Clickety Split – Revolutionary? Not Even Close…

This morning I received a forwarded email from my Dad (a common occurrence even though I hate getting forwarded email) but he had personalized it a little asking me if he should look into the “business opportunity” a relative sent him.

I was immediately intrigued because he doesn’t ever come to me with emails like this. He has worked as an mechanical engineer for close to 40 years and does not typically look to branch out into biz ops.

So I started reading the forwarded email message. It was apparently from an older cousin of mine and started out with the disclaimer that she was sorry if she offended anyone with the email but if they were interested in making money to read on.

Sounded like classic MLM (multi-level-marketing, which I like less than half as much as forwarded emails). I read on: “You and I have both seen the amazing growth of Microsoft, Google and Facebook. We also know that we have contributed to their value as we use their products and add to their revenues. Now, I want to introduce you to a truly unique company called ClicketySplit.”

I love how people love to throw themselves and their own companies in with the likes of Google, Microsoft and Facebook. Yeah, I would say that when I think of the most successful internet companies ever, Clickety Split is at the top of the list. (please note my sarcasm)

It is another classic MLM tactic to give general information about the success of a certain industry and exploit it, helping ignorant people by drawing the “obvious” conclusion that since Google made money with the internet you clearly will too.

ClicketySplit’s main offering is a software program that “bridges the gap” between the internet and your computer applications. When you run their software they show you “relevant targeted ads” for your convenience. First of all I didn’t realize there was a gap between the internet and my computer applications.

Why don’t you just call it what it really is, a software program that you have to install on your computer so they can serve ads to you all day. There is nothing “revolutionary” about it. Splitting revenue is a practice that has been done thousands of times over. Only in this case you are the one that has to engage the ad in order to get revenue from it. One word that does come to mind is “adware”, “spyware” or “malware”.

Here is the kicker, in order to join this once in a lifetime opportunity you have to sign up and pay an enrollment fee of up to $500 and then pay $200 a year to stay enrolled. In essence you are paying Clickety Split to be forced to watch online commercials.

They tell you that to make money all you have to do is “view an ad, click an ad or shop online” and when you do they split the ad revenue with you. So you have to go to one of the advertisers and buy their product and then ClickeySplit will share the ad revenue they get with you. Where I come from paying $50 to get $1.50 doesn’t seem like a good way to make money.

The real way you make money is by getting “you to share the software for free with others so that they can get their split also!” In other words, add to your downline and you will make a commission each time. That is where the real money is at.

Then in the email it said: “I believe this is a revolutionary concept that will expand exponentially as people learn about it.”

Let me be the bearer of bad news. There is nothing revolutionary about this concept. In fact, they are probably 10-20 years behind the times. All this is, is another multi-level marketing scheme that will most likely make you absolutely no money but will do a great job of alienating all of your family and friends so they will screen all of your calls and stop inviting you over for dinner.

Let me reiterate, there are so many other, better ways to make money online that I definitely would not recommend that you waste any time on this one. Save yourself the trouble, the heartache, the lost money, the lost friends, and make money online the real way.

Update 5/27/09:

In light of some of the comments I’ve received, I decided to do write more specifically about what led me to the conclusion that Clickety Split is simply a re-spun MLM company.

Clickety-split.com is registered to the following contacts:

Administrative Contact:
      Halladay, Hal  e1sPYz@privacypost.com
      Palace Partners
      3910 Prospect Ave
      Unit L
      Yorba Linda, CA  92886
      US
      714-223-1701
      714-223-1717

   Technical Contact:
      Johnson, Daron  98BOVW@privacypost.com
      Clickety Split
      65 Enterprise
      Aliso Viejo, CA  92656
      US
      949-677-9864

Hal Halladay from Palace Partners?  I tried to do some digging and found that he’s also the administrative contact for quiltthreads.com (the domain is parked) and pearpieces.com (a site about quilt pieces).

A quick google search for “Hal Halladay” did get me to his LinkedIn profile (see it here).  He has quite a burdgeoning resume and has obviously been very successful building and selling companies.  You can read his blog here (though it hasn’t been updated for about a year at the time of this writing).

All I could find on Palace Partners was that it’s the affiliate program for Giant Palace Casino (a very large online gambling site, from what I could gather).

