Marketing is all about developing trust. This is why I am always totally amazed, when I see an apparently legitimate company, using the exact same ‘toilet paper web design’ as used by online criminals, scammers and con artists!
What is a ‘toilet paper web design’?
I coined the phrase ‘toilet paper web design’ a year ago. It refers to that ugly, hard-sell design style, where web pages are fairly narrow BUT REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LONG! They just roll on and on like a long narrow roll of toilet paper (hence the name!)
Usually, these over-long pages use lots of different font colours and font sizes, plus pictures of expensive cars, piles of money or sometimes both! There’s way too much use of underlined words and highlighted text – they look like a total mess! Some even show fake copies of financial records and fake testimonials about whatever scam they are trying to fool you into signing up for.
They then end with a super, limited offer; for you to get a ‘bundle’ worth 299.99, for just 24.99! The bundle is either membership of something or a photoshop image of a box, which looks like a 1970’s soap powder box!
Legitimate businesses should use legitimate marketing!
When someone visits a website, they immediately form their all-important first impression of that website and the person or business behind it! If they see you using the same online marketing style as a scammer, you are really in trouble! Your image will be warning them NOT to go within a mile of you – that’s not good for your marketing!
Unbelievably, some of the most common users of toilet paper web design are legitimate business coaches, trainers and consultants! This con artist template is fine for con artists. However, if you have a legitimate business with a legitimate product or service, it’s crazy to try and emulate what criminals do.
Whenever I have spoken to legitimate businesses, who use the toilet paper web design approach, they always say they did it after either reading some ebook or after seeing a site that claimed to be successful, using the same approach.
An ebook can be written and posted to the Internet in minutes and a scammer will never admit their site is not working! They usually have dozens of sites and rely on each one finding enough vulnerable people to make a small profit!
If you know a legitimate business that’s using this approach – point them to this article and help them avoid being wrongly associated with Internet scumbags!