Get Rich Quick: What Can We Learn From The Hard Sell?

May 12th

Do aggressive marketing practices repel you?

Or make you more likely to buy?

Is it a cultural thing? For example, does hard sell work in some cultures, but not others?

Dear Friend......

;)

Personally, when I experience the hard-sell, I immediately become suspicious that the product is worthless. After all, shouldn't the product or service, if useful, pretty much sell itself?

Having said that, I have, on occasion, bought from people using the hard sell. Curiosity sometimes gets the better of us all :)

The fact that aggressive sales strategies are used so often tends to indicate such approaches do work. Let's take a look at some of these tactics, and if you can think of more examples, please add them in the comments. Also, if you've had success using such tactics yourself, please share your experiences.

The Time Sensitive Offer

A time sensitive offer, as the name suggests, is an offer that has a specific time limit.

Typically, the more time people have to think about something, especially impulse buyers, the less likely they are to take action. So the time sensitive offer will always create a sense of urgency - combined with jeopardy. People feel they might miss out if they don't act immediately. Like many hard sell tactics, it is based on fear. In this case - the fear of missing out.

Typical examples:

  • Limited places available: "Only ten places left!"
  • Limited stock available: "STOCK CLEARANCE!! WE ONLY HAVE A FEW OF THESE LEFT!! GET IN QUICK BEFORE THEY SELL OUT!"
  • Deadlines: "This offer will end at midnight, tonight! After then, we close the program" (Of course, they re-open it again at regular intervals)

Some people use PHP or Javascript date includes to put today's date in the content, and the offer expires tonight. Of course, the same thing happens tomorrow, and every day for the next year. Others go so far as popping up a clock that counts down your 5 minutes before the special pricing offer expires.

Creating Hype

The hype level of the hard sell is usually off the scale compared to most legitimate business offers.

I recall an offer last year where the hype level for a vaguely SEO-related service was getting quite ridiculous. Like many other people, I was getting bombarded with emails at every step of the sales process.

They were going to launch in a few weeks. They were just about to launch. They launched. They had launched, but there was still time to sign up!

The aim is to create an event.

The advertiser also needs to make some fairly outrageous claims. Trouble is, when everyone is making outrageous claims, then s/he needs to make even bigger ones in order to get noticed.

It sometimes helps if you print a lot of zeros on an over-sized check to really ram the point home.

How do you avoid getting sucked in?

Hard work was intoxicating.

But sitting in the ‘counting house’ counting money was frankly even more appealing. I frankly don’t know how much money and time I spent before I got wise. Or should I say wiser.

The moment of wisdom came when I started recognising the red flags.

  • I started avoiding anything ‘instant.’
  • I started avoiding anything that offered ‘tsunamis of customers’
  • I started avoiding anything that had fancy cars, surfboards, planes, jets, boats.
  • I started avoid anything with graphics of cheque books and bank balances.

Secret Or Unfair Advantage

Everyone loves to know something the next guy does not. Or gain an advantage. Anything that creates a shortcut to effort. And creating an air of mystery or invitation to a select club is very enticing.

Of course, if the secret or unfair advantage was significant, you've really got to wonder why anyone would sell it for $89.95 to faceless unknowns.

Social Proof Of Value

Social proof involves making the assumption that other people are better informed that you. People like to go where other people have gone, as it feels less risky that way, unless they all happen to be buying tickets for the Titanic, of course.

Social proof takes the form of case studies, personal recommendations, and, as often happens on the internet, shilling. Ever tried to look for a review of a product that has been sold hard? Chances are the only reviews of the new $2,000 course that ***will change the world forever*** you'll find are from affiliates.

Example (combined with time sensitive offer): Server Issue: "Our server crashed (yeah, right) due to the number of responses. We're so sorry to all those who missed out! So we've extended the offer for one more day!"

