The 3 Top Warning Signs Of A Internet Marketing Product Scam

by on August 21, 2010 · 74 comments

Internet Affiliate Marketing Scams 150x150 The 3 Top Warning Signs Of A Internet Marketing Product ScamLet me share with you a little secret about internet marketing, and in particular, internet marketers and their products….


Some of these internet marketing products, and the marketer behind the product, are flat out duds, re-hashed garbage, and downright scams.

Okay, okay, I said it…but let me back up….

There are many good and great marketers who over deliver, who are unique and offer a tremendous amount of value. Most of the great internet marketers are smaller in name, but there are a few big name one’s too.

I would venture to say that the 80/20 rule applies. Eighty percent of internet marketing products that are launched are garbage, and some of these are downright scams.

Recognizing a scam or garbage product is even harder when a band of guru’s are promoting it. It happens all the time. It is happening right now.

Without any more rattling…here are “The Signs Of A Internet Marketing Scam Product.”

1. Use Of The Product Launch Formula Method -

Jeff Walker is the originator of today’s product launch formula. While a great concept, and no doubt has made some people millions in revenue, it has a fatal flaw.

Jeff’s methods focuses on making money for the product owner and affiliates, and leaves out the customer. Obviously, Jeff would say that he only endorses quality products, and no doubt he does. But what is happening today is that more effort and more money is spent into the pre-launch sequence (graphics, video, salescopy), than in the delivery of a top notch product.

Understandably, top notch products using the Product Launch Formula is a good thing, but what we are seeing now is simply outrageous. My inbox is flooded. I zone right out. Everyone and anyone is doing a product launch.

I have become numbed by the Product Launch Formula.

The Product Launch Formula’s fatal flaw is that it is designed to create a lot of hype (and I mean a lot) in the marketplace in the anticipation of a launch date.

Why is this a fatal flaw? Because…

People Buy Products On Emotions, Not Reason, And Over Time Everyone Becomes Numbed By It’s Methods

Now, the greater the hype, the greater my scam alert bells start to ring. At first, I fell victim. Now, it has turned me into a skeptic of every email headline that comes in. You too?

There has been a few great products with a tremendous amount of hype that delivered in content, but that is the exception not the norm.

2. A High Ticket “Info” And “No Personal Mentoring” Product

Why are all the big name guru’s now charging $2,000 for a info product? It started off with Frank Kern (the trailblazer) and his inner circle, and now I see it every month.

I don’t mind a $2,000 entry price, and yes, I have seen a $2k product that was worth every dollar, but what is happening now is that anyone with a internet marketing name is wanting to get into this high ticket game and we are seeing material that is straight out of a “Marketing 101 and 201″ college text book. Seriously.

Today we see both warning signs: high ticket products who are using the Product Launch Formula. As was stated above, some of these product launches put more effort and money into the pre-launch and launch day sales materials to get you to buy, than on the product itself. And it is disheartening.

Have you seen the sales contests prizes on some of these high ticket and high hype product launches recently? Top affiliates are winning expensive sports cars, all expense paid trips, diamonds, etc…, and this is on top of commissions.

When I see all these commissions and prizes been given out…I always ask myself the question: “Is there anything in this for the buyer?”

Or maybe I’m wanting a million dollar launch myself, and I’m simply bitter about it? Could be :(.

Heck, I wouldn’t mind winning a sports car :).

3. A Secret/Hidden “Formula” Type Salesletter -

I love this one the best.

There is one of these going around right now. The salescopy reports a hidden source of traffic, and software. Well, the bottom line is, it is not a hidden source of traffic, it is an old source, and you can learn all about it here for $7. The software that is talked about goes against the terms of Facebook (oh ya, the other billion traffic secret, and will surely and eventually get your account into trouble.

What is enlightening is that big name marketers email on this promotion in the attempt to “make money” off of their list. If they truly were looking after their list, they would not be telling people to go against facebooks ads terms of service, and that a hidden source of traffic is not really a hidden source at all, but an old source. Old Traffic Source Is Here.

If I tell you that I have a hidden source of traffic, sell you a $47 product, and you find out it is putting banner ads on, would you be impressed? I would not. What do you think? Agree, disagree? (write a comment)

Ever hear the phrase “Curiosity Kills The Cat?” The secret/hidden formula is an old sales tactic that feeds on people’s curiosity, and those that are most prone to this sales pitch are those who feel they don’t want to be left behind, or they want “in on a secret.”

Psst… I have a secret!

These are my 3 top warning signs of a internet marketing scam.

What do you think? Tell me your thoughts. Make a comment.

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

AL Spaulding August 22, 2010 at 9:46 am

wow… funny thing is i came home after a night of sitting outside sipping on some heinekens and decided to write a report on pretty much the same thing you talked about.. It started out as a blog post but my fingers kept tapping on my blackberry and now i’m at chapter 3.. This online marketing world is a shady place and I found your blog by chance and am glad i did.. my blog is under a bit of a mess because i’m having video problems with youtube.. ugh. But i would love for you to review my report when i finish it sometime before monday.. I like your style and your input would be greatly appreciated.. cheers!


