Over the last few months I’ve seen some shocking marketing tactics, while these tactics are nothing new it is a worrying trend as they seem to be happening more and more. This blog post is going out to all the marketers out there who think we are idiots! I may lose a few JV partners but hey, this needs to be said.

First of all why do you state on your sales page ‘only 8 remaining’ then have a link to your affiliate program at the bottom of the page?

We’re not stupid.

Why do you say things like ‘closing tonight’ then keep your sales page up for another week?

We’re not stupid.

Why do you say ‘price going up at midnight’ then wait a week to put the price up? Only to bring the price back down again a few days later.

We’re not stupid.

Why do you tell your affiliates ‘we are number 1 in ClickBank’ yet on your sales page it states ‘only 250 will be made available’?

We’re not stupid.

Why do you say the screenshots on your sales page are earned from the method you are selling when clearly they are from your last launch?

We’re not stupid.

I could go on and on and on but I’m sure you get the picture, but what’s more worrying than the people who outright lie is the amount of people who promote these lies to their subscribers.

While there’s nothing wrong with scarcity and urgency in any product launch (I do it myself and I’m all for it) to out and out lie and promote lies is something that will hurt your business, people don’t forget when shabby tactics are used so next time you come to launch something you may wonder where all your JV partners and sales went.

And if you’re promoting this rubbish don’t you see what you’re doing to your reputation, promote crap and your business will go down the pan.

So while this is a rant I must warn you, this style of marketing only works if you’re getting thousands of new subscribers each week and can afford to churn and burn, however, if you’re a marketer who gets in the region of a few hundred new subscribers each week think seriously about this style of marketing as it simply wont work. In fact why the big marketers who do bring in thousands of new subscribers each day do this is still beyond me, I mean why don’t they provide value and treat their subscribers well, surely they would make even more money as a result?

So remember, think about providing value and promoting products that will help your subscribers and above all, stop promoting the rubbish, fake screenshot, hyped up lies that we are seeing getting launched each day.

Because we’re not stupid.

    72 replies to "RANT! We’re Not Stupid."

    • Daniel Sumner

      Well Said John,

      Poeple are not stupid you are correct. Why would you leave all this info on your site when you know it’s not true.

      You can see why some guys do it, to get that extra sales. To be honest I cant do it, it makes me feel bad thats why I have not promoted many products this year. There is just too many turn key systems that seem to be making the developer money but the not the subscriber.

      Are we flooded in bogus I.M products do you think?

      Great food for thought mate thanks!

      • Adwello Strategies

        I don’t think we are flooded in bogus I.M. products Daniel, although each week that passes it seems there are ever more products on Clickbank that are just so “Me Too” especially traffic generating systems which all have such similar names and lookalike sales pages – it’s got to a point where I just look at the headline and click away now! I actually think 90% of these systems do work – if you already know a lot of I.M. basics..it’s just they are too similar and the earnings claims are sooooooo boring!! Not bogus, but boring!

        I like the look of your Online Income Advisor program, Dan, and intend to subscribe later this month – only reason for my delay is that I have a desktop full of “To-Do” systems I must wade through this and next week before I am free to take on any more learning! But see, YOUR sales page is original, your claims are cool, your graphics are great, you sound genuine and classy. Good on you! 😀

        • Daniel Sumner

          Hey Adwello,

          Thanks for the compliment, I’m glad you like the sales page and look forward to communicating with you.

          You do have to look though the “Me Too” products to get to the good value. However I think everyone deserves a shot and Clickbank is usually the place to begin.

          Sometimes you need to go that extra mile to get recognised and stop guys from clicking away by being a little different 🙂

    • Trevor Carr

      John, a brilliant post!

      Wouldn’t it be great to see ACTUAL proof of someone’s earnings from that ACTUAL product, rather than the earnings they’ve made from everything else they’ve ever done all lumped together?!?!!

      All the best.

      Trevor Carr

    • Hamant Keval

      Hi John

      Its amazing how some people are able to become completely thick skinned when it comes to marketing online.

      People and traffic are all real people and they need to be treated that way.
      We ceretainly are not stupid but unfortunately there are a lot of gullible people who in their real need are honest hard working people who are looking for online income and the “big shiny magic button” that will somehow transform into a cash spewing machine is just too much.

      It seems that there seems to be more and more of this scarcity ploy being used and what is even worse is that its not even true.

      Thanks for the great post John


    • Edson

      Hi John,

      I’m seriously laughing at your post as this is super true and not sure about everyone else…getting tired of these type of marketers…oh here is another one…

      why do you use 3-5 exit pop ups, one is enough as if I dont want the product I wont pay attention to the other 4 exit pop ups

      Where Not Stupid

      Edson Buchanan

      • Wayne

        More than 1 exit pop up gets me deleted from their list!

    • G


      Well said indeed!

      Whilst the screenshot issue is – for want of a better word – fraud (lying if you prefer), the idea of ‘only 3 left’ and ‘price going up’ etc, are simply (as I’mn sure you know) to create the idea of scarcity.

      This way the seller hopes that we’ll think ‘must buy it now’. BUT…there are, of course, better ways of obtaining the same response from buyers without resorting to these kind of tricks.

