Home Run Lessons From the Web Marketing Dugout

It's a cult, I tell you. They gather in secret luxury hotels, give each other back rubs, and plot their next devious schemes to take over the world, one information product at a time.

They're the "Internet Marketing Gurus" and they're taking no prisoners. Brash, young, and brilliant, they have uncovered the secrets to hypnotizing unsuspecting people like you and me into handing over our bank accounts. What they do works, plain and simple.

  • One guy made his first million selling "how to" information products for people who want to gamble away their life savings on the Forex (foreign exchange) market …
  • Another makes somewhere around $10 million per year selling dating advice to men and women online …
  • A third makes a over a million dollars every year selling dog training videos online, and he's a beach bum who doesn't know that much about dog training …
  • Several gurus make their millions by selling other people's products through hundreds of interlinked blogs. These are the affiliate marketers …
  • And then every one of these gurus has turned around and made several million more selling "how I did it" courses to the masses …

Unbeknownst to my young guru friends, I hid under a pile of bats in the dugout and observed their nefarious ways. I saw what they were doing, and in the words of Yoda, "clever be they, yet simple their ways are."

Here are (just) three things I learned that you can apply to your own information business or to your work with clients:

1. "Give 'em your best stuff" to build a list

Eben Pagan, who makes over $25 million a year selling information products calls it "extending the free line." The idea is to give away or sell at a loss some of your best stuff in exchange for their names and email addresses. You can …

  • Take one of your best concepts, as Eben did in the recent launch of his "Guru Mastermind Home Study Course" and give it away in a one hour content-rich video. This is pure content, with no fluff and no selling. People had to opt in (through a short 3-minute video intro) to see the content video.
  • Give away a program you'd previously sold. This is one of the things the founders of Stompernet have done repeatedly. In fact, they are giving away their complete "Stomping the Search Engines" program for $1 just to get people into their back-end "continuity" program.
  • Convert your best, most outrageous and "secret" ideas into an E-book and give it away. Rich Schefren did this with his "Manifesto" report, which went viral and attracted several hundred thousand people to his list.

Frank Kerns calls this approach "giving results in advance". That is, you give them a taste of what they're going to get if they buy your stuff.

YOUR end result is that you have a list of people who love you, love what you're doing, and want to buy from you.

2. Create a funnel

Ryan Deiss, the guy who makes millions selling information products for the Forex market, says that he sells his entry level product at a loss (or break-even at best). He knows that the real money is on the back end.

This is an excellent strategy when you are getting established in a market. Guys like Frank Kerns and Eben Pagan can get away with selling $2,000 information products to internet marketers because they are well-established as gurus in this market. But they'll also tell you that in other markets, they have clearly defined funnels. Ryan, Frank and Eben suggest this for people just getting started in a market:

  • Create a free or low-cost entry point. Videos are best today, followed by E-books. Plan on not making any money on this product.
  • Generate leads through PPC (Pay per click), starting with MSN and Yahoo (less competition and lower cost). Send them to a quality lead-capture page or sales page.
  • Once they buy, offer an up-sell to a product 2-3 times the cost of the original. Roughly 40% will buy.
  • Put them on an autoresponder list so that you can sell them more products.
  • Create a high-end product and continuity (monthly) program and funnel people into these options.

In his dating market, Eben leads with a simple $19 E-book. Since he gets most of his leads from Google ads, he figures that he doesn't make any money on this book. The E-book is packed with so much value that his customer buys the next (higher-priced) product, then the next, and eventually winds up on a monthly program and attends a high-priced in-person seminar.

Now, once you've got a list, go get some JV partners, and …

3. Give your JV partners "exclusive interviews"

This is brilliant. It used to be that you could just line up some joint venture partners, give them "banner ad code" and a few emails, and call it a day. Not any longer.

We live in a socially-oriented world in which everyone wants to "belong" and yet feel "special." It's an odd time in which we live, and it makes our job as marketers absolute Hell. How do you make people feel special while you're simultaneously using "social proof" to make them feel like they're a part of a community?

Simple. You give each of your partners exclusive interviews. Frank Kerns did this in the last launch of his "Mass Control 2.0" program. Eben did it with his most recent launch. And even some of the gurus at Stompernet are branching out on their own and being "interviewed" by their associates.

Here's what you do:

  • You agree to an "exclusive interview" where you will be "grilled" by your JV partner on whatever subject or subjects he or she wants.
  • You "try" to sell your program, but are interrupted by your host, who can then say "I refused to let him sell anything … it's all content."
  • You are "coerced" into revealing some of the top secrets you cover in your program, E-book, video series, or whatever it is you're selling.

People LOVE this stuff. They eat it up like blueberry pancakes on a summer's day.

Special note: If you have your funnel set up, then give your JV partners 100% of the sale of your entry level product. You'll get far more JV partners to play with you this way. You know the real money is on the back end anyway.

Bonus Tip

Maybe you don't have an information product. So what?

Ryan Deiss knew squat about the Forex market. He found someone who knew it inside and out, got that guy to create the information products for him, and Ryan does all the marketing. Ryan's cut: about 70%.

Don't have a particular expertise you can sell? Find someone who does. They'll think that a 30% cut is a great deal (better than nothing), particularly because they hate selling.

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Published: May 27, 2009

3 Responses to “Home Run Lessons From the Web Marketing Dugout”

  1. Thanks for laying this out so nicely. I've seen some of their product launches and often felt like I should buy what they were selling against my better judgment. This helps explain why I felt almost like I had to repay them for giving me so much for free. I can tell that their tricks really work.

    I've got an idea for a product and I'll try to use some of what you said. I'd like to learn more about that "giving results in advance." It sounds interesting, but I'm not sure what you mean.


  2. Sid... I'm a graduate of David DeAngelo (Eben) and the thing is... No Fluff, All Results. These guys don't offer BS cause a lot of smart and skeptical people have a finely tuned BS meter. The key is you have to offer realy value and results. Good Job

    John Wiggill

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