How do you define an internet marketing campaign to be ethical? Have you ever thought about it? What standards do you adhere to? How do we hold our peers accountable?
These are some of the questions I asked myself this week after receiving an email from an internet marketing company. The email itself wasn’t offensive. It was what happened after I clicked on the email. Actually, it was what happened after I signed up for the FREE seminar that made my blood curdle.
The first email of the campaign was short, simple and enticing…
Want a chance to win $30,000??
We’ve given away iPads, trips to Costa Rica, and all sorts of stuff.
Yes, I’m a bit CRAZY, but I guess you can say I’m in love with marketing.
To find out how you can win $30,000:
Of course, I’d love to win $30,000, who wouldn’t? So I click. The sales letter page then promises me the following:
three of the top marketing powerhouses from the Infusionsoft community (Ultimate Marketer: Bob Britton, SEO Expert: Grant James, and Internet Guru: Micah Mitchell) have now joined forces and developed the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT thing a business owner needs to triple their sales and profits in 12 months or less,
The landing page goes on to claim:
“We have decided to host a special “FREE Sneak Peak, Live Event“ for the first 100 people to register.”
“you can attend WITHOUT shelling out your hard earned cash for a plane ticket, a hotel room or ANYTHING else,”
“YES! I Want To Be One Of Only 100 People To Attend This FREE Live Sneak Peek Event Into How Your Guys Systems Can Stuff An EXTRA $100,000+ Dollars This Year Into My Wallet! YES! I Also Want To Learn How I Can Win The $30,000 Cash”
Notice the use of the word free everywhere.
There was also a line that said this:
“having a one in 50 chance of winning $30,000”
If they are accepting 100 registrations, how do your odds become 1 in 50? There are no contest terms listed. No legalese at all anywhere.
Here’s the worst part…
Once you type in your name and email, they send you to a new page that says this…
“Your registration request for the “Infusion Elite Mastermind Sneak Peek Live Event” has been received, but before I can register you I first need you to pay a seat deposit of $97.”
“IMPORTANT!!: If you DO NOT pay the seat deposit, you WILL NOT receive a link for this event and you’re spot WILL NOT be reserved.”
And there is a video of the Infusionsoft Ultimate Marketing Award Winner (he makes this claim in the video) telling everyone why they need to pay $97 and they only get it back if they actually attend the event.
So they entice people with a $30,000 prize. They offer no terms and conditions regarding the contest rules. They play upon their relationship with Infusionsoft and their authority as the Ultimate Marketer of the Year. They tell you its free to join. Then after you sign up they say that you can’t complete the registration until you pay them $97.
I found this to be the type of campaign that gives internet marketers a slimy reputation. I found it to be borderline ethical and legal (deceptive advertising).
I now ask you, my readers,
What would you do?
Do you find this to be ethical?
Is this the type of role model we should be emulating?
Here’s a link if you want to check it out. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY!