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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Ad Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, Featured, IM Tools, Social Marketing |

False Scarcity Internet Marketing – Are You Hurting Your Integrity?

Example of limited-time offer for Internet Marketing productsHave you come across web pages that show a count-down timer letting you know that a good Internet Marketing offer — for that matter, any product offer — is going to expire soon?

And with that, prices will go back up to their original high figures afterwards, membership will close forever, or the like? I bet you have, and may have seen many of these.

Is there any truth in those offers? Does the situation change after expiry as the product marketers have claimed? Could it just be a kind of marketing tactic to get would-be prospects to act, opening their wallets in a moment of weakness?

The answers: “Usually not” to the first question; “Sometimes only” to the second; and “Bingo” to the last. Yes, that’s Internet Marketing using false scarcity.

What is False Scarcity?

Wikipedia describes artificial scarcity as “the scarcity of items even though the technology and production capacity exists to create an abundance.”

It goes further to say this about scarcity: “… the ease with which some goods can be obtained or replicated (for instance, intellectual property) led to the introduction of artificial scarcity in the form of legal restrictions which limit the availability of such goods.”

When it comes to IM products, there’s nary an issue with technology, let alone production capacity. These are invariably digital in nature, available for immediate download to your PC at the click of the mouse. And IP-related concerns don’t quite apply, since users will be licensed.

So, why limit their availability? Well, this is simply a human-created situation to play on your emotions and line the pockets of marketers. They have you believe the offer will go away soon (and forever) or that numbers are limited; but often, these offers will be repeated in the near future.

That’s why you should see these Internet Marketing offers as false — scarcity that never was.

Why Are Internet Marketers Doing It?

Without fail, these are online marketers who are greedy and looking to profit fast. They prey on your weakened state of mind by dangling limited-time offers and, more often than not, bonuses to lure you into parting with your money.

By heightening the sense of urgency with an impending offer expiry, one can’t help feeling compelled to hit the “Buy” or “Add to Cart” button. It’s understandable that no one wants to feel they lost out, so that’s how the product offer has got you hooked.

And it can take tremendous strength, courage even, to get unhooked. With the often cut-throat competition out there, many marketers are scrambling to cash in quick; and so they’d use low-down tactics if push came to shove. Scarcity marketing surely is one of those tactics.

Advice for Internet Marketing Newbies

If you are new to Internet Marketing or have just started out on your own, here’s some practical advice from First, don’t buy when you aren’t ready to use the IM product any time soon. Offers come and go, so try not to be tempted by the lower prices or deals.

Second, you don’t have to own all the IM tools to be successful. Quite the contrary, the more you have, the less likely you are to apply and deploy those tools. Many tools are similar since product creators are known to copy each other, sometimes improving on what’s out there.

Third, know what you are buying. Forget the crap and hype they try to sell you on the sales page. And read those testimonials with a pinch of salt — mind you, they are quite a few IMers out there writing reviews in exchange for free IM products!

Our Golden Rule

If there’s one rule that newcomers to online marketing must pay heed to, it’s this: If an IM product is any good, surely you will make back your investment even if you have to pay a higher price for it, post-offer period.

That’s absolutely right! There’s no point buying when a deal is on, if you have no use for the product at the moment or immediate future. Internet Marketing products do age and go out of fashion, so to speak, as the online world is continually evolving.

Raising the Bar on False Scarcity?

So we were somewhat amused when we received Emails from several marketers promoting company X’s latest and greatest WordPress plugin. And what does the plugin do? It purports to make “scarcity marketing” an easy thing to do for those with self-hosted WP sites.

The product sales page* tells you about the “money-sucking features” of the plugin and how you can tie your Email list opt-ins to time-limited offers and create urgency to buy, i.e. scarcity. Wow, how in the world did they think about raising the bar on such marketing tactics?

Take a look at the screenshot of part of the sales page and decide for yourself where you would draw the line about integrity in Internet Marketing. Is this company ruining their reputation, for which they expended great efforts to build?

Click here to see the screenshot

Screenshot of sales page of Scarcity Marketing WP plugin

*You may still be able to locate the sales page on the WSO forum — do a search for “scarcity” and see if you find it. Sometimes, a sales page may be taken down once its offer has expired.

We DO NOT have an affiliate link for this plugin anywhere on our website as we aren’t promoting it. We at walk the talk and walk the walk. It’s always Internet Marketing with Integrity for us; nothing else.

Always Know What You’re Doing in IM

So, if you ever join a new list and start getting Emails telling you a certain special offer will expire in days (from the day you joined) or even hours, you know what is at work.

Greedy Internet Marketers trying to bank commissions and profits, preying on your inclination — possibly, weakness — not to let a good deal go. Will you succumb? This might help: recall our golden rule that it is ok to pay full price for any IM tool worth its salt.

Always ask yourself: “What are you buying, really?” At the (perceived) lower price, you may not exactly have any advantage over other marketers, if you aren’t ready to act. While many of those guys and gals would have bought too, using the very same IM tool against you.

Know that you are not getting anything by yielding to such marketing moves, except maybe complacency. If you relish the comfort of having a treasure chest of IM tools which you can deploy any time in the future when required, you’ve become victim to shiny objects.

And false expectations. Those tools won’t be any good by the time you open that rusty chest. Stop hoarding and start doing. That’s really the only way you can see results with your Internet Marketing!