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Are Your Emotions Being Exploited By Marketers? (Part 2)

by John Alexander


In Part 1 of this article, we looked at how effective emotional content could be in a positive way for good honest business. We said that appealing to the emotions can be highly effective for the purposes of communicating and relating effectively to your readers or viewers. I explained that good communications to accent the benefits of your product or your service is smart and is good business and it does not even qualify as "exploitation." 

Web sites should be created with the idea of building genuine relationships and communication excellence.

So now in Part 2 let's take a look at the other "exploitation" aspect of emotions. 

Remember now, the term exploitation in this context, is used with respects to those people who create a Web site that is focused on "using others selfishly for only their own ends." In other words, these might be described as individuals or companies that do not exactly offer good value for the money. 

Often they may not care about ever making a repeat sale. Some are masked behind a veil or a false persona and often don't have any real interest in their visitors. Some have a sharp sounding pitch or a great story to tell. They may have excellent "marketing" skills in terms of writing a convincing pitch. 

But they are mostly absorbed totally in how much money they think they can make. They are often engaged in nearly some sort of an unnatural pursuit of wealth. They spin a Web of well crafted emotionally charged Web copy that sounds great, is very motivating, is very easy to believe, easy to read and is literally irresistible for some to respond to, but behind it is nothing more than a cash grab.

They may sometimes use emotional content, to extend bloated hyped up promises, knowing very well the craft of how to work with emotional content. But their spin is completely different. For them, it's all about making a quick dollar. They're not interested in customer retention or building reputation. Some have no customer service department at all. Some do not even have a legitimate product and they hide behind a mask.

On a side note, if you are taking counsel or advice from someone, why would you take advice from someone using an alias identity? Back in the early days of "bulletin board services" (BBS) if you remember those days, it was like everyone used "aliases" more or less for fun.  

How comfortable are you at taking SEO advice from people who feel they must hide their identity behind a mask? Why listen to advice from a phantom? Does it add up? 

In this day and age when the Web is more "social" than ever before, I am still amazed by some people who will trust as something as important as their online business strategies, to people who wear a mask and try to cloak their identity. 

The Web for today, should not be about teenage high school antics, but about real genuine relationships with people who have no need to hide behind a mask. I hear students who come to to study SEO skills that are completely misinformed on some topic. When we ask them where they got their information, they cannot even identify the name of the person, because of an alias. Again, in all fairness I do know some people that still operate with great "above board values" and the alias thing is just sort of a run-off from the early days. But still, why not deal with someone who will give you their real name. Okay, back to awareness on emotional content....

So let's also talk for a bit about the emotional content you are seeing in e-mails these days.

You may even discern a certain discomfort with certain e-mails or sales letters (nearly like your own internal warning bell going off.) If that's the case you need to learn to listen to your own instincts.

Now I just put together a few makeshift words to illustrate a point: (There are no intentional slights intended here - if anyone has actually created any of the exact headlines like the examples below - I'm just trying to make more people aware of how their emotions are involved.) 

Have you ever gotten an e-mail with a subject line like these?

  • Submit to 30,000 Search Engines for a flood of daily non-stop FREE Traffic
  • I'm the fat and laziest affiliate marketer on the planet and I'll show you way to eternal wealth.
  • Over 40 New Sneaky Tricks to Beat the Search Engines 
  • Discover the Amazing Power Of Search Engine Submission!
  • I am VERY angry that people have been telling you lies!
  • Most People Doing SEO Today are ALL Deadly Wrong!
  • An amazing new wealth building report shows you the secrets to success
  • 101 Secret Sneaky Tricks To Make MASSIVE Amounts of Money In 3 hours
  • There are only 2 ways to do SEO - My Way or the Wrong Way

Now you cannot say that these are "bad products" or "bad services" just by the subject line. 

