UPDATE: This review is now outdated, and I do not make any current claims regarding this product/website. To get the most up-to-date information and recommendations please join my free newsletter.
Edition #129 – 6/16/2007
There’s been a lot of buzz in the internet marketing community (and the usual barrage of emails from the gurus) about Carlos and Lupe Garcia’s new videos showing how they get millions of visitors to their websites.
I saw them speak at Yanik Silver’s Underground seminar a few months ago, and I was very impressed with their paid traffic techniques. Another marketer recently mentioned in an email that Carlos and Lupe sold 30 memberships of a $25,000 coaching program at the seminar. Pretty compelling, eh?
Since everyone at the Underground seminar signed an NDA, I couldn’t talk about it. But now they’ve posted it publicly (including a video of the actual presentation they gave), so it’s open season.
It can be reasonably assumed that Carlos and Lupe’s free videos are a lead-in for a product that they will be selling in the near future.
Unfortunately, the slightly deceptive nature of these videos combined with their track record of pushing the envelope leads me to NOT recommend whatever they are selling (even though they haven’t launched it yet).
The first video starts out with Carlos saying, “Hey it’s Carlos and Lupe, and yeah it’s true, our websites pull in over five million a month online”.
What he should have said is “our websites USED to pull in over five million a month back in 2004”.
Not a good sign when you can’t get past the first sentence without stretching the truth.
During the video he shows the Alexa traffic rating for one of their sites (mydietpatches.com), and says, “As you can see, this website is getting tons of traffic.”
Hmmm… it looks like they GOT a lot of traffic back in 2004 but in the video their current traffic rank is 2,759,627 (not very good).
In case you’re wondering if I misunderstood his first statement about “getting tons of traffic”, he reiterates it by saying, “As you can see, we’re getting more traffic than Etrade, Mastercard, Pepsi, or Pizza Hut.”
OK, so pushing aside the wrinkle their timeline, let’s take a quick glance at their business model.
They find a high converting product (such as cable descramblers or diet patches) and push as many orders through as fast as they can until they have to shut the business down. In other words, they “get away with it” as long as they can.
In the case of their diet patch business, you can find customer complaints peppering several online fraud-report sites, a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Attorney General, and a report (which I have not confirmed) that the FTC ordered them to shut down their business.
Since they were selling millions of dollars of the product, it’s no surprise that they’d have a bunch of complaints, but at the same time it seems clear that their profitable conversion rate was driven largely by hype and/or false claims.
OK, so pushing aside the timeline, the products, and their alleged lack of business ethics, let’s look at the traffic techniques.
Basically, they BOUGHT traffic in bulk from high level traffic brokers such as Yahoo. Their main form of traffic was banner ads.
Their video mentions doing a $163,000 deal with Advertising.com, a $370,000 deal with Fastclick, and a $300,000 Yahoo. They said they negotiated those deals on credit, most likely paying some money up front and covering the rest with profits made as a result of that traffic.
They took a well-calculated risk, having already tested the conversion rate of their product, and optimizing their offer.
They were playing in a league unknown to most internet marketers, where the big dogs dictate the majority all paid traffic on the web. And when you play with big numbers like this, you can make (or lose) huge amounts of money.
In case you want to watch the videos without having to go through a squeeze page, here they are:
(Links removed – site no longer available)
I am NOT using any affiliate link. Also they posted the videos on Google video, so I could just embed them here but I figured I’d do the Garcia’s the courtesy of letting you check out the site for yourself since I’m not recommending the product.
So this one thing I will say: the method is REAL and the opportunity still exists, although I suspect it has changed in the years that have passed since the Garcia’s were playing at that level.
The question is whether or not this technique is applicable to your business. The answer is that it will only work if your product has true MASS market appeal.
Beyond that, you need to MASTER your conversion rate and backend monetization and be a slave to the numbers before you risk your shirt in the big game.
I have not personally used this method, but I’d be open to trying it if I found the perfect offer. However, I’d probably start small and learn from trial-and-error (or try to find someone who is currently active in the game), rather than giving my money to someone who is trying to make a killing selling information about how they played it two years ago.
Let me know what you think. Am I overreacting?
As always, you may leave your comments here on the blog.
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