In the past year, several really good Internet marketing books have come out from A-list Internet marketers.  I define A-List as marketers who generated over $10 million in sales per year. In these books, the authors describe some of their flagship framework.  Like any good Internet marketer, the book is the front end of an expensive course available online.  And, many of these books is the beginning of a sophisticated book funnel.

I could have provided links to the books location on Amazon, but where’s the fun in that?  You will learn a LOT more if I link into each author’s book funnel.  Several offer a free+shipping book order option and will upsell you on the course.  I encourage you to follow these links and study every piece of the book funnel:

  • The landing page
  • The order form
  • The OTO upsell pages and scripts
  • The follow-up email sequence

DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson

DOTCOM Secrets is my new fadotcom-secretsvorite internet marketing book. Russell really teaches the strategies behind Internet marketing and builds on the concepts piece by piece.  I fell in love with the simple diagrams, and once I understood the diagrams, have been able to use them in my own projects.

Russell Brunson is one of the founders of ClickFunnels, one of the tools I use to build out funnels.   As a funnel “engineer,” Russell breaks down all the pieces and psychology of building a solid internet business.  Then, he shows you how to market your business using funnels, write sales scripts that sell your products, and drive traffic to those funnels.  This is NOT a book about how to build the products themselves, but how to market those products once you’ve identified your ideal customer and how you can best add value to their lives.

Russell actually practices what he teaches in his book.  You can find examples of almost every technique described in the book on his ClickFunnels or Dotcom Secrets websites.

I’m slowly working my way through the book, trying out various scripts and funnel techniques both in my own online course, Book Funnel Secrets, and for my various High Value Publishing clients. The key here is to learn when to use each of the 23 building blocks of a funnel (see diagram below).  I will probably spend the next several years learning all of the techniques in the book. So far, I’ve used about 10 of these building blocks to great success.


If you’re interested in funnels, Russell is offering a free video training series called Extreme Funnel Makeover (affiliate link) and 3 free funnels (book funnel, supplement funnel and high ticket funnel). Definitely worth a look.

23 Building Blocks of a Funnel

Russell is a big advocate of the free+shipping funnel and used that type of funnel to sell over 15,000 copies of his book and make over $1 million in revenue through order bumps and upselling two online courses.  You can actually get a walk-thru of Russell’s Dotcom Secrets Free + Shipping funnel on the video below.

Russell has a daily Periscope that is worth subscribing to.  Just search @russellbrunson from the Periscope app.  You can see the archives from Russell’s Scopes on his Dotcom Secrets blog.


Invisible Selling Machine by Ryan Deiss



Invisible Selling Machine by Ryan Deiss does an amazing job of walking the reader through a series of automated email sequences.  Your prospect opts into one of your lead magnets and starts on an automated guided journey, moving from cold prospect to hot customer.

These email series include:

  • Indoctrination.  A one-time sequence of 3-4 emails designed to build trust whenever someone opts into one of your lead magnets. This sequence does NOT sell anything. It links to your best posts, especially your getting started posts.
  • Upsell. This is a series that gets someone who opted into your lead magnet to buy your tripwire, a low-cost product ($7-20) that turns a prospect into a buyer.  A buyer is 4x more likely to become a repeat buyer, than turning a non-buyer into a buyer.
  • Ascension. This is a series of emails designed to get someone who purchased your tripwire, but did not buy your core offer, to point them back to the core offer.
  • Segmentation.  This automation segments your audience into niche interest buckets.  For example, someone who opts into a Women’s Devotional, is likely to be a woman who like devotionals.  Typically, these enter someone into a funnel.  If they opt into get the free lead magnet, they would be immediately upsold a tripwire and so on.
  • Broadcast. These are your non-automated emails.
  • Transactional. Not covered in the book, but these are the automated emails that come from your eCommerce system. For example, order confirmations, shipping confirmations, abandoned cart, etc.
  • Re-engagement. This series of emails is designed to get someone who hasn’t been active to re-engage with you.  For example, at FaithGateway, we would automatically send an “We Miss You” type email if someone had not opened an email or clicked on an email link in the past six months. They would get a series of emails that offered some new lead magnets (i.e. free PDF download).  If they took us up on the offer, they would get into a segmentation series, which got them into a new funnel.

I have personally used all of these sequences with various clients.  They take a long time to setup, especially the first time, but the payoff is amazing. As part of a well-designed funnel, they are key pieces of creating an automated digital business that works for you 24 x 7.

