desperate, grasping nonsense that passes for selling far too often.

    John Counsel
    CEO, The Profit Clinic

  • http://spendsmarter.com John Counsel

    I’ve never liked any kind of “ambush” marketing as a buyer, but especially when it’s poorly done.

    There are so many “monkey-see, monkey-do” sellers in internet marketing who have no idea of cause-and-effect — they see the effects of other sellers’ tactics and slavishly apply them, thinking that those effects ARE the causes — that it’s no wonder that IM suffers from such a bad rep these days.

    I now include a “No Ambush Marketing” policy on my sales sites. Since I introduced it, conversions have increased, measurably. Not just from upsells and downsells (they’re intelligent practices when they’re used intelligently — I only have issues with poorly-executed selling strategies and tactics that are done in the wrong ways or for the wrong reasons), but also follow-on sales.

    For example, if I offer an OTO of an enhanced or expanded version of a product at a special price, Iinclude it in the original sales letter, along with an explanation that it’s for the visitor who needs it right now, or who can see a need for it in the future, and is able and willing to make a buying decision right NOW to take advantage of the special price. But that product/enhancement will still be available later — just NOT at this special price.

    The result?

    I make more sales, more often, to more people, for more profit. (That’s FOUR Profit Factors, not just the three that seem to have become popular since mark Joyner omitted the fourth from his best selling book a few years back.)

    Other important benefits I enjoy include…

    • No use of emotional blackmail.
    • No manipulation.
    • No false scarcity or urgency.
    • And no guilt, no compromise of my integrity or searing of my own conscience.

    McDonalds attributes as much as 40% of its annual profits to that “suggestive sell” question. There’s NO way that they’re going to abandon it any time soon. Nor should they. It’s intelligent behaviour, as long as it’s done the right way and for the right reasons.

    It’s not usually WHAT we do in life that makes it legal or illegal, ethical or unethical, intelligent or unintelligent. It’s WHY and HOW we do it that determines those issues.

    People cringe at the thought of becoming sellers because they don’t want to be seen as pushy, deceptive or manipulative. But pushy, deceptive or manipulative aren’t WHAT we do as sellers. They’re WHY and HOW we do it.

    The best sellers are NEVER pushy, deceptive or manipulative.

    It’s time Internet marketers (who are typically opportunistic SELLERS who think that “marketing” is just a less offensive name for “selling” because they have little or no clue about MARKETING) learned to differences and stopped the desperate, grasping nonsense that passes for selling far too often.

    John Counsel
    CEO, The Profit Clinic

  • http://www.REI-TV.com/ Nick | REI-TV.com

    Some of the product launches lately are not only giving away a relatively good product for free to sell a continuity program, but to follow up with a HUGE upsell… the Mc Donalds analogy suggests they take a $1.00 product (the fries) after buying a $2.50 product. (The Big Mac)

    Lately, I’ve seen a freebie given away during a launch that comes with the $47 subscription followed by a $997 or $1997 upsell. (in the Real Estate niche)

    That’s like Mc D’s saying “would you like a Big Screen TV with that burger”?

    Nick

  • http://www.REI-TV.com Nick | REI-TV.com

    Some of the product launches lately are not only giving away a relatively good product for free to sell a continuity program, but to follow up with a HUGE upsell… the Mc Donalds analogy suggests they take a $1.00 product (the fries) after buying a $2.50 product. (The Big Mac)

    Lately, I’ve seen a freebie given away during a launch that comes with the $47 subscription followed by a $997 or $1997 upsell. (in the Real Estate niche)

    That’s like Mc D’s saying “would you like a Big Screen TV with that burger”?

    Nick

  • Kevin Finney

    @Sylvie Fortin – Awesome comments Sylvie, and thanks for the welcome. I love an educated debate (stress on educated).

    “Councilor, Rebuttal?”

    So, listen up people. Kevin said it right.

    My favorite line in your post, and the one I agree with the most, hehehe

    But seriously,

    I don’t want a long-term relationship with ever customer. (this might explain why I am not as good at social media as Ed Dale)

    If I am building a lead generation product for giveaway, or putting together a loss leader, the purpose is to build a prospect list of people that may have interest in my backend products.

    …prove you can be trusted with their money!!!

    It is also our job to give value before the purchase. This is the whole point of “moving the free line”. Build confidence and trust before the prospect makes a financial decision.

    At that point, if you have over delivered, not only do the laws of reciprocity kick in, but the prospect can turn into an evangelist, and create the viral effect we all want in our business.

    If a prospect identifies themselves in the purchasing process as someone that wants to pursue a relationship with me, I appreciate that, and it’s now my job to reciprocate. I assume they wouldn’t want to pursue a relationship with me if they leave my sales page, and I’m OK with that.

    …FORCED UNWITTINGLY to navigate through a confusing series of upsells, all in a desperate attempt to get the product they purchased.

    This kind of goes into how you position you prospect as they are transitioning into a customer.

    If the prospect truly is desperate to get through the upsell process, then the chances they will become a repeat customer are diminished anyway.

    But if the prospect is desparate to become customer, it is because you have created a burning desire for them to exchange their value (dollars) for your value (information).

    When I go through the upsell hell processes desperately, I often screen capture the sales messages, and immediately annotate my notes to the .jpg’s. I learn as much about a marketer by how he/she delivers her sales process, as I would by studying their products.

    My goal is to evaluate and emulate. Copy the parts of the process I like, and pitch the rest.

    Reframe your perspective, and all desperation will leave you.

    In fact, much like I do, you may find yourself paying for the privileged of going through upsell hell, just to find out what your competition is testing in their sales process, and what they have decided works.

    I already owed copies of several of these upsell hell case studies that recently hit the market, but reviewed the process anyway for my own edification.

    If the monthly continuity program is so great, why must you use sleight of hand to focus people’s attention on the big box ‘o stuff?

    I am a longtime subscriber to Sports Illustrated, and I read every issue I can find the time to (which is not often enough). And every year they rebill me for my subscription at a higher rate than I paid for my trial offer.

    I now have several sweatshirts, a gym bag, a football phone, and several years of swimsuit issues for my time and money.

    Yes, I admit it, I’ve got a big box of stuff from SI, and my kids love it. I can even remember taking on my Dad’s football phone growing up as a kid.

    I wouldn’t dream of paying for all that stuff on it’s own (well, I’d probably still buy the swimsuit edition), but I took advantage of the trial offer when they threw in some killer goodies. I didn’t buy the continuity program, but I bought the stuff, and the subscription came with it.

    It’s much, much harder to sell continuity, than it is to sell stuff. It’s just more profitable to do work once, and keep getting paid for it.

    Most forced continuity offers these days are done so sneakily that most people have no clue what they are agreeing to.

    Unfortunately, this one I agree with 110% (ever wonder how more than 100% is possible?)

    So, listen up people. Sylvie said it right.

    Learn from the processes, diagnose what you don’t like, but don’t judge poorly what others do in their process. It will bear out in the end if you operate honestly, morally, and ethically.

    Full Disclosure please.

    Ignorance is going through the process the first time, and being a little disheveled about it. Stupidity is going through the process multiple times and being upset that smart marketers are implementing tactics that work.

    Build long-term relationships with the customers that want to know you better, and want to improve both of your lives. Lasting relationships are built upon equal exchange of value, not monopolistic dependencies.

    Marketers and customers both need to remember that.

    So, Sylvie, I guess we agree….to disagree…about upsell hell. I view it as a way to filter your customers into VIP’s, and eventually into friends.

    I also see the number 1 responsibility of a business is to profit, because without profit, there is no motive, and without motive, there is no progression, no learning, and certainly no teaching.

    So, I promise, here and now, I will read the rest of http://www.internetmarketingsins.com and implement your suggestions in a test, and see if my capitalistic greed has indelibly corrupted my viewpoint. Who knows, you’ve done this longer than I have, maybe you are right, maybe….

    “Greed is Good” -Gordon Gecko, Wall Street, 1987

  • Kevin Finney

    @Sylvie Fortin – Awesome comments Sylvie, and thanks for the welcome. I love an educated debate (stress on educated).

    “Councilor, Rebuttal?”

    So, listen up people. Kevin said it right.

    My favorite line in your post, and the one I agree with the most, hehehe

    But seriously,

    I don’t want a long-term relationship with ever customer. (this might explain why I am not as good at social media as Ed Dale)

    If I am building a lead generation product for giveaway, or putting together a loss leader, the purpose is to build a prospect list of people that may have interest in my backend products.

    …prove you can be trusted with their money!!!

    It is also our job to give value before the purchase. This is the whole point of “moving the free line”. Build confidence and trust before the prospect makes a financial decision.

    At that point, if you have over delivered, not only do the laws of reciprocity kick in, but the prospect can turn into an evangelist, and create the viral effect we all want in our business.

    If a prospect identifies themselves in the purchasing process as someone that wants to pursue a relationship with me, I appreciate that, and it’s now my job to reciprocate. I assume they wouldn’t want to pursue a relationship with me if they leave my sales page, and I’m OK with that.

