Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Can an ‘Empty Calories’ Ad Actually Work?

On one of the many Internet marketing newsletters I read, I got this link, and this teaser:

Over 82% of the people who have viewed this
video have opted in for more information.

Must be pretty powerful, eh? So I went to check it out.

What I found was a short and extremely well-produced video from one of the masters of Internet marketing, someone who has been behind the launches of a dozen or so successful “continuity” programs–where you pay a fee each month until you tell the company you want out. Most of the continuity programs out there sell membership programs; this guy sells software tools, as well as a very popular seminar series.

And he’s someone who very much understands the power of focusing on benefits, and of delivering value–and has parlayed that understanding into many millions of dollars.

So it was a shock to watch this video. It’s an exercise in non-benefit-oriented brand-building, and the call to action at the end is extremely week in my opinion–what I call “empty calories marketing.” In other words, the sort of thing you’d expect from a large ad agency that wants to make its client feel good but doesn’t care about actually generating results, and not one of the most sophisticated direct marketers on the planet.

Well, maybe he knows something I don’t. I wasn’t moved to leave my name of the squeeze page at the end, but if that copy in the e-mail blast is to believed, better than 4 out of 5 visitors do leave their names.

I’ll be curious to learn what kind of results he gets from this. And also whether other marketers disagree with me and feel the ad is effective.

Note: the link above is the affiliate link for the people who sent me the e-mail. I am not an affiliate of this program.


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