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The 3 Top Warning Signs Of A Internet Marketing Product Scam

Let 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.

About Mark Dulisse

Software Developer, Blogger, SEO Consultant, Internet Marketer

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  1. One of the things I’m watching out for is the fact that it will only be available for a short time, then “taken off the market”. If it were really that good, people would continue to buy it over time like a real product and the real world.

    Have an awesome day


  2. Totally Agree Mark -the stuff that is out there a 4 yr old could write and it is getting beyond the ridiculous. But there are not many so called “Guru’s” out there that are really putting out quality and besides the point they will never really tell you what they are doing except selling you more products.

  3. Good call Mark, I was looking at that Facebook product you are mentioning above this very morning.

    What a load of hyped up @#%&

    Never touch a product if the sales page doesnt tell you what it is and how it works (at least the basics), other wise your just buying blind.

  4. Nicolas Web Traffic Generation

    Hi Mark,

    I agree with you, more and more releases of products that claim to have discovered a loophole in Google or have software that uses secret techniques and traffic generation are pure garbage.

    The truth is that lately I do not pay attention to emails that tell me who made $ 200,000 in a month with a secret technique.

    Greetings, very good your blog.

  5. Mark, you’re quickly becoming one of my FAVORITE fellow marketers to listen to! Your keeping it real and you’re telling it like it is!! I’ll spare you, but I could get on my soapbox (it’s 20 ft tall) about these silly over hyped, over priced launch products!! I agree, MOST of these big shots launch these deals and all they care to do is light their cigars with $100 bills and laugh at us while they go back to their labs and rehash more dribble to us.

    Before the hype is over on launch A, their already working up the next one for launch B… I mean, there really is a “finite” number of ways to get traffic, but they find a way to recycle it to infinity…RUBBISH!

    It’s really kind of pathetic…There really needs to be some house cleaning done in the IM world. These “best buddy” JV clubs need to be down sized. I’ve been on several big lists at the same time and on “launch day” I get 10 to 25 of the SAME emails..LOL I mean hardly anyone bothers to even change them up (can they be any more superficial and transparent). NONE of these guys care to send a newsletter or offer FREEBIE and GOOD content like YOU do..It’s just “BUY MY STUFF”….

    You’re a breath of fresh air Mark, I’m so glad I’m on your list, keep the good stuff coming!


  6. Mark:

    Thanks for your candor and for taking the time to put in writing what I believe a lot of people are thinking these days. I am on quite a few of these guru’s lists … just to see what they are promoting and how they’re doing it.

    I get flooded with their “buy from me and get a a bigger bonus” emails whenever a new launch starts building hype … and the emails are so transparent they just comes across as “snake oil.”

    What I don’t see is anyone who has actually purchased these miracle products or “systems” announcing 6 months or so later that they have used them with great success. I believe that the FTC is going to go after all of these folks at some point.

    Any more they remind me of the “sidewalk barkers” in Las Vegas. They promote grossly overpriced products that they have in most cases not even tried themselves … because they don’t share any fundamental / intimate knowledge of the products in their “pitch.” It’s all hype !!!!

    The people I find genuinely helpful are people like you and Sean Donahoe.
    For example, I just purchased your training videos for SENuke. They were well done, saved me a lot of time learning how to use the product and they were reasonably priced.

    I get more valuable information on the Warrior Forum from the “little people” who share tips and tricks that still work … and they usually sell them for a very fair price.

    Just my opinion … but with all these so called guru’s … I do think that they are very smart people … and I also **do not** believe that they share the “real secrets” with us. I simply do not trust any of them. I believe that for many of them, greed has overwhelmed their integrity.


  7. Thanks Mark,

    I glad I opened your email and visited this page when I did. I was just looking at the offer I believe you were referring to re: hidden traffic source & software and almost got lured in. I guess when they offer what appears to be a solid refund guarantee your always thinking maybe you should give it a try.

    Also I always try to find independent reviews before I plunge in, but of course they are all affiliates often with questionable authenticity pitching to get their piece of the pie. It comes down to you don’t know who to trust, although I can honestly say I’ve found a few marketers that I’ve purchased products from that have integrity, you being among that elite group.

    Thanks for the heads up Mark!

