Traffic Secrets by Russel Brunson - my notes

  • My rating: 5/5
  • As with all of Russel’s books, packed with actionable advice backed by real-world experiences.

Main Takeaways

  • When amateurs buy ads, they try to get an immediate return on their investment. They try to sell a product right away. Pros, on the other hand, play the long game. They purely focus on providing value and converting as many people in their target market as possible. At the most, they might offer a cheap no-brainer product that allows them to break even. But pros understand that all the real money is made once you’ve established a proper relationship. So they focus on getting people’s attention, then they provide value in exchange for someone’s email address, then they sell them maybe a cheap no-brainer product, then foster the relationship and eventually make 10x more on their initial investment by playing the long game. Same on social media. Amateurs try to sell their product right away. Pros focus on providing value and building a relationship.
  • Funnel stacking is the process of moving people from one funnel to the next. You start with a free offer, then move them to a low-ticket offer, then a mid-ticket offer, then a high-ticket offer. This is how you can afford to pay more for traffic than your competitors. Whoever can afford to pay the most for traffic wins. And funnel stacking is how you maximize LTV.
  • You need a show. A show is a platform where you shine the spotlight on other people. It’s the core of the Dream 100 strategy. If you have a show, people will answer your calls. No successful person needs another friend. What almost everyone needs, however, is access to a platform, and that gives you the ability to get your foot in the door, build friendships, and start partnerships. This is the key to working your way in. “What is the big result that you’re obsessed with? What are you trying to learn for yourself anyway that you can document as you’re discovering it in real time?” Inside of this frame, you can talk about, share, and interview people on anything related to it. It’s also the best way to nurture relationships with people that came into your world and build trust.
  • There are different kind of buyers: emotional buyers, analytical buyers, and FOMO buyers. You need to address all of them in your sales copy. Russel first addresses the emotional buyers, then the analytical buyers, and finally the FOMO buyers on every sales page, in every email sequence, and in every webinar.
  • Shadow funnels become more and more important. People often no longer click directly on ads or reply to cold emails. They type the information they saw into Google and do their own research. Buyers are becoming more sophisticated and sellers have to adapt. So the way you present yourself when people type in your or your product’s name is key.
  • All successfull serial entrepreurs have mastered exactly one distribution channel. That’s their one big secret.
  • Understanding your market’s awareness of your solution is key. If people are not aware that they have a problem or that there is a solution you have to talk to them very differently. There is no point using technical terms if your market is largely uneducated about your offer.

On Traffic and Funnels

“When I’m buying ads, sure, I want to sell a product, but, more importantly, I want to get those people on a list first. Because when I buy an ad, I’m getting them to click once. When they join my lists, I can email them as often as I like for free, instead of just getting them to click once. It’s the same with traffic that I earn. I want to direct these people into funnels where I get their information and get them on to my lists. That way I can follow up with them over and over again.”

“All of the traffic I control and earn is always pushed into a front-end funnel that will ask for the visitor to give me their email address, subscribe to a Messenger list, or both. That way, I can convert them from traffic that I control or earn into traffic that I own, where I can market to them for free, over and over again.”

“List building is a completely different investment model. I might have to pay anywhere from $1 to $5 per lead in Facebook. For this example, let’s use the top number. If I paid $5 per lead and only spent $5,000, I would generate 1,000 leads. If I averaged $1 per month per name, after five months I would break even, and after that I would have a positive cash flow of $1,000 per month.”

“In my follow-up funnels, I sent those 14,205 people emails with free videos to build a relationship with them. A few days later, I invited them to come watch my webinar where I taught them how ClickFunnels worked to grow as a company. Not all wanted to watch the web class, but 1,129 did and registered for it. At the end of the web class, we sold a product for $2,997, and 57 people bought it (grossing us $170,829).”

