Whats the story on "pay S&H only" offers these days?

23 replies
I bought Russel Brunsons book (following a recommendation here) and it was "free, just pay S&H". I'm starting to see a lot more of this and am wondering what the score is.

Is it really free, or is there a profit baked in?
Is it just to get my email address and further market to me?

Looking forward to some insight on this model.
#days #offers #pay sandh only #story
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthony La Rocca
    Hi Sharp

    The free + S&H has been around for years and its also coined as a 'trip wire'

    Oddly enough, the book on funnels you signed up for gives him your email address and mailing address to market click funnels / how to make funnels products to you for eternity - have fun LOL

    jk

    But on the bright side - it is a solid product and his whole Traffic & Funnels empire he has built is super helpful - the key really is just bits and pieces that work for you and your business and evolve from there - trying to do it all at once may cause alot of wheels to spin!

    What made you want to get his book?

    Originally Posted by sharp21 View Post

    I bought Russel Brunsons book (following a recommendation here) and it was "free, just pay S&H". I'm starting to see a lot more of this and am wondering what the score is.

    Is it really free, or is there a profit baked in?
    Is it just to get my email address and further market to me?

    Looking forward to some insight on this model.
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    • Profile picture of the author pintara3
      Originally Posted by Anthony La Rocca View Post

      Hi Sharp

      The free + S&H has been around for years and its also coined as a 'trip wire'

      Oddly enough, the book on funnels you signed up for gives him your email address and mailing address to market click funnels / how to make funnels products to you for eternity - have fun LOL

      jk

      But on the bright side - it is a solid product and his whole Traffic & Funnels empire he has built is super helpful - the key really is just bits and pieces that work for you and your business and evolve from there - trying to do it all at once may cause alot of wheels to spin!

      What made you want to get his book?
      This is a proven marketing method, but you need to give a quality product. This is part of Russels sales funnel. Everything he does is to drive people to clickfunnels. He loses on the book but he knows a certain percentage will then take up a subscription of clickfunnels
      Cheers!
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    • Profile picture of the author sharp21
      Originally Posted by Anthony La Rocca View Post

      Hi Sharp

      The free + S&H has been around for years and its also coined as a 'trip wire'

      Oddly enough, the book on funnels you signed up for gives him your email address and mailing address to market click funnels / how to make funnels products to you for eternity - have fun LOL

      jk

      But on the bright side - it is a solid product and his whole Traffic & Funnels empire he has built is super helpful - the key really is just bits and pieces that work for you and your business and evolve from there - trying to do it all at once may cause alot of wheels to spin!

      What made you want to get his book?
      It was someones 6,000th post (I think - it was a large round number) in the offline marketing section where he said the best piece of advice he could give looking back, was read everything by Russel Brunson. So I bought his book Expert Secrets, and recently received Traffic Secrets. I'm sure I'll order Copywriting Secrets next.
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  • Profile picture of the author Medon
    Originally Posted by sharp21 View Post

    I bought Russel Brunsons book (following a recommendation here) and it was "free, just pay S&H". I'm starting to see a lot more of this and am wondering what the score is.

    Is it really free, or is there a profit baked in?
    Is it just to get my email address and further market to me?

    Looking forward to some insight on this model.
    It is a marketing strategy that is becoming common nowadays. You get what you want in exchange for a chance to receive more marketing info. It is fair deal.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Hodgins
    yeah they are the beginning of a self liquidating funnel. after you get the book, you'll be popped with 3 upsells, sometimes less, sometimes more. it's how to make you a customer with the least possible resistance. it certainly helps with ad cost for the seller as well.

    J.
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  • Profile picture of the author TobiMDD
    yes it's quite simple, you get a quality product which should help you and/or solve a certain problem with the intention that you got so much value that you want more from this company in future and purchase more products which result in a profit for the seller.


    a win win situation.
    Signature
    Make Money In The EASIEST Way Possible... Complete 100% done for you system.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Originally Posted by sharp21 View Post

    I bought Russel Brunsons book (following a recommendation here) and it was "free, just pay S&H". I'm starting to see a lot more of this and am wondering what the score is.

    Is it really free, or is there a profit baked in?
    Is it just to get my email address and further market to me?

    Looking forward to some insight on this model.
    So there are two common perspectives on this that you can take.

    The first is yes, you have to make money on these sales.

    That is the sign of an amateur IMO, but I have also seen situations where good marketers DID make money on these sales and then went on to Step Two, below.

