Did Launches Really Go ‘Hype Mad’ In 2010?

Christmas is coming…

It’s time to throw a few emails on the scheduler, decorate the blog with a new banner or two and settle down to enjoy Christmas.

Here’s a pic I took this morning with my iphone after yelling at the kids to get out of the way and wondering why the bloody telly was switched on at five to eight.christmasmess

I wanted to show you what Christmas looks like in it’s natural state in our house at the moment.

We let the kids put up most of the decorations or at least suggest where they should go. They love it.

Personally I think it looks like a gay Gypsy ran wild with the decorations but it’s all good fun πŸ™‚

There’s a touch of the pagan too with pine cones hanging from the beams, a Green Man icon on the wall outside and a Richard Dawkins book under the tree.

Speaking of ‘the dark side’ I got an really genuinely pissed-off sounding email from a subscriber last week, and it’s what I wanted to blog about. Christmas was just a nice introduction.

The email basically asked if it was still worth trying to get into Internet Marketing because from what he could see, each year is just throwing up more crap, more hyped up launches and more ruthless IMers who’ll try pretty much anything to get money from you.

(I’ll come back to whether its worth getting into IM a little later)

Well yes it IS getting worse from that point of view.

Some marketers are definitely getting more desperate.

It must be a right pain trying to fund a big house, flashy car and jetset lifestyle when the ‘punters’ just won’t put their hands in their pockets any more.

My heart bleeds for them.

I’ve seen at least three high profile launches flop this year. The product owners must have lost tens of thousands of dollars.

They give away prizes, cash and other incentives. They pay for sales letters to be written,Β  extremely fancy sales pages to be built not to mention products to be created and back end systems put into place.

Then they launch and it flops. Well good – it looks to me like ‘the punters’ have spoken.

There’s a real mentality among some marketers that their lists are thick. Stupid.

And yes. some of them are, just like some marketers, some butchers, some vicars and some teachers are thick.

But some of the promises that went up on sales pages last year were in the realm of fantasy. Total bloody lies if we’re being honest. And that’s without getting into the ‘only 300 copies left’ crap.

The really insulting part (and remember I’m a customer too) is that they think I’m more likely to buy when they tell me what the product is NOT rather than what the damn thing does.

Now I know that blind sales pages work, but they result in refund rates you wouldn’t believe. I know one launch that topped 50% refund rate earlier this year. That’s crazy.

Which is what my REAL problem is with some of these marketers – they’ve lost sight of the art of selling!

It become a numbers game – get loads in through a blind sales page and hope that less people refund than buy.

I miss the well crafted sales letter, the various tips (yes even tricks) and techniques used to persuade someone to buy your product.

These launches just seem a bit……’in yer face’ for me.

That said I’m not stupid. I get to see the inside of most of these launches to watch what happens (or I did until I wrote this post lol)

I study the sale pages, the emails, the upsells, the videos, the pricepoints and obviously the results,Β  to see what works and what doesn’t.

And I’ve come to a couple of conclusions

1. Only about 50% of the wannabe ‘inner circle” make any decent money from their launches after paying for sales pages, affiliate fees, web site creation and the rest. The others either just about break even or lose money. The very top guys lose too, just nowhere near as much.

Of course that also means that over 50% are making quite a killing, which is why these kinds of product launches keep going.

There’s a launch coming up next year that is DOOMED to failure. The marketer is already at least $20,000 in the hole with his prizes and site prep. I hope it succeeds (if the product is good – not seen it yet) but I’d bet a grand here and now he’ll end up in the red.

2. It’s bloody hard work. Seriously – you’ve got to admire the time and effort these guys put into their launches. It must take months to put them together. Shame the smallest amount of effort goes into creating the actual product in a lot of cases.

3. It’s not all bad. I have promoted a couple of these ‘hyped up’ launches because I’ve seen the product and it’s great. I’ve taken some flak for doing so but in the end the product has been a good one so I’m happy with that, and more importantly so are most of my readers who bought. I try to only recommend products that I know will help you.

So what’s the answer?

IS it worth getting into IM when there’s do doubt that hypey launches are getting worse?

DEFINITELY – because I don’t think marketing IS getting worse – I think it’s just changing.

Here’s what I think is happening. I think that there will always be people who want to make fast easy money.

I’m one πŸ™‚ I just have enough experience to know it doesn’t quite work that way. Not quite.

And these sort of customers will continue to buy into hyped up launches. After a while they’ll either go broke or become disillusioned with the hype and go do something else instead.

But they’ll be replaced by new fast-cash seekers. And the circle will go round again.

Listen carefully chaps – the hyped up launches are here to stay.

They really made their mark in 2010 and they are NOT going away. Not ever (or at least until some censorship mad bureaucrat decides to legislate against freedom on the internet)

So let’s not cry about it.