      Another post dedicated to just that perhaps methinks…



    • Sue Schlaiffer

      Hi John,

      Well said, I am sick and tired of seeing these types of offers every day, and I know it is all hype. Where has all of the honesty and sincerity gone in the IM world? There are a number of great marketers such as you who avoid this kind of deception, as you simply do not need to resort to these types of lies, your products are great and you have many keen followers who always buy your products because you have built an honest and solid reputation for providing quality products. I am hoping these other breeds of I.M-ers will die out as people see through their silly lies. Keep on ranting John as people like me need to be warned about these bad sales tactics, and avoid purchasing the products.

    • Marc Milburn

      Thank the Lord! Finally someone who agrees with me on all of this.

      Another thing I’ve seen recently which has really ticked me off is *the way* that people are using ExitSplash.

      Don’t get me wrong.. I think it’s INCREDIBLE technology and I use it myself.. but there are so many people using it wrongly right now.

      For example, if a product is $37, and you navigate away from the page, they offer you the EXACT same thing for only $27. I just think that’s wrong and unethical. Offensive to our intelligence if nothing else.

      If you’re going to use that as a technique then you should AT LEAST take something away from the product. Perhaps remove a couple of the bonuses or something.

      The other thing is that I’ve seen loads of marketers who are ‘stacking’ their ExitSplash offers which means you have 5 or 6 different pages as you try to leave their website.

      It stinks of desperation, to me anyway.

      Do you have any opinions on that?

      Thanks for a great post!
      – Marc

      • Barry Wells

        Hi Marc, I just thought I’d jump in and say thanks for stating your views on exitsplash. I’ve not used it yet but have recently been thinking about getting it. The point about removing some bonuses makes perfect sense, nice one thanks.

        I’ve also noticed the stacking of exitsplash offers and it drives me potty, which is why i haven’t used it so far.

        Cheers Marc,
        Barry Wells

      • Christine Gerbehy

        OMG!!! The freakin’ exit splashes lately! I actually clicked on a recently launched product (2 wks old) and on the exit splash, I had to close, count ’em 9 WINDOWS!!!! And the funniest part is that’s WITHOUT buying anything… Then, on one I DID buy, I had to decline 7 “offers that I’d never, ever, EVER see again,” before I could actually access my product!!! Do they NOT realize that this jist pi$$e$ people off? I think it’s just bad business, I’m sorry. One exit splash, MAYBE 2. But the norm lately is 3 price drops if you don’t buy. Now I just automatically try to close the window to see how much I can save. You KNOW the, “only 3 copies left!” will never change, lol!

      • Susan Owen-Thursfield

        @Marc – well said about the exit splashes!

        @Christine – I also visited one which had 9 NINE exit splashes – if there is such a thing as Exit Spam, this product had it!

        But what really hacks me off is the blatant lies of the “automated software” which “literally pulls in money while you sleep!” These products are all around just now. They all promise just three steps to automated riches –
        1 download and configure software;
        2 press go;
        3 Watch the money roll in.

        One I looked at even promised 5 figure monthly sums!!! And all this without using Google, (or indeed ANYTHING else you’ve heard of), without a website, no prior knowledge and ONLY $37 – (which fell to $27 on the first exit!)

        Buyer Beware – but sadly these systems are blatantly aimed at newbies. Today’s offering claimed “300 beta testers wanted – preferably total newbies”. Yeah, I bet, wonder why?! 😉

        Well said John.


        • Susan Owen-Thursfield

          PS As recommended by Mark Dulisse, if anyone promotes this rubbish to me, I unsubscribe from their list immediately. Sure is making my emails lighter – and my eyes are being opened about who I can trust online!

      • John Reed

        Thanks for that oh so valid comment Marc (Milburn).
        I think it was Shane Melaugh who recently highlighted a chronic example of this inane procedure…. with some effect from what I saw over the next couple of days. I don’t recall the detail exactly but there were originally at least 6 clicks to get away from one product, and it went down to 2 shortly after Shane’s Video Rant.
        I’m heartily sick of the regurgitated crap, these stupid repetitive “Let Me Get The Hell Out” obstacles, AND the ridiculous claims like “Only 250 will be available”! As John says – who the Hell do they think they’re broadcasting to??!!
        I have even given up looking at most of these new items now – and Randy thinks of ME as “Mr Magpie” – can’t resist something new and shiny!!! Well, nowadays Randy, I just remind myself of two things:
        1. Anyone regurgitating Crap must have very little taste left – hehe!
        2. Anyone recommending Crap should recall that you can’t polish a T**d!

        That keeps me sane, and on the straight and narrow.
        Thanks John

    • David

      You’ve hit the nail on the head with this one. I’ve asked for many many refunds recently. Before a few months ago- I never did that. My thought was that if the product wasn’t as great as I thought, but was pretty much what they told me it was, as long as it wasn’t totally useless or illegal, then they’ve at least earned the sale.

      But these days I keep hearing “build your list” or “increase your web traffic” and getting a product that teaches you how to make a blog post or something. It’s ridiculous.

      On the plus side, I’ve found that I’m able to winnow out the unethical marketers more easily! Like you said- promote stupid products and get the quick unsubscribe from me.

    • Reimund Lube

      Many thanks John,

      as usual a great post and straight to the point. You’re right you can not list all the points but one is surely missing (for the people who want to buy those offers) – Here it is:

      Why do these bad guys ask for $37 – if you try to leave the salespage you get a $10 discount. So all people bought the offer in the first try pay $10 to much!!

      We’re not stupid.

