You Have To Sell The Push Button Solution

By Yaro Starak
26 Comments

Catherine left a comment to my last post – If Long Sales Pages Work, Why Do You Hate Them So Much? and there was a part of it I want to highlight –

You download a free ebook and invest some time reading it – then you get halfway through and realize that it’s nothing more than a sales pitch for an expensive product.

Now, I feel cheated when that happens, because the author is wasting my time. But, I guess some people don’t.

My initial thought-response to this was that obviously those marketers who provide a genuinely helpful resource for 90% of the content and sell their more expensive product for 10% of the content should do fine. You earn the right to pitch your product after delivering so much value before this.

Some books, blogs and email newsletters seem to have the ratio a bit screwed up and you feel the pitch way too early and way too often, yet this can work still – so what is with that?

The Push Button Solution

The average consumer when looking to solve a problem wants the following in a solution –

  1. Results are quick
  2. Work is minimal
  3. Cost is relatively low compared to potential value (perceived value is high)

In other words when talking about the make money crowd, it’s

I want my money now
I don’t want to work very hard to make it, and
it should be cheap compared to how much I will make

Ask anyone who actually makes money online and they will tell you it’s pretty much impossible to have the first two ingredients. It takes time and hard work to bring in consistent results, yet marketers and copywriters realize that the “magic button” must be presented. A customer will not buy unless it’s ‘quick and easy’ and merchants will lose the customer to a competitor who panders the push button magic if they don’t.

This is why some people can get away offering poor value and distributing resources that are more sales pitch than substance. If you present the magic button and use compelling copy to convince the unsuspecting newbie or problem sufferer, sales will be made.

Unfortunately this often results in nothing more than a lesson in reality for the customer, who may then becomes so jaded that they don’t trust any product that proposes to solve their problems. They then label all marketers as liars (which is true according to Mr. Godin).

For many online buyers, it’s a right of passage. People go through a phase of pure desperation. They need an answer NOW and are so emotionally distraught that anyone who seems to understand their problem is worth buying from. Enough testimonials, a hard-luck-to-big-success story, case studies, before and after shots, and all the other appropriate triggers, is very convincing.

The problem with compelling copy, though marketers will not consider this a problem – it’s just good copy – is that a person will feel a sense of satisfaction from only making the purchase. It’s a form of action that feels like you are moving closer to solving your problem.

You are moving closer, but it’s like taking one step in a journey of a thousand miles. Until you put the work in to build the car using the schematics you just purchased, the act of buying the schematics doesn’t help bring you closer to your destination.

I’ll Do It Tomorrow

With a purchase made and that sense of satisfaction present – Yes I am working to solve my problem, I just spent money to prove it! – our buyer goes and does something else.

Maybe watch TV, or grab some take away food or surf the web for more Lost spoiler information. Whatever he or she does, it’s not using the product just purchased to solve the problem. The product sits on the virtual shelf and is forgotten.

Some people will have the motivation to open the product and put in some work, but after a few days or weeks or months with less than satisfying results, motivation wanes, that jadedness sets in and we are back to square one.

What About The Seller?

Some merchants only care about making the first sale and will forget about the buyer and move on to the next potential victim. These are the people who rely on marketing to drive conversion and don’t put much into the product itself. Let’s hope they never make much money, though sadly I expect they already do.

Entrepreneurs that really care about building a business and offering value realize that longevity comes from having a solid product. The top result a merchant can hope for is a customer who uses their product and achieves better than expected results. A satisfied customer is the best marketing tool available.

It frustrates merchants who sell information and have only 10% to 20% of their customers use what they buy and even fewer who get a result.

Would This Sell?

Which phrase is more compelling?

“Buy this book and in three days your problem will be gone”

“But this book and follow the instructions consistently for 6 months and you should notice some results”

It’s tough to market reality. You can’t sell work.

Push The Magic ButtonMagic Bunny

No matter what type of marketer you are and no matter how good your product is, to compete in a market driven by irrational emotional responses, shot-term thinking and instant gratification seekers, you have to sell the magic button.

Yaro Starak
Selling Magic

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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26 Comments

  • Feralcat

    Sad but true.

    I once heard copywriter Yanik Silver say something like, “You’ve heard the phrase, ‘Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.’ The fact of the matter is that people just want you to give them the fish right now!”

  • I totally agree. This is very much the reason why peer reviews are so important. Merchants offer free product to respected peers to review because they know the influence they have. In the same way, the influential peer’s readership will buy a product recommended to them, just because of who recommended it. They trust the review.

    Good copy is not good enough. Testimonials on a page are not enough. We need to hear it from people we know and trust. You made $1400 off that ebook last week because people trust you. We trust that you would not recommend a product that is more pitch than value.

  • This is a very insightful post. I’m trying to figure out exactly how to apply the concept here to my particular niche.