  8. Hey Mark,
    You’re spot on!
    I’m even surprised myself at the Big Gun Gurus I’ve Unsubscribed from – I’ve wasted enough time on them. A few others I still allow to send me email, but I very seldom read them – just scan the subject lines and only open if I think it’ll be worthwhile.
    Oh, but yours get read, almost without exception…

  9. Hi Mark,

    You know what mate, you have hit the nail, right on the head. There are literally marketing courses coming out that it makes my head spin. My inbox is literally flooded with these new courses…my hat.

    And you know what, I am beginning to ignore most of them, but there is one that I actually read every time I see it in my inbox…..they’re yours. You have delivered some absolute gems of information over the last few months. Keep up your good work mate, I learn heaps from you, and i will definitely be recommending your stuff to my lists for sure.



  10. I completely disagree with the following comment Mark:

    “…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 β€œMarketing 101 and 201? college text book.”

    That’s not true. The course material for some is still high school level and not THAT GOOD! The fact is these guys are doing nothing more than taking content, repurposing or rehashing it, and selling it to their list. I was in a mastermind the other day, and one of the people attending actually left, and created a product on what he learned that day – and it will be a “big launch”.

    It reminds me of the story “The Emperor Has No Clothes”.

  11. Unfortunately $2000 is the going rate for all gurus these days. And you are right my inbox too is flooded to the extent I want to unsubscribe from all.

  12. Mark
    I think with the PLF style launch if you just say I will learn from the pre-launch stuff and leave the course alone you are on a good thing.

    I did see one course recently that used the PLF formula however only sold for $67 or thereabouts. It did have upsells that took you over $200 but the course itself was pretty good value.

    So if the courses you mentioned are scams what do you recommend?

  13. That’s all very true. I do really like your style Mark, you’re very straight forward. I have a very little time to study and implement what I bought the the previous months and then my inbox is again flooded with JV product launch.

    Most of them don’t care about you after you purchased the product. They don’t even follow up and see how are you doing with the program. Oh I forgot…they do follow up… with a new promotion of another product.

    One thing I like about you is you’re giving so much away without a string attached.

    Thanks for finding you online.

    Now, I’m immune to product launch…

  14. Hi Mark,

    This is exactly what I was thinking. They are so many products that you see the pre launch being so hyped out that it is simply amazing. It is also seems very common lately for the products with hidden secret or hidden formula and the most annoying part is that so many “gurus” are promoting every single product.

    That is just plain out stupid in my honest opinion. But hey, I am only a newbie… So what do I know.

  15. Oh Mark, you are so good. A breath of fresh air.

    But you gotta admit there is still good products in the IM niche.
    Work with a budget people:)
    How about every wk review eMail. Not one gem of instruction, one bit of laughter=unsubscribe=reward the fool.
    If they can’t give why should they receive. But reward the People(Mark)
    who do give.

    But don’t forget the free list building they are giving us build a xls, track’em. Good eMail program=1st day-soft sell, same day nother eMail info =2nd eMail,:2x 2 eMail, tie these together with info from previous day. Carry on a conversation from your blog. Sorry got going.

    Thank You Mark

  16. Devon from Yeast Infection Treatment

    Mark, very thought provoking post. I don’t mind there are a lot of products actually, but if one “guru” is saying one thing one day, and promoting a bunch of different methods the next day, it is a bit strange. Each course is promoted as the must-have item.

    One part about the PLF or people exercising it is that you give some good free stuff away, and then when someone buys the course, it turns out the free stuff was the best thing and the rest of the course isn’t worth much. Not everyone does this, but I have experienced it.

  17. Mark,

    Thanks for the heads up…. It is easy getting sucked in and shaken for your cash.

    I came across some manual that was really useful. But during the sales process, I was hit with a buy this at a discount, and then another one, and another one. Amongst the stuff was exactly the same product which had a different heading on the front and on the first page. Sold the same stuff twice.

    Be on your toes, as it is shark infested waters.


  18. Too true, I hate these $2000 launches with a vengeance. But on the positive side I’ve seen some of the refund rates and they would make your toes curl.