      If the bad guys trick you with this than ask for a refund – and buy for $10 less 😉

      To Your Success,
      Reimund Lube

    • Andy Michaels

      Absolutely John.

      So much marketing these days is leaving a nasty taste in the mouth including the much mentioned, misleading email subject lines that get worse and worse and inspire false hope into new marketers.

      I certainly don’t like the way products are marketed today, as you are pointing out but when larger amounts of money are available in anything then it is ultimately ruined.

      All that we can do, as ethical, honest people is to tell the truth, help people where we can and trust that our faith will be rewarded in the future.


    • Ron Barrett

      True enough!

      I saw a sales page about two weeks ago where the person had tons of screen shots with dates blurred out… how do I know he didn’t just go perusing other sales pages and take some screen shots of the sales figures and use them for his own?

      He also went on to explain in his sales pitch that he was a 20 or 21 year ‘kid’ who had been homeless for a number of years but he was finally able to get back on his feet and lock himself in a room for 6 months to research traffic methods….

      Whatever! Gimme a break!

      We’re not stupid!

      If people actually read the copy and could put 2 and 2 together and it really added up to 4, then maybe I would purchase. When it adds up to 3 or 5, forget it.

      I’ll stick with what I know and follow others like you John.

    • Ronnie

      I posted something very, very similar in the Warrior Forum last week…it never made it, it was deleted 🙂


      • John Thornhill

        I’m guessing it may have got personal or names may have been mentioned. If that happens the thread usually gets taken down.

        That’s why I’ll never mention names as this is not personal.

    • Mike

      Hi John

      Dead right…and what’s hacks me off is that one or two of them are a bit close to home if you know what I mean….

      Someone else I respect said something very similar recently and got an absolute stack of people supporting him.

      You won’t be surprised that he was on my interview list too 🙂

      Best wishes and great post

    • malcolm mckinnell

      Hi John

      I just left a comment on your other post here http://planetsmsblog.com/ive-been-suffering-from-promo-overload/

      I think my post of today reflects what you have said here and in your previous post.

      Thanks for everything.
      Best Always.

    • Sandman

      Question: if there’s only 247 … no, 138 … no, 74 … no … 16 copies left …

      … and 1,642 affiliates promoting the product …

      … then how many copies of a single computer file (plus bonuses) are really available?

      Excellent post there, John. Thank you.


      But wait! Before you go … Click on CANCEL to stay on this page for a really special offer – today only!

    • gordan

      Good post John,
      I have been following several launches recently and they all go the same boring route. I guess it is working for them as they target newbies.

      There are some very good products out there but the problem is people buy everything and anything and not thinking “which area I need to educate myself next that will help me to improve my business?”


    • Andrew Stark

      Hi John

      Established marketers are not stupid, but the people who are finding these offers via facebook advertising.

      The people behind these products want a list of people who are stupid enough to buy the blind offer and sell them a whole load of other stuff before they realise what they have bought is crap.

      It’s just a sad reflection that money speaks louder than decency, and until facebook start tightening up on their advertising policy and these launches bomb it will continue.

      Here’s to the facebook slap


      • John Thornhill

        I had to slightly edit your post Andrew. Please people. Don’t mention names. We’re talking about marketing methods and needn’t mention names.

    • Peggy Baron

      This post reminds me when a well-known marketer, and I’m sure you know him too, John, kept telling his subscribers and all his affiliates that the price of his new product was going up at midnight – for sure! Then the next day he told everyone he would leave it at the “discount” price.

      How does that make his affiliates feel? Now they look stupid to their subscribers and they run the risk of not being believed in the future, especially when this marketer cries wolf again. I know I don’t believe this marketer any more.


    • Robert

      Hi John
      I am responding to this post because I am hoping that this recent trend is not going to continue for too much longer.

      Using shady marketing tactics in a product launch full of lies, hype and exaggeration may get you some temporary sales prior to massive refunds, but its not the way to build a real business.

      Worse though IMHO, is for affiliates to send this garbage to their valued subscribers, I for one will not trust any advisor who hasn’t even studied the product before they send a link my way.

      I am going to be hitting the unsubscibe button more often in future and perhaps if more people voted with their feet this trend might come to a grinding halt.


    • alex

      John! I allow myself to join your opinion, not to learn from bad examples.

    • Brian Ripley

      You are right to be concerned about this, John, as you have obviously realized that this type of thing is poisoning the whole information products business. Soon nobody will be trusted and then what?

      Yes, these people are “burning” their list but they don’t care as long as they can make money while it lasts and then move on to something else.The rest of us who are trying to provide a decent return to our customers for their hard earned money are going to suffer with them.
      Tough times ahead.

      • John Thornhill

        I’m not so sure Brian, what I see happening is people who treat their lists like garbage will suffer while the rest of us who try to give value will flourish.

    • Barry Wells

      Hi John, another fantastic post.

      I’m building my business, slowly, and posts like this are fantastic way of learning what not to do. I’ve noticed a few of these methods used before but some i hadn’t clocked. I’ll be looking with fresh eyes in the future.

      I’m really fussy with what i send my list anyway, but i’ll be looking at what i do send a little more closely from now on.

      Thanks for the lesson John, you’re a Top Man.
      Respect and Regards, Barry

    • Donald MacLeod

      Hi John,

      Classic post. The amount of these type of e mails really annoy me. Over the last few weeks I spend a wee bit of time un subscribing as I’m getting fed up. I am going to reduce the amount of people I subsccribe to, the ones I know and trust.The majority of them have been through John student classes. At least that way it should be safe enough. I read another post today regarding a site, saltydroids or something similiar, check it out and watch the video. Make your own conclusions.