    …FORCED UNWITTINGLY to navigate through a confusing series of upsells, all in a desperate attempt to get the product they purchased.

    This kind of goes into how you position you prospect as they are transitioning into a customer.

    If the prospect truly is desperate to get through the upsell process, then the chances they will become a repeat customer are diminished anyway.

    But if the prospect is desparate to become customer, it is because you have created a burning desire for them to exchange their value (dollars) for your value (information).

    When I go through the upsell hell processes desperately, I often screen capture the sales messages, and immediately annotate my notes to the .jpg’s. I learn as much about a marketer by how he/she delivers her sales process, as I would by studying their products.

    My goal is to evaluate and emulate. Copy the parts of the process I like, and pitch the rest.

    Reframe your perspective, and all desperation will leave you.

    In fact, much like I do, you may find yourself paying for the privileged of going through upsell hell, just to find out what your competition is testing in their sales process, and what they have decided works.

    I already owed copies of several of these upsell hell case studies that recently hit the market, but reviewed the process anyway for my own edification.

    If the monthly continuity program is so great, why must you use sleight of hand to focus people’s attention on the big box ‘o stuff?

    I am a longtime subscriber to Sports Illustrated, and I read every issue I can find the time to (which is not often enough). And every year they rebill me for my subscription at a higher rate than I paid for my trial offer.

    I now have several sweatshirts, a gym bag, a football phone, and several years of swimsuit issues for my time and money.

    Yes, I admit it, I’ve got a big box of stuff from SI, and my kids love it. I can even remember taking on my Dad’s football phone growing up as a kid.

    I wouldn’t dream of paying for all that stuff on it’s own (well, I’d probably still buy the swimsuit edition), but I took advantage of the trial offer when they threw in some killer goodies. I didn’t buy the continuity program, but I bought the stuff, and the subscription came with it.

    It’s much, much harder to sell continuity, than it is to sell stuff. It’s just more profitable to do work once, and keep getting paid for it.

    Most forced continuity offers these days are done so sneakily that most people have no clue what they are agreeing to.

    Unfortunately, this one I agree with 110% (ever wonder how more than 100% is possible?)

    So, listen up people. Sylvie said it right.

    Learn from the processes, diagnose what you don’t like, but don’t judge poorly what others do in their process. It will bear out in the end if you operate honestly, morally, and ethically.

    Full Disclosure please.

    Ignorance is going through the process the first time, and being a little disheveled about it. Stupidity is going through the process multiple times and being upset that smart marketers are implementing tactics that work.

    Build long-term relationships with the customers that want to know you better, and want to improve both of your lives. Lasting relationships are built upon equal exchange of value, not monopolistic dependencies.

    Marketers and customers both need to remember that.

    So, Sylvie, I guess we agree….to disagree…about upsell hell. I view it as a way to filter your customers into VIP’s, and eventually into friends.

    I also see the number 1 responsibility of a business is to profit, because without profit, there is no motive, and without motive, there is no progression, no learning, and certainly no teaching.

    So, I promise, here and now, I will read the rest of http://www.internetmarketingsins.com and implement your suggestions in a test, and see if my capitalistic greed has indelibly corrupted my viewpoint. Who knows, you’ve done this longer than I have, maybe you are right, maybe….

    “Greed is Good” -Gordon Gecko, Wall Street, 1987

  • Michael Kern

    i agree with Ari Galper. The sale is lost at “HELLO”. So I say upsell only at the thank you page containing two buttons: one to buy the upsell the other to say no thanks to the upsell.

  • Michael Kern

    i agree with Ari Galper. The sale is lost at “HELLO”. So I say upsell only at the thank you page containing two buttons: one to buy the upsell the other to say no thanks to the upsell.

  • Bruce Porter Sr

    Boy, interesting discussion. First, I am a consumer…..yep, I buy stuff. Haven’t sold a darned thing on the internet, don’t have a website, signed up for Ed’s course and lasted about an hour……hey, it’s being a technophobe!
    As soon as one of these marketers pulls the massive upsell they have lost me. I cancel. Done. Nope, not doing this deal. Don’t get me wrong, I like a bit of upsell if it is done respecting me. I just get downright aggravated when the “upsell hell” starts.
    For what it is worth, I’m the same on the phone, or even in any sales situation. I don’t like to be pushed around.
    Oh yeah, I’m also a salesman….correction, retired salesman.
    The beauty of the internet, it appears, for a lot of marketers is that they don’t have to deal with “us”. It’s all done by computer, and for some the addtion of a phone room.
    Well, the beauty for me, as a consumer, is I don’t have to deal with “you”. Its just a computer thing or a phone call and I can just cancel or hang up.
    We’re all getting jaded……IM is getting to be like MLM…..you feel like its the same old stuff in a different wrapper. The sales pitches are pretty much the same. I read the headline and then check the price…..if those things make sense I might just read a tad to see if I REALLY want it. For what it is worth, my last purchase was a great deal on cigars……only took one look to get me, I’m looking at a $20 brand name cigar for $4, done deal. Didn’t need the 30 page sales piece and you didn’t have to get aggressive. Real value (if you’re a cigar lover, which I have been for 37 years). No due due.
    I’m writing enough to be a copywriter LOL
    God bless,
    Bruce

  • Bruce Porter Sr

    Boy, interesting discussion. First, I am a consumer…..yep, I buy stuff. Haven’t sold a darned thing on the internet, don’t have a website, signed up for Ed’s course and lasted about an hour……hey, it’s being a technophobe!
    As soon as one of these marketers pulls the massive upsell they have lost me. I cancel. Done. Nope, not doing this deal. Don’t get me wrong, I like a bit of upsell if it is done respecting me. I just get downright aggravated when the “upsell hell” starts.
    For what it is worth, I’m the same on the phone, or even in any sales situation. I don’t like to be pushed around.
    Oh yeah, I’m also a salesman….correction, retired salesman.
    The beauty of the internet, it appears, for a lot of marketers is that they don’t have to deal with “us”. It’s all done by computer, and for some the addtion of a phone room.
    Well, the beauty for me, as a consumer, is I don’t have to deal with “you”. Its just a computer thing or a phone call and I can just cancel or hang up.
    We’re all getting jaded……IM is getting to be like MLM…..you feel like its the same old stuff in a different wrapper. The sales pitches are pretty much the same. I read the headline and then check the price…..if those things make sense I might just read a tad to see if I REALLY want it. For what it is worth, my last purchase was a great deal on cigars……only took one look to get me, I’m looking at a $20 brand name cigar for $4, done deal. Didn’t need the 30 page sales piece and you didn’t have to get aggressive. Real value (if you’re a cigar lover, which I have been for 37 years). No due due.
    I’m writing enough to be a copywriter LOL
    God bless,
    Bruce

  • http://www.bensettle.com/ Ben Settle

    Hey Michel, I have nothing to add to this other than I wanted to say I REALLY like this article.

    Just wanted to thank you and Sylvie for all you are doing.

    Y’all are true “lighthouses” in the marketing world.

    Ben Settle

  • http://www.bensettle.com Ben Settle

    Hey Michel, I have nothing to add to this other than I wanted to say I REALLY like this article.

    Just wanted to thank you and Sylvie for all you are doing.

    Y’all are true “lighthouses” in the marketing world.

    Ben Settle

  • http://www.myideaguy.com/ Stu McLaren

    I think there is a very easy way to simplify this whole situation (and it has been mentioned above)…

    Offer the upsell BEFORE collecting the credit card info.

    That’s it.

    If you do that then there will never be any problems because if the customer gets annoyed they can bail without the confusion of whether they will actually be charged for the original product.

  • http://www.myideaguy.com Stu McLaren

    I think there is a very easy way to simplify this whole situation (and it has been mentioned above)…

    Offer the upsell BEFORE collecting the credit card info.

    That’s it.

    If you do that then there will never be any problems because if the customer gets annoyed they can bail without the confusion of whether they will actually be charged for the original product.

  • http://spendsmarter.com/ John Counsel

    @Stu McLaren – Stu — are you actually suggesting that a seller should risk missing out on the initial product sale just to offer a choice to a buyer?

    I admire your faith in sellers. But most of them would find it far too threatening to give up on a glazed “deer-in-the-headlights” stare. Fear of loss in prospects is generally only exceeded by fear of loss in sellers. *lol*

    John Counsel

  • http://spendsmarter.com John Counsel

    @Stu McLaren – Stu — are you actually suggesting that a seller should risk missing out on the initial product sale just to offer a choice to a buyer?

    I admire your faith in sellers. But most of them would find it far too threatening to give up on a glazed “deer-in-the-headlights” stare. Fear of loss in prospects is generally only exceeded by fear of loss in sellers. *lol*

    John Counsel

  • http://www.knowledgestar.com/ David Grebow

    Hey Michael:

    This is no way to make friends with your IM gang … as in gangsters who get away with email holdups … I took a leaf from certain people’s pages this month and have been having a grand old time canceling away all the offers I felt I was trapped and fooled to take (shame on me).

    Like several of your other readers, I am using my Get Out Of Email Free card, and winnowing down all and any that practice what I call the art of the expensive free deal … And if I see one more little person popping up on my screen, I swear I will start playing Bang the Frog with my PC screen.

