When my wife released her controversial report, Internet Marketing Sins, we received mixed reactions. As expected, of course.
Some people thought it was about time someone spoke out on these underhanded tactics and stupid marketing tricks. Others praised Sylvie's efforts and gushed her with appreciation.
Others, on the other hand, didn't feel as… appreciative.
The positive side about this whole thing is, we received about 7-8 times more fan mail than we have hate mail. If you want to take a look at some of them (with identifying information removed), click here.
However, to think we were going to receive only love mail would have been ignorant and naive on our part.
We understand that this report might ruffle some feathers. We knew it would peeve people off. And it certainly did, although not as much as we expected.
(Are we that desensitized?)
But we also understand that it might seem hypocritical to some people as well. After all, we're asking for email addresses — albeit for the sole purpose of notifying subscribers when subsequent parts will be released.
There are no sales pitches, and my wife is 100% transparent. But some people still have denounced this strategy outright. Mind you, some have done so without even reading the report. Which proves my wife's point.
You see, they're cynical and skeptical about our “real intent,” and think the report is a front for something else. Perhaps something nefarious.
I can appreciate that.
In fact, my wife has answered that concern specifically on a public forum. One thing to keep in mind is that, my wife's detractors have good reason to feel that way because of the very nature of the report's message.
People have become desensitized and cynical, especially when such reports come out. And that's EXACTLY the reason why my wife put it out there.
Really bad marketing has given legitimate marketers (and the Internet marketing industry as a whole) a bad name. And it's making any attempt, whether it's magnanimous, ethical, commercial, or otherwise, instantly suspect.
People are understandably skeptical and doubtful. Especially of those who speak out against the very thing they are skeptical about. But what they don't understand is, they are, in fact, proving my wife right.
It's sad, really.
Incidentally, some people have questioned or denounced her attempt for a variety of other reasons — many of which are not even about the message itself.
For example, a few were neither positive nor negative, but were simply indifferent. While they praised her efforts, they believed her attempts will fall on deaf ears and that nothing will change.
One person said, “Crooks are crooks, and this report won't change things.”
I believe that's true, too.
But the objective of this report is not to change the minds of the obstinate or hardened, but to sway those who are new to Internet marketing, and are sitting on the fence contemplating such tactics or emulating those who do perpetrate these “sins.”
However, while my wife's report may not directly reform the most belligerent “sinners” out there, some self-admitted former sinners have joined in the chorus, and a few have emailed us, in private, thanking us for changing their minds.
Good for them!
What I do find kind of funny is that some people have condemned my wife's report for more insignificant reasons — reasons other than its content, or the way the report was issued or promoted.
For example, some people have said that our emails notifying them of this report are worthless and considered spam because we are arguing with people who may have a valid point. And that's perfectly fine.
But the funny part about this one is that my wife specifically covered this on page 112 of her report, where people simply feel that an email someone has asked to receive is reported as spam simply because they didn't like it.
A “sin” on the part of the consumer. And remember, my wife covers both sides of the issue — both bad marketers and bad consumers.
What's even more funny is that the person who emailed us did so anonymously. Luckily, the person sent his message to us by hitting “reply,” so their complaint included our original email along with their unsubscribe link.
Another example is, a few people feel we are “bad to trees” because the report is formatted in such a way that it makes it hard to print — even though we quite specifically formatted it to make it easier to read on a computer screen.
Many have even praised us for formatting it in such a fashion.
While I do appreciate their concerns, I find this kind of funny as well because of the fact that we issued the report in PDF — i.e., electronically — which clearly is demonstrative that we are “kind to trees.” Is it not?
After all, if we formatted it in such a way that it not only made it hard to read but forced people to print it out on their printers, wouldn't have this been seen as an equally bad gesture?
Boggles the mind.
Nevertheless, the point is that you can never please everyone. And thinking that you can, or trying to do so, is an uphill battle if not impossible.
Granted, one person was concerned he would miss out because he is visually impaired, and some of the graphics, which contained text, were not readable to them. So my wife went out of her way to prepare a more accessible version. It's available on the download page.
(By the way, as kindhearted and considerate as my wife is, she has just notified me that she has prepared a printer-friendly version, too.)
All in all, this report has definitely shocked a lot of people. Fortunately, in a good way. It's meant to shake a few people up. It's meant to make some uncomfortable, because discomfort is the catalyst for change. More importantly, it's meant to cause people to THINK.
And personally, I look forward to my wife's second installment, which will be out in a day or so.
She's almost done right now.
Even I have no clue as to what she's writing about. This is her little project, and I must admit that the incessant click-clack sound of her motivated fingers stabbing her keyboard in the last couple of days makes me as excruciatingly curious as the rest.
But just like everyone else, I have to wait. And I am really looking forward to the next part.
If you haven't downloaded it, here's a list of the chapters included in the first installment of Internet Marketing Sins.
- About This Manifesto
- A Note From Sylvie Fortin
- Sleight of Hand Continuity
- Upsell Hell
- Limited Time Offers
- Hammerhead Marketing
- Feast or Famine Marketers
- Next 10 Coming Soon
- Get The Word Out!
After registering at the bottom of the page, you can download part #1 immediately, and will be notified by email as soon as parts #2 and #3 become available.
For example, in the next installment I believe she will be covering “Slave Owners,” “Arrogant Jerks,” “Piggy Back Marketers,” “Guru Bashers,” and “Me Too Marketers.”
Let me repeat, there are no sales pitches or hidden offers.
The report does contain links to relevant resources here and there. And in the interest of full disclosure, some of these include our own. But these links are not, in any way, mandatory in order to read and benefit from this report. It's completely up to you to click them, if you want to.
(By the way, watch out for part #2, where I believe my wife covers “Guru Bashers.” And it's not for the reasons you may think.)
Nevertheless, what do you think of the report?
Michel Fortin is a certified digital marketing expert and renowned copywriter who specializes in a unique combination of SEO, CRO, and UX to improve traffic, leads, and revenue for his clients. For the better part of 30 years, he's produced countless wins, generating in excess of $300 million in sales and results that have broken many industry records. He has worked with thousands of businesses ranging from individual entrepreneurs to enterprise-level multinational companies. He's the author of two top-selling books and often speaks at industry events. To connect with him, visit his LinkedIn profile where he is most active.