Shady Tactics in our Midst

I don’t know why @ian hasn’t posted this on here yet. But I liked it, so I’m posting it. Read it. It’s good.

Shady Tactics in our Midst


Thanks man :slight_smile: Mostly because I wrote it at 1am and have been slammed all day!

My rule of thumb is - if you have to go to go on a forum to ask “Is it ethically Ok to…” then the answer is “No”.


Sorry, but I’m very enthusiastic about getting people to stop doing this kind of “validation”:


That’s a pretty bad experience, Ian. I’d be livid too if I spent $500 on fraudware.

It’s not even a dark pattern. It’s just plain old scamming.


Classic bait and switch tactic. I’m growing tired of the “fast” “proven” “effective” methods that everyone pitches. Hard word, methodical, persistence, don’t see those words on very many growth hacking sites.


I had to post a round 2 :frowning:


Hmm… I thought Neil Patel was cool. Not anymore. Here you go - a reputation lost.

I don’t it - why that course accepted the $500 payment? Why couldn’t they just immediate upon clicking Buy say - sorry, not ready yet? That would validate the interest all the same, while keeping them on the right side of the law.

In other words, why do you believe they did a validation? It looks too real to be a test; more likely it is a failed delivery.

Wow. Just wow. That’s pretty low.

In case no one’s learned yet: Beware marketers peddling marketing advice.


Thanks for posting this. I also had this kind of experience. Someone called me up and told me they could sell my car for 250$ with a 100% money back guarantee. I paid the money. they didn’t sell the car. I followed the money back guarantee instructions to the letter. Turns out they were lieing.

I think 90% of marketing advice is given by people who have done nothing but marketing their whole lives, maybe written a book on marketing.

When your website looks like “Clean your PC and improve performance by 5000%!!!” website, it might be time for some self-reflection. Wow.

Mmm? And? Is it a bad advice then? Or a very good advice?

I do not follow you.

I took that to mean that the more you know about marketing, the less you’re able to truly connect with customers/people.

Another deceptive technique often used are fake counters (as used on this site) or faked activity (as offered by this site):


Counters are not necessary fake, just optimized for presentation.

The initial value can be taken from the database at page load time, and then updated with the growth rate that is also taken from the actual history. Yes, the value doesn’t exactly match the reality, but it may be very close.

My app integrates with FOMO actually, and I know Ryan. These numbers are legit, there are a few thousand stores using his app.

My app has about a quarter of his usage and we serve our JS file to Shopify stores over 10 million times a month. So the 12 million FOMO number seems to only count actual showings of the FOMO popup, not all page visits. Which is a very fair thing to do.

Also, just my customers that also use FOMO (which I can see as they enable the integration) have more page views than the difference between the counter and the initial value in the code.

Conclusion: FOMO counter is legit.

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Maybe Fomo’s service is legit, am not arguing that. But the numbers aren’t.

Screenshots were taken a week ago (just didn’t get time to post them) and just checked the site again, using new session, same numbers, a week later.

Even that doesn’t prove much, as the initial number can be pushed during a build that happens once a week or once a month.