If you're like me, you get hundreds of emails a day, along with countless tweets and Facebook updates, many of which originate from “internet marketers.” Most of this stuff is just internet marketing gimmicks.

I got one today. It is pretty tame but nevertheless it's a marketing gimmick, designed to get you to act on something when you really wouldn't otherwise. Sometimes, they're disguised as “calls to action,” like “Click the buy button now.”

Except they have an additional hook or fear thrown in: “Do this…or else.”

Here's the example from today. I won't name names because I actually like this particular internet marketer, chiefly because I think he's one of the “good guys.” But he does this crap all the time and it's annoying to me. I let it roll off my back, so to speak, but I do want to alert you to the very subtle mind games that go on in this industry.

I mean, you knew that right?

Here's the internet marketing gimmick:

Be sure to click on that right now, listen and comment because I need at least
10 comments to post the transcript (AND to continue posting to the blog).

Obviously, this stuff works. And like I said, it's pretty innocuous. But here's what I think when I read or hear this sort of thing:

  • And? If you don't get 10 comments you're going to quit blogging? Really? Promise?

Look, I know this works. He's not the only one who does it and he gets dozens, if not hundreds, of comments every time he posts. My question really is, what if he didn't make that request? Would, all of a sudden, people stop commenting? Are people that manipulative?

I totally agree that you need to urge people what to do next because often they have no other course of action to take but leave. You're giving them an instruction on what to do.

But there's a small veiled threat there, right? If I'm an avid follower of this blogger, and I see that, I may comment when I really wouldn't have, just so I avoid the outcome of the threat, right? I mean, after all, I like the guy, I like his blog, and I want him to keep publishing really cool stuff.

The point is, he probably doesn't have to add that manipulative gimmick at the end. He'd still get his user engagement but people wouldn't feel compelled to make comments that they really didn't want to make comments on.

I dunno? Your thoughts? I need two comments to this post or else!


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    • The sad thing to me is that he probably has split-tested it and that’s why he does it. People are so damned paralyzed nowadays that they won’t do anything unless they’re told.

      I kind of don’t want those lemmings following me 🙂 It creeps me out.

  • I agree Bill- it seems a little below him, which takes down the quality of whatever you’re exposed to that he’s done after seeing that.

    Er, hope that makes sense- on the way out!

    • It quite frankly reminds me of a P.E. teacher, which, if I were still in 9th grade, would compel me to do “ten more.” However, I’m a few grades older than that and it just kinda pisses me off 🙂

      “Do it yourself” is what I say on the inside when I hear that BS.

  • Family is wonderful. You are blessed. A positive view will help you prioritize your next step and the right door will open.

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