Continuity Programs – Watch Out!
When you buy a product online, particularly in the make money online niche, you’re likely to be told that “the only thing you need” is the product described on the sales page. Then you decide to buy it only to be offered a succession of upsells that will “take you to the next level.” The most dangerous upsell and one that’s usually offered last, is membership in continuity programs, or membership sites. They’ll not only take money from you now, but they’ll continue to take money from you every month.
The make money online niche is constantly changing, as things that are profitable sometimes stop working and marketers are always on the lookout for the next way to earn a dollar. Over the years, the process of forcing customers through a sales funnel has become more refined, and many experienced Internet marketers now know that the primary product, known as the front end, isn’t necessarily the product that’s going to earn the most money for you. It’s the continuity programs on the back end that’s going to make the big money for them.
Continuity Programs as a Profit Enhancer
There was a time, not that many years ago, when an upsell of any kind was fairly rare. Now they’re standard, and a few marketers (I’m looking at you, Ewen Chia) offer a string of upsells at their buyers that are so long you begin to wonder if you’ll ever get to see the primary product. Usually saved for last, continuity programs, also known as membership sites, are the final piece in the sales funnel. They’re not only going to get you to agree to give them money today, but you’re going to agree to give them money every month from now on. I used to see continuity programs offered as a primary product, and they are still offered that way on occasion. Jonathan Leger’s Learn From Jon course is one example of that; he’s offering a training course and a lot of software but you can only get it by agreeing to give him $47 per month.
That’s fine, if it’s the primary product, because you’re going to be told upfront that you’re buying a membership that will have a monthly fee. The continuity programs offered as upsells are often disguised, however, and unless you see the fine print when you checkout, you may not realize that the price you’re paying is going to be rebilled on a monthly basis. Obviously, marketers and affiliates love continuity programs, as they will both earn recurring income from them. The downside, of course, is that you’ll end up paying every month for something you may not even be able to use, and you may find that it’s difficult to unsubscribe from a lot of continuity programs. That’s intentional, of course.
A product I recently reviewed, Copy Paste Income, gives buyers a series of downloadable ebooks relating to affiliate marketing that the buyer can give away. These books can be branded with the buyer’s Clickbank ID so that when someone reads the book and clicks a link inside it, the buyer can earn Clickbank commissions. Finding a way to give away hundreds or thousands of ebooks is going to be a chore, but it can pay off in time. Doing this for ten ebooks is clearly ten times as much work, so your purchase of Copy Paste Income will give you plenty to do. But once you agree to buy, you’re going to be offered one of Ewen Chia’s continuity programs – the opportunity to receive ten new ebooks every month. That might sound appealing; more books equals more money, right?
Wrong. It’s a lot of work to set up a system to give away a single book in volume, and you’ve already bought ten. Now, you’re going to buy that many more books every month. In a year, you’ll have 120 ebooks to give away and unless you’ve come up with some sort of massive giveaway system, you’re soon going to find yourself absolutely swamped with ebooks that you don’t know what to do with. Of course, you’re still paying money into the continuity programs every month, but now you’re just amassing a pile of books you likely can’t use while spending money you can’t spare to buy them. Of course, thanks to Ewen’s continuity programs, you’ve spent $324 in that time for a pile of ebooks that you likely can’t use.
Most continuity programs that are offered as upsells are “elite” training programs that are supposed to offer you more than the main product does. The problem with this is that the main product is almost always advertised as giving you “everything you need” to make money. If you’re now being asked to join continuity programs so you can “take it to the next level” then you have to wonder why you should buy the first product at all. The vendors offer these continuity programs because they’re wildly profitable and because, statistically, the average subscriber sticks around for four or five months before they decide to cancel. That’s a lot of extra revenue that comes in for doing no extra work.
There are times when subscribing to continuity programs makes sense, particularly if you’re buying a service of some sort. That might be a link building service or an autoresponder service. These are valuable tools that can help you in the course of your business. These are distinctly different from continuity programs that are clearly just addons for a product that are intended to pad the vendors bank account while providing you, the buyer, with little of value.
We all have a limited amount of money to spend every month, and it’s easy to find yourself subscribing to a number of continuity programs. Pretty soon, that can add up to a lot of money and before you know it, you’ll find yourself spending hundreds of dollars that you can’t afford to spare. I’m careful about subscribing to anything, and when presented with such an offer, I always ask myself, “Can I get this product or service without paying money every month for it?”
Continuity Programs Summary
Most of the time, the answer is “yes.” There’s almost always a way to get the software or information you need without having to pay a monthly fee for it. That’s especially true for training. There’s no reason to pay for continuity programs when it comes to learning how to make money online because there are great ways to do that without paying a monthly fee. Wealthy Affiliate, for example, is an online training program with training videos, great support and lots of free tools. You’ll learn a lot there and you won’t have to pay a monthly fee until you decide to upgrade.
Continuity programs can be useful, but most of the time, they’re just a money trap designed to get you to pay over and over. Watch out, and don’t fall for the continuity programs scam.