Some merchants warm up an email list by giving away prizes in exchange for testimonials as you get closer to the launch date. They even let you know that the more outlandish the testimonial is the greater the chance of being featured and winning a prize. Such false endorsements are meant to fool the rest of the list into thinking they are missing out on a once in a lifetime opportunity. And anyone who contacts them during the sales pitch gets a special link ***only for them*** to place their order the night before the general public.

Any Idiot Can do it, Fast, Easy, & Nearly Automatically

A friend recently got this via email, which captures the essence of the 'anyone can do it' pitch.

We gave you solid PROOF. Proof of how 37 people walked in our office on a Monday morning in May with:

  • NO product
  • NO website
  • NO technical experience

And they ALL walked out Friday at 4 p.m. with their very own Internet business. Amazing, isn't it?

Now, listen to this very carefully:

If you are remotely interested in attracting more wealth into your life at a faster speed, our elite Internet marketing team can transform your life forever. It sounds clichéd, but it's true.

In some cases during the sales process you will see testimonials from teenagers, senior citizens, AND people with severe disabilities. They are showcased and exploited to remind you that if they can do it then surely you can too.

My friend also had a call with one such group about their 'mentorship program' where it was a tiered list of interviews that were made to look like qualification interviews, but were actually more like boiler room sales sessions, where certain people's times were limited and they just happened to open up right now if you have $5,000 of space on your credit card.

One group asked Aaron banal SEO questions via email one month, and was then selling a how to SEO course less than a month later. They went from completely ignorant to masters in record time. So long as they sell to desperate, inexperienced, and/or stupid people it is a strategy that works. For that target market they only need to be confident and know slightly more than your prospective customer to pry a few dollars out of their wallet.

Cross Selling

Cross selling involves selling an additional product or service to an existing customer.

This is not just a method used to hard sell, it's a highly efficient way to market. It is cheapest to market to those whom you already have built up a relationship.

Intimacy & Relationship Building

Guerrilla Marketing is an approach to marketing that has become very popular on the internet, mostly to get over the barrier of anonymity.

One aspect central to Guerrilla marketing is the importance of building up a personal relationship, so the sales pitch will often be personality driven. It involves telling personal stories about familiar situations and problems that have been overcome. It is the polar opposite of the anonymous, depersonalized copy of the sales brochure.

Some "business opportunity" merchants create fake "application forms" which accept everyone with a credit card and a pulse.

Hard Selling is Not All Bad

There are many potential bad customers who take take take and have no intent of doing any real work. Get rich quick ponzi schemers offer a more compelling offer to them than you or I ever would, and so they filter them out of the marketplace *

I was getting better clients thanks to the get-rich-quick merchants.

They were weeding out the people who simply wanted it easy. They were weeding out those who got impatient because they tried something for 10 minutes and weren't getting results.

They were weeding out all those for whom hard work is like a disease.

* If your price-point is one of the lowest in your market and you do not charge recurring fees and the get rich quick folks enter your market then you will likely need to increase your prices and/or change your business model to filter out that bottom tier of customer and restore your faith in humanity. Even having 1 in 10 customer interactions be unpleasant can become unbearable.

Many hard sell techniques cross over into softer-sell conventional marketing and sales. We recently added a pop up to this site offering a free SEO course via email, and it did increase our conversion rates. The proof of any marketing technique can be found in the bottom line: did it make more money than other techniques?

I'd be interested to hear your experiences. Do you use these techniques? Have you bought from people using these techniques?

Published: May 12, 2009

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Comments

May 12, 2009 - 3:09pm

I personally have never bought anything online based on a hard sell, but that's just me.

Not sure what cross-segment of the population I represent.

May 12, 2009 - 3:29pm

I am with Hugo - hate the "Sham Wow" infomercial approach.
I am amazed at how I see otherwise intelligent people using these techniques though - so there must be something to it. I can immediately think of a couple SEO guys who use these techniques all the time...it actually made me stop listening to them. What about those long, scrolling pages that use all of the above?

May 15, 2009 - 1:06pm

In reply to Martypants,

As a recovering Corporate psychologist who has jumped ship into the new world of Social Networking Psychologist, I can say the the Sham Wow defense is one that is popping up in a lot of blogs.

