Digital product selling has been one of the most popular and effective ways of generating a steady online income stream, especially for freelancers and bloggers. With so many digital selling tools and services, it has become much easier to develop and sell your own products like eBooks, training courses etc.
However, without properly planning the product launch, you won’t be able to get much success even if you have all the necessary tools at your disposal. And this is one of the primary reasons why a large number of digital products never achieve the kind of sales numbers that they’re capable of.
Being a professional marketer and freelancer myself, I’ve closely studied different successful and unsuccessful product launches over the years. In my experience, these are the 5 essential components of a successful digital product launch.
#1. Relevant and High Quality Product
Quite understandably, the starting point of any successful product launch has to be a high quality and relevant product. While quality is sometimes a confusing topic that everybody defines differently, relevancy is one factor without which even quality is irrelevant.
Your product needs to be relevant to the needs of your target audience. It needs to have a clear objective and a clear solution to a specific problem. When people discuss your product, they should immediately be reminded of the problem it resolves. There needs to be a clear connection.
This is what many products fail to achieve. They either address a problem that is not big enough to attract large sales volumes, or they do not address one particular problem in detail.
You can get a fair idea of what issues to target by running surveys on your target market and going through the reader comments on other relevant blogs.
So when you sit down to develop your product plan, ask yourself about the one problem that it resolves comprehensively. The clearer your answer is, the higher your chances of being successful.
#2. Platform Development
You can have the most relevant and high quality product, but if your launch platform is not optimized for maximum conversions, then all your hard work can go to waste.
To be more specific, you need to have certain things in place in order to execute a powerful product launch. First of them, is a vibrant and active blog. I’m not saying that you can’t launch a product without a blog, but your chances of success would be significantly higher if you have one.
Similarly, a healthy email list is also essential for higher sales. Email subscribers are loyal readers who’ve trusted you by handing over their primary contact address. Selling a product to them is much easier as compared to complete strangers.
You’d also need to develop an effective landing page for selling your product. The content, flow and overall structure of your landing page would be critical to your product’s chances. You can create landing pages by using a free WordPress plugin or by using products like LeadPages.
#3. Marketing Plan
Before launching the product, you need to have a marketing plan that outlines your most effective marketing and promotional channels. Study some of the other successful launches in your niche and see how they utilized different marketing platforms and the results that they managed to achieve.
In my personal experience, your promotional activities should revolve around the following strategies.
- Guest Blogging – Targeting other high traffic blogs with established audiences should be on top of your list when marketing a new product. Even if you don’t have a large email list, you could still attract a significant number of visitors through relevant and high quality guest blogging.
- Networking – To maximize your chances of attracting a large number of customers, you need to use the strength of your network. Before launching the product, connect with all the leading influencers in your niche. Work on building your relationship with them by commenting on their blogs, sharing their social media updates and sending them occasional emails. Once you have their trust, share your product with them and ask for their views. Don’t ask directly for a recommendation. If your relationship is good enough, they’d share it with their followers themselves.
- Social Media Marketing Plan – No online marketing plan can be complete without the intelligent use of social networking platforms. Identify the different groups and communities on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn that are relevant to your target market. Join them and remain active at least till the product launch. Share your guest posts, blog posts and sales page on all your social profiles and ask your followers to spread the word.
#4. Customer Buying Experience
Attracting relevant traffic to your sales page is important, but without creating a smooth and memorable buying experience, you would find it hard to achieve much success. The presentation of your product, the payment options for buyers, speed of the checkout process, product delivery etc. all combine to create an experience for buyers.
For digital products, many bloggers and small business websites use services like Shopify, E-Junkie and Selz. I personally prefer Selz because of the number of objectives you can achieve through it. You can use it to create multimedia product widgets with HD videos and images, accept payments from Master Card and PayPal, integrate it with auto responder services like MailChimp and AWeber for list building and many other useful features. It basically covers all the major areas that define customer buying experience. If you are selling on a larger scale, you’d want to explore WordPress plugins like WP-eCommerce and WooCommerce.
The objective, however, remains the same with all of them – creating a memorable buying experience.
#5. After Sales Support
This is one area where most small businesses and inexperienced product sellers need to work hard. You need to stay available for your customers even after they’ve purchased your product. Listen to their feedback and answer any queries they might have. If they need a refund, offer it gladly. If they think you need to assist them occasionally through email, do it as an additional favor. These things count a lot in defining you as a seller and creating your brand image. If you remain supportive even after product sales, you’re likely to attract more customers the next time to sell a product.
Digital product selling requires careful preparation and research. The five components I’ve discussed in this post are just some of the high level areas that you need to consider while developing your product launch strategy. Each of them is a separate topic with much more detail. If you address these five areas appropriately, the initial momentum of your product launch would be enough to make your product a huge success.
Images: “E-book on tablet pc touchpad, ebook concept/ Shutterstock.com“
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