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Making Millions With Continuity Marketing

Jun 6, 2008
Let's talk today about continuity marketing. Continuity marketing is when your customer commits to buying a series of items over a period of time. It's a win-win arrangement for the buyer and the seller. Customers can receive products they want on an automatic basis without the hassle of reordering them, and you build a growing list of repeat buyers.

Many of us have purchased merchandise this way. Health and beauty products are successfully marketed on an auto-ship basis. Gourmet food items also work well with continuity marketing. Usually, the customer buys the product at a low, introductory price. Unless the customer cancels the agreement, she'll automatically receive new shipments of the product every 4-6 weeks at full cost.

There are different ways you can offer your products. "Book of the Month" clubs are modeled after the open ended model. This means that customers buy merchandise with the understanding that goods will be shipped on an automatic basis. However, buyers can opt-out of the program at any time.

The close-ended offering works well with a predetermined number of products in a series. For instance, a customer may receive one volume of an encyclopedia every month until the set is complete. Once the set is complete, the agreement ends.

Before you decide to choose continuity marketing as part of your sales campaign, you'll need to assess whether your product will work well with this approach. Products where the buyer's needs remain constant over time usually work well. For instance, you've probably seen the Proactiv® infomercials on Sunday mornings. This product line flourishes because acne sufferers have to use the product continuously to get results and maintain them. Proactiv® uses the auto-replenish model so the customer won't run out of the product.

If you offer a continuity program to your customers, make the terms of the agreement very clear. No one wants to be tricked into buying products at a regular basis. Because most of these programs automatically charge the customer's credit card or debit card, make sure that the buyer gets no surprises when the transaction takes place.

If you choose to use continuity marketing for your business, decide which approach will work best for you. If you have a series of books or films, the overall product may be more affordable if you send a piece at a time over time. Customers who would never think of spending $299 for the set may feel comfortable spending $29 every six weeks for a piece of the set.

If you sell something that needs replenished on a regular basis -- such as coffee, health products, etc. -- auto-ship is a good way to go. You'll build a loyal customer base, and you can also use upsells and cross-sells to increase your profits.

Continuity marketing is a win-win arrangement between the seller and the buyer who wants to remain loyal to the product. This is a great way to build a list of repeat buyers over the long term, and your potential for backend sales will skyrocket.
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Do you own a small business? New report by David Ledoux reveals how to grow sales, increase profits, and make more money while working less.
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