Frank Kern and Perry Marshall: Simply BETTER Mousetraps

An info product comparison / contrast: Real world example of “Better Mousetrap”?define, measure, analyze, improve, control

  • A couple of weeks ago I bought Perry Marshall and Joshua Boswell’s Simplified Next-Step Marketing Guide, the basic version for $39.
  • Today I checked out the marketing video and sales letter for Frank Kern’s Magic Formula–the video is free, the product is $1, one buck.

Side by side, what are the barriers-to-entry in each? What are the effective marketing messages? They are similar products, aimed at similar audiences:

I am a fan of Perry’s and when the pitch is so effective that it makes me spend money, as a copywriter I feel as though I must examine it more closely and report back.

Perry’s email sales copy that compelled me to hit the Buy button (I’m not an affiliate, btw):


My friend Dave is a complete and total “newbie” and a few
months ago he spent the day with me at an Internet marketing
event. It was kind of fun watching a new guy try to absorb
it all.

By the end of the day he’s heard about Google ads, lead
generation, follow up marketing, autoresponders, Digg,
Squidoo, Facebook, Twitter, Search Engine Optimization, list
segmentation, video, viral marketing, and a whole bunch of
stuff about Ebay.

He’s also been offered no less than six different product
packages and coaching programs from four different people.
Totally bewildering for him. Honestly I felt just a little
sorry for the guy. He’s not even quite sure what business he
wants to be in yet.

THAT is a hideous place to be.

But there’s an even worse problem than that:

Being like most of my customers – on 17 different email
lists – each one trying to tell you what you “ought to do”
right now.

The end result is a completely incoherent, ADHD path
through a nonstop series of minefields. It’s not even
zig-zagging to success, it’s more like eventually zigzagging
right back to where you started.

Some time ago I took a survey of my customers and the #1
thing that came from that survey was precisely that: Endless
confusion about what to do next. The feeling of having all
these puzzle pieces and only having a partial understanding
of how they fit together.

One of my top students and Roundtable members, Joshua
Boswell, studied all those survey answers and decided to
tackle this problem.

I was completely impressed by what he put together. So
impressed, in fact, that I appointed him my “Content Czar.”

The product he developed is called the Simplified Next Step
Marketing Guide and it’s a synthesis of all the big picture
concepts I talk about.

Joshua organized literally step by step instructions on how
to research your market (simply and easily!), shortcuts to
maximizing conversions on AdWords, maximize profit by
optimizing your price points.

“Nail” your customers’ core buying emotions, and build
autoresponder sequences that SELL and SELL AGAIN.

That is a very modest summary of what you get for $39.00.

There are more advanced versions of this guide as well. The
Platinum edition contains MUCH more, including the most
exhaustive discussion of applying the 80/20 rule in direct
marketing that I’ve ever included in a product.

The most telling thing is my guarantee. Which is:

If you do not feel that The Simplified Next-Step Marketing
Guide is the most direct All-Around Guide to making real
dollars online that you have ever laid hands on – superior
to any book or course you have ever spent money on – then
contact my office for a full and courteous refund.

WARNING: This is NOT an any way shape or form an
encyclopedia of online marketing. There is nothing here
about social media, or article marketing, or dozens of other
sometimes-useful topics.

Rather it’s a guide to what GETS YOU REAL CUSTOMERS online
now – whether it’s your first $1.00 or your first $100,000.000 –
and how you nail that passionate sweet spot in your
customer’s mind.

I don’t know how to say it any better than with my
audacious guarantee. Pick up your copy here:

Perry Marshall

The Simplified Next Step Marketing Guide (23-page basic version) comes as an instant download, which in my book is the only way to go today–NOBODY wants to wait for product to arrive by mail. Nicely packaged…. And the content and strategy are good. My only issue with this system they lay out, supposedly for “newbies,” is on page 11 of this 23 page guide (I went for the pared down version). Perry and Joshua explain the Flash Survey, or as Perry’s go-to guy Glen Livingston calls it, Market Intelligence. Here they argue for using  a basic AdWords campaign to explore the keyword viability of your intended market leveraging the results culled from customer surveys.

