Desktop Lightning Review

IMPORTANT UPDATE

09 October 2007 - My recent results with Desktop Lightning have been disappointing. The response rate has declined steadily over the past several months. The company has neglected the product, e.g., they have not updated any of the features since it was launched. In fact, the promotional emails and announcements on the site are the same as they were 12 months ago.

It's as if the company, LAZR Marketing Corporation, created the product and then forgot about it.

Consequently, many people who downloaded the Desktop Lightning software program simply uninstalled it. As a result a rapidly shrinking number of Desktop Lightning customers activate the software and review the messages. 

I therefore no longer recommend Desktop Lightning. It's too bad because the it was a good idea and could have been very effective if the company hadn't left it out on the vine to whither and die.

Desktop Lightning is a good example of why it is so important to continually test the effectiveness of your advertising.

If I wasn't using a tracking program to measure the success of all my ads, including those sent out on Desktop Lightning, I would have no idea which ads are working and which are a waste of time and money. Click here if you'd like to see the top-notch tracking program that makes me so much money with its cutting-edge technology and versatility.



Note: I have left a grayed out version of my original review (below) so you can see the potential Desktop Lightning had--and how the company blew it.

Bottom Line

Desktop Lightning is the Best Viral Marketing Tool of 2006.

The free membership is not recommended for the majority of individuals because you miss out on the opportunity to send messages twice a week to 57 or more randomly selected members, in addition to your own downline.

The paid membership is really two programs in one:

First, Desktop Lightning is like a paid safelist in which you can send messages to 57 (so far it's been over 80) randomly selected members nine (9) times a month for $14.95.

Unlike traditional safelists, however, members will receive your message--it will not disappear into an email account they never read and a spam filter will not block it.

Second, DesktopLightning is a viral marketing, list-building program, which empowers average online marketers an opportunity to develop a downline of at least hundreds, if not thousands of members, if promoted steadily over several months.

You can lock-in a 25% savings on the upgraded ("Platinum") membership if you buy it immediately after sign up (it's a one time offer that appears after you register).

Positive

  • Communicate directly with about 100 randomly selected members every week without enrolling a single downline member.

  • You never receive more than 14 messages per week.

  • The owners of the program do not bombard you with their own advertisements.

  • The cost is much less than if you paid for email leads, not to mention the problem of spam filters for traditional email marketing.


Negative

  • Free membership won't yield significant results unless you are quite experienced at building a downline.

  • Desktop Lightning has not yet created a sense of community among its members. An active forum where members genuinely help each other and the moderation isn't arbitrary and aloof, would prove very attractive to new and existing members alike.

  • Recipients of messages are other affiliate and network marketers. Therefore, products or services that don't appeal to that audience would probably not benefit as much from Desktop Lightning.

Statistics Update

I will periodically post my statistics for Desktop Lightning so you can see if my recommendation has merit. ;-)

Below is a snap shot of the "Statistics" screen from within the DesktopLightning program that shows my downline numbers as of 03 NOV 2006. Note that although I have only 13 personally recruited members, I have 154 downline members in total. When you add the 88 "Platinum bonus" members, it means I am now sending messages to 242 people.

Thirteen (13) sign-ups ==> 242 potential customers, distributors, and business partners. Wow. This program really is viral!

Table of # Desktop Lightning Members 03 Nov 06

The above chart is for the launch date of the product on 06 October 2006 to 03 November 2006.

Description of Product

Desktop Lightning

is a viral marketing tool designed to help you build a list of potential new distributors, customers, or joint venture partners. You communicate with your list via a desktop application, which alerts the user whenever he or she has a message via a small notification window in the lower right corner of your screen (similar to many programs, such as the Gmail notification tool).

Positive Features

Over time, DesktopLightning will empower you to build a list of people who are already interested in earning money from home via affiliate, internet, or network marketing. You are able to communicate with these members direct to their desktops, thereby bypassing the spam filters that prevent many of your emails from reaching their intended audience.

Thus you have a very targeted market for your opportunity or services. By gradually building a relationship with your list members, e.g., by offering them assistance and advice, you create an atmosphere of trust which increases the chances they will become interested in your business opportunity or services.