      Unfortunately, any walk of life whether on the net or not we’ll get the rip off guys. Just have to keep on the lookout.


    • Marcia

      Thanks John – Right on as usual.

      My rant for “We’re Not Stupid” is about the email subject lines I have been seeing lately “Your receipt,” Your Approved Download Link,” “Confirm Your Free Account,” etc, etc. which all link to – can we guess – another capture page for a JV partner. Do these people all copy each other? I have unsubscribed from 3 of these this week.

      Good grief.

      PS – I am also very tired of the “Bad News” subject line. Enough already.

    • Mike Walsh

      Thanks for saying what everyone is thinking, especially new people like me. How about a Wall of Shame? Name names. I know it’s not a popular idea, but this game really does seem like the wild west and it would be nice to have a sheriff in town. After all, I’ve never read a sales pitch I didn’t want to buy so it would be a great service.



    • Marcia

      OK – this is really getting ridiculous. Just received an email from a marketer with this subject line:
      RE: Gift RECEIPT #XL30493 – download now…

      That’s not intriguing – it’s downright deception. Clever marketing is one thing but I consider a bogus receipt # to be out of integrity. Needless to say it goes to a JV capture page.

      I unsubscribed.

      I’m about ready to join Mike – and I’m sure others – in suggesting that we name names.

    • Andy Coates

      Hi there Guys

      I’m in my 7th week of Johns M/C course and in my 2nd or third blog I touch on the same things.

      Now to me having scarcity from a sales point of view will work, but surly only if its genuine? I mean if you keep launching new products in the same way ……E.G Only 5 / 4 / 3 left etc then surly at some point people are just going to say “Yeh right” then the seller will lose any credibility they may have previously earned.

      And just out of interest’s does anyone have any stats to back up whether these tactics make a difference ?

      Like life itself something comes along, and everybody jumps on the same bandwagon, seems that at the moment its the “Scarcity” bandwagon

      P.S you have 5- 4 – no ONLY! 3 days left to read this message as it will self destruct !!!

      “Have the best day that you can guys ……its truly your choice”

      Andy Coates

    • Barry from Saskatchewan


      They sold snake oil from wagons a couple of generations ago and now they peddle eproducts that might not work exactly as hyped.

      The delivery system may have changed but the people hawking the products haven’t.

      I’m grateful to be living on the same side of the tracks as you folks. Thanks for allowing me into your tribe.

      Now, where do we hide the firewater?


    • Dave Whittle

      Well said, John.

      No, we are not stupid. We may be “newbies” (who dreamed that term up) but that is in internet marketing, not in other aspects of life.

      The thing that is beginning to bother me is that some marketers who are/were on my mental list of “the good guys” seem to be joining the ranks of the hype merchants – because it sells!

      Caveat emptor – we shall have to continue unsubscribing as often as we need to and vote with our feet.

      Keep up the rants, John!


    • William Ryan

      Thank you!

      It goes without saying that anyone who is experienced enough to join a few lists soon learns that this is a bunch of fake, slimy, b.s. For me, it makes me hesitant in working in the industry — so, people like you who cry out help us all feel a little bit better about our own efforts.

      Unfortunatly, the internet marketing business arena is rife with frauds and lies. It is another example of the times in which we live.

      Fortunately, there are opportunities and many legitimate marketers, mentors and teachers who do promote in a positive manner. I can only hope that you are one. It seems that way to me as I have purchased (a long time ago) a product of yours, and I have stayed on your list — and, I actually will open your emails.

      Others, even some of the GIANTS of the industry that others always quote and JV with, do not get that luxury. I never open their emails, but only stay on their lists to see how many of these internet superstars are selling me the same hardluck ‘stories’; it is funny to see the same headlines from 4 or 5 marketers.

      One example. Not a superstar. I bought a Powerful Sleep, No Snoring program a few years back. I will name it here because…Kacper & Toby of Powerful Life……well, the series of stuff I get in my inbox is on about a 3 or 4 month loop, so in the last 3 years I have received dozens of emails about their poor friend who had his house burn down, and needs only xxx$$ to get his ‘great product’ to market, so that Kacper and Toby, in their compassionate way are donating 100% of their profits from this product to help this poor friend. And, this is about a 3-4 email series with fake numbers, follow ups that ‘they can’t believe more people aren’t helping’, etc., etc.., and I have RECEIVED this series of emails about a dozens times!!!

      Well, that is what you are talking about. So, readers of planetsms, heed the warning of MR. Thornhill, don’t play that game, live ethically and follow the higher road. All of our efforts rely on each other.

      John, thanks. Keep up the good work. It is good to know that someone is willing to tell the newbies to watch out — instead of using the same tactics to dip into their pockets.

      Best of health,

    • NBsteve

      Hi John

      Have to say your spot on here. I have spent the best part of the last 8 months learning “the trade” as it were. This sort of thing seems to have exploded in the last few months especially.

      The problem it creates for new people wanting to get working on-line is absolute confusion.

      Unless they happen to be lucky and find someone like yourself of a few others that I know of and trust, they will end up being drawn down that endless road of spending on one useless product after another.

      What is worse most programs using this method provide little in the way of good solid and valuable information that they actually need to get started.

