Misleading Marketing Alert: Tick Tock Watching the Clock Until Midnight
By Shelley Lockwood
Many online marketers tout......give your readers a reason to act immediately. In other words, a reason to buy right away.
I'm not necessarily saying this is a bad thing and I'm not necessarily saying deadlines and specials aren't an ideal way of getting people to buy or generating more business. In fact they are a great way to increase sales within a set period of time.
I just think they should be legitimate, period. If it's truly a sale and there's truly a deadline, that's great.
I remember when I first started out. I would read the ad copy and then at the end there would be the original price crossed out and then in bigger brighter font a special price with a deadline. The deadline was a specific date and time. Midnight is a favorite.
The ultimate #1 blah blah blah of all times blah blah blah
Limited Time Offer! Order Your Copy Before Midnight xxx (usually today's date) and you get the e-book and all of the $2957.00 worth of free bonuses listed above for only US$99.99. Remember this special ends at blah blah blah, so don't delay or you will have to pay full price.
Well after running into this over and over I started to wonder. How could it be that all these different sites had specials ending at the same time on the same day that I was surfing them?
There was one item I was seriously considering purchasing, I remember the full price was over US$200.00. That was a lot of money, and I had to give it some serious thought...but then there was that flashing special right near the end. I could have it all for a lot less. But, still it was a lot of money.
I was pretty stressed, I kept thinking about it all evening. Kept going back to the site over and over. Finally I decided time was running out so I'd better get back there and order it.
I guess the timing was pretty ironic. According to my clock it was about two minutes before midnight. Seems my clock was a bit slow. Just as I got to the end of the page, I saw, right before my very eyes, the date roll over. Bang! All of a sudden the date changed to the next day. Funny thing was the price didn't change, nope just the date.
Did I buy the product? No way! I felt betrayed and insulted. I don't know about you but I prefer to spend my money with someone that I feel I can trust.
Had they changed even one small part of the special offer...added something, removed something, changed the price slightly anything, then I probably would have considered it genuine. But it was simply set to automatically change the date at midnight.
When someone's testing a price and they let you know it could go up at any time. That's ok.
When they've sold something at a higher price in the past and have now lowered the price temporarily to drum up business, that's ok.
When they're planning on adding new features or changing the product and they say the price will go up...buy now and then you'll get a free upgrade, that's ok.
There are many genuine ways and offers that can be made to get people to buy. As long as it's the truth it's ok.
To outright state that the price will be going up at a certain time on a certain date when there's not an ounce of truth to it....that's just plain lying, nothing fancy about that at all.
I don't know about you but I personally don't want to deal with people who's whole marketing concept is based on a blatant lie.
You will run into many special offers online, it's the way of the Net. I'm not saying to shy away from them all....just be careful.