    So who’s left in my trusty INBOX filter … let’s see there’s you and Sylvie and … you … and Sylvie … and … but I do need to make a point about upsell hell …

    The research on making a buy decision in a restaurant is that when the server simply asks “Would like wine?” the sales are around 20% … when the same person asks ” Would you prefer white or red wine this evening?” the sales zoom up to 70%.

    So it’s not the upsell that seems to count but the way the offer is presented. Not sure how to apply this to the marketing of my products, but the books “Sway” by Ori and Rom Brafman and “YES! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive” by Robert Cialdini seem to do a good job.

    Thanks!

    (Just be very careful when crossing the street and look both ways twice for a high-speed motorcycle … a guy in a trench coat named “Maverick” or some crazy with a responder set to
    automatic and prepop …)

  • http://www.knowledgestar.com David Grebow

    Hey Michael:

    This is no way to make friends with your IM gang … as in gangsters who get away with email holdups … I took a leaf from certain people’s pages this month and have been having a grand old time canceling away all the offers I felt I was trapped and fooled to take (shame on me).

    Like several of your other readers, I am using my Get Out Of Email Free card, and winnowing down all and any that practice what I call the art of the expensive free deal … And if I see one more little person popping up on my screen, I swear I will start playing Bang the Frog with my PC screen.

    So who’s left in my trusty INBOX filter … let’s see there’s you and Sylvie and … you … and Sylvie … and … but I do need to make a point about upsell hell …

    The research on making a buy decision in a restaurant is that when the server simply asks “Would like wine?” the sales are around 20% … when the same person asks ” Would you prefer white or red wine this evening?” the sales zoom up to 70%.

    So it’s not the upsell that seems to count but the way the offer is presented. Not sure how to apply this to the marketing of my products, but the books “Sway” by Ori and Rom Brafman and “YES! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive” by Robert Cialdini seem to do a good job.

    Thanks!

    (Just be very careful when crossing the street and look both ways twice for a high-speed motorcycle … a guy in a trench coat named “Maverick” or some crazy with a responder set to
    automatic and prepop …)

  • http://buildingfromnothing.com/ Anna

    I agree and I feel the same. There is a little more to it than annoyance for me – I actually lose too much time. All the scrolling and “No Thank You Even Though I Know I am Giving Up Soul to the Devil by Not Buying This Product” clicking.

    I would like to add that it gets worse when a forced continuity is thrown in but it isn’t clear until you have gone through all the upsells, AND gone to your email and clicked a confirmation link, and gone through … maybe more upsells, and finally reached the order page, where you see the small print “and $97 billed monthly…”

    This often comes with “free bonus” offers in this or that membership or whatever. “Get this bla bla bla worth bla bla bla for free.” Oh there are 10 bonuses like that! Well, you shouldn’t pass up, should you?

    So there you are, two hours later, wiping your brow. You have finally navigated your way through the vast oceans of upsells and email confirmations, most of which led in the end to a forced continuity offer that you weren’t expecting. You haven’t gotten any work done. Most of the “free bonuses” weren’t free.

    Well, that’s FINE. Nothing has to be free. But don’t say its “free” if is going to take the customer that much time and work to find out that there is a forced continuity at the end of the line! I UNSUBSCRIBE.

    I would rather people say “and here are 10 free trials with forced continuities attached” than “here are 10 FREEEE bonuses!!!!”

    My 2 cents.

  • http://buildingfromnothing.com Anna

    I agree and I feel the same. There is a little more to it than annoyance for me – I actually lose too much time. All the scrolling and “No Thank You Even Though I Know I am Giving Up Soul to the Devil by Not Buying This Product” clicking.

    I would like to add that it gets worse when a forced continuity is thrown in but it isn’t clear until you have gone through all the upsells, AND gone to your email and clicked a confirmation link, and gone through … maybe more upsells, and finally reached the order page, where you see the small print “and $97 billed monthly…”

    This often comes with “free bonus” offers in this or that membership or whatever. “Get this bla bla bla worth bla bla bla for free.” Oh there are 10 bonuses like that! Well, you shouldn’t pass up, should you?

    So there you are, two hours later, wiping your brow. You have finally navigated your way through the vast oceans of upsells and email confirmations, most of which led in the end to a forced continuity offer that you weren’t expecting. You haven’t gotten any work done. Most of the “free bonuses” weren’t free.

    Well, that’s FINE. Nothing has to be free. But don’t say its “free” if is going to take the customer that much time and work to find out that there is a forced continuity at the end of the line! I UNSUBSCRIBE.

    I would rather people say “and here are 10 free trials with forced continuities attached” than “here are 10 FREEEE bonuses!!!!”

    My 2 cents.

  • Guest

    Hi,

    Time for a rant. ——->>This is one great email ….your open rate must have sky-rocketed.

    A post from a well-known marketer, whom I respect immensely,
    said something about a recent product launch that irked me.
    So much so that I posted my thoughts in a post of my own.

    (A warning though, I was pretty BLUNT.) <<——-This was the real clincher!! GOOD Job!

    I’m from the “brick and mortar,” Ragan Communications and the Peter Shankman methods used in advertising and marketing – Rich Hershaw is another main stream guy. It’s interesting to watch how the internet has changed the whole marketing industry.

    Every city has it’s bad neighborhoods aka the “projects” where you’ll also find many in dire need of “programs” and so does the internet. I always hated that term “program” used so much. What happened to the “strategic marketing plan”? Now we have 12-step programs to be finished in 10 days or less??

    Stay out of the “projects” or you just might end up doing what I’ve been doing — checking each “NO, I don’t want it” to see what the next link is… OTO2 or #3OTO means there’s another discount coming down the pike! I’m getting the deal even if I would have paid the regular price. One offer reduced from $49 down to $7 — I was shocked but oh well. Nothing was different except 1 report I think, if that.

    The FORTINS are located in the gated community so don’t look for any such deals here. I wish I could afford the one I read about. Yes, it was expensive but I could tell, well worth it. Add up all the payments here and there and the time wasted over in the “projects” — I’ll be able to afford the master plan soon I hope!

    BTW– The SINS report was great – reaffirmed many things. Now i KNOW. –Thanks!! I still have the book posted on our car care products website even though it’s off -topic. So what…that guy is one ugly evil looking dude when the book pops open!!

  • http://www.productioncarcare.com Leah

    Hi,

    Time for a rant. ——->>This is one great email ….your open rate must have sky-rocketed.

    A post from a well-known marketer, whom I respect immensely,
    said something about a recent product launch that irked me.
    So much so that I posted my thoughts in a post of my own.

    (A warning though, I was pretty BLUNT.) <<——-This was the real clincher!! GOOD Job!

    I’m from the “brick and mortar,” Ragan Communications and the Peter Shankman methods used in advertising and marketing – Rich Hershaw is another main stream guy. It’s interesting to watch how the internet has changed the whole marketing industry.

    Every city has it’s bad neighborhoods aka the “projects” where you’ll also find many in dire need of “programs” and so does the internet. I always hated that term “program” used so much. What happened to the “strategic marketing plan”? Now we have 12-step programs to be finished in 10 days or less??

    Stay out of the “projects” or you just might end up doing what I’ve been doing — checking each “NO, I don’t want it” to see what the next link is… OTO2 or #3OTO means there’s another discount coming down the pike! I’m getting the deal even if I would have paid the regular price. One offer reduced from $49 down to $7 — I was shocked but oh well. Nothing was different except 1 report I think, if that.

    The FORTINS are located in the gated community so don’t look for any such deals here. I wish I could afford the one I read about. Yes, it was expensive but I could tell, well worth it. Add up all the payments here and there and the time wasted over in the “projects” — I’ll be able to afford the master plan soon I hope!

    BTW– The SINS report was great – reaffirmed many things. Now i KNOW. –Thanks!! I still have the book posted on our car care products website even though it’s off -topic. So what…that guy is one ugly evil looking dude when the book pops open!!

  • http://marketingconfidential.com/private John Taylor

    As many people will know, I’m a testing & tracking addict and I’ve tested a wide and diverse range of tactics within the entire sales process.

    As Ed and Michael both agree that the upsell works, I think the issue boils down to the implementation. (Leaving the semantics and analogies aside!)

    When Ed says it works, I’m sure he’s saying that based on results.

    The problem as I see it is that those results are most likely to be based on single launch events rather than looking at the behaviour of “customers” over a number of repeat (or not) purchases.

    When you look at the lifetime behaviour of a customer from fist contact through a series of repeat sales, it’s much easier to spot the type of approach that pisses them off.

    So yes, I agree when looked at in isolation the technique described by Michael in his original post works.

    However, when the “marketers” try to use the technique on the same people on their next big launch I suspect the technique will become significantly less effective.

    I seem to remember some well aired comment by GW… It started out as: “Fool me once…” and then it went all to hell.

    Which is probably the same direction the “upsell jail” will go when loyal customers vote no with their credit cards.