Let’s learn from it.

Let’s incorporate SOME of the techniques that the hype merchants use into our own marketing.

I’ve done some small tests and a video and a small payment button above the fold works.

…and have you seen that technique where they show you a graphic that says ‘SORRY! SOLD OUT!’, and the text above it say ‘don’t come back too late and find THIS’

Great technique. I LOVE it. I’m having that one!

Let’s get over this ‘us and them’ mentality that some ‘ethical’ marketers are pushing and just see hyped up launches as another part of IM – one you may or may not want to get involved with. Ethical marketers are marketing too, just in a different way.

I’m an ethical marketer! I’m just also capable of realising when someone’s trying to push me into making a choice about which ‘camp’ I’m in. Do I choose team ‘A’ the ethical marketers? Or team ‘B’ – the hype marketers?

Actually I choose team ‘F’, in which I tell you what to do with your ‘choices’

There’s no need to get angry, defensive or whimper about what other people do . Let’s face it, having a major rant about hyped up launches and prancing like an extra from Mama Mia is great fun, but it doesn’t increase your bank balance a jot.


Accept that change is part of life and then decide on a personal level if you want to get involved with high-hype marketing or you don’t.

Personally I’m on the shelf. Yes you heard me correctly. I’m NEVER going to get involved with the shady crappy promises that some of these marketers use, but some of the real (and very clever) techniques they use – watch out for them on my sites.

They’ll be marketing techniques though NOT lies or scams.

And have you noticed the number of marketers who are using the ‘I’m sick of it all’ angle to promote their own products?

Wooo that’s a good selling technique don’t you think?Β  ‘I’m not a hype merchant so BUY MY STUFF!’ At least the hypsters are what they are.

We’re ALL marketers. We’re all using techniques. We’re all coming from an ‘angle’.

The ones you believe are just better at it that’s all. That makes you think eh?

But I’m always happy to see that the marketers I personally like, read and follow are around for yet another Christmas.

And my Christmas motto is the same as usual – It’s not good to take anything in life too seriously, let alone internet sodding marketing πŸ™‚

Except Christmas of course. And that should be SERIOUSLY enjoyed πŸ™‚

A very Happy Christmas and New Year To You And Your Family,

And a heartfelt thanks for continuing to read my witterings.

All the best


PS Comments appreciated as usual…

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21 responses to “Did Launches Really Go ‘Hype Mad’ In 2010?

  1. Interesting post, Tony.

    I’m afraid it’s too early in the morning for me to articulate my response correctly, but I like what you say about us all being marketers and coming from various angles.

    It seems like some people take the big “hyped-up” launches as a personal afront. If you don’t want to buy, keep your wallet in your pocket and move on. They haven’t done anything to you personally.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Tony!

    Peggy Baron

  2. Than.ks, Tony!!
    Holy Cow! I was beginning to think that I was the only one who would write about what’s going on today in “our” internet business world.
    I’m glad you spelled it out. You hit the mark squarely!

    My hopes that the future will have some sort of positive changes in these areas…looks like the only thing we can do at the moment is just REFUSE to accept this information in our inboxes, REFUSE to believe what is being said/taught.

    We, as Entrepreneurs, have to take control of our own lives, not let a bunch of dogmatic doctrines and desperate scavengers have power over us.

    Thanks again for this post. It is exactly what I needed to see to help me plan out my day.

  3. It’s true that many marketers went dark side this year… with super “not good” products. You know this with the number of complains.

    As I always say: “some people who would never lie or still anything outside step into the darkside when they are online. It’s easy to lose control when you are in front of the screen”.

    I’m happy to have passed this test.

    I’ve also seen these “297 left”? Yup!

    I’m not from those.

    the Body Guard Marketer

  4. Hi tony

    I like the rant mate.

    but can’t you just post a quality rating out with your promotions..like a tony Shepperds 1 to 5 score πŸ™‚

    Hope you and yours have a great Christmas.

  5. Tony Shepherd

    I’ll have a think about that one Terry…cheers

    Franck, Dax, Penny – thanks for posting guys and you ALL have a great Christmas.

  6. Merry Christmas to you et al, Tony!

    Well, I wasn’t offended by your rant or some of your choice of adjectives (even though I’m a true lady, LOL).

    I consider what you said as being fair.

    What I particularly don’t like is being told that only 300 copies are being sold, when it soon becomes evident that a whole lot more are being sold.

    I’m a bit weary after chasing across the French countryside in the snow to catch our pony who had done an overnight runner, but I don’t think you covered my other particular dislike. I don’t like being told that there is full support, but then you find that you have to jump through hoops to get to the support and then different people who deal with you, tell you different things or just obviously haven’t bothered to read what your actual problem is and just keep telling u the learned by heart responses, whether they are relevant or not.

