A Tribute To Corey Rudl

June 4, 2005

The Internet world is still reeling from the news that Internet marketing pioneer Corey Rudl was killed in a racing accident on Thursday, June 2, 2005.

We've put together this short history of Corey's life, based on information he shared with his readers in courses and newsletters.

Corey Rudl was born in Ottawa, Canada, and his love affair with fast cars manifested itself from an early age. He began Motorcross racing at fourteen, becoming the number one champion in the 125cc category for Eastern Ontario. But after a couple of bad crashes he turned his attention to cars.

Corey bought a Pontiac Fiero in High School and, with his father's help, started his first business. He bought Fiero car parts and sold them to his friends at a markup. Within two years the business was grossing $250,000 annually and was one of the largest distributors of Fiero parts in North America. Corey attributed his success to the marketing skills he learned from direct marketing legends like Jay Abraham and Gary Halbert.

After graduation, Corey sold his Fiero parts business and enrolled in a business administration course at the University of Western Ontario. In his spare time he became an expert on kit cars – replicas of exotic cars like the Lamborghini or Ferrari. Through his kit car business he met a man who was making a fortune selling self-published books. Corey thought this was an excellent business model and he set about writing his first book.

Corey sold his book on Kit Cars through direct mail, grossing between $40,000 to $50,000 annually for the first two years. When sales began dropping off he decided to broaden his topic and wrote a new book called Car Secrets Revealed. This one didn't sell for some reason. After struggling to make it succeed with direct marketing, his father suggested that Corey take a look at the Internet.

The birth of an Internet 'guru'

The Internet was a very different place in the early 1990s. Corey basically had to start from scratch. He taught himself HTML and how to upload his web pages. He manually submitted his pages to the search engines. He took credit card orders by phone. He wrote e-mails one at a time.

He also broke the golden "information only" rule of the Internet by putting up a sales letter on his web site.

Corey experimented constantly. He adapted Jay's and Gary's marketing methods to the Internet and created many of his own. He developed ways of tracking people online. He tested constantly. He was one of the pioneers of the affiliate program, including the two-tier model. He also experimented using autoresponders with affiliate programs, thus automating his e-mails. Eventually he developed a program called AssocTRAC, which automates affiliate programs.

He decided to share what he'd learned with others and wrote a course called Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet, sold through his new company The Internet Marketing Center. His course was wildly successful because his information was based on real results. In his lifetime Corey made over $40 million dollars online.

When I took my first tentative steps into the online world Corey was my first teacher. My partner and I purchased his course and I learned a massive amount about the Internet. His clear explanations and obvious enthusiasm for the subject helped me to overcome those early feelings of overwhelm. He was supportive and inspiring. I felt I had a friend (or in Corey's case, a kid brother) to hold my hand through each phase of my learning curve.

I would venture to say that anyone who does business online has learned much of what they know through Corey Rudl. It might not have been directly, but my guess is that the person who taught them learned from Corey, or the person who taught him or her learned from Corey, and so on. Eventually it all goes back to him. He tested everything, then wrote the manual. And the rest followed.

His death leaves a hole in the online world. Those of us who never met him will never have that opportunity now. It's undoubtedly a devastating time for his family, especially his new bride. In his writings it's very obvious how close-knit a family they were.

If Corey touched your life, you might wish to send a card to his family at

The Internet Marketing Center
1123 Fir Ave 
WA 98230

A more lasting tribute might be to take what he's taught you and make it work. And be sure to give credit where it's due. He made an immeasurable contribution to the Internet, and through it, to so many of us who want to make a living online. We will miss his teachings and his newsletters. But we will take the gifts he shared with us and turn them into something amazing.

Thank you Corey.

To visit Corey's web site, go to Internet Marketing Center

Ken Calhoun has launched a tribute site for Corey and you can find it at Remember Corey

Steve Dimeck has written a beautiful tribute to Corey on his site at Tribute To Corey

You can find the news story and photos at NBC News