“The next set of emails in my follow-up funnel would be focused on introducing them to the next funnel in my value ladder. For this example, let’s say it was one of my free book funnels. I would send them three emails inviting them to get a free copy of my book when they cover shipping. Those who get a free copy will be taken through that sales funnel, and I should make some profit from each book buyer. In this example, on average, I would make $1.00”

“The next step in the follow-up funnel would be to move them into one of my higher ticket funnels. We call this “funnel stacking.” In this example, the next thing I would invite them to is one of my web classes. I might send a few more emails inviting them to register for the webinar. After they went through that webinar sequence and I made an offer for one of my higher ticket products, the average dollar per lead would increase past the $3.00 I spent for the lead.”

“When I first started on my online journey, I heard Mike Litman say, “Amateurs focus on the first sale.”13 I didn’t really understand what that meant until I started using follow-up funnels and realized that I could spend way more money to acquire a customer than I initially believed. Dan Kennedy once said, “Ultimately, the business that can spend the most to acquire a customer wins.”14 With good funnels and a strong follow-up funnel, you can increase how much money you can spend to acquire a customer.”

On Lead Nurturing

“When someone first joins my list, I take them through a process called the Soap Opera Sequence. We call it that because the emails aren’t stand-alone messages, but instead we will use multiple emails to tell a story, where each email hooks you to read the next email in a way that is similar to how a good soap opera will use their storyline to pull you from episode to episode. In these emails, we tell our readers a story that will build a relationship and rapport. That way, they’ll be more likely to keep reading our emails, clicking on our links, and buying our products. The second type of communication is the Daily Seinfeld Emails that are more similar to episodes of the Seinfeld show. Each email is a stand-alone message that has a hook, tells a story, and then pushes back to your core offer. We use these each day as we send a broadcast to our list with a goal of getting them back into our funnels. Some people have thought that these two ideas were opposing, and others have asked how they fit into the follow-up funnel framework.”

“We start “Season Two” of our Soap Opera Sequence (SOS) with the stories behind the new product/funnel that we’re introducing them to. We transition the SOS from us (the Attractive Character) to the first product we want to introduce. The SOS moves through emotion, logic, and fear, and it guides people into and through that first funnel. When it’s over, we move to “season three” of our SOS and start our new story about the new product/funnel that we’re introducing them to.”

“The Daily Seinfeld Emails come after someone has moved through all the Soap Opera Sequences inside of the value ladder and they are done with our follow-up funnels. In a perfect world, we’d have follow-up funnels that lasted 40 years, but the reality is that most good follow-up funnels are effective for 30–60 days. After that, people drop off the core list that has ascended your people through your value ladder, and then they’re moved to our daily broadcast list. This is the list that we use to send our daily story-based (Seinfeld) emails to lead people to our new front-end offers and get them to re-register for our webinars and promote our blog posts, podcast episodes, and affiliate offers. This is the bucket we put people into after they have dropped out of the back end of our follow-up funnel.”

On the importance of having a show

“When you have your own show, everyone answers your calls. Earlier we talked a lot about the Dream 100, and how you can work your way in or buy your way in. In either of those situations, you have more leverage when you have your own show, or your own platform.”

“When Arsenio had a talk show, if he called anyone (even the future president of the United States), they would take the call because they knew that he could provide a platform for them that they couldn’t get otherwise. Your platform is the true value that you have to provide your Dream 100. It’s more valuable than money, gifts, or anything. The Dream 100 want exposure, and your platform can provide that for them.”

“The key to success with your show is how many people you can get to actually consume what you’re creating. You might be able to rely on each platform promoting you for free, but I never like to include that as part of my marketing plans. Sometimes we’ll create an episode that goes viral and we’ll get millions of views for free, but that’s not something we bank on.”

“None of these people needed another friend. They did need, however, access to my platform, and so that gave me the ability to get my foot in the door, build friendships, and start partnerships. This is the key to working your way in.”

“you need to focus on just two channels: your primary distribution channel (email) and your primary show channel.”

“I was just telling stories of my own and from my clients.”