I almost missed this, but the clickety-split.com domain that ranks is actually redirecting to clicketysplit.com (no hyphen).  I checked out that domain and got the following:

Administrative Contact:
      Sewell, Russell  [removed ]
      [ removed ]
      Mesa, Arizona 85207
      United States
      [ removed ]      Fax -- 

   Technical Contact:
      Johnson, Daron  [removed ]
      Clickety Split
      65 Enterprise
      Aliso Viejo, California 92656
      United States
      9496779864      Fax --

So a new person has appeared (Daron Johnson’s the technical contact on both):  Rusell Sewell (view his LinkedIn profile here).  Russell hails form my great state of Arizona.  It looks like he was previously in real estate.

Why Did I Call Clickety Split an MLM?

If it walks like a duck…

They have a “Platinum Membership” where you can recruit other members.  Each platinum member can be on varying tiers:  Premium, Elite, and Select.  You need to pay $495 to become a premium member and then renew annually at $195.  If you recruit a “free” member (someone that just uses the software to earn revenue based on their sharing program) then you get 4x their payout.  Elite members get 3x their payout and Select gets 2x the payout.

Here’s a screenshot:

Clickety Split incentive plan for recruiting new members

“Simply invite a friend to join…your earning potential is based on the number of clickthroughs…from the people in your circle of influence…”

“Get in on the ground floor…”

“Exclusive…”

“The time to act is now…”

“As each tier fills its membership, the next tier will open until it’s filled.”

“Expected to be evangelists and very active in their use and promotion of Clickety Split.”

“Qualify and invite others to join you as a platinum member that would naturally promote Clickety Split.”

“Limited time opportunity…available only for early adopter members…”

Perhaps that’s all just nice marketing copy (hey, I’m a marketer too and can definitely understand that).

But let’s examine closer — is Clickety Split really an MLM?

I’ll reiterate what I wrote originally — absolutely.

Go ahead and click the sign up button on their site.  Here’s what you see:

Clickety Split asking for SponsorHrm, let’s see…what other type of business model has “sponsors” when you sign up?

Also, In the bottom-right corner of the sign up page I saw a logo for OrbSix Software (they’re a supplier member of the Direct Selling Association).  I checked it out.

So…if OrbSix Softare is a supplier member of the Direct Selling Association (DSA)…then what types of members would it be supplying?  I dug through their list.  Here are a few you may have heard of:

  • Amway
  • Agel Enterprises
  • Avon
  • EcoQuest
  • Mary Kay, Inc.
  • Nu Skin
  • Primerica

So Clickety Split isn’t a member of the DSA, but they’re using OrbSix Software…for what exactly?

Well, OrbSix offers a whole host of tools, mainly for paying commissions, order management, downline management, autoship profiles…

Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but straight from the horse’s mouth at OrbSix’ about page:

OrbSix Software is a software service provider for the direct sales and network marketing industries.

Here’s a choice quote from the IT manager at Agel (an MLM company):

I would recommend OrbSix to any mlm company.

Update 5/28/09:

I should clarify a few things.

I’m not saying Clickety Split is a bad company.  All I’m saying is that it’s an MLM where you make money by referring friends AND clicking ads.  I feel like I’ve made a very solid case for that.

Just because the software will be free doesn’t mean they’re not an MLM.  Instead of having people purchase some autoshipped products each month, they’re having people click.  The advertiser is buying the advertising (product) from Clickety Split, who is then paying a commission on the advertising (product) to the software user.  I DO want to see the software in action to actually see how it works, so in the Fall when it’s released, I’m certain I’ll take it for a spin.

I don’t want to get into war of semantics over whether or not Clickety Split is an MLM or not — heck, MLMs are not evil (they just carry an extremely negative connotation with me and apparently a few other people).  However, when I received that email that I originally referenced, it sure seemed like an MLM, and doing further digging, I’ve concluded that it is.

I’ve removed the personal emails of the managers — not trying to be clever, just trying to see who’s behind it.  Very standard due diligence before investing money, time, and reputation in something.

A message to commenters associated with Clickety Split:  Instead of spending your time disputing whether or not Clickety Split is an MLM (it is), why not just try and promote it as a legitimate way to make money?  Why are you so worried that one guy (well, and Greg) is convinced Clickety Split is an MLM and has written about it?

Conclusion

Listen, you can run off lickety split and join Clickety Split for $500, recruit all of your friends and make your millions, or you could NOT, and save yourself some time, disappointment, and perhaps a few awkward Thanksgiving dinners.

15 thoughts on “Clickety Split – Revolutionary? Not Even Close…

  1. Anonymous

    I think the person who wrote this post is woefully misinformed. Clickety Split IS NOT an MLM. Perhaps a forwarded email from a 3rd party isn’t the best source for information on a company.

