I had a pretty awesome experience the other night. You see I managed to get myself on a very special Mastermind call with John Thornhill. I was really excited by this but also a little nervous at the same time. I regularly visit John’s blog and have learned a lot from him and his products since I first ventured online, so to be on a call with him and have to opportunity to ask him whatever I wanted was pretty cool.

Armed with my questions I was ready to pick his brain and hopefully get some great insights into what is really needed for someone to not only build an online business, but also to excel at it, and really lay the foundations for something sustainable and worthwhile.

I was fortunate enough to have the foresight to set up a free program called Audacity on my computer so I was able to record the call. Believe me I was very glad I did this because my mind was blown by some of the stuff John was sharing with the lucky few of us who were present.

Naturally I’m going to share with you guys what I learned and hopefully it’ll help you all in your quest to build a successful online business. Let me tell you I got enough information from that one 60 minute call for a month of content for the blog so today I’m just going to share a little taste of what was discussed.

One of the area’s I wanted to grill John on was to do with launching a digital product. More specifically when launching a WSO on the Warrior Forum. I wanted to know which of these approaches would he favour:

a) launch a Free product – give away upfront value and convert some prospects into buyers on the backend with a great value OTO.

b) price the front-end product very low, say $5 and offer 100% commissions in order to attract affiliates, again with upsells/downsells on the backend.

Johns response to this unwavering – go with Option B, offer a low price front-end offer and give 100% commissions to affiliates. The benefit of this over Option A is that the quality of the lead who then moves on to see your OTO and Backend products will be of a far higher quality than if you just gave away a Freebie upfront.

Also by paying their $5 for the front-end product your customers are now in a “buying frame of mind” and will be far more qualified and likely to purchase any additional products which you offer them.


Before this Mastermind I was always of the opinion that it was better to give away value up front but as John went on to explain this may not always be the best policy. By giving away a Free Product you could be attracting the wrong kind of prospect to your list. Sure you’ll see a lot of sign-ups but how responsive will they be to your emails and will they support you by purchasing one of your products?

The vast majority of those who enter this kind of a funnel will not go on and make the transition from “prospect” to”customer” simply because they are Freebie Seekers. Now there is a trade off going on here…

By giving away a free front-end product like in Option 1 you will build a big list…and fast – but what will the quality of this list be like?? The likelihood is that it is full of Freebie Seekers using a fake email address just to gain access to the download.

By running with Option B you will automatically weed out these guys and although the list you build will be small in comparison – it will be Powerful & Responsive because it is full of Buyers! Continue to supply these customers will fantastic content and great value and there is a good chance that they will turn into repeat customers and fans of your work.

The other advantage is that you will be able to attract affiliates to promote your product for you. Now keep in mind that affiliates get excited about one thing – EPCs… And with $5 front-end you are unlikely to generate the minimum $1 EPC to get them on board.

That’s where the Upsell/Downsell come into play.

After their initial purchase you should present your customer with the option to upgrade via an Upsell. They are already after making the leap of faith and purchasing your first product so the chances of them going for the OTO are good. The Upsell needs to be something that will compliment the front-end product but not replace it.

If you construct your sales funnel correctly and provide great value Upsells/Downsells you will generate the extra revenue which will increase your EPCs and help you attract affiliates to promote. Don’t be afraid of offering 100% Commissions, sure you won’t get rich doing this but you will be adding customers to your list i.e. a Buyers List!

An important point to mention here is  that if your aim is to attract affiliates to promote your product you need to spend some on creating a professional Affiliates Page for them. It’s not good enough just to provide them with their affiliate link, you need to give them all the resources which they will need in order to promote your offer as effectively as possible.

So create an Affiliate Page where can get all the tools that they need, such as:

  • product images
  • email swipes
  • banners

This isn’t complicated stuff but it is an area where a lot of people let themselves down. Sometimes we are in such a rush to get into launch mode that we neglect some little tasks near the end like creating a good Affiliates Page.

