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How To Sell Digital Products In 2020 (+7 Most Profitable Products This Year)

How To Sell Digital Products In 2020

Let’s face it: digital products are infinitely better than physical products.


Forget about shipping or storage costs.


With digital products, all you have to do is upload them to your website, and start processing orders.


Today, I’m going to walk you through selling digital products in 2020


From explaining how to sell online, to showing you top digital products to sell, here’s everything you need to know:

1. What are digital products?

Let's start with the basics.


What’s a product? 


A physical thing that you give in return for money. 


Similarly, a digital product is something you can offer to your customers in exchange for their money, but in a virtual form.

digital products

The thing I love about digital products is that there are no limits when it comes to creating them.


Once created, you can simply carry on with marketing, sales, and earning.


Digital products also leave no waste behind, so they are sustainable, cheaper, and easier to sell.


Digital products can be downloadable, in the form of online courses, and so on. 


I’ll cover all the types of digital products in a second, but before that, let’s take a look at a few more benefits:

1.1. The benefits of selling digital products

Digital products are one of the most fool-proof places to start your business. 


There’s not much to lose, and a lot to gain.


If you start selling digital products, you’ll be eliminating plenty of costs:

  • Overhead costs like rent and electricity
  • Manufacturing costs
  • Warehousing
  • Shipping
Desktop

It’s also much easier to break into the digital space.


For example, you can get started with online business for as little as $27/month with systeme.io


No significant start-up capital needed!


Let’s not forget about the fact that we’re dealing with a global pandemic that has shown that virtual is the new real.


You don’t have to worry about going out of stock, and it’s much easier to coordinate delivery - even going as far as to completely automate it.


Businesses, including the ones that could not survive without physical products, are shifting online. 


Be it a florist or a motivational speaker, everyone is now learning how to make bank with digitalized services and products.


So, if you have a skill that people can benefit from, it’s time to get to work.

2. 7 Most profitable digital products to sell in 2020

There are all kinds of types of digital products, but some have proven themselves to be profitable not only this year, but throughout the years.


And when you consider their value, it becomes pretty clear that they’re not going to go out of style any time soon.

2.1. EBooks

Search Engine Journal’s eBook

Search Engine Journal’s eBook

eBooks are one of the best digital products. You can even use them as lead magnets for your sales funnel if you want to sell courses or other digital products.


Now, you don’t have to write fiction or poetry. There’s a huge market for non-fiction books that eloquently explain core concepts.


The key is in choosing a niche you know a lot about.


For example, if you have a background in finance, it makes sense to create an eBook about personal finance, investing, and similar topics.

Oli Gardner’s eBook

Oli Gardner’s eBook

eBooks also have two huge advantages: they’re cheaper, and easier to carry and consume than paperbacks.


You don’t have to worry about distributing your books to libraries and bookshops; you can simply sell them through Amazon and your own website.

2.2 Online courses

Honestly, I think that online courses are the hottest digital products of 2020.


Online courses are becoming more and more profitable in the past few years. 


We’re all aware that we have to constantly improve our knowledge in order to stay competitive in the job market.


But instead of enrolling for classes at local colleges, it’s much easier to sign up for online courses and quickly obtain knowledge.

Setting up an online course in systeme.io

Setting up an online course in systeme.io

The same goes for practical skills. Courses are usually more actionable than traditional teaching.


So if you have specific skills, consider how you can provide in-depth insight through online courses.


Learn more: How to create an online course [the ultimate guide]

2.3. Membership sites

Here’s the thing: when you start selling online courses, your students will be paying a one-time fee. 


But if you start a membership site, you’re getting recurring revenue from subscriptions.

Lewis Howes’ membership site, The Inner Circle

The only prerequisite is having a mix of products:

  • Multiple courses
  • Courses + eBooks
  • Other resources

You definitely have to provide more value, so it can take more time to get started. 


But in the long term, membership sites are definitely going to give you steady income.

2.4. Webinars

So you’ve got yourself a specific set of skills, but you’re not sure if you want to commit to creating online courses or enough products to create a membership site.


Totally fine!


You can always start with webinars - online conferences AKA mini-courses.

Webinar example from Twitch Con

For example, an online course would cover a topic in depth: “Marketing 101,” while webinars would cover specific topics within the main topic: content marketing, advertising, and so on.


You can either self-host a webinar by talking about your area of expertise and telling the viewers how to transform their lives or careers, or get an expert on board.

2.5. Graphics and stock photos

Everyone needs graphics and photos to hook their target audience; be it writers, entrepreneurs, or online coaches.


An engaging logo, infographic, or a photo keeps online businesses going by engaging their audience and setting the right foundations for going viral.


After all, a picture says a thousand words.

Business infographic template from GraphicRiver

So if you’re a graphic designer, you might want to consider selling:

  • Logos
  • Infographics
  • Animations
  • Templates
  • Business card designs
  • Wallpapers
  • Fonts

And more! Not even the sky is the limit.


