How would you like to…
For years I’ve been poking, prodding, pleading and begging my clients to try and find ways to use continuity (a.k.a. “membership” or “auto-ship”) income in their business.
The conversation usually ends with, “Yeah, that works in __________, but I’m in ___________, so I can’t use continuity.” This month I think I can totally dispel this ‘rumor.’
If you’re not familiar with continuity income, it’s essentially a monthly billing program where you offer your product or service and your clients pay automatically each month. Usually it’s billed directly to a credit card until they ask you to stop.
Though continuity is most commonly used in the information marketing world (those, like me, who sell their expertise), it’s becoming more and more common in the products/services world.
For example, see this letter from Shawn Slattery, a window washer in Tacoma, WA. Shawn has successfully used continuity in his business for nearly 10 years.
I’ve also seen it work in tanning salons, restaurants, auto repair shops, software, roofers and contractors, and many other businesses. It goes well beyond the information marketing world.
When you add continuity to your business you start the first of each month with a known amount of revenue, rather than with hope and uncertainty. Quite frankly it’s hard to find a better business model than continuity:
One way to think about continuity is the formalizing of long-term customer value. You select a dollar figure you want your customer to be worth each month, per year.
To create higher perceived value, or irresistible offer, you want to provide a discount compared to “cafeteria” purchases of the same goods and services. That’s a way of paying or rewarding the customer for agreeing to the program.
Further, the existence of reoccurring revenue makes your current business MUCH more valuable when it comes time to sell it.
And should you wish to grow or expand your current business, your knowledge of how to add continuity income to a business may make the acquisition of a company a better opportunity.
I encourage you to Shawn’s letters on the next page, then, ask yourself these questions:
So, what’s the perfect mailing list to start your recurring revenue business? It’s your own in-house list of course! Check out the letter here that Shawn sent to his top 100 clients as his first test. This is very important to note.
Your own in-house list is usually under used by marketers. They spend all their time trying to get new clients, and very little time and money on their own list. Maximizing direct-mail success depends first upon the lists you use, second upon the offers you make and third upon the copy and graphics you create.
Next the headline:
“Who Else Wants The White Glove Window
Washing Treatment All Year Round?”
Enroll in Our White Glover Service and Get
Four Window Washings Each Year For The Price of 3,
PLUS a Free Gutter Cleaning Every Year You’re a Member!
A few things of note here. First, we tied the entire letter and the headline around the white gloves and Christmas and gift giving. The original letter was mailed this the second week of December with a ten day deadline. GASP!!
I can hear you say it now, “Travis, what are you doing sending direct mail in December? Don’t you know everyone is too busy to look at your mail, give it time and respond! Shame on you!” To that I say, “Humbug!” There’s no better time than the present to do something, and we weren’t going to let a little thing like Christmas get in the way.
Christmas gave us the perfect excuse to do the mailing! Everyone buys presents during the holidays, and this was a great excuse for some of Shawn’s clients. You don’t need to wait until December to use this letter. Simply remove the references to Christmas and you’re on your way.
The offer was also carefully constructed to match his clients. The Gold Package includes 4 window washings for the price of 3, once every three months, and he’ll even give you a free gutter cleaning.
It is clear and understandable; free window cleaning and free gutter cleaning at almost zero extra cost for Shawn.
Here’s why there’s almost zero extra cost. The first washing of the windows is the most costly. The windows are usually at their dirtiest which takes more time to wash.
However, since the windows are now being washed every 3 months, each window washing after the first takes less time than the first. By the second and third washing, his crew takes about 50% less time to wash the windows.
Thus the 4th free wash is at virtually no cost when compared to getting 4 new customers and wash their windows just once. The gutter cleaning does add some time to the job, but its incremental.
Shawn’s big cost is getting a full crew to the job-site. Once they are there, the limited time spent cleaning the gutters is a minimal increase to the cost of the job.
Shawn did an excellent job of looking outside of his own industry to find great ideas for marketing. I can virtually guarantee there is no other window washer in Seattle/Tacoma that is following this model.
Had Shawn only looked in his own industry, he never would have thought to use continuity.
Marketing Tip Reader’s Only Special
Did you Shawn’s letter linked above. Did you see the headline?
“Who Else Wants The White Glove Window Washing Treatment All Year Round?”
Can you guess what we included with the letter? You got it, a real pair of white gloves. We first introduced this to our Inner Circle Members, and the results were fantastic.
Do you offer a high-end service? Do you have the top service in your industry? Do you want to get that point across in your next direct mail piece? Use our “White Gloves” to show off your “White Glove Service.” Great of service businesses, contractors, medical practitioners and more!
This is a great item to target unconverted leads, or a “high value list” of potential new customers. Here are a couple headlines ideas you can use:
“Our White Glove Service Will Amaze You!”
“Who Else Wants The White Glove Treatment?”
“Enroll In Our White Glove Service and Get __________.”
“You Deserve The Finest ‘White Glove Service’ Available”
“Who Else Wants The White Glove Treatment?”
Get 15% off this all-new item when you use promo code Gloves. Get pricing and order here, or give us a call at 888-250-1834. We’re open M-F, 8-5 Pacific Time.