“Step #1) Publish daily for at least a year: The first commitment that you have to make is that you will be consistent. I knew when I started that if I didn’t find a platform that was easy for me and easy to create the content, I wouldn’t be consistent. What platform makes the most sense for you? How and when are you going to publish? Do you wake up each morning and write a 1,000-word blog post before lunch? Do you do a Facebook Live before you go to bed each night sharing the day’s lessons? What works for you that will help you to be consistent? If you can publish every day for a year, you’ll never have to worry about money problems again. During the process, you will find your voice, and your audience will have time to find you.”

“I’m not publishing because I know everything about this topic, I’m publishing because I’m obsessed with this topic. I’m in a constant search for new and better ways to market my own company, and as I run across them, have ideas, and read cool things, I’m sharing them with my people.”

“Rich Schefren once told me, “We get paid a lot to think for other people.””

““What is the big result that you’re obsessed with? What are you trying to learn for yourself anyway that you can document as you’re discovering it in real time?””

“the more you publish and test your material, the clearer your message will become and the more people you will attract.”

“So your job now is to look at your Dream 100 and start asking them to be on your show. Many will say no, but don’t let that stop you. You only need one yes.”

“This was the big “aha” that I needed! Social wasn’t about selling. It was about making friends. I changed my tactics, deleted all my posts that were trying to sell my products, and started serving, interacting, being entertaining, and having fun with my followers. All the friends, fans, and followers that came afterward were a direct by-product of me being the life of the party.”

“When someone comes into my world (i.e., joins my list), one of the first things I try to get them to do is to subscribe to my Marketing Secrets podcast. If I can take them off whatever platform they found me, have them leave their inbox, and have them plug me into their ears, I’ll be able to have more of an influence than anything else I could possibly do.”

On the importance of endurance and action

“Nathan Barry, wrote this post recently, “Endure Long Enough to Get Noticed””

“Because in the end, the creative (or how “beautiful” someone thinks your content is) is going to be subjective. What’s not subjective is the fact that you need to start putting yourself out there and keep swinging.”

“They’re pondering and strategizing instead of making. They’re debating what’s going to happen when they haven’t even looked at what’s in front of them.”

On different types of buyers

“Every sales page we create has this same style because it addresses the emotion, logic, and fear messages in the order required to create the sale.”

“The next 30 percent of buyers are a little bit harder to convince. They’re the analytical buyers. They may have felt something emotionally, but they need to be able to logically convince themselves that the purchase is right for them. Often they’re afraid of what others will think if they buy it, because they have a fear that their status will decrease if the product doesn’t work for them. So under this top section of the page, I transition my message to speak toward their logic. I explain why this is a good deal and compare it to other investments they could make. I also let them know about the money-back guarantee if it doesn’t work so they won’t risk a decrease in status. Lastly, I try to use as much risk reversal as possible. The last 20 percent of buyers aren’t as motivated by emotion or logic, but they are motivated by a fear of missing out (FOMO). The only thing that will get them to take the leap is for them to be afraid that you’re going to take it away. Urgency comes from you giving them all the reasons why they need to buy it now, and scarcity comes from all the reasons why this will be gone soon. For this last group, I close almost every sales presentation, letter, and sequence focusing on urgency and scarcity.”

On the importance of hooks

“To catch your dream customers, you simply need to throw out enough hooks in an area where your dream customers are congregating.”

“Anything that grabs someone’s attention is a hook, and the better you get at creating it and throwing it into your Dream 100’s congregations, the more attention you will get.”

“The hook is the thing that grabs someone’s attention so you can tell them a story. You see thousands of hooks every day. Every email subject line is a hook, trying to grab your attention for just a moment so you’ll read that email. Every post, picture, and video you see in your feed on Facebook is a hook that is trying to get you to engage so they can tell you a story and then make you an offer. Every picture on Instagram, thumbnail on YouTube, and headline on a blog is a hook designed to grab your attention. We see hooks all the time, yet it’s hard to define exactly what they are.”