One would assume that the average intelligent person, would see around the obvious upsell tactics in this infomercial. But, as goody as it may seem, psychological triggers take over and the apparently intelligent person believes they are getting a super duper deal.

Here is where the fun stuff starts for us in the Internet marketing world. The top infomercials of today show us how we need to apply the same concepts online with upsells, cross sells, down sells, and giving away free products to get someones thirst just bairly quenched and wanting more.

BTW, the Sham Wow is a great product. I bought it at a local state fair and love ll 6 of them.

Dr. Dave Hale
The Internet Marketing Professor
drdavehaleonline.com

May 15, 2009 - 5:51pm

Dr. Dave, I think we've all seen the shamwow commercial, could you give the readers of this blog some examples of "psychological triggers" used in this infomercial? It would help everyone out (okay, well It'd help ME - but probably other people too!)

Here's an idea for an opt-in on your website - here Dr. Dave, live and in real time, breakdown the psychology of what is happening in the shamwow infomercial. Then you take the original ad in its entirety, and do a voice over of it when you want to add your comments - kind of like the "director's commentary" featured you see on DVDs.

May 12, 2009 - 4:02pm

As a professional copywriter, allow me to throw in my 2-cents...

Hyped-up, manipulative sales letters appeal only to the unsophisticated buyer. It's a "moving train." Today's unsophisticated buyer is tomorrow's "jaded consumer."

That's why these sales letters work. There are always new wide-eyed, get-rich-quick types waiting in the wings.

But for those selling to more sophisticated buyers, or in other markets... it's extremely critical to create a sales message that communicates Integrity, Empathy, & Authenticity.

I call these principles the "Divine Trinity" of Spiritual Marketing Principles. They create that know/like/trust bond with the reader that is so critical.

Some of the tactics you mentioned I don't have a problem with. The problem comes when they are overdone or over hyped.

For example...

Integrity tells the truth in the most interesting, compelling, and persuasive way possible. But it does not resort to hype, exaggeration, or misleading of the facts.

Integrity communicates GENUINE urgency or scarcity... but it does not manufacture it purely for manipulation.

Integrity builds trust through credibility-boosting elements like testimonials/case studies/endorsements/etc... but it does not make them up.

Empathy demonstrates you understand your prospect, you "speak his language", and you are there to SOLVE A PROBLEM... not just "sell" something.

Authenticity communicates you are a real, unique individual, which creates that personal bond which is critical to making the sale.

In the end... it is not about a "hard-sell"... it's about a "heart sell." And when your prospect understands that, he is MUCH more motivated to do business with you than if you come across as a used car salesman.

Great post. I'm going to Twitter it.

May 12, 2009 - 4:43pm

While a sales process is necessary, the huckster approach is certainly outdated. When's the last time you had an enduring phone call with a telemarketer? I want my information when I want it and how I want it. If I'm interested, I have no problem listening to a salesperson, once I know the product is reputable.

The entire web and information age is transforming the way we interact. We're shifting from transactional business to interactional business. From transacting a sale to need to interact and develop relationships with our customers. I call this Hub Mentality. Great post, great value.

Carl
http://www.kgaps.com/blog

May 12, 2009 - 6:35pm

Hi Aaron,
Intellectually, I'm in full agreement with every word of your post. Experientially, I have to say that the tactics that you and I, and the prior commenters don't like, do work. I have been intimately involved in writing, administering and testing direct mail, email and Internet marketing campaigns whereby all the points that may inspire you and I, and the other commenters here, to shy away from a product, simply result in more sales. Having said that, I'm in full agreement with SpiritualCopy's comment.

May 12, 2009 - 7:10pm

The last time we re-opened Teaching Sells, our server *did* crash, mainly because our "Digg-worthy" settings had been nuked by the host without our knowledge during a server move. I was so mortified because I knew people would assume we faked it thanks to the fraudsters.