  • http://marketingconfidential.com/private John Taylor

    As many people will know, I’m a testing & tracking addict and I’ve tested a wide and diverse range of tactics within the entire sales process.

    As Ed and Michael both agree that the upsell works, I think the issue boils down to the implementation. (Leaving the semantics and analogies aside!)

    When Ed says it works, I’m sure he’s saying that based on results.

    The problem as I see it is that those results are most likely to be based on single launch events rather than looking at the behaviour of “customers” over a number of repeat (or not) purchases.

    When you look at the lifetime behaviour of a customer from fist contact through a series of repeat sales, it’s much easier to spot the type of approach that pisses them off.

    So yes, I agree when looked at in isolation the technique described by Michael in his original post works.

    However, when the “marketers” try to use the technique on the same people on their next big launch I suspect the technique will become significantly less effective.

    I seem to remember some well aired comment by GW… It started out as: “Fool me once…” and then it went all to hell.

    Which is probably the same direction the “upsell jail” will go when loyal customers vote no with their credit cards.

  • http://marketingtnt.com/software Mike Beletro

    Howdy,

    Mike beletro from Marketing TNT here.

    Great post. I bet anybody into IM has been through upsel hell …

    That’s why i prefer integration marketing tools like “Joint Venture Booster” that everyone can use to easily display offers on the thank-you -page after the purchase –

    So no need to put your customers to upsell hell anymore …*-)

    Marketers and product owners can use “Joint Venture Booster” on their own sites or as JV-Partner on the sites of others by passing just one line of code to their partners (that explains the name “Joint Venture Booster”).

    You think TrafficFusion / HyperJava now? Yes, works similar …

    Curios to discover more? Just google “Joint Venture Booster”, ok?

    Regards

    Mike

  • http://marketingtnt.com/software Mike Beletro

    Howdy,

    Mike beletro from Marketing TNT here.

    Great post. I bet anybody into IM has been through upsel hell …

    That’s why i prefer integration marketing tools like “Joint Venture Booster” that everyone can use to easily display offers on the thank-you -page after the purchase –

    So no need to put your customers to upsell hell anymore …*-)

    Marketers and product owners can use “Joint Venture Booster” on their own sites or as JV-Partner on the sites of others by passing just one line of code to their partners (that explains the name “Joint Venture Booster”).

    You think TrafficFusion / HyperJava now? Yes, works similar …

    Curios to discover more? Just google “Joint Venture Booster”, ok?

    Regards

    Mike

  • Will

    Michel,

    Nice post – you’ve clearly touched on a *HOT* topic here. Never has there been so much of this upsell hell than there is today… and I understand why people are becoming frustrated with it. I think most of us are.

    I find the best and most logical way to carry out an upsell is by simply offering your purchasers a physical version of the product they have just purchased. It makes sense and offers your customers another way to consume the information they have just purchased. It’s a very logical upsell to make and won’t intimidate your customers.

    I don’t mind hearing about other products someone may have to offer me, but not while I haven’t even been given access to the one I just paid for. My way of thinking is this. If you truly offer your customers useful, valuable content, worth more than the price you have just charged them, then putting these same offers infront of their faces one or two weeks down the track will have similar or even better results than making the upsell upfront.

    These people who feel they need to line their sales process with upsell after upsell after upsell clearly don’t have too much faith in their own products or their ability to create and maintain a successful relationship with their prospects.

    Here’s an analogy for us drummers. Would you rather get up on stage and play every single song your band has ever written, or would you rather get up and play a short, solid set of songs, leave the stage, only to have the crowd chanting for an encore? I know what I would rather and I know which crowd would be more likely to WANT to come and see me play again.

  • Will

    Michel,

    Nice post – you’ve clearly touched on a *HOT* topic here. Never has there been so much of this upsell hell than there is today… and I understand why people are becoming frustrated with it. I think most of us are.

    I find the best and most logical way to carry out an upsell is by simply offering your purchasers a physical version of the product they have just purchased. It makes sense and offers your customers another way to consume the information they have just purchased. It’s a very logical upsell to make and won’t intimidate your customers.

    I don’t mind hearing about other products someone may have to offer me, but not while I haven’t even been given access to the one I just paid for. My way of thinking is this. If you truly offer your customers useful, valuable content, worth more than the price you have just charged them, then putting these same offers infront of their faces one or two weeks down the track will have similar or even better results than making the upsell upfront.

    These people who feel they need to line their sales process with upsell after upsell after upsell clearly don’t have too much faith in their own products or their ability to create and maintain a successful relationship with their prospects.

    Here’s an analogy for us drummers. Would you rather get up on stage and play every single song your band has ever written, or would you rather get up and play a short, solid set of songs, leave the stage, only to have the crowd chanting for an encore? I know what I would rather and I know which crowd would be more likely to WANT to come and see me play again.

  • http://JohnRitz.com/ John Ritz

    Michel,

    All I can say, like many others have, is wwwellllllllll said, my friend!

    (You DO have a way of getting right to the heart of the matter, don’t you? ;)

    Cheers,

    John

  • http://JohnRitz.com John Ritz

    Michel,

    All I can say, like many others have, is wwwellllllllll said, my friend!

    (You DO have a way of getting right to the heart of the matter, don’t you? ;)

    Cheers,

    John

  • http://foliovision.com/weblog Alec

    Michel and Ed,

    What you are promoting – the constant upselling and cross selling does not work long term. I mean really long term.

    If it did, every major corporation would be doing it. But most don’t.

    Why not?

    It angers people in the end.

    So almost all of you IM wizards are just flash in the pan. There are some big names from the beginning of IMing with 100,000s who couldn’t get in on a JV these days.

    Why? Because they pounded the hell out of those lists and offered dubious products of their own and promoted more crap.

    I suspect most of the current crop will go down that same road. Unless you offering true value at reasonable prices, you are blackening your reputation.

    And reputation is all that you have in this world.

    Admiral Nige is right on:

    Selling some one a product for 25$ then asking them for 100$ does not work for long term business growth. It may work in small percentage terms but if you go to any multi national business with tens of millions of customers and ask them they will tell you it does not.

    as is Sylvie when she talks about lifetime value:

    Yes, your short term statistics will reflect a decrease in sales. But I am not interested in short term, immediate gratification. I’m interested in long term, committed relationships with my customers, because in the end, the numbers always win when you think about the LIFETIME value of the customer who is happy, satisfied, trusts you, and looks forward to every product you create.

    Like many of the others here, I can’t tell you how many lists I’ve unsubscribed to this year. You’ve all lost your cashfrenzied minds.

    Why don’t big businesses act like you gonzo marketers? Because they plan to be here in 10 years. Most of them are not slash and burn like you lot.

  • http://foliovision.com/weblog Alec

    Michel and Ed,

    What you are promoting – the constant upselling and cross selling does not work long term. I mean really long term.

    If it did, every major corporation would be doing it. But most don’t.

    Why not?

    It angers people in the end.

    So almost all of you IM wizards are just flash in the pan. There are some big names from the beginning of IMing with 100,000s who couldn’t get in on a JV these days.

    Why? Because they pounded the hell out of those lists and offered dubious products of their own and promoted more crap.

    I suspect most of the current crop will go down that same road. Unless you offering true value at reasonable prices, you are blackening your reputation.

    And reputation is all that you have in this world.

    Admiral Nige is right on:

    Selling some one a product for 25$ then asking them for 100$ does not work for long term business growth. It may work in small percentage terms but if you go to any multi national business with tens of millions of customers and ask them they will tell you it does not.

    as is Sylvie when she talks about lifetime value:

    Yes, your short term statistics will reflect a decrease in sales. But I am not interested in short term, immediate gratification. I’m interested in long term, committed relationships with my customers, because in the end, the numbers always win when you think about the LIFETIME value of the customer who is happy, satisfied, trusts you, and looks forward to every product you create.

    Like many of the others here, I can’t tell you how many lists I’ve unsubscribed to this year. You’ve all lost your cashfrenzied minds.

    Why don’t big businesses act like you gonzo marketers? Because they plan to be here in 10 years. Most of them are not slash and burn like you lot.

  • http://www.MichelFortin.com Michel Fortin

    Originally Posted By Will
    Here’s an analogy for us drummers. Would you rather get up on stage and play every single song your band has ever written, or would you rather get up and play a short, solid set of songs, leave the stage, only to have the crowd chanting for an encore? I know what I would rather and I know which crowd would be more likely to WANT to come and see me play again.

    Ooooh, I love it!

  • http://www.michelfortin.com Michel Fortin

    Originally Posted By Will
    Here’s an analogy for us drummers. Would you rather get up on stage and play every single song your band has ever written, or would you rather get up and play a short, solid set of songs, leave the stage, only to have the crowd chanting for an encore? I know what I would rather and I know which crowd would be more likely to WANT to come and see me play again.

    Ooooh, I love it!

  • http://marketersboard.com/ Sylvie Fortin

    @Kevin Finney – I do love a great debate, when intelligent people discuss issues in an open, respectful manner. Kevin, you and I may not agree on the issue of the day, but it is wonderfully refreshing that you and I can disagree with respect and dignity.

