How to investigate a product
There are so many IM products that come out every single day that it can be really hard to tell which is a good investment in your business and which is going to just be a waste of your time. While I try to review as many of the big name launches as I can, because I’m only one person and because I spend so much time on each review, its just not possible for me to test everything.
Because of this I wanted to give my top 5 tips on how you can investigate an IM product yourself and make a more informed purchase decision.
#1) Try not to get to hyped about hype: There is always going to be some hype in marketing. Marketers after all want to sell stuff. You can’t expect someone to try to sell something without also trying to get the potential customer excited. However you have to take hype with a grain of salt.
This is especially true about income ‘proof’. All income proof really is, is proof that someone made some money. There is no way at all to prove that the money was made when or how the sales page actually says it was. Here let me give you an example. Check out this screenshot proof that I made over $200,000 this year selling clown figurines online!
But if course I dont sell clown figurines. The point here is that just because you see a screenshot does not mean that its ‘proof’. Photoshop is easy to use and even if the screen shot was not photo shopped as I said there is no way of knowing that the income was really made the way the sales page says it was. When looking at a sales page you really should just ignore any income ‘proof’ graphics. Since they can’t be verified they are worthless.
Also don’t put a lot of stock in words like ‘instant push button results’. Everyone wants instant results. Everyone wants to push a button and start getting a flood of cash to their PayPal accounts. Guess what. It’s not going to happen. Not today, not tomorrow, never ever.
You see wording like this a lot with software. Buy this software, press a button, make money. Well I’m going tell you right now, once and for all. That’s nonsense. No software will ever make you money. Software is a tool. It can help you make money. It can do a job for you. It can make your life more easy or your time more productive. But there never has and never will be a software where you could push a button and make money. I really wish there was. Because I would be pushing that thing all day (instead of typing this article) but the truth is that its just a fairy tail.
So for tip #1. Ignore income proofs, and never forget IM products are tools not magic money buttons.
#2) High pressure sales tactics: This is actually common in all sales not just in IM sales. “Act now or else you might loose out”. Honestly I dont think there is anything wrong with this personally. Trying to build urgency by rewarding the early action takers with a special discount, or an extra bonus or something. As I said before marketers are trying to make sales, that’s why they are marketers. But some marketers take it to far. They take it to the point of dishonesty.
What I’m talking about of course is false scarcity. A good example of false scarcity is a countdown time that tells you that the special offer will end when the timer runs out. But when the timer hits zero all that happens is that it resets. The offer never chances. While some people dont get to bothered by this I personally think it sets a really bad precedent. The first thing the vendor did was lie to you. How can you trust anything they said in the sales page now?
But how can you tell if a countdown timer is real? Well here is one easy way. A lot of these timers will put a cookie on your browser so that if you leave and come back it shows the proper time as if it was a real timer. Because of this closing your browser and coming back to the sales page is not a good way to see if a timer is really false scarcity. But what you can do is open the sales page in a different browser. If the timer does not say the exact same time its pretty solid evidence that its a false scarcity timer.
#3) Ask affiliates questions: Here is something that might surprise you. Lots of affiliates send out marketing emails without ever reviewing the training or testing the software they are telling you to buy. Shocking isn’t it? Not really. The honest truth that there is a lot of ‘you scratch my back, Ill scratch yours’ in the IM world. Especially among product vendors. A lot of people will promote a product just because the vendor is a friend of theirs.
Now this does not mean that the product they are promoting is bad. But it does mean that you dont have to run and buy something without thinking about it just because you get an email saying that XYZ product is the best thing ever.
One way to tell if the affiliate sending you an email has actually tested a product personally is to see if they have a review or demo video that they personally made. Also don’t be afraid to reply to the email that the affiliate sends you asking them any pre-sale questions you might have. If the affiliate really cares about you he will take the time to answer you.
#4) Check out the vendor on JVZoo: This one is easy but its something I’m willing to bet almost no one does. When you click the buy button on any JVZoo product you are taken to checkout page that will display the price of the product and a bunch of other info that no one reads because its in small text down bottom. But this text is important. First it will display the sellers refund policy. Second it will display the sellers name.
Copy the vendors name and head over to JVZoo’s website. If your not signed up as an affiliate on JVZoo do so (its free and you only have to do it once). Click on Affiliates -> Find Products
Paste the vendors name in the Keyword field and press the search button. This will give you a list of all the products that that vendor still has active on JVZoo, including the vendors past products. What your looking for is the vendors past refund rates. Any product is going to have refunds but when you see a vendor that has consistantly high refunds you might want to think twice about making your purchase as that could be indicative of a vendor that produces poor quality products, has poor customer service, or both.
So what is a high refund rate? Well in my experience 3-4% is normal. However when you see refund rates a lot higher than that you need to start questioning things.
The image above is a good example. This vendor consistently has high refund rates. In fact more often than not his refund rate is actually higher than his conversion rate. I would be careful of any vendor with statistics like that.
Now I do want to point out one exception to this. When the product has a monthly fee it will tend to have a higher than normal refund rate. For example one of my products has a 4.8% refund rate. This is the highest refund rate I have of any product of mine by far. But that is because it is a monthly fee product and I did a promo where people could opt out of the monthly fee by paying a larger one time fee. When people did this I canceled their future payments and refunded any recent payments.
#5) Learn your lesson: Every once in a while I will write a bad review for a product and the comments will get filled with people responding saying things like: “I bought 3 products from this vendor and got ripped off every time”. When I read comments like that I always ask myself: “Why did you keep buying from this vendor after the first time”?
While no vendor no matter how good they are can make everyone happy every time if you keep having a very bad experience with a specific person at some point you have to ask yourself if you want to keep doing business with that person. All of the time I hear people complaining about vendors that they say are ‘scam artists’, yet they keep buying stuff from them. Want to know how to stop the scam artists? Stop buying things from them. As long as what they are doing keeps bringing them in money they will never change. Once they stop making money the will have to either clean up their act or they will fade away.
Internet Marketing like all business is a democracy. Every customer gets to vote on who stays in business, who does well, and who will fade away into nothing. You vote with your dollars. Never forget that.