In the list of the best marketing books of all times, DotCom Secrets might not be up there.
It might appear on a Top 50 list, but you may not see it on a Top 10.
And that’s a good thing because this actionable advice is not for everyone. Since its inception in 2015, DotCom Secrets continues to be one of those guerilla, cult-classics, the veritable Bible of the underdog marketer.
The only question is if a book written in 2015 could really live up to the digital landscape, selling tactics, and audience expectations of current times.
Review of: DotCom Secrets
Summary: Dotcom Secrets teaches you timeless marketing strategies to start and grow a business online. Everything that the book outlines is actionable and fundamental to expanding and scaling your revenue.
First off, the 254-page DotCom Secrets book is jammed with information that’s easy to read, but incredibly in-depth with its details and actionable content.
Secondly, it covers everything you need to know about:
Now, this DotCom Secrets review is not designed to sell this book to you because you can get DotCom Secrets for free.
Instead, this DotCom Secrets review should show you how I used the book to gain real results in my own business. From here, you need to decide for yourself if these results are something you want and if they’re results you can handle.
Here’s what this DotCom Secrets review will cover:
What is DotCom Secrets?
Have you ever needed a reference book that gives you everything you need about growing your company in a sustainable way?
Well, DotCom Secrets can do you one better. Instead of a dusty old book, Russell Brunson has created a playbook for growing your business using effective lead generation and sales methods.
The best part is that you can use these strategies both online and offline.
And these strategies are completely evergreen.
This matters because, everytime you try to implement new online marketing strategies, Google updates their algorithm or Facebook changes the way you target leads. All of a sudden, your perfectly devised tactics become obsolete.
So if you’re trying to figure out if what you’re selling will work with the insights that the DotCom Secrets book offers, read on. It’s easier to understand what DotCom Secrets isn’t before you make use of the different types of “secrets” within.
One of Russell Brunson’s original mentors, Dan Kennedy highlights how so-called “online marketing wizards” want to convince you that,
“Everything in the online media, marketing and business world is shiny and new, constantly changing, and untethered from the old rules, principles, facts, and math of successful advertising and marketing.”
Instead, the Dot Com Secret way is to:
To get the most of the DotCom Secrets book, take Dan Kennedy’s advice in stride:
“Don’t go into this book in lust for a new, cool, quick, easy “fix” or nifty “toy” or
clever gimmick that might make you money today but require you to find another and another and another, at frantic pace.
Go into this book in search of deep understanding and profound clarity about the
structure and science of effective marketing to be applied in the online media universe.”
If you’re ready to learn about what the differences between a ten-thousand-dollar website and a ten-million-dollar company are, and how you can mimic this level of success, I recommend you read this review closely.
The DotCom Secrets Curriculum:
What You Should Expect to Learn
The first time you open the Dot Com Secrets book, you’ll meet a dense whopper of a text. Now, I’m pretty sure you don’t want to do more reading than necessary, so I’ll give you the main takeaways from each section.
However, everything we cover will open your eyes to just how much detail and precise action Russell Brunson has managed to pack — let alone amass in all his years of collecting junk mail and reverse-engineering the most effective marketing strategies.
The book is broken up into five sections, but the very last section is about ClickFunnels. Make sure to check out my detailed ClickFunnels review if you want to learn more. The funnel building software is what Russell Brunson and Todd Dickerson created when they had had enough of manually building every aspect of a funnel system from scratch.
Section #1: Ladders and Funnels
Ladders and funnels are both concepts and the building blocks of your online business. Your first foray into the DotCom Secrets book will help you understand the most common aspects of online marketing.
At the same time, this section of the book doesn’t overwhelm because all the concepts are set against the context of a funnel. Even though they’re called “secrets,” ladders and funnels prove to be a foundational idea regardless of whether you use a funnel for your business or not.
All I can say is, expect an explosion of “Aha moments!”