    The fact is people move on "Free Plus Shipping" much faster than they do on "Product Cost Plus Shipping". So you build the product cost into the "Handling" part of things, charge twelve bucks for the S&H instead of eight dollars for the product plus four for shipping, and presto! You get the result you want, people actually buy.

    If you feel this is dishonest marketing is probably not for you. Things need to be moved around and configured through testing in a way that results in buyers. That's a fact of business; otherwise, we'd all be broke.

    The starting point has to be that you KNOW your offer will definitely help the right person. But that is not enough. You must then induce them to take action and get the thing...or else it will never have the chance to affect their lives.

    Now as to the Step Two...

    Those who only have one low price product are IMO small time. Small-minded. Inexperienced. You see a lot of that here.

    What is needed is called a "back end to the funnel".

    That's Step Two: the higher-priced, complimentary or expanded offer, where you make your money--and really impact the lives of your customers.

    Why people stay stuck on Step One is they don't understand value ladders and the principle of ascension.

    They don't understand the reason behind an initial low price free plus shipping offer.

    You want a Buyers List.

    People who buy.

    People who saw what you offered, took out their credit card, and decided to buy.

    The "You only pay S&H" is to identify BUYERS when it's done correctly.

    Make money/don't make money on that first purchase...who cares? If a certain percentage of these buyers are going to ascend and buy the back end upgrade, you're doing fine.

    Now the math of all this is beyond 90% of the people on this forum, which is a constant source of disappointment to me.

    You can plan this out. Planned first, then actual as you get real data. You can target and make the money you want to make. If you conservatively estimate that 1 in 20 or 1 in 10 people who get the front end (S&H) offer will get the back end, how many front end buyers do you need to hit your money target?

    Most people on this forum lack a money target, BTW, and are trying the fool's errand of trying to "make as much money as possible." That's no target at all.

    This equation shows you how much traffic you need, when you go out to the end and calculate the number of initial leads required. And then you can figure out, "Where do I need to go to get that level of traffic?" or "Do I need to raise my prices here?"

    I can tell you that after 7 or 8 years of doing funnel strategy calls, most people are beaten before they start--they have nowhere near, not even a tenth, of the traffic they need coming in to make the vague money target they dream about...beaten and they don't even know it. That's scary and sad.

    Now a success story.

    I worked with a great product creator and marketer on a project where we ran a funnel like this:

    - paid $3000 to an investing magazine for 3000 leads who had signed up through that magazine to be shown appropriate offers about finance and investing

    - put them in front of a free-plus S&H offer for two books, under $20

    - showed those who bought the front end S&H a two week educational sequence, using Brunson's invisible funnel for $197 at the end if they liked it

    - made a $2K offer to those who paid for the invisible funnel offer.

    This is not rocket science yet it is light years beyond Warrior Forum thinking. And we did this years ago.

    Look at the math.

    We were set up for success: can you see it?

    We only needed say 7% conversion on the front end to BREAK EVEN AND START MAKING MONEY on the front end! That is very achievable, and achieve we did.

    The front end paid for itself. So you can do that...provided you can find a quality traffic source as we did.

    Then the ascension model. We did not go straight for the high ticket sale. Most of you would lunge out there with that offer.

    Instead, we got them to pay us for educating them. Now this training was original, fantastic, and had money invested in the production design. And my client solved a very real, urgent problem for the target market.

    Then, after the education phase, we showed them the $2K product that now automated everything we had educated them about being important. This is where the real money was made.

    My client made $600K in a week, a figure that is unbelievable to nearly all of you. Again, sad. And he kept nearly all of that money, as we did not use affiliates and operated far away from the IM world. That amount is a spit in the ocean and clients have far exceeded it since.

    This is what an ascension funnel looks like done right, and why "Free plus S&H" offers can be powerful at the front end. Remember, we liquidated that front end traffic expense on just 7% conversion. The math has to be set up for success. This kind of offer can definitely be useful for that purpose--and you've identified a buyer. Separating the wheat from the chaff as quickly as you can, and then concentrating your effort on the wheat, is one of the most powerful things you can do in marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author sharp21
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      So there are two common perspectives on this that you can take.

      The first is yes, you have to make money on these sales.

      That is the sign of an amateur IMO, but I have also seen situations where good marketers DID make money on these sales and then went on to Step Two, below.

      The fact is people move on "Free Plus Shipping" much faster than they do on "Product Cost Plus Shipping". So you build the product cost into the "Handling" part of things, charge twelve bucks for the S&H instead of eight dollars for the product plus four for shipping, and presto! You get the result you want, people actually buy.