We still did quite well, but I know we lost sales for that. You've got to do everything you can to avoid even the *appearance* that you're pulling some form of manufactured stunt, because people will never trust you again.

May 13, 2009 - 11:38pm

Maybe this is mostly true with a segment of potential customers that your site (or seobook, etc.) attract? People who know about marketing and thus have the tendency to see if something is staged marketing? (or in the unlucky incident you describe - misunderstand it)

I mean, I know a lot of people (not marketing-savy) who think those MTV dating shows, etc. might be real and when I say it's all fake, because why would a marketer rely on chance to have something exciting happen when he can simply stage it instead of wasting resources until something "exciting" happens blabla people look at me in doubt, not really convinced those shows are fake. Of course I say it in a different kind of language :-).

May 12, 2009 - 10:30pm

I automatically ignore anything in a hard sell scheme. Maybe your pop up in this site offering a free SEO course is effective but I have to say I hate it. FOr me, it is very intrusive... Sadly, it seems like a trend in blogs of the well-known bloggers.

May 12, 2009 - 10:35pm

Sadly, it seems like a trend in blogs of the well-known bloggers.

The problem is that if we don't monetize effectively the sleazier merchants have much higher profit margins and basically noise over our work. They copy our work and hype it up, and we only get crumbs for doing the original work. Not a good business model.

May 13, 2009 - 4:58am

Heres my video response of what I think of this post Peter..

Aaron play close attention to 4:32 ....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An3Leu0Taik

ENJOY!!!!!

James

May 13, 2009 - 3:06pm

That 4:32 part was quite funny James. Thanks for the support on that bit :)

May 13, 2009 - 10:03am

I have to say I have never thought of the pop up on this site as a hard sell, even when I didn't see the "don't show this again" option, it was just a single click to get rid of the box, and as a non paying visitor that seemed like a really great price to pay for valuable information. Now if it was flashing and popped up every 30 seconds making the content impossible to read, that, to me would be a hard sell.

But then the concept of a hard sell is definitely coloured by your prior knowledge of a company, Boots (a large chemist and cosmetics chain in the UK, which can be found on nearly every high street) recently launched a product called protect & perfect face cream. The adverts showed people fighting over getting to the last bottle (the hype), they only held limited stock in stores for a number of months (limited time offer), and the hype was huge. So I would question those who say they have never bought through a hard sales pitch, because you only notice when it is done badly.

May 13, 2009 - 2:56pm

you only notice when it is done badly.

I love that line, because it is so true. I am quite cheap most of the time, but with some things even I fall for the hype and/or am willing to overspend for hope that doing so will cause some change in life quality.

I have bought high end beds and chairs and said the expense was easy to justify for health reasons, and then at the same time would eat junk food that treated my body like a landfill...absolutely intellectually inconsistent, but somehow we can feel that paying extra for 1 thing can make another bad move ok.

May 13, 2009 - 11:44pm

I think the reason is that everyone on this site is (at least somewhat) knowledgeable about marketing (the people who reply here are a totally biased (is skewed the right expression?) sample...thus they might really not fall for the hard sell (at least not regularly), whereas it still works great for the general public who doesn't roll their eyes when they're on amazon and notice that for the 100th time the book they want to buy is the LAST one available =).

May 13, 2009 - 11:03am

I know this is "just me", but I see hype as noise and perhaps a reason to distrust the message itself.

Do you really want the type of customer who would fall for hype?

May 13, 2009 - 2:52pm

I think the truth is that many people "fall for hype" at some level. Even the most cynical of marketers do sometimes. You generally have to be fairly aggressive on some levels to sell. Like without our pop up & autoresponder this site would only get half as many new subscribers each day.

May 13, 2009 - 12:12pm

The rule that I use is -

Always be very wary of marketers who are marketing.

I bought a course once and they described exactly how to do a certain type of marketing.

But when I looked how the course was setup it was exactly the same, ie they were marketing to me even though I'd paid. And so they tried to cross sell me, get me to pay for extra add-ons etc etc.