      Great post


    • Adwello

      Hi John, I really like this post, I have been feeling the same exactly. I have recently purchased 2 such products marketed in just this way and both were excellent value for money. I am very pleased with both and intend to send in a testimonial within a week or two. Now like you say, if the sales blurb were true, the testimonial would be worthless, right 😉

      To be honest, these 2 products (both CB) are great and are helping me a lot: and I’m sure they will help a lot of other marketers too. So, like you say, why promo in this way? There was no need for such tactics – the courses are well presented and offer solid information which won’t go out-of-date for at least a year or two.

      It’s time the IM circle got less paranoid: you don’t need to tell me the sales page is gonna be withdrawn tomorrow – just sell me a great product at a good price. In an honest fashion. We are not stupid. Nor do we buy trash. But we do consistently seek to improve our IM knowledge and get more traffic with more advanced systems.

      If a genuine super affiliate with one of the only 100 CB Master accounts has a product out there then yes I want it! Because I figure I can always learn from someone with so many CB sales! No need to flaunt scarcity in my face at all, my finger itches to hit “Add To Cart” – if you have a great product and a fantastic track record you are always going to impress!

      And if you haven’t, that’s fine, too! Just tell me your angle and why you think I need your product and what it will do for me and I will seriously consider buying that too. Because all I require online is RESULTS. No flaff! 🙂

    • Ant

      You have done exactly the same thing! & you use the 97, 47, 27, 17 dollar routine & I don’t like the up sell trap either, which you also use…. Buy something for 17 dollars, promising to make you filthy rich, then, when you have bought it, get bombarded with !Wait! Become a lifetime member for 247 dollars. Get the premium supa dupa version!! I fell for that one a few times!
      You have also shown your click bank account earning zillions… the other week you were supposed to be on holiday abroad, but were sending out e-mails recommending products… I have bought your products & some of your recommendations & made absolutely zero off them. This whole marketing thing is aimed at desperate people, (like me!)Willing to try anything to get out of the poverty trap & I’m sorry to say this, (because you come across as a really nice Guy,) but people like yourself are taking advantage of them. I bought loads of your ad sense websites & spent more on ppc’s than I earned, until Google finally de-indexed them altogether… I signed up recently to blogging to make me rich, which was promoted by your colleagues & I made nothing there either… I doubt very much that this post will be allowed, but there you go!
      From Disillusioned!!

      • John Thornhill

        Hi Ant,

        I’m afraid you’re wrong, I don’t use any of the tactics I describe in this post. Do I upsell? Yes, I’m a marketer, but my upsells are not ‘get the premium super dupa version’. They are simply value for money offers.

        “the other week you were supposed to be on holiday abroad, but were sending out e-mails recommending products”

        You obviously missed this blog post.

        “I have bought your products & some of your recommendations & made absolutely zero off them”

        Show me what you bought and the action you took and I’ll show you where you went wrong (I’m guessing no action)

        “I bought loads of your ad sense websites & spent more on ppc’s than I earned”

        I don’t do PPC, I can’t get it to work for me, therefore I don’t teach it so please don’t blame me for that one.

        “I signed up recently to blogging to make me rich, which was promoted by your colleagues & I made nothing there either”

        Never heard of it and I don’t know what ‘colleagues’ you refer to but their actions have nothing to do with me.

        “I doubt very much that this post will be allowed, but there you go!”

        Wrong again!

        Ant, I think I know where you’re going wrong, you’re caught up in the buying cycle and you’re not taking action, find a marketer you trust and contact them to see how they can help and then take their advice. The reason I say contact them first is this will give you an idea of their support levels, but before you contact anyone do your research first.

        If you want to contact me personally you can reach me at my office at +44 0191 516 0993 or simply reply to any broadcast email I send.

        • Ant

          Thank you John for your reply, Firstly I am sorry about the vacation thing, I hadnt read that post about Auto Pilot & I am not trying to lump you along with the scammers. I do think you are a nice guy, but you do use some of the tactics that you say you dont like..e.g..from Auction Profits Stream..
          (at the end you say..)

          “”So how much are you expecting to pay for this eBook?
          $197.00 – $97.00 – $67.00?

          The current price for this eBook is a mere $47.00 Yes, you read that right, all my knowledge is only going to cost you $47.00

          Only $27.00 for a limited period””….
          (I bought it for $27 over a year ago)

          The adsense sites were from your “Free Monthly Websites”, I paid the upsell to become a premium member & uploaded the adsense rich sites which were supposed to make me money, but they didnt get any hits & I was advised to try google webmaster tools & ppc, but Google didnt like them & I got de-indexed.

          I apologise for the blogging thing too I was trying to mask the identities of other marketers as you asked, but the product is called Auto Blog System X from Rob Benwell, I thought it was a lead from your colleague Dave nicholson, but I was mistaken, it was from Socretes. You three are the only ones that I subscribe to, but Socretes will have to go as he is bombarding me with allsorts.
          I have a blog promoting your products & use clickbank ad-rotator, but like I said, I’am not making anything.
          I’ll see how things go, I have had a e-mail about free monthly websites version 2, I will put that on the blog, maybe things will take off eventually.

          • John Thornhill

            Hey Ant,

            ” “”So how much are you expecting to pay for this eBook?
            $197.00 – $97.00 – $67.00?