Sales Funnel Construction
When putting together your Upsells it’s important to hit the right price points to maximize your conversions. Say for example you are selling a front-end product for $10 it wouldn’t be a good idea to have a $97 Upsell. Can you see it’s just too much of a jump in price?

The general rule John advised here when setting up your sales funnel is not to increase your product by more that 3 times in price through each price point. So the funnel for your $10 WSO may look something like this :

$10 Front-End —> $27 Upsell —> $47 Upsell —> Recurring Billing i.e. Membership Site

Now that is a very stripped back example, there are no downsells included but I just wanted to illustrate how you might put together a funnel for your $10 product that would really increase your chances of attracting affiliates.

Although they will not make huge money on the front-end the higher EPCs generated by the backend products will help you get a lot more of them on board. And did you notice the last part of our funnel? That’s right, it’s Recurring Billing.

John explained to me that affiliates just LOVE Memberships sites because it allows them to make recurring commissions long after they promoted the product. This could be a deal breaker because although you may not be generating a Big EPC the fact they you offer Recurring Commissions will make you a very attractive proposition for affiliates.

I know some of you may be thinking “how can I make a membership site? what do I have to offer?” Well, you may be surprised  by what you could put together. Programs like Optimize Press and Wishlist Member make it super easy to create professional looking membership sites that will keep your customers entertained month-after-month.

And there is no need to put yourself under pressure trying to construct a monster $97 per month site – price it low and make it a “no-brainer” for your customers to sign-up. Anything below the 10 dollar mark will have a high retention rate and won’t require too much of your time to maintain. If you went after a higher price point for your membership then you’ll have to work day and night creating content for your members so that they won’t cancel their subscriptions.

With Clickbank the lowest monthly price you can have is $7.95. At this price your customers will likely just drop in and out of the site and not be too bothered about the cost. If however you go for  $27 or $47 then you will need to be at the top of your game and deliver awesome content each month or you will quickly lose your subscribers.

So I think I’ll wrap it up there for today guys…and I hope you’ve enjoyed this entry. This is just a taster of some of the stuff that I learned from John’s Mastermind call and I’ll be sure to share some more nuggets with you over the coming weeks. If you have any thoughts/questions on the above I’d love to here them, you know I always reply to every comment so get involved and let me know what you think.

All the Best,



P.S. I received a few emails this week asking for more info about Omar Martin’s Speedy Profit Creator which I mentioned last week. I’ve actually updated my system with the new ebook I created using SPC so if you sign up to my newsletter (over there on the right) you will see first-hand what can be achieved with the system. Cheers.



Easy going guy and founder of CunMark.com who enjoys traveling, live music and good coffee - as well as sharing tips and strategies on this blog to help others navigate the world of online marketing!

    33 replies to "Mastermind Gold with John Thornhill"

    • Karl Dieterich


      Thank-you so much for sharing what you’ve learned from John Thornhill. From everything I’ve learned I think this is excellent advice! I especially like the formula for the range between upsell pricepoints.

      Looking forward to your next entry!


      • Noel

        Hi Karl,

        Ya, I was really pleased by what he shared with me. I was listen to the replay this morning as I was working on the post and I couldn’t help but smile at some of the gold he was sharing!
        Glad you enjoyed – plenty more where that came from;)

    • Ade

      Good post Noel, plenty of juicy information there….there’s no airs and graces with John, he just tells it like it is. Having a paying product and a sales funnel also allows you to recoup any promotional costs you might have in trying to build your list/client base using solo ads. And since the product is paying you have to get a sales page and a buy button created. Getting the infrastructure in place to sell products is often a stumbling block for many people but once it is in place you can concentrate on producing quality products.

      • Noel

        Your dead right Ade,
        The first product I put out it seemed to take forever to make a sales funnel but once done you can easily repeat the process in a fraction of the time.
        Thanks for dropping by,
        – Noel.

    • Kevin

      Great article with a ton of high quality content. I can see how your head was spinning after the call – mine was spinning after reading your post. The value in having a mentor is huge, especially one who can put on you on track to have successes you’ve only dreamed about.