  19. I also had a look into the product you referred to. Fortunately, I didn’t pay for it because it is just hilarious. I am fine with “white hat”, “gray hat” or even some “black hat” methods, but this is “out of the blue hat” method. This is the craziest stuff I have seen and I am sorry that the IM world has reached this level of scam and scamming others. Thanks for bringing up this issue. We all have to unite and put an end to this craziness.

  20. Nice one Mark…

    I totally agree with you.

    It’s suprising that Clickbank have no control over this with so many refunds of this garbage which is be churned out, their refund rates must be skyrocketing..

    ..or maybe they just don’t care..

    I have also bout some of these courses…and from some big names whom you would think have credibility..but they just don’t care..

    – G

  21. Hi Mark,

    I do not agree with you about Jeff Walker and Product Launch Formula. I am the owner of it, and he delivers what he promises. Besides, it is not about Internet marketing at all.

    If what you are saying is true, then why people earn 100k in a horse ballet market by using this formula? There are tons of examples, which you can find out there.

    What you are talking about are products in Internet marketing niche. However, this is very small and tiny niche if comparing to all business.

    Jeff in PLF 3.0 is teaching small business owners to get their message out in the markets, which you cannot imagine. He is not teaching about a new Internet marketing product at all. So, why you mention his name under title – “scam”?

    Besides, all the products which come out are with money back guarantee, so why you use the word – “scam” at all. Scam is something where people lose the money or so on.


  22. Mark,

    Thank you for your post. I have wasted too much money buying into products that are not what they promise. In fact I have just cancelled on one this morning.

    Like Steve, above, I now hate limited time offers (I also hate upsells). The Warrior forum is a good place to check out a product’s reputation, if it has been around a few days. It is also good for checking on a product authors reputation. Where else can you get unbiased, expert reviews?

  23. Spot on Mark I believe there are two name on the product you refer to.
    The second I see the first name on anything I hit the back button.
    He targets newbies with nothing but trash.
    (Don’t know the second guy).
    How about a list of products that are ‘probably’ not scams for you each week?
    Any one else in Perpetual Traffic Formula? Personally I’m still waiting for my first light bulb moment, let allow one worth $2,000….

  24. Another great blog. I purchased PTF and signed up on the affiliate market out of curiousity. I saw EXACTLY what you did, so much time and effort selling and then completely missing the initial deliveries of training and various other stuff. Now I will say they did get their act together and the content has me more interested, but I have a HUGE list of issues that I wrote down so they have another 5 weeks to convince me before I ask for a refund, which I have zero problem doing already based on my list of concerns with what was offered versus what was initially delivered. Also what I found disapointing was the OUTRIGHT lies in the sales copy. You have X hours, X days, but you got emails as an affiliate saying the exact opposite of that. Ethics has to play a role in your sales strategy – I am fine with scarcity, but doing it in a way that isn’t an outright lie. No way most or all of these programs have that “limit” of sales and they close down there offer – they do have the week long limit and that is fine, but most will take every single sale they get in that week even though they say no, they won’t. Anyway, just some thoughts, great article…

    And the funny thing is they still have my 2000 and very well might keep it :).

  25. JohnnyTellsTheTruth

    I know what website you are talking about…

    I just bought it last night in a haze of hope, I want to be rich and free just like anyone else and if a simple method comes along why not?

    Alas – the harsh reality is simple. Hard work and doing A/B style tests on the products you’re selling the niche you are in the emails sent to your lists… etc.etc.etc.


    Ever, ever.

    Just ask the folks who are selling us the “short cut” how they got to where they are today, I guarantee you, it’s thru plain and simple hard work.

    And maybe that’s the fastest short cut ever.

  26. Hey Mark

    I totally agree Mark,I’m on a lot of list and get over 2000 emails in a week. So I see and read about all the prelaunches and hyped up products etc.

    That’s one reason why I don’t unsubscribed, so I can find out what garbage is coming out this week, and avoid it.

    Mark, your one of only a few marketers I can count on one hand that I actually open and read every time.

    Keep up the great work

    Thanks for the great post

  27. Hi Mark,

    What you are saying is that not all that glitters is gold – yes?

    It is so very unfortunate that one need go through the crap to get to the gold. But, I believe that the search for gold is more dependent upon the searchers personality then upon the marketer’s products.

