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The Internet Marketing Syndicate and Their Secrets to Success


Many years ago, Dan Kennedy, who is one of the pioneers of Internet marketing, put forth the idea of forming a cabal. A cabal is a group of like-minded businesses that help each other out. This is something he and his colleagues used in the infomercial industry.

Here’s an example of how a cabal works. Let’s say that I offer piano lessons. One of my students says he wants to quit my lesson but he still wants to learn piano. I’d then refer him to another piano teacher who might be more suitable.

Actually, I’m not referring him to my competition. I’m referring him to a friend. Me and a bunch of other piano teachers have this cabal where he hook each other up with students. When I send a referral to them, they either pay me a commission or we just have it worked out so they send me theirs.

The Cabal Becomes a Syndicate…

Forming a cabal sounds sinister, but it’s actually a great marketing strategy. Why not work together with others who offer similar goods and services so that all can benefit? When you run a cabal, that’s essentially what you’re doing.

Well, a small group of successful Internet marketers really ran with this idea and they created ‘the syndicate.’ This group of marketers includes big names like Eben Pagan, Frank Kern, Mike Filsaime, Andy Jenkins and lots of other IM gurus you’ve probably heard of (and some you haven’t!).

They do stuff on a whole different scale. Among other things, they schedule their product launches so that they don’t overlap. Then, they write to their lists recommending these great products by other members of the syndicate.

They also engage in price fixing, pricing their products ridiculously high and playing on the scarcity factor by limiting them to X number of copies (even though they’re just digital files that can be copied endlessly). By doing all of this, they make guaranteed bank on each product they release.

The Problems with the Syndicate

Are the methods the syndicate uses unethical? Some people think so. Others say that they’re just really good marketers who have perfected the Internet game.

Among the folks who don’t like the syndicate are several government regulatory agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission. They don’t think these practices are ethical and they’re keeping an eye on what the syndicate does. Many believe that this isn’t a sustainable practice and the syndicate will one day fall.

There has been media attention recently about these ‘Internet scammers’ and it has given all of us in the industry a bad name. It’s also brought government scrutiny to fully legit small businesses that operate online. Some fear that the syndicate’s greedy practices could damage the whole IM industry.

In my personal opinion, there’s nothing really wrong with them all working together, but a huge number of the products they release are garbage. It seems to me that they’ve strayed from the path of offering real value to their customers, who are paying thousands for their overpriced digital products.

The cabal model is useful for small businesses. It’s a great way to work together so that everybody prospers. Just make sure that you offer true value to your customers and you’re not thinking only of the money you’re making.

This is a great way of thinking and working “outside the box” to my mind and is something that you really should be considering after all we all can do with help and support in trying to become successful.

Toby Russell

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  1. gjorgi says:

    Your post offers some really useful advices that I’ll certainly incorporate in my next email marketing campaign. I’m in the education business and I’m buying not creating my email lists. I’m buying them from and so far they’ve proven to be very effective and offer quit big return for the money invested.

  2. John says:

    Yes, our business needs to be there in search results to get visible on consumer’s eyes. But still the visibility should be on top or on the first page. Otherwise it will be a big loss. Those who make use of best marketing strategies will gain the role.

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