  2. Greg

    @anonymous, did you go to Clickety Split’s website? It’s obviously an MLM and they’re obviously trying to spin it as something different. Classic MLM in this case: encourage people to build their downline, but pretend you’re actually doing something else.

    Thanks for the heads up Adam.

  3. Trevor

    @Greg, the definition of an MLM is “a marketing strategy that compensates promoters of direct selling companies not only for product SALES they personally generate, but also for the SALES of others they introduced to the company.” Distributors “represent the parent company and are awarded a commission based upon the volume of product sold through each of their independent businesses”. If you take an honest look at their website you will see that after the initial group of people that will help to act as beta testers the software will be released to the public for FREE. No products are being purchased or sold, therefore it is NOT an MLM. Adam jumped to conclusions about the company instead of taking an honest look and really seeing how the company is set up. Comparing it to “adware” is so far off the ball that it really shows the lack of research that was done. I hope is comments are taken with a grain of salt.

  4. Greg

    @Trevor, they’re doing that. They want their Platinum members to recruit other Platinum members. They say that in their video.

    Also, I’ve never heard of a company charging betatesters hundreds of dollars (plus an annual fee? How long will the betatesting phase last?) to betatest software.

    Just because no product is being purchased or sold, does not make it an MLM. Heck, the fact that there isn’t a product makes it smell more like a good ol’ fashioned pyramid scheme.

    Oh, and describing it as “adware” is actually hitting the nail on the head. From wikipedia: “Adware or advertising-supported software is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer …”

    Hrm…did YOU research the company at all Trevor, before you commented?

    I’ve been burned more times than I care to admit with MLMs, so this hits a button for me every time. Thanks for the writeup Adam.

  5. Brad

    Adam and Gregg – I am sorry – I am not catching what is wrong with everything?

    ClicketySplit is willing to pay you for you to use your own computer and also pay you for you to go to the same websites you to go everyday and that is a bad? (sorry of all the you’s)

    Adam and Greg– If you are worried about spending $500 for a membership– than don’t worry it – the company already sold them. If you don’t want to buy a membership, than don’t have to – is only for 5,000 people. If you are worried that the product will have pop-ups, virus, spam or other harmful devises for your computer, well than that is just plan silly.

    ClicketySplit will be offering the software to the public free very soon and it sounds like you both will be very excited to start using it. I know you have some concerns right now if the product will do what the company says it will and if the ClicketySplit will pay users. But let me assure you that when the product is released this fall and when users receive there first checks; I guarantee that you and everyone else will be jumping to their computers to sign up. Get paid to use your own computer – what a great concept!

    I hope that you both know that the product it free- ok I will say it again – it is free – if someone would like to earn 3x or 2x the normal amount than they can buy a memberships at the current moment (but I am not if there is anymore left at the 3x level, they have been selling pretty fast). I wanted to let you know that the company will be launching the FREE software very soon.

    If you are comparing ClicketySplit to MLM like companies like Amway, Primarica and others, then you will have to compare the fact that true MLM companies requires independent agents to pay sign up fee and to buy a mandatory amount of monthly products and sign up as many people to do the same. How much does ClicketySplit require you to spend a month and what are the sign up fees? – That is right – a Big Fat “0” So how can it be a true MLM?

    You brought up the fact that ClicketySplit is a word of mouth referral base business and therefore it must be an evil MLM. Well, I just don’t see how social networks such as Linkedin.com, Twitter.com, HiveLive.com, YourSphere.com, MySpace.com and Facebook.com would be classified as a MLM? Because what ClicketySplit has done is that they have built a social network where all can communicate, very similar, to Twitter.com (but with some other exciting features) and will pay users for it. So basically, it is like opening a twitter account, inviting others to join and get paid for doing it, not a bad idea.

    I know that you thought it was very cleaver to find Hal’s, Daron’s, and Russell’s personal information and expose these evil managers to the world. I am glad that you shared it with everyone and I hope you contact them, because if you do than you will find that they are the best qualified individuals in their respective industries, who are loving family men with high moral of values. I have had the privilege to know these individuals personally, and let me announce to the world, there are no better individuals to do business with than these three.

    In the end, I am not trying to defend ClicketySplit.com because it is not needed. The company has a great management staff and employees. The product does what it explains on the web site at ClicketySplit.com, the company will pay individuals for using the product and sharing it with others – and by the way – it is FREE – So I guess I am not catching how this is a bad business or where the MLM scheme is?

    P.S. By the way, if we were able to use the ClicketySplit software right now, we all would have been paid for having this discussion.

