Friday, December 08, 2006

A "Black Hat" Marketing Trick Exposed

One of the things I've noticed lately as a reseller is the number of packages I get that include a file with unadvertised bonuses. Now I would normally like to find something extra either for myself or to include in the packages I sell however these bonuses are not "totally free" products.

No, instead these "free" bonuses are not digital products at all. Rather they are icons and open a web page when clicked. And while there is a free product offered on the web page it requires I join someone's list to get it.

Now while I know that the extra bonus wasn't advertised and it is free if I choose to sign up, I don't consider it completely "white hat," maybe "off-white," "gray" or even "black." But definitely not "white" since there's a one-time-offer with every sign up and the giver is hoping I'll not only join someone else's list but also buy the OTO so they can make a profit.

Call me old-fashioned but when I get a free gift inside a cereal box or an extra pair of sock when I buy a package of socks the store doesn't ask me to give my name and address to anyone. If I have to send in my information to get the gift the manufacturer states on the outside of the package that there's a coupon or certificate inside - not the gift.

By including these clickable icons as free bonuses inside a resale package the package originator gets something extra from the reseller than the original agreement. The originator sold the package, made a profit and passed those rights onto the reseller. However by including a file with clickable icons the originator is hoping to make some money off the reseller's sales.

As a reseller I know product creators are hoping to make some money from their recommendations inside an e-book but now they've found a way to try to make money from those who buy but don't read or read but don't buy the recommended product.

Pretty slick, uh?

OK, I'm through ranting and now I am going to tell you how they create those clickable icons. Not so you can do the same thing but to help you save a little of your precious time when your at your computer.

You see, you can create clickable icons for the sites you visit frequently and place them on your desktop. Then when you want to visit 1 of those sites you can simply use the icon to open a browser window and have it already be on the page you want to visit. Think of it as a way of having several "Homepage" settings for your browser.

So here's how to create a clickable icon for a web page:
  1. Open your web browser and go to the page you want to open when you click the desktop icon your going to create

  2. See the icon in the address bar? Explorer users, it's the Explorer image to the left of the url. FireFox users, it's the picture of a piece of paper to the left of the url.

  3. Place your cursor over the icon on the left of the address bar.

  4. Now holding the left mouse button down, move your mouse over to you're desktop and release the mouse button. (If your browser window fills your screen then you'll have to reduce it's size before your can "drag and drop" the icon.)

  5. Once you've created an icon for your desktop you can move it anywhere you want by simply using drag-and-drop.

Although using these icons won't save you hours every day they will save you a few seconds since you won't have to open a window and then use 1 of your "Favorites" or type in the URL. And these seconds will add up over time.

To Your Success,