I read a lot of sales and copywriting blogs, and on most of them there’s some kind of product being sold. And some of it might even be pretty good, judging by the writing on the blog.
But the bulk of them contain the cheesiest, forehead-slapping stuff I’ve ever read. My favorite is the “buy-this-now-before-it-goes-away” create fake scarcity ploy. You know the ones – “my ebook will not be available for much longer, so order now.” One guy even had the cojones to say “I only invited 115 people to my last seminar, and I decided I wouldn’t do it again. So order the DVD for all my secrets”
Why would you take a product off the market if it actually sold, or limit attendance at your crappy seminar? Are you making too much money? Did having to process all those payments, make all those trips to the bank, buy all those yachts cut into your family time?
In today’s cynical culture, I have a hard time believing there are any rubes left that actually fall for this carnival barker stuff.
At the other end, there are the Masters of Marketing Psychology that hint at some deep understanding of today’s consumer and “how things have changed” and are willing to rehash things everyone knows (with new vocabulary). The appeals to the cubicle intellectual who wants his hucksterism with a side of thought.
It reminds me of the title of the Ray Bradbury book “Too Soon From The Cave, Too Far From The Stars”. We like to think we’ve exchanged the fur Neanderthal suit for a necktie and Dockers, but inside we’re still the same. Our emotions jump at something we think we might want before our higher faculties can analyze the message.
Because, like everything else in the world, if this stuff didn’t work, it would have died out.