  6. Trevor

    Thank you Brad. Well said. And yes you will see in the near future that ClicketySplit is “a legitimate way to make money”.

  7. Wow, congrats Adam and Greg. Seems that your SEO skills got your ClicketySplit review noticed pretty easily.

    I see it, the business model is not unlike that of Ebates.com and Fatwallet.com. Click through them and make purchases and split the commissions. ClicketySplit is taking this “profit sharing” model and applying it to opt-in advertisements and then turning it into a pyramid pay structure.

    It makes sense. However, somehow I doubt the money making potential of this. I can see how a few short ads placed on Hulu.com can help pay for the episode of House M.D. that I just watched there. I see how banner and text ads can pay for my free Yahoo! and Gmail accounts on those sites.

    But I fail to see the potential to bring in serious money using the ClicketySplit business model. I see how the math works, but I don’t see that in the real-world people will be able to get their friends and family to join at anything approximating a viral rate. Maybe the early go getters will promote it like crazy and somehow score lots of recruits. We shall see.

    Etierh way, this is not a business for your father to enter. A pushy marketeer is needed to succeed at this. Oh just imagine the ClicketySplit parties at the Jones’. I can’t wait.

  8. To start, I’m not a fan…did you see those PPC ads on the right hand side of the dashboard!? Seems to me like a glorified version of window’s alt-tab, haha. Uses virtually none of your computer’s resources? That comment makes me VERY skeptical…how does it tie into all of your computer applications and browsers without taking any resources? Looking at their website, Clickety Split is more about explaining the referral program than the actual software itself, just look at the FAQ! Me…I’ll wait for Google Wave.

  9. Dan Durney

    12/30/09 – First a comment on the software.
    Today I was shown a demonstration of how Clickety-Split works – simply amazing! I can see novice and advanced users alike saving time with its use. Yes there is a GAP between the internet and computer applications and when you see how this works, you’ll get it. Yes it’s still in beta, has functionality and interface issues yet to be completed, but this will be a very cool product to use. The ads that will be “served up” don’t look to be obtrusive and in fact, users can create their own ads with pretty cool demographic targeting options.

    I can’t speak to the “computer resources” concerns yet -that will have to be reviewed when it’s completed – but from what I see of how it works and what it does, I don’t believe that it’ll slow anyone down – in fact, quite the opposite from a productivity standpoint.

    As for the money aspect of it, it will be a free to use product and the users will be able to earn money in what i really see this as an affiliate marketing program on steroids.
    Personally I can see how it looks like a traditional MLM in some respects but when you really look at the structure and the money flow, it’s not. For example, none of the Membership fee (now one time only with no annual renewals) goes to a “sponsor”. All income is derived based on usage by the people using the product.

    Now, regarding the people that I know who are involved – I have coached several of their daughters in softball, know them personally and thru our religious affiliation (not that I relate a business to anyone’s religious beliefs, I just happen to know of their practices), knew one of them when he was over a well-known, traditional catalog sales company before any of this came about and can echo the comments about their integrity, honor and complete respect that I have for them.

    I look forward to hearing what you think about the software application. It’ll be fun.

    BTW, I’m a 17 year IT veteran in the Software arena, now involved in the franchising world but as a PC user, appreciate what this can do for someone’s productivity.

    Happy New Year everyone.

  10. Ben

    I do not doubt the integrity of those who founded clickety split, or anyone associated with the company. But to say its not MLM is like saying McDonalds does not serve hamburgers. And just because its an MLM company doesn’t mean it can’t be legitimate…but rest assured, when someone insists their “business opportunity” is NOT mlm, you can usually assume that’s its most definitely mlm. When multiple friends and family members try to get you to come to a presentation, its most likely an mlm. And all 3 of these have been my experience with clickety split associates. Good luck but no thanks.

  11. Matt

    Just curious…Clickety-Split has now disappeared, and resurfaced as SMISH (www.smi.sh). SMISH is essentially Clickety-Split with a new UI and the MLM jargon removed from the brand positioning. So what happened to all of those “platinum” Clickety-Split members and investors? Were they rolled into SMISH? Refunded? Did they receive shares? Apparently Clickety-Split took on a round of funding worth 1.2m in January 2010, dissolves, then resurfaces as SMISH (which is the same team but a different corporate entity). Interesting stuff…

  12. Sharon

    We paid $500. Have never heard anything more from ClicketySplit/Smish. Don’t know what happened to them. I guess they took our money and ran!! 5/5/11

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