Is The Internet Marketing Niche Stagnating?

I thought for todays blog post i’d try to give you some food for though..Why is the IM niche still selling products at the same prices and in the same way as they have been doing for the past few years which other types of marketing are evolving?

I was recently reading an article about how Nathan Barry and Sacha Grief sold $39,000 worth of eBooks (The article is actually an transcript of a podcast so you can load it onto your phone and listen if you wish) either way it’s a really great listen/read.

What struck me is the sales page Nathan used was the complete opposite of what we are used today in Internet Marketing.

You can check out his minimalist sales page which I think is a work of art at, http://nathanbarry.com/app-design-handbook/ now compare that sales page which is selling a product priced up to $169 with your average WSO or IM sales page thats full of hype and bluster to try to sell a $9 – $27 product.

I can see copywriters hanging their heads in shock at the thought of all of us IM’ers turning to a simple headline, a sample video or chapter and a series of price boxes.  (and maybe some testimonials )

But why not? why do we have to endure the same overly long sales letters that really tell us very little about the product?  Think of the time and effort we’d save if you could see almost everything we need on a single page without the hype… ahhh bliss.

Don’t get me wrong Nathan’s sales page isn’t perfect I would change the price boxes to vertical and side by side for a start but it’s so clear and concise it’s refreshing.

So the first question I want to ask you is … Would a simple sales page like that make you more likely to buy or less likely? (use the comments section to let me know what you think)

 Tradition

There is a big issue with changing too radically which Michael Christon mentioned to me when we talked about this very topic and that is tradition. He touched on this in the interview I did with him a few weeks ago if you have downloaded it yet get it…it’s a goody)

There is a tradition within every group of people for us marketers the tradition is for long sales letters and just small changes, if you’ve been and looked at a WSO recently you’ll see a lot of them are now large graphical sales pages.

Look back over the past 2 or 3 years and you’ll see that there have been very small incremental changes.

Long form sales letters, ==>   Video sales letters where the sales page is repeated on the screen,  ==>”live action” Videos where the marketers talks, ==> graphical sales letters. Nothing too radical just a simple change of format that isn’t too different and isn’t going to change the status quo.

All the time that us marketers have been in the IM niche and have been sticking to generally the same methods the “Appsumo Generation” those start ups have been ripping up the manual and testing different things to see what works. They don’t have a tradition of Long Form sales letters and paying copywriters to create psychologycally stimulating content  (did I really write that!).

They have been creating what they like and then testing it to see which converts best. When was the last time you heard of an Internet marketer in the IM niche test 2 sales letters?

The worst selling WSO I ever created was the one I did on how to split test sales pages and various sales processes.. The interest in testing just isn’t there and as long as people just focus on churning out product after product and not having a good longterm plan for their sales funnel then things aren’t going to improve.

 Pricing

We also have a big issue with Pricing in this Niche.. Is a product that can change the way you do business and make you money really only worth only $9?  Which is better,  selling 1000 products at $9 or selling 100 at $77? or 50 at $147

Now of course those of you who do the math will say selling 1000 at $9 BUT that usually brings lots of support calls and you’ll have to deal with refund requests, and you won’t necessarily build a list of 1000 as those buyers will probably buy something else tomorrow and give you throwaway email addresses. I know from experience that the customers who buy at higher prices, very rarely ask for a refund and are more likely to invest more time and effort into your products.

There is a lot of value in offering lower cost product If you have higher cost products in a funnel but all too many marketers just focus on one low cost product after the other with no real thought about higher priced products.

If you are going to be a marketer then market.

So hopefully that will have given you some food for thought, can the IM niche change? do you want it to change? Let me know

Comments

  1. says

    I find that you struggle to sell anything that means work. Testing takes time and work.

    My next set of reports will require people to do real work, but will get real results. I really do need to get some more pie in the sky stuff worked out to sell..

    The design books you mention are selling into a market where they are used to paying a high price. Look at the price of Dreamweaver nowdays.

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  2. says

    I don’t think the market is stagnating so much as people just don’t look outside their own sphere of influence for ideas.

    Virtually everyone who sells WSO’s is in a race to the bottom, price-wise (and yes, I’m guilty of it myself). Some of the bundles sold on there for sub-$10 prices are worth ten times that by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s easy to keep doing what you know works rather than move out of your comfort zone and have to test and optimize over time.

    And the long-form sales letters that we all use are really rooted in old-school direct marketing. Guys like Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy and so on are the inspiration for a lot of internet marketers, who use the same basic techniques those guys used long before the internet was a commercial medium.

    The “Appsumo generation” probably doesn’t subscribe to those same methods, and they’re just doing what they’ve shown works. Their strategies are “traditions” in their own circles, they’re just newer traditions. There are a lot of similar types of promotions from what you might call “minimalist bloggers”.

    I’ve always hated the term “internet marketing” as it relates to our niche. We’re really in the “make money online” niche. Anyone who sells something online is in internet marketing, but I doubt that Amazon or either of the guys referenced in that article would consider themselves in the same business as most of the marketers in our niche.
    John Lenaghan recently posted..Suffering From Marketing MyopiaMy Profile

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  3. says

    I LOVE their sales page! And yes, if I was in the market for what they’re selling, I’d be buying. The personal touch down at the bottom is sweet!
    bj recently posted..Nerdy GiftsMy Profile

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  4. says

    One thing I’ve noticed recently is that Amazon is part of the drive to lower prices for information products. They encourage a $2.99 to $9.99 price range on ebooks for Kindle. They allow higher prices, but they take a bigger chunk (well, technically, they give you a smaller chunk) when the price goes outside of that window.

    I can see that for fiction since people are used to low cost paperbacks. When you’re going digital it eliminates a large part of the cost of a book so the price should be lower.

    But in the information industry prices have traditionally been higher since the content is more valuable. The price is not just for the paper and ink, but for the expertise of the writer(s).

    What that means in the IM world with WSO’s driving prices down is that the writers are devaluing themselves and their expertise.
    Bill (LoneWolf) Nickerson recently posted..The Anatomy of the Perfect PostMy Profile

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    Mark
    Twitter:
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    I agree 100% Bill, The warriorforum added a $10 joining fee today so that will probably affect wso’s pretty soon..

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  5. says

    I really dislike wading through hype and have designed sales
    letters based on those from your WSO’s. Mark.

    Straight forward and to the point sells for me, I get so turned
    off by yawn making lengthy sales copy.

    As far as price goes, I tend to regard WSO’s as not bargains but
    as list builders so the fact you can get great products for peanuts
    is a boon for all marketers. Wether people act on them or not
    is their problem.
    Ed Kirwan recently posted..How to Mine for Facebook GoldMy Profile

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