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My all day rant. County fairs, human beings and nothing new, just adjusted.
June 11. Friday. 2021. For posterity, after all we could be here another 20 years eh?
Marlon Sanders, one of the main reasons I quit Suarez Corporation Industries and came online full time in 1997, although, I'd been selling stuff online since 1986.
Marlon has MY favorite "funnel" explanation, he goes back to his youth in being taught lessons of ministry, which is how he learned how to speak in public (he would have been a dynamic evangelist, and he is evangelical about information marketing).
OH. I have to type this is short segments, fat little fingers sometimes delete the thread before I post, so. POST.
So Marlon uses the Carnival Metaphor. A ticket to get in, then the midway and the backends.
He calls his front ends the CANDY STICK. Lower priced information products which get people on his list, or into his midway, where he offers (metaphorically speaking)...cotton candy, popcorn, caramel apples and then a 3 ticket attraction, like the FUN HOUSE, where he gets 500 bux for, and some super rides, where he commands 1k or more.
AN aside...Jim Straw called his candy sticks, peanuts on a bar, where you just keep eating them, and buying more drinks.
I like this Carnival much better than the typical funnel, which to me, sometimes feels like a trap, or being tossed down a muddy hill. POST.
The guy has scores of products too and more in the pipeline. I find him to be the best ROLE MODEL of Information Marketing out there, although I don't follow his advice (I do and I don't).
My carnival is more underground, or under a moving big top tent...rather than a big public billboard, more of an invitational postcard. But that's just me. I think anyone who wants to make money online, especially writers, will find Marlon to have all the keys to the vaults one needs.
The so-called funnel has been around for ever. And in the Mail Order/Remote Direct Marketing game, it has been tried, tested and time proven.
Front end. Upsells. Cross sells, Downsells. Backends. LIST. More offers, and more offers and then some more offers.
Cull the list. Rinse and repeat. POST.
That is the nutshell version of it all. And of course the MATH. When did Maths COME into the mainstream, always sound so 3rd world to me (or British), but...
Many FRONT ENDS or tickets to get into the Carnival are sold at a loss, or with very little profit. Suarez changed a lot of that idea and felt front end profits were/are a good thing. I, too, like a profit on the front end, albeit, times where I went in the hole to acquire a customer. It is not uncommon to lose a little on customer acquisition.
But, you need to understand the math of LIFETIME VALUE of your customer. I have no idea whatsoever, but I'd bet Marlon's customer LTV is four figures and significant. POST.
In my youth, I loved the carnivals, the county fair, the state fair. Somewhere after my kids left their teen years, I no longer liked going there. I am not now a market for the "fun" things at the Carnival. Gene Schwartz would call this stages of awareness, my stage being NO interest. NO, I'm not going to the County fair, you're not the boss of me, and you can't make me.
You don't want to try to sell to those kinds of people. So, one of the big lessons I gained from being RECRUITED by Ben Suarez (I never asked to work there, never applied for a job)...was:
TARGETS. Customers first. OR, if a product is being developed, WHO to send the invitation to (promotion). During the mid 90's SCI was hosting big events: The Legends of Country Music, The Legends of NASCAR and the TITANIC Cruises, which did phenomenal business. BIG ticket items, thousands of dollars each.
SCI did not send their TITANIC promotions to the 19.95 Zircon list.
Although, they may have tested the TITANIC COAL promotion...Coal was the only thing from the TITANIC which was allowed to be sold, everything else recovered was sent to the museum. Who would have thought people would buy a piece of coal?
Well decades earlier, they bought ant farms, spud guns, and thanks to Paul Hartunian the Brooklyn Bridge (I think he bought it from George Parker, HA!) POST.
I was asked to attend a 6 day, spread over 3 months, seminar known as the Walsh College seminar. The promotion was featured in WHO'S MAILING WHAT when Axel Andersson was at the helm. It was a certificate, and if you attended the seminar, you got it signed by Ben and others...later on, my name was added to the "diploma", me being the first NON SCI employee designated as one of their CREATIVE MARKETING PROFESSIONALS.
That signed Certificate and a buck 25 bought me a small McDonald's coffee. He he.