For this part of the “next step” you must create a minimum of 5 ads and you’re looking to generate a minimum of 30 completed 3-question surveys PER AD. In a Utopian marketplace that would be 150 clicks, 150 completed surveys b/c all your visitors would be compliant, of course. However we know that’s unlikely in the real world and many clicks would produce…um, nada. My $39 version of the Simplified Next Step doesn’t go into ANY detail on setting up the AdWords campaign–all for preliminary keyword research, btw.

So my immediate responses and questions after reading page 11 become:

  • I wish I’d known upfront that the so-called simplified next step hinged on using AdWords….
  • Where am I going to learn this? (I’ll bet Perry’s Definitive Guide to Google AdWords could help me, right?)
  • How long is it going to take me to nail an effective campaign?
  • How much cash is it going to cost me to experiment with keyword traffic on AdWords?

It’s going to cost something. The more competitive the market, the higher the CPC, and the more dangerous and unchecked can become the ad spend, particularly for someone like Perry’s friend in the email sales letter above…”totally bewilder[ed].”

When you suddenly lay out $200, $300, $500, even $1500 on an AdWords campaign, what’s your wife or husband gonna say about that? “Uh, honey? What happened to our Christmas Club money?” It went to keyword research….

You’ve not even ascertained the viability of the market yet.

Are bewildered “newbies” really this bold with their cash? It seems to me that plenty would prefer a barrier of entry that’s much lower, with little to NO cash outlay (or learning curve!) to get up-front market and keyword research done.

What happens when another Internet Marketer comes along ready to market a similar info product that immediately addresses some of the resistance questions I’ve raised above?

Enter Frank Kern….

Compare and contrast this small  “market intelligence” tactic to that of Frank Kern and Trey Smith. In a recent video (the infamous “Probably the Finest Video Ever…” for their Magic Formula product) Kern briefly shows you how they get basic niche market intelligence done:

  1. Choose a niche, or “Find a Market…”
  2. Go to Clickbank and find out what others are doing. Frank says, “the way we do these two things is we just look on Clickbank and we see what’s selling. We’ve got kind of  a little formulaic process we use ….” Trey actually shares this little discovery “formula” (you can see in his first Niche Ninjas video I posted here ) — it’s a close examination of the gravity metric in Clickbank, basically.
  3. Sell one of the products as an affiliate to test its sales mettle…using PPC or AdWords (we’ll come back to this).
  4. With viable product and niche in hand– you launch a deep space exploration of ALL the marketers and competitors pitching that product, or closely related products. Specifically study the bullet points of all the landing pages and sales letters. Why bullet points? Here are the meat and potatoes of products: features and benefits.
  5. Gather all of these bullet points from various competitors AND  create new ones, better ones, create a brand new info product that not only repurposes everythingn that’s come before, BUT amplifies it, outperforms on all levels, tackles any remaining buyer’s resistance, answers questions, etc.. Get experts in the niche and other professionals to share expertise and help build premium  content. Basically, you “build a better mousetrap.”
  6. With BETTER-than-the-rest top-level info product complete and packaged — you sell it. And if the names Frank Kern and Trey Smith hold any meaning for you, then you already are aware of the many followers and affiliates they own able to move product. A good indication is the number of IMers that sent a link for this video to my inbox.

About Barrier to Entry as Selling Point

Here’s where the comparison and contrast gets interesting: Frank is basically creating a pitch for product aimed at this type of customer:

“This Is PERFECT For People Who Are ‘Overwhelmed’ And Just Want The Fastest And Easiest Way To GET STARTED”

Does that message sound familiar? Similar and almost identical to the message Perry uses to sell his $39 Simplified Next Step Marketing Guide, again aimed at bewildered marketers. Frank Kern’s product cost: $1, one buck.

What separates the two?