There are some tell-tale signs of things that you may just know are not true, but that is not the point. There could possibly be something here that is also a very legitimate product. The reason I put these makeshift examples in front of you is so that we can talk about the emotional verbs being used, but I think clustered like this, you can see it for yourself.

Everyone these days is trying to captivate our attention. There are programs that will spit out hyped up sales copy for you automatically. My point is for you to become more aware of the "emotional element" as you read someone's e-mail. Become more aware of what is being said to you and also develop an awareness of how it affects what you feel

Of course we can all make judgment calls, after the fact. 
But by then, they've got your money.

So let's just go through a few of these descriptive type terms....

How about a "non-stop flood of traffic"
It sounds great, but submitting to 30,000 search engines is the oldest gimmick in the world. 
For those of you have tried it...did it ever live up to the hype? 

Did it ever deliver any visitors at all to you?
Of course not. It's based on a completely false concept. You can submit to 30,000 search engines, but if your pages are not truly optimized, then of what value is submission? None.

So you might ask why then, do people still publish this type of stuff? 

They are in it for the fast buck. They make their money on people who do not know any better. It's a convincing argument....sounds great, so what the heck, it's only $30. Maybe I'll try it, it sure sounds cool. They take the offer and ..."Oh oh....I guess I got stung. Where is all this junk mail coming from?"

Next, we look at the word "lazy" which instantly connects with some audiences. 

The reader may casually think...."Hmmm, if this lazy guy got so incredibly rich in just 7 days by getting this scraper tool, then maybe I can do it too. If all I need to be is "lazy," the reader thinks...yep..this is for me!" 

So often the hyped up stuff you see with fluorescent yellow highlighter plastered all over it, may even have a shade or very fine element of truth to it - mixed will a whole lot of error

What is entertaining is when you read the legal disclaimers (usually hidden somewhere on the sales letter) which state....exactly opposite to their sales hype. On one hand, the big bold brassy pitch that you can get easy wealth
by using this product, the find the disclaimer which will usually say something like: 

  • We can make no guarantees regarding the level of success you may experience. 
  • The testimonials are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results". 
  • You may experience unknown risks which can reduce results. 
  • We are not responsible for your actions.

For those of you who may have tried a "fat and lazy way to get rich quick"...did it ever live up to the hype? 
Of course not. 
It's also based on a very false concept. 

I know quite a few very successful affiliate marketers who are doing quite well. 

But I have never met anyone yet, who does not take their business very seriously and works very hard for their money. People's pursuit of easy wealth is a dream and the people who pitch some tool or product that generates easy wealth to the degree that their front end claims make, should not be so worried about all of the opposite statements in their legal disclaimers. (Read them - they are there for a reason)

In word usage...what about the term or expression..."Sneaky tricks"

The word sneaky appeals the carnal side of our human nature in general. 
The reader thinks, "okay, I'm going to be "sneaky." 

The term "sneaky trick" is a very appealing term to some readers. Some may equate sneaky with being smart rather than being deceptive. How cool is that? Someone here has found a way to be deceptive and if I'm willing to pay them, they'll show me how to become sneaky too by using their blog spamming tool.

However, I'll also say that the word "trick," is quite honestly "misused" unintentionally by some people who really don't mean "trick" at all. For example, in case of a "handy little trick" or a "neat trick." They could use a more accurate term but just have never thought about it. Maybe it's not a "trick." Maybe it's a "method" or a "technique" that does not involve trickery at all. 

But still, for those of you have tried "sneaky tricks..."
Did anything ever really live up to all the hype? 

Did it make you your first million yet? 
Of course not. Nonsense.

Again the whole concept is totally based on the false idea that you need to "beat" or "outsmart" or "trick" the search engines. It appeals to ego but it's completely false. The truth is that you have never been in "competition with the search engines." You are not required to "outsmart" or fool" the search engines, to gain top visibility for your Web pages. 

The only one you are ever truly competing with for visibility, is your competitors, NOT the search engines. 

