I’ve had an epiphany.  A breakthrough realization.  I now know what is the problem with internet marketing and list building.  It’s me!  That’s right, me.

“Well,” I hear you ask “how do you know this?”

Great question.  I know this because an internet marketer told me so.

Let’s get into the story.  I signed up for a free membership site which put me onto a mailing list.  So far I’m sure that your familiar with how this works.  The membership site had a collection of free downloads — eBooks, software, etc.  It was basically a collection of PLR and MRR products.  No problem, I checked a few out and didn’t see much that was of interest to me.

Then the emails came.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Typical of the current crop of ad swap list builders.  Nothing that I couldn’t handle.  This list builder was no worse (or better) than most of the lists I’ve signed up for.  Didn’t really stand out in terms of what he/she was offering.

After about 2 weeks I got an email that had 4 of my unsubscribe triggers in it.  Since I hadn’t seen anything outstanding from this person I decided that it was time to unsubscribe.  Then the little feedback dialog box came up.  So I pointed out the reasons why I was unsubscribing.  Usually this is the end of the story (although I’ve had a couple polite “Thank you for the feedback” type emails).  This time was different.

First, we’ll start with my feedback:

Your subject line in the last email triggered 2 things that I hate —  using Re: and mentioning payments.
Also, you don’t mention anything about the product except that it is “normally $47”.
Finally, you’ve used blank lines to push your unsubscribe info further down the page — annoying and in violation of AWeber terms of use.

Not a lot of fluff in there, just the facts.  Here’s what I got back.

Waaaa Waaaaa

You’re like one of these people that look to find stuff to complain about…
You’re also probably one of these guys that purchase something and then find a reason to demand a refund.
I mean, it’s not like you were paying for membership anyways…

Scram off and don’t come back around… I for sure don’t need you or your complaints and attitude… In other words,

Oops.  I guess I came across too harsh somehow.  This poor fellow must be having a bad day and has decided to take it out on me.


I’m sorry that my constructive criticisms offended you.  I figured that rather than just unsubscribe I’d let you know why I did.  Sorry that you really didn’t want to hear it.  You might want to turn that feature off in the autoresponder.  It will save both you and your unsubscribers the time.

And I was paying with my time which you obviously don’t care about.  And I could have become a paying customer at some point, but now I never will.

I have never purchased anything and looked for a reason to refund it.  I also don’t look for stuff to complain about, but I do find lots of it as there are lots of people out there like you.  I always hope for the best when I subscribe to a list.  And I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Best of luck in the future.  I hope you don’t tell too many people to GET LOST!! though.  It’s pretty hard to sell things when you do that.


Finally, the epiphany email:

You wasn’t going to order anything through us anyways…

Remember, you unsubscribed…

I don’t even want customers like yourself…

You aren’t interested in our services and products…
You are only interested in nosing around different marketers to find out what they are doing, marketing etc..
I have ways to know what others are up to, but don’t pay that much attention until someone like you finds stuff to bitch at.
I really need to eliminate more just like you, but I’m laid back – cool until someone like yourself comes along.
I can take constructive criticism, but yours wasn’t in that nature… It was more like you wanted to take a piss on something…

It’s people like you that are part of the problem in this niche

NOT part of the answer….

So, now we know.  I’m the problem.  If only I didn’t expect marketers to be honest and have respect for my time when they email something.  If only I didn’t expect people to provide me with something of value rather than endless ads.  If only I didn’t expect to build a relationship of trust and respect with someone before I buy their products.

So, to all you struggling internet marketers out there, I’m sorry that I’m part of the problem.

NOTE: This post is now available on LoneWolf’s List Building Adventure. Check it out there

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14 Comments on I’ve Discovered the Problem With Internet Marketing — It’s Me!

  1. Richard says:

    What an exchange, and I thought the customer was always right…

    Sounds to me like that guy wasn’t interested in your business and had no interest in improving his sales pitch to bring in more potential customers.

  2. LoneWolf says:

    You would at least expect that someone would treat potential customers politely. I figure that his (I am assuming this person was a male although I don’t know for sure — he used an alias so it could be a female) list is experiencing a fairly high rate of unsubscribes, spam complaints and a low rate of clicks. I’m hoping that it was just frustration that made him lash out like that. I got the impression that I was dealing with a 12 year old.

    I have to give them credit for not swearing though. As harsh as they were, they didn’t resort to that.

  3. Andrew says:

    Bill (hope you don’t mind me calling you Bill?)