      If you feel this is dishonest marketing is probably not for you. Things need to be moved around and configured through testing in a way that results in buyers. That's a fact of business; otherwise, we'd all be broke.

      The starting point has to be that you KNOW your offer will definitely help the right person. But that is not enough. You must then induce them to take action and get the thing...or else it will never have the chance to affect their lives.

      Now as to the Step Two...

      Those who only have one low price product are IMO small time. Small-minded. Inexperienced. You see a lot of that here.

      What is needed is called a "back end to the funnel".

      That's Step Two: the higher-priced, complimentary or expanded offer, where you make your money--and really impact the lives of your customers.

      Why people stay stuck on Step One is they don't understand value ladders and the principle of ascension.

      They don't understand the reason behind an initial low price free plus shipping offer.

      You want a Buyers List.

      People who buy.

      People who saw what you offered, took out their credit card, and decided to buy.

      The "You only pay S&H" is to identify BUYERS when it's done correctly.

      Make money/don't make money on that first purchase...who cares? If a certain percentage of these buyers are going to ascend and buy the back end upgrade, you're doing fine.

      Now the math of all this is beyond 90% of the people on this forum, which is a constant source of disappointment to me.

      You can plan this out. Planned first, then actual as you get real data. You can target and make the money you want to make. If you conservatively estimate that 1 in 20 or 1 in 10 people who get the front end (S&H) offer will get the back end, how many front end buyers do you need to hit your money target?

      Most people on this forum lack a money target, BTW, and are trying the fool's errand of trying to "make as much money as possible." That's no target at all.

      This equation shows you how much traffic you need, when you go out to the end and calculate the number of initial leads required. And then you can figure out, "Where do I need to go to get that level of traffic?" or "Do I need to raise my prices here?"

      I can tell you that after 7 or 8 years of doing funnel strategy calls, most people are beaten before they start--they have nowhere near, not even a tenth, of the traffic they need coming in to make the vague money target they dream about...beaten and they don't even know it. That's scary and sad.

      Now a success story.

      I worked with a great product creator and marketer on a project where we ran a funnel like this:

      - paid $3000 to an investing magazine for 3000 leads who had signed up through that magazine to be shown appropriate offers about finance and investing

      - put them in front of a free-plus S&H offer for two books, under $20

      - showed those who bought the front end S&H a two week educational sequence, using Brunson's invisible funnel for $197 at the end if they liked it

      - made a $2K offer to those who paid for the invisible funnel offer.

      This is not rocket science yet it is light years beyond Warrior Forum thinking. And we did this years ago.

      Look at the math.

      We were set up for success: can you see it?

      We only needed say 7% conversion on the front end to BREAK EVEN AND START MAKING MONEY on the front end! That is very achievable, and achieve we did.

      The front end paid for itself. So you can do that...provided you can find a quality traffic source as we did.

      Then the ascension model. We did not go straight for the high ticket sale. Most of you would lunge out there with that offer.

      Instead, we got them to pay us for educating them. Now this training was original, fantastic, and had money invested in the production design. And my client solved a very real, urgent problem for the target market.

      Then, after the education phase, we showed them the $2K product that now automated everything we had educated them about being important. This is where the real money was made.

      My client made $600K in a week, a figure that is unbelievable to nearly all of you. Again, sad. And he kept nearly all of that money, as we did not use affiliates and operated far away from the IM world. That amount is a spit in the ocean and clients have far exceeded it since.

      This is what an ascension funnel looks like done right, and why "Free plus S&H" offers can be powerful at the front end. Remember, we liquidated that front end traffic expense on just 7% conversion. The math has to be set up for success. This kind of offer can definitely be useful for that purpose--and you've identified a buyer. Separating the wheat from the chaff as quickly as you can, and then concentrating your effort on the wheat, is one of the most powerful things you can do in marketing.
      Thanks for that. Thinking back on my purchase of the book I can see that model at work.

      I think a challenge we face as people still trying to do this as a sideline, is that it seems guys like Russel have a team to make these amazing offerings. We are solo-preneurs so its harder to make that cohesive offer that includes the funnel back end.

      This seems to be a "leveling-up" of the traditional blogger model of providing a free resource for email signup, which you then build your list from and then subsequently market to. But it makes sense that somebody who is willing to take out their credit card (for a "free" product), will be willing to leave it out for another offering.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by sharp21 View Post

        Thanks for that. Thinking back on my purchase of the book I can see that model at work.