The whole idea that you must "beat" the search engines or "outsmart" them sound very emotionally appealing (it feels good) but it is a completely false concept. 

What about use of emotional expressions like, 

  • "I am very angry" or 
  • "I'm very embarrassed" or 
  • "Here's what upset me today."
  • "I'm shocked and need to set you straight on something" 

Of course the writer could be quite valid and really be angry, shocked or embarrassed, but more and more people are using these terms to "condition your mood." If they can try and make you feel like "you've been lied to".....then maybe you'll buy their new magic blog spamming tool or whatever they are pitching.

Then there is the angle of...."Everyone else is deadly wrong" (but the writer of course.)
The pitch of "We've all been told the value of (whatever) - I'm here to tell you that you've been lied to!" 

How many times have you seen someone pointing a finger at someone else and usually naming the individual, usually putting them down or attempting to show you everything that is wrong or faulty about that other guy (but they really have very little to offer that is original and helpfult) People put down other people as a cheap way to elevate themselves.

Okay... I can just about hear someone saying to me.... wait a minute here, "but what about you?" 

John, you are pointing your finger at others who are doing things? What about you? 
(Actually, you'll notice I have not pointed my finger at any individual at all.)

John, aren't you saying that YOUR ways are better than others? 
(No, I am not saying that either. There are quite a number of people out there that I personally esteem far higher than myself. There are other people with great gifts and talents. If all goes well, I hope to introduce you to many of them in the near future.) 

Aren't you putting others down in some way though - YOU seem to be accusing others?

No actually you can very rest easy. 

I have not named any names or used anyone else as an negative example. I'm not trying to put anyone else down to elevate myself or say that I'm right and everyone else is wrong. 

I am definitely not saying that I am the only one you should listen too. 

I'm not saying any of these things.

What I am saying is that you need to become more aware of the misuse of tactics for exploitation purposes. 

The whole context of this article is about raising your awareness of tactics that are being employed every day. I want us all to become aware of how emotional content is being used for manipulative and exploitive tactics. With just a little more awareness, (that's all it takes) for each of us to make better choices. 

We can come to a greater awareness through one of either two ways. Our experiences or else through training and education. Despite the old, saying..."experience is NOT always the best teacher." 

Here it is in Summary:

As we educate ourselves with enough truth about something, it will automatically exposes untruths. 

As you will learn, there is a great range of highly respected talent in affiliate marketing arenas as well as in Internet marketing too. There is such a thing as using emotional content to help you relate to your readers and bring understanding to them. Help them grasp the true value of a valid product or service.

Let's face it, we can never stop being emotional (and we would not want to be.) 

I recall an exercise back when I studied a little bit on broadcasting. The test was to try and go a whole day about your regular business and try NOT to express any emotion at all. Needless to say, the test is an eye opener and most people don't even make it into the first 2 hours with expressing some kind of emotion as they speak to people they know or things happen to them throughout the day. 

If you are bringing understanding and offering value and helping people to become more successful or what ever it is your business or product offers, in exchange for a profit, that is just good business practice. 

Business is all about making a fair profit in exchange for your products and services - but life is all about how we care for people. Which do you think will be more important at the end of the day? 

"Wealth and riches?" or "how we treat people?"

What is the old saying about money... "money is the root of all evil." better read that again. 

It's not a proper quote. Actually, it's not true either. 

Although lots of people have the idea that earning a profit is some how "bad," that concept is wrong too. Money can bring you access to power and money itself is not evil at all. Having money is a very good thing and can enable you to do a lot of good things. But like a lot of things, people have been misquoting this for Bible verse for years... 

The expression correctly quoted is: "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil." 

Let's all learn to communicate effectively on the Web and in the real world together. 

Lets set our sights just a little higher and work on building genuine relationships and communication excellence. There is nothing greater than being able to relate to each other. 

