Do Gimmicks Trump Product Value?
Reaction To My Previous Article
I recently posted about my new direction, and specifically my disillusionment about the avalanche of courses being launched, with all marketers trying to beat “best sales bonus” syndrome. That article has provoked an interesting reaction from an online friend.
She had already written a longer article on a similar theme and considered publishing it on her own blog, then decided not to. She showed it to me and wondered if I would be interested in publishing it as a guest article. It so closely mirrors what I've been feeling that I jumped at the chance.
Here's her article….
Do Gimmicks Trump Product Value?
In recent weeks, I have been watching the countless product launches from many different trusted marketers. No one can observe the direction in the marketplace without becoming concerned that the customers are being trained to demand more. Maybe poor product quality is possible because of the countless efforts to win sales at all costs, by offering their “best sales bonus” ever. I am wondering if we realize how much the direction has evolved in a short period of time.
- Fair-Priced Front-end
- Up-sells Added Value
- Reasonable Commission Split
- Bonuses Were Very Rare
Not that long ago, customers could trust that a sales page was offering value as it described the contents of the product. Solutions were offered to people who were encountering problems in various business areas. Sales were made because the information product described would answer questions and teach the customer how to complete tasks creatively.
Every step through the sales funnel provided more value to the customer who was willing to pay for additional value. Affiliates knew that more sales were possible throughout the funnel because the customers would spend money for the solutions they sought.
Evolved Into . . .
- Low-Priced Front-end
- Upsells Ignored
- 100% Commissions on the Front-end
- Modest Bonus
Customers stopped responding to the straight-forward approach of selling great products. Marketers began to lower the prices on the front-end product to build interest in the marketplace. Cheaper products were expected to have more content and offer more value than the previous versions. Creating products required expertise that excluded many marketers. Affiliate marketing took on more importance since the customers no longer sought the up-sells in the sales funnel. Affiliates wanted to earn more without having to convince the customers to buy the up-sells. The bonus offers on the webpage set the affiliate marketers apart from competitors.
Has Become . . .
- Ridiculously Low-Priced Front-end
- Up-sells Overlooked
- 100% Commissions Across the Funnel
- Massive Bonuses Required
In some of the recent launches, everyone watching is amazed at the amount of churn required to create interest in the product. Customers are holding tightly to a few dollars until a marketer comes along with “the most amazing bonus I have ever offered”. Immediate sales have been replaced with waiting for the best sales bonus that causes the customer to finally spend a pittance.
Multiple purchases are encouraged to take advantage of bonuses from more than one marketer.
Customers Learn Quickly
A few years back, customers of a major software company attempted to demand more support. A shift had occurred where the customer was not hiring expertise to administer their advanced computer systems. Fortunately, the software company recognized the trend and addressed support contract agreements before the idea could run its course. Every customer was given a complete contract review and sold the appropriate level of support, which would match their staff capability. Imagine the customers' surprise, or maybe shock, when the software company required the customer to upgrade the next year's support contract!
In a recent product launch, I received a support ticket with these statements, “Either I get what I purchased or I do not. Your problem now.” I conducted some research and found that this customer had, in fact, downloaded the product file FIVE times. I asked her to check her hard-drive for the files. I never heard back from her. Now, what kind of challenges are arising because customers have taken the helm?
Where Does This End?
Will customers have the opportunity to change the course of the entire industry?
Or is it too late?
Observing the evolution of product sales will not correct the issue. Maybe we have reached the point where all products will have to be given away for free. I sincerely hope this is not the case since every facet of sales requires money. I wonder if the momentum can be harnessed to set a direction that benefits the people who have great product ideas. Technology requires training that attracts new customers to the marketplace each day. What will they find when they arrive?
“Once you create a loyal customer base, it's tough for a competitor to take that away.”
~ Joe Mansueto
Thanks to my friend for her contribution.
I mentioned in my earlier post how thin I had found the content in one particular course I had bought. I really wondered that it was deemed fit to publish as a paid product, but it was just a few dollars and the author was a newcomer, so I didn't ask for a refund.
At the other end of the spectrum I have paid decent money for courses that I have yet to “open”. It's crazy – on my part – to buy so much, but as my guest author says, “We are trained to want more and more”.
So I have unsubscribed from all but one of these “duplicate products/find the best bonus” lists, and I won't be buying such products again unless I already know the author(s) well. For instance, Sue and Dan Worthington have never disappointed me.
Before I consider buying anything else, I'm going to revisit the course and products I've bought and extract full value from them.
But more to the point, this trend has been one of the reasons I have changed direction and reverted to my roots with Network Marketing.
The company I am working with has built a team that contains friends trying to help each other, not enemies constantly trying to do the next marketer down. When we build our team, each one of us benefits.
Contact me on Facebook if this sounds a better way to work, and I'll add you to our group to look at some videos before you make up your mind.
What are YOUR thoughts?
Have you felt the same vicious competition for bonuses?
Yes, you're building your list when you give away 100% commission, but if everyone is promoting the same products to the same lists, is there any point?
Are you still inspired to spend hours producing and promoting your own products for tiny returns, and against such overwhelming competition of “me-too” products?
Please comment and let me know your thoughts about “best sales bonus” syndrome…