Similarly, if you’re a photographer, you can charge for your photos, or upload them to stock photo archives.


And speaking of services...

2.6. Charge for your services

Landing page website

Technically, your services are also digital products.


There are countless consultants, freelancers, and other service providers who’ve gone fully digital in order to break free of the 9-5 grind.


So if you’ve been thinking about starting an online business, you should consider how to attract clients and charge for your services.


For example, a lot of copywriters offer templates for email marketing, sales pages, and more.

2.7. Software and apps

Finally, software and apps are some of the most expensive digital products to get started with.


Keep in mind that the competition is tough, and you might have to allocated more funds to your marketing budget.


But if you’ve got a good product idea and significant start-up capital, this type of digital products is not off the table.

3. How to promote digital products

Promote digital products

Now that you’ve learned about different types of digital products, let’s move to the most important step: how to market and sell your digital products?


With digital products, you get plenty of marketing options, and the worth of your products is directly connected to how you present them.


Here’s how to do it, step-by-step:

3.1. How to create an online brand

People will see your digital product as the reflection of your brand image, so the key question is: if your digital product was a person, what would it look like to the world?


Your online brand is your chance to introduce your digital baby to the world of digital marketing.


Currently, people are always on the lookout for new products that might be a source of entertainment, or help them in starting their businesses or improving their lives.


Your product has to be a reflection of your audience’s values and needs.

create an online brand

Think about aspects such as:

  • What your product has to offer
  • Differences between your product and competitors’ products
  • Your customers’ wants and needs

I personally love HubSpot’s buyer persona tool, so I recommend creating your ideal customer persona with it. 


It’s simple and fun.


Plus, it’s much easier to market to the people you feel like you know.


When it comes to the brand image, product/market fit comes first: how can you help your customers with their needs, and what are your customers like?


The second contender are the little things that go a long way:

  • Your unique value proposition summed into a tagline
  • Logo
  • Social media presence

Your tagline should define your product vividly in no more than 8 words.

I'm loving it

For example, if I say McDonald’s, you’ll automatically say: I’m lovin’ it!


That’s what we’re aiming for here: a tagline so catchy and fitting that it becomes unforgettable.


When it comes to your logo, it should show what your product does or what it stands for. It’s a great opportunity to make customers connect with your brand emotionally.


This is why consultants often use handwritten fonts; they’re bringing their customers closer to their personality.


Experiment with color psychology and shapes. But (and I’m speaking from experience), less is more.

3.2. Identify your digital product target audience

The second step is identifying your target audience.


In this step, you’ll have to narrow your entire audience down to a hypothetical (buyer) person(a) that will benefit the most from your product, by defining their age, gender, profession, hobbies, and so on.

A buyer persona example from HigherVisibility

All the successful brands identify their target customers, and then work on finding them online and advertising to them.


Imagine if you were a restaurant owner and you only served soup to everyone who came in, even if you marketed to everyone, not just soup lovers.


How long would your restaurant be running? 


If you ask me, I’d give you a week.


Digital products are similar. 


You can’t accommodate everyone’s preferences.


However, you can tailor your product to a specific type of people.


A self-help eBook that speaks generally doesn’t help anyone in particular. But a self-help eBook for people who feel lost in their career?


That’s going to get interest.


Online marketing courses? 


Okay, but targeting them to a specific audience is even better. “Online marketing course for small business owners” would get you thousands of dollars in revenue.

Get to know your customers

Get to know your customers

There are a few questions to narrow down your target audience:

  • How old is your target customer?
  • Where are they from?
  • Are they working, self-employed, unemployed, student?
  • What are their goals? What are their pain points?
  • How do they behave?
  • What problems do they need to solve (with the help of your product)?
  • How will your product change their life?

These questions are all a part of your customers’ psychographic profiles - profiles that don’t just show you how old are they, but what their personality is like.

3.3. Create your sales funnel

After understanding how your customers think and behave, it’ll be much easier to define their customer journey: the journey they take from first finding out about you, to deciding to purchase your product.


Now, I know you might think this is some shadowy juju, but it’s really not. Your customer journey isn’t mystical; it’s easy to define and control it.


How?


With the help of a sales funnel.

Sales funnel

You need to cover the following steps in order to successfully convert leads into customers that will buy your digital product:

  • Let them know you exist (Awareness)
  • Convince them to take interest in your product (Consideration)
  • Convince them that your product is the right fit for their needs (Purchase)
  • Keep motivating them to buy more products (Retention)
  • Turn them into your loyal advocates (Advocacy)

For example, here at systeme.io, we reach out to potential customers by writing articles they care about.


Then, we invite them to try our product for free, and ask them for their email address so we can help them make the most out of it.