      • Noel

        Thanks Kevin,
        Yes my head was definitely spinning – I was very nervous in the beginning but glad I took the plunge and asked the questions that I did. The next time I do a call like that I will be a lot more confident..
        Glad you got some good info. from the post, lots more to come:)
        – Noel.

    • Paul Conway

      Hey Noel

      Firstly nice one getting on a call with JT, you must have been so pumpted up 🙂

      Secondly thank you for talking about a WSO and the nuts and bolts that go with it. Personally at this time I am staying with the membership module as for me, do not need the hastle of turning out product after product.

      I have gone with the under $10 product via clickbank, was much easier in my book to set up and certainly less stress 😉


      • Noel

        Hi Paul,
        No problem at all – I really wanted to get more info about WSOs because you see & hear many things about them and I know John has had huge success with them so he was the perfect person to ask!
        How is your membership site going? I think you made the right decision going for under the $10 price point, cos you know 200 people @ $10 will be worth more to you in the long term than 50 @ $27.
        We’ve seen it ourselves in the MWA forum that lately a good few people have left.. Fingers crossed you’ll have a high retention rate and are building something sustainable for the long term.

        Keep up the good work!
        – Noel.

    • Rocky Rasakith

      I wish I had a mentor I can call and ask questions. 🙁 It’s hard to learn this stuff by myself, but nevertheless I’ll get it done.

      Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned from John. I was able to build a list by offering a free product, but those people still haven’t bought anything.

      Can you do a post on how to create a product? I think that would be awesome.

      – Rocky

      • Noel

        Hi Rocky,
        No worries – that’s why I set up this blog, to be able to share what I learn and hopefully help a few people out along the awy..
        Cool, I’m sure I could put together a rough product creation guide.. I’ll put that on my “To Do List” and will write about it in a future post.
        Thanks for you input Rocky;)

    • Muhsin

      Hi Noel, Thank you for sharing so much of what you learned from John Thornhill. Who is he anyway. It seems that I noticed alot of us from alex’s students have crossed over to John thornhill..
      I am interested to find out more. 🙂

      • Noel

        Hi Muhsin,
        John Thornhill is an internet marketer from Sunderland in the UK, a very successful one at that. I linked to his blog near the top of the post – he’s got a pretty cool site. I think Alex learned some of his stuff when he first came online. I’m not a student of John’s but maybe in future, who knows? I enjoyed the info he shared with me, the guy def knows his stuff…

        • Muhsin

          that’s awesome, I am definitely going to check him out. 🙂
          Been thinking of leaving MWA.

          • Noel

            Ya, Unfortunately I’ve heard a lot of people are thinking the same thing. Whatever happens once we keep thinks moving and the support network in place I’ve no doubt we will all do great things, together and individually!
            – Noel.

    • Dee Kumar

      Super article Noel.

      This kind of stuff took me so long to learn by doing it myself. I also went for the free ebook route the first time and then realised they were unlikely to buy anything – HOWEVER it did help me create a big list which itself comes with bragging rights (and somehow earns respect).

      I then moved to the paid low front end approach with upsells and downsells. It does work, but you really need a lot of affiliates on board to make it worth your while.

      So although all the advice is sound, I would add one more tip that the pro’s like to keep somewhat hidden.

      Plan you launch weeks in advance. Good affiliates can be booked up two weeks in advance so you have to get in way earlier then that.

      Try to join communities where your resellers hang out (there are tons of closed doors affiliate networks which I now get invited to – but never had a clue about before. This is where all the top affiliates hang out). In order to be invited mingle with other good sellers and they will tell you who to contact and how to apply.

      Up to 90% of ones sales can come from affiliates. Do not simply expect to make a good offer and have them flying to you. You have to go where they hang out.

      I released a WSO yesterday and learnt these affiliate lessons the hard way again!