    Thank you for that!

    And with that said, I of course, respectfully disagree. :)

    Originally Posted By Kevin Finney
    I don’t want a long-term relationship with ever customer. (this might explain why I am not as good at social media as Ed Dale)

    Perhaps your definition of long term relationship and my definition are different.

    I am referring to “relationship” as one where a qualified customer buys one or more products from me, consumes it, takes action on what I’m teaching, then buys more products from me once he or she is ready for them, and then repeats this process multiple times for many years.

    This, of course, applies specifically to my market, but you get the gist.

    In the case of my market, I teach how to build a stable, reliable business, using online tools and techniques. It is in my own best interest that I teach this correctly and do whatever I can to encourage people to take action and do what they need to do to generate income for themselves. Why? Because the sooner I can get them making real money, the more money they will have to spend on more training.

    It’s simple math. In my market, It serves me and my customers well for us to have a long term relationship, because it means it is mutually profitable.

    If, on the other hand, I was to use the hit and run methods I see far too often, my methods would have to change, I would be forced to use “desperation selling” tactics, because I would specifically want to get customers who never consume my products at all.

    I make this point in the sins report. I believe that most marketers who use desperation selling tactics are doing it because they don’t necessarily want their customers to consume their product at all. They want them to buy them fast (before their electronic downloads are all “gone”) and never crack it open when they get it.

    This ensures that the marketer is never revealed as a bad teacher. The consumer never takes action or uses the “system”, thus finding out it doesn’t work, is a bad idea, and should never have been taught.

    Yes, snake oil. The big promises that don’t deliver, but the salesmen are long gone before anyone has the chance to use it.

    OK, I’m rambling, but you get the point, right?

    My version of long term relationship is better described as a repeat customer, one who likes what I sell today, and will buy what I sell tomorrow also.

    It is also our job to give value before the purchase. This is the whole point of “moving the free line”. Build confidence and trust before the prospect makes a financial decision.

    Yes, true, but what I’ve seen lately is a really bad implementation of the concept.

    People get happy and excited during the “free line” process, develop trust, decide to purchase when the product comes out, and as soon as they’ve purchased, they are hammered with the upsell hell process.

    Now they are immediately flooded with buyer’s remorse…feeling stupid for having fallen for it yet again. You and I both know that a large quantity of buyers immediately question their decision the moment they hit “submit”, so why on earth would we want to exacerbate that feeling by slamming them with annoyance the moment they feel most vulnerable?

    There are easier and more effective ways to upsell, is all I’m saying. Ways we can still sell as much, if not more, products to customers happy to buy them and happy AFTER they buy as well.

    When I go through the upsell hell processes desperately, I often screen capture the sales messages, and immediately annotate my notes to the .jpg’s. I learn as much about a marketer by how he/she delivers her sales process, as I would by studying their products.

    Kevin, I think you nailed the real problem here, and the entire reason you and I are seeing things differently.

    You purchase with a completely different mindset. When YOU buy products that are being sold using these tactics, you are thinking like a salesman, NOT like 98% of the planet. You are watching the process with interest, you aren’t “experiencing it” from the typical consumer’s point of view.

    I think you may need to take off your own marketer’s hat for a moment and put on the customer’s hat for a while. Let yourself think like the typical customer. See it from their point of view.

    When I say that people feel “desperation” while going through the process, I do not refer to myself personally. No salesman, no pitching, no marketing process has ever made me feel bad. I, like you, love watching the sales process, and I learn a great deal from all of it, good and bad.

    But I am not speaking for me. I am speaking for our customers, most of which do not enjoy the marketing process at all.

    I understand them because I step away from my own perspective long enough to see it from their point of view.

    You say “Reframe your perspective, and all desperation will leave you.”

    True, but you expect too much from your customers. You are demanding that they fundamentally change who they are, and what I’m saying is that it is your responsibility to make your marketing message, sales process, and ultimately your products, match your customers…rather than trying to force THEM to accept your preferences.

    So, I promise, here and now, I will read the rest of http://www.internetmarketingsins.com and implement your suggestions in a test, and see if my capitalistic greed has indelibly corrupted my viewpoint. Who knows, you’ve done this longer than I have, maybe you are right, maybe….

    Awesome! We may win you over yet! :)

    Give it a shot. Test it out. And remember that a truly scientific test is done for a long period of time, not short term. I think you’ll see exactly what I mean.

    Remember also that my suggestions are not based on my own personal opinions. They are based on having watched hundreds of marketers, marketers I’ve worked with in my business, marketers who were/are clients of mine, in hundreds of different niches (not just IM).

    Most marketers teach from their own perspective, based on what they, and their tiny circle of buddies do. That’s all well and good, except it is very myopic.

    I see things from an eagle eye view…watching MANY marketers behind the scenes. It’s a great perspective. :)

  • http://www.internetmarketingsins.com Sylvie Fortin

    @Kevin Finney – I do love a great debate, when intelligent people discuss issues in an open, respectful manner. Kevin, you and I may not agree on the issue of the day, but it is wonderfully refreshing that you and I can disagree with respect and dignity.

    Thank you for that!

    And with that said, I of course, respectfully disagree. :)

    Originally Posted By Kevin Finney
    I don’t want a long-term relationship with ever customer. (this might explain why I am not as good at social media as Ed Dale)

    Perhaps your definition of long term relationship and my definition are different.

    I am referring to “relationship” as one where a qualified customer buys one or more products from me, consumes it, takes action on what I’m teaching, then buys more products from me once he or she is ready for them, and then repeats this process multiple times for many years.

    This, of course, applies specifically to my market, but you get the gist.

    In the case of my market, I teach how to build a stable, reliable business, using online tools and techniques. It is in my own best interest that I teach this correctly and do whatever I can to encourage people to take action and do what they need to do to generate income for themselves. Why? Because the sooner I can get them making real money, the more money they will have to spend on more training.

    It’s simple math. In my market, It serves me and my customers well for us to have a long term relationship, because it means it is mutually profitable.

    If, on the other hand, I was to use the hit and run methods I see far too often, my methods would have to change, I would be forced to use “desperation selling” tactics, because I would specifically want to get customers who never consume my products at all.

    I make this point in the sins report. I believe that most marketers who use desperation selling tactics are doing it because they don’t necessarily want their customers to consume their product at all. They want them to buy them fast (before their electronic downloads are all “gone”) and never crack it open when they get it.

    This ensures that the marketer is never revealed as a bad teacher. The consumer never takes action or uses the “system”, thus finding out it doesn’t work, is a bad idea, and should never have been taught.

    Yes, snake oil. The big promises that don’t deliver, but the salesmen are long gone before anyone has the chance to use it.

    OK, I’m rambling, but you get the point, right?

    My version of long term relationship is better described as a repeat customer, one who likes what I sell today, and will buy what I sell tomorrow also.

    It is also our job to give value before the purchase. This is the whole point of “moving the free line”. Build confidence and trust before the prospect makes a financial decision.

    Yes, true, but what I’ve seen lately is a really bad implementation of the concept.

    People get happy and excited during the “free line” process, develop trust, decide to purchase when the product comes out, and as soon as they’ve purchased, they are hammered with the upsell hell process.

    Now they are immediately flooded with buyer’s remorse…feeling stupid for having fallen for it yet again. You and I both know that a large quantity of buyers immediately question their decision the moment they hit “submit”, so why on earth would we want to exacerbate that feeling by slamming them with annoyance the moment they feel most vulnerable?

    There are easier and more effective ways to upsell, is all I’m saying. Ways we can still sell as much, if not more, products to customers happy to buy them and happy AFTER they buy as well.

    When I go through the upsell hell processes desperately, I often screen capture the sales messages, and immediately annotate my notes to the .jpg’s. I learn as much about a marketer by how he/she delivers her sales process, as I would by studying their products.

    Kevin, I think you nailed the real problem here, and the entire reason you and I are seeing things differently.

    You purchase with a completely different mindset. When YOU buy products that are being sold using these tactics, you are thinking like a salesman, NOT like 98% of the planet. You are watching the process with interest, you aren’t “experiencing it” from the typical consumer’s point of view.

    I think you may need to take off your own marketer’s hat for a moment and put on the customer’s hat for a while. Let yourself think like the typical customer. See it from their point of view.

    When I say that people feel “desperation” while going through the process, I do not refer to myself personally. No salesman, no pitching, no marketing process has ever made me feel bad. I, like you, love watching the sales process, and I learn a great deal from all of it, good and bad.

    But I am not speaking for me. I am speaking for our customers, most of which do not enjoy the marketing process at all.

    I understand them because I step away from my own perspective long enough to see it from their point of view.

    You say “Reframe your perspective, and all desperation will leave you.”

    True, but you expect too much from your customers. You are demanding that they fundamentally change who they are, and what I’m saying is that it is your responsibility to make your marketing message, sales process, and ultimately your products, match your customers…rather than trying to force THEM to accept your preferences.

    So, I promise, here and now, I will read the rest of http://www.internetmarketingsins.com and implement your suggestions in a test, and see if my capitalistic greed has indelibly corrupted my viewpoint. Who knows, you’ve done this longer than I have, maybe you are right, maybe….

