Common Marketing Tricks of Jump Programs
You will find sneaky marketing tricks all over the internet these days and commercial jump programs are no exception. In an effort to help open the eyes of those athletes looking to buy a program we have compiled this special report that takes a look at some of the more common techniques used to entice you to make a purchase. Please note, I have not written this article to try and put you off buying anyones program. On the contrary, I write this so that when you do decide to make a purchase, you do so with your eyes wide open and you can make a more informed decision.
Trick 1: Recurring Fees
I have put this at number 1 because not only is it the most devious, but it if you fall for it, it is also the most expensive. It is actually a new trick by marketers where you buy one product, and in the fine print you agree to have your credit card debited a recurring fee for another service. In the Jump Manual Jacob Hiller has this type of arrangement. He is not as devious as others about it as he specifically mentions it in the sales letter that you can cancel straight away. How many people actually read the whole sales letter or remember this section, well that is another story.
The Jump Manual at least tries to be up front about the recurring back end fees, and Jacob is to be commended for this. There are other programs that are far less scrupulous about charging your credit card and who are not so willing to stop. Our advice, and this is just a general rule and not necessarily a specific one, if you see something with charges above and beyond your initial purchase, then avoid this type of program.
Trick 2: Imminent Price Rises
The threat of a significant price rise is a common marketing trick not only for jump programs, but across the internet in general. The idea is to get you to make a purchase right now. It is in marketing terms known as a 'call to action'. The Vertical Project is one of the worst for this. We have received so many emails from them advising us that if we don't act now it will cost thousands more in a few days. YEARS later we are still waiting.
Trick 3: Fake Testimonials and Celebrity Endorsements
Testimonials are an age old marketing trick. As a rule we think you should treat every testimonial you read on a website very sceptically. This applies even more so to testimonials that seem to overcome objections that you might have.
For example if you read a testimonial about the Vertical Project from someone that said something like "I thought it was a bit expensive, but then I bought the program and started making gains like crazy and realized that after improving my jump by 20 inches, I would happily have paid 10 times the price", you know something is up.
Also, in the case of Air Alert, they have Baron Davis and Larry Hughes endorsing their program. It is possible that years ago when they were in high school they may have been using the Air Alert program. However, to suggest that they are still using the program, with professional strength and conditioning coaches monitoring their every move, is almost laughable.
When it comes to testimonials you really cannot believe anything that is written no matter how much the person selling the program tells you they are verifiable. The Jump Manual for example states clearly a number of times that you can be put in touch with real people who will back up the claims. This might sound great but the reality is that it isn't hard to set up some free email addresses, or ask your friends to take a few calls for you. These guys know full well most people will never bother to follow up such a claim, and even if you do, you still can't really prove it isn't just a friend saying something nice.
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying ALL testimonials are fake. Almost certainly a some of them will be real. What I am saying is that you should take all the things said with a grain of salt. For example I know when our software product comes out I will be using testimonials as the people who have been testing it have been doing great. Part of the deal in letting them test it was the condition that IF they got results, and IF they liked it, they would give me a testimonial. Testimonials are a form of proof that the program works, that is what they are supposed to do. IF a claim in a testimonial seems too good to be true, or answers an objection you may have about a program, chances are it is fake.
Trick 4: Grossly Inflated Values of Program Bonuses
We love this one. Commercial jump programs that throw in a heap of bonus material worth hundreds of dollars, making the total sale price of X amount seem like a bargain. The reality is that if the program was any good in the first place it wouldn't need that many bonuses.
As a note to this one, some of the bonuses we have found to be fantastic. However most are rubbish. For example the Vertical Project values its 20 myths and lies of vertical jump training email series at $49.95. The sheer stupidity of this estimated value is a good indication that they have over inflated opinions of their worth.
Trick 5: Implied Associations
This clever marketing trick again applies mostly to the Vertical Project (see a pattern here). We have received plenty of correspondence from Luke Lowery over the last year telling us of all the pro athletes who he apparently personally coaches using his program. Yet, rather conveniently, he also then mentions that due to confidentiality clauses he can't name names.
Here is a bit of cold hard truth for those new to sports training. In the world of professional sports there is no such thing as a secret coach. The only secret coaches that are likely to exist are those that are working in labs providing steroids. They sure as hell don't want to be named.
Any coach who is training a very successful athlete would never sign a confidentiality agreement because having successful athletes be trained by you is the number 1 way to gain extra business. The claims made that he is not allowed to name his clients, well quite frankly this is a load of crap.
Would you like a few more examples of garbage implied associations? Try this classic email we received from Luke Lowery on April 26, 2007.
"It's a busy time of year for me. NBA Playoffs are in full swing and I'm on the phone all day. Been working since 5am... Arghh!"
Lets think about the dumbness of this statement. The implication is that as it is playoff time suddenly Luke Lowery's 'top secret' NBA athletes need to do some extra jump training to gain those extra inches. As a result they are desperately calling him up from 5AM in the morning looking for that extra special guidance that only he can provide. Right! Come playoff time the last thing NBA players are thinking about is ringing some guy to find out how they can jump higher.
Trick 6: High Prices for High Perceived Value
This marketing trick again really only applies to the Vertical Project. It is a very clever one though. Most training programs are priced between $20 and $40 and for us this is reasonable. TVP is priced at a ridiculous $300. What this does is suggest to the potential buyer that this program is massively superior to the rest. In this case, and this is just our opinion, this is clearly isn't true. The Vertical Project simply is not worth that kind of money.
The other thing that this marketing trick does is it acts as an incentive for affiliates to promote it more heavily than other programs. For example if an affiliate makes 50% per sale they will receive $20 from a sale of a $40 program. From the Vertical Project they will make about $150 per sale. This is why you almost never see a negative review of this program. It is not because it is particularly great, it is because it offers such a great commission.
The marketing tricks we have outlined are the more obvious ones but there are many more subtle ones as well. It may also seem like we have picked on the Vertical Project quite a lot. For this we make no apologies. It is by far the worst offender in terms of sly promotional techniques.
This is not to say that it is not a good program, nor is it the only one to use these marketing tricks. To some extent nearly all programs use them in one way or another. For this reason it really is a case of buyer beware. Hopefully we have helped raise your awareness of these things before you spend your money.
Alternatively, you can just read our reviews. As you can tell from this report and from our reviews, we tend to be a bit more impartial than your average web site. Whilst we are a commercial site, our number one priority is to help athletes improve their vertical jump in the least amount of time, and in the least expensive way.
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