      • Noel

        Hi Dee,
        You make a great point “Plan your launch weeks in advance” I have a couple of products in the pipeline at the moment but will hold off launching until I have everything else in place.
        I like this idea of joining these affiliate networks you mention – I’ve long know that they exist but haven’t a clue where to find them! 🙁
        It’s simply not enough to have a great product for sale, you need traffic and affiliates go one step further by being able to send pre-sold traffic to the offer page = win win for everyone!
        Thanks for sharing all that Dee, expect an email from me looking for more info about these reseller communities 😉 😉

    • Romi Tuano

      Hey Noel,

      That’s very cool! Appreciate your sharing this with us, so much value and I can’t wait for your next posts about this. Your article here tackles so many important details especially when you are launching your own products. I will definitely be watching your future posts from now on.


      • Noel

        Hi Romi,
        Thanks very much for your kind words – I appreciate all the encouragement you guys give me!
        I hope to keep sharing lots of great stuff with over the coming weeks:)

    • Gerald

      Hi Noel, wow some really juicy information there. Looks like you are making leaps and bounds in your business with JT’s Masterclass. Something I might look into in the future. Still busy with The MWA coaching. Need to finish and focus on that first.
      All the best,

      • Noel

        Hey Gerald,
        Good to hear from you! Ya, it was pretty cool call, learned loads of little nuggets that I’m going to share here in future posts!
        I’ve been visiting your blog, looks like you’re really making progress – and long may it continue:)
        Have a Great Weekend!

    • Roger

      Hi Noel,

      Thanks for sharing this. I am now going to reconsider my offer. I think I would much rather have a small responsive list of buyers than a large list of freebie seekers. So when I finish my first ebook, (hopefully in 2 weeks time) I will consider selling it for a low price. 100% commissions for affiliates, what would you use for this as the Clickbank maximum is 75%?


      • Noel

        Hey Roger,
        I can see benefits from both sides of this. Give 100% commissions to affiliates and you’ll build a list of buyers – or give away free and you’ll build a list of freebie seekers that you hope to transform into buyers through relationship building and email marketing.. I’ve head plenty of people promoting both sides of this argument so I guess it’s down to the individual themselves what they choose to do!
        For 100% Commissions you could set it up with DigiResults (I know cos I use them myself) there are probably a few more that will allow you to do this. WarriorPlus is another one which comes to mind…
        Enjoy the Weekend!
        – Noel.

    • Miggy Arriola

      That was all-enlightening, man! Even though we all ready knew some of it, the detail with getting quality consumers in a BUYING mindset was lost until now. I also agree with having a membership site as a backend of a sales funnel that low priced. It goes with the CA x CV formula Alex has been baiting with all of us. 🙂

      P.S. You’re getting better with the Call to Action with all your products. 🙂 Hope you’re going to get another launch, like Video Leadzilla.

      • Noel

        Hi Miggy,
        Thanks for all your comments, I’m glad your liking what I’m trying to do here:)
        I have another product – just about finished now – that I’m hoping to launch in the coming weeks. It’s a Case Study so I’m hoping it’ll go well, I’ll blog about it here as soon as it goes live.
        Thanks again,

    • Brad Lees

      Hi Noel
      This is what I call real food for thought. I’m currently putting together a membership site and planning on offering a free membership option. Damn, you have now started me thinking about my model again 🙂
      All the best,

      • Noel

        Hey Brad,
        Lol Hopefully I have you rethinking your model in a good way! Sounds like you’re really making progress as you’re putting your own membership site together, sounds cool:)
        Hope all is well,

    • Zero Sum List Building

      […] see over the course of the past month or so I have been working away, trying to devise the ultimate List Building Strategy. Since I first came online I’ve been really focused on building a list, and must have tried every […]

    • Clare

      Hi Noel,

      Brilliant post, thanks for sharing! Well done for already getting a lot of this done – Im just starting to do this and will be checking back regularly to see how you are doing – also sending you a private email too 🙂

      Will check out John through your link also 🙂 Best wishes, Clare 🙂

      • Noel

        Thanks Claire 🙂

        It’s all “baby steps” but it’s coming together slowly but surely. Glad that you’re enjoying the posts and good luck if you decide to check out John, I’ve been with him for the past month and I can already see the difference that his input is having with me.

        – Noel.

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