Resist the Money Scams on the Internet

It doesn't take much searching for ways to earn legitimate money online to encounter the many and varied money scams on the Internet. Even the opportunities that aren't exactly scams are hyped up and marketed using high pressure tactics. Picking out the truly legitimate make money online systems, products or opportunities, as well as valuable information from the hype and noise can be a daunting task if you're new to online marketing.

While I can't make the money scams on the Internet go away or get rid of the excess hype on even the legitimate make money online systems and opportunities, I can help make you aware of some of the tactics that you are sure to encounter that are designed to make you spend money that you are likely to regret. You can save yourself lots of money and regret by keeping in mind some important principles

1. Recognize the marketing techniques

Internet marketers as a whole conduct some of the most refined scientifically controlled experiments you will find anywhere. They will publish two landing pages where the only difference is two words or the size of the font or image, send half of their traffic to each one and study the conversion rate, amount of time spent on the page and all manner of esoteric metrics. They will do this with every aspect of their marketing campaign, discarding what doesn't convert into sales and keeping and refining what works.

The bottom line is that certain marketing techniques are used over and over with many different products because they have proven themselves to be effective at putting money in the marketers' pockets. The marketing techniques have very little to do with the actual quality or effectiveness of the product in question. The products may be excellent or they may be money scams on the Internet.

Here are a few of the marketing techniques that you will encounter in your quest to earn legitimate money online.

The One Time Offer

Also knows as OTO, it's pretty much assumed that anyone who puts out any kind of product on the Internet will have an irresistible one time offer. Here's a common scenario. You register for the free membership option on a site that provides you with free tools or insider information. Before you complete the registration, you are shown a screen that goes on forever about the benefits of a paid upgrade membership, the price you will pay should you choose to upgrade later, and the much reduced price you can get if you just buy now. You will be told in no uncertain terms that you will never see that offer again.

I've seen many of these one time offers and fallen for a few of them. No matter what the highly optimized page or video tells you, there is a way to access that one time offer again should you later realize you actually want it. The marketer wants you to buy it and if you want it he will sell it to you. It will be offered again in an email message, as a seasonal special or a repackaged one time offer. If that doesn't happen, you can always try registering for the same site using different log in credentials and a different email address, and odds are, you'll see the offer again and can take advantage of it should you choose. But the marketer understands that the odds are you won't think about it and you won't come back. If you don't buy right then, he knows you won't buy later, which is why he gives you all kinds of extreme reasons to buy in that moment.

The Limited Time Offer

This is the offer that will only be around for a few minutes, hours or days and will also be gone forever if you don't act quickly. Just like with the one time offer, these offers with few exceptions have a way of coming back around. Even if you can't get the exact same offer again, you can count on the product being repackaged in some way and finding you again–either as an unexpected email or when you look for it again. I recently listened to a webinar where a high priced product was offered for a limited time. A quick search on Google showed me a few other places where the same offer had been made and those payment pages were still up. I didn't try to buy the product but if I did a month after its expiration date I'm sure they'd be more than happy to sell it to me. Why else would they keep the payment page online? Again, all the pressure comes from the documented fact that most people will not return to a website to make a purchase once they leave, so they want to make sure you feel you've missed out big time if you do leave.

Scarcity is merely a tactic

You find yourself on the landing page of a product that promises to get you a bazillion visits to your website each day without Google. After you skim through all the copy about what a great system it is and what loophole it uses, you see a an image saying “Only 250 left” with the number 250 crossed out and replaced by some lower number. Or, there's just some low number of how many left. The line is that the seller will only sell a total of 250 copies of the product because if too many people were let in on the secret it would dilute the results for everyone.

This line is in almost every case pure crock. The seller claims that this product has made him millions in his own Internet marketing efforts. And yet he's going to sell 250 copies for 100 dollars each. Even if it was entirely profit, he's only going to pocket $25,000 once he's sold all 250 copies. $25,000 is small change when you've earned millions. Why would anyone go through all that trouble? The answer is they don't. They may or may not have made millions actually using the product, but you can bet they are hoping to make a whole lot more than 25 grand selling it! So don't worry about not buying in time. Close the site, think about it for a while, and if you really want it, go back and buy it. Chances are, you will have encountered five more products just like that and very likely at half the price.