“I always picture my end customer sitting on the toilet or lying in bed, or sitting on the couch in the moments of their day that they are alone, holding their phone, scrolling through their feed on Facebook or Instagram. What hooks can I throw out that will…”

On the Dream 100 strategy

“The goal of the Dream 100 is to take your ideal buyers from ‘I’ve never heard of this company’ to ‘What is this company I keep hearing about?’ to ‘I think I’ve heard of that company’ to ‘Yes, I’ve heard of that company’ to ‘Yes, I do business with that company.’”

“For every platform, I would research and find the people who already had my dream customers, add them to my list, and send them messages to introduce myself. My Dream 100 list grew into my Dream 200, then my Dream 500. By the time ClickFunnels was ready to go live, it had become my Dream 736. I remember looking at that list the day before the launch, thinking that these people had already congregated my dream customers and already had relationships with them. I just had to figure out ways to get my message in front of these audiences.”

“As soon as I identify someone as being part of my Dream 100, I immediately start digging my well. I personally do this in a few ways. First, I subscribe to everything that my Dream 100 are publishing. If they’re on your Dream 100, they probably publish on at least one, if not many, different platforms. I’ll listen to their podcast, read their blog, watch their stories on Instagram, and join their email newsletter because there will likely be a time in the near future that I’ll have the chance to actually speak to them. I’ve met people in the past who have somehow made it through all of my gatekeepers and got a precious few minutes of my time, and I’ve figured out within seconds that they didn’t know who I was and only cared about what they thought I could do for them. These conversations never turned into anything fruitful for either of us. To avoid that situation, do your homework so that when your moment comes with your Dream 100 person, you’re prepared to talk about them. Ask them questions about their life, things they post, and topics they care about.”

“After subscribing to my Dream 100’s content, I try to buy some of their products. This allows me to see their funnels and what they’re selling on their backend and get a good idea of what they are doing. We call this process “funnel hacking,” where you go through their sales process to get ideas of what is working in this market as well as being able to get on their customer lists to see what types of things they send to their customers. When you’re a customer, you can tell them why you love their products. Few things build rapport better and faster than being able to tell someone that you’re a happy customer.”

“The third and last thing I do is look for ways that I can serve my Dream 100. Remember, right now I’m not asking them to do anything for me. I’m digging my well before I’m thirsty to see what I can offer them. One of the best things I can do to help someone after buying their product or listening to their podcast or reading their blog is to talk about it socially. I may make a post on my Facebook wall or on my Instagram stories talking about an awesome podcast I heard or product I bought, telling other people that they should go buy it while tagging my Dream 100 person in the post. I’ve found that this is one of the easiest things I do to get someone’s attention and provide value to them, but it could be anything from sending them a gift to creating videos or images that they could use for their own marketing.”

“Our strategy to grow our podcast following: build our Dream 100 list of podcasts that our dream customers were already listening to, and then go and work our way in. We messaged every podcast that we could find in our industry and asked them if I could be interviewed on their podcast. When I was interviewed, I was asked the question that almost every podcast host asks: “For those who have enjoyed this episode, how can they learn more about you?” And my answer was always the same: “I have my new podcast called Marketing Secrets, and if you go to or search for me here in Apple Podcasts, you can subscribe and get my best marketing secrets twice a week!””

On Shadow Funnels

“For example, when someone sees an ad for any of your products, you’re capturing the percentage of people that buy immediately. However, there’s actually a bigger percentage of people who see your ad, and, regardless if they click through or not, don’t buy. Instead, they might open a new tab and search for you in Google. This is the beginning of the shadow funnel.”

““First, they’ll type in your name, then your company’s name, and finally the product’s name. They’re looking for ratings, reviews, and anything they can find to prove your credibility. They’ll visit your blogs and social media accounts, including your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles. They’ll join your lists, read your emails, and listen to your podcasts. From this research, they’ll start to form an opinion of your company. At this point, the ad that started them on this journey is long gone, and when they’re ready to move forward toward your value ladder, they’ll actively search for information on where to start.””