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Graham-the Gerrman Shepherd Guy August 22, 2010 at 10:58 am

Hi Mark
I agree with what you say about the so called ‘Gurus’ 100% and I’m sure I’m not alone in being frankly – just sick to death of all their emails and self-publicity. The amount of time and money wasted on them beggars belief!
As for Tom Clarksen – I really hope you feel ashamed at your pathetic attempt to cheat the system and infringe your crap on Mark’s blog – full credit to Colin Theriot for his reply ( note to Colin – glad I wasn’t the only one to break my blog!!).
Graham in UK

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Emiel August 22, 2010 at 11:08 am

nice one mark, how about talking about some guru’s releasing stuff that actually do deliver.

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mark August 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

@ Emiel – Subscribe on my list, or stick around, I report and do even reviews on products that deliver

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Cecil August 22, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Hi Mark,

Well said my friend. It’s about time the truth was revealed. Yes we aare all bombarded by the so-called scams dya in and day out. I too have had to resort to removing my name from many lists beaus I just got so fed up with the whole thing. Iremain on your list and will continue to do so. You provide quality content and you tell it like it is. One reader mentions a certain programme which makes you money in 13 clicks. It too is quite simply a load of rubbish. I bought it last week becaues I genuinely believed I was purchasing a piece of “Software”. All I got was a script which I have to upload to my site and then do some spurious stuff as regards advertising. What indeed are we coming to?
Well the sale will be reversed this week and I am sure that will be the case for many others who have been duped into this.
What really annoys me is the untruths which are displayed. Only “X” amount of copies – and months later the programme is still being flogged.
I think Mark the future of IM lies with people like you who have such integrity and are willing to geniunely help others and I am sure that when all is said and done, word of mouth referrals will lead others to you. You are truly a superb MENTOR.
Regards from UK,
Cecil recently posted…How to make moneyMy Profile

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Roger August 22, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Hi Mark,

Your comments resonate with me to the core, frankly I am sick to death of all these hyped up promotions, and you are right, these promotions tap into your emotional weaknesses, and it’s time I grew wise to all of this.

Stupidly I bought into the 13 clicks crap promoted by an English chappy last week – (I’m English too). Very quickly I realised I’d been had, there was upsell after upsell, and the cheap entry price soon became a monthly recurring payment (sucker).

I even found that I’d bought something by Chris McNeeney (Chris X) he was never even mentioned in the promotional video. The picture painted by the guy doing the video was totally false, and it really narked me (pissed me off).

Like others here, I requested a refund almost immediately, they even tried to circumvent this by offering a lifetime membership to some guru affiliate site, I dont care to remember, I refused of course.

Like the Hamant Keval above, I have now started to weed out the marketers that promote crap, and I am furiously unsubscribing from their lists.


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Roger August 22, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Hi Mark,

Just a thought, would people like to suggest marketers that they like and respect, I will start it off with Eric Holmlund, Dave Guindon and Jeff Johnson.


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Lana Hawkins August 23, 2010 at 3:16 am

I totally agree. You can use all those emails in your inbox to practice — delete, delete, delete. I can’t believe I’m on so many lists! It is the curiosity factor. I’m getting off a lot of lists and spending more time doing instead of reading all the hype.

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Ron August 23, 2010 at 4:50 am

Hey Lana…

Yes you are dead right here… Even though you have to have some knowledge about what it is you want to achieve and we all seem to do this the same way by subscribing to all the online gurus that we can find.

And don’t get me wrong I did the same thing when I first started out and after nine years in this business I still finding myself opting in for these lists like an addiction.

What these lists do is distract us from moving forward you need to pick two or three mentors like Mark here and follow them so you can study what you receive and then put it into action rather than spending all day reading hyped up emails from many different people which only ends up confusing and frustrating us all.

The first positive action we should all take is getting off the 50 or more optin lists most of us have subscribed to…
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Jan August 29, 2010 at 8:48 am

And nobody is ever going to get from honest-to-God $0 to $20,000 in the first two weeks of opening a website — apparently, it takes Google at least that long to find it, much less hordes of hungry buyers.

And most people can’t write a quality article in under 7 minutes. (Maybe a first draft with a lot of practice, but not start to finish unless the article is crap).

And, Cecil, the “X” number of copies makes me laugh, too. They’re DIGITAL downloads. Do they think we believe they’ll run out of pixel dust?