    Awesome! We may win you over yet! :)

    Give it a shot. Test it out. And remember that a truly scientific test is done for a long period of time, not short term. I think you’ll see exactly what I mean.

    Remember also that my suggestions are not based on my own personal opinions. They are based on having watched hundreds of marketers, marketers I’ve worked with in my business, marketers who were/are clients of mine, in hundreds of different niches (not just IM).

    Most marketers teach from their own perspective, based on what they, and their tiny circle of buddies do. That’s all well and good, except it is very myopic.

    I see things from an eagle eye view…watching MANY marketers behind the scenes. It’s a great perspective. :)

  • http://www.internetmarketingsins.com Sylvie Fortin

    Just thought of yet another analogy for the true reasons why marketers resort to these types of tactics. This one may seem odd, but bear with me. :)

    It’s all about desiring immediate gratification…the immediate sales numbers, the big ego boost, the huge launches that rage hot and fierce and then die a fast death. The bragging rights about how much he/she made the last time they sold the Product Du Jour.

    Babies demand instant gratification. They scream for it. They crave attention. They want their bottle NOW. They don’t understand patience. They don’t understand the long term or the future. For babies, it’s all about the here and now. Today. NOW, NOW, NOW.

    But then we grow up. We learn that delayed gratification and planning ahead has a great deal of value. We know that we must work steadily towards our ultimate goals. We patiently plan and steadily head in the direction that best suits our long term goals.

    That’s what it means to be an adult. ALL true success comes to you only if you are willing to delay your rewards and wait for better things to come.

    I think it’s time the IM community grows up.

  • http://marketersboard.com/ Sylvie Fortin

    Just thought of yet another analogy for the true reasons why marketers resort to these types of tactics. This one may seem odd, but bear with me. :)

    It’s all about desiring immediate gratification…the immediate sales numbers, the big ego boost, the huge launches that rage hot and fierce and then die a fast death. The bragging rights about how much he/she made the last time they sold the Product Du Jour.

    Babies demand instant gratification. They scream for it. They crave attention. They want their bottle NOW. They don’t understand patience. They don’t understand the long term or the future. For babies, it’s all about the here and now. Today. NOW, NOW, NOW.

    But then we grow up. We learn that delayed gratification and planning ahead has a great deal of value. We know that we must work steadily towards our ultimate goals. We patiently plan and steadily head in the direction that best suits our long term goals.

    That’s what it means to be an adult. ALL true success comes to you only if you are willing to delay your rewards and wait for better things to come.

    I think it’s time the IM community grows up.

  • http://www.ryanhealy.com/ Ryan Healy

    Based on my perspective as an “insider” in the industry, I have sorted Internet marketers into a couple of categories:

    The Churn ‘em and Burn ‘em Group (Whatever works)
    The Opportunistic Group (Whatever works, within limits)
    The Ethical Group (The ends don’t justify the means)

    Some of those who churn ‘em and burn ‘em do so because they have VERY high monthly overhead costs… and they’ve got to make [insert large sum of money here] just to make it to next month.

    I think there will always be the temptation to do “whatever works” in the name of profit. Personally, I’ve found myself at many ethical crossroads as a result of what I’ve been asked to write. The answers are not always clear or easy.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this. Good to hear somebody stand up for taking “the high road” in marketing tactics.

    Ryan

  • http://www.ryanhealy.com Ryan Healy

    Based on my perspective as an “insider” in the industry, I have sorted Internet marketers into a couple of categories:

    The Churn ‘em and Burn ‘em Group (Whatever works)
    The Opportunistic Group (Whatever works, within limits)
    The Ethical Group (The ends don’t justify the means)

    Some of those who churn ‘em and burn ‘em do so because they have VERY high monthly overhead costs… and they’ve got to make [insert large sum of money here] just to make it to next month.

    I think there will always be the temptation to do “whatever works” in the name of profit. Personally, I’ve found myself at many ethical crossroads as a result of what I’ve been asked to write. The answers are not always clear or easy.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this. Good to hear somebody stand up for taking “the high road” in marketing tactics.

    Ryan

  • http://www.planbreview.com/ Karen

    Originally Posted By Sylvie Fortin

    I think it’s time the IM community grows up.

    SO WELL SAID, Sylvie!

    Let’s grow up, IM’ers and do this right. There ARE lots of ways to make money online, afterall.

    I’m tired of tactics that lure in the masses, setting expectations high and not delivering. They aren’t actually scams, but they were oversold to people who didn’t know what they were buying.

    Let’s clean up the IM business voluntarily and earn some respect. This business is NOT for everyone. Just because SELLS does NOT make it RIGHT.

  • http://www.planbreview.com Karen

    Originally Posted By Sylvie Fortin

    I think it’s time the IM community grows up.

    SO WELL SAID, Sylvie!

    Let’s grow up, IM’ers and do this right. There ARE lots of ways to make money online, afterall.

    I’m tired of tactics that lure in the masses, setting expectations high and not delivering. They aren’t actually scams, but they were oversold to people who didn’t know what they were buying.

    Let’s clean up the IM business voluntarily and earn some respect. This business is NOT for everyone. Just because SELLS does NOT make it RIGHT.

  • http://www.videoproductiontips.com/ Lorraine

    Short term gain verses long term gain. The eternal question. Humans tend to be short sighted.

    All the current difficulties on Wall Street seem to stem from a short term mentality.

    Getting back to the original analogy, McDonalds keeps their upsell from being “jail” by NOT doing this:

    Do you want fries with that?
    Do you want a mikshake with that?
    Do you want a fried pie with that?
    Do you want a second burger with that?
    Do you want a salad with that?
    etc., etc., etc.

    Common sense tells you that is not a wise plan. Clerks would probably get punched out if they asked all those questions.

    Lorraine

  • http://www.videoproductiontips.com Lorraine

    Short term gain verses long term gain. The eternal question. Humans tend to be short sighted.

    All the current difficulties on Wall Street seem to stem from a short term mentality.

    Getting back to the original analogy, McDonalds keeps their upsell from being “jail” by NOT doing this:

    Do you want fries with that?
    Do you want a mikshake with that?
    Do you want a fried pie with that?
    Do you want a second burger with that?
    Do you want a salad with that?
    etc., etc., etc.

    Common sense tells you that is not a wise plan. Clerks would probably get punched out if they asked all those questions.

    Lorraine

  • http://www.internetmarketingsins.com Sylvie Fortin

    @Lorraine – Excellent points! My guess is that because IMers rarely ever have to actually FACE their customers, it becomes easier to push the limits and do stuff that we instinctively know is just plain bad marketing.

    The teenager at McDonald’s knows they must face their customer, face to face, and suffer the consequences of ill will.

    Online marketers hide behind the relative anonymity of the computer screen, and as long as they don’t care about what people say about them, as long as they have a tough skin, they get away with it, but only for a while.

    Eventually, it catches up, in the form of long term decline in revenue.

    Ironically, the decline in revenue is rarely chalked up to “I may have done something wrong along the way”. Instead, they chalk it up to “I’m not selling aggressively enough”.

    Weird!

  • http://marketersboard.com/ Sylvie Fortin

    @Lorraine – Excellent points! My guess is that because IMers rarely ever have to actually FACE their customers, it becomes easier to push the limits and do stuff that we instinctively know is just plain bad marketing.

    The teenager at McDonald’s knows they must face their customer, face to face, and suffer the consequences of ill will.

    Online marketers hide behind the relative anonymity of the computer screen, and as long as they don’t care about what people say about them, as long as they have a tough skin, they get away with it, but only for a while.

    Eventually, it catches up, in the form of long term decline in revenue.

    Ironically, the decline in revenue is rarely chalked up to “I may have done something wrong along the way”. Instead, they chalk it up to “I’m not selling aggressively enough”.

    Weird!

  • http://smartwomanguides.com/ Vicki Flaugher

    @Sylvie Fortin – This is a great analogy. The “do you want this upsell, do you want this upsell, do you want this upsell?” reminds me of “Are we there yet?” ad nauseum from the petulant and insistent brat child in the back seat on a long road trip. It almost feels like being energetically forced into either a child role where you want to wrestle with the child at his level to argue that “I’m not touching you” or into a parental role where you either want to smack their mouth at worst or bellow out “Stop asking that or I’ll turn this car around and go home.” at the least. Either of those feelings are not attached to my credit card.

    Vicki

  • http://smartwomanguides.com Vicki Flaugher

    @Sylvie Fortin – This is a great analogy. The “do you want this upsell, do you want this upsell, do you want this upsell?” reminds me of “Are we there yet?” ad nauseum from the petulant and insistent brat child in the back seat on a long road trip. It almost feels like being energetically forced into either a child role where you want to wrestle with the child at his level to argue that “I’m not touching you” or into a parental role where you either want to smack their mouth at worst or bellow out “Stop asking that or I’ll turn this car around and go home.” at the least. Either of those feelings are not attached to my credit card.

    Vicki

  • http://www.dawneworswick.com/ Dawn E. Worswick

    I am really enjoying what I am learning on this forum.

