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"Top Ten Internet Marketing Myths" From the Wizards of Web

Green folk often find humans amusing. Today I’m thinking about your list-loving propensity. You love your “top-of-the-charts” tunes, your best-selling books, your league-leading players, your seven habits of highly defective people - even your lists of lists. What’s with this?

Perhaps it’s a deep longing for order in an otherwise chaotic world. Maybe it’s a desire to simplify complex abstract concepts into digestible format.

What I do know is that lists are powerful marketing tools. They sell loads of books, music, all sorts of merchandise and even intangibles. Think of all those seminars that promise you’ll learn 7 ways to sell this, and 3 ways to identify when, and 5 ways to simplify ABC, and 12 ways to improve that and 10 things that will boost your whatchamacallits. Try it yourself; just add a well-prepared list to a heavily trafficked Web page and watch sales climb.

Whenever Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg are invited to speak at events, I always hear them get the tiniest bit cynical over being asked to produce the “guarantee copy” for their presentation. But Jeffrey shrugs, “How can they expect to learn so many complex things in such a short time - we usually get less than an hour and don’t control the content of the event. All we can really do is briefly review our topics. And people eat those lists up. So, if that’s what they want, that’s what they’ll get.”

You can understand, then, why I was really curious about a list of Internet marketing myths Bryan and Jeffrey devised for a three-day seminar where they control the content. It’s dicey to second-guess the boss; you risk implying the act is a cynical maneuver to sell more seminars … so I was politic. I said: “Hey boss! What’s with the dorky list? I thought you hated lists?” Diplomacy is such a valuable skill.

After a long talk and some not so amused faces, I decided this list is truly different. And here’s why:

1. No attempt will be made to explain any of the ten points, only to teach participants how to think for themselves about these issues.

2. Not one of the points is based on rules (those guys hate rules), only principles that participants can learn to apply to their own situations.

3. Participants will see the list at start the seminar, but it is they who will explain the list to each other at the end of the seminar.

Is this article an advertorial for Wizards of Web? Nope. It’s an invitation to you, dear reader, to learn two incredibly powerful principles of persuasion:

1. Lists get response

2. Curiosity is motivating

If you want to see the Wizards of Web’s “Top Ten Internet Marketing Myths” you can click here to read them Yeah, I’m gearing up for some grumpy mails about failing to deliver immediately on the promise of this article’s title … but do keep those critical persuasion principles in mind!


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GROK is taken from the landmark novel "Stranger in a Strange Land", by Robert A. Heinlein. It is a Martian word that implies the presence of intimate and exhaustive knowledges and understanding. Our "GROK" is a keen observer of the world around him and he takes a particular interest in the World Wide Web. The folks at Future Now like him a lot because he's taught them that "sometimes the price of clarity is the risk of insult."

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