When they finally made me an offer I couldn't refuse (made by then COO Rod Napier), I succumbed and went inside. I had two offices, which made me unique in the company. One downstairs and a cubicle upstairs in the Special Projects division, which was basically Ben, Tom and a very part-time me, where I worked on some minor TITANIC and future events promotions.
Since I was hired as a Creative Marketing Professional, my contracts were different from all the other writers. They had some very good copywriters and video copy writers but I was more or less like an utility infielder on a baseball team. I went where they needed me at the time. POST
This rant is historical, but, I hope to sprinkle it with lessons I learned along the way.
Gary Halbert called me and told me I was dumbAZZ for not accepting Ben's invitation, told me I could be paid for a world class education and he was right. By the way, going back to the 60's, dumbAZZ was probably the nicest thing Gary ever called me.
While I was at SCI, I worked 80 hour weeks. I was the first one in, even beating Ben's father, who came in and turned on the lights. Although I left at 5, I then went to one of their Call Centers and worked til 10 on the phone. This gave me an advantage in writing telesales letters. Nothing beats time on the phone trying to sell people stuff to give you an education in tele marketing.
One assignment I got was a revision of 7 Steps to Freedom II, and had to edit certain words out of it and insert more "weasel" words, so instead of You can, it became You could, that sort of thing. No one in the world knows that book better than I do, it still has some gold in it, if you know what to look for. POST.
My opinion is nothing has come along to beat the NPGS, NET PROFIT GENERATOR SYSTEM with its four parts: Product, Prospect, Promotion and Media. Fortunes have been made APPLYING it.
Another project was bringing the Walsh Seminar videos together for a training series for new SCI employees. I spent several months, a few hours a day, down the street at Ben's brother-in-laws video center, where a full studio existed. I had to learn how to shoot, edit, and insert slides into the videos.
The final product was to be used for training, but after I had written a promotion for it, it was decided to TEST it and see if we could sell it. It was a so-so test, and I think just too expensive at the time and actually competed with the book and the Newsletters. A few years ago, Dan Kennedy wrote the POPE promotion and offered a few scattered editions for sale.
I did the introduction on the video series.
It was dry, factual, the speakers were experts at what they did, but not on camera. Some (and I wouldn't argue) say it is the most boring series of its kind.
But for me, personally, it provided so much new skill, new ideas, and a complete education in video production, I call it a success. POST.
I worked for every division except Golf, because we had a huge disagreement about my golf club, the Winged Wedge 222, so I refused to work for them, although that is how I was initially introduced to SCI. My golf teaching business, although part time, was very popular in the area.
Because I wasn't locked into one division or had just one office to sit in all day long, I got to get to know scores of people, from worker bees (as some execs called them, not me, they were my peeps) to some genius Executives, a few of the biggest Aholes I've ever met. One person I grew really fond of, and in fact everyone in her office, was THE BUYER.
She had dozens and dozens of catalogs spread around, and scores of sample products, so if anyone had an idea for a product (any of the Creatives and EDs could create a promotion for whatever they could think of, rather unique I suppose in most direct marketing businesses) SHE would be the person who could tell if you could get it, have it made, the costs and THE TIME it would take to get it.
If you've never worked with an experienced buyer, make it your job to get to know one. POST.
I had been taught astrology years earlier by Annie Hershey and was a weekly shopper at the local new agey bookstore on Main Street; THE ACORN GROWS, where they sold crystals, jewelry all things off the wall.
Well, although he might like to forget, Ben actually made his first real money from Gary Halbert's advice to sell ASTROLOGY stuff, I believe, much to Ben's chagrin. But it worked. Had breakthough PROMOTIONS and was the foundation he built SCI on.
I had been selling so-called "Arcane" jewelry for a long time and written many promotions, which mostly appeared in newsletters and a handful of magazines, like FATE. These small fringe groups, although their numbers can be huge, but out of the mainstream eye...have been bread and butter for my writing services for decades.
I was able to find some unique pieces and suppliers from this, and my little side line hustle was added too. By this time I had given up my golf business, a passion I had fallen out of love with, no matter how much money I made with it.
Ran out of room. Con't.
Last edited by GordonJ : June 11, 2021 at 12:47 PM.
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