I call these add-ons 'the donkey carrot'. You get hyped to buy the original course but then they tell you that's not enough - you need the 'secret module' but when you buy that, again it's not enough because you now need 'the super plan' - yes, that's the one that will crack the nut and so on and so on.

So again - always be wary of marketers who market and that INCLUDES you Aaron :)

Only joking son, we all know you're one of the good guys and thanks for all your great contents and thoughts.

May 13, 2009 - 2:50pm

I agree anley...this is part of the reason I have not developed a large backend. I saw another launch recently where there was

  • video guide to seo
  • secret niche videos
  • video of the month
  • print monthly magazine
  • home study course
  • lightweight version of home study course
  • etc.

and really I just become skeptical as I see more products offered. How many ways can you package the same information before people become wary of the repackaging? And if there is not a significant overlap between products then why were some of them made incomplete, other than as a tool to upsell upsell upsell?

May 13, 2009 - 1:00pm

What a great post. One of the hardest things when trying to setup a good business online is the amount of products you are offered from "gurus". There is so much noise and these guys are great at selling if nothing else (although I do think some of them have great content). I rarely buy these products but I did used to get caught up in the sales launch, watch the free videos, read the free content. One evening I realized I was not meeting my daily goals because I was letting these guys distract me from doing "actual" work. So I unsubscribed from most of the big gurus email lists and rarely watch anything they put out. I have become a lot more effective in getting my work done.

Will I buy some of this products, well, never say never but sitting down and getting on with actual work is a lot more beneficial than reading a load of hype ...

May 13, 2009 - 2:42pm

And their business model relies on out-hyping then next guy and promoting a launch of some sort every other week. It never really ends until you run out of money or just tune them out.

May 13, 2009 - 1:40pm

Hard sell? Like that pop-up that will not stop any time I access your site, no matter how many times I click the "NEVER SHOW ME THIS @#&%ing POP-UP AGAIN!!" link??

May 13, 2009 - 2:40pm

If I could replicate that issue Liamondrop I would fix it. But I can't across multiple computers and 5 web browsers.

May 15, 2009 - 2:52am

I've had it too - it's really annoying. For what it's worth, I browse on FFx versions 2-3. If the popup was implemented pre-Jan 09, then I was on a 15-inch screen HP laptop w Win XP, and since then am on an iMac (I think that's the mac PC I have? The everything-in-the-screen computer...) w FFX 3.

May 13, 2009 - 4:10pm

I used to be super skeptical of long sales pages with wild claims. I could never figure out who bought products from those sites...

Until I bought something from them... and then I bought again... and then I bought again.

I bought a $99 sales course... and it was amazing. I bought Holly Mann's ebook... and it was amazing. My friend bought a $200 real estate investment DVD course... and it was amazing.

Not all of these sites used super hard sell techniques, but the real estate one definitely did. I thought these long sales pages with outlandish claims and "It's 2:00am right now, buy your copy before it's gone" were just plain goofy. But I have to say, the products were all solid and would buy from these guys again because of the strength of their products.

So if I see a long sales page with "hard sell" tactics, I don't dismiss them as easily as I used to.

May 13, 2009 - 4:29pm

Aaron, you already know what type of customer Liamondrop is (re: "But Whose Opinion Matters?"). Keep doing YOUR thing.

Eric

May 13, 2009 - 7:50pm

Yeh the one on 4:32 of this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An3Leu0Taik

May 15, 2009 - 2:54am

I bought Aaron's book in the past and find the recurring popup annoying too. It's not about whiny [non-customers]. It's about asking people the same thing repeatedly. Which leads to the inference [for some; I know better that it's just a tech issue] that you're trying to wear them down into accepting.

May 15, 2009 - 3:43pm

If the offer is irrelevant to a person all they have to do is click the "don't show again" link. It is unbelievably easy to filter it out if one wants to.

May 13, 2009 - 7:58pm

I love this site and this post.

I may very well be the target audience here. I agree with so much of the post as well as the folks commenting. Here are some of my thoughts.

