Make sure you have all of the facts

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What if you kept 85 percent of your continuity members from one year to the next? Most for-profit marketers would consider this to be a spectacular success.  With my association clients, I’d be fired if I produced those poor results. If you are losing 15 percent of your members each year you’ll has none left within 7-months.  You can’t build a vibrant community, a company or a lifestyle if membership is a constant revolving door. Is forming an association the secret?  Not the way most marketers think about it. I was able to transform my membership marketing results within the association world by applying what I learned from Dan Kennedy about publishing content that solves problems for members.  However, too many marketers stop there.  They think content is what drives the continuity sale.  I benefited so much from Dan’s strategies because I was already understood the other reasons why people … Continued

56% more revenue, without an increase in marketing

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You’ve been told for years to examine when your members drop-out of your continuity program.  Then, right before the month with the highest member drop-out rate, give them a gift, such as food, to encourage them to retain their membership.  The thinking is that this gift will create goodwill and trigger the Law of Reciprocity so the member sticks with you.  Then, I suppose you’ve “gotten them over the hump” the member will stay with you forever. Turns out the box of cookies doesn’t work.  Neither does more stuff. What I’ve found over and over again is that poor retention at any phase of the membership cycle starts when you welcome your new member. Before I reveal what we did, allow my client, Richard Menneg describe the transformation his company experienced when he implemented a new member welcome system in addition to the other changes we implemented: “Working with Robert … Continued

Benefits That Retain Continuity Members for Life

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I hear comments like these all the time: “Members tell me there’s just not enough value to justify their monthly continuity.” “Why should members continue paying when they can get the information for free on the internet.” “Members tell me it’s too expensive, we’ve got to give them more value.” Most continuity marketers do one of two things to solve these problems: Sell harder Provide more return on investment Look, selling harder is important.  Members have to understand all of the benefits you offer and how they can solve problems within their lives.  And, without it, the #2 solution of giving them more just overwhelms the members with more stuff they don’t value, even if it could be valuable. Instead here are the 5 keys to retaining your continuity program members: Connection with others Many years ago I had the opportunity to work with the Florida Society of Dermatology.  I … Continued

Fewer than 12% of your members will stay for 2 years…

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Would you believe that 88% of continuity programs average retention is less than 2-years?  This isn’t a statistic you hear from the gurus selling courses on how to create continuity programs.  The whole point of building these subscription and coaching continuity programs is to build a steady income, revenue you can count on and budget for each month.  If members are churning out as fast as you can recruit them, it doesn’t produce the security and steady income you were promised. I’m particularly shocked about the results of this survey as I come from the association world.  Within associations, what do you think the average member retention is?  According to the American Society of Association Executives the average for all associations within the United States is just a tick over 5 years.  And, associations strive to get this number to 7 years with the best 25% achieving this number.  All … Continued

Make sure you have all of the facts

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I experienced a hilarious contradiction of ethics. Hilarious at the time, but now that I think about it more, it was actually pretty scary. Each week during the school year I teach entrepreneurship classes to high school seniors as a Junior Achievement volunteer. Junior Achievement supplies the curriculum, solicits interested high school teachers and puts them into contact with volunteers like me to teach the courses to their students. The entrepreneurship course is an hour a week for seven with topics including market analysis, differentiation, product development, marketing, ethics and business planning. Ethics is always my favorite because of the fun discussions it elicits. One of the activities this week involved role play. I approached each student and said, “I’m your co-worker. I have discovered how to hack the time clock to add 45 minutes to everyone’s pay without getting caught. Now what do you do?” The students’ reactions ranged … Continued

What do you regret?

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Members often tell me, “I wish I had known about info-marketing before; I would have made a lot more money.” I’m always polite when someone says this; however, this type of thinking is a symptom of a larger problem. When we look back on an unpleasant situation in our lives, thoughts like these often occur: I wish I hadn’t said that; I wish I had done things differently; I wish I had stayed home that night. A lot of us have lost our heads in the heat of the moment, and then, looking back, we have thought of the one thing we could have done differently that would have changed everything. That is exactly the wrong way to think. Instead, we should recognize that we created those bad circumstances because we weren’t focused on the present moment. It’s like driving down the road in your car looking only through your … Continued

Info-marketing sales factor we don’t discuss enough

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Few info-businesses have more longevity than the one I’m about to describe. Launched in 1872, it’s 142 years old, predating the telephone and the electric light bulb. You may be one of its million-plus subscribers or never pay it any mind, but Popular Science magazine is worth studying. The point of your and my info-marketing businesses is to provide value by helping our customers get results. But Popular Science isn’t trying to make its readers into scientists. So, why would someone read it? The fact is 1.2 million “someones” read it, and the magazine has maintained its numbers over the last several years, a difficult time for the publishing industry. Popular Science attracts its large audience because curious people want to know how things work. The magazine provides a lot of illustrations and charts to demonstrate various interesting things, such as how jet engines, stem cell therapies and airline flight … Continued

Controlling you without you knowing it

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Our brains are programmed to fight for survival, similar to other animals. If a squirrel is on the ground searching for nuts, hears a tree branch break, feels a swoosh of wind and then feels a sharp pain in her side, she is going escape by running into the woods, barely thwarting the hungry hawk. What happens the next time that squirrel hears a branch break and feels a gust of wind? She’s going to run to the nearest tree, and her side is going to ache, even when the hawk isn’t around. Running for cover is now an involuntary response every time she senses that combination of experiences. Our brains are programmed in the same way. When we experience accidents or other traumatic events in our lives, our brains create responses to protect us from those things happening again in the future. As an example, imagine you fell out … Continued

What to do next

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Some people shouldn’t be encouraged. There are many ways to fail in any business launch. The info-marketing business is no exception. You can choose a niche that is too large, under research your niche and launch the wrong product, market poorly, market too little or rely too much on joint ventures—and this is just the beginning of the list. Life is too short. I don’t want to be misled by someone who is trying to spare my feelings. If I’m missing something important, I want to be told. I assume the same with the clients I work with. That’s why it irritates me when I see others teaching to “pursue your passion” or “follow your dream.” That’s cruel. Only fools expect success without effort. You want to build the foundation of a business so that the business will continue to grow. It will take work, a lot of learning and … Continued

How the worst can come without warning

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I had a job for six years. I started as a bookkeeper and quickly became the company’s controller. Within two years, I had become the director of business affairs. Then I bought the business, just six years after joining the firm as a bookkeeper. I used employment as an opportunity to learn as much as possible. I set up the network server. I loaded Novell version 1.0, a program that, back then, came on about two dozen 5¼-inch floppy disks. I spent an entire Fourth of July holiday learning how to program Microsoft Access databases, building my own CRM systems to track member contact information, dues payments and conference registrations. While my job was a great learning ground, I soon figured out I’d never get paid what I was worth. My salary took money out of my boss’s pocket by lowering the amount he could take out as dividends from … Continued