deceptive marketing in the jump training industry

I don't mean to blow my own horn here, but Verticaljumping.com is without doubt one of the best sources of hype-free vertical jump training not just on the internet, but anywhere. The reason it exists is because when I first started getting interested in learning how to jump higher I found that the jump industry was basically full of scammers and con artists using every dodgy trick in the book trying to seel over priced, over-hyped, under-researched terrible, cookie cutter jump programs.

Since Verticaljumping.com started all those years ago there have been thankfully a few good coaches come along who do actually have decent programs, however, sadly, many of the dodgy marketing tricks have remained. Until now. You see I recently received an email from Clickbank who is the payment processor for many of the more popular vertical jump programs. This email was to notify me of some changes they were making to their rules in regards to what amounts to deceptive and false marketing practices used by their vendors. All I can say is - IT IS ABOUT TIME!

ClickbankClickbank: Finally cracking down on the scammers

You see, it is one of my pet hates to see some of the what I consider ethically challenged methods used by many jump program to help sell their products. So here is a quick look at what Clickbank, in the name of cleaning up the greater internet marketing industry, are no longer allowing.

1. fake endorsements and testimonials

Something that is now banned is the use of endorsements without substantiation. The example given by Clickbank of what is not allowed is funnily enough one that saw being used by a jump program just the other day, and that is an endorsement from a doctor. The guidelines now state that you must have proof that not only has the doctor actually performed tests and evaluations, but they must also have mastered the subject matter being evaluated. 

This is important because personally I know a bunch of doctors. If I was a less than ethical person I could simply ask one or two of them to give Game Changers a medical endorsement which I am sure they would. Then when customers went to my sales page they would see my doctors endorsement and feel reassured and be that much more likely to make a purchase.

doctorDoctors Endorsements: Ha, ha, ha, ha....

2. false scarcity

This is another one that always makes me cringe when I see it and that is the use of false scarcity. What is false scarcity? The example given is saying something along the lines of "Only 300 copies" when there are unlimited copies, tickers running down the amount of time there is to purchase, and listing that this is a one-time opportunity TODAY only.

Oddly Clickbank seem to be allowing the use of marketing techniques where the vendor can say only X amount of copies before this offer is pulled FOREVER. Then once that number is reached the vendor is allowed to re-open after a period of 7 days. Apparently forever only means 7 days over at Clickbank.

It is worth noting that uses of scarcity are examples of FALSE scarcity. For example on our Vertical Jump Coaching page I have a section advertising the number of available spots remaining (which I need to update as there are a few more spots currently available). This isn't FALSE scarcity because the jump coaching programs are legitimately written and reviewed by me personally and there are only so many hours I can devote to that. I simply cannot offer unlimited coaching places as I would run out of time to review everything and write the programs as well as answer customer questions.

3. regular pricing

Another good move from Clickbank is the banning of sale pricing that suggests that a product previously sold at a higher price (when it really didn't) but is now on sale for a lower price for a limited time. I see this one all the time with jump programs. It will say something like Regular Price $399. The $399 will be crossed out and replaced with "Today $77". The trick that is trying to be used here is to make customers think that they are getting a big bargain that they must act on immediately when obviously they aren't.

Another example of this type of deceptive pricing that is commonly used is attributing values to individual components of the jump programs that are grossly inflated. I am sure you have seen this one

  • Ultra Amazing Jump Program X - $199
  • Workout charts - $49
  • Video Library - $99
  • Athletic Assessment - $45
  • Super Special Warm Up - $30
  • Supplements Low Down - $75
  • Super Secret Bonus Exercise - $99
  • Recovery Program - $69

Grand Total - $665.

Now clearly no one is going to pay $665 for a jump program, but if people THINK they are getting $665 worth of value for only $77, well that is a different story. It is also a practice that is now banned.

4. fake promotional techniques

There are a number of promotional techniques that come under fire but the one that I see all the time on jump program sales pages is the "as seen on....." and then a whole bunch of images such as ESPN, MSNBC, CBS, Men's health etc. Now I know in some cases the authors have in fact been seen on those programs and magazines, but in many case they have not. And further to this in almost all cases the program itself has definitely NOT been featured on those outlets.

Mens HealthAs Seen In Mens Health: Um, not always entirely true.

the #1 worst DECEPTIVE marketing trick

While these moves are a good start they don't address the absolute WORST deceptive marketing trick used by jump program scammers and that is:

OUTRAGEOUS GUARANTEED RESULTS CLAIMS

This is easily the most insidious and fraudulent marketing technique and unfortunately Clickbank hasn't cracked down on this as much as they should. When it comes to jump programs you simply cannot make claims of guaranteed results due to the following variables:

  1. starting point
  2. age
  3. gender
  4. training history
  5. life stress
  6. genetic potential
  7. diet
  8. sleep and recovery
  9. injuries
  10. Current training and playing workload

and more. In short making exaggerated claims of guaranteed results is basically straight up lying. So what is an exaggerated claim? Anything that is grossly excessive or to good to be true is excessive - especially if the claim is being made without any qualifiers.

For example in my promotion of our book Game Changers I discuss a technique that has been used to put 12 inches on a running vertical jump in 8 weeks. These are some AMAZING results. However I also state openly that these results are exceptional and not applicable to everybody. I do not state 12 inches in 8 weeks GUARANTEED. 

I also have a free chapter from Game Changers I give away that discusses a technique that can be used to add 4 inches to your vertical in 4 weeks (click on ad at the top left hand side of the page to get his free chapter and learn about the technique).

Again, these results are 1) not excessive 2) not guaranteed, and 3) and judging by the number of emails I get from people who have tried this technique and made those gains - quite reasonable.

So what is excessive. Here are some ACTUAL examples of what I consider marketing lies.

1) Double your vertical leap. If yo have a 30 inch vertical jump you are not getting a 60 inch vertical jump.

2) 10 inches in 12 weeks guaranteed. As per above, there are just WAY too many variables at play to make such an excessive blanket claim.

If you take nothing else away from this article please don't buy any jump program that uses any of the above marketing techniques - but this last one is hands down the worst. 

conclusion

Personally I am extremely happy to see Clickbank cracking down on practices that VerticalJumping.com has long considered to be unethical and deceptive. If you ask me this good start is long overdue. It isn't a stretch to suggest that a large portion of the vertical jump market is made up of impressionable teenagers who are looking for an edge that will help take them to the next level. Unfortunately many of these teenagers don't know enough about the realities of athletic training (or online marketing) to know that they aren't always being given the full and clear picture to allow them to make an informed decision. I am hoping these new rule changes will help address that and to help clean up the industry a bit.

Game Changers: Not like ANY other jump program

I am also very proud to say that here at VerticalJumping.com I have never resorted to using ANY of these types of deceptive marketing tricks in search of the $$$. If you read the Vertical jump coaching or the Game Changers sales page you might argue that it looks very similar to many others (but with way cooler colours), but if you read the words you will see that my message is far more honest than anything else out there. Does it cost me sales? Yes, absolutely. But if all I was after was sales, then I wouldn't have ever started Verticaljumping.com and provided all this free jump training information, and I sure as hell wouldn't have written this article.

WARNING: THE VERTICAL JUMP TRAINING TECHNIQUES DESCRIBED IN GAME CHANGERS ARE EXTREMELY POWERFUL. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN RAPIDLY ADD INCHES TO YOUR VERTICAL JUMP LIKE NEVER BEFORE.

Download our FREE REPORT and gain 4 inches on your vertical in 4 weeks!