    It’s sort of like you have to sell the sizzle, and get readers hooked in with some sensational claims….then you have to bring them back down to reality and convince them that they can have the pot of gold if they are willing to put in some real work. The trick is to keep pumping up that pot of gold while you are bringing them around to the concept of real work.

    Every step of the way, as you are showing them how much work it’s going to take, keep dangling the carrot in front of them.

    I guess that is still a bait-and-switch, because you promised them a push-button solution. Oh well, it’s still some good food for thought…thanks for the ideas Yaro!

  • The approach changes as the customer becomes more experienced. Sure, the emotional hook still sells. But I find myself looking for the way out of that emotion more and more because I’ve purchased several low-quality products. I also find that I stop and ask if I don’t already know as much or more about the topic than the author, so the author’s reputation and track record come more into play as I mature in the market.

  • Your two points seem to contradict each other.

    Good quality sells and you have to sell the magic button?

    Which is it?

    In my view all of us who care about quality should run a campaign to oust those who sell magic button nonsense. They are destroying the future of those of us who care about people and quality. Fortunately customer forums and discussion boards are already doing this.

    The ‘sell the magic button’ advice seems to ignore these fora (forums). If people like the magic button how come these places exist?

  • Yaro,

    So true. I’ve just have a mojor breakthrough and realized this a few weeks ago.

    Plus some of my clients sent me email asking for push buttong solution…

    And now I’m working on giving them the buttons.

    Bottome line: sell the solution, and then sell the button to make it work faster.

  • So the logical process that follows to avoid that “rite of passage” of online buying desperation solved by a push button, a crappy download and a wave of disappointment at low value after purchase.

    In short, if you’re gonna hook people in to buy, don’t screw them of their money by cheaping out on the product.

  • As both an offline and online retailer, I place the highest value on my time. If I have a business issue, I’m not interested in buying an ebook or resource guide showing me how to solve it myself. I’m looking someone who provides a solution, and am willing to pay for it.

    As you point out Yaro, the vast majority of people who purchase information products never take action.

    What people really want is someone else to do the work for them. Much of the sales copy I see online is focusing on selling solutions, but not actually providing them.

    Businesses that can provide turn-key solutions at competitive prices, are the ones that experience the most success, and the most loyal customers.

    Providing solutions is hard work, but in my case, it has been very rewarding over the years.

  • Hi Yaro – thanks for mentioning my comment. And I see your point. If they’ve written something that’s worth reading I can’t complain.

    It’s when they let you think they’re going to tell you something valuable and they don’t tell you anything unless you spend $2000 – that’s just plain annoying.

    A lot of stuff gets read that just isn’t put into practise doesn’t it? And it must be annoying if you sell someone a good information product, then they complain it didn’t work when they haven’t even tried to make it work.

    Maybe we all need to read less and do more.

  • its so true, sometimes i come up on these ebooks that say “stop you 9to5 job” before buying the product it seems so easy, but when you read into it you realize that it a load of… and at that point you have just trashed some useful dollars

  • […] to see what new business strategies or ideas were out there and ran across this blog, “You Have To Sell The Push Button Solution“.  Sadly this blog was talking about the way world in general expects thing to happen in […]

  • Evan –

    Good quality sells and you have to sell the magic button?

    Which is it?

    Good quality sells and becomes sustainable. The magic button sells too regardless of the quality of the product (to a certain degree – a hideous product will likely spur up so much negative word of mouth that it will stop selling, but a mediocre product can continue to sell with the magic button for a long time).

    The idea is you must at least have the magic button. That’s what people want. If you have a quality product too, that’s even better. The incongruency is when you sell the magic button as a 3 day solution knowing full well that it takes a lot longer than that. In that case you can try the anti-hype method, which can work well in copy, or sell with a lot of magic and a good dose of reality too.

    It’s really about experimenting with the understanding that people respond well to the quick and easy solution, not the work hard for a long time solution, which may in fact be reality.

  • The problem marketing online is that the consumer really has no idea if the products for sale are of any value to him/her. In sales you generally have to “survey needs” before you can officially offer a “solution” (as a salesperson). And if a consumer is an internet newbie or say someone like myself with no programming knowledge (and doesn’t want to become a full fledged webmaster) well than an eBook about how to implement fancy schmancy coding and html just is not something that “satisfies” my need. Don’t need not high tech jargon and fancy html or coding methods. Without finding specific “needs” than a seller is simply broadcasting a “product” to a massive array of totally different levels of internet users – and never really puts himself “into the consumers shoes”. But people are making money- not from me anymore, but as always there will be “new folks” willing to toss a few dollars here or there to investigate if a “product” is their magic solution. My advice is – find out who else has the product (several folks) and get direct feedback from them. Hopefully you won’t accidently be talking to another Affiliate Marketer for the product you want a review about! Brian Morgan

  • I bought a product with resale rights – probably $47 or so – turns out the “instructions” to implement the “internet business in a box” had about 300 to 700 pages for me to read, investigate, and also just understand. One eBook after another eBook…. I was pretty pissed. Sh*t – he should have just sent me a link to a PDF doc that said in the doc: “Hey dumby, go to the Library and research it for about 6 months, thanks for the 50 bux”. Brian Morgan

  • How true. How true. People don’t really like hard work. They dislike hard work over a long period of time even more. Honestly, I have to admit that I’ll always look out for the easiest and quickest way to solve problems. And who’s to say there aren’t products like that floating around?