I am entering the Internet Marketing world for the first time and I am eagerly reading blogs, articles, books, etc trying to educate myself and learn from those who came before me. I have rarely found myself in a position to be tempted by the "hard sale" until recently. I want to learn about SEO, Internet Marketing, Adwords, Product Sales, Outsourcing, and so much more and I understand that people like Aaron are my best resource. I don't expect this information to be free, and I am willing to pay for it. However, I want to spend my $10, $50, $250, $1000 wisely. So, what I have been doing is reading blogs, watching videos, posting on blogs, and building a rapport with the folks I trust and then purchasing the information in hopes that it will help me accomplish my goals. I've noticed that some sort of "hard sale" can actually increase the chances of me making a purchase. I have always been skeptical of "get rich quick" scams, and I still am, but we do have something to learn from the methods they employ. I couldn't agree more with the comment, "you only notice when done badly".

I've been in Internet Technology sales for 12+ years, and have rarely used "hard sale" techniques. But this was because I have been in the B2B market and that is completely different than a B2C play. In the few times that I have been marketing to consumers, I have found that a "hard sale" is often the best approach. People want to be told what to do, how to do it, why they should do it, and encouraged to do it now...otherwise, they simply won't do anything.

The pop up to register for Aaron's email course was not bothersome to me at all. Actually, it was quite the opposite. The only reason I didn't sign up until today was because I wanted to make certain when I did I had the time to actually read and process the emails and research his other products.

Good luck to everyone and thanks for the insight.

May 13, 2009 - 11:52pm

I like the fact that this stuff works so well. you see those headlines on every medium and it makes me wonder how long these headlines have been working for and if they'll ever fade or exist until the end of time.

If they work so well, it means there are a ton of lazy people out there who are absolutely no competition for anyone who's taking this seriously.

PS: this post reminds me of when I bought seobook and it came with that stuff from yannick silver (and another guy) - I checked out some of their other stuff back then and dude those guys were hyping it up lol.

(Of course, I remember you stated you only suggest readers look at how he writes copy, but that you did not recommend buying their products)

May 14, 2009 - 12:09am

While I was reading this blog (via email), there was a banner advertising a particular airline (which I will call AIRSPAM)to the right reading something along the lines of: Hurry now and buy your tickets...time is running out! To top it off, there was an active count down showing 53 minutes left. :)

The timing was perfect! Keep up the good work.

Serg

May 14, 2009 - 12:19pm

Marketing is everywhere, and we respond to the same triggers almost any medium you can think of. :)

May 14, 2009 - 12:30am

Sorry, just realized that this post was by Peter, not Aaron. Well, keep doing your thing Peter!

May 14, 2009 - 12:39pm

Hype Sells! Period.

One of my sites was doing average, when I added

Deadlines: "This offer will end at midnight, tonight! After then, we close the program" (Of course, they re-open it again at regular intervals)

My sales increased 400%.

Hype Sells! Period.

May 14, 2009 - 4:06pm

Great post. And yes, no doubt that most of the above mentioned techniques work.

And as long as what you are buying is good, that's not a problem, because chances are good they'll buy from you again.

But if what you're selling is crap, any chance of further sales, or recommendations of you and/or your stuff are gone. Which is great if you can get rich on one time sales, but the real money comes in being able to sell to someone over and over again.

That requires trust and confidence, neither of which stick out for me in most of the sales tactics I've seen and often fallen for, I might add. : (

May 14, 2009 - 4:21pm

I often thing that there is an inverse correlation between the number of products offered by a person and the quality of the products.

If they are the money first type then they will often create an entire new product out of something that could simply be added in as a feature of an existing product.

websitedesigner
May 14, 2009 - 4:22pm

I think hard sell is an integral part of sales and it's just been grossly misunderstood. In fact I find that many people have a misunderstanding on what is hard sell, hard sell requires care for the customer or client.

