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    Louis C.K.’s Direct Video Sales 

    So what can be we learn from this fat, bald, red-headed, Mexican guy?


    Well currently he’s the #1 touring comedian, and has broken a lot of ground for comedians.  


    Rule breaker #1:
    He decided to start selling tickets to his shows by himself.  No TicketMaster, no scalpers, no jacking up prices at the last minute.  He decided to accept ticket sales through his own website and email list by charging a flat $45 for tickets on a first-come-first-serve basis. 


    He kind of pulled a “Southwest Airlines” move on this one.  



    Rule Breaker #2: (the topic of our post today)
    He started selling his video specials directly to the watchers for $5 each. No silly file-protection, no ads, no sponsorships…..you just pay $5 to Louis CK and he gives you the actual video file. 


    You see, Louis CK is damn-well clear that a lot of people will torrent his video specials or upload them to YouTube (or other sites)…..and keeping track of that is a losing proposition.  

    The traditional comedy-special route involves selling your special to Comedy Central or HBO (assuming you can pull that off), then getting paid that one time with some small royalties.  

    Instead in 2011 Louis CK played “an experiment” where he’d sell the specials himself and just see what happens.  

    It worked! 

    The first special made $1,000,000+ in the first few days of release.  

    NOW WAIT.  Those results aren’t typical.……he was the #1 rated comedian out there at the time AND this little stunt got a lot of publicity, but the experiment proved he could make more money selling through himself than going through a traditional media outlet.  


    As someone who spends my days reviewing email campaigns and webpages selling stuff……I could easily see one of the reasons he was able to get more than 200,000 people to buy in just a few short days was…….

    Because his selling was soooooo shitty! 


    Ok let me re-phrase that…

    Replace the word “shitty” with “authentic”.

    A huge mistake people make when selling (and I’m guilty of this also) is they put out tons of great content on a blog or something, then they direct people to a sales page that looks TOTALLY DIFFERENT AND SALESY compared to their normal content. 

    This creates the feeling of being “incongruent” with the material the reader fell in love with.  Aka….their Spidey Sense is triggered because it feels like all of a sudden this person (or website) is trying to pull a scam. 

    Perhaps you’ve felt like this before when buying from a site.  

    It goes down like this:


    Wallet closed.  Sale lost.  

    They ALMOOSSTTT had em too!  

    So what could’ve been done differently?  

    Well for starters, they should’ve been congruent.  

    You see if people are browsing your site for a long time and enjoying it, you are ALREADY:


    • Building trust.
    • Giving them value.
    • Telling them about your products in a non-scammy way. 
    • Making them want to buy certain products you are mentioning.
    This means when they’re ready to buy, you can literally mention the product inside a blog post and send them directly to a PayPal button (or whatever payment). 

    In this case you don’t need to direct them to a whole other sales page that tried to jam the in the head with why they need your product….you’ve already done it! Just take their money now! 

    Louis CK did a good job of being very authentic and simple and NOT salesy in his checkout process. I took the hit and spent the $5 (poor me) so you can see the simple checkout process:

    Very simple (almost easy-to-miss) text link on his website directing you to the right place.



    He very honestly gives a description of WHY he’s selling through this method, and even mentions the very obvious fact that you could probably illegally download this for free, but he’d LOVE if you pay $5 to help support the cost of production (click for full image):


    Pay through PayPal (can also pay through Amazon and Dwolla):


    The download page lets you easily download whichever format you want.  After all, it’s YOUR file: 


    Then you get a small little email with your personalized login information if you ever want to download it again:


    ……and that’s it!  That’s the whole checkout process. 

    Super authentic.  Super simple.  Super non-salesy.  

    NOW….I’m not saying this is the “best” way to do things, but overall it worked well for HIM to make it look like a “one-man shop that needs the money.”  

    His dis-interest in optimizing the hell out the page actually works congruently with his persona!  

    He’s normally a jeans-and-black-tshirt kind of guy, and the whole checkout process reflected that.  


    It’s a good thing.  

    Neville N. Medhora


    Have you ever been perusing a site, liked their stuff a lot, was willing to purchase something, then SOMETHING triggered your Spidey Sense and you closed your wallet?  Care to share below in the comments?


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Guest djcrunk


    Hi Cesar, like the neat design on your page and nice use of negative space, but I’d really change your opt-in box man. For something like:


    And instead of just a plain old boring "submit" button, something like “Gimme”, “Right on” or “Let's go!”, something that gets them excited about it. This will increase your opt-in rate trust me.

    Also I'd either use only one field for the email (the more they have to fill, the more they will procrastinate). Or even better use just a button, which brings a small popup window, where they put their name and email. People will jump through bigger and bigger hoops, progressively. If they clicked that button, they're more likely to give their name and email. It just works.

    And you really, really, gotta start using the tools from http://www.sumome.com They're awesome, free and grow your list/traffic/sales. What more can you ask?

    Cheers and the best of luck brother.

    Link to comment
    Guest Rosy Silva


    That’s cool he’s transparent like that…

    Hadn’t seen that before. Thanks!

    Link to comment
    Guest Nilson Silva


    A lot of good strategy and article, thank you for sharing with us!
    Link to comment

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