The other day I signed up for a webinar being run by one of my competitors.

It was one of those on-demand “grow your business using our method” webinars where they try to make it look like it’s live.

You know the ones…

There are three different start times, miraculously one within the next 30 minutes (what are the odds?!), and another two in the next 24 hours.

So I signed up.

Here’s what happened next…

It was the usual webinar funnel sort of stuff. Reminder emails. Messages telling me to bring a pen and paper (this is a little trick marketers use to get you to go into listening mode and suspend your critical faculties) to soak up all the value, etc. etc. etc.

So the next morning I join the webinar at the scheduled time, and it’s obviously all recorded. But they try to make it look like it’s happening live in real time.

There’s a chat box but the host says “we’re turning the chat to private only, so feel free to type any questions”. All the tricks.

For the next hour so there was a very standard sales webinar. Give a few tips to get you excited, a small amount of value, then spend most of the time pitching the done-for-you services with the intention to get you on the phone with a salesperson and sign you up for $30K+ marketing services. The standard Sam Ovens webinar funnel template.

I guess some people who aren’t marketing savvy actually believe they’re watching a live webinar.

But the trickery didn’t end there…

The next day I got this email:

The really bad thing about this email is the second half.

I mean I understand it’s all automated. That’s great – we preach email automation ourselves.

But it’s the blatant dishonesty I take issue with…

They’ve tried to make it look like the host of the webinar (the owner of the business) has sent this message to his team, and that they’ve then emailed me to see why I haven’t booked.

I mean … this is straight out lying. Isn’t it?

They’re being blatantly dishonest to try and encourage me to take action – i.e. give them my money.

What’s the difference between this and an email from a Nigerian princess telling me she needs help getting her $50M out of the country?

And if they’ll do this before they get your money, imagine what they’re like afterwards.

It’s great to use tools and technology to get the right message to the right people at the right time, but when it did it become okay to be blatantly dishonest in the process?

I mean are they this desperate to get clients? I really do feel sorry for the people who fall for this and hand over their money to these guys.

Where do you draw the line on fake marketing?

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