Not putting care into the sales cycle is soft sell. Not actually finding out the exact reason why the customer or client really needs to get your product and as well qualifying the buyer is soft sell. As you see there is a big difference between hard and soft. Hard does not mean they ram the product down your throat or offer gimmicks, sales or coupons to get you to buy it. But instead it does mean that the sales person cares enough to do just about anything to get you the product and will push you through when needed but all within the buy's understanding.

May 14, 2009 - 4:48pm

I don't think your boy Perry Marshall...***cough** I mean Perry Sink....would like a lot of all the sales letter bashing.... (btw I hate it and we don't take any clients that rely solely on a sales letter even if by some chance they have a decent product)

Would you use a fake name Aaron if you were proud of what you were doing?

May 14, 2009 - 4:50pm

No I would not :)

May 14, 2009 - 5:14pm

yea... lol

May 14, 2009 - 5:19pm

Actually...to some degree, I take that back. Because I am an SEO it is best if I am not publicly associated with many of my sites. Why? Because...

  • Google thinks SEOs are scumbags and are more likely to penalize their sites, even if the sites are of far higher quality than competing sites
  • some of our direct competitors have intentionally went out of their ways to attempt to directly harm our business, and have proven that (much like Google) they can't be trusted

I could see how a person who is known as an excellent marketer might not want to be associated with that identity for any biases that could bring. The above example is just one good example of discrimination that some people have to deal with.

Another issue is if a successful person puts their name on something they simply create more market competition. Fine if it is your core market where you are busting ass day in and day out, but not so smart if it is a fairly thin affiliate site or a site that required little incremental work after launch.

May 15, 2009 - 2:57am

I associated the long sales letters with plenty of hype to spam/scams. And hence didn't buy the SEO Book for about a year! It sucks when conversion-rate/EPC metrics dictate a selling approach that excludes me, because sometimes it's a valuable product! I remember after buying, thinking - I wish I'd bought a year earlier! I'd have saved so much time on reading blog posts, forums etc. Though in fairness the experience was valuable...

tzd
May 17, 2009 - 5:11pm

do you do some hard sell on your blog Aaron?

really like your blog, you are generally smart, but i must say, that the popup selling your subscription that appears each and every time i got to your site even though I have have closed it a gazillion times is really annoying... cant you just cookie me and remember that ive closed it a gazillion times already? I never thought of complaining about it, but just thought about it when I read your hard sell post... Im assuming it works for you as you are still doing it... push sell i would call it. but hey, who am I, if its working for you and its paying your bills etc, i would probably do the same if i had a successful blog as yours.

May 17, 2009 - 6:51pm

There is a "don't show again" link you can click on if you wish to. Click that and we won't show it again until after you clear cookies (or I think ~ 10 years has gone by)

May 19, 2009 - 3:08am

Aaron, the pop-up gives me multiple options to opt out and none of them works. I'm using FireFox 3.x, currently on Windows 7. But I have the same issue on Vista & XP: That's 3 separate computers, all FF 3.x.

Several other people are reporting the same problem. It is annoying as hell. I half expect to get a window telling me to chat with a live representative when I try to close the window. Maybe a free 14-day trial.

May 19, 2009 - 4:53am

Well I would love to see you record a session of it not working. I have NOT been able to reproduce the issue across my wife's 3 computers or either of my computers (across 5 different browsers).

May 20, 2009 - 2:05am

Hey, no problem, I can reproduce it enough for the both of us: http://www.screencast.com/users/liamondrop/folders/Jing/media/40fffdc1-2...

(Post Script: I got the same pop-up when I then navigated to this page to share this link. And considering your site remembered I am logged in and allowed me to write this comment, I clearly am able to accept cookies.)

May 20, 2009 - 2:06am

LOL, and then after I posted the above comment, I got it again! Wish I had recorded that!

May 28, 2009 - 10:49am

Pop ups are one of the most annoying aspects of the internet, I would be surprised if anyone meant to click on them. Ads and promo's down the side of a site is fine. Popups are too much the hard sell, in your face type.

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