Finally, we stay in touch with them and offer rewards for every friend they bring on board.


We also have a great community on Facebook.


And the thing is: our product helps you do the same thing for your digital products!

Systeme.io's dashboard

systeme.io's dashboard

With systeme.io, you can:

  • Create a website and landing pages visually (drag & drop, no code needed)
  • Create and automate your sales funnel (drag & drop the right steps)
  • Get plenty of templates made specifically for digital products (e.g. webinar funnels, eBook funnels)
Systeme.io's automation

Marketing automation as simple as 1, 2, 3!

  • Attract more customers through affiliate marketing, and pay only when your affiliates have successfully sold your products
  • Get free traffic from Google with your blog
  • Start a membership site
  • Sell eBooks
  • Offer webinars and online courses
Systeme.io's workflow builder

This is all it takes to automate your marketing with systeme.io

  • Use email marketing to convert more leads, and maximize the value of your existing customers
  • Completely automate your marketing

(Pricing starts from $27/month)


Pretty good, right?


I told you - selling digital products doesn’t have to be hard.

3.4. Connect with your audience on social media

This is the point where you reap what you have sown earlier.


Social media strategy depends on how well you have developed your brand image and how well you’ve identified your target audience.


You can make use of social media tools to implement the strategy you have made.

laptop computer

The key to a successful social media strategy is consistency and connection with your target audience. 


You have to stay updated on what's new, and turn that into a personal connection with your audience.


The more connected you are, the more will they trust your digital product.


You should also pick the right social network for your efforts:

  • Instagram - Great for visuals and entertaining content
  • YouTube - Goldmine for explainer videos
  • Twitter - If you want to assert yourself as a thought influencer (great for consultants)
  • LinkedIn - For attracting B2B audiences

So the key here is to select a social media platform your customers love, and be active on it!

3.5. Selling your products through email marketing

Email marketing is a huge part of your sales funnel. 


It helps you turn leads into customers, maximize the value of your existing customers, and provide extra value at every step.

Systeme.io's newsletter

systeme.io's newsletter

It’s why systeme.io has an integrated email marketing tool within the platform.

You can create different automation sequences:

  • Lead nurturing sequences
  • Welcome and onboarding emails
  • Up-sells and down-sells

And more!


And if you’re wondering how to deliver digital products, you can deliver some of your products through email.


For example, you can automatically send your eBooks as soon as the customer has paid for them.

4. How to create digital products

4.1. Creating a digital product

an idea

Every product starts with an idea.


After that, it’s time to set up the skeleton of your product. 


For eBooks, that’s structuring and writing the book (or hiring a ghostwriter to do it for you). 


For courses, it’s creating a curriculum and filming the videos/preparing the course material.


Because this is a process unique to every online business owner, I recommend learning from the greats and seeing how they did it, such as:

meeting

Pay attention to:

  • How they structure their courses
  • Their audience (beginners/advanced)
  • The depth with which they cover the lessons
  • The extra resources (bonuses) they offer

Of course, your offer should be unique to you.


After that, it’s all a matter of using the right platform to upload your digital products to.

4.2. How to price your digital product

In 2020, there are more digital products in the market than ever before. So, how do you grab the attention of your target customer?


Yes, your first step should be your unique offer


But you have to think through your pricing, too!


You’ve got a few tried and true options:


Set your price high and offer discounts


If you’ve worked hard on your digital product and added enough value, you shouldn't hesitate to set a fair price. 


Interestingly enough, most customers also think your product is way better if they pay a slightly higher price for it.

Sale

High prices also leave more room for discounts, and customers will always go for the digital product that’s discounted rather than the one that started out with a low price.


Provide free trials


Depending on your digital product, you could offer a free trial


After all, everyone loves freebies, especially if you can use them to demonstrate your product quality.


And once you’ve hooked your customers in with a trial and they loved it, they won’t be as willing to leave in the middle of it.


For example, if you’re offering eBooks, you can send them the first few chapters for free


Similarly, if you have a membership site, unlock a few resources for them to peruse.


Give your customers more choices


Give your customers more options to choose from than your competitor. It's 2020, and people can easily swipe left to move on.


Provide options for installments, different payment methods, choices between online courses, e-books etc.


Offer exclusive discounts for your loyal customers. Let them know that you appreciate their purchase and will continue to offer bonuses for them.


Payment options


Plenty of folks wonder how to sell digital products with PayPal, and for a good reason. 


PayPal is one of the best payment methods and yet, so very few platforms offer it.


It’s why systeme.io is integrated with PayPal.

Credit card payment

The more options you can provide your customers with, the better.


Definitely add PayPal and Stripe, although you could experiment with direct credit card charges and other methods popular with your customers.

4.3. How to deliver digital products

So, now you have the digital product and your sales funnel in place, but how do you deliver it?


And more importantly: how do you make sure it’s delivered safely?