It does make you appreciate the good ones more.
Jan recently posted…Blog Comments and SEOMy Profile

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Marikxon Manurung September 22, 2010 at 1:44 am

Hi Mark, I’m perfectly agree with your post. I think, the important thing is our mind set about Internet marketing, there’s no instant way to be internet marketer…learn and practice is a must and also need a process. Don’t buy something if you found yourself not sure about the products.
Marikxon Manurung recently posted…Small Hot TubMy Profile

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Dennis O'Brien September 23, 2010 at 7:56 am

Note To Self: Do not create hype around your products. Great post Mark and thanks for the insight. As someone fairly new to marketing this reinforces some of my own thoughts. Oh and SEOPressor (as mentioned in your latest email) rocks. It got me page one many times. :)

Fave Feed in my sidebar this week: Juli I display feeds to help create backlinks for others. We are a community after all.
Dennis O’Brien recently posted…Facebook Ads for Market ResearchMy Profile

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Viv Lorrette September 23, 2010 at 9:00 am

Hi Mark

You certainly are one of the good guys, thanks for the heads up on what these so-called gurus get up to. Of course like you I too was at first sucked in – nowadays, I have gotten into the habit of deleting before I am tempted to buy.

Thanks again

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Andrew September 27, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Glad I looked this post up Mark :)

I think your statement:

“But what is happening today is that more effort and more money is spent into the pre-launch sequence (graphics, video, salescopy), than in the delivery of a top notch product.”

Pretty much sums it up.

There’s no extra money made by these guys if the customer actually uses the product and does well from it. Sure you might say that they’ll get customer loyalty and more sales in the long term… but why would they care about that when they can do another “launch” every 6 months anyway? They don’t need customer loyalty if they have JV loyalty…

It’s minimize cost and maximize profit at all costs for a lot of these guys and the more people like you and me talk about this and realize that it works, the better off we’ll all be.

Thanks mate,
Andrew recently posted…Does Google Hate Your SiteMy Profile

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seo melbourne November 17, 2010 at 4:37 am

Nice article you have mentioned good point.What these lists do is distract us from moving forward you need to pick two or three mentors like Mark here and follow them so you can study what you receive and then put it into action rather than spending all day reading hyped up emails from many different people which only ends up confusing and frustrating us all.

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Joe November 29, 2010 at 8:32 pm

There is nothing more annoying than these ridiculous pitches! About a year ago I was reading through my email and looking at one of these ‘amazing products’ and my girlfriend walked up. She read it through and said wow sounds like they want you to sell this ‘amazing product’ to others but the product really has no value.

Without knowing much about these products she was able to see right through the hype.

Another pet peeve of mine is the ‘My friend’ claim. Ever notice in these emails they always say ‘my personal friend John Doe has been working on these tactics in secrecy for the last 6 months’ or ‘my friend Jane Doe has made $31,384 last month by using these secrets’.

It really makes me wish people would stop trying to fool people, take the Internet marketing course and learn how to effectively market to others.

Wow – that felt much better getting that off my chest.

Joe :)

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Craig Wilson November 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm

JOE!! Good post my man…I’m SO glad you brought up the point of the “friend club”…I wondered if others saw through this pathetic vail of BS or not. What’s funny is when these “two friends” are worlds apart like one in the UK and one in the USA…I mean really, do you guys grill out at one another house on the weekends too? Do your kids play in the pool??

Do you call yourself friends after one or two email exchanges so it eases your guilt?

When I’d wake up awnry at times, I’ve wanted to email them and ask that question..OH if you’re such great friends then tell me this and that LOL…When these idiots use this tactic is just shows they have no regard for the truth and don’t care to outright lie to make a buck.

This tactic and others make me ill…My favorite one is let me sell you this $37.00 product and I’ll show you how to make $100,000 + per month. If you’re making that kind of income, do you “really” need my $37 bucks in your Clickbank account? Do you really want me to believe you’ll shed 100% of the light on what you’re doing so I can now be your direct competitor for a measley $37 bucks???

I don’t think so Mr. guru

These people couldn’t run a real biz outside the Internet to save their lives. They can only exist behind the curtain of no reply emails and support tickets. They play the numbers plain and simple.

All they do is exploit hot niches of the month and hire a slick graphic artist to make people drool then pray their refund rates are low.

Enough of the gurus!! I hate that word too, I vote with abolish this word.
I’m so glad for people like Mark Dulisse!! You rock mark

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sean November 29, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Another one I really despise and I’m not sure how they do it, is sending emails from one of your own email addresses.
Just lately I’ve been getting emails from one of my own email addresses with just a shortened URL and nothing else.
Do they really think people so stupid as to not know if they sent an email to themselves?
I simply delete them without opening the URL.
If I were to mark them as spam, and genuinely wanted to send myself an email at some time, my server would probably spam it as it’s coming from an address I’d previously marked as spam.
I don’t know if it’s an attempt to spread nastys or just sick minds trying to make an easy buck but I wish I knew how the hell they do it!

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dee oneal December 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Thanks for sharing this. This is helpful Mark so I never ever doubt to read your blog as I find it very substantial. There are so many scams online whether it’s product or service and we should be at least be aware of the things that we should avoid each time.
dee oneal recently posted…Successful Big Business BreakfastMy Profile

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Smuze January 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm

My 10 cents… If a web page has an endless scroll and all it wants is our email – its probably a scam. Also look for relevant contact info.
Smuze recently posted…digital books are popular – Smuze ArticleMy Profile

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Columbus Anselm May 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

Hi there. Amazing, exciting post, plus a minor from the box. I figured out a brand new challenge today!

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