            The current price for this eBook is a mere $47.00 Yes, you read that right, all my knowledge is only going to cost you $47.00

            Only $27.00 for a limited period””….
            (I bought it for $27 over a year ago)”

            That’s hardly sneaky, that’s just marketing, watch any infomercial and you’ll see they do exactly the same thing.

            As for the Free Monthly Websites many users have had real success with our sites, however, I never have and never will teach PPC, all my traffic is 100% free and that is the only methods I teach.

            Like I have already said it seems like you are trying too much, concentrate on one thing and do everything you can to drive free traffic and you will see results.

            Anyone can build a site but most don’t drive traffic, concentrate on that side of things and you’ll be fine.

    • Omar Martin

      I agree. My team and I have been working on a website service that will help make these people accountable and safeguard consumers in the process.

      We need to regulate our industry.


      • Maureen Crown

        Omar, I do not know what kind of website service you are working on but DO HURRY!
        I have only very recently joined the many who are trying to build an online business and am disgusted by all of the deceit and overkill that I receive daily in my emails.

        I chose a coach to work with at the beginning of August and while I really have learned quite a bit from this person, I have been dismayed to find that since the 1st of October, I have received no less than 8 sales pitches from him. Either for products of his own or from JV partners of his.

        Now I realize that times are tough and this man has a staff that he has to support, but SO MANY sales pitches one right after the other? Because I am taking his course, I have not chosen to delete his emails or unsubscribe, but I am thinking that perhaps it is just a general mailing list that he is sending out to and I should unsubscribe..then continue on with the lessons as long as I am learning. I think I will do that. I will find out this way if the people who are already paying him money every month are equally bombarded with these emails.

        My vote goes to industry regulation, keep up the good work Omar.

        Maureen Crown

        • John Reed

          Hi Maureen,
          I understand your feelings but I would advise you to contact the “Coach” and let him know about them. As you’ve said, it’s probably just his routine – but routines can be changed, and should be for anyone paying for coaching.
          John O’York

    • Colin Ceres

      Hi John, man are you so right. I really got mad a few weeks ago when I got emails with messages as you’ve described. Why don’t these morons get it into their heads, if you treat your subscribers like sh** that sh** will come back in your face. I was so mad that I unsubscribed to almost 20 lists. I’m happy to say that I’m still subscribed to your list because, you are upfront, ethical and honest and those morons should take a leaf out of your book. Rant over.

    • Jacinta Dean

      Hi John,

      OMG What a rant and what a giggle at the same time!

      I have been noticing the changes in marketing tactics over the last couple of weeks. It is really interesting to see what I call the “Would You Like Fries With That” style marketing as well as the sleazy “Car Sales” tactics!

      The thing that is peeving me off at the moment and with respect I will not mention names. I have been reading some really interesting emails from people I will call current and previous gurus saying sorry for their previous sleazy marketing tactics and that they apologise.

      Now the real giggle on this, is that these particular marketers were actually the forefathers of these sleazy tactics and yet in their emails they are implying that these tactics have been used by other marketers!!

      Hmmmmmmmmm Me thinks this is really interesting because what it is showing me is the assumption that people do not stay on people’s lists for long.

      I have been watching a lot of marketers for a couple of years now, some I have stayed on their lists only to watch their marketing tactics. And that is the point! The tactics that are being mentioned as sleazy by these people are the exact same tactics they have personally used over the last 2 years!

      I have emails to prove it!!!!!

      What this shows is that sadly, it is all about money to these people, they do not care about their lists what so ever! They assume people don’t stay on their lists and therefore they can get away with lying!

      It reminds me of a child that broke a vase and then says someone else did it!

      I just don’t get it. These people have already made their millions if the sales pages are to be true, WHY are they doing this?

      I am very very skeptical on all the so called guru’s of today. I have no intention of even associating myself to them what so ever. They can not under no circumstances be trusted at all! I do not believe a word that they say anymore. In fact the more lies they tell the more they look like sleazy “snake oil salesman”.

      Now there is more to this as I have also noticed it is very much a boys club! No offense good guys. 🙂 I am talking about the bad ones.

      PLUS I have also noticed over the last few months, certain gurus promoting certain people’s products with the whole scarcity etc etc etc. And then yes after the expiry you can still get the product! PLUS i have also noticed the timing of everyone’s launches.

      And here is the punch line! If you look closely at the emails there is a collective group of individuals doing this.

      Looks like a bit of a cartel to me!

      Just my 2 cents! 😎


      Jacinta 😀

    • Gary Simpson

      Hi John,

      Great post and good comments from all your visitors.

      I’ve made several blog posts about these utterly dross and deceitful tactics lately. I’ll restrict my comments just to emails because it is the primary way that we all communicate.

      Unfortunately, when there are 100’s of misguided fools sending out dozens of emails EVERY day we ALL get tarred with the same brush. I counted just ONE person’s emails and he has sent me 77 in just ONE week. Even worse, he was using 6 different names to disguise his deluge. And there are so many of them doing it.

      So, when a decent marketer sends a legitimate email to help people on their list so many of the recipients on our lists think: “ANOTHER bloody rorter!” They don’t even read the email in their rush to find the unsubscribe link. Because they are being overwhelmed with absolute rubbish.

