Business Continuity Planning Should Start at Customer Aquisition

The most important part of putting together your business continuity plan is the original offer. Why is that the case? Because the original offer brings the customers into the “funnel”. And the original offer is what sets the tone for the continuity program and the price.

For instance, our antioxidant nutritional supplement has a front end offer of “Buy 2 Get 1 Free”, which comes out to a 90 day supply. With a 90 day supply on the front end, the continuity plan doesn’t begin until the 91st day, and in theory the customer will have been taking the supplement daily and will need new product.

I say “in theory” because this continuity program doesn’t work unless the customer is truly interested in improving their health. We learned the importance of that the hard way several years ago.

The Original Offer

When we used a “free 15 day supply” as the original offer, the customer mix included a large percentage who just wanted the free 15 day supply. They were more excited about getting something free and less concerned with their health. That same mix occurred when the offer was “buy 1 get 1 free”. The initial monetary investment wasn’t high enough to filter out the people who were truly interested in their health. And thus the continuity program didn’t work.

Another problem we had early on was setting expectations. A couple of the testimonials in the commercial led you to believe that you’d get an energy boost after taking the antioxidant product. This kind of marketing and expectation is pretty standard with all the RedBull, Airborne and energy drink commercials.

But without caffeine or some other “picker-upper”, there really wasn’t a big burst of energy. In fact the product works more like eating chicken and brocoli – just great ingredients that improve your overall health.

But the expectation of an energy burst increased the number of people that cancelled the product prior to the continuity period. Again, the front end affected the business continuity planning on the back-end.

What worked in the end was a message about overall blood health, testimonials from people whose long term use of the product positively affected their health. That combined with a high original offer of $97 for the “buy 2 get 1 free” appealed to the health conscious and filtered out the “freebie seekers”.

That coupled with a great follow-up email program touting the benefits of antioxidants and overall health resulted in an average 14 month customer continuity program. Think about that when it comes to your subscription, or membership site, club or monthly auto-ship product. Parse your continuity program database by how the customers got on the list and by the offer they initially took.

You’ll learn quite quickly which offer to continue and which to can.

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