    There is a legal phrase that warns those searching – caveat emptor – let the buyer beware. It appears, as I have read many a searcher’s story, that sludging through the glitter is part of the process of obtaining gold.

    It’s an educational process that teaches people that, truly, there is NOTHING that is “FREE”, “SIMPLE”, “EASY” and “INSTANT” in regards to making/EARNING a living utilizing the internet as one’s means of showcasing one’s products and/or services.

    You may ask why I capitalized the word “EARNING”. Because there are far too many colloquialisms in the English language that people accept as gospel truth.

    The word “FREE” for instance. Physics tells us that there is nothing in this universe that is free. Everything comes with a cost, price and/or an obligation.

    The phrase “Make Money”. There are only two entities that “Make Money”. Governments and currency counterfeiters. And, yes, the way the financial world is evolving that word and phrase are becoming interchanable.

    We EARN money through the exchange of value (as you do) with those that want the value that we have to offer.

    Once people realize this – they will look for VALUE rather than glitter and all will be right in the world. But – it is – a learning process – a maturation process – that’s why they call them newbies or newbs.

  28. Great post Mark!

    I agree 100% with you on this in terms of the hype around product launches. I have been turned off for over 12 months now, following an avalanche of over-priced, re-hashed junk that the “Big Guns” were all cross-promoting. It’s a tough one, finding your place in the market without the JV option but my belief is that over the next two to three years, many of the gurus will have gone for good or will be well into the background and genuine marketers who do deliver valuable, unique content will start to see the success they deserve. I’ve been watching all the hype around Chris Farrell this week – backed up by Mike Filsaime – re-hashing a product on Facebook marketing and web 2.0 that will offer nothing cutting edge at all – take a look at the facebook page to see what great advice is being offered (catch the sarcasm!) – don’t spam people, start the conversation etc, etc… nothing new and nothing cutting edge. These guys should be hauled over the coals for conning people into believing they are offering something of value – but all the names have come in onboard to sell an over-priced piece of web 2.0 junk!

  29. Awesome Blog mark. Right now we are experiencing Guru overkill.Many Gurus a self destructing because they really do not care about their client and through their continuous bombardment are doing themselves more harm than good.
    There are some good ones too that I can think of that give genuine information and care for the customer.

    Thanks for being genuine

    Steve Reh

  30. Good post, Mark. This needed to be said, and you say it well.

    The other issue is, many of these expensive courses have a lot of content, but all that’s really needed is a summary & action sheet; “do this first… do this next.”

    Who has time to wade through 20 hours of video and PDFs to get to the good stuff? Better to just put it into a summary and charge less.

  31. Mark,

    You’re spot on. In fact, I and many people here have come to the conclusion that you need only find one good source of information. You, Mark Dulisse are that source.

    Enjoy the weekend.

  32. Hi Mark

    Interesting post. I agree that the IM market seems to be getting launch crazy and that there are very few good products out there.

    What strikes me as odd though is that so few people actually have a business plan or even operate their online activities as a business.

    With so many “opportunity seekers” out there the gurus have plenty of customers looking for any so-called no-work/instant riches systems. If people buy them surely it’s their own fault?

    Are people really ready to believe that making $x00,000 per year is all to do with buying a “secret system” rather than investing some time, energy and thought and then actually doing some work?

    Seems madness to me!


  33. Thanks Mark for making me feel I am not alone on this.
    Scam alerts!!
    1: If any of us found a secret source of traffic, what is the last thing you would do with it???? Why would anybody sell a $47 ebook about it!!
    2: ‘I am a Guru’ Then why do we see their names on affiliate leaderboards to win an iPad???
    3: ‘Destroying Markets for Greed’ How many real online marketers have been happily working away making a living with networks (FB, PoF, Mobile, even Adwords) only to see bid prices and costs rocket after some goofball releases a product letting Tom Dick and Harry loose on these income sources.
    4: ‘Fashion’ at the moment it is ‘Secret Traffic Sources’ it used to be Content Network, Arbitrage, Article Marketing, CPA,
    Some of the “Old Methods” are worth a revisit, because once the masses have gone a lot of these real methods work well if you can put your own spin on things.
    Rant over, thanks for the platform Mark.

