What is Fauxtivation?

It’s hiding the ball from your customers to try to create a motivation to engage with your company that they wouldn’t naturally have, i.e., don’t need and don’t want.

Example: “emailing” travel reservation info that consists of a link to a website rather than, you know, the actual itinerary info. (Tip: that means you, Expedia.)

History: probably a holdover from the days of hits, page views, and monetizing eyeballs.

Also seen when “giving away” an eBook that actually requires you to confirm your email, ostensibly for the purpose of getting a link to the file but really for the purpose of adding you to the author’s email marketing list. (Tech tip: you need my email if you’re going to email me; if the PDF is hosted on your website, you could, you know, provide a link.)

BUT SEE Copyblogger/Chris Garrett’s Authority Rules ebook and Seth Godin’s recent What Matters Now.

If your business model or marketing plan hinges on getting people to give you an email address so you can send them things they haven’t actually asked for (and “opt-in” isn’t the same as asking for your marketing pitch), you might want to rethink that strategy or at least figure out how you’re going to move away from it. Remember, your customers are your friends. If you treat them that way, they might just become fans.