Is Russell Brunson's “DotCom Secrets” Still Relevant? A Full Review
Updated: Jun 29
Russell Brunson is the American entrepreneur and sales funnel king known for co-founding the powerhouse affiliate marketing tool ClickFunnels. Though he claims that he is just an expert, many see him as a genius, and DotCom Secrets is the reason he has been bestowed with such a title.
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If you were not familiar with Russell Brunson, he is quite amazing and one of the few founders that can say that he grew his business from absolutely nothing, aside from his wit and uncanny ability to connect with consumers through online marketing.
Now, he continues to teach others how to replicate his model along with a staff of 100+ and 40,000 members.
“If you want to learn about the world of online marketing, sales funnels, or affiliate marketing, there is no better person to learn from than the person who revolutionized the industry, Russell Brunson. ”
Though he has published eight books, including an adaptation of a documentary film “Operation Toussaint,” DotCom Secrets is still number one on every online marketer's must-read list and with good reason.
Here we dive deep into a detailed review of DotCom Secrets, as well as a comparison of this book to his other titles, Expert Secrets and Traffic Secrets, in order to find out how you can benefit from the study of the strategies presented with each text.
Now that you have been acquainted or reacquainted with Russell Brunson, be sure to continue on below for a high-level overview of DotCom Secrets.
Here you will be guided through an introduction to DotCom Secrets along with the subject matter that is covered within its pages, a preview of the secrets shared by Russell Brunson, how this book will serve you during your business development journey, a brief comparison of this book to the authors’ other titles to assist you in your selections, what makes these titles unique from others on the subject of marketing, and some recommended next steps.
An Introduction to DotCom Secrets
Before getting into the bulk of the value that you will find in DotCom Secrets, Russell Brunson makes it absolutely apparent that the 255-page book is a no-nonsense guide to implementing a successful strategy for your business.
According to its cover summary, DotCom Secrets will give you the marketing funnels and the sales scripts you need to be able to turn on a flood of new leads; and that is exactly what it does.
In the book, Russel Brunson begins with an explanation of “Old School Direct Marketing” while pointing out all of the major flaws. No matter the company and no matter the product, the process is always the same.
In the old marketing strategy and style, a company would usually deploy an ad asking the prospective buyer to contact the company for a free ebook or report. However, this report was hardly ever a report, it was a decoy — a sales letter disguised as a report.
If it wasn’t an ebook or a report that a company sent in “The Online Method”, there was another similar sequence of steps that they used offline.
This partnered method is referred to by Russell Brunson as “The Offline Method” and its steps were similar in a sense, but where there was an email and website, a call or mailer was substituted.
These strategies are still implemented today and they are proving to be less and less effective because marketers just substitute old media with new media.
Swaps continued as networking was switched with social networking, magazines were switched with blogs, and radio was switched for podcasts.
Throughout the building of his legacy, Russell Brunson picked apart these flaws and developed a new use for the media. This is when he began to see the success that others couldn’t grasp, which led to his motivation to share his discovery and create DotCom Secrets as a guide for those who wish to follow his steps.
Online shoppers and other consumers are now savvy to “The Old Marketing Method” and are quickly catching on when they are being “sold.”
With DotCom Secrets, Russell Brunson takes a special interest in the sales that you can generate when providing value. Then, he shows you how to take your value, create content, and ultimately grow your business.
The Secret Formulas of DotCom Secrets
At the beginning of the book, Russell Brunson covers some basic level fundamentals that you will find in almost any marketing book, but he does so in very clever ways and gives these concepts a newly polished flair.
And though DotCom Secrets was first published in 2015, it is still possible for the reader to become an early adopter of Branson’s new style of doing things because traditional marketers have yet to catch up to his secret formula.
DotCom Secrets covers various formulas step-by-step with study questions and actionable steps.
Each step is extensively explained along with relevant industry-specific terms, and you will find that it is easy to implement his highly effective sales funnels in their entirety.
For example, section one of this four-section instructional focuses on ladders and funnels.
Within this section, he also reveals his first five marketing secrets. After working through the actionable steps listed with this section of DotCom Secrets, you will learn how to apply what you have learned to your business.
Below Secret #1 has been provided to expand on this example:
Secret #1: The Secret Formula The prerequisite of this formula is to have a complete understanding of your business goals and your offerings by developing an understanding of your customer’s pain points, urgency, and budget constraints. Russell Brunson guides you through the process of unlocking your secret formula by encouraging you to answer the following questions:
Who are your dream clients?
How do you find them?
How do you attract them without being pushy?
What benefit will they get from your business?
Once you have established this baseline, you are able to move on to the thirty-seven other secrets contained within four different sections of this book.