If you follow the Invisible Selling Machine link, you will enter a segmentation series, which puts you into a Jeff Walker style launch funnel for The Machine, a $2,000 course that teaches you everything you need to know to implement the concepts outlined in this book.

Ryan is the CEO of DigitalMarketer.  They just launched a great podcast called Perpetual Traffic.  This podcast talks is all about generating traffic for your blog & offers.  Great content.


Launch by Jeff Walker

Jeff Walker is known in the internet marketing world for his Product Launch Formula (no affiliate link), which is a $2,000 course that explains how to do every piece that’s in this book.  Many of the top marketers have used Jeff’s launch funnel to launch their high-ticket courses.  Examples include Ryan Deiss, Michael Hyatt’s Platform University, Brendan Burchard’s Total Product Blueprint, and many others.  The Launch book explains the entire process, also known as the sideways sales letter.  A series of 4 videos done over a 10-day period. At the end, you open your cart, then you close the cart about a week later.  The videos are designed to do the following:

  1. Video 1: Big Promise. Kill myths. Case studies. Hook to video #2.
  2. Video 2: Transformational education. Show you how I do it. Proof of it working.  Hook to video #3.
  3. Video 3: Ownership experience. How would your life be different if you achieved the Big Promise?  Hint at the offer. Hook to video #4.
  4. Video 4: The Offer. Here’s what I got, here’s what it will do for you, here’s what you need to do now.  Bonus stacking.  Scarcity. Add to Cart.

Typically, high end courses will “close the doors” so that you can’t get in until the next quarter.  However, once someone has their launch funnel tuned, they turn it into an evergreen launch and let it run continuously.  Jeff claims that $500 million of product launches have used his Product Launch Formula.  I believe this is a very credible number and actually, very measurable.  Many of Jeff’s students report back their launch results, especially member’s of his various high-ticket mastermind groups. Like I said, many A-List internet marketers have used Jeff’s PLF (as its also known) to launch their products.

Chapter 9 is about the Seed Launch.  This is a powerful and motivating chapter for someone starting from scratch.

Jeff Walker’s eNewsletter is worth subscribing for the weekly motivational video blogs.


Ask by Ryan Levesque

Ryan is known for his Survey Funnel. This is one of the most sophisticated an complex funnels. The concept is simple. You don’t guess what your customers want, you ask them.

Jeff Walker built a free+shipping funnel for Ask that you can find here.  It’s a 6-step process that is outlined on the flowchart below.


  1. Prepare.  The process starts with a one-time deep dive survey.  This is where you ask a few questions, including at least one open-ended question (fill in the blank).  This first step is critical to the process, because you learn what is important to your potential customers, what language they use to describe their problems, and who is ready to get started now (i.e. they give you long detailed answers and include their phone numbers).  The analysis of this deep dive survey should help you segment your market into four minor “buckets” of interest.
  2. Persuade. This is a landing page where you ask prospects to fill out a survey.
  3. Segment. This is the relatively quick survey that helps you segment your audience. The questions help you segment your audience into the buckets you discovered in the Prepare phase.
  4. Prescribe. Based on the answers to the Segment survey, you send them to a one of four video sales letter that address their specific concern.  So, let’s say you had a nutritional program that addressed four major problems–diabetes, high cholesterol, post-menopause, and chronic fatigue. Based on the Segment survey results, you would send the prospect to a video sales letter (VSL) that addressed that specific problem to provide a solution.
  5. Profit. This is where you sell them on the solution your presented in the Prescribe VSL.
  6. Pivot.  In the Pivot step, you can send someone back to the Segment series to see if they want to buy something else. There are two series of emails, one for buyers and one for non-buyers. For buyers, you’re giving them another product/service to buy.  For non-buyers, you’re making sure they don’t want to buy the first offer by ratcheting up the urgency, ending with a “Do you hate me?” type tongue & cheek email.

As I mentioned above, this is a very sophisticated marketing funnel, but is quite powerful if you have an audience that has various levels of need.  For example, you have a training product for golfers–there is a world if difference between beginner, intermediate, advanced, and professional golfers.  If you segmented your product into those four categories, you could address specific needs of that segment within the golfer market.


What’s Your Favorite Marketing Book?

Let me know in the comments below.  I’m an avid reader and appreciate recommendations from my friends and colleagues.

Mark Houston Smith
Mark Houston Smith

Founder of High Value Publishing. Follow me: Website / Twitter / Facebook

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