    Anyway, I hope everyone has a great Christmas time and if you don’t like the hyped up launches, just ignore them and keep that purse safely tucked away somewhere.

    Angel cuddles,
    P.S. I let my kids do the decorating too on Christmas Eve. I usually have to rearrange the tree once they have gone to bed though because I can’t stand an unequal amount of balls and lights on the various angles of the tree. That’s me being picky though. They love doing it and making mince pies with me is another favourite Christmas occupation

  7. Well said Tony.
    i was a ‘victim’ of some scam progrm this year, fortunately I was able to get a refund through clickbank.
    What concens me though is that another ‘reputable’ marketer has so far failed to deliver on a so called, no questions asked guarantee.
    I must point out I don’t do this to try and rip off the product owners but when I asked questions BEFORE buying and was sunsequently mislead I felt obliged to ask for a refund. I’m still trying to obtain it.
    I’ll be launching my own product in the New Year so fully appreciate some of the difficulties involved but do feel that some methods are tarnishing the more ‘ethical’ amongst us. Ultimately I just onsubscribe from the various lists I’ve end up on – even then it’s amazing how I still get emails!!
    However, we can all learn and yes – we should just move on and get on with life.
    A Merry Christmas to you all and if not a prosperous New Year then a happy and healthy one! That’s far more important!!

  8. Peggy,

    I don’t take hype as a personal affront. That’s not my objection. As Tony said, some of what we see as “hype” is just marketing.

    My objection to these people is that they lie and cheat people out of money, with no intention of providing a product that works, and quite often (and I have had this happen in the past) they refuse to give refunds.

    That’s not hype, that’s lying and stealing. And yes, I object to that, whether they’re doing it to me, to someone I referred to their program because I unknowingly trusted them, or to some innocent person I have no connection with.

    Hype, marketing techniques, I’m fine with, if they’re honest and promoting a solid product that works. If I don’t want to buy it, I won’t.

    But techniques that sometimes cross into the criminal, like cheating someone out of their money and refusing a refund? Yeah, I object to that. I don’t make a big deal of it publicly, but yes, I do have a major problem with their methods.

    Again, not the hype. The dishonesty. There’s a difference.

  9. Great post, Tony! I enjoyed it, many thanks.

    Once you’re in the IM industry long enough – you’re starting to actually “see” through the stuff incl. BIG launches. πŸ™‚

    Merry Christmas to you and your readers as well! πŸ˜‰

  10. Sandor

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post, thank you Tony for the invitation.

    We are in the Advent period in two senses. On the one hand Christmas (the feast of Love) is coming. It is quite natural that – at least this time – we take more care for our families, who provide the background of our work. Anyway, they deserve our thanks throughout the whole year.:)

    And the other hand, the end of this year also comings. It’s time to analyze our activities: what we’ve done, how we’ve achieved our goals, and what left out. Otherwise we wouldn’t properly prepare us for the new year. I believe the OP also can serve this purpose. Why I think that?

    People are not perfect — even now, at least myself;) –, and tends to only see the difficulties if something isn’t working for them at their first snap. (I’m dealing with IM for four years only, but as I can see, the reason for someone’s failure is often a lack of focus and perseveringness.)

    I’ve to admit, I’d have written that kind of email what Tony’s subsciber committed — a few years ago. But now, I see the situation differently. You need to learn from the big players. No, Not Everything, just what can be ethically used. I know, they are playing in an another league. But you can learn from everyting if your eyes and hears are open.

    I agree with Tony’s conclusions.

    1. There is no profit without investment. It happens that there is a loss on one product. However, another can bring plentiful profit. Yes, IM is a numbers game. Question is, if you can afford yourself to be involved into that game (will, capacity, money, devices, etc.).

    2. “It’s bloody hard work.” Yes, therefore it is not for everyone.

    3. If the product works, why would you not advertise that? “I try to only recommend products that I know will help you.” Thanky, that’s is a examplary behaviour.

    The example of ‘sold out’ is hilarious, thank you for sharing, I will implement it.

    Finally, I wish you an affectionate, merry Christmas and a verry happy and healthy New Year. This should be a good one. Let’s appreciate the things what really matter in our life.

    Tony, I’d like to thank you for the privilege to be here.


    Sandor Verebi

  11. Hi Tony,

    I always love reading your emails and blog posts and as usual this one didn’t disappoint!

    2010 was the first “full” year I have been involved in IM and I was shocked at the sheer amount of product launches going on – 2 and even 3 on the same day in some cases!

    You know as well as I that a lot of products are junk but the wannabes who wanna make money but don’t wanna work for it will always be easy pickings for the marketers more than willing to dispense their next hype fix.