A major benefit of Desktop Lightning if you are a Platinum member (currently $14.99 per month if you purchase it immediately after signing up; if you wait to upgrade it's $19.99 per month) is the "Platinum Bonus" feature. The way it works is that every time you send out a broadcast to your downline it your message also goes out to an additional random group of at least 57 people in the DesktopLightning system.

Thus, not only will your messages reach your downline members, but they will also reach a random group of at least 57 other members. The actual number can be higher. In fact, so far it's been above 80 for every mailing. This "Platinum Bonus" significantly enhances the value of the upgraded version.

I should note here that Desktop Lightning does not have an affiliate program. I want to mention this fact so that you know that I'm not recommending the Platinum version because I can make money off it. I recommend the Platinum version because I believe you receive good value for your money.

Negatives

It takes awhile to build a list, whether it's using Desktop Lightning or other methods. Therefore, you have to approach building a list with a tool like Desktop Lightning as a long-term process. Some of the ads for Desktop Lightning refer to sending messages to thousands of people. The ads can make it sound like you'll be sending messages to thousands right away.

Unless you have a huge list of loyal subscribers that just ain't gonna happen!

Of course, if you approach the task as a marathon as opposed to a 100-meter dash then this doesn't have to be a problem. I simply don't want you to assume that a thousand-member downline from the get-go is the norm.

I was initially concerned that DesktopLightning would suffer from some of the same problems as other list-building programs. For example, in many instances the older the program, the less attractive it is to potential new members because they fear being inundated with emails from a large upline and they worry about their own ability to recruit new members.

Another problem with many downline builder programs is that the new member drop out rate is high, usually because new members become discouraged only being able to send emails to a handful of people. Sure, a few experienced marketers build a large downline quickly but the average person has to promote a list-builder for a few months to build a reasonably sized downline. Many new members become discouraged and quit before that happens.

Fortunately, Desktop Lightning has built in a couple of features that ameliorate these concerns.

First, they limit the number of messages any member receives to 14 per week. DesktopLightning explains the mathematical reason for this limit, if you are interested, but the main point is that even if you join a year or two after the initial release, you will not be inundated with messages.

Second, if you are a Platinum member (currently $14.99 per month if you purchase it immediately after signing up; if you wait to upgrade it's $19.99 per month), you benefit from the "Platinum Bonus" program described above, in which you are able to

send messages twice a week to 57 randomly selected Desktop Lightning members.

Recommendation

I'm neutral on the free version since it might prove frustrating for newbies trying to recruit downline members when they have little marketing experience to begin with. It could work for people who know or are willing to learn Internet marketing.

I highly recommend the "Platinum" version upgrade. The clincher for me was realizing that for $3.50 per week I could buy at the most 35 half-way decent email leads, many of which would never reach an Inbox because of spam filters.

Alternatively, I could pay $3.50 per week and send 100 messages direct to the desktops of "prequalified" prospects. By "prequalified" I'm referring to the fact that Desktop Lightning members are already either running or are interested in a running a home business.

If you are able to promote Desktop Lightning to a mailing list or via advertising and you are patient and persistent about it, it could prove to be a great way to build a targeted list of home-based business entrepreneurs with whom you communicate much easier than if you had to rely on email.

Keep in mind that if you choose the Platinum option, you will be able to send messages to 57 random members right from the beginning, even if you have not signed up a single downline member.

If you don't already have an ezine or blog or web site and you know very little about network marketing such that even free advertising on traffic exchanges is not feasible for you, then you'll probably want to hold off on Desktop Lightning.

You can use Desktop Lightning for free but I don't recommend it, mainly because you miss out on the "Platinum Bonus" feature, wherein you send messages to 57 randomly selected members twice a week.

Purchasing Tip

If you decide to sign up for Desktop Lightning, immediately after entering your information you will see a page with a one-time offer to lock in a discounted price ($14.99 per month) for the Platinum version.

Unlike a lot of "one-time offers" which seem to last forever, the publishers of DesktopLightning are actually serious about this offer. If you close that page and go back even minutes later wanting to upgrade, the price will have gone up to $19.99 per month.

Author

Mark Worthen, Psy.D. earned a Bachelor of Science degree, with Honors in Psychology, from the University of Maryland, where he was Commencement Speaker for his college, and a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree from Baylor University. He is member of Phi Betta Kappa and was a Clinical Fellow of Harvard Medical School.

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