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By John Eberhard

I have noticed what seems like a marked increase lately in the amount of dishonest promotional items I receive, mostly in email.

Like emails where the person says “It’s been a while since we were in touch,” when I’ve never been in touch with this person in my life.

Or emails where the person says that they looked at my website, has noted something wrong with it, and want to offer me SEO (search Engine Optimization) services or web design services. And I know that this person hasn’t looked at my website, because if they had, they would know that I offer SEO and web design services myself. Instead, they’re just sending it out to thousands of people.

My son was telling me he took an online course in marketing a few years back, where the course advised you to do things like this (lying) because it would increase the clickthrough rate, i.e. people clicking on your email and coming to your landing page.

I also get several emails a week lately that are an out and out scam, usually in the form of saying your login credentials or credit card info for Spectrum, Amazon, etc., are not working. So go to this page to update them. And then you look at the email itself and it’s from some random email address, not from Spectrum or Amazon. So they’re trying to steal your login credentials or credit card number.

I also see ads on Facebook routinely offering items for way below market value. I remember seeing ads for drum sets (I am a drummer) for like $50, sets that normally cost $3,000-4,000.

And then there’s the rash of emails on Facebook from people claiming your Facebook business page violates something and they are going to shut it down. And it’s not from anyone from Facebook. I’m not even sure what these people hope to gain from this.

The point is that all this dishonesty and dishonest tactics hurts all marketers. It makes people distrust any effort at marketing something.

I have always believed that being scrupulously honest in all your marketing and PR communications is the best policy. That’s how you build trust. And I urge you to be that way with all your marketing. Maybe together we can rehabilitate the image of marketers.