Corey Rudl was the founder and original owner of the Internet Marketing Center. He started by publishing his own book called Car Secrets Revealed. When a friend suggested he put it up on the Internet, he responded, “What’s the Internet?”
Eventually, through trial and error Rudl built his sales to phenomenal levels, and decided it was time to begin selling courses based on the techniques he had developed over the years. The Internet Marketing Center was born.
By the year 2005 it had grown to over $40 Million/year.
Over the past few years Rudl had taken on a friend as a sidekick, Derek Gehl, who had marketing experience of his own. The two worked side by side.
Then in June 2005, about the same time I was forming this website, a tragedy took place when Corey Rudl perished in a car accident. Derek Gehl soon took the helm and over the remainder of the year continued to grow the company to about $57 Million.
I’ve been fortunate to have developed a close working relationship with some of the staff, though I haven’t corresponded with Derek Gehl himself, and they have been so kind as to allow me to view nearly all the products in order to present my reviews to you.
According to Alexa, the Internet Marketing Center’s marketingtips.com comes in second only to Ken Evoy’s Sitesell.com among the big Internet marketing guru’s sites. That’s an amazing feat.
On videos, Derek Gehl certainly came off as the less slick speaker than his predecessor Corey Rudl, and was often interrupted and corrected by Corey Rudl. He never had quite the delivery Corey had. However, over time Gehl has come into his own as a powerful presenter in his own right.
The IMC’s strongest areas of teaching are
· Email marketing
· Automation of your business
· Aggressive testing
Email marketing is primary to Rudl’s methods. By “email marketing’ he isn’t talking about spamming, but mainly about building a huge email list via newsletter (ezine) offerings, and permission-based email advertising. However, in his earlier versions of his “Insider Secrets” course he came under fire for showing readers how to spam. That has since been cleaned up.
Rudl’s emphasis on automation is a point well taken. He acknowledges that Internet marketing simply isn’t an area where you can work an hour or two a day and sit on the beach the rest of the time. He knows your time will be at a premium, and he encourages you to automate as many things as possible through autoresponder, automated shopping carts and auto e-delivery of products where possible. He provides an onslaught of software for this purpose – which may well be part of the reason for his emphasis on automation — to sell you his software.
Aggressive testing was at the heart of Rudl’s own success, and he makes no bones about telling you the importance of doing the same. While pretty much everybody tells you the importance of testing, Rudl made it the focus of everything. The biggest problem with the way most gurus tell you to test, is that they encourage you to try one thing (say a headline) for a time, then try another, and see if your bottom line changes. But there is an inherent flaw in this method, which Rudl recognized. Suppose between week 1 and week 2 a magazine article features my site or product (I should be so lucky). They are sending pre-filtered traffic to my website, and my conversion rate is likely to be better in week 2. My headline may actually be hurting me, not helping, for all I know.
Rudl’s answer to this was to use testing software that concurrently and randomly directs traffic to two different views of the site, and allows you to compare the conversion rate at the same span of time. That is much more scientific. internetmarketing bureau
Unfortunately, the IMC has no products specifically devoted to teaching testing techniques nor any software for the purpose. This is a big gap in their offerings.
One last very positive note is the newsletter – particularly the earlier ones. Nearly all the teaching the company did was echoed in the newsletter. These days it is more a sales letter than an instruction letter, but the archives are still available on the site and are a good free education.
Corey Rudl’s and now Derek Gehl’s back-end tactics have come under a lot of fire. No matter what you buy from him, at rather high prices no less, you’ll quickly learn it isn’t nearly enough. If you buy a course, you’ll be told you need several expensive software packages. If you buy software, you’ll need to upgrade to the pro edition. If you think he’s sending you everything you need to know in a course, you’ll soon learn you “need” his course on the super secrets that he himself uses, which he claims no other marketers will tell you about. Back-ending is a valid methodology, and to be expected, but when you get the feeling that you were tricked into something you didn’t see coming, you feel duped. That doesn’t mean the products aren’t valuable – they are. But be prepared.