I thought we’d moved on in online marketing?!

Marketing Tips from Nial Adams of The PUSH Academy


I thought we’d moved on in online marketing?!

I’ll be honest with you; I’m really surprised and somewhat disappointed that there seem to be a lot of online marketers still using a tactic, which quite frankly, I believe is well past its sell-by date.

Inviting people to click a link, normally in a post, tweet or other outbound campaign, which lands on a ‘squeeze page’ is fine but why then force the visitor to subscribe before they can get their hands on the information you’re offering? Where’s the value upfront in this?

This ‘gateway’ approach has been around for at least fifteen years. It’s a well-worn routine and goes something like this:

Send out an email, or post a comment on facebook, twitter, etc. promising some earth-shattering secret that people simply can’t live without…

Then present them with a landing page of long-copy promising untold riches or success that awaits… if they only knew the secret that you’re about to disclose… but…

The only way they can get their hands on it is if they subscribe first. No sign-up, no secret.

Of course the truth is that the great secret to be revealed is almost certainly something you’ve already heard about or know and are probably using. Then again, it could be awesome… and you’ll never know unless you sign up!

Of course, this mechanism is all about list building but isn’t there something missing here?

Who am I to question this?

Well, I fully recognise that this approach has worked well for a number of years and there’s no doubting that many Internet Marketing ‘Gurus’ have made a lot of money building their list this way.

But hang on… we’ve moved on guys and here’s why:

Firstly, people now have far more access to information than ever before. The Internet is awash with ideas, concepts, strategies and tactics. Some of the best are very simple, some are more complex. Some are certainly worth paying for, even if the initial trade is only your name and email address, right?


Don't be a lazy marketer

We now live in a world of Permission Marketing (read Seth Godin’s work on this concept). Our audience will tell us what they want. They are in control and they will only spend their time, and possibly money, if they can see two key things:


My own mentor taught me this concept over 14 years ago and I work hard to follow this concept in everything I do. Before we can even hope that someone will want to invest in us, to buy what we have to offer, they really need to be able to trust us. They also want and need to get to know us.

The good news is that there’s a really simple way of doing this. Give something (or lots) away up front. Don’t be shy and for goodness sake, leave your ego at home. If you’ve got something valuable to say… just say it.

Personally, before I’m willing to give you anything (and yes, that includes my personal email address, which I value highly) you need to demonstrate you’re a person I can trust. Then you need to prove you actually have something of value to offer me. Convince me of this first please!

The ‘fear of loss’ trick works on a lot of people; thankfully I can see right through it every time.

If you want to build trust and you’ve got a solid reputation then let others decide for themselves. Let them evaluate you, test your integrity and get to know you first. This is often missed out by many ‘online experts’ and for one very good reason…

The information you’re going to buy with your email address is probably something they’ve just bought themselves, or worse, plagiarised from the original author. The fact is they have no back-story, no experience and probably very little real understanding of the ideas they are presenting.

We’ve moved on. In a world awash with useful information we have a challenge to decide on the real value this offers but there’s one golden rule to this; what’s the value of the person offering it? Do they have a track record? Are they really experienced, or is it just some sixteen-year-old trying to make a fast buck from their bedroom?

Personally, I prefer to put my money where my mouth is. Yes, I do offer free content and materials to download and yes, of course I ask for email details but it’s NOT conditional. Will people take my knowledge and then not subscribe? Yes, of course they do. But many more are happy to exchange with me. That seems like an honest and grown-up way of doing business. If you like me and I like you and the feeling of trust is mutual, then we might well do business in some way, now or in the future.

If you just want my knowledge, just want to know what I know, that’s cool. I’ve plenty of it to go around and I’d be delighted for you to take my ideas, do something with them and make money (just don’t steal my intellectual property and sell it to others… otherwise we’ll be having a much more serious conversation through my lawyers!).

So here’s my parting thought on this…

How about we all try to become Smart Marketers, not just busy ones. I’m not interested in the bragging rights of the size of your list… I want to know if what you do really makes a difference!


free marketing advice

Nial Adams, the PUSH Marketing Academy’s Principal Tutor

PS. And that free eBook is there if you want it; of course I’d love it if you do subscribe, that way we can stay in touch but if you really don’t want to, you’re still welcome

PPS. Oh yes, and one more thing worth remembering, credibility is what other people say about you – Google ‘Nial Adams’.