Shady Marketing

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First, some background: it started innocuous enough. My husband had a hankering to dabble in real estate and caught wind of a Robert Allen seminar in Minneapolis.

We went.

We didn’t stay.

After the speaker proceeded to list some pretty funky ways to finance potential real estate deals (including credit cards… CREDIT CARDS…) I figured we were definitely in the wrong seminar.

However as a copywriter, I must mention I found the persuasion techniques utilized by the “Enlightened Wealth Institute” to be incredibly fascinating.

After we arrived home, Maury began searching for some information on real estate investing.

First, he decided to conduct a search on Robert Allen. Unfortunately, he found a ton of negative information on that particular seminar. (Surprise, surprise.)

However, he also found something very interesting. Seems one of the sites that “review” various real estate gurus “highly recommended” a particular guy’s methods.

We surfed to the recommended site and voila: the guy was giving away a free CD and book package. All we had to do was pay around four bucks for shipping!

I figured checking out the guy’s book wouldn’t hurt so we signed up. Plus, I love getting on mailing lists. More junk mail = an expanding swipe file!

About a week later, our package arrived. I ripped it open and inside was the book, two CDs, and a folder containing EIGHT more CDs. The letter explained that we’d signed up for the free book PLUS a “30 day trial of their incredible wealth system.” At the end of 30 days they were going to charge our credit card for an additional 99.90.

What the heck!~!~!

Now, as a consumer, I find that method reprehensible. As a persuader, I find it fascinating. How could this guy get by with tactics like this without totally angering his customer base?

Well, it turns out he hasn’t.

Websites buzz concerning his selling techniques. Mind you, most people agree the information is fine, but the sales methods? Totally suck.

Any marketer worth their salt knows that most people won’t return a product, even if it’s defective. I don’t know if most people are lazy or simply forgetful, but the stats prove most products will sit on a shelf rather than get shipped back to the company.

This makes sending someone a 100 dollar product piggybacked with a “free book” is pretty underhanded considering that this marketer is relying on the general public’s inertia to keep greenbacks flooding his offices.

Plus, the refund process? WAIT until you hear about that!

I’ll clue you in tomorrow.

Talk then,

Beth

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