    I will NEVER buy from a marketer who holds me hostage and I will demand my money back. I have to say I have been fairly lucky on the internet and have found great products and people (like this forum) Thanks for having great ethics and teaching us lackeys the right way to sell.

  • http://www.dawneworswick.com Dawn E. Worswick

    I am really enjoying what I am learning on this forum.

    I will NEVER buy from a marketer who holds me hostage and I will demand my money back. I have to say I have been fairly lucky on the internet and have found great products and people (like this forum) Thanks for having great ethics and teaching us lackeys the right way to sell.

  • http://www.thesalescrafter.com/ Joseph Browns

    Bottom line is: you gotta know your customers, you gotta meet your customers, you gotta deal with your customers and you gotta LOVE your customers. And then market accordingly, with all the talents and skills that you can muster or hire.

  • http://www.thesalescrafter.com Joseph Browns

    Bottom line is: you gotta know your customers, you gotta meet your customers, you gotta deal with your customers and you gotta LOVE your customers. And then market accordingly, with all the talents and skills that you can muster or hire.

  • http://www.webcopy-writing.com/blog/ Ray Edwards

    I’m really disappointed with this post Michel. It really didn’t deliver
    what you promised in the mail. You said you would be “BLUNT”
    and yet you spent half of the post powdering Ed.

    If this is being BLUNT then what is being ‘nice’ for you.

    Anyway I should have known better.

    No wonder you found Sylvie. She’s your opposite.

  • http://www.webcopy-writing.com/blog/ Ray Edwards

    I’m really disappointed with this post Michel. It really didn’t deliver
    what you promised in the mail. You said you would be “BLUNT”
    and yet you spent half of the post powdering Ed.

    If this is being BLUNT then what is being ‘nice’ for you.

    Anyway I should have known better.

    No wonder you found Sylvie. She’s your opposite.

  • http://www.internetmarketingsins.com Sylvie Fortin

    @Ray Edwards – I can’t tell if you’re serious or not.

    You know Michel very well, or at least I thought you did. So your comment confuses me. It seems either tongue in cheek, or disrespectful. I’m not sure which.

  • http://marketersboard.com/ Sylvie Fortin

    @Ray Edwards – I can’t tell if you’re serious or not.

    You know Michel very well, or at least I thought you did. So your comment confuses me. It seems either tongue in cheek, or disrespectful. I’m not sure which.

  • http://www.webcopy-writing.com/blog/ Ray Edwards

    Originally Posted By Sylvie Fortin@Ray Edwards – I can’t tell if you’re serious or not.

    You know Michel very well, or at least I thought you did. So your comment confuses me. It seems either tongue in cheek, or disrespectful. I’m not sure which.

    If what you meant by “serious” is that I meant what I said I am.

    If you thought that I intended to disrespect Michel, the answer is no.
    Michel is one of the ‘nicest’ marketers I now online. I was just saying
    that he was so nice that even when he disagreed he spent half the
    time apologizing for having to disagree.

    You are different Sylvie. And so I’m not surprise that you guys found each other.

    And this was illustrated by the fact that you responded instead of Michel. :)

  • http://www.webcopy-writing.com/blog/ Ray Edwards

    Originally Posted By Sylvie Fortin@Ray Edwards – I can’t tell if you’re serious or not.

    You know Michel very well, or at least I thought you did. So your comment confuses me. It seems either tongue in cheek, or disrespectful. I’m not sure which.

    If what you meant by “serious” is that I meant what I said I am.

    If you thought that I intended to disrespect Michel, the answer is no.
    Michel is one of the ‘nicest’ marketers I now online. I was just saying
    that he was so nice that even when he disagreed he spent half the
    time apologizing for having to disagree.

    You are different Sylvie. And so I’m not surprise that you guys found each other.

    And this was illustrated by the fact that you responded instead of Michel. :)

  • http://www.videoproductiontips.com/ Lorraine

    Not that it’s any of MY dang business, but…

    Drawing a line between being blunt and being nice can be a fine one indeed. Different places for different people.

    Being too blunt is a good way to turn a nice, respectful debate into an unproductive screaming match. Being too nice can leave real issues undiscussed.

    Having said that, I too thought I’d find a bit more BLUNT when I got here but when you look at the lengthy discussion and how well many thoughts are brought out, seems to me the level was just right.

    Some people think an argument isn’t worth having unless there’s lots of cussing and name calling. Now I am not saying that can’t be kind of fun, :) but if it can be done without it, so much the better. Being civil is often lost on the internet where one can be mean and nasty without having to fear being punched. I personally get tired of reading discussion boards where everybody tells everybody else what a stupid f*** they are.

  • http://www.videoproductiontips.com Lorraine

    Not that it’s any of MY dang business, but…

    Drawing a line between being blunt and being nice can be a fine one indeed. Different places for different people.

    Being too blunt is a good way to turn a nice, respectful debate into an unproductive screaming match. Being too nice can leave real issues undiscussed.

    Having said that, I too thought I’d find a bit more BLUNT when I got here but when you look at the lengthy discussion and how well many thoughts are brought out, seems to me the level was just right.

    Some people think an argument isn’t worth having unless there’s lots of cussing and name calling. Now I am not saying that can’t be kind of fun, :) but if it can be done without it, so much the better. Being civil is often lost on the internet where one can be mean and nasty without having to fear being punched. I personally get tired of reading discussion boards where everybody tells everybody else what a stupid f*** they are.

  • Guest

    This is all boiling down to HUMAN Nature, plain and simple. No matter how much you ask these crooked marketers to stop doing these things, they won’t change. Just like drug addicts rarely stop buying, stealing and doing even worse for drugs.

    All you can do is recognize who they are and protect yourself from them and stay ahead of their new and sneakier tactics. Like the Google robots do or whatever they’re called.

    My mother, myself, my grandmother, my sister, ALL of us would have responded as Sylvie did. That’s what WE DO. We only bring out the big guns when it’s absolutely necessary. Keeping him rested and as stress free as possible is better for us in the long run…working together. Doing your utmost to take care of the other person means true happiness for both..

    I’ve never understood how some women can be so meek and submissive as if they can’t make a decision without calling her husband to the rescue….even about a flat tire? Obviously the opposite doesn’t scare her husband nor threaten him like it would some.

    I like Sylvie’s whole attitude and mannerisms — reminds me of my Grandmother whom I take after. I hope to be just like Sylvie when I grow — oops I already am grown up.

    P.S. : I too, was expecting more “bluntness” but I figured the time between writing the email and this blog posting was ample time for a “cooling off” period — so he wasn’t so fired up anymore.

    Look on the bright side….more people got to read this entire mile long blog that might not have…we’re all sadistic in some way …looking for conflict, something exciting to watch or read about!! (LOL)

  • http://www.productioncarcare.com Leah

    This is all boiling down to HUMAN Nature, plain and simple. No matter how much you ask these crooked marketers to stop doing these things, they won’t change. Just like drug addicts rarely stop buying, stealing and doing even worse for drugs.

    All you can do is recognize who they are and protect yourself from them and stay ahead of their new and sneakier tactics. Like the Google robots do or whatever they’re called.

    My mother, myself, my grandmother, my sister, ALL of us would have responded as Sylvie did. That’s what WE DO. We only bring out the big guns when it’s absolutely necessary. Keeping him rested and as stress free as possible is better for us in the long run…working together. Doing your utmost to take care of the other person means true happiness for both..

    I’ve never understood how some women can be so meek and submissive as if they can’t make a decision without calling her husband to the rescue….even about a flat tire? Obviously the opposite doesn’t scare her husband nor threaten him like it would some.

    I like Sylvie’s whole attitude and mannerisms — reminds me of my Grandmother whom I take after. I hope to be just like Sylvie when I grow — oops I already am grown up.

    P.S. : I too, was expecting more “bluntness” but I figured the time between writing the email and this blog posting was ample time for a “cooling off” period — so he wasn’t so fired up anymore.

    Look on the bright side….more people got to read this entire mile long blog that might not have…we’re all sadistic in some way …looking for conflict, something exciting to watch or read about!! (LOL)

  • http://www.MichelFortin.com Michel Fortin

    @Lorraine – Thanks, Lorraine.

    I find this kind of funny, because I wrote the blog first before I emailed the list. So just because I chose to use the word “blunt” in my email, it seems some people feel misled? Hmmm, I think I certainly was blunt, as in “candid,” “straightforward,” “critical,” “frank,” etc.

    But if you expected me to hit someone over the head with some kind of “blunt” object, that’s just not my style. I prefer diplomacy, tact, respect, and civility. After all, isn’t that exactly what I’m being blunt about, specifically the lack thereof?

    Something to think about.

  • http://www.michelfortin.com Michel Fortin

    @Lorraine – Thanks, Lorraine.

    I find this kind of funny, because I wrote the blog first before I emailed the list. So just because I chose to use the word “blunt” in my email, it seems some people feel misled? Hmmm, I think I certainly was blunt, as in “candid,” “straightforward,” “critical,” “frank,” etc.

