In making sure "sequentialism" was indeed a word, I discovered in my research that it's actually a philosophy that has implications in everything from politics to church planning. While I'm no expert in the philosophical aspect, I would like to shed some light on how sequentialism in your business practices can save you time and make you more money.
At hearandplay.com, I have multiple continuity programs. Some that are sequential in nature and others that require an update in new content every week. The former allows me to set up a sequence of, say, 30 months of content in advance and when a new member joins, they start at month #1.
The latter setup gives new members an initial amount of content (i.e. - last few weeks), locking all past years of content in a "vault" (which is opened after 90 days). This model requires us to release new content every week and is not easily convertible to sequential since there are longstanding members who've been exposed to everything and require ongoing content for payment.
If I had to do the latter over, I would make it sequential. In fact, all future programs will be sequential. I even have plans to launch an Automation Clinic membership site and it will undoubtedly be sequential.
The idea that I can make 6 or 12 months worth of content, "set and forget," only returning to add another 6 or 12 months when the club has proven itself viable, is very attractive. In fact, my Monthly Music Mentor "CD of the Month" program consists of 30 monthly pre-recorded lesson cds sent sequentially.
To give you an idea of what that means, if you join this month (June 2012) and continuing paying, you'll receive a new lesson every month until January 2015, AUTOMATICALLY. Hands-free for me. I put in the time, set it up properly, and now it returns on my time and financial investment month after month, year after year.
(In fact, the only dilemma is figuring out when to STOP recording future cds. I made the decision to stop at 30 since I was only seeing a fraction of the members make it that far. Sure, I could have kept recording but at some point, it will be clear where you should stop.)
Designing things sequentially relieves you from having to come up with new content. The fact of the matter is MOST users will not be in your program forever and to waste past content or even place it in a "vault" like I've done (although useful for retention purposes) is not favorable to sequentialized content. You're better off having a finite program that lasts 36 months, doing everything you can to encourage and retain members than to worry about new content.
Another benefit is because you know the exact path they are taking to consume your information, you can choreograph retention and sales communications accordingly. You can include information about the next cd or month of content (using the Zeigarnik Effect to "leave them hanging.")
Sequentialism isn't just important in membership sites but to deliver free content. For example, our "Monday Music Minute" sms club sends a weekly text message to recipients with short tips on playing music by ear. Based on what I've said here, do you think I'm logging in every Monday morning and broadcasting these manually? Nope.
Using custom integration, a simple follow up sequence with 3 years worth of messages (rounded to nearest Monday) is set up to fire every 7 days like clock work. My only responsibility is making sure I have enough credits with my sms provider (and even that's automated with their auto-replenish feature).
Close to a quarter-million text messages sent... sequentially! Some people are on week 1, others are week 20 or 40.
So the next time you're deciding how to organize or deliver content, sequentialism is worth considering.
Home Study Course & Secret Plugin Library
Click here for more information and free 4-video preview series