Your delivery method depends on your product.


For example, if you had a membership site on systeme.io, all you’d have to do is upload your resources, and charge for access.


The customers would be able to see your membership site (i.e. have the product delivered) immediately after processing the payment.


However, things could trickier with other products:


Deliver eBooks through email as PDFs


In addition to using Amazon’s marketplace, you can also create sequences that automatically deliver your eBooks as PDFs to your customers, moments after processing their payment.


This is something that systeme.io offers, as well, so you can run the whole thing on autopilot.


Watermark your PDFs


If you are selling an e-book, make sure to add a watermark, so no one will even think of sharing their copy.

deliver digital products

Attach a personalized note with your digital product delivery


Have you ever received a physical product with a personalized note that just made you smile, happy that you decided to purchase from this particular brand?


Well, you can do the same in the case of digital products. Let your customers know how special they are to you.


(This is as simple as automating a few things in your email marketing settings on systeme.io.)


If you’re sending the product in an email, greet them by their name, and tell them a little about how your product came into being, and how its value depends on them. 


Let them know that it will be an honor for you to work with them in the future.

discuss

People who purchase your products make your products successful, so make sure you remember this at every step of the way.


Should you limit access?


This is pretty regular if you’re offering courses or running a membership site


If you’re doing it manually, it’s going to be a hassle, and you’ll need to generate thousands of new passwords.


It’s much better to use a specialized platform, such as...

5. Best platforms to sell your digital products in 2020

5.1. systeme.io - all-in-one online business and marketing

Systeme.io's logo

systeme.io's logo

One of the main benefits of systeme.io is that you can run your entire business from a single platform; from creating your website and sales funnel, to attracting and converting leads, as well as selling your digital products.


You can:

  • Sell eBooks
  • Offer courses and webinars
  • Start membership sites
systeme.io's affiliate program dashboard

systeme.io's affiliate program dashboard

You can also run your own affiliate program.


Forget about paying for expensive ads. Simply find the right affiliate on our marketplace, and pay them after they’ve successfully sold your product.


systeme.io takes care of all the intricacies of digital product delivery so you can focus on growing your business!

systeme.io pricing

systeme.io pricing

The best part is - you can start your online business selling your digital products on systeme.io for as little as $27/month.

5.2. Selling digital products on Amazon

kindle Direct Publishing logo

kindle Direct Publishing logo

If you are aiming to sell self-published eBooks, you can’t go wrong with Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.


Selling your e-books on Amazon will automatically improve your digital presence because of its immense popularity.


It’s one of the world’s largest search engines, and the first-stop for people looking for all kinds of products, including eBooks.


It takes only a few minutes to get your eBook out there.


It’ll instantly become available on Kindle, and Amazon will take care of delivery and payment after that.


Of course, they take a certain percentage of your sales (cca 30%), so it might be better to sell them through your own website.

5.3. ClickFunnels

Clickfunnels logo

Clickfunnels logo

ClickFunnels is one of the oldest sales funnel builders.


It integrates marketing, selling and delivery, all at one place.


With ClickFunnels, you can pick from templates for pages and sales funnels, which will automatically provide steps like:

  • 1-click up-sells
  • Follow-up funnels
  • Facebook marketing integration
Clickfunnels socialshare

Unfortunately, ClickFunnels is a bit lacking in other features.


Yes, they offer email marketing and affiliate marketing, but they can’t compare to systeme.io.


Their main product feature are still sales funnels. 


But without integrated tools, you’ll have to pay for other marketing tools (e.g. email marketing) separately.


At the same time, ClickFunnels is a lot more expensive than systeme.io, starting at $97/month and requiring you to upgrade to the $297/month plan to get email marketing automation.

Feedback

5.4. Shopify digital products

Shopify caters to a variety of digital businesses, although it became most popular for eCommerce and that’s still its main area of focus.


Still, Shopify offers plenty of apps and integrations such as:

  • Thinkific - Shopify’s app that helps you create online courses with different strokes for different folks
  • Instant downloads - Shopify offers instant downloads to people who went through the checkout
  • Skypilot - If you’re processing webinar registrations, Skypilot can help you make sure no one but paying customers sees your videos
eCommerce

There are plenty of other apps in Shopify’s app store. However, all of them come at an additional cost.


At the end of the day, you might find yourself paying for more than one platform.


(And you’ve still got email marketing and other marketing tools to pay for). 

But wait, there's more!

This is what makes systeme.io the best in class for digital businesses.


When you can run your entire business from a single platform (marketing included), and make sure your products are delivered perfectly, you’ve got a success formula that just keeps on giving.


So, what do you say? 


Are you ready to start selling your amazing products?

These articles may also be of interest to you:  


-   5 Tools of the Trade for 2020 Marketers

-   How to Use Bonuses to Boost Your Affiliate Income