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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Thursday, February 21, 2008

If You Want My Endorsement…Let Me See the Product

Yeah, I know–viral marketing and all that. And I actually love referral marketing, but not like this.

But am I the only one offended when someone gives me a tell-your-friends page before I even see the product? It’s happening more and more lately. These unfortunates happened to be the ones to push me into ranting about this trend, but it could have been any number of others.

At least these guys were smart enough to do a “no, thank you” link where I could still get the download. But I value my reputation and I’m not in the habit of sharing e-mails of my friends with strangers who send bulk mail. Had the only way to get the report been to fill in e-mails, I’d have either given phony names or bailed out.

Maybe this is one of the factors contributing to the growth of social media at the expense of e-mail. Successful marketers can still be clueless when it comes to human relationships.

In fact, when I get to all those petition sites (and I confess, I sign a lot of political petitions), the thank-you page invariably asks for addresses of my friends. I never give them. Instead, if I find the petition worthy enough to send, I’ll forward the e-mail, bcc, to my politics list.

And at least there, I’ve had a chance to see the text, decide if it’s something I want, and pass it on. Why marketers think I’m going to feed their mailing-list fish tank before even seeing the fish… Yuck!

If you like this rant and want more about how to run and market an ethical, successful business, you may have a look at my award-winning sixth book, Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First. You can get the first few chapters as a no-charge download, and you don’t have to fill in a squeeze page OR a tell-a-friend page to get it. So there.


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