Continuity programs in their purest form are simply a method of developing a subscriber
base and a steady flow of income. Companies like Columbia House, Time Life, Netflix
and thousands of others have been using continuity programs for a long, long time. When
implemented correctly and transparently, continuity programs are a boon to consumers
and an income base for producers.
In the information marketplace, two types of continuity programs are most common: (1)
Newsletters, and (2) Instructional. Typically continuity programs begin with a “too good
to be true” giveaway. The price of the giveaway is signing up for a free newsletter
(which is essentially a sales instrument for your other products). Each newsletter should
deliver valuable information for free, along with extensive promotion of other products
for sale. The initial giveaway builds your subscriber base; the free newsletter reinforces
the relationship and puts your products in front of friendly eyes.
Another newsletter strategy for building a continuity program is to offer the first issue
free and subsequent issues at a monthly price. Here you have the option of the “Opt In”
method or the “Opt Out” method. Using the Opt Out method, the consumer is
automatically signed up for the newsletter and payment information is obtained
immediately. The Opt In method requires the consumer to click on a button to subscribe,
at which time payment information is obtained.
Providing an on-line course of learning is another excellent way to build a continuity
program. For example, your expertise may be in beadwork, and you offer your
subscribers, several new beadwork patterns each month. Usually you giveaway the first
month, and they subscribe for monthly patterns. Or perhaps, you could offer a class
about writing for the Internet. Each week you would provide a new lesson and a new way
to make money from writing for the Internet. The possibilities are endless.
Unscrupulous marketers have given continuity programs a bad name. These marketers
use what is called a “hidden continuity” program that captures payment information
without really telling the consumer what they are buying or even that they just signed up
for a continuity program. These programs are blatantly illegal and unfortunately the stain
of these illegal programs falls on to honest marketers.
If you decide to try a continuity program it is important to be 100 percent ethical and give
your customers more than what they expect. Continuity programs are built on the
relationship you build with your customers. Give good customer service and deal
honestly with your subscribers and you will build a steady income stream.
Whatever you decide, it pays to do your homework and deliver a quality product free
from errors and guaranteed customer service. All information marketing, whether or not
you use a continuity program, is built on building a solid reputation. Reputations are hard
to build and far too easy to lose, so as always proceed with caution.