If you still have a need to refine other aspects of your business, such as your brand messaging and product offers, be sure to review the comparison section of this article for additional suggestions.
The secrets and sections contained within DotCom Secrets are as follows:
The Sections of DotCom Secrets
Section One: Sales Funnel Secrets In this section of DotCom Secrets, as shown above, Russell Brunson focuses on understanding your business goals, customers, bait/offer, and the result or desired outcome. This section strictly focuses on secrets one through seven.
Section Two: The Funnels in the Value Ladder In addition to his explanation of a funnel, Russell Brunson further breaks down “The Funnels in the Value Ladder” section into smaller subsections to explain and focus on: Front-End Lead Funnels, Unboxing Funnels, Presentation Funnels, and Back-End Phone Funnels. In this section, you develop an understanding of secrets nine through seventeen.
Section Three: Funnel Scripts In this section, of DotCom Secrets, you will be introduced to your first sales funnel scripts. While the scripts contained within the book are plentiful, Russell Brunson has included only scripts specific to Front-End Lead Funnels, Presentation Funnels, and Back-End Phone Funnels. Umbrellaed under each of the three types of scripts are two script options like “Curiosity-Based Headline” Scripts and “Four-Question Close” Scripts. Here you learn about secrets eighteen through twenty-five.
Section Four: Building Your Funnels After doing all of your lead-in work from sections one through three, as well as optional work from Russell Brunson’s other titles like Expert Secrets and Traffic Secrets (which we will discuss later in this review), you can now focus on the deliverables of section 4 and build your funnels. In this section, you wrap up your knowledge with secrets twenty-six through twenty-eight that specifically cover ClickFunnels, Funnel Stacking, and Funnel Audibles.
Preview Secrets from DotCom Secrets
Secret #1: The Secret Formula As mentioned previously, the secret formula that Russell Brunson provided is one that will win customers and encourage increased sales by asking and answering the right questions about what your customers want, as well as using those answers to develop value.
Secret #2: Hook, Story, Offer This secret focuses on how to change the value of a product by changing it into an offer and pairing it with the use of a story and hook to grab attention. To successfully create a hook, story, offer, you will also have to develop your offer into an irresistible one.
Secret #3: The Value Ladder In this section, Russell Brunson covers the correlation between value and price. He also instills the understanding that value is key to building a sustainable business, with it you provide customizable solutions, and as a result, you will have long term growth.
Secret #4: The Attractive Character The concept of the Attractive Character is one that Russell Brunson asks be woven into everything you do inside your funnels. These “Attractive Characters” can simply be character stories that This concept is also covered extensively in Russell Brunson’s other title Expert Secrets.
Secret #5: Funnel Hacking With this secret, Russell Brunson explains his strategy for cracking and studying already successful sales strategies in your industry in order to imitate or replicate the areas with which they excel at customer engagement.
Secret #6: Seven Phases of a Funnel After explaining the seven phases of a funnel (Traffic Temperature, Pre-Frame Bridge, Qualify Subscribers, Identify Hyperactive Buyers, Age and Ascend the Relationship, and Change the Selling Environment), Russell Brunson describes how to utilize each individual phase to track and improve customer engagement as they move throughout the funnel with efforts of encouraging sales growth.
Secret #7: Follow-Up Funnels Simply put, this section, explains how to set up customer follow-ups through funnel systems. He also introduces two of his self-created marketing concepts, “Soap Opera Sequences” and “Daily Seinfeld Emails”. Soap Opera Sequences are used to quickly build a relationship with your Attractive Character, pull your prospect through your initial funnel, and ascend them to the next funnel in your value ladder. Daily Seinfield Emails are messages you send out to people who are not currently in one of your follow-up funnels, with a goal to re-engage them and get them back into your value ladder.
Secret #8: Lead “Squeeze” Funnels According to DotCom Secrets, a lead “squeeze” funnel is one that contains two pages; the squeeze page and then a page where you offer the next step in your value ladder. With this secret, additional scripts are provided for its implementation.
Secret #9: Survey Funnels With this secret, Survey Funnels are used to provide added value to the customer by soliciting their input on company provided questions. It is used as a way to gain new leads and typically contains a survey page, a squeeze page for each group, and a results page with a specifically tailored message of the offer.
Secret #10: Summit Funnels A summit funnel is another type of lead funnel that is used to leverage company traffic while co-branding yourself in order to build lists quickly and befriend other influencers in your market. Summit Funnels typically contains a registration page, a special offer page, and your broadcast page to deliver content to your registrants.
While the secrets above are just the first ten of the twenty-eight secrets provided in DotCom Secrets. By studying these secrets, you will learn strategies that range from implementing product launch funnels to “perfect webinar” scripting.
