You may have noticed a logo in my web page’s footer saying ‘The Ethical Move” and wondered what it’s all about. Well, instead of guessing, I thought I should take some time and tell you a little about it, as it is very important to me.
In their own words, The Ethical Move believe that:
“how we sell matters”
The Ethical Move is a group of people taking the first step in moving away from the manipulative selling techniques used in the digital world. As members, we pledge not to use particular selling and marketing techniques or to use them responsibly. The pledge focuses on seven primary elements. The folks at The Ethical Move have a pledge page explaining each element well: The Pledge.
But here is a summary in my own words…
Charm Pricing is when a seller tries to make an item seem cheaper by going a single/few digits under the higher amount. A great example is instead of saying something costs $100; they say $97.
As a member, we pledge not to use the number 9 in our pricing.
The “Get It Now Before This Deal Expires” Deal. You get so worried you will miss out that you rearrange your entire (sometimes limited) budget to get the deal in time – only to find that it’s still running a week/month later. Countdowns in itself is not an unfair practice, but unscrupulous parties can abuse it to create that ‘knot in the stomach’ feeling of missing out.
Yes, there are instances where an offer is limited. For example, as I prepare my online courses, I will also be running them for a limited time each year which means there will be a cut-off.
The difference – the cut off is genuine, and you will know upfront when and how often the course is running. If you cannot afford it or don’t have time for it now, you can always sign up when it runs again.
False Scarcity often ties in with No.2 (countdowns) and can get you anxious. As a solopreneur, I honestly can only accommodate so many seats at a live venue or for the online course. I prefer to interact directly with my class, and there are limits.
If a course is fully automated or the offer is electronic, there is often no need to create this pressure.
Lead Magnets is a difficult one. The deal is this: I give you something free in exchange for your email address. Without it, many businesses would be dead in the water. Email lists are how we grow our client base and keep them informed. So really, it isn’t ‘free’ in the true sense of the word.
The problem is when you make this trade and then get inundated with emails, sales and promotions that may or may not include content you even signed up for.
Not all of us are marketing guru’s, and it can be difficult for someone like myself to know how much is enough and if we are still adding value – which is our primary intention.
The responsible thing to do is make sure your subscribers know they can unsubscribe at any point – no hard feelings. Their information is not sold or farmed out for profit, and you stick to what you said you would.
Bait and Switch
This one drives me crazy. You get told to take a quiz, and you will receive something personalized – or something like that.
But all you get is sales pitches and buy this to get that nonsense! I want to think I cannot be hooked by Bait & Switch, but (sigh) it still happens.
All I can say to marketers that use this – enough already!!
This one is a particularly nasty element to marketing nowadays. I battled to write this paragraph without ranting. So I decided to quote directly from The Ethical Move:
Woke washing is the appropriation of ethical and progressive values with the intent to leverage image and increase sales, when behind closed doors, the actions and words don’t match the reality (when a brand donates to BLM while exploiting BIPOC in their supply chain).
– The Ethical Move
As members, we pledge to be transparent and honest about our actions and words.
Secret Recipe is something I often refer to as the Silver Bullet Solution. Unfortunately, it happens a lot in the health and wellness industry and can be very frustrating seeing a continuous stream of the same rhetoric: ‘You will get these miraculous results if you eat this and do that!’
I’m not saying some of these ‘secret recipes’ don’t work. What I am saying is that they will not work for everyone. If it did not work for you, then it isn’t your fault, and there isn’t something wrong with you. Even if a million people had success, they do not live your life, have your DNA or deal with what you deal with. You are unique and not a statistic.
There is also more than one solution to anything, and more often than not, there is no hack or shortcut.
What do we do about it?
So there you have it. Honestly, there isn’t much you can do other than educate yourself and your family around these tactics. But, as a blogger, business owner, entrepreneur or anyone with influence, you can perhaps do what I am…
I promise to uphold these values and apply them responsibly. I am grateful to have guidelines like these and honestly hope others will do the same.