Two thumbs up Rob, great discussion!
Here are my personal views on this:
I'd never do this.
Why? Simply because I don't like to lie. If there is something wrong, I'd say it on face. Similarly, if I'm not making money, I won't tell I am.
As you said there is a fine line between lying and hyperbole. I won't lie to prospects I'd like to do business with, never.
Many follow the policy of "Fake it till you make it". May be good for some, but for me, if you're building the foundation of a business on lies and fake claims, you can't really expect it to prosper.
For those testimonials on sales page, I do agree with you. For one, they are selectively chosen - they won't ever include a negative testimonial - for two, most of them are their friends. I think this technique has been learned from the "gurus" when they are all giving advice on how good the next best thing to hit the market is. And no one ever makes money...
Some people, as I've seen on other forums, will go so far that they'll fake their earning screenshots etc just to make a quick few bucks. Shame! Think about building a long term business people, not a short term moneymaker.
Unfortunately, a vast majority of the masses online concentrate on building short term moneymakers and not long term businesses.
Some may question Why I'm saying so because flipping short term doesn't really seem to get well with my statement.
Well, it is a reality that I do flip a lot of niche blogs / affiliate review sites and a couple established sites regularly. But it's not limited to just flipping. For one I've a portfolio of websites in various micro niche which pumps out some cash on regular basis.
Next, I've not made Site flipping as a short term money maker. For me, it's a long term business revolving around my customers. They're happy with my deals and they pay top dollars for it. I've made a lot of friends, build a lot of relationships through this and it is really invaluable. What I've learned in the last few months is incredible amount of information that can be applied to any business. Maintaining your customers, scheduling everything, troubleshooting etc has given me a good amount of experience to handle a real business when ya' need it.
Now, if I was faking everything and not doing anything, it may mean a few quick bucks but never a long term business and relationships. I don't rely on the marketplace, because I've my own buyers list. In fact no one should rely on a medium for their business to prosper. Imagine (though not likely lol...) if Sitepoint marketplace had to ever close down, it'll just start the fall of many business run completely dependent on it.
Ok, I'm sorry to get a lil' off topic but profitable or not, I won't fake or false claim to someone I'd do business with. Not for me.
There are a lot of other ways to peak the interest of a visitor and convert him. In reality, it's the basics people need to get hold of and then TAKE ACTION. The visitor in question whose interest is peaked (let's assume him as A for now..) is buying from the recommendation of someone who is not really making it... but faking it.
No thanks lol.
Many many many many are. And a decent percent are not.
And the sales page itself is a hyped up reality stretcher, isn't it? At least when it comes to claims of money.
I've seen many sales pages out of the IM niches as well, and many of them delivered what they promised.
In the IM niche, I'm kind of "sick" of all those Clickbank $77 products launched by second tier gurus (is that a word?? lol) which is way too much overhyped and deliver zero value. I've bought Product Launch Formula for $1997 and it was awesome. Delivered what it promised. I made money from it. I'll give it a two thumbs up, and I am sure the money claims are achievable. Not easily, but yes, achievable. Not the case with all products.
I bought a few of those $47-$77 clickbank products and heck, their sales pages say that they won't tell you BS traffic tactics like social media marketing, web 2.0 etc. And also not paid traffic. Inside they discuss nothing but what is article marketing, I mean definitions and twitter and etc. I mean really? Why don't you be honest and tell everything on the front? Just to get a few bucks from those who'll be too shy to ask for a refund? LOL.
Good thread, I'm anticipating awesome discussion.
Build businesses, not quick money makers.