    But if you expected me to hit someone over the head with some kind of “blunt” object, that’s just not my style. I prefer diplomacy, tact, respect, and civility. After all, isn’t that exactly what I’m being blunt about, specifically the lack thereof?

    Something to think about.

  • http://www.MichelFortin.com Michel Fortin

    @Ray Edwards – Your reply is still cryptic to me, Ray. Sorry.

  • http://www.michelfortin.com Michel Fortin

    @Ray Edwards – Your reply is still cryptic to me, Ray. Sorry.

  • Stuart Fraser

    I’ve been through upsell hell a few times and here are my reflections.

    Firstly cross-sells are far more palatable, “we also offer this which might interest you”. I don’t even mind if that is inside the so called jail between credit card details and order processing. What I find far more infuriating is being sold on something through great copy only to find out that I will be missing out on some of the benefits that I thought I was filling if I don’t buy or add the extra advanced blueprints etc. Again this comes down to the framing and the sales copy how I experience this.

    After I am out of upsell hell I then allow one more opportunity for the marketer to win me back over, at least enough that I might try something again and that is by their customer service. If you quickly and without fuss refund when I ask I will try again. I might not think as highly of you any longer but I am willing to try again because it is painless to do so.

    Compare this with my experience with two big name marketers I respected highly, and by this I also refer to their enterprise as them personally because their customer service reps do exactly that represent them. One of them was so bold as to call their customer service team “customer advocates” which only increased my fury when they failed to advocate on my behalf, at least a rep only has to be a representative. So lack of response to emails, lack of follow up, denial of appropriate service in a timely manner kills my trust and respect even though I might have more initial respect and trust than for other small timers.

    So as long as you frame me correctly, care for me, respect me and are courteous and responsive I don’t mind upsell, cross sell even inside a jail. Because at the end of the day the character of the marketer will shine through and that makes a huge difference in how I feel about the jail experience.

  • Stuart Fraser

    I’ve been through upsell hell a few times and here are my reflections.

    Firstly cross-sells are far more palatable, “we also offer this which might interest you”. I don’t even mind if that is inside the so called jail between credit card details and order processing. What I find far more infuriating is being sold on something through great copy only to find out that I will be missing out on some of the benefits that I thought I was filling if I don’t buy or add the extra advanced blueprints etc. Again this comes down to the framing and the sales copy how I experience this.

    After I am out of upsell hell I then allow one more opportunity for the marketer to win me back over, at least enough that I might try something again and that is by their customer service. If you quickly and without fuss refund when I ask I will try again. I might not think as highly of you any longer but I am willing to try again because it is painless to do so.

    Compare this with my experience with two big name marketers I respected highly, and by this I also refer to their enterprise as them personally because their customer service reps do exactly that represent them. One of them was so bold as to call their customer service team “customer advocates” which only increased my fury when they failed to advocate on my behalf, at least a rep only has to be a representative. So lack of response to emails, lack of follow up, denial of appropriate service in a timely manner kills my trust and respect even though I might have more initial respect and trust than for other small timers.

    So as long as you frame me correctly, care for me, respect me and are courteous and responsive I don’t mind upsell, cross sell even inside a jail. Because at the end of the day the character of the marketer will shine through and that makes a huge difference in how I feel about the jail experience.

  • http://www.webcopy-writing.com/blog/ Ray Edwards

    Originally Posted By Michel Fortin@Ray Edwards – Your reply is still cryptic to me, Ray. Sorry.

    It was a long way of saying that my original post was tongue in cheek.

  • http://www.webcopy-writing.com/blog/ Ray Edwards

    Originally Posted By Michel Fortin@Ray Edwards – Your reply is still cryptic to me, Ray. Sorry.

    It was a long way of saying that my original post was tongue in cheek.

  • http://www.ecoverslab.com/ Hrvoje Livnjak

    Damn, 10 upsells??? jeez.

    Now I’m wondering Michel do you maybe have some sample of non marketing site that have a lot of upsells?

  • http://www.ecoverslab.com Hrvoje Livnjak

    Damn, 10 upsells??? jeez.

    Now I’m wondering Michel do you maybe have some sample of non marketing site that have a lot of upsells?

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  • http://iblog.at/internetmasterycenter/2009/04/20/all-the-twitter-strategies-and-cool-tools-you-must-have/ All the Twitter strategies and

    […] accounts because the true test lies in how the netizens find me. Michel Fortin has fired his salvo in the never-ending debate for and against auto-following or unfollowing. Meanwhile, it looks like […]Reply Quote
    This comment was originally posted on Copywriting and Marketing Tips By Copywriter Michel Fortin

  • http://www.terrycrim.com/ Terry Crim

    @John Taylor

    I agree with you John that when using these tactics you need to pair it with your understanding of your customers and what they like and don’t. When done properly you can get away with a limited version of upsell hell if the offers are crafted properly and in accordance with your customers wants desires, likes dislikes etc.. AND if you have a proper relationship with them.

    Without that relationship AND understanding of them, forget about it!

    This was the thing i was trying to say in the thread on Warriors about Michel’s article above. Few years ago I experienced multiple upsells and OO’s from a particular marketer, NON IM NICHE, and I was happy to have been presented with them even if it were to a limited upsell hell level. I was that taken with the person and his product line.

    Without that pre-relationship work he put in and the quality of his product line I would have just abandoned the cart and never went back.

    - Terry

  • http://www.terrycrim.com Terry Crim

    @John Taylor

    I agree with you John that when using these tactics you need to pair it with your understanding of your customers and what they like and don’t. When done properly you can get away with a limited version of upsell hell if the offers are crafted properly and in accordance with your customers wants desires, likes dislikes etc.. AND if you have a proper relationship with them.

    Without that relationship AND understanding of them, forget about it!

    This was the thing i was trying to say in the thread on Warriors about Michel’s article above. Few years ago I experienced multiple upsells and OO’s from a particular marketer, NON IM NICHE, and I was happy to have been presented with them even if it were to a limited upsell hell level. I was that taken with the person and his product line.

    Without that pre-relationship work he put in and the quality of his product line I would have just abandoned the cart and never went back.

    - Terry

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  • http://www.shahtraining.com/ Parth

    I just put in an autofollow. Now wen people follow me, I send them my free training manual. I’ve used this successfully develop a mailining list. I’ve seen people do this on twitter. So I’m thinking this might be a good way to generate a good following. I use my newsletter to generate traffic and to build up a loyal customer base. I’m wondering if this will work the same way with Twitter. On my squeeze page, I’ve put in another option to subscribe to my newsletter. One way is through email, the second way is through twitter.Reply
    This comment was originally posted on Copywriting and Marketing Tips By Copywriter Michel Fortin

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  • Dan

    I have to agree with you about relationships and the way it seems todays users are more concerned with constant chat than actual genuine friendships. I am a very introverted person in many ways and I just don’t want to broadcast to the world every second of my life. I do follow you as well as a few others and I never expected to be followed. It made no sense to me. You had no idea whom I was and I just followed you because I was in the span group, the wandering lost group, or I wanted to get to know you or your products or found your “Tweets” useful for my own personal pruposes. Anyway, thanks for letting me let off a little steam. I have almost sworn off all social sites because of the bombardment of such wannabe friends. In some ways I hate to see the follows stop, but also am glad. Isn’t life just the oxymoron of all.Reply
    This comment was originally posted on Copywriting and Marketing Tips By Copywriter Michel Fortin

  • JudithandJim

    Michel,

    Ed Dale’s example misses the point entirely. There’s no conflict between Soft Sell and Upsell. As a Soft Sell marketer my wife, Judith, and I use upsells all the time. So it’s not the technique that is hard sell. It’s how you approach the customer that makes the difference.

    In your piece you use words and phrases such as:

    “Leaving an insane load of cash on the table.” What is insane about money? This is a term a lot of Internet marketers use as though it somehow describes some reality.

    Yes it’s an image, but it’s also very hard in it’s point of view, to say nothing of a dreary cliche.

    “Force a customer.” This has nothing to do with the technique of upselling. It has everything to do with the marketer’s dominant/submissive relation to the buyer. Any technique used with that relationship at its base is going to be hard. Instead of pointing to the technique, rather point to the marketer’s cynicism and lack or respect for human beings who happen, in this case, to be customers.

    Several other example are — “churn and burn,” “hit them over the head,” “almost taunting you.” Why would anyone want to do business with someone who shows so little care and connection.

    You also that you “believe that (the marketer) must ask for the order,” implying that asking for the order is somehow aggressive. That’s just plain wrong-headed. Asking for the order with respect and a sense of the emotional connection between you and the buyer is not aggressive, it is respectful of the human relation as fundamental to the transaction and that is NOT soft, but conscious and discerning.

    With All Due Respect . . .

    Neither you nor Ed understand what Soft Sell means. You both have been so steeped in the hard-sell, aggressive point of view that everything is interpreted through that lens. So, of course upsells and asking for the order can only be understood as hard, when, in fact, that is only one way of marketing — and we submit, an approach that is dying out as Internet marketing continues its exponential growth.

    Judith & Jim
    http://www.theheartofmarketing.com

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