Dec 14th, 2006 Archives


Here’s a new and somewhat troubling development to start off the year 2007.

On December 11, 2006 a FTC Staff Opinion was released that has the potential to affect Internet marketers in a number of ways.

The basic thrust of the opinion is aimed at "Buzz marketing" or what in the past has been known as "Word of mouth" marketing.

Historically this type of marketing was something that occurred naturally and was not cause for concern.

Now, marketers have latched on to the various ways of creating "Buzz" and are exploiting and manipulating it.

I’m not saying this sort of marketing is a bad thing (that would be the pot calling the kettle black ).  I myself use a variety of marketing techniques that fall under the "Buzz" or "Viral" label.

The aspect the FTC has issue with is the potential for deception.  Their concern seems to be that consumers will act upon what appears to be independent opinion or advice on the part of the writer when their is actually a paid relationship between the writer and the product/service owner.

Now, I am far from an attorney and will be the first one to admit that.  In light of that I recommend two things here.

1 – Download and read the paper yourself (it is only 5 pages long).  You can get it here.

2 – Read more about it.  Here are a few articles from attorneys (No, I do not know them personally) who have written on the subject: Mike Young & Brian Clark

As I see it, on the surface this does not affect all affiliate marketers.  It has the potential to though which means we need to pay attention.

I urge you to read the opinion letter yourself.

This is important food for thought.

Sam Knoll

Filed under Blog, General Musings, Online Marketing by  #


Email marketing is an interesting creature.

The volume of messages hitting consumers these days (not even taking Spam into account!) can be quite staggering.

I’ve read at times that email marketing is dying and we as business owners need to look at alternative vehicles through which to reach our market.

This is largely due to the increasing level of competition within the consumer’s inboxes.

Then I read an article like the the most recent Marketing Sherpa piece I received and I see that the oposite CAN be true.

The article is a case study (like all Marketing Sherpa pieces) of how an online business converted their email marketing efforts from double to single optin… and thrived siginificantly.

You can read the article by visiting Marketing Sherpa where it will be available for the next 10 days.  After that you have to pay for access.

Now, on the subject of Marketing Sherpa, if you aren’t familiar with them… you need to be.  Founder Anne Holland has created an incredible resource and thriving business.  Their business model alone is very worth investigating.

Basically, they produce reports covering a variety of aspects of marketing.  These reports they make available online for free for 10 days.  As I said above, after that you have to pay for access.  In the process they establish themselves as a "go to" agency for research and information and they pull in tons of prospective buyers.

Subscribing is free and you can pick and choose which areas of marketing you wish to hear about.

I urge you to become a subscriber now.

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

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