Friday, February 26
Nothing more than a dollar sign?
I want to tell you about something that happened to me over the past couple of weeks, and I'd really like your opinion about it.
Like many people, I truly appreciate all the learning activities given to me via online resources. I'm amazed, frankly, at how much one can learn online.
Recently I registered to watch some online videos, and I learned a lot from them. I was grateful for them. So at the end of the videos, when I was offered the opportunity to enroll in an online course offered by the same teacher, I decided to go for it. I pulled out my credit card and enrolled in the class. To be honest, it was a little expensive, but I judged that it would be worthwhile expenditure.
As it turned out, what I had really done was to enter a "sales funnel." Have you ever heard of a sales funnel?
The course for which I registered offered very little more than what had been offered in the free videos. But since I was now a member of the class, I had the exclusive opportunity to enroll in a much more expensive class. Lucky me! I received email after email urging me to enroll in the more expensive class. In fact, the "class" website showed that most of the advantages I had hoped for when I enrolled were off-limits to me: they'd be "unlocked" only if I upgraded to a premium course.
Fortunately, I'd made sure that the course came with a money-back guarantee, and the owner refunded my purchase price. So I don't have a gripe with the company that sold me the course. I certainly don't have a gripe with the free-enterprise system that encourages entrepreneurship and allows folks with expertise or a great idea to make money online.
But I do have a gripe with being treated like nothing more than a potential sale, which is exactly how I felt in this case.
Internet commerce, including blogging, has changed an awful lot since I started blogging regularly way back in 2009. Don't get me wrong: I'm tickled that some people are able to make good livings for themselves online. Some of the people who make a good living online are friends of mine, and they conduct themselves (and their businesses) admirably. I've bought countless products that I've seen advertised online, as well as several online courses with which I've been delighted. I'm also happy for blogs to include ads. I don't make much money from my blog, but I'm grateful for the small ad revenues that defray the cost of blogging for me.
To be honest, if I ever have something like a book to sell, I'm quite sure I'll let people know about it via all available means. I have no complaint about marketing; of course creators of goods and services need to market their products. That's all good!
But I'm not sure what I think about being sold one product or service just so that the seller will then have free rein to sell me more products or services. I know there's nothing dishonest about it, but something about it feels a bit underhanded to me.
I don't know. Maybe I'm making way too much of this. Perhaps I should just use my "Delete" and "Unsubscribe" buttons freely and not fret about it. As for me, though, I pray that any quest I make for gold will adhere to the Golden Rule.
What do you think? Have you ever found yourself in a sales funnel? How did the experience make you feel?