Not all online products that use those marketing techniques are money scams on the Internet. Some are legitimate online money making opportunities, you will be in a better position to evaluate them objectively once you can see through the marketing techniques the sellers use. Internet marketers do use some of these techniques to a degree even when promoting perfectly fine products. Brick and mortar stores use similar tactics too, like the sale that lasts for a few days. If the customer believes the price will go up or the product will be sold out he is more likely to make a purchase than if he believes he has all the time in the world.

Retail value vs. what you will pay

If you've watched a few sales videos, you will recognize this pattern. The seller goes on at great length about how great the product is and what it will do for you. Then he starts going through everything that will be included in the package he hopes you will buy and its retail price. He'll even throw in some comments about how he's being conservative in his valuation–really it's probably worth twice that amount. Regardless of what numbers he actually uses, they will all add up to some astronomically high number that no one in their right mind would pay for. The latest one I saw totalled up over $24,000. After the total comes the actual price for the entire package, and it's always a fraction of the total retail value. The point of the exercise is to make you believe you are getting an incredible deal, which you may very well be. The retail value of each piece of the package may very well be genuine, and it could be easily verified. But just about everyone does that, which in my book makes it a marketing technique. Don't fall for it. The product may very well be worth buying, but make sure it's completely your informed decision.

The special discount for the reluctant buyer

You decide you're not going to buy a certain product and you click on the X in the top right hand corner to leave the sales page. Suddenly you get this popup image that asks if you're sure you want to leave, and instructs you to click cancel for a special offer. When you come back you find you can buy the same product at a much reduced price. Not all product sales pages do this, but many do. If you are set on buying the product, try leaving the site first. At least you might be able to get it for a better price.

2. Look at what's left when you remove the hype

No matter what product you are marketing, you will be given the advice to sell the benefits rather than the features, or sell the sizzle, not the steak. Take a computer, for example. Only a true computer nerd can really appreciate the differences between a 1.24 GB ram and a 2.48 GB ram chip. The rest of us have some vague idea that the bigger the number, the better the performance, but also the higher the price. So when I'm making a decision about which ram chip to purchase a better salesman will tell me what each chip will do–how fast it will load programs, process commands, etc. Those are the benefits. The numbers are the features.

People who sell products to help you make money online often take that advice to an extreme. You will be treated with images of gorgeous beaches, fast sports cars and million dollar homes. You can have this kind of lifestyle if you follow this system. But you will have a difficult time finding any information about how the system actually works. A certain amount of selling the sizzle is certainly fine–after all, when you make a purchase, you are looking to better your life in some way. But an informed buyer needs to know a bit about the steak, at least he should feel confident he is buying steak that came from a real cow, and not some chemical imitation. If the product sales page gives absolutely no information about the actual product or its features, then it's best to close the page and not buy.

3. If you can't bring yourself to forget about it, bookmark it

Keep in mind that no matter what the sales page says, whatever great product you want to buy will be there the next day. Bookmark the site so you can come back to it, then sleep on it for a night and take another look the next day. Chances are you will have a different perspective and might realize the decision to buy was not so urgent after all. More than likely, you'll forget about it completely until you find a similar offer somewhere else (there are thousands of hyped up offers all over the Internet), but if you don't it's right there in your bookmark file.

4. Understand the truth about valuable products

Truly worthwhile products don't need to rely solely on slick marketing techniques to sell them. Sure, the sellers may still use some application of those techniques because they work, but they also have a lot to say about the actual product and exactly how it works. Products that aren't either money scams on the Internet or here today gone tomorrow fads but will actually help you earn legitimate online money have a way of staying around. Marketers of those products don't have to trick the buyers into buying them. They know the product is good enough that potential customers will think about it for a while and realize it's still a great product after they've slept on it. Sellers can choose to emphasize certain features and their benefits because those things are real. They can even go into great detail about everything the product has to offer and know that the more they talk about it, the more attractive it gets. In the mean time, they can afford to offer a lot of good information free of charge.

5. You need to take action

This goes without saying, but you'd be surprised at how many people will purchase a product on the Internet that promises to help them make legitimate online money and do absolutely nothing with it. No matter how great the product is, it will not make you money by itself. You are going to have to take action with it–read the ebook, follow the steps, do the assignments, set up the software.


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