    It is going to get even tougher to get noticed next year and would-be marketers need to enter this industry with their eyes wide open… a quick tip: LEARN MARKETING rather than look for that “magic bullet” product cuz it don’t exist!

    Looking forward to your next post!


  12. Ian

    It’s funny – as you point out, there are now probably more people using the “those gurus are awful” line as an attempt to curry favour and flog their own stuff as there are gurus in the first place.


  13. Hi Tony,

    Love your posts. I find all this ‘hype’ stuff amusing. I feel a tad sorry for people who get scammed but nobody forces anyone to buy. If you are looking for a get-rich-quick scheme and get ripped off by someone who has worked out how to get-rich-quick how is it anyone’s fault but your own? Put it down to unpleasant experience.

    It beats me why people expect everyone on the internet to be ethical when offline is just chockers with rip-off merchants – always has been and always will be. People will be unethical whether or not others get upset about it. I am never swayed by the ‘us and them’ approach anyway.

    As you very succinctly say Tony – marketing is marketing. If you don’t want to be ‘marketed to’ – unsubscribe – it is really very simple.

    As David pointed out, you need to LEARN marketing just like you learn any other skill. I have been mucking around with internet marketing for quite a while, have made very little money but really enjoy doing it. The learning curve is huge but the ‘aha’ moments are very satisfying.

    P.S. Just love your line ‘The ones you believe are just better at it that’s all’. It’s priceless.

    Happy Christmas to all



  14. I think what I learned from many of those big launches this year is how to be even more critical of sales pages; how to discern hype from a decent product. I have to say that I rely a lot on fellow marketers. I have a few that I trust greatly and if I am in need of a product on a certain topic and one of these marketers gives it a thumbs up, I will buy. Tony has proven to me that he truly does only recommend products that he feels are good and useful. So the moral of the story is — be a trustworthy and ethical marketer. Recommend only those products that you truly believe are valuable. -Norene

  15. Very nice post Tony. I’m afraid that as long as there are gullible and/or lazy people who want to believe they can spend $47 and buy a system that will bring them thousands of dollars with no work, we will continue to see not so ethical marketers taking advantage. Human nature, what are you going to do?

    Wishing you and your family a great Christmas and New Year. And thank you for being one of the ethical marketers.

  16. Hi Tony,

    Great post about this ever present “next big thing” everyday, twice , three times a day!!! STOP .. I can’t take anymore …

    Oh, it was just a dream … an IM Nightmare!

    The secret is FOCUS – find something you like “that works” and then “make it work” .. don’t worry, all that other stuff you may be missing out on will still be here in a few months when you come back to the IM Pitchfest launches. But only after making the thing you FOCUSED on work and now you can either keep repeating what you just got “to work” or find another stream of income … and get that one up and working TOO!!
    One at a time does it … they add up!!

    It will take some work .. but it will pay off … just not instantly as the Pitchmen keep telling you!

    Thanks for getting the juices going Tony.

    I M when it is working for you … is a beautiful thing!


  17. What I find hilarious is the stupid “Only 300 Copies” trick that is being used by some marketers of late. When you have at least five thousand affiliates (a conservative estimate) promoting for you, how do you expect anyone to be stupid enough to believe your “Only 300 Copies” claim?

    Ho ho ho. And a bottle of rum.

  18. Ray

    Great post Tony. As a rule I never buy any IM product that doesn’t tell me what the product is about. Been burned too many times to go down that road again. My second rule is that if it sounds too good to be true then it usually is. Never fall for any system that tells you all you have to do is push a button and you’ll make millions. If it were that easy then why are they giving away their secret to strangers and not to their friends and family?

    In the end however it’s all marketing and marketing has been around forever. We’re marketed to endlessly. You just have to be able to decipher the truth from the falsities and you’ll do well for yourself.


  19. I hear you – the biggest thing I have found is just focus on what I am already doing, carefully sift the next offer and see if it fits with what I am already doing and keep doing what I am doing, a little bit at a time.

    Thanks for the great post

  20. Excellent post. I have recently been somewhat overwhelmed by all the new launch e-mails I have been receiving. Most of them telling me I must join during pre-launch and all these wonderful things will happen, but never really explaining what the product or service actually is.
    I like Terry’s idea of a Tony Shepherd quality rating score.
    Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  21. Well said Tony, I also think the hype is here to stay, in fact did it ever go away? I sometimes wonder if the rants I have read are genuine, or just another angle to make us feel good about the ‘ethical’ marketer?

    Why do people get so angry about this? Can’t they just hit the delete button if they don’t like all the hype? As you said, sales page blarney is not serious enough to worry about. Now Christmas excess, THAT’S serious. πŸ˜†

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