  • I strongly agree with you. I am a newbie in this field, trying to learn the basics.
    Thanks for such great articles.

    Rahul Nimawat

  • @ Claudio: I think I must have spent hundreds of dollars in those ebooks. And I am still in a 9to5! Actually, lately has been more like 9to9!!

  • I work with a variety of clients who sell info products and courses that require work. It never ceases to amaze me that people spend money to get into the course and half of them don’t even make it through the first lesson. The infopreneur who follows up and has a system of accountability is much more likely to earn a loyal and repeat customer if they help them digest the information.

    Deborah Carraro

  • Marketers who offer a solution that turns out not to be a solution are better known as scammers.

    If the product takes work then this should be stated clearly (I plan to offer a course which will be a guide to living with authenticity and would never pretend that this doesn’t take work).

  • I disagree! You CAN sell work. See I think the problem here is that the reality is that there will always be people out there who want that push button solution but the question is – are these people your target market for your product? Take your own Blog Mastermind for instance – those guys who want the push button solution will never renew past the first month because the pace will be too slow for them.

    I say ignore those people, leave them to buy the hyped up products and concentrate on building products for people that are really going to use them. Those people will become your evangelists (like I am for you Yaro!) and will put your product into action, write testimonials for you, provide you with social proof and will probably go on to buy everything else you create.

  • Take your own Blog Mastermind for instance – those guys who want the push button solution will never renew past the first month because the pace will be too slow for them.

    Not always – many of the push button solution people won’t even read the lessons yet remain subscribed.

    All you really can do is offer the best product you can create and then test the copy until you find the language that works to bring the right customer to your product.

    You can sell work if you are selling it as anti-not work. This only works though when the existing perception in the market is of a lot of people selling the no-work, quick-results lie, because then you stand out from the crowd and appear more credible.

    It’s anti-hype, which works great when your target market is used to (and sick of) hype.

  • I’ve experienced loads of Internet Marketing garbage but there are the occasional gems which pop up from time to time. The ratio is something like 1 good item for 10 bad items although if you follow the more reputable players, you might get a much better ratio.

  • Another downside to the hype is a person trying to make something work will jump from one thing to another because the fast $ doesn’t happen. Even when you choose a direction it is still easy to get side tracked by what looks like greener grass on the other side of the fence. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Evan, it might sound good to try to oust all the scams, but that’s probably not realistic. Once the idea of “get rich quick” promotion is out there someone will always be using it.

    Yaro – I’d sooner believe that you’re on the good side of this than the bad side, but it’s still a dangerous game. You’re right to say that people who won’t put in more than a few hours of effort aren’t going to buy from you if you don’t at least mention someone who had quick results (even if it was mostly luck), but if you’re fully expecting them to buy the product and then give up the only person who gains from marketing the product that way is you.

    Imagine you were selling general investment advice. You could write on and on about a few people who had their investment double in a year and go after the beginners who think that’s the most likely outcome – maybe a few of them will grow through experience and eventually become wise investors. That’s likely to turn off the people who have experience and more money to invest though, who know that if something has a consistent return much higher than 10% per year it’s not going to be available to anyone who can read a webpage. I can see how online business might be able to go a bit more towards the middle, but it still looks like two distinct choices…

    That’s pretty much how I see “make money online” offers now. I want to learn more but I can’t bring myself to pay for anything because they all talk about results that are way too good to be realistic without assuming hyperinflation. I want something that’s only a small piece of the puzzle that takes countless hours – possibly spread out over years – to assemble. I have the technical skills to do anything I need and I’m already working on a couple of things that will take a while to pay off if they do at all. Unfortunately everyone is too busy going after the beginners who haven’t come down to reality yet to even give me a hint of whether or not their product will do that.

  • […] Push The Magic Button No matter what type of marketer you are and no matter how good your product is, to compete in a market driven by irrational emotional responses, shot-term thinking and instant gratification seekers, you have to sell the magic button. […]

  • If you try to sell without the “magic button” but on truth (maybe flowered up a little) won’t you get more quality customers? People who understand that they have to invest time and hard work, but recognise the rewards offered in doing so. Thus making sales, possibly slowly at first but with an built-in potential for sustainable growth?

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