Continuity Programs Aren’t All Bad
Continuity programs, also known as membership sites or membership programs, have their pros and cons in the world of affiliate marketing. They’re often added as an upsell to low priced products in the make money online niche, and in those cases, the profits realized from the upsell can easily exceed the profits from the front end product itself. That’s good for the vendor and their affiliates, but continuity programs can be an expensive headache for buyers.
While continuity programs can give buyers the impression that the vendor is just trying to milk them for all of the money they possibly can, there are actually some reasons why continuity programs can make sense, both in terms of subscribing to them as a buyer and in promoting them as an affiliate. In this post, I’ll talk about continuity programs in a bit more detail and explain how they can make sense for buyers while being profitable products to promote, as well.
Continuity Programs as Add-Ons
Continuity programs probably get their bad reputation from their common use as upsells or addons to low priced products in the make money online niche. Vendors create sales funnels that lure buyers in with low-priced products (often as low as $7) and entice affiliates by offering them 100% of the sales price in the form of commissions. That brings in a lot of affiliates, but obviously doesn’t produce any profit for the product creator. They get their profits on the back end, when they offer their buyers an upsell in the form of continuity programs, usually branded as something like “elite training” or something similar.
This is often a bit misleading, as the sales page for the product itself usually tells prospective buyers that the front end product includes everything they need to make money. Once they’ve agreed to buy, they’ll be told that if they want to increase their profits or “take their earnings to the next level”, they should buy the advanced training, which is almost always sold in the form of continuity programs. These are not inexpensive, and are often priced at anywhere from $27 to $197 per month. Studies have shown that the average subscriber lasts about four months, so talking your buyers into subscribing to continuity programs can bring about a pretty substantial increase in the vendor’s profits, as well as the commissions for the affiliates.
What about the buyers themselves? They rarely benefit from continuity programs in the form of upsells, because they tend to be overwhelmed with information overload from the product itself as well as any included bonuses. Often, buyers who agree to purchase upsell continuity programs never get around to making any use of them at all, and eventually cancel, but not before they pay for a few months’ worth of use.
When Continuity Programs Make Sense
I’ll admit that I’m not a big fan of continuity programs on the whole, as I think they’re mostly an attempt by vendors to simply cash in and take advantage of their buyers. Many of these upsell continuity programs simply consist of rehashed or repurposed content from other projects or even simply videotaped seminars or Webinars, and offer little in the way of added value.
That’s not to say that continuity programs never make sense, however. There are a few cases where it can definitely be worthwhile to subscribe to products on a monthly basis. While I’m not a fan of the model, I’ll conceded that there are a few software products on the market that are offered for sale only as continuity programs and for which there are few, if any, alternative products available.
Another example would be a situation where access to a Website or a forum was offered only in the form of a continuity program and again, no suitable alternative is available. There are Websites that offer access to lists of high quality wholesalers, for example, saving their members the hassle of having to find wholesale sources themselves. Given that many wholesalers are somewhat disreputable, finding a source that can provide you with lists and contact information for proven reputable suppliers can be worth paying for on a monthly basis. These sites that offer this information also continuously update the information on their sites, which tends to make it worthwhile for those who are constantly on the lookout for good product sources.
Another interesting site that is based on continuity is Jonathan Leger’s Learn From Jon, which combines an affiliate marketing and training program with a number of useful software tools. The software tools are developed in-house, and there are new tools added to the site on a regular basis. In addition, none of the tools offered on the site are available for sale separately. They are only available for those who subscribe. This not only gives buyers incentive to subscribe in the first place, but also gives them tremendous incentive to stay subscribed for as long as they want to have access to the tools. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about this sort of marketing, but at least the product is upfront about the fact that there’s a monthly charge involved, and does offer continuously updated products to their buyers.
For those who have elected to try to work online from home as affiliate marketers, promoting continuity programs can make a lot of sense, particularly if they are the primary product, rather than an upsell. These products generally sell well, and offer the benefit of recurring commissions, rather than the one-time payout offered by affiliate products that are sold at a set price. The benefit of promoting continuity programs as an affiliate is the fact that it takes no more effort to promote continuity programs than it does to promote any other product, and they still provide additional compensation.
If you don’t know much about affiliate marketing or continuity programs, you might want to join Wealthy Affiliate. This online training site offers beginners and those with moderate experience in online marketing the opportunity to get thorough, in-depth training on all aspects of making money online. If you’re not sure where to start or don’t know continuity programs from a hole in the ground, Wealthy Affiliate is a great place to start.