      I started an email folder called SHOCKING EMAILS. I just had a quick look through it and here is a small selection of the scummy crap that these desperadoes have sent me:

      Re: Download A34R6x21 is ready
      ACCOUNT COMPLETION…(details inside)
      $500 in your paypal account Gary!
      RE: YOUR ORDER STATUS (action required)….
      CREDIT PENDING On Your Account
      Notification of payment received
      RE: Your Payment (2nd Notice)
      You’ve got CASH!
      RE: Your Membership … (Download Link Inside)
      Re: Your CLICKBANK Commissions
      Download Request: AZZ23N987G – Please save this email!
      Your Order Confirmation is ACTIVATED!!!

      I’m sure that many of your other readers will recognise those email subject lines and probably know who they are coming from.

      They were all subject lines from real emails sent to me. If you are stupid enough to open them every one of them then attempts to sell you something – AFTER they have deceived you. Talk about absolutely destroying trust first.

      Like I said, there are 100’s of monkey-see-monkey-do people sending this banal rubbish now because they are all tied together in Adswap Skype channels. It’s mind-numbingly stupid behaviour but they continue to do it. And it is affecting everybody. Open rates are now at an all time LOW.

      Sorry for the length of this comment John – as you can guess, it’s one of my pet hates.


      Gary Simpson

      • Marcia

        Well here’s another one to add to the list. Just got this today.

        The subject line was:

        Inside it said:

        Here is the link to complete your transaction
        for your free product…..
        Download Link:

        The link – needless to say – went to a JV capture page.

        I unsubscribed.

        I am just hoping that some of the people who are just starting out (or maybe some of the offenders who are reading these posts!) will refrain from such insulting tactics.

    • Gary Simpson

      Oh dearie me…

      While I was typing my comment above, one of the guys who is a PRIME OFFENDER sent me yet another email – to go with the other 3 or 4 he sent me overnight. At least it was under his real name this time. I guess we must be thankful for small mercies huh?

      John, you and your readers are probably wondering why I don’t unsubscribe from this guy (and all the others like him). The reason is that I am collecting all these emails in one big folder (SHOCKING EMAILS) and, after I have seen the full extent of their deception and treachery, I will. Bulk unsubscribes are imminent.

      ATM I am using their tactics as fuel for rants of my own AND as perfect examples of what NOT to do.

      If only they could sit back like I have and see how truly stupid their behaviour is.

      Regards again


    • Sharon

      Well said, John!
      When I started unsubscribing to lists that did not add any value, that was the day progress started happening. Now instead of being bothered with hype that is not helpful, I have more time to devote to growing my internet business.
      Another trick I’ve been doing is reporting spam, so if someone tries to send me unsolicited emails, they get reported and hopefully their account gets closed down.
      A helping hand goes much further than an insult to someone’s intelligence. I wish more people would wake up. The internet is a vast marketplace.
      Thanks for speaking up!

    • James Layton

      I think it’s a sign of terror. They obviously have no original ideas, have nothing to bring to the table that is remotely original. They lump a ton of rehashed crap together and slap a $147 price tag and tell people that if they don’t have this they will burn in hell!!!

      These people are simply thinking of the money, and no long term strategy. And so when you see genuine folk making a good living, they get terrified and start panicking, the end result is this type of email/product.

      I always look at it like this, in 20 years time, would i look back and see my product as a classic?

      Or a quick money maker?

      If it’s the last one……

      I don’t sell it.


    • Don Maisey

      Hi John,

      I coudn’t agree more. I’m getting pretty tired of handling these emails, some don’t seem to have an unsubscribe that works, as I still get some. I’m now totally concentrating on your Masterclass course and ignoring everything else as I have been burned before.

      And we wonder why people are wary of internet marketing…


    • John

      Right on John!! I was just talking to someone about this kind of marketing earlier today. I am completely fed up with the whole thing. I’ve gotten to the point that if there is no content in emails I get off the list immediately, if someone uses exit pops I get off their list immediately, if they pull ANY kind of hypnotic, hot button pushing crap.. I get off of their list immediately. I can’t help but think that if we all did that things would change literally overnight. Thanks for yet another great post!
      Dr. John Michael Christian

    • Syed Alam


      Thanks for speaking out. It baffles me these deceptive tactics are being applied everyday on an epidemic proportions. It’s like what you often see offline at high transient traffic, retail locations – perpetual “store closing’ sign hanging at the windows.
      My guess is some of those people now found their way to online marketplace. Just that their target audience are not really that transient unlike offline locations. We know what’s going on.

      Yes John, it also shock me to see major players are also using these kinds of deceptive marketing tactics more frequently. When greed takes over, ethics and conscience takes back seats. But, not without consequences. Such gigantic reckless mistakes will definitely came back to haunt them!

      I hope it stops sooner than later.

      In the mean time, we should hold our wallets tight!


    • Lisa

      Hello John,
      No, we aren’t stupid, maybe misinformed, but not stupid!

      I have a few IM friends that do these sales tactics and I tell them it’s not a good thing and they continue doing it. And they are really good people! They are just learning how to be information marketers from the wrong guru!
      How do most people make money online? By showing other people how to make money online. So if they needed to make money some other way, they probably couldn’t.

      Like the rich marketers on TV who say buy my book and I will show you how to make millions, and a ton of people buy the book and the book tells them to sell books on how to make millions. Duh!

      We need to be careful who we listen to. Like seriously careful. Don’t just trust someone who has never done what they are trying to teach you to do.
      If you want to learn how to cook, learn from someone who knows how to cook, like a chef, learn from the best!