Frank argues that the BIG BARRIER to market entry is his step #3 of the above niche market discovery– sell the product as an affiliate, ultimately using AdWords or another PPC product to drive traffic. He claims he can show you how to do this really cheaply–using a simple strategy you can “implement in one afternoon”– AND drive that traffic directly at affiliate products so you have a super-fast answer to your outstanding marketing research questions. His Magic Formula still utilizes AdWords or PPC, but he actually shows you how to set up a cheap campaign.  So, what’s he doing here? He’s answered all of the questions I’d formulated above in regards to the Simplified Next Step guide. The Magic Formula product they are selling for $1 is designed to remove the barrier to entry that still exists for the AdWords-uninitiated.

Piece of the Magic Formula sales letter:

But we test the hell out of everything, using our own businesses and our own money, and then we show you what works. Based on FACT.

See, Trey and I aren’t like those other guys who only sell “make money” stuff.

We’ve sold well over $4.8 MILLION dollars of downloadable info-products in weird little niches that have NOTHING to do with “marketing”.

And we still actively promote, market and sell all kinds of strange products from hypnoisis ebooks to database access systems.

So the stuff we’re showing you every week works in the REAL WORLD.

Regardless of whether the resulting Magic Formula product works, the point is he’s followed the same process he’s pretty much outlined as being the Magic Formula. I don’t necessarily want to pit Perry Marshall against Frank Kern–they both are great in my book and beyond compare. I just found the juxtaposition of these two info products worth taking alook at, first for the sales content that works in both cases and for their marketing strategies.

Biggest Barrier: Doing the Work AND Over the Long Haul

Regardless of the cost of market entry, both Perry Marshall and Frank Kern are experts at putting the work into creating maverick products. My biggest complaint is that so much of the sales din on the Internet is hawking lazy-man’s methods for getting rich quick. I guarantee if you’re lazy, you’ll be a rare bird if you make money. And rarer still are successful get rich quick “methods.”

Also, for both of these niche market strategies you must be willing to move on them. If you’re committing to laying out cash for an AdWords spend, once you have the results, your questions answered and a viable market that’s hot you must then do the work–create that latest and greatest product  AND sell it.- You can’t do this kind of market research then let that goldmine lie fallow for long. Doesn’t have a shelf-life. One of the principles in Internet Marketing- move quickly, or strike while the iron is hot. One of my copywriting clients said he preferred to follow the Michael Masterson school of thought: Ready-Fire-Aim.

FREE Content is King: “Moving the Free Line”

sign-oh-yes-its-freeWhile the info-products fly off the shelves for both Perry Marshall and Frank Kern I’d argue THIS final follow-through is precisely where the biggest barrier to entry will always continue to stand– where work and determination come in. Fact is both of these gurus spend more time GIVING content away than they do selling it; which is why their sales funnels are so effective. This is called Moving The Free Line (MTFL, as Andy Jenkins has dubbed it) and it’s a critical concept.

Here’s Andy Jenkins on MTFL, and it’s a pretty brilliant little piece of email copy, in its own right:

Anything that is of value in life only multiplies when it is given.”

~ Deepak Chopra

Pretty deep, eh?  Packed with Deep-ness.  ~Deep-Packed.

Thank You, Thank You – I’m here all week.

You! You have seen the promotional technique called ‘Moving the FreeLine‘ (MTFL for short) in action.  It happens like clockwork during product launches.

It goes like this:

1 – ‘Bing Bong, you got your emailz!’

2 – You read your emailz.  Emailz haz link to super-awesomeness.

3 – The super-awesomeness is a Free Video, or a Free Report.  You consume it, think the author is super-awesome, and the next time you get a communication from the author, you’re TWICE as likely to consume the content (Even if it’s a straight-up sales message) as you were before you munched up all their free stuff.

4 – And so, the odds of you making a purchase from that author increase because the FreeLine content caused the prospect to have 3 specific emotions about the author:

  • Trust
  • Integrity
  • Authority

MTFL is so powerful, that you can literally give away your best stuff, and still sell a product that’s LESS impressive than your FreeLine content.

Like Deepak says, value is multiplied when it is given [away for free].

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3 Comments on “Frank Kern and Perry Marshall: Simply BETTER Mousetraps”

  1. Brian Bagnall Says:

    Great Article!

    Brian Bagnall
    Facebook Social Ads Expert


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