Traffic Siphon is one of your typical, run of the mill, hyped up beyond all recognition and endorsed by all the usual suspects kind of ClickBank product. We get one of these at least once a month. The first time I came across it, I just had a quick glance at the sales-page, found it amusingly absurd, contemplated maybe making fun of it in a video and then got back to getting more important stuff done.
It had all the signs of being one among many, doubtless making someone a couple 100K and doubtless being a more or less useless product, under close scrutiny.
But something about Traffic Siphon is different…
Something about it seems to be pissing people off to a larger degree than I’ve ever seen before. I don’t spend that much time in forums or reading blogs, but even I came across thread after thread and post after post complaining about Traffic Siphon. And I’ve been getting e-mails. Not spammy “buy-this-now” e-mails (I have a separate address for those, that I rarely check), but e-mails from my readers and subscribers. All of them telling me what a piece of crap this product is and how rage-inducing the sales-page is.
Traffic Siphon is either especially annoying and scammy or it’s the staw that broke the camel’s back and an increasingly large number of people just can’t stand this type of thing anymore.
If you look at the sales-page for Traffic Siphon, you’ll simply see all of the usual elements for hypey products: Huge earnings claims, lots of “proof” in the form of ClickBank earnings screenshots, promises of how incredible the technique is but never a single detail about what the technique actually is etc. etc. Basically, everything I talked about in my video on how to avoid newbie traps.
If you’ve been in IM for more than a week, you’ve probably seen a dozen sales-letters like this.
So, what’s the problem?
For one thing, I suspect the “us vs. the Gurus” approach has been grossly overdone, lately. Every hypey sales-letter I’ve looked at in recent memory had the premise that “those dastardly gurus” are all out to screw you over and that this one product is the big exception. It’s always “I’m the only honest guy in the industry”. And ironically, it’s exactly the guys doing this who are screwing you over (and they know it). That, I imagine, is another anger-inducing factor. It’s one thing to make claims that aren’t true, but to accuse other’s of things that you are actually guilty of yourself and to be so blatantly hypocritical is something else altogether.
Another factor is the clearly fake scarcity. They claim that they are only going to sell 250 copies, but they’re obviously trying to flog as many copies as they possibly can. You only have to look at the price and then look at the fact that they are recruiting affiliates for the product to know it’s not limited in any way.
In this specific case, the “secret” technique that’s revealed in the product itself is, apparently, SEO. Yeah, totally mind-blowing. The disconnect between the promise of something new and revolutionary and the actual product being pretty much the first thing most online marketers learn about might be a bit too harsh. As for the methods themselves? I haven’t bought this product, but from the mails I’ve been getting, it’s basically a collection of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to SEO and traffic generation (build links, yahoo answers, article marketing…). In other words, the gap between what the sales-page talks about and what’s inside the product is just too large. The two have practically nothing to do with each other.
And that’s no coincidence.
What I mentioned above is making people angry (along with a dozen exit-popups and endless upsells, bad customer support,…). And that’s understandable, because the consumers of the product are obviously looking at Traffic Siphon from a consumer perspective.
The product creators behind all this are not looking at it from that perspective and never intended to.
You see, a product like this is not made for the customers. A product like this is primarily made for affiliates.
Affiliates, especially those with the skills to drive lots of traffic and those with huge mailing lists, are quite difficult to get on board for promotions. They are usually booked solid with launches they’re going to promote, they owe each other favours (“I promoted for you, so now you have to promote for me.”) and they are, more often than not, looking to make the maximum amount of profit for every promotion they do.
Picture this: You approach an affiliate who has a huge mailing list. Your product is carefully crafted, made specifically for the needs of customers in a certain niche in your market and you’ve done your best to make it an all-around awesome product. You’ll be selling it for $77, which is a fair price for what you’re offering. You have a good, but down-to-earth sales-letter (no ridiculous promises, no lies, no faked earnings claims).
The affiliate is also approached by another marketer who is selling his product which is made for the broadest possible niche in the market, uses every trick possible on a completely and shamelessly over-hyped sales-page, comes with an attractive front-end price of $47, followed by three to five upsells that make for a total price of over $300 plus continuity.
The product itself happens to be rubbish.
Sad but true, many affiliates will pick the second offer in this scenario, simply because it will put more money in their pockets. That’s their number one concern: The bottom line. The actual product quality is a distant second, if that. Many affiliates and “marketers” are even proud of the fact that they put money first and everything else second. “It’s business” is the common justification for this (apparently business and ethics are mutually exclusive – I didn’t get that memo, though).
Because of this, many product creators tailor their product entirely to affiliates: Making them appear as attractive as possible in terms of earnings potential. In fact, these product creators aren’t really product creators at all. They are 100% marketers and what they do is simply a “trick” to exctract a lot of money from the Internet. The product itself, the thing you actually get once you’ve waded through the swamp of upsells, is only there as an after-thought. It’s basically fluff, there to fill out the bit of empty space that’s left after the marketing strategy is set up.
Why do you think that everyone released mobile marketing products in the past few months? Is it really the new big thing? Have all these guys suddenly turned into mobile marketing experts?
No. They looked at the marketplace, saw that this was a trend, off of which money could be made, created a marketing plan to exploit it and then tacked an excuse of a product to the end of all that.
Some suggest that there’s a shift happening in the IM market. That people are starting to get wise to these marketing tricks and the typical hypey sales pitch will no longer work.
It would be nice, wouldn’t it? As far as I can tell, though, the ClickBank boys have been using these tactics for a long time and aren’t showing any signs of stopping. In fact, they’ve created something of a niche for themselves. Since they are all producing crap that leaves people frustrated, they are basically setting their customers up for each other’s products (remember: all of the sales-pitches are made for frustrated newbies who’ve been burnt by so-called “gurus”).
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think things will change or do you dobt the ClickBank boys will ever run out of a fresh supply of quick-riches seeking newbies?
P.S.: Here’s a bonus video of me ranting about a different product, in a similar vein:
I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better marketer and product creator. Read more about my story here.