I learned a new word last week: gustnado. It's sort of like a tornado, but doesn't last as long, and doesn't reach up to the cloud base. We had a few blow through Grand Island, knocking down trees and trashing some mobile homes (uninhabited, thankfully) and storage units.

When a friend of mine first heard the word, he commented that it sounded like a stomach disease (a tornado caused by gustation?) I'll use both meanings of the word.

Yesterday, Drayton Bird shared an email he got from another marketer. Near the bottom, it said:

I must ask you NOT to share this with anybody outside of your immediate family. I'm only doing this for a tiny handful of our very best friends. Telling others will only cause them to be disappointed.

Have you ever read something like that in an email someone sent to their list? Their entire, 300,000 person list? If so, you'll understand when I say that it inspired something like a gustnado (meaning #2 -- the made up one) from Drayton.

Incredibly, I've seen this exact kind of thing from big name marketers with huge lists. Why would they do it? Apparently they get some sales out of it.

But I'm sure the vast majority of their subscribers saw right through it, and...let's just say there was a big cluster of gustnados that day.

When you insult your subscribers with insincere techniques like this, you brand yourself as a churn-and-burn marketer, who doesn't care if the majority of their subscribers unsubscribe or ignore them, as long as they can milk the gullible few for all they're worth. I don't know about you, but that's not the image I'm aiming for.

Just because something "works" -- just because it pulls in a few sales -- that doesn't mean it's a good idea. Isn't it better to nurture relationships with value, honesty, and integrity, than to exploit them using techniques designed to manipulate your subscribers emotions?

Reader Comment:
Rick Hendershot said:
How can I put this tactfully. Many internet marketers simply do not tell the truth.
(join the conversation below)

Whenever someone stoops to techniques like this, I immediately begin to suspect that they're all sizzle and no steak -- that have so little value to offer that they'll do whatever they can to siphon a few dollars off each subscriber before they get found out. If they do have value to offer, why on earth would they risk alienating their subscribers by insulting their intelligence like that?

Definition: Gustnado Marketing

Okay, let's make this an "official" term.

Gustnado Marketing: noun. 1. high-impact marketing techniques that churn your subscriber base, prevent relationships from flourishing long, and cause heavy destruction of trust and respect. 2. marketing techniques that cause violent...well, let's just say "gustnados".