        I think a challenge we face as people still trying to do this as a sideline, is that it seems guys like Russel have a team to make these amazing offerings. We are solo-preneurs so its harder to make that cohesive offer that includes the funnel back end.

        This seems to be a "leveling-up" of the traditional blogger model of providing a free resource for email signup, which you then build your list from and then subsequently market to. But it makes sense that somebody who is willing to take out their credit card (for a "free" product), will be willing to leave it out for another offering.
        You know Brunson's books came out five years ago?

        That is a lifetime ago in the world of IM.

        It's not difficult...it's mindset. Nothing amazing about it. That offer I told you about was accomplished with a team of 5 or 6 people, all of who were subcontractors.

        Begin with the end in mind. As long as you continue to think of yourself as alone and with no budget, you'll keep yourself trapped with cheap offerings.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post


      You want a Buyers List.

      People who buy.

      People who saw what you offered, took out their credit card, and decided to buy.

      The "You only pay S&H" is to identify BUYERS when it's done correctly.

      Make money/don't make money on that first purchase...who cares? If a certain percentage of these buyers are going to ascend and buy the back end upgrade, you're doing fine.

      .
      You beat me to it.


      A list of people that have already sent you $10 is worth ten times (or more) the list of people who sent for a freebie.

      Remember the dozens of "Get Rich Quick" infomercials, where you sent in $39.95?

      It cost a few hundred dollars to generate that one $39 sale. Why bother? Because the average $39 buyer may buy an additional $500 in services over the next few months.

      Brunson gets $10 for "Shipping and handling" for a book. I'm sure it costs him more than that to print and send the book. But once you agree to buy the book, you get an immediate series of upsells that may raise the average book sale to $50. Now, he's making a small profit, and now has a buyer.

      And buyers are what you want, because buyers...well...buy.

      And remember, the book you get, and the upsells (on the same shopping cart sale) are also marketing materials.

      If you read one of Brunson's books, you know one thing, Brunson really knows what he's doing...and you want more.

      Newbie marketers see the offer and think he must make money on the $10 shipping fee.

      Just the tip of the iceberg. All the money is in the upsells ad the back end business. Where you you think all the people come from that attend these $5,000 marketing events? Yup. They paid $10 for a book, and the selling starts.
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  • Profile picture of the author RuskinF
    Those books you buy are not free. You give your email IDs in return.
    And these are then used to spy on you.
    It is a tripwire.
    I would rather stay away from them.
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  • Profile picture of the author RamonCadiz
    It's a low ticket front end offer Russell uses to bring in new customers while paying for his advertising. Probably has up-sells as well. He's a marketing genius.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by RamonCadiz View Post

      It's a low ticket front end offer Russell uses to bring in new customers while paying for his advertising. Probably has up-sells as well. He's a marketing genius.
      I literally just explained how ascension funnels work. He is not a marketing genius. He's consistent and has more resources to take action with than you do.

      I find it so weird that I take the time to explain in detail how things work, yet people here blow past, shake their heads, and mumble, "Genius!"

      You know why people on this forum never get anywhere? And I've watched some of you for 10 years!! -- because you ignore long form content. It's "too hard". But that's where the money is. That's where the actual learning is.

      Anyway, we'll see it swiped and sold to you for $17 in someone's WSO. "Genius!" :-D :-D :-D
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  • Profile picture of the author availingsnail
    Jason kanigan great reply. Appreciate the time you put into that response!
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    Book Free... shipping handling 9.95....To Ship Media Mail about $3.00.....takes about 20 seconds to package...pretty good profit giving something away for free

    al
    Signature
    "Theater, sports, movies, and church are all driven primarily by an ancient desire to be in each other’s proximity." ~David Marcus~
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

      Book Free... shipping handling 9.95....To Ship Media Mail about $3.00.....takes about 20 seconds to package...pretty good profit giving something away for free

      al
      Maybe. It's for a 400 page hardcover book. It may have cost $6-8 to print the book, and $5 to ship it. Plus all the costs involved to advertise the offer. The upsells (on the same CC charge) are what pay for the acquisition of the new customers. I sent for 3 of his books this way, and there were several good upsells in every case. A few I bought. My one $10 purchase became $350 (I think) in one case. And even then, there are far more upsells coming over the next year. Some I bought.

      Added later; Brunson recently rewrote his three main books, adding quite a lot of content and updated them. Those are the books he's using as a tripwire now.


      Originally Posted by RuskinF View Post

      Those books you buy are not free. You give your email IDs in return.
      And these are then used to spy on you.
      It is a tripwire.
      I would rather stay away from them.
      You discovered the secret. All marketing offers are designed so that someone can spy on you. In fact, I'm reading transcripts of all your phone calls right now.

