Good & Bad Online Marketing Stuff That Crosses My Electronic Desk

Online Marketing — By

Welcome to the debut post of what will be a regular feature on this blog. It’s my “Picks & Pans” for the week. Future installments will be published on weekends. (All to give you some extra time to review and share your comments.)

So what are “Picks & Pans” and why should you care?

Simple. They’re valuable resources. Or a waste of time.

They’re helpful tools. Or overblown gimmicks.

It’s me singing the praises of new technology. Or ranting about tiresome marketing tactics.

In essence, “Picks & Pans” are what appears on my radar screen that I think you should know about, both good and bad. So what’s on the slate for this week?

Pick #1: Tucia

I gave a big thumb’s up to this photo-retouching site via my post on Alex Mandossian’s “Productivity Today” Facebook Fan Page back in September. In case you missed it, Tucia is a great outsource resource that can make your branding look like a Fortune 500 company on a shoestring budget.

Here’s a quick video review:

Pick #2: Dreamstime

Like the photos and imagery you see on this blog? A lot of it came from royalty-free image site I’ve used both this site and and recommend them both.

Dreamstime is very affordable and works on a credit system, with one US dollar equal to one credit. Some images are only a few credits each. I found the quality and selection quite good. Check it out here

Pan #1: Phony Scarcity and other Lame Internet Marketing Tactics


Only one “Pan” this week but it has multiple parts. In fact, it could easily be labeled a “pet peeve” as well as a “pan.”

First off, I market information products online. And I like to keep current on how others market their online wares. I subscribe to a lot of mailing lists. As such, I’ve seen both the good and the bad. But a lot more of the bad, let me tell you.

So here are a few of the worst offenders in my humble opinion:

“Hurry, we’re taking the video down…”

Why? Are the electrons too expensive? It’s amazing some marketers never get around to telling you why they’re taking the video down. To me, that’s just being lazy with your copy.

“Personal (or Private) for ((inset your name))

Ever read an email subject line thinking it’s to you personally (or privately). And yet, upon closer inspection, it’s clear it’s a broadcast email. And that subject line was just to suck you in … sucker.

“RE: ((insert phrase that usually ends in a question?))

A sneaky way to appear like it’s an  email reply from a friend or colleague, when it’s – surprise – a broadcast email sent to thousands.

“Sent from my iPhone”

A famous email marketer actually suggests you include this even if you aren’t really sending an email from your iPhone? Why? Because it increases clicks and conversion.

What about just writing better copy? Or being more genuine and transparent with your readers and subscribers. Just saying…

Well that’s a wrap for this week’s “Picks & Pans.”

Like “Picks & Pans?” Have some of your own to share? Add your comments below.

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  • Marc Harty says:

    I’m really curious about what “Picks & Pans” you have come across. What is your most favorite online resource and why? Or conversely, what drives you nuts about online marketing?

  • Marc Harty says:

    I’m really curious about what “Picks & Pans” you have come across. What is your most favorite online resource and why? Or conversely, what drives you nuts about online marketing?

  • False scarcity is my own pet peeve. I have dropped off several IM lists recently that promoted products claiming to only have 250 copies available.

    I also usually sign up as an affiliate of any offer when I see them as well. This way you can understand the business side of it.

    Both products that had Limited 250 copies claimed to have sold several thousand in the first few days.

    I don’t mind real scarcity. I don’t mind even made up scarcity. But don’t lie.

    Gets you removed very quickly from my list of people I read and listen too.

  • One of my favorite online resources is

    If you need photos but have a very limited budget (read zero dollars), this site has a pretty decent offering.

    Not as nice as the pay sites but you can find things that are interesting and useful.

  • Tamar says:

    I agree re the scarcity thing. I mean these products are digital downloads for heavens sake!

    I hate sales letters promoting a product and you’re told what it isn’t but not told what it IS! I think it’s called blind copy.And I’ve been burned! I know better now!

    I’m also getting annoyed by all the video product launches. How many videos do you have time to watch and the product is always very expensive.

    I wish I had a positive thing to recommend!! 🙂


  • Randy says:

    Most over-used text written by marketers everywhere is: “We’ll make your text sizzle.” Sizzle? The only thing I want sizzling is a fajita platter at lunchtime. Why does every single marketer use this same lame line? The next time you hear a marketer tell you they can make your text sizzle, run faster than a cow being chased by a McDonald’s truck!

  • Marc Harty says:


    Thanks for your funny, pithy reply! What about the ‘ol “seasoned writer” expression? What are they seasoned with anyway? 🙂

  • Marc Harty says:

    Excellent observations and thanks for sharing them. And my guess is those copies are digital so it’s not like they’re spending money on printing.

    When I do scarcity it’s real and for a reason. It’s often a reward for those on my list. When I launch a product I give my subscribers advance notice and extra savings. That’s prior to a regular launch, so I do have to end the special pricing.

    Oh, that’s another “pan” that bothers me…when someone says “the price is going up at ((insert date) and you check back and NOPE, price is still the same.

  • Marc Harty says:


    I have a colleague who helps out on a lot of big launches. Even though many follow the same formula (with the videos you mention) the launches still suck up a lot of moolah so that’s why people keep doing them that way.

    I do know there is a saturation level and law of diminishing returns. We shall see, won’t we?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • LK Nielsen says:

    Great points, especially on “Fake Scarcity”. Scacity is actually a good tactic but only if it’s REAL!

    I only use “Real Scarcity”. For instance I am writing a sales page right now for a software product that I just “Finished”. I state that I will be raising the price soon because I am adding more features soon that will increase the value of this product. This is 100% True.

    Never lie or use Fake Scarcity. People are a lot smarter than your typical Internet Marketer and sadly the “Guru’s” give them credit for.

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