Note that this is not a review of Google Cash Detective, but a review of the launch.
Along with a lot of other people, I’d bought Google Cash years ago, only to find that the Adwords market had changed. The low hanging fruit was gone, and you had to go for the low-traffic long tail keyword to get anywhere. Since they were low traffic, you had to make up for it in volume, and I didn’t have the patience for it.
And for years, the Google Cash mailing list was quiet, with only the occasional announcement about a new version available. Then, on May 17th, I get an email about an automated version of Google Cash that would be available soon. What had been a dead mailing list suddenly has daily traffic with announcements about the new product, that, according to Chris Carpenter, was so good it would revolutionize the PPC industry.
Chris wrote an ebook about the product, created demo videos showing it in action, and even offered everyone $0.50 per person they referred to the free ebook.
Finally, June 4th came and Google Cash Detective was put up for sale. The website had some technical glitches, but eventually you could get through to purchase. But he was only selling 500 copies, until he saw how this revolutionary tool affected the PPC market (for the cynics among you, 500 copies earned Chris about $200,000 before expenses).
This is a great example of how to create a buzz in a dead mailing list, and in the PPC community. From a marketing perspective, there are many things Chris did exactly right:
Premarketed Via The Ebook
The ebook told enough of the story to get those people interested who were like me, and had bought Google Cash but had trouble making it work. A totally automated system for finding out what was working for other people.
The referral bonus for the ebook was a nice touch, and a good investment.
Actually showing the product in action was a great move. A properly run demo can make a product seem much better than it really is, as I should know from working as a computer programmer for 15 years. You can target the big ticket features and gloss over the parts that need work.
Marketing Via The Google Cash List
The Google Cash list represented Chris’ best prospects. They’d already bought Google Cash, and if they weren’t successful with it he had the perfect product to offer. This is a great example of the benefit of maintaining a mailing list and keeping at least minimal traffic on it over time.
The tone of the emails was also great for building anticipation. Phrases like “…receive numerous emails begging me not to release this software” helped to validate the value of the product in his readers’ minds.
Delaying The Launch
By delaying the launch, Chris allowed the anticipation to build for those who were interested in the product. By announcing in advance that he would only sell 500 copies of the software, he built in a sense of scarcity. I have no doubt that many of the website glitches were due to his server getting hit hard at noon on June 4th (the time when you could first buy Google Cash Detective).
The Fine Print
While Chris made a considerable amount of money on the initial launch of the software, there are two ways that he continues to profit on it.
One is that while you can get data on the number of clicks a keyword has gotten through Google Cash Detective, you have to pay a bit extra for it. While the amount per keyword is small, if you’re running numerous campaigns it can add up.
Second, there are two aspects of building a PPC campaign. One is finding the niche, which is what Google Cash Detective helps you to do. The second is actually creating and running the campaign, and adjusting it as needed as conditions change. That’s done by another product, the Google Cash Automator, which is available for a monthly fee.
If you have a mailing list you haven’t been getting much out of, you can learn a lot from the launch of the Google Cash Detective about how to revitalize the list by offering them a new product that addresses common shortcomings in the existing product.
And no, I wasn’t one of the ones who bought Google Cash Detective, since I don’t have any interest in doing PPC campaigns right now. If anyone did get it, let us know what you think of it.