      Your Truly,
      Them.

      Added later; I just realized that these responses are in the Main section of the Forum, and not the Offline section. That explains a lot.
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    • Profile picture of the author JPs copy
      Media mail! That's it. Couldn't think of the name. Thanks!
      Signature

      John Peters | Email Copywriter
      Latest post: Who is going to read all that copy?

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  • Profile picture of the author JPs copy
    During a random trip to my local P.O., they told me if you ship any media, like a book, postage costs a flat rate of around $4.

    Anything more than $4 bucks is mark-up my friend.
    Signature

    John Peters | Email Copywriter
    Latest post: Who is going to read all that copy?

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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      Originally Posted by JPs copy View Post

      During a random trip to my local P.O., they told me if you ship any media, like a book, postage costs a flat rate of around $4.

      Anything more than $4 bucks is mark-up my friend.
      And I guess you just stick a stamp on the book cover and wait for the P.O. to come pick it up.

      Seems nobody here has any experience of mail order.
      Signature
      TOP TIP: To browse the forum like a Pro, select "View Classic" from the drop-down menu under your user name.

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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

        And I guess you just stick a stamp on the book cover and wait for the P.O. to come pick it up.

        Seems nobody here has any experience of mail order.
        And almost certainly, Brunson is using a service. He isn't sitting at home mailing these books out.

        So you have the cost of the cardboard box, The cost of printing the book, the cost of addressing and data entry, the cost of shipping. And he's paying a fee for the service.

        There is also the printing cost of the pamphlet you get with the book, promoting a different offer.

        Has anyone here priced out what it costs to print a 400 page hardcover book?

        And writing the book, you need an editor, a person to format the book, create the cover.

        I promise...my word of honor, he has more than $10 in it. Without the upsells, (The Funnel) he would lose money Brunson practices what he preaches.

        My guess is that the book alone costs $15 to fulfill on its own.

        And..have you ever written a 400 page book? Do you think that's easy? We aren't including the months it takes to write one of these books.

        It's so easy for newbies to think "It's a scam. He makes money on the book".

        Added later; Brunson has also built up affiliate relationships with online marketers with massive lists. And he pays out between 40-50% of the money collected in affiliate commissions. On a front end offer like this, it's not unusual to pay out 100% affiliate commissions on the "free with postage" offer.

        Brunson has also done hundreds of interviews with affiliates, to promote each book. Enormous efforts

        He also sells these books on Amazon, for between $25 and $30 each. And they are top sellers right now. And there is a deep marketing effort in place to get the books sold on Amazon as well.

        There is an entire world...of marketing, joint ventures, writing, publishing, sales funnels, and back end sales...that most of you aren't seeing at all. The vast majority of the money (like in most businesses) is made on the back end, after the customer is created, and money has changed hands.




        For years, at my retail store, I ran an ad with the offer for a vacuum cleaner Tune-Up for $8. Just $8.

        Other retailers in my business were asking me how I was making money on it. They assumed that I was making money on the $8.

        With my cost of advertising, it cost me $35 for every person that came in for the $8 Tune-Up. For years, that ad made me a small fortune.

        And if they asked nicely, I would explain the reality.

        A third of the people got the Tune-Up. That's all they needed.

        A third of the people needed a repair on their vacuum cleaner, an average profit of $50.

        A third of the people bought a new vacuum cleaner, for an average price of $600.

        Marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author mandiradebnath
    Russel Brunsons book, really new name to me. Well, I will read this book to know about the topic shared by you.
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  • Profile picture of the author sharp21
    Sorry for the delay in reply; I've been offshore.

    I've finished the book and he breaks down the entire ladder. The book costs $16 to deliver, but once the average cart price is accounted for, the entire book campaign ends up making a small profit. So he is essentially getting paid for taking on sales qualified leads.

    Jason, your explanations have been great, thank you. What you described is exactly what he's doing. I take your point on thinking I'm in this on my own and have started looking at sub-contracting some aspects.

    And further point taken about long form copywriting being king! That's the key skillset I'm working on now.
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  • Profile picture of the author 1Bryan
    Just so you know. On Youtube, Russell breaks it all down. You don't need outsiders. He tells you all you need to know. Frank Kern does the same thing on his $ 5.60 offer.

    P.S. Offer is King. Copywriting isn't. The right offer to the right audience trumps copywriting. Source: Professional Copywriter ... Me!!!
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