  34. Mark, you are so right. I always watch and see how many emails I get before I even look to see what the product is. If I get emails from every list I’m on then I don’t even bother to see what their pitching. It seems like now days almost everything that’s being offered is just rehashed garbage. Thanks for the great article, your points have needed to be brought out into the light of day for a long time now.

  35. I love the sales pages that have the time sensitive offer on a product that is selling hot. ‘Only 7 left,’ then you go back to the sales page 2 weeks later and there are still 7 left. MMM…add value gurus and enrich my life and stop the one trick pony sales techniques

  36. I have purchased my fair share of totally woeful “Guru” promoted products. Only in the end just wanting to give them a reverse round house kick in the head for the utter crap that they sold me.

    I’ve made a decision recently to promote stuff I have actually used or know for certain the track record of the person promoting or selling (that list shrinks by the day). Guys like Mark, Chad, and Vita are about the only ones I have left as they have stood the test of time (minus all the drivel).

    I get approached all the time for me to promote their stuff..and I like to get a copy of the product/software first, and then have a play with it myself, then if I can get it to work there, then I will promote otherwise I just become another snake oil salesman just like the rest of them. I don’t want my name to be associated with things that will tarnish my integrity within the marketplace.

    eg. I DID purchase some software recently that helped me significantly in the social marketing scene, so I got onto their affiliate program and even made a video of me using the software and sharing the capabilities of it, which is rarely done these days (normally it’s just fake screen grabs of a clickbank account.)

    I even saw one CPA/PPC course a little while ago and how he BOASTED about making something like $88,000 (or so) with these methods in a few short days, but if you were quick enough you then saw his OUTGOINGS….$86,500 (so in other words he only MADE $1,500 “in his pocket”…far cry from saying you made $88k, no moron you TURNED over 88k, but MADE 1.5k – that’s simple accounting!!.

    I also unsubscribed from about 30-40 “Guru” email list, cause all they wanted to do was TAKE, TAKE, TAKE…never GIVE, GIVE, GIVE!!! As I said above, I think I only have about 3-4 left.

    I have and use all of Mark’s plugins across all my and my clients sites and have seen a dramatic increase across all sites (not just financially, but also traffic, search engine results, interaction etc) so that is why I can promote them with confidence (without having my conscience saying to me…”you’re bordering on being a snake oil salesman”). On top of that he listens to client input, I believe I have suggested a HUGE amount of ideas that he could add to the plugins, which will also help and benefit other users; and not too long later, all those features are in the next upgrade..

    Thanks Mark

  37. Jillian M.O.B.S.ter!

    Well said Mark!
    Although I have to agree with AJ that we must take some of the responsibility too.
    Until we all learn to stop handing our money over in exchange for foolish dreams, the Gurus will go on providing them to us.

    What tickles me the most about these “limited offer” products is that they are being sold to people who either have a CB account or will shortly, and yet the owners don’t think that we go into CB and check on the grav, doh!

  38. Here is what Jean Philippe Schoeffel (JP)
    had to say about it just now. He seems to
    think much differently than you about it.

    From: JP
    Date: Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 11:27 PM
    Subject: Q&A about this new traffic software

    I have received a lot of interest following
    my last email. It relates to a brand new
    software / script that helps generating traffic.

    It sounds magical, but it works…
    I know because I am using it. In fact, when Imran
    contacted me to show me his new product, needless
    to say I was really skeptical.

    See, I am a bit fed up with “traffic generation” software,
    because I know it’s always a bunch of hype and
    just a marketing trick. Meaning, they are never helping
    you getting more traffic.

    This one is different and I am really happy I gave
    it a try a few weeks ago. It’s now fully integrated
    into my marketing process and it opens a whole new world
    of opportunities. And I mean it.

    I can’t reveal how it works, but it does solve
    a problem I was never able to solve before using it.

    And the bottom line is I can now get
    as many extra targeted
    visitors as I want… on demand.

    ==>> Affiliate Link Removed by MD

    Once again, you should put your hands on this.
    I can guarantee it will help you.

    ==>> Affiliate Link Removed by MD

    Talk soon,


    P.S. Due to the nature of this presentation
    I don’t expect it to be up there for long.
    It may be taken down today. So hurry.