Comparing DotCom Secrets, Expert Secrets, and Traffic Secrets for Your Selection
Let’s first take a look at DotCom Secrets in comparison to Russell Brunson’s Expert Secrets. While both books are similar in providing actionable exercises for business development, both books vary in the topics they cover.
As mentioned prior, DotCom Secrets structuring your business, marketing funnels, and sales messaging. Expert Secrets, on the other hand, provide insightful activities to help you discover your brand voice, build a loyal fanbase, and earn revenue through providing valuable content or sharing a message.
If DotCom Secrets is best for the business owner who is ready to market and scale, the Expert Secrets is best for the new business owner who is still establishing their product or service.
Even if you are an established owner, it’s worth looking back at Expert Secrets to help evaluate the effectiveness of your current branding, messaging, and products.
With Traffic Secrets, the latest of the three titles, Russell Brunson covers the tips and strategies to help you gain more traffic. You can consider Traffic Secrets as step three in your learning process, as generating traffic follows the brand development of Expert Secrets and the funnels setup when utilizing DotCom Secrets.
Regardless of your current status, it may be beneficial for you to read all three titles, as well as additional Russell Brunson content in order to become an astute online marketer. Though the teachings found within the various titles are expressed in their simplest form, to those new to marketing some jargon can go amiss.
DotCom Secrets and Your Business Development Journey
Though the title may seem a bit misleading, DotCom Secrets can support offline business efforts as equally as it does online activity. This topic is explained in great detail by Russell Brunson as well.
With that said, this book is best utilized by those who are currently operating a business of some sort.
In case you haven’t started your business, this book may not serve you as well in preliminary tasks such as choosing a product or establishing a brand. In the case of current business owners, you can learn the strategies in this book to increase your sales.
If you are a seasoned marketer, you may find that the ideas of this book will challenge your understanding for the better.
Simply put, DotCom Secrets works best for entrepreneurs who are ready to scale an existing business, ClickFunnels affiliates who want better returns on their outbound efforts, or online companies and business owners looking to upgrade their operations.
Additionally, DotCom Secrets should be considered an urgent read so that you may use the lessons found in the book to thrive in the current emerging market rather than attempting to implement them too late.
Russell Brunson describes Expert Secrets as the art of building a funnel business, which DotCom Secrets is the science behind those funnels.
So, while you may believe that DotCom Secrets, Traffic Secrets, and Expert Secrets are independent strategy guides; these books should be read as part of a series to gain the most effective results.
However, you may not have any results at all if you don’t focus on executing Russell Brunson’s actionable tasks provided with each book.
What Makes Russell Brunsons’ Titles Unique?
Unlike other books in the Marketing genre, Russell Brunson's books are unique in a few particular ways. Primarily, his books are set apart from standard instructional books because they provide you with both the theory and actionable steps. All three books also provide insight and narratives based on Russell Brunson’s personal experience in the field.
Additionally, DotCom Secrets, Traffic Secrets, and Expert Secrets have all been sectioned and refined to the point where the reader is able to review and take action on the parts that are relevant to them in their current time rather than having to implement the entire book in one strategy.
Lastly, the findings in his books are based on actual results that he produced not case studies or statistical surveys.
Russell Brunson also supplements his teachings with simple, easy to read graphs, as well as funnel and process-visualizations that further promote the readers understanding of the various marketing terms that he introduces.
However, with such a unique offering in let’s consider some pros and cons:
Some DotCom Secrets topics are covered or repeated in Expert Secrets and Traffic Secrets.
DotCom Secrets is useful for businesses ready to build online funnels and scale.
To be successful, it is recommended to complete all actionable steps for the best results.
The book covers many strategies rather than one complete focus.
Russell Brunson uses jargon and terms that are specific to his marketing developments.
The results from the book are replicable and have been done within the ClickFunnels marketing tools.
All three books are currently free, you only pay the cost of shipping.
Russell Brunson has additional supplemental materials to help you complete your actionable steps.
And, these DotCom Secrets as well as Russell Brunson’s other titles provide simple strategies that will work for any business model.
Russell Brunson clearly explains common marketing terms and eliminates the need for other reference materials.
Recommended Next Steps and Cost
If you are looking to build a business, gain leads, and close prospects then DotCom Secrets is a must-read.
DotCom Secrets has also been recommended and endorsed by many industry leaders like Gary Vaynerchuk and Grant Cardone.
Best yet, within its pages are all the marketing funnels and sales scripts that you will need to accomplish this task. For that reason, DotCom Secrets will continually serve as valuable reference material along with its companions Expert Secrets and Traffic Secrets.
Though it may seem like the details above are comprehensive enough for you to use Russell Brunson’s concepts, you may never get the true benefits of the strategies that you can apply to your business from the pages of DotCom Secrets without reading the text yourself.