But emotional content should not to be used to promote junk or trashy products that leave the buyer sorry and bewildered after they made their purchase. Another really sad thing, is when someone has actually created a really great product, but the attempts to use high pressure or exploitive tactics to push it down the consumers throat. 

Again, people sometimes forget that all of us like to at least feel like we are in control of our decisions.

I'll ask that last question again: 
Which do you think is more important at end of the day. Money or people? 

The proof of what each one of us honestly believe, will be made manifest by the results and evidence that follow each of our work. Stay very aware of the circumstances, my friend. Pay attention if you see recurring instances of "something wrong" over and over again. When there is no proof, or no substance, or no evidence of what was promised, these flags can help you take early action and avoid troubles.  

In the real everyday world, we need to walk with an awareness of all that is going on around us. 

So it's no different than this on the Web. 

In our SEO Workshops, we do teach about techniques for being better communicators and how important emotional content is, but in the end it comes down to the intent and values of each individual person and what they choose to do with their knowledge. 

As Web users, the word of the day is to try and learn to respond with some awareness and thought. Try not to instantly react to anything based on emotion. 

Be more aware of emotional content and how you feel about things as well as what is being said to you. The other thing I can promise you personally, that we will do, whether it is in our local Search Engine Academy Workshops or in our Online SEO Training, we will never present you with alias identities. You will always get to know who your personal instructor is or who your coach and mentor is.

I said I'd mention a few names of people that I esteem very here are the first few
who will be featured in a series of live onscreen Webinars in May:

These New WEBINARS in May are free to attend for all members of
the SEO Workshop Resource Center

  • Thursday, May 8th at 11 AM EDT: Tracy Fredrychowski 

    “It's Not JUST About Your Web Site Anymore" - Discover How You Can Monopolize the SERPs

    Tracy Fredrychowski is our Search Engine Academy trainer teaching our complete SEO Workshops out of South Carolina and in Georgia. She is a professional educator in every sense of the word. Attend the above Webinar on May 8th at 11AM EDT or 10AM CST and get just a taste of what insights and training excellence that Tracy brings to her students. 

  • Thursday, May 15th at 11 AM EDT: Michael Marshall

    Michael Marshall teaches on “Can a competitor hurt you via In-bound links?”

    Michael Marshall is one of our early associate educators who teaches in North Carolina as well as on the road at SEO Workshops with Robin and I. Michael brings a whole range of insightful, high caliber
    advanced SEO and technical skills to the table. If you have never heard Mike teach before, don't miss this presentation on May 15th.

    Mike will also be teaching in the upcoming Orlando SEO Mastery Workshop on May 19-23.

  • Coming Thursday May 22, 2008  Ginette Degner

    Affiliate Marketing Veteran Ginette Degner
    teaches on 
    "The Dirty Secrets of Affiliate Marketing and How You Can Get Started."

    Ginette will show you why big names don’t ALWAYS translate into big profit and what to look for in affiliate marketing programs before joining. She will also show you a real site that is currently making money and paid for itself plus a year’s hosting and then some in the first 3 months of operation. You too can succeed in affiliate marketing.

    Ginette Degner is a Marketing Professional with 14 years experience in the trenches as an affiliate and has spend the past 8 years setting up and managing multiple affiliate programs for private clients and Network platforms. Working behind the scenes has giver her access to the inner workings of affiliate programs- technology, strategies, merchant viewpoint, and super affiliate secrets and she is ready to share.

If you are not yet a member but would like to join these 
live Webinars the check out the Workshop Resource Center here.

John Alexander is Co-Director of Training for Search Engine Workshops and Director of Search Engine Academy.
Together with his partner Robin Nobles, he teaches stress free formulas for obtaining top visibility on major search engines to workshop students from all around the world. John also is author of the Free SEO Tip of the Day and is author of the Wordtracker Magic E-books Volume 1 and 2.0. You can also join John online in the SEO Workshop Resource Center community for SEO Professionals.

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