Internet Marketing “Wiking” Frank Kern
The Internet Marketing Arena was held hostage by Frank Kern, who was launching his latest product,
L I S T C O N T R O Llast week.
‘LISTCONTROL’ is a one month interactive video training program for people who want to start an online business.
The course has a strong focus on email marketing and relationship building.
I made a quick teaser video about the launch.
Create your own video slide-show (↑) at animoto.com.
At the $1,997.00 price point it’s not an inexpensive program, but at first Frank Kern has a great reputation, secondly the buyer is protected with a rock-solid money back guarantee, and thirdly Frank addresses issues most beginners get stuck with in other courses, ebooks, and trainings.
In a live interview with video marketer and co-founder of Traffic Geyser (↑), Mike Koenigs, Frank said
[…] Listcontrol particularly covers beginner questions in module 1. […]Something his famous and legendary product Masscontrol (fall of 2008 and 2009) did not teach that directly. But Listcontrol wouldn’t be a course by Frank Kern if very advanced topics weren’t covered. And this starts with content syndication in module 1 which is something beginners don’t need to worry about, but advanced folks will love to implement right away.
Major marketers in the Internet Marketing Community Promoted Frank’s launch
Such a launch stirs up the pot and while Frank’s affiliates feed the frenzy, others condemn such product launches altogether. There are usually three groups of people. Wait, really it’s four.
- almost buyers
- those who don’t notice the launch at all
It’s usually the non-buyers who loudly protest against that sort of product launches.
However, there are two critical facts to consider:
- Launches work for many reasons (enough stories for another post.)
- The largest group is people who don’t notice the launch at all. (6 Billion people or so; a product launch is very targeted and not a spam campaign.)
As usual with Frank — techniques get refined — this launch is different. I don’t have any accurate figures on the metrics, and I know Frank Kern would not talk about specifics before the refund period is over anyway.
… therefore, just a few comments from me as they came to my mind during the last couple of days.
Observations About The Listcontrol Product Launch
- Once again, a pure video sales letter.
- 3 pre-launch videos and give-aways within a week prior to the launch.
- Single opt-in (!)
Remember the old debate: single versus double opt-in?
Frank as well as many other direct response e-mail marketers usually claim that single-opt-in performs better for them.
There are a lot of pros and contras for each method. Depending on the particular situation one works better than the other. The only way to find out is to test.
One major of these variables is traffic source. Since Frank Kern’s launch is heavily driven by affiliates the quality of traffic is rather high. Therefore, I bet a single opt-in strategy makes a lot of sense in this scenario. (And I am sure that Frank has recent test results for his market that back that up.)
While single opt-in removes friction, it is usually related with a higher number of spam complaints and even legal risks (especially in Europe.)(***)
- A simple launch website with only a couple of landing pages for the individual phases in the launch process.
Each page contains:
- Buttons for sharing the page on Social sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- A simple opt-in form to an Early Bird List.
- A comment section at the bottom of the page.
Frank got more than 2,000 comments on his first video.
- First time visitors are presented a squeeze page. Opt-in with an e-mail address is requires in order to navigate the content.
- Valuable give-aways: A proven campaign; web software; concept of the 5-pillars
- At launch time all pages redirected to the video sales letter. The pre-launch content was not available anymore at this point.
Since the launch was going on for five (5) full days — which, again, is unusual for Frank — first time visitors in this phase didn’t get exposed to a large portion of the campaign. I remember his first public Masscontrol launch in February 2008, when all the pre-launch content was kept available, and actually is to this date. E.g.,
List Getting Video Part 1
How To Make Lots Of Money Forever (↑)
This kind of redirecting and optional squeeze pages in front of the landing pages seem to be features of the new launch platform Kajabi (↑). It is still in a closed beta preview. Frank is one of the guinea pigs. (You can subscribe at Kajabi to get notified when the product becomes available to the general public.)
- Buttons for sharing the page on Social sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Frank did a lot of tele-seminars, webinars, and even a life video broadcast with his promotion partners, in which he answered questions from prospects during launch week.Mike Koenigs interviews Frank Kern
- Frank Kern doesn’t have an account on Twitter anymore, and is not significantly active on any other social media platform. He blogs rather infrequently and doesn’t send out too many emails either.
However, he manages to maintain a high level of engagement in the market place and among his affiliates. Relationship building at the mastery level.
- No results specific customer testimonials or case studies in the final sales video! This is for sure a reaction to recent changes in FTC guidelines for marketers in the USA.
This launch has been prepared extremely well with a couple of related (test) promotions and a survey of his email list members. What amazes me is how a previous seemingly unrelated campaign ties into this huge launch perfectly.
Right now, this campaign is still online.
Get Core Influence FREE (offer expired!)
Looking at the Alexa rankings for example it becomes quite clear how powerful a product launch can be if executed well.
Let’s compare this launch to popular business, marketing blogs, which get a constant stream of traffic.
I picked the following blogs as comparison.
Some Key Facts
Click here for more traffic charts from the Listcontrol launch (Pop-Up)
- A huge traffic surge. Reaching #2 on What’s hot on Alexa for several pages from the pre-lauch campaign.
- Video enlarges the time on site.
- Low bounce rate due to targeted traffic as well as more page views per visit.
A product launch like this creates a big buzz in the market place which has a large residual effect. And by the way, you can build your email list while you are doing a launch.
Now before you argue, “It’s expensive to orchestrate such a big launch,” look at this example.
What would you rather like to have?
- (1) a revenue of $5,000,000 and costs of $3,000,000 or
- (2) a revenue of $250,000 and costs of $20,000?
Do the math.
But those numbers are very small anyway.
Look at James Cameron’s movie Avatar (↑) for example. A huge movie release like this is a very good example for a product launch. Not much difference. You try to make as much money as quickly as possible (before pirates sell copies of your product for pennies.)
- $280 million for production
- $150 million for promotion
Do you think the movie would have grossed $2,667 million with a marketing budget of $15 million.
I don’t think so.
Now, what do you think?
Leave a comment below.
John W. Furst
P.S.: Do you think you learned any lessons here?
(***) Special disclaimer: This blog post does not contain any information that should we interpreted as legal advice. It’s for your information only. I’m not a lawyer, I don’t pretend to be a lawyer, … What the heck, I don’t even want to be a lawyer.
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