      I know if there is a product that is so great and wonderful and it’s half price today, it will be there tomorrow, next week and next month! If it’s not, well then, oh well, It wasnt all that it’s made out to be.

      I have seen some really hyped up launches and was very excited to see the product (not IM) and when it went live I was let down because it’s just a bunch of crap I already knew and didn’t need to buy in the first place. 🙁 Talk about a let down!

      So I have it ingrained in my brain….be careful who I listen to!
      In everything I want to do, be or have, be careful who I listen to!

      Thanks and I hope y’all are having a wonderful day! 🙂


      • Ant

        Well Said Lisa,
        Everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon these days & trying to sell some re-hashed stuff..& Like you said.. People are selling books on how to become a millionaire, by telling people to sell books about how to become a millionaire by selling books about how to become a millionaire. Its gone Mad!!
        (maybe its the recession, or maybe some marketers are beginning to realise that people are not as gullible as they were about these things & are feeling the pinch themselves, therefore resorting to scamming tactics).. I hope things get better & I agree, be more careful before you buy & who you listen to.. Regards Ant

    • John McNally

      Very well said John, this subject deserves a rant. You have expressed something that has bothered me ever since I started Internet Marketing: “We are NOT Stupid”.

      The over-hyped sales messages ALL seem to assume we ARE Stupid? As a consumer I find this attitude insulting. I unsubscribe as soon as I see any of the tactics you mentioned; I’ve got better things to do with my time. 😉

      This is what I like about blogs, you can get honest opinions and REAL information. 8) I’ll be back.


    • peter

      I think Ant hits the nail firmly on the head

    • Steve Deerfield

      Hi John, excellent post and comments! What do any of us have but our personal integrity? It’s a shame that so many marketers today take the most valuable asset they have and bury it in lies and misleading tactics. Thanks for shining your light on the truth so that we all can see it and act accordingly. Steve D.

    • Maureen Crown


      I first hear your name when I listened to an interview you did with the coach that I am working with.

      What I heard in you is a guy who just started out with books on ebay and when forward from there. I thought to myself, there’s an honest chap ! You did not try to put window dressing on the IM industry, just gave an honest account of your beginnings and progress over the years. You outlined one very good way for a “newbie” to get started.

      Thank you, I appreciate you.

      Maureen Crown

    • ed lynch

      Hi John…..how true it is! As an IM newbie, I get sick and tired of the unscrupulous marketers that take advantage of the unknowing by making false claims or promises they can’t or won’t keep.Not only does it waste the buyer’s money, but valuable time that could be spent on legitimate profit generating activities and products. However,in IM as in every other area of life, what goes around comes around! Great post, John.

    • Terry Conti

      Hey John with this kind of marketing, makes me wonder what kind of informational product they must have. Separating yourself from this type of marketing will get you noticed. Telling like it is, being honest are always best and will not lead you into problems in the marketing world. As always, Honesty is the best policy.

      Terry Conti

    • Maureen

      Hi John,

      Thanks for all of this good information….from you and most of the others. Sadly, a lot of these bad Subject Lines have some excellent information in the content: However will never be seen, because email will NOT be opened.

    • Andy Coates

      Hi John and the other readers to this rant

      I was one of the First Direct sellers (face to face in store and door knockers) in the energy Business, you know the guy that used to bother you when you or your wife were out shopping in Morrison’s or Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s etc etc you name them, I worked in them.

      Now in that time the amount of sales people I saw come, and more importantly go!
      was immense. You see most of the so-called sales people were just out and out liars.
      and they were soon caught out within a few short weeks and sacked! So initially they
      thought they were the DB’s at the top of the sales board (the short fat road) but ultimately the bad selling tactics, or lying as I called it! Caught up with them and they were out of a job (and a high paying one at that!)

      Now I did this for nearly Ten years so I was good at it (and good at Teaching it) and I was always up front and Honest with people.
      Now I used to Train new starters and one principle in particular, which was, “you can have a short Fat road or a much longer thin road” Now to Me John you come from the Long (and more sustainable) Thin road of Marketing and Teachings!

      As for the latest round of crappy emails i keep getting (along with all your other subscribers) well the senders will do ok for a while but! Will ultimately pay the price
      Loss of trust, loss of subscribers, and loss of income

      While Gay’s (sorry I meant Guy’s) like you and Dave N. will still be in the game.

      Good Subject John.

      And To anyone reading this

      “Have the best day you can have…… its truly your choice”

      Andy Coates (week 8 on J.T’s M/class course)

      Ps John. My Teacher / Mentor at the time in the Energy business was from your neck of the woods, from, Washington, Sunderland. Feels like I have come full circle. Just hope I can achieve the same results with you!

    • Jim Nariel

      Very well said my friend. As a potential buyer I just ignore these tactics as they may fool you once but not time and again

      I think the honest marketer and the persomn
      adding value by giving away free content is the way of the future and not the “second hand car salesman” approach

      Thanks for the post

    • Andy@PowerBlog

      Another thing that irks me is when an email drops into the inbox and states. My good friend xxx has let me give you this free gift, but it is for a limited time only. One, he probably is not your friend. This is just an ad swap or a solo ad, Two, it is not limited. I can come back anytime I want. Three, It is not free if you want my email. That is a trade.

      John, you have started me off now. I better go and take a blood pressure reading.

      Actually I have just thought about this. Two faced or what? On my very own blog I ask for an email address for a marketing course, but I do call it free. I better change that. lol

      Andy B

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