What you will learn
In todays podcast, we’re going deep on selling information products.
This slightly more complex and often overlooked monetization strategy isn’t the sexiest topic in the world of marketing, but it can offer huge returns if executed properly.
This could be anything from PDFs, video, and even audio. And while taking this route often comes with more work upfront, as well as delayed gratification… there’s still a lot to be said for selling information products.
To get other episodes in this mini-series, and for bonus content, check out the series home page.
When & How To Start
The only time you should really consider creating and selling an info product is when you already have a reasonable amount of content, traffic and subscribers. That is, unless you plan on outright buying the traffic.
An email list is an incredible asset to have for product validation. Before you even create your own info product, you can become an affiliate for others, promote it to your list, and see what kind of products really take off.
Not only that, but you can poll them for further validation. Simply asking them, “Hey, what can I help you with in regards to X” should uncover some interesting (and profitable) trends.
Finally, you can look at public message boards like Quora, Reddit, and industry forums. Just like you would do with polls and surveys, write down the common questions and see how you can create a product that connects the dots.
When you have an idea for a product, you can use a tool like Workflowy to organize your research and plan what your info product will look like. (Structure is KEY when it comes to quality.)
Of course, you either create the entire info product yourself, or hire a professional. This will depend on a number of factors (like expertise, writing ability, etc.) but either can work really well.
Selling Your Products
When it comes to selling your info product, you’ll want to create well optimized funnels.
The idea is to build a “tripwire” product for the front end, and then offer an upgraded product during checkout. If you do this using a one-click upsell, it will charge them right away without having to go through the checkout again (massively increases conversion).
There are plenty of tools out there for selling digital products, but not all will allow for one-click upsells which is important to consider.
We recommend building a single product that’s complimentary to your main offering. And you can even take this further by offering a recurring subscription. That’s how you turn a $20 sale into $100.
Scarcity is another factor when it comes to selling. By limiting a product based on time or quantity, you can create urgency and ultimately get people to take action. Simply adding a countdown timer above your CTA (or buy button) is a good way to achieve this, but don’t be deceiving.
Using something called ‘evergreen scarcity’, you can start a unique countdown for each person. This isn’t deceptive because each person will not be able to cheat the system if you’re using the right tools for the job. (Besides, everyone gets an equal opportunity to buy at a reduced price.)
Another thing you can do is offer pricing plans for high-ticket items. So if you were selling a product for $1,000, you might offer a 12-month payment plan at $100 per month.
$1 trials are also an option, but they do come with people complications. If you go this route, be prepared for a high refund-rate and avoid chargebacks at all costs.
Setup & Sales Tools
Selling through your list is one the most obvious and effective ways to get started. We use ActiveCampaign to store emails and manage email campaigns. GetResponse is also pretty good, and it’s known to be more lenient in regards to affiliate promotions.
Scarcity can be a tricky one, as we mentioned. If you want a robust, albeit expensive solution, Deadline Funnels is an excellent choice. Thrive Ultimatum is cheaper and easier to use, but it only closes the sales page, not the checkout page – so it can technically be cheated.
Recruiting affiliates to sell your info product is an effective way to scale. (It’s also nice to see other people doing the hard work for you.)
And, if you have a funnel based around email opt-ins, you can also grow your subscriber list at the same time. It’s a win-win.
In order to find affiliates, you can start by looking at who’s promoting competitor products and reach out to them about your own. (Make sure you have some numbers to back up your product over the one they’re currently promoting.)
You can also reach out to influencers in your niche and ask if they’d be interested in becoming an affiliate for you. Even getting 1 or 2 of these on board can seriously impact your sales.
Finally, you can find people with existing (and relevant) email lists and pay to have your product promoted through that list. This is called a solo ad and it can be an effective strategy.