The Newest Internet Marketing Product: Should You Buy It?
If you're like most internet marketers, every day your email inbox is filled with messages about the latest, greatest, biggest, smartest, fastest, most super-duper-fantastic tool or training course. And every day, you have to take time away from your busy schedule to figure out if that amazing new product is worth the cost.
Today is your day to stop suffering from “shiny object syndrome” and start strategically investing in your business.
First take an honest look at your current systems and processes. Determine if there are any gaps or areas that need improvement.
You need systems and processes to:
- Develop products to sell
- Sell your products
- Deliver your products
- Follow up with prospects and customers
- Get in front of prospects
- Build your brand
- Manage your business
Only when you have a good idea of the current strengths and weaknesses in your business should you check out the product being promoted. So let's talk about how to do that.
Before you dig too deep into researching the product, look for real reviews of the product. You can find reviews of many internet marketing products in the Reviews section of this site. You can also search the web for “[product name] review”, but be aware that there are many fake reviews out there that basically tell you what's on the sales page for the product and nothing else. A real review is one that tells you the truth about what's good and what's not so good in the product. It will be specific and tell you what to expect.
If you're feeling confident after looking at impartial reviews, answer these five questions:
1. Who is selling the product?
One of the first things you should consider is the reputation of the people and company behind any product you purchase. If it's a company you've done business with in the past, think about that experience and decide if you want to repeat it.
Also be sure to look at the person's track record. Avoid investing in products sold by companies that deliver a product and then immediately abandon it for the next promotion. Unfortunately, this is quite common in the online marketing space.
For example, you'll often see a marketer sell a WordPress plugin and never update it because he or she is not a software developer. Their customers end up with a plugin that works only until the next major release of WordPress, then it's dead in the water.
When evaluating products, look for companies that stand behind their products, keep them up-to-date, and interact regularly with their customers.
2. Does it come with a sufficient guarantee?
There is no set minimum to look for in the number of days in a guarantee; it all depends on the product and the expected results.
When you're considering a product, make a realistic estimate as to how long you think it will take YOU to achieve the desired result. Then make sure the guarantee period ends after that point.
For example, if you purchase a course that teaches you how to get targeted traffic using Facebook ads, and the training is delivered over 4 weeks, you might expect to start seeing an increase in traffic within a few weeks. But the goal is not just getting traffic, it's making sales from that traffic. So, if the guarantee is for 30 days, you'll need to see an increase in sales within that 2-day window following your training in order to know if the product really works for you.
Many internet marketing products – especially training products – come with a guarantee that doesn't give you enough time to really evaluate the product. Only you can decide what level of risk is acceptable.
3. Does the description make you believe it will meet your current need?
Determine which of your systems the product fits into and how it will benefit your business. Will it:
- Fill a gap?
- Save you time?
- Save you money?
- Reduce aggravation?
- Bring you more traffic?
- Improve conversions?
If you are not clear about exactly how the product will improve your business, it's most likely not the best investment for you right now.
This is the most difficult part of the evaluation process. A lot of great products are released every day, but most of them simply offer a different way of doing something you're already doing. Do you really need another autoresponder service? How many web page builders does it take to keep your site fresh and engaging? Is another copywriting course going to make any difference at all in your conversions?
Give this question serious thought and don't invest your hard-earned money in something just because it looks “cool” or because you might need it at some point in the future.
4. Does it come with everything you need?
One of the worst online marketing practices that's become more prevalent lately is using selling products and services that are only complete if you purchase the upsells. Creating a sales funnel with upsells and downsells is a very effective tactic, but when you're making a buying decision, it's essential that you know what you're getting.
One thing you might want to do is try to find the JV page for a product to see what offers are included in the sales funnel. The first place to check is launch notification sites. Here are a few:
You can also go to your favorite search engine and search for “[product name] JV” or “[product name] affiliates”. When you find the JV or affiliate information page, look it over to try to determine what you'll be getting for your money.
Another thing to watch out for is external requirements. Does the product require you to invest in other tools or services in order to use it? For example, a course about Adwords would obviously expect you to invest some money in advertising. Not quite so obvious, though, might be a package of graphics which requires you to own Adobe Photoshop.
Pay close attention to the sales page to see if there are any prerequisites.Be sure you understand exactly what your investment will be before you make a buying decision.
5. Do you have time to implement/participate right now?
Marketers are experts at hitting your emotional buttons and making you feel like you're missing out if you don't grab the latest thing right now. Some will even tell you that you should get it today even if you don't need it right away because the price will be going up – or it won't even be available for purchase – after the launch period.
Don't fall for this.
Invest in a product or a course that you can start using right away – within hours and days, not weeks or months.
First, if you wait before implementing it, you run the risk of being outside the guarantee period. But that's the not the biggest problem.
When you buy something from a promotion, especially an internet marketing product during a launch, the seller is focused on that product for that period of time. This is when you'll get the greatest level of support. This is when questions will be answered and issues will be resolved right away. This is when the community around the product will be talking about it and sharing advice and experience.
Additionally, most business owners don't have a lot of time. You are much less likely to actually use what you buy if you shelve it for a period of time. It will sit unused and eventually be forgotten in favor of the next new thing.
Focus instead on this simple process:
Buy -> Implement -> Measure -> Adjust
This will give you results so you will know, without any doubt, if you made a good investment or if you should get your money back.
Remember that internet marketers have a job to do and they do it very well: to profit by selling stuff. As a business owner, your job is the same! The key is to invest in products and services that will help you do your job better.