On mastering one distribution channel

“The same is true with Mark and every other shark or dragon who has ever been on the show. They each have built and mastered one distribution channel, and they’re looking for products they can plug into it. That’s the big secret.”

“There’s an unlimited number of ways to do this. The key is to keep your eyes open for streams of traffic and distribution channels that people own; then figure out how to buy ads in them. Each new distribution channel you plug into will give you a raise. Every day when I come into the office, the first thing I ask myself before I get out of my car is, “How can I give myself a raise today?” Immediately, my mind will start looking for distribution channels in my market that I can tap into. Sometimes I’ll remember a website, a blog, or an email list that I’ve been on forever that I forgot about. When your mind is looking for these opportunities, somehow they start jumping out at you.”

On integration marketing

“Mark Joyner, whom I introduced you to earlier in this book, wrote a book called Integration Marketing about a decade ago. It shifted my mind-set from just finding distribution channels and buying ads in them to figuring out ways that we could integrate into the actual sales processes of our Dream 100.”

“For example, let’s say I find a partner who is getting 1,000 new leads into their funnels every day. Instead of just buying an ad one time to that list, what if my email was sent to every new lead on their email list on day three? That way, I set up the deal once, but I get the benefit of that integration every day. Now, every day 1,000 new people get my message. I’m now integrated into my partner’s sales process, and as they grow their company, mine grows as well!”

“For instance, after a person buys their domain, gets a logo design, or gets their business set up, they’re introduced to us. We set up many of these deals years ago, and because we’re integrated into our partners’ distribution channels, tons of customers are driven to us every day without us having to do anything again.”

On cold traffic

“Thus far, I’ve focused on two types of traffic: warm traffic (the fans and followers and lists of your Dream 100) and hot traffic (your own list). For most companies, this is all that you will ever need to focus on. I strongly believe that you can build most companies to multiple eight figures a year just by focusing on warm traffic and then turning it into hot traffic. If you want to scale beyond that, though, you’ll have to master one other type of traffic: cold traffic.”

“To me, it meant that traffic that was cold needed to be spoken to differently than traffic that was warm or hot because they weren’t even aware that a solution existed, let alone that there was a product to solve their problem.”

“To illustrate this, I’ll share a test we use to see if something will work well with super cold traffic. Imagine I walk into the food court at the mall and see 300 people sitting at tables, eating lunch and minding their own business, completely unaware of what I’m doing. If I stood on top of a chair and shouted from the top of my lungs, “Hey! Who here would like to grow their companies using sales funnels?”, what do you think would happen? You guessed it: they’d probably look at the crazy guy on the chair for a second and instantly go back to eating. Chances are almost no one would raise their hands. But if I pulled up that same chair and I changed what I yelled at the top of my lungs to “Who here wants a moneymaking website?” I bet half the food court would raise their hands. Interestingly enough, the solution to both these problems is that they need a funnel, but to the people who are more unaware, my language doesn’t make sense to them. The difference in talking to hot, warm, and cold traffic is the language that you use. “Funnels” don’t make sense to the masses, so I have to change my language to “money-making website” to match what they would understand. After I have their hands raised, I can educate them on a certain type of website called a funnel, and I can help them to become solution aware. Finally, after they’ve warmed up, they’ll be more willing to make a purchasing decision.”

“They didn’t take people directly from a cold ad into a warm funnel. Instead, they took them through a warming-up process to prepare them for the warm funnel. After I saw that, I was ready for round two!”

“We then wrote an article landing page which would become our cold traffic pre-frame bridge. When we bought our next solo ad to the list, we sent all the traffic to this article page. From the article page, we directed them to a lead funnel that captured their email address, and then we built a follow-up funnel that led them to different posts on our blog, videos on YouTube, and other places where we had strategically placed content to warm them up. Eventually, we introduced them to our front-end offer after we had warmed them up.”

Written on August 19, 2023

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