    ==>> Affiliate Link Removed by MD

    • @ Tom Clarksen – Thank you for your input. You should buy it then, and use JP’s link, since you hold JP’s promo email in such high regard. Let me know how it works for you.

  39. No Thanks, I was just trying something sneeky and it was a failure.

  40. To Tom Clarksen above – what a crappy thing to do. I bet you learned that “sneaky” trick from the same kind of jerks Mark was talking about in his post. Take Take Take vs. Giving anything of value at all.

    Here’s the thing, I’m an internet marketer, but I’m an internet USER first. I LIKE the internet. I want it to grow and thrive and do well because it’s the environment in which I make my living.

    The comment above is no better than littering or graffiti, adding nothing, but taking what you don’t deserve. And it’s this attitude that has become pervasive in internet marketing.

    A new service rises to prominence like Facebook or Twitter – And instantly comes the mad rush of people who would EXPLOIT it vs. legitimately capitalize on it by creating a new way to add VALUE to the lives of internet users.

    Mark creates a post that adds value and proves popular and here come the snakes, to EXPLOIT the traffic and eyeballs that Mark EARNED and instead of adding value, hope to TAKE value.

    The guy even did it by stealing someone else’s copy and swapping the affiliate link for his own. The sad part is, there are some people out there who think this is the only way possible to succeed online.

    Who perpetuates that misconception? The answer comes in the form of another question. Who profits from it?

  41. I originally subscribed to many of the “gurus” and many others just to see what was available in the IM marketspace. Then I noticed that the same emails were coming from each person and nothing was changed except the signature. Sadly, I have purchased a couple $500 products and couple of $2,500 products and a slew of $7 -$97 products. There are some very responsible marketers who offer tremendous value, but my email box is filled with copycats and people just tagging along for the ride. What really gets me going is when I see a product price of say $1997 and they are giving 50% or more to an affiliate. So I now realize that the product isn’t really worth $2,000 but that he has to charge that much to get others to help. My final gripe is that upselling is getting to be a joke. I almost dread clicking on the “add to cart” button knowing I am going to be sold at least two more times. I think a great copy would say “No upsell offers” This is the only thing I’m selling. Upselling is usually all about the seller and never about the buyer. If it was that valuable, put it up front. Just my two cents.

  42. Hey Mark…

    All I can say is I’m in agreement 100%. It’s gotten to the point now that every self-proclaimed “guru” is pushing a product. What makes it worst is that 2-3 products hit the market at the same time and they are all about the same thing! Namely the one you’ve discussed here and another one by a well known Internet Marketer. I mean they are pushing the exact same things! What is there some secret monthly meeting where these guys get together and decide; this month we’re gonna push Facebook, Plenty of Fish and image ads?

  43. Mark:
    I really liked you taking a big Guru head on with a legitimate reason. Your point is straight and absolutely valid. I agree with you hundred percent. Thanks for sharing such a great blog post!

  44. Hit the nail on the head….

    Personally I have sworn off of $2k products, unless I can see a obvious benefit in them, and even then will work them really hard until the return policy expiers.

    I know the recent one you are referring to also, it has become a shame that you really cant trust most (any?) IM gurus. I wonder if they are beholden to each other or just money hungry inspite of saying they “care” about their list, and are all about “giving back”.

  45. I am black and blue. No, seriously. I have been for years. It comes from repeatedly kicking myself. Ok, I admit it, I’m dumb. I see something that is new and secret and nobody knows about it. It’s my job to know about these things, so I think I’d better wise up. Then a large type manual arrives (? I’m not elderly), with about 100 words per page, lacking in grammar and with unusual spelling. Blast. I did know about it perfectly well all along. It’s just that somebody has invented a new name and recycled and rebranded. At least I have a consolation: I received $73,000 of DVDs and CDs with it. Surely I can resell them for $50,000 πŸ™‚
    … On the other hand, I do read Mark’s blog posts – and I don’t need a refund for them πŸ™‚ Now, can I just come up with a new name for ‘search engine optimization’ and startlingly reveal what even the gurus won’t tell you?