    I love these type of posts – it really puts a smile on my face.

    The thing is a lot of marketers (like the one you corresponded with) don’t realise what they are doing until someone like you comes along and tells them.

    Then they get all ‘shirty’ and cannot take the feedback.

    All feedback is worth listening to…as they say one person can be bothered to provide feedback, 10 others are thinking the same.

    Good share.


    • LoneWolf says:

      Hi Andrew

      I don’t mind you calling me Bill, just don’t call me late for dinner 8=)

      The thing that I was most surprised about in this exchange was his insinuation that somehow I buy things and then request a refund all the time (I’m sure that you resonated with that one). I’ve never done that and the one time that I wanted to cancel a membership site I waited until the 60 days was up before canceling so that the guy got his money. I’m not sure how he jumped from my comments regarding his list to that. He also went off on me as somehow spying on him to learn his success secrets. I guess I know them all now 8=)

      I hope that this guy was just in a bad mood that day (or wasted or something) and isn’t always like that.

  4. Vector says:

    I’ve found that a very large majority of the self proclaimed guru internet marketeers take their thrones after reading a few amateurish blogs written by other noobie marketing guru’s that just re-wrote what they saw somewhere else in their own words. Like anything rewritten in life, the articles lose a bit of their accuracy.

    It’s these types of self proclaimed guru’s that mislead the others looking for genuine knowledge in the marketing field. Eventually you wind up with thousands of people using unethical tactics and teaching people to things the wrong ways, which only makes things worse.

    Besides, when you really think about, if all these marketing secrets were genuinely that great, people wouldn’t share them so easily. As a business owner myself I find that teaching others how to succeed at what I do only creates more competition for myself. Kind of like committing business suicide so to speak. Logically it makes no sense at all to share your primary tactic of success & why corporations pay tons of money for attorneys to help them protect their secrets.

    Just my opinion amongst millions of others though.

  5. samuel says:

    Jeeeez what a freaking loser you are mr bill. Just get off the net and go shovel shit you loser.

  6. LoneWolf says:

    Thanks for sharing “samuel” — fake email address, anonymizer IP address, wonderful insight. Glad you could drop by and share your wisdom with us.

  7. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Vector

    I see your point about teaching your competition, but the thing to remember about the internet is that it is a huge market, so there is lots of room for competition.

    And even in the offline world, successful business owners will usually try to mentor younger ones coming up although they don’t always throw open the doors to everyone. Some do write books about it though.

    So it seems that there is a built in need for successful people to pass on their secrets. The trick is to find the “guru” who is actually successful and learn from them.

  8. Hermas says:

    Hi Bill,

    Your post provided an insightful look at human nature and confirmed that very often we are our biggest problem. (Any allusion to your article title is purely coincidental).

    It’s obvious that the marketer you unsubscribed from is professionally immature, and lacks the tools and grace to handle rejection and constructive criticism objectively.

    His/her rude responses might even stem from frustration with perpetual, sub par success. And that is further hampered by an inability or unwillingness to recognize an opportunity to begin turning that around.

    And so it goes…

  9. Ari says:


    I came by from Neil Shearing’s blog and I’m glad I’ve followed your link, as this post is without any doubt among the best things I’ve read online this week.

    My special compliments for the brilliant answer to Mr. Samuel (what a character!).

  10. LoneWolf says:

    Hi Hermas

    I think that you’ve hit the nail on the head. This person was not able or willing to see that the route that they had taken was one that built a list but not a list of customers.

    I sensed they were very frustrated but didn’t want to admit (to themself) that they had made a mistake in how they were approaching things.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  11. Bobby Jones says:

    These is really an eye opener for the marketers. Your article here is the truth that can’t be deny.. Thanx anyway.

  12. Anelli Xavier says:

    Thanks for the insights! I learned a lot from reading your post here! I find it very beneficial especially to Internet marketers. I agree that even how good you are you still have room for improvements. Usually marketers get bot good and bad comments from the consumers. But those things are a great help for you to know your weaknesses and strengths for you to improve.

  13. I've Discovered the Problem With Internet Marketing -- It's Me! - LoneWolf's List Marketing AdventureLoneWolf's List Marketing Adventure says:

    […] part of the problem. NOTE: This post is a Ramblings Classics. It was originally published at Ramblings on October 14, 2010. Related Posts:5 Reasons To Use Giveaway Events To Build Your List And 3 Not […]

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