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This chapter is from the book

SONAR: Keeping It Real and Replicating Results

Did you ever get an email promotion with promises such as “Earn $10,000 in 10 hours,” “Make $1 million a year on the Internet,” or “Get 60,000 email addresses in just two months”?

These claims are usually marketing ploys that focus on a consumer’s emotion and the greed factor. The claims could be completely false or could have some shred of truth behind them, but they’re repositioned and spun in such a way that they’re misleading—and nearly all the valid data is lost.

I’m always skeptical about such claims, and they often rub me the wrong way. Here’s why:

Recently, a client said to me, “Susan is saying she’s received 50,000 email addresses in about a month. And George sent an email saying he’s made more than $50,000 in one day! How is that possible? Can we do something like this? Do you know how they did it?”

My initial thought reminded me of something I’ve heard since I was a kid: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Then I paused, took a deep breath, and replied:

“As far as rapid list growth, you can’t compare your average, run-of-the-mill start-up company with limited resources, limited leverage, and no network of contacts to a company that has an established online presence with access to lists or friends in the industry to help with cross-marketing and list-building efforts. You heard only half the story. These claims might be true, but in my experience, they’re an anomaly. These are not the results your average start-up company can realistically obtain in such a short time span. So proceed with caution.”

That’s why I wholeheartedly believe in the SONAR Content Distribution Model™. It’s real, it’s proven, and it involves virtually no ancillary costs to deploy, so practically anyone can do it—companies large or small, start-up or established.

  • ...if you’re looking for a “get rich quick” scheme, SONAR is not for you.

As long as someone has content, the SONAR system can be duplicated and replicated for their specific needs. Results will happen in a realistic time frame because SONAR’s main objectives are to generate targeted, organic traffic, increase website visibility, and raise awareness or industry buzz—all without advertising costs. So, if you’re looking for a “get rich quick” scheme, SONAR is not for you.

How the website traffic SONAR generates is then monetized for profits depends on how well the website has been optimized and designed to harness traffic leads (email capture) and sales.

When you see one of those “too good to be true” email promotions or hear a somewhat unbelievable claim, ask yourself some rational questions that focus on the nuts and bolts behind the numbers:

  • Where is this sales number coming from?
  • What is the price per unit of what was sold and reported?
  • How many total customers or orders were calculated into this figure?
  • How many net sales, orders, or customers were there after factoring in cancels, returns, cost of goods sold, and advertising?
  • How much was spent on advertising, marketing, or list rentals to make this sales number happen, and for how long?
  • How frequently were these lists marketed to?
  • How long has this person been running an online business: Is it a web “start-up” or “staple”?
  • What is this person’s web presence? Does this person have a long list of friends and colleagues to reach out to for promotional help, or is the person using organic methods?

You’ll hear a lot of inflammatory claims, especially with Internet marketing products. Many of these claims don’t give the reader the full and complete picture—they’re giving only a strategic snapshot. If business owners or copywriters offer up some of the aforementioned considerations when footnoting their “claim,” then at least they’re attempting to be honest and present all the facts supporting their figures.

This makes me think of another cliché that I’ve heard since I was a kid, and it couldn’t ring more true: Let the buyer beware.

Anytime you see or hear a claim that seems unbelievable, take it with a grain of salt, because there’s more to it than meets the eye.

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