Every day we're bombarded with emails selling the latest “must have” software and products. 80% of the time, these aren't worth the time and effort and won’t add anything to your bottom line.
So how can you tell which are worth investing in and which aren’t?
You don’t need to spend hours doing this, 10 minutes will tell you everything you need to know and probably save you money as well.
For the sake of this post, I am going to look at a current launch which is Memberhub. This should be the ideal product for me, as it fills a need and is cheaper than the current solution I use (Teachable). However, after doing my due diligence I walked away from it.
This is by no means a dig at them, but it will illustrate my process and hopefully help you going forward.
1. Who is Promoting?
Look at who is sending emails. If you get 2 or 3 emails from different people, you can bet that it's a big launch with big JV prizes.
This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker but it should raise a flag. Ask yourself, “is this being promoted because it's good or because the commissions are good?”
Look back at the emails you receive from the people promoting. Are they constantly promoting products or do they give you lots of value and only occasionally promote products that tie in with what they teach?
Be wary of anyone who seems to have a shotgun approach to promoting. What I mean by that is do they promote different products that cover a wide range of topics. Membership software this week, social media software last week and a course on email marketing the week before. Does it feel like they have an interest in your success?
2. Is the Person Who is Promoting Actually Using the Product?
If they don’t provide you with an example of what they have achieved using the product, then you should ask them if they have actually used it. If not, it’s a red flag.
It’s not just software this applies to. If they haven’t seen the product and tested it, walk away.
Even new software usually has a beta program and if the person promoting hasn’t taken time to get access and test the product, then why should you be the guinea pig?
3. Who are the Developers?
Search their names, are they developers or marketers?
Are there a constant stream of products or do they focus on just one or two products?
Are older products still being supported? Is the Facebook group or support forum busy?
Let’s be blunt here. Anyone whose business model is built on developing and launching new products every few months, especially software, isn’t someone you particularly want to do business with if you are in it for the long term.
I want any products I purchase to be supported and continually developed over time and I'm sure you do too.
4. What do the Terms and Conditions Say?
If something goes wrong you want to be able to resolve it.
Do they offer refunds? I don't just mean on the front page, look at the TOS.
If worse comes to worse, where will you need to file your claims?
A 30 second check of memberhub’s terms of service shows the following:
That simply means that they don’t have to give a refund if they don’t want to and if they mess up your site and you lose a $100K a month income stream, you have to sue them through the Indian courts.
This isn't a deal breaker and I'm sure that you will get refunds if requested, however it's always good to know the legal position.
(BTW India has one of the slowest legal systems in the world with over 27 million cases waiting to be heard. Good luck!)
5. Where is the Domain Hosted?
This is a minor point but it could have a big impact going forward. Why is it Memberhub.io and not .com? Checking the .com, I found that there's already an established company using the name Memberhub.
This may not be an issue but should they issue a legal challenge to the use of the name for a similar product, the site may be taken offline. This is just another example of something that should make you wary. If I developed a piece of software that I wanted to be around for a long time, I would ensure that I had undisputed rights to the name.
6. Do You Really Need it?
Ok, not really due diligence but important none the less.
Marketers make marketing very complicated for a reason. It allows them to sell solutions to the issues that the complications cause. However, do you really need to add that layer of complication to your current business model? Will it have an immediate impact?
In this case, ask yourself, “do I really need a product that will let me create a Udemy style membership site?”
If the answer is, “hell yes I need that now,” then maybe it would be for you. If the answer is no, not right now then walk away.
I don't want this article to come across as negative and not offer any solutions so I'll finish with a quick tip that will allow you to grow your business.
Stop overcomplicating things.
I've lost count of the number of consults I've done where the person I'm talking to has added a host of steps that add nothing to their business.
You should be focusing on keeping things simple, find the easiest way to build a list, then the easiest way to market to that list.
Marketing should be simple. You don’t even need a sales page to sell products.
All you need is:
- Good Content
- A Good Content Upgrade
- Good Emails
With these three components you have a potentially life changing business.
Not too complicated, right?
I’ve created a post over on my Marketing Automation Labs site that lays out a step by step guide to a simple funnel that I use day in and day out.
You can read it at http://marketingautomationlabs.com/create-a-marketing-funnel-that-works/
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