  46. Good post Mark. I too have an inbox full of crap but I do read all of yours.

    It seems to me the main theme of most of these scams is the ‘guru’ showing how much he made on this and that. Where, when, etc. without showing details how they got there.

    When I look to purchase something I research 5-6 alike products and go based on customer reviews. Of course I weed out the ‘associated’ people writing biased reviews.

    To me there is no better way to gauge a product than customer reviews.

    Customer relations are where it’s at. Take care of them and they take care of you.

  47. This is about the 6th attempt I’ve made to comment on this post but for some reasons my comments keep getting filtered out.
    Hopefully it will get through if I keep trying. πŸ™‚

    It’s a great post topic and one which I feel passionate about. Ironically I posted on my own blog a few weeks ago about a similar topic being about how all these so called gurus are always at the top of leader boards for product launches.

    At the time I was referring to The Consumer Wealth System which I bought and promptly applied for a refund.

    However it wasn’t the product so much I was pissed off with as it could be of some use to rank newbies, it was more about the IM millionaires promoting the product and getting not only the affiliate commissions but also the leader prizes.

    Affilorama’s Mark Ling took out the major prize along with $9000 in cash bonus as well as lots of toys which he will no doubt use as leader prizes for his own product launches.

    While i admit to promoting products like Mark Ling’s products because I actually started in IM using his affiloblueprint and indeed the Consumer Wealth System, it just sickens me seeing the same names on top of the leader boards all the time and most of them being the same gurus promoting their own products within a week of promoting someone else’s.

    For what it’s worth my post can be seen at

    • @ Sean Kelly – Your comments are not being filtered out. The one you refer to is here, but now I have to delete it because of duplicate, although you expand on this one.

      FYI – I do moderate my blog, and if I feel the comment adds no value to the topic at hand, and/or is simply an attempt to get traffic or link, then I’ll delete the comment.

  48. Here’s some irony .. I wrote about this very topic last week..

    and you left one big one out I think, and it’s the one I covered in my blog.

    It’s the “rags to riches” salesletter tactic. I was poor, until I discovered [ fill in the blank ] now I’m driving a sweet car – oh and no it’s not a rental.. I tune out when I hear it.

  49. Hi Mark – Great post and one that II agree with absolutely.

    I buy a lot products before I promote them and I can tell you the ones that you mention and another last week were absolutely Garbage.

    What amazed me is that some huge marketers that I have been following for quite a while – I mean really big ones ! sent me emails this week promoting these last 2 products – saying 13 Clicks software – What a load of rubish that was and as I was reading this guys blog it says ” I am staking my reputation in this product” –

    I have a certain very sneaky feeling that there is a group of these marketers that are coming uo with these ” crappy ” products and milking the IM world for every that they can get their grubby hands on and more or less dissapear and come back under names like Mr Y and Mr X – I think everyone here knows who they are.

    When I saw the “secret” 13 clicks software – I thought my goodness – these guys are selling a script that you can get probably free anyway and then telling 1000’s of people to break the terms of service !

    Its a crazy world and am I glad I am more or less not in the Im niche and its a pity as there is so much good out there in our Internet World today that can and does give people great online living.
    Great on you Mark – Thanks for posting a great article.

    Ps I started this week unsubscribing from email lists that promoted this greatest “secret” and I think everyone reading this blog should do the same as it will show those beggars that a quick buck is not the way to do business.
    PPS I know that so far there are only a handful of marketers that have made it plain that this was an outright lie to the buying customer and their subscribers.

  50. Hey Mark…

    Once again you have written another quailty post it is becomingmore and more apparent that many of the Gurus are not looking after the best interests of there subscribers.

    I have just left a site that claims a 100 million loophole and you can be earning $100,000 in a month from now.

    Will it ever stop.

  51. 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!


  52. Graham-the Gerrman Shepherd Guy

    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

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

  54. 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,

  55. 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.


  56. 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.


  57. 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.

  58. 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…

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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. πŸ™‚

    Fave Feed in my sidebar this week: Juli I display feeds to help create backlinks for others. We are a community after all.

  62. 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

  63. Glad I looked this post up Mark πŸ™‚

    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,

  64. 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.

  65. 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 πŸ™‚

  66. 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

  67. 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!

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. Columbus Anselm

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

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