It never fails to frustrate.
We see something on your blog that strikes our fancy, maybe like your eBook with the catchy, musical title, and we think it will help us in our goal to become all-around better at everything. We go through the careful process of reading your sales pitch, researching our options, and getting more and more excited about your product. We finally pull out our credit card and order, which is a colossal show of trust for us, and we rarely ever do it.
But we inevitably get stuck in a hell of sales-funnel fuckery.
- “Based on your order, we thought you would like this course! $3699.00 or 12 easy payments of $300.00.”
- “No? Are you sure? Today, and only today, you can get half off!”
- “No? But surely you would like this other thing? It’s only $5999.00, and I’m going to offer it to you even though your original order was only my $5.99 eBook!”
- “No? Then click here if you want to be a loser for the rest of your life and only buy my $5.99 eBook!”
- “Surely that had to be an accident; what you really need is coaching. Click here to schedule your free consultation!”
- “No? Really? Why don’t you watch another 15-minute video followed by a 10, 000-word sales pitch before I’ll give you confirmation of your order?”
We go from excitement about reading our eBook we bought, to fending off attempts to suck our funds dry with other products and services we don’t need or want.
We realize you need to make money; everyone does. And, we know that traditional marketing isn’t what it used to be. Banner ads don’t work, and people get upset when you outright spam them.
If great content is the hero, then banners are the villain.Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group
Does your need to separate me from my money mean I have to be stuck in the funnel-of-tricks every single time I buy something from you?
You have to know we find your information valuable, or we wouldn’t be pulling out the credit card. We like you, and we feel you are an authority on the subject. But that doesn’t mean you can use and abuse us and trick us into signing up for a $3.6K course we weren’t inclined to buy even if we could afford it.
How long do you think people will put up with this nonsense?
We Understand Where You Are Coming From
We know. We obsessed over internet marketing too — we read the books and took the courses about using funnels to make millions. We even tried it out on our own web site, but it didn’t take long for us to realize how shady it was and decided for ourselves it was something we didn’t want to do. A lot of what passes for “business as usual” these days feels so dirty that we feel like we have to take a shower after we learn about it.
Now when we come across a funnel, we lose complete respect for the person or company that put us in this situation, and we will never, ever order from them or you again. We won’t tell our internet friends, your ideal customer, about you. We won’t write about you on our blog. We will even go as far as removing ourselves from your mailing list — the ideal place for you to convince us that we should buy from you again.
Instead of using technology to automate processes, think about using technology to enhance human interaction.Tony Zambito
We are not alone in feeling this way. Everyone hates the sleaze — Gen X, Gen Z, Boomers, and millennials are all becoming smarter to these tactics and tire of being tricked into a trap where it appears the only way out is to buy something else. David Weinberger, in his publication “Why Everyone Hates Marketing,” says:
“They [markets] will not sit still for one-way marketing communications, and they are too smart to accept simple-minded marketing messages.”
We have come to the point where we don’t even read these upsells and just look for the “NO” button (or, in most cases, a tiny link at the bottom of the page). We don’t watch the videos you paid so much to make.
Sure, we will still consume the material we bought in the first place. Still, most times, we find this is a sloppy tripwire product that does not deliver on its promises because you didn’t opt-in to the more expensive mastermind program the last time you were in your mentors’ funnel.
Why would we ever buy anything else from you again?
It’s Time to Stop Using Sales Funnels
This won’t be the first or the last time we tell you, as business people and consumers, to stop dropping us in your marketing funnels. Stop paying these “gurus” to create the funnels for you, because you are pissing us off. Pissed-off people are not long-term or return customers.
How about you do something unique and be honest and upfront about what you are selling, the price, and what it will do for us? How about adding value to our lives before you try to sell us? The only reason we are buying your crappy eBook is that you provided nothing for free on your blog, and we need to know if your information can help us and if you are legit.
But you lost us.
You forgot to treat your customer as a person and not dollar signs, and you lost the chance ever to sell us anything again.
The days of fuckery and trickery are over. Stop creating more damn funnels and add some value to our lives! By now, you are sure to have heard of something called content marketing. If you show us that what you are offering is valuable and will help us reach our goals — through free blog posts, social media content, and honest interactions — we are more than willing to pay for that 8-week course and become your true fans.
Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb
And just so we are clear, this is how to sell us:
- Give us value in the form of free content and help us with a few of our problems. Answer questions we can’t find the answers to anywhere else.
- Connect with us through email, not always to sell, but to add value to our lives.
- Show us that you care about us as customers and about our needs.
- Then sell us.
Sure, this way takes a lot longer than dropping us down the rabbit hole and tricking us into spending, but wouldn’t you rather have a customer and fan for life than someone who hates you for tricking them?
Stop being a sleazy internet marketer.