Secret #1: The Secret Formula
Before you get started in business, funnel building or not, the “secret formula” is the starting point for anyone who plans to serve customers.
There are four main questions you’ll flesh out, including:
Not only does this section help you find answers to these questions, the insights you’ll gain from this part of the DotCom Secrets book will influence everything from traffic to positioning.
Secret #2: The Value Ladder
Next up is the value ladder. Now, these are not strictly “secrets,” but these are definitely the major cornerstones for growing your company — whether online or offline.
This is a major section, so pay attention.
Number one, not everyone is going to buy from you. Number two, people won’t all jump right away to a high value purchase. Why? Because:
Value ladders come into play before you ever build out a sales funnel. And you can literally create one for any kind of business. Mapping out a value ladder for your business also encourages you to create more products and services than just a one time offer.
The best part about the value ladder is that it can become a road map to residual and recurring income. Russell shows you exactly how to make this happen in DotCom Secrets.
Secret #3: Going From a Ladder to a Funnel
With that nice baseline built, you’ll progress to transforming your ladder into a sales funnel that actually executes each of your offers. This is one of the most powerful aspects to DotCom Secrets, distinguishing it from all other online business books.
This section shows you exactly how to:
Secret #4: How to Find Your Dream Customers
As an internet marketer, making a funnel work is not the hard part — it’s usually finding prospects and convincing them to move through your funnel. There are proven strategies that persuade people time and again.
This section of DotCom Secrets shows you how.
Secret #5: The Three Types of Traffic
Most people arrive at the idea of traffic from a pretty conventional standpoint.
We’re all focused on learning about the “sources” of traffic, how much it might cost, and how to “set them up.” But with a small shift in perspective, you’ll realize that these ways about thinking about traffic is what’s holding you up.
In DotCom Secrets, Russell Brunson advocates that you look at traffic in one of three ways, if you plan to experience really exponential growth:
From this vantage point, everything you know about traffic so far just becomes semantics. This section of DotCom Secrets dives deep into how you can harness both traffic you control and don’t control and transform it into traffic you own.
Section #2: Follow-Up Funnels (Communication)
Talking about converting traffic you control and don’t control into traffic you own leads us nicely into how to communicate with the audience you build (i.e. the traffic you finally own!).
Before we get into the power of your communication funnel (and how to build it), I want to draw your attention to something about the DotCom Secrets content:
Everything you’re learning about is so intuitive to the business-building process. But we often skip over these really important parts.
The gaps we leave behind when we can’t be bothered to do these kinds of fine-tuned and foundational exercises is what keeps your business and revenue potential stuck and makes you feel frustrated.
Russell has thought about every aspect of the big puzzle.
Think of each of these “DotCom Secrets” as one more step in the massive money-making machine you’re building.
Secret #6: The Attractive Character
Creating and articulating who you are through your emails is what’s going to keep your audience engaged, interested, and continuously buying from you.
Without a clear, unique, and authentic voice, no one will be able to connect with you.
Now, many people think that an “attractive character” means creating a bulletproof, perfect, does-no-wrong, alpha-badass persona.
The reality couldn’t be further from this. The truth is that attractive means authentic. And authenticity is all about sharing your flaws, imperfections, learning points, struggles, losses, and wins.
(Hint: Your attractive character is an expanded version of you, a version who is not afraid to share and put out your story in public).
Secret #7: The SOAP Opera Sequence
The next part of personal branding is all about taking your “who” (the Attractive Character) and connecting it with the “how” — in this case, how you’ll communicate with people in your audience.
Russell’s recommendation (as pioneered by the original “king” of winning email sequences, Andre Chaperon) is to use something known as the SOAP Opera sequence. It’s basically all about using story-driven email marketing to create loyal “superfans.”
Here’s the thing about the SOAP Opera sequence: it syncs up perfectly with the “journey” that is a funnel. Over a series of five sends, this sequence hooks in your audiences and then sets them up to look forward to, even wait, for your next appearance in their inbox.
This is how you build a relationship over time.
P.S. Russell also shares these FIVE email templates in DotCom Secrets, so you’re really not starting from scratch here.
Secret #8: The Daily Seinfeld Sequence
So you’ve got a pretty compelling autoresponder series that’s ready to go. But what do you do for email communications designed to nurture and connect with people on a consistent basis?
Fact: You will make way more money if you communicate with your email list on a frequent and consistent basis.
The Daily Seinfeld sequence, however, shows you how exactly to go about doing this. The section includes plenty of suggestions for email topics and specific examples that you can use to fill in with your own details.
Section #3: Funnelology
Here’s an open secret:
This is the best part of the DotCom Secrets book.
Everything you’ve been working on and defining so far all leads up to this moment. The good news is that you won’t be struggling because you’ve already done the work.
The even better news is that you won’t be shooting in the dark with a sales funnel setup. In DotCom Secrets, Russell shows you exactly how to “ethically steal” the high-revenue-generating sales funnels of any successful business owner (also known as funnel hacking).
Let’s get started!
Reverse-Engineering a Successful Funnel
Look, a successful sales funnel process has several moving parts. Even if you reverse-engineer or break down someone else's funnel, you may easily become overwhelmed with the different aspects of funnel building.
In DotCom Secrets, Russell tackles the process of sales funnels in five different parts:
This is a system that works — only if you know how to work it.
The Seven Phases of a Funnel
People think that the difference between six, seven, and eight-figure businesses come down to:
Sure, these make a difference. However, the main difference is…
Find out for yourself!
Make sure to go through this section of DotCom Secrets with a fine-toothed comb because the true secret to selling more sits in this section.
The Twenty-Three Building Blocks of a Funnel
Not all phases of a funnel are created equally. You’ll need specific landing pages designed to capture your prospect’s attention at each part of the funnel.
In this section, you’ll learn about 23 “building blocks,” which are specific landing page formats. You can use these to complete a funnel stage and ensure people move on to the next stage.
Frontend v.s. Backend Funnels
There is a different psychology occurring when people are at the start of a funnel, with a low-priced, introductory product, versus the end of a funnel, with a high-ticket package.
This section (and the next part of the DotCom Secrets book) will pull together all the funnel and scripts you’ll need to finally put your business product or service out there.
The big picture is a well-oiled machine that sets profit generation on auto:
The Best Bait
There is a word — and a concept — that humans absolutely cannot resist.
And that’s the promise of free.
In fact, if you grab the DotCom Secrets free plus shipping offer, you’ll be able to observe this concept in practice.
But Russell goes way beyond just rebuilding the DotCom Secrets funnel. Instead, he shows you how to leverage the power of words to create a totally irresistible one time offer that converts like crazy.
Section #4: Funnels and Scripts
The Funnels and Scripts section is all about exact templates you can use at any point in your funnel sequences. It covers both the templates for how to structure your prospect’s journey and the actual scripts you’ll need.
If you’re looking for an interactive copy of the combination of funnels and scripts, you should check out Russell’s unique, automated copywriting software called Funnel Scripts.
This section of DotCom Secrets is just a starting point for testing and tweaking your sales funnels. But now you can see why the DotCom Secrets book is a resource you’ll return to again and again.
There are three specific kinds of funnels you can use to “onboard” leads. That’s what the frontend funnel is all about. These include:
1. Two-Step — Free Plus Shipping
2. Self-Liquidating Offer
Funnels featured in DotCom Secrets that are for the middle of the customer journey include:
1. Perfect Webinar
2. Invisible Perfect Webinar
3. Product Launch
And, finally, the “backend” of the funnel is for prospects (or people) who are at the very height of familiarity with your personal brand and your offers. As far as product or service awareness goes, they’re at the most optimal point to be served up the most expensive but high-value offer.
Ideally, as DotCom Secrets shows you, your prospect will experience all of these funnels in due course.
That means they’ll be a loyal subscriber and progress down the path of your brand’s awareness, graduating from tripwire (frontend funnels) to high-value purchase (backend funnel) as the know-like-trust factor kicks in!
Who Can Make the Best Use of This Playbook for Growing a Business?
There’s a reason that the DotCom Secrets book has been around since 2015. It’s likely to continue on for as long as sales funnels are used — and we’re only getting started with the efficacy and use of selling using funnels.
So far, funnels have remained at the very fringes of digital marketing, almost a secret themselves. For five years since DotCom Secrets has been available, funnels have been one way to sell but not the way to sell.
However, the collision of several factors — such as an increase in search intent, social media platform sophistication, an even greater number of individuals starting an online business — has brought us all to a sort of “watershed” moment.
Selling online is becoming the standard, not the exception, and that’s no secret. It’s why this book is going to be one of the main building blocks in the psychology and practice of funnels.
DotCom Secrets provides the exact knowledge for all kinds of entrepreneurs and small businesses, including:
Basically, DotCom Secrets is all about starting and growing a business online that leaves nothing to guesswork. Everything that the book outlines is actionable and fundamental to expanding and scaling your revenue.
Three Key Takeaways to Make DotCom Secrets
a Success in Your Marketing Stack
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t read or own DotCom Secrets. Maybe you’re one of those business owners who likes to figure everything out yourself, through sheer time, trial, and error.
For me, DotCom Secrets did more than just give me a foundation for my digital business. And it’s not just some dusty old reference book I pick up every now and then.
The ClickFunnels universe is so robust that all of its products and concepts hook in together. And anytime I make use of corollary training like Funnel Builder Secrets or software like Funnel Scripts, I return to DotCom Secrets as a fail-safe to make sure all my funnels are formulated properly.
Here are a few takeaways that I was hit with when I first made my way through DotCom Secrets.
Takeaway One: Formulas Work!
There’s no doubt that funnels will require you to test and refine — in fact, they work even better when you monitor every aspect of the funnel process.
You can see where they drop off, what part of your copy is or isn’t converting, and whether you need to add a few more pages of persuasion — or not.
However, the formulas work perfectly for beginners who are still getting the hang of converting traffic with funnels. Since DotCom Secrets includes formulas for almost every single aspect — from email sequences to sales pages — having these formulas will set the stage for your success.
Takeaway Two: Do Not Discount the Value Ladder
The value ladder impacts every aspect of selling online. It can determine what actions you take within your target market, which marketing tools you rely on to attract your audience, and, more broadly, how your sales process moves prospects from start to sale.
Even if you don’t use funnels, and even if you don’t rely on internet marketing, the value ladder should prompt some deep soul-searching. It’s the basis for how you interact with your customers and create offers — online and offline.
DotCom Secrets Pricing - the Free Plus Shipping Offer
Russell Brunson is always one to practice what he preaches. As I mentioned earlier in this DotCom Secrets review, you can get the book for free. The “free plus shipping” offer is an example of the frontend funnel we looked at earlier in this DotCom Secrets review.
There are a few optional upsells that you might consider for your business. There are two order bumps, two upsells, and a Thank You page that gives you access to the software behind the DotCom Secrets book.
Is DotCom Secrets Still Worth it?
This Russell Brunson book is one of the most well-known texts out there for internet marketers.
But I would argue that it’s important for business owners who want to make their mark on the marketing world and amplify their marketing skills.
Not only is DotCom Secrets “worth it,” it’s more than relevant to current times. Funnels are about to come out as one of the most fundamental and reliable ways to consistently convert a higher percentage of leads.
Even if you don’t sell with funnels, use the first two sections to nail down the details of your business. Details like the offers you’ll offer, the personal branding identity you’ll nail down, and the marketing processes you’ll need to harness are all important aspects of selling online forever.
Disclosure: I am an independent ClickFunnels